Thursday, September 30, 2010

As you know

I am typing this note. I am using an electronic keyboard attached to a computer, and as my fingers touch the keyboard, then the clever software inside the computer transfers the results electronically, and the letters appear on a screen in front of me. When I have completed this, then I will, using some simple commands, transfer the ‘output’ from the disk in my computer, via the “world wide web” to another computer, and you will be able to access it if you know where to find it.

If you found the above entertaining, then you will positively pee your pants if you get to watch “Downton Abbey” on the electric television. It falls under the genus ‘drama’. In order to be a ‘drama’, it seems that all you need is to have Broadbent, Carter, Glenister or some other such ubiquitous readily-recognised face to appear. If you want a successful drama, then you get someone really good (in this case Maggie Smith) to come and do a cameo that does not even begin to stretch them. You then construct a completely unbelievable script. The unbelievability of it is that the characters are constantly engaged in conversations in which they explain to other characters things that they already know. This is not a new device, Brass parodied it years ago. Downbeat Abbey features life in an early 20th century home of some rich  bastards with lots of servants. Everybody in the place has a single digit IQ, as they have to have everything explained to them over again. In Downdrain Abbey, there is one scene early on where someone explains to his wife that two people who have just died are his first cousin, and his first cousin’s son. This was the most interesting conversation. The cast comprises tired stereotypes and the dialogue has been contributed by rent-a-cliché. I may let you know how bad the second episode is.

Even more contrived is the utter tripe that is “Spooks” on the BBC. Worse melodrama than the average soap, and, set in the world of espionage, the characters are perpetually engaged in explaining to each other why they must thwart the latest plot, and why it would be a jolly bad idea for it to succeed. Apparently, MI5 do not believe in briefing and employ people who need to be told that wiping out cities is not a good thing. I have watched every episode. There have been over 700, and during that time I have seen all three facial expressions of Sir Hammy Pompoustit, and watched countless other spies being murdered. Alas, they are always replaced by others even more melodramatic and wooden.  

I have now almost finished this. You will know for sure that it is the end when the words run out.


Rol said...

My two favourite sentences were:

"I may let you know how bad the second episode is."


"I have watched every episode."

Still, I can't talk. I paid money to watch The Expendables.

Dave said...

I haven't seen any episodes of either of the shows you mention. My life is too full of drama for televisualisations to stir me.

I said...

ha ha ha ha

when I was reading the Downton Abbey piece, I was thinking about how rubbish Spooks is now, especially for the reason you mention (may I quote you? I know it is reusing some of your precious and carefully chosen words)

"The unbelievability of it is that the characters are constantly engaged in conversations in which they explain to other characters things that they already know."

and then you discuss Spooks

makes me think a programme from my yooth, "Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go And Do Something More Interesting Instead". . .

. . .the only trouble is I'm TOTALLY in love with Harry from Spooks and Hugh Bonneville - their mere presence on the televisual box has me glued to the sofa in front of the screen

glued, I tell you

Vicus Scurra said...

Rol. Are they only the two favourite sentences in my blog today, or you two favourite sentences anywhere anytime?
Dave. Thank you for that valuable information.
I. Of course you can use my words. You may even change the order. Strictly, they are not my words, I found them in the dictionary. Hugh Bonneville smells of mouldy Lancashire cheese, and Harry Dumbass has an unslightly hairy wart on his right thigh. I hope that this helps.

Christopher said...

Clearly we're spared, being out of range of UK television. However I've amused myself (other more fleshly delights being forbidden) by translating your invective into French, and I wonder if you would care for this as a birthday present? (I have to admit, though, that your 'Downdrain', Downbeat' play doesn't carry exactly in translation.)

Vicus Scurra said...

Christopher, that would be delightful, alas my birthday is some months away - perhaps it could be a present to mark the official ending of World War 1, which is either today or yesterday according to young Adam.

Richard said...

I am continually amazed at your capacity for self-punishment. You don't like it yet you watch every second. Have you considered making an appointment with a medical professional?

Zig said...

cheer up House will be back soon

Z said...

I never recovered from the first episode of Spooks, where a newly-introduced female heroine was scald-drowned in a vat of boiling oil. This unrealistically mild depiction of the life of our secret service agents became, at that moment, too dull to watch again.

Downtown sounds like an irritable version of Upstairs, Downstairs, which I managed to miss several decades ago. I should get in more.

Scarlet Blue said...

Ann Widecombe will be on Strictly Come Dancing this weekend, if you want something fun to watch.