Thursday, March 22, 2007

TV: More American Imports On TV3

Having failed to latch onto a TV series with all the addictive blockbusting aplomb I invested in my X-Files, Buffy, Battle Star Gallactica and early Stargate habits - it was opportune that TV3 returned with another of its many American imports last night. This time the Marvel comic hero and silver screen vampire slaying Blade takes the form of a TV series. With an opening script by David Goyer, the man responsible for all three feature films - expectations were rightly high.

So the lead female Krista Starr returns from Iraq to discover the mysterious death of her brother Zack the series has all the traits of another conspiracy unravelling, good versus evil epic. With the House of Chthon indenturing mortal souls as servants in return for some possible immortal status, it becomes the likely suspect for an infiltration that will no doubt lead to a space where the nocturnal underworld and Detroit's political and business highlife collide. Smacking heavily of "initiative" era Buffy, the viewer is quickly dumped into a sci-fi tinged vampire world increasingly familiar from Ultraviolet and the Russian beauty Nightwatch. With vampires as drug addicts and covens as street gangs, I'll be staying tuned anyway.

While we're breifly on the TV front a random props has to go to TnaG for its brilliant Cold Case and Ros na Run campaign. Two American hard boils quiz a Connemara cute hoor from the TV series, his attempts to feign ignoranace of anything but the cupla focal is undermined by a sudden and in the face "an dtuigeann tu anois?" as the cops drop into perfect gutteral Irish.

With such winning imagination clearly present in RTE's gaelgoir minor partner its frustrating to watch the continued zombies that haunt the mainstay of the other two terrestrials. A proliferation of lifestyle shows designed for the beneficiaries of SSIA's allowed both RTE1 and 2 to brave their way through the winter months.

RTE has a psychophrenic approach to the Celtic Tiger, in its current affairs programming it ponders the urban night time violence of binge drinking, bursting credit card debt and housing booms - then in its lighter moments it coaxes these downsides on. Only the quasi hippy meanderings of "How Long Have You To Live's" Mark Hamiliton attempt to soothe and massage the ill effects of its grasping holiday, housing and fashion lifestyle programming

Unbeknown to itself RTE manufactures moments of contrasting comic genius. Look at the clarity The Panel managed to provide on the whole drink driving debacle. On Questions and Answers Ned O'Keefe sought to lead the nation into a discussion of the merits of a two tier rural and urban drink driving limit. The stupendous nature of such discussion deserved the full on jaw drop of bafflement given to it by a comedy show like The Panel, hit and miss as it is.

The recent two epsiodes of Frank Opinion were probably the low point of its serious broadcasting. Cameras swung around the heads of pundits as useless as Terry Prone in a fashion reminescent of pressure tank game shows like The Weakest Link. Then they offered a political analysis of future election outcomes that allows political players to play into reactionary rumours and anecedotes rather than challenge them.

Last years Pure Mule really was a curve ball that proved the rule as the national broadcaster still battles with its comedy output. That awful new series Trouble in Paradise took on board every imaginable Irish cliche as it tripped over its saddling of drama and comedy. For all the mammoth boasting that accompanied Becs and Becs the show was as painful as being caught behind a gaggle of D4's giddy on wine on the bus into town on a friday night. Pat Shortt still boosts the nations recycling statistics in digging out sketches and characters that broke only a slight grimace the first time round on Killanskulley.

TV3 still remains top dog when it comes to imported fare like Blade sitting alongside homespun "pay for help" shows like Inside and Out. Witness the recent car crash viewing of a 30 something year old Dublin single mother Corina, struggling to haul in her mounting credit card debts by creating a dream book of Austin Martins and slick under wear businesses before moving on to a breast augmentation over seen by a hideously, stiff faced botoxed personal assistant in some Dublin plastic surgeon's office. Ugly, Ugly viewing.


Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to

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