Saturday, 27 March 2010

Friday Five

For this weeks Friday Five I've decided to pick my favourite sitcom characters. This list unsurprisingly includes some of my favourite sitcoms though obvious not all of them as I do like a heck of a lot of them. Compiling this list I was surprised to find that no female characters made the top five or any where near it. But as a lot of sitcoms are male dominated it is perhaps harder to standout. There are a lot of quality characters that have been left out & special mentions go out to Ross Geller, Kryton, Kramer & Frasier. As usual I've turned to YouTube to provide audio visual evidence of what makes a specific character so good.
  1. George Costanza - This list had to include a character from one of the all time great sitcoms, Seinfeld. And they don't come much better or more demented than Costanza. Seinfeld worked so well because each character brought something unique to the show. George Costanza was neurotic, narcissistic & cheap. Yet all these characteristics worked so well to give us so many truly memorable moments in a sitcom full of great ones. He also scores higher for having the most remarkable parents in television history. The selected clip is of George going for a massage displaying his full range of neurosis.
  2. Basil Fawlty - If George Costanza was the king of the demented than Basil Fawlty was as they say in some strange parts of England his granddaddy. Combining everything that Costanza brought with some old school English eccentricity made Basil Fawlty & Fawlty Towers one of the best loved sitcoms ever. That Fawlty Towers is so well remembered despite the fact that only twelve episodes were ever made is proof of the fact that quality always triumphs over quantity. This clip is from the infamous scene with some European visitors who have the misfortune of visiting Torquay's finest establishment.
  3. Barney Stinson - How I Met Your Mothers womanising Barney Stinson played superbly by Neil Patrick Harris has quickly established himself as one of TVs best characters. There's not a lot to Barney's character, he's a womaniser, selfish & extremely shallow. So you'd assume he'd be completely unlikeable. However that's not the case & he often single handedly carries the entire show. Barney is also the source of an interminable number of rules including the Bro Code, the Lemon Law, & the Platinum Rule. And he has as many catchphrases with the likes of 'Suit up!', 'Legendary' & 'True story'. The clip is of Barney going through his legendary 'Playbook' in order to get women.
  4. General Melchett - Blackadder Four was undoubtedly the best of a fantastic series. And one of the reasons it was so good was the superb cast. General Melchett is the eccentric commanding officer of Blackadder's company. Actually eccentric may be too kind a term - he was more stark raving mad, which meant plenty of hilarity whenever he was on screen. The chosen clip has used some strange video technique but it's the best collection of quotes I have been able to find on YouTube.
  5. Dr. Perry Cox - The last ever episode of Scrubs aired this last week & so Dr. Cox is no more. Over the 9 seasons that Scrubs has been on TV it has re-imagined what constitutes a sitcom with drama, tragedy & comedy all equal parts of the show. And central to that altered tone was the role of Dr. Cox. As an angry yet brilliant attending who most definitely cared about his patients, Dr Cox was as much the heart of the show as the title character JD. He is particularly famous for ridiculously long monologues, crazy rants & sarcastic quick wit. This specific clip is a best of compiled mainly from the early seasons of Scrubs.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Chuck v the Final Exam

Unfortunately there was no Chuck review for last weeks episode as I was struck down with the flu. I say unfortunately as Chuck v the Tic-Tac was one of the best episodes in the entire series & continued the strong showing from the previous installments. Chuck v the Final Exam focused on Chuck's graduation to fully fledged spy. This final mission would test his ability to function on his own & most of all test his ability to make the ultimate decision - take someone's life. As has been the trend throughout the season the episode was fairly dark, or at least dark for Chuck. The light relief was provided by second storyline featuring John Casey & the Buy More Crew. Overall it was a solid episode but definitely not as good as the last two that have aired, though as they were among the best of the series that's not too shabby. Some other reflections on the episode:

Friday, 19 March 2010

Friday Five

As I have been laid low with the flu this week I haven't been able to keep up to my usual output of postings but I'd have to be extremely poorly not to complete the regular Friday Five feature.

  1. Silly Job Titles - A story from the BBC website on the strange job titles that have become pretty common place these days.
  2. iPad Magazines - The iPad is coming soon & the hope from the newspaper/magazine industry is that it will revolutionise the industry in the same way the iPod has in the music sector. This feature shows some of the content writers have thought of some innovative ways to use the iPad, which is promising for the giant iPhone.
  3. Jose Fawning - John Nicholson with his weekly rant, which this week is about Jose Mourinho & host of other stuff. He's slightly mad but always entertaining (I've just realised that could apply to either one of them).
  4. David Villa - Its an old article but given that Andy Townsend stated last night that Villa 'couldn't guarantee' 25 goals a season for a top club I've included it so people can see what absolute tosh he spouts. What I find amazing is that pundits/experts in this country don't have the slightest knowledge of football outside of this country, though perhaps I'm over estimating their knowledge of football at home.
  5. Fun Travel Game - I'll finish off with a travel game that is fun as well as informative. I got to level 10 with 388,918 points, which is not bad for hillbilly like myself.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Lionel Messi: The Roger Federer of football

