Thursday, 29 December 2011

Special 'Consistent Awesomness' Award 2011


They aren't just great shows - they're consistently the most humourous, well scripted and choc full of pop-culture-referency television on air at the moment. 

Psych has so much going for it - a great cast with excellent chemistry, who seem to genuinely enjoy working together; some of the tightest writing in the bizz - by people who have clearly watched every television show and film in the history of time and aren't afraid to admit to it; pop culture references from the current to the obscure and some great plots and crimes (so often neglected in primarily comedic shows). 

That's not what makes it work though - it's the relationships within the show. Sure, they are exaggerated, but they are also fresh, realistic, occasionally poignant and allowed to evolve. Shaun and Gus are the sort of best friends that we all wish we could be. They don't always agree but they have each others back through thick and thin; they know each other backwards and forwards and they never hesitate to be honest with one another. 

And every single relationship in the show is executed that well. Shaun and his near-estranged disappointed father, Henry. Heck, Shaun and his near-permanently elsewhere mother - these bonds are usually played for comedic effect but they feel no less authentic for it. 
Shaun and Gus as the dynamic duo toying with the Santa Barbara Police department. 
Lassie and Jules (and will they ever actually hug like friends?). Police Chief Vick - who knows there is something fishy going on but willingly looks the other way as the Psych results are too good to ignore. 
Hell, even the secondary guest stars get to be real people with funny quirks - not just background bods - take a bow Buzz, Woody and Ken - I'm looking at you!

And Shaun and Jules. This relationship deserves a special mention. The only reason that the show hasn't gone bad in that Moonlighting-shoot-me-now-king-of-way is that for a built up lovely dovey storyline - you never get to see it. They're a couple but only really off screen. But I defy anyone who saw the resolution to the missing Nintendo not to have had a major awwwww session, despite the lack of PDA!

As if that weren't enough, it's the show that brought Steve and I together - it's still the one that we chat about the most; we're still intrigued by it and after nearly 6 years or viewing, that's a pretty great sign!

Raising Hope - our great new hope (pun intended and instantly regretted) is the second in our special award recognition blog...thingy.

Unfortunately, Psych probably won't run for ever - no matter how much we might want it too!
Raising Hope leads us to dream that we might still be able to giggle and laugh and aww and secretly sob at a show without having to hide it from friends and family!

It based on a very simple premise - a very young minded young man called Jimmy is unexpectedly called upon to raise the child he didn't know existed. Okay - it isn't quite so simple. Jimmy had a one night stand with a serial killer - Lucy. She contacts him from death row so that he can take care of his baby girl. He - with more than a touch of the simpleton about him - is forced to rely utterly on his chain smoking mother, Virginia and his more idiot than not loser father, Burt. Despite their horror at being grandparents - the whole family (*not forgetting Great-Grand-Mother Maw-maw - who has alzeihmers) pulls together to raise Hope and provide her with a loving home.

Clearly from the same stable as My Name is Earl; this show avoids some of the unfortunate pitfalls of its predecessor. What could be a repetative storyline is adroltly avoided within it's ever-growing cast and expanding scope. 
Jimmy and his functional disfunctional family provide a wonderful baseline - however secondary characters like the delightful Sabrina (whom Steve luuuuuves), her musical cousin Shelly, Jimmy's boss Barney and the FANTASTICALLY FABULOUS Frank keep the comedy fresh and provide wonderful tangents. Meanwhile the whole task of raising a child is handled in a senstive rather than slapstick way. 

There you have it. 
Two shows - very different but each worthy of...


Please see the totally wacky tailer below to get a sense of what we're loving about it!

Agree? Great, feel free to leave a comment.
Disagree? Even better, feel free to leave a comment and then I'll probably argue with you. 
Then stalk you on twitter. 
Or pull faces at the computer screen...

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Hobbit Trailer.

Yes, you've already seen it...but come on...

it's the trailer 


You're welcome!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Roll on 2012 already...

Regular listeners will no doubt be aware that we are done for the year.

No end of year wish lists, no signing off as the duo of dynamo that we obviously are, not even a chance to get together for some giggles and oddness (though let's be honest, last years Christmas episode is probably weird enough for the next five years or so).

My apologies. My nose hates me. year...NEXT YEAR it will all be different!

#CultFix Season 3 will be starting in January. 
It'll be bigger...
It'll be betterer...
It will be regular-er...

Listen below as Steve does the official sign off for the year. 

Looking forward to chatting with you all properly again soon!

Mobile link. 


Podcast Powered By Podbean


Monday, 28 November 2011

Me cancelled!

Prime Suspect US - the over-the-pond take on the long running British drama - will not be back for a second season.

Maria Bello - the boss lady from Coyote Ugly - led the cast as the independent, snarky and unapologetic Detective Jane Timoney.  She was joined by the ever-watchable Aidan Quinn as her oft frustrated Lt Kevin Sweeney. Former Fringe star Kirk Acevado, the wonderfully named Brian O'Byran and veteran Peter Gerety completed the line up.
I should have known the show was doomed from the start.

1) I really really enjoyed it.
2) She wore a truly groovy fedora.

Sigh, another one bites the dust.

See the trailer here!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Terra Nova

Everything about this show should attract and delight me. 

* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
 * * * * * SPOILERS * * * * * 
 * * * * * SPOILERS * * * * * 

It's got post-apocalyptic time travelly goodness; pre-historic worlds; cops and docs and DINOSAURS...what could possibly go wrong?

So far - this is my working list. I reserve the right to add to this at any time!

The writers obviously don't think that there is enough story to tell about a civilisation emerging in the ether of time as people escape from a world polluted beyond repair. Within the first half an hour the audience is introduced to far too many characters, secrets and story lines. Far too much happens for us to emotionally connect with any one particular aspect or strand. Details to follow in second point. 

It feels like the show runners are trying too hard to keep their options open. One minute it's all family drama, the next dramatic; the following comedic, then a bit scary (without any actual sense of risk or threat), then it starts all over again.

This one could take a while. 
(i) Unsympathetic characters - The first thing we find out about the Shannon family is that they contravened the rules of their stricken time. They had a third child - despite the planet's lack of resources. 
Sure; the kid is cute and there have been plenty of sweet 'oh look; that's the shack you were born in cause Mommy didn't feel like she could ask a single friend to help us out with your birth despite being a spectacular doctor' moments. 
However, I find it particularly condescending that we are supposed to take Jim seriously as a Law Enforcer - given that he broke into Terra Nova; endangering the lives of his entire family - not least the kid tucked into his back pack; potentially ruining the process in 2149; and putting the colony at risk.  Oh yeah, give him a badge.
Or that his wife is SOOOOOO good at her job that she would still be offered a place despite her transgressions. Or her husbands (perceived) criminality. 

By the way; how much do you love that he was sent to prison while she continued in her everyday life? Two to tango much?

Obviously the writers don't think that the set up is strong enough for a regular family. No; it requires the Shannon's - genius mum and daughter; cute child; sulky teen and occasionally bully-like father.

(ii) Juvenile Love Story - Teenager Josh and his girlfriends are driving me batty. AS IF the girl back in 2149 or whatever would seriously believe that he - a kid with no observable skills or talents - could ensure her future safety vis a vis a trip through the wormhole. Now the daughter - she got mad intelligence, but Josh. Puh-lease.

Which brings me to the third in his triangle, the oh so tough, oh so vulnerable, oh so informed, oh so input-plot-device-here Skye. She's not a bad actress but her insightful one moment, whoops I'm a teenager the next behaviour leads me to think that she'd take ONE LOOK at Josh and dump him back into the gene pool.  Besides which, from minute three he's a traitor. Why in the name of all the holies would she let him betray everyone who has helped raise her for his ex?
Girl. Can. Do. Better.

I actually quite like the love story emerging between Maddy and Mark Reynolds. I think it's sweet. Toothache worthy in some places, but still. Cute. 

(iii) Taylor's overtly abrasive son - I can just about buy one of the following. 
- That the kid is smart enough to solve all sorts of maths problems. 
- Or that he hates his father SO much that he taunts him with maths problems left scratched into rocks. 
- Or that he would rather work with the Sixers than his dear old dad. 
- Or that he can survive out in the wild all by himself - just like his dear old etc.
- Or that he's so arrogant that he terrifies Mira. 

But all at once? Hmmm? Convenient much?

The Sixers are probably the least believable aspect of this SF show. They aren't just renegades. They. Are. Evil. 
They kidnap children. Heck they hold children to ransom to make other children commit espionage. 
They attack the entire colony (that's Taylor yes, but also children, hard working decent people and folks they would have considered friends) during a black out.
They lead dinosaurs out of the wilderness towards that same colony to wreck havoc. 
They are lead by a woman who looks all snarly and dangerous because...she has dreads? That's it. She is incapable of nuance or depth or actual intimidation. She just growls instructions at her highly efficient despite living in tree tops soldiers. Her all-knowing smugness is offset by the fact that it's highly likely a bluff; and her dependence on both Taylor and the bar tender belie the supposed independence of the sixers.

And her motivation? Well that's the most pathetic of all. She can't honestly believe that her daughter will ever be sent through. If it was going to happen; it would have by now. 

I'm not talking about having a dino attack every single week or anything. But they are in a whole different time period. We should see that. More than the occasional technical moment; I want to see hints of an outside world that is beyond anything that we can understand. 
There was one beautiful moment in the pilot about the moon appearing bigger in the past than it would in our time frame. It was well executed and fascinating. It made sense and it made me think.

The entire colony - with all of its barely seen technical advantages - is protected by a wooden fence. With gaps between each rung. 

Words fail me.  


7) RE-RUN. 
Every episode has felt like a re-tred as though I've seen it all before. Which I have. In about a dozen other shows. 
Sometimes worse...more often better. 

Nothing kills a so-called international effort (the colony) more than having an episode that directly ties in to a particular holiday (in this case American). Watching Taylor list all the things that he was thankful for was just a tad cringe inducing. 
Then he kissed the baby. 
And the cringe became a sneer. 

Yes. Look up Stephen Lang (the actor who is playing him) on IMDB. He never gets to play the nice guy. 
Glad to resolve that one for you. 

So, Josh and the rest of the kids that aren't attending school just wander about; scavenging for guitars and agreeing to betray all they know for the Sixers. 

Yes, Josh gets a job at the pub. That's real productive for the whole colony.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Due to unforseen life-sucking-beyond-all-belief CULTFIX is on a very temporary hiatus. 

We'll be ranting and raving in no time...


Any day now...