Noise to Signal

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December 2008

Attention Broadcasters! / 26.12.08

YouTube videos are not broadcast quality material. In any way whatsoever. Stop being lazy and source decent quality clips, dammit.

It’s even worse when this is done in obituaries, like ITV News has just done on the sad death of Eartha Kitt. Luckily, they were interspersed with higher quality material… which was broadcast in the wrong aspect ratio. A wonderful way to pay tribute to her, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m sorry, how did this make it to air again?

Festive cheer? Bugger off.

Merry Christmas, you old building and loan! / 25.12.08

Just a quick note to wish all of our readers out there a happy holiday season, whichever holiday (or holidays…if you’re smart you’ll reach for the plurality) you may choose to celebrate. It’s a pleasure, as always, bringing you breaking news of video-game playthroughs, and up to the minute reviews of programs that ended years ago.

We thank our thousands of daily visitors and our six regular commenters for their continuing support. We love you, in a way.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

PS — Thanks for the wings!

Flight of the Conchords Season 2, Episode NOW / 17.12.08

The entire first episode of season two. Why? I dunno. Consider it an early xmas gift.…

I won’t be able to watch this until after work (how unfair!) but to call me excited about this is a hell of an understatement.

Attention People Who Design Websites for Telly Shows! / 16.12.08

For God’s sake, somewhere on the front page, have in big letters when the next broadcast of the show is. It’s the most important thing people will want to know, and it should be available at a glance - not buried away on a non-obvious page, or - incredibly - nowhere on the site at all.

The current site where this has really pissed me off is with The IT Crowd, but make no mistake - this happens everywhere. Stick it in a box at the top somewhere!

Doctor Who, Journey's End: CBC Edits / 15.12.08

CBC being the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - the same fellows who provide funding for the series, and get mentioned in the end credits. Which means they’d treat the show with respect, yes?

Time's Top Ten Viral Videos / 14.12.08

Pretty much all ten of these are worth your time if you haven’t seen them already (for some reason none had even grazed my radar), but my personal favourites are:

Hamster on a Piano, for services to cuteness.

Western Spaghetti, for sheer wilful invention. (Post It note butter!)

And Christian the Lion, for making me want to weep in spite of the X Factor-y music choice.

New Follow That Bird DVD / 14.12.08

The Muppet Newsflash is reporting a new edition of the excellent Follow That Bird, a delightful film starring all of the Sesame Street characters who aren’t Elmo.

Don’t be turned off immediately, expecting it to be simple for-kids fare; Follow That Bird is as much fun as any of the classic Muppet films, and the 25th anniversary will be a great time to watch it again. Not much word on the extras, but it’s got a behind-the-scenes featurette, so that’s a start. Would it be too much to ask for a puppeteer commentary or an interview with Carroll Spinney?

Also, the new cover sucks. The old one was much better. And that’s not opinion…that is fact.

Venture Bros. season 3 DVD news / whining / 09.12.08

It looks like March 24 (in honor, obviously, of our favorite dead henchman) is the date to look forward to, according to IGN…The Venture Bros. season 3 will be making its DVD debut in a beautiful Atari-themed package (check it out after the job). It will also be released on Blu-Ray…which I have nothing against. Except that the Blu-Ray version will COME WITH A COMPLETE AUDIO SOUNDTRACK OF THE THIRD SEASON.

Which means I now HAVE to buy a Blu-Ray player. Like…now. So can anyone point me toward a decently-priced multi-region model?

Holding on for tomorrow... / 09.12.08

… and by “tomorrow”, I mean “3rd July 2009”, obviously.

Yes, Blur are back, and they’re playing a show with the original, Coxon-inclusive lineup in Hyde Park next summer. Tickets go on sale at 9am Friday, and if you’re not ludicrously excited about this, then frankly, you’re no friend of mine.

Seeya Spiers / 08.12.08

2008 has been a ghastly year, death-wise. Sydney Pollack, Geoffrey Perkins, George Carlin, Anthony Minghella, Stan Winston…to name but a few. And now Bob Spiers’s name has been added to that rotten list of wonderful talents.…

Everyone’s going to have their preferences from his impressive body of work, but by any standard he had one of the most enviable CVs of any TV comedy director. And, put simply, he did what he did extremely well – he got every laugh on the page onto the screen, and did it with a definite (but always appropriate) style. It’s rarer than you think – so this evening I’ll be tipping a glass to an episode of Press Gang.

Bye Bob.

Thoughts On / Images From the Upcoming Muppet Show Comic Book / 07.12.08

With all of the promised and then canceled Muppet projects over the past few years, fans are rightfully excited about the actually happening Muppet Show comic book. It looks like it’ll be a four-issue arc revisiting the Muppets at the peak of the televisual fame. This is a good thing. But some art has been leaked/released/whatever recently, and I have a few concerns.

I’ll share them after the jump.

Hilarious Ofcom Broadcast Bulletins Part #37648382 / 02.12.08

The charge? (Amongst many.)

During the programme Health is Wealth, a homeopathic practitioner, Dr Professor Mohammed Jamil Jilu (“Dr Jamil”), was allowed to make unsubstantiated and potentially dangerous claims regarding the ability of his homeopathic treatments to cure cancer and other serious illnesses, such as diabetes and hepatitis. This could have resulted in viewers with treatable serious medical problems choosing to dispense with orthodox medical treatment in favour of Dr Jamil’s treatments. This risked serious harm to viewers (breach of Rule 2.1)

A Few Notes on a Recording of Golden Balls, 17th November 2008, Second Recording Session / 02.12.08

Ah, Golden Balls. A show which is actually rather good fun - which is why I popped along to a recording of the new series at BBC TV Centre the other week. Do that thing you do with the “Read more” link if you’re interested.


Oh, for FUCK’S sake.

Torchwood star John Barrowman has apologised for exposing his genitals during a live BBC Radio 1 broadcast.
“I was joining in the light-hearted and fun banter of the show and went too far,” he said. “I was wrong to do this and it will never happen again.”
The BBC has also apologised for the incident on Sunday’s Switch show, which prompted one listener to complain.

One listener. ONE listener. One less than originally complained about the infamous Ross/Brand phone call. Would someone at the Beeb PLEASE get a backbone? Go on; tell a licence payer to fuck off. You’ll feel better, honestly. A world where John Barrowman can’t get his nuts out, is not a world I want to live in.