As Lionel Messi scored another incredible hat-trick over the weekend it was clear that we were witnessing greatness before our very eyes. In a game that had seen Barcelona struggle to break down a well organised Valencia team the Argentine star demonstrated once again that it is impossible to legislate for genius. The first goal in particular was sensational, amazing, stunning or any other superlative you can think of.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Classic Music

As the Friday Five feature from a few weeks ago was so well received (there were so many comments I couldn't keep up with them all) that I've decided to make it a regular posting. If for some unfathomable reason you didn't catch that blog - firstly why didn't you, you can't have anything better to do & secondly there's a link at the top of the page for goodness sake - it included links to some of my current favourite music videos. For this posting I'm going to link to some more music videos but with a little twist, rather than new music its going to be classic music, well at least classic music to me.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Friday Five

For this weeks Friday Five I have decided to look at sports commentary & in particular my five favourite pundits on TV. Now there is no significance to the ranking numbers as I would be hard pressed to pick my favourite from such an accomplished list of individuals. All of them appear on British television in some shape or form. 

What makes a good pundit is probably different for every person. We are after all pundits ourselves with highly intelligent views on any variety of subjects. Perhaps we want experts to articulate similar views to our own. Thus while one person may regard Geoff Boycott as a genius for others he may be nothing more than self opinionated fool (I'd probably lean towards the genius verdict). So its rare to get consensus on who is or isn't a good pundit. I've personally liked my commentators to keep me informed with insights that I may not have noticed (I know talk about the impossible). I also want the commentator/pundit/summariser to offer his own opinions. They might be completely laughable but that still makes it a million times better than listening to cliches.

TV Review: Wonders of the Solar System

Now while I write about TV shows I'm not a fanatical watcher of TV. In actual fact over the years I would characterise my TV watching as irregular more than anything. However one thing I have always been a fan of is BBC documentaries. Always informative, well made & great entertainment, BBC documentaries have developed a worldwide reputation for excellence. So it was with a lot of excitement that I looked forward to the corporations latest offering, Wonders of the Solar System. And I wasn't disappointed with the first episode of the series Empire of the Sun starting it all off on a very positive note.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

White Collar: Out of the Box

White Collar completed its debut season with the airing of Out of the Box. And it was an explosive ending for what has been a terrific new show. The story centered on the music box & its links to Kate. Neal alongside Alex & Mozzie planned to steal the music box from the Italian Consulate. To achieve this Neal gets a little help from Fowler, which triggers Peter's suspicion of the whole operation.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Chuck v the Beard

Chuck v the Beard was perhaps the best episode of the current season. A throwback to previous seasons it was fun filled hour with humour, drama, Buy More shenanigans & Jeffster! I had a perma grin on my face throughout the episode & can't wait for what Schwartz, Fedak et all have in store for next week. Here are some more thoughts on the Chuck v the Beard:

Monday, 8 March 2010

Kicking out the Cheats

Over the weekend I caught a number of football games among which was the Real Zaragoza v Sevilla clash. It was a pretty poor game, which makes you wonder why I didn't turn it off, though it wasn't the standard of football that rally bothered me but the constant cheating. Time and again there was cynical fouling, blatant diving, play acting & haranguing of officials. It made the game a very poor contest with little flow to proceedings & excruciating to watch. Again I don't know why I was watching it though it probably has something to do with being a glutton for punishment - I am married after all! 

Saturday, 6 March 2010

White Collar: Frontman

The penultimate episode of the current season of White Collar sees Peter & Neal involved in a kidnapping case were the prime suspect is an old colleague of Neal's from the criminal fraternity. In the process Neal is placed in a great deal of danger as he becomes central to the survival of the kidnapped girl as well as his own personal well being. 

Friday, 5 March 2010

Friday Five

This weeks Friday Five is back to its traditional format of links to my favourite stories & articles of the week. 

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Chuck v the Fake Name

After a three week break Chuck returned with episode eight of the third season. Chuck v the Fake Name revolved around the story of Chuck having to assume the identity of a hit-man hired by the Ring to assassinate an unknown person. What followed was a thoroughly entertaining episode that was on the whole more fun than angst.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Changes to the Football Calendar

This week sees the return of the beloved international friendly. Club managers use the opportunity to blame their own failings on the disruption caused by International matches, while national managers have to put up with a never ending list of withdrawals. As a result we usually get a disjointed kick about masquerading as a football match, though Liverpool fans may be hard pressed to spot the difference.

Carling Cup Final

Yesterday's Carling Cup Final between Manchester United & Aston Villa was surprisingly a good game. The match had goals, plenty of incidents & drama right to the end. And ignoring the major talking point United were worthy winners. Here are some more thoughts on the match: