Showing posts with label television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label television. Show all posts

Friday, 18 May 2012

Modecast Trois

We're at it again

Garrulous gab from Danielle Meder and I, with a liberal dose of fashion bloodshed as we take aim at sacred cows and dance on the neuroses of the Whores that are Trendy. It's a theatre of the absurd and you are invited to look upon the antics of your multiracial hosts in despair

Please RSVP for this Sunday 20th May at 9pm GMT/5pm EST at:

If watching live on the night, do feel free to write to us via the chat feature. Some of our best facial expressions have arisen in response to the naughtiness that aspect inspires


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Notes on The Second Modecast

   Discussions of dandyism, dilettantism, drinks and death were just some of the features of last Sunday's Modecast as Danielle of Final Fashion and I dived once more into the digital dead pool:

Watch live streaming video from modecast at

   Here be cliff notes:

Friday, 2 March 2012

Modecast II - 11/03/12

   "It is happening again." Thus spake one of the doomed from John Carpenter's sinister Prince of Darkness,and indeed, if I have found yet another platform with which to inflict myself upon the digital denizens of the interweb, then indubitably, the End Times are upon ye

   Fortunately, I have a cohort and a co-host, Ms. Danielle Meder of Final Fashion, to (one hopes) modify and moderate the very worst of my insensible excesses. Please see below and RSVP at our Livestream address for the evening (or afternoon, timezone depending) of Sunday, 11th of March. Did I mention that we will be drinking? It is, after all, a gabfest about style under the influence - and I am bringing along an Asprey/Papworth drinks case especially for this occasion:

Monday, 30 January 2012

Notes on The Modecast

   The Modecast between myself and my dear friend Danielle Meder of Final Fashion last night was a great success in that it was actually watched by humans. The greatest reward was in how much we enjoyed ourselves... and how decadent my overconsumption of a 19 year old whisky proved to be, for my behaviour, for my faculties, for my ability to hail transport later on in the night

   We did indeed record the results. Danielle has been faster at disseminating it than I have, as is her right as the true mastermind behind our collaboration (her cliff notes for the show are also required reading). So, please proceed to watch it below:
Watch live streaming video from modecast at

   I'd be remiss if I did not credit the 20-odd friends of ours who tuned in (and some of them are in monogamous relationships, which suggests that we may have approached 30 at our peak); I'm especially impressed by the Britishers who brought themselves to relegate the BBC's showing of Birdsong to iPlayer in order to watch us live instead. I can only hope that they noticed the difference -  I have only slightly bigger lips than ol' Ed Redmayne, although Danielle does have prettier hair than the gorgeous Clémence Poésy

   Rewatching it, it becomes increasingly apparent that I should note more often the speed at which I knock back single malt drinks. I am currently holding the remaining 50ml in reserve; there's always the threat of nuclear attack somewhere

   Judging from the general response to my record reviews here, I suspect that Danielle should continue to select the music for future editions. I'm not hurt, of course

   I love Dupioni silk and I never apologise

  This is where one can find the Pan African Arts Scotland organisation that was mentioned:

   Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell's defaced library book covers are now dear to the collective heart of the Islington Local History Centre collection

   Jamie, whom semi-regular readers may recall from a private view and a portrait shoot or two, returned to the office after the show specifically for another finger or five of whisky. It was good to share Scotch with a genuine Scotsman

   I should compliment Danielle more often. Offline, anyway

   Finally, I am going to put quite a lot of effort into bourbon research for the sequel. Where does one start with these things?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Final Fashion x Mode Parade = Modecast

   Tonight, Danielle Meder and I go live in less than 90 minutes (9pm GMT/4pm EST) time to gab about the state of the blogosphere, toe shapes, your mother's cooking and the polio victim-esque poses thrown on street style websites. Incidentally, we will be drinking:

   It's late notice on a Sunday, I realise, but it's been that sort of weekend. I hope that one or two of you may tune in

   And just to be clear, I will endeavour to offend everyone other than polio victims


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Rubicon (2010)

Cancelled by AMC far too soon; one doesn't get to watch modern homages to 1970s conspiracy dramas very often. I do hope that the cast is advancing to other high quality projects, especially the ever-fetching Miranda "Queeny" Richardson

A review may be produced one day. You have been warned

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Upper Class Living


   Having little care for what passes for entertainment television in this day and age - and how fuddyish of me to consider that I wish Dick Cavett, Michael Parkinson and Michael Aspel were still the leaders of chat shows - I nevertheless chose to watch the latest in class-based reality television, E4's Made in Chelsea, an anaemically produced and performed "inside view" into the lives of monied twenty-somethings that resembles a televised version of the The Sun's photostories, albeit more unintentionally funny and with the crowning achievement of being less intelligent. I wonder if they share scriptwriters; that insipid line about eyelashes could only have come from the mind of one raised on a diet of softcore porn, Dynasty and Brookside

   Of course, even this sterling material cannot quite survive when delivered by a group of young turks who, despite their varying degrees of attractiveness, function under quite a glaring charisma embargo. This concept might have gone over better if they had employed genuine actors with the requisite backgrounds and who would at least delivered the necessary irony to make this more palatable. Of course, the ones I am thinking of - Eddie Redmayne, Imogen Poots, Harry Hadden-Paton - presently have better things to do

   Why were the most poignant comments of the show about eyelashes - from the fellow with great hair as he struggled to reciprocate his girlfriend's gushing compliments about his character - and pineapples - from the pompous-but-lovelorn-so-he-might-be-alright-in-time fellow stroking a globe and openly praying for posterity to record his alleged greatness and socio-economic acumen? Why did they have an ostensibly 15 year old girl socialising in Raffles and hanging around modelling shoots? Why did they not concentrate on the lead girl's singing, a trait infinitely preferable to the written-for-automatons-by-automatons lines she delivered on the subject of her ongoing "love triangle?"

   Aside from the laughs, I gained one nugget of information - The Troubadour on Old Brompton Street is still in business. We are all honour bound to support our aged, ramshackle haunts, after all

   Although he no longer lives here and would have to go online, I wonder if viewing this will cause that Laguna Beach Blogger Fellow - the most SW3 of us all - to experience copious flashbacks to his 1980s days

   I may tune in next week, primarily for the girls, of course. Not for the reasons one might imagine, however - I simply have a theory that most of them prefer the company of dogs to the company of men. And I will never sleep again until this is proven

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


1 February 1946 – 19 April 2011
   I sincerely doubt that there is a single soul amongst the Doctor Who fandom that did not like Elisabeth Sladen, even to varying degrees, nor is there one who is not at least disappointed that she is gone so suddenly, in the midst of a renewed career and popularity, no less. No wonder she was brought back so often in the revived series and made the headliner of her own show; she made rapport look simple and easy. It must be said, the cancer has so much to answer for

   I think it was that simple-yet-complex, intrinsic quality of hers that made her more or less the most popular of the series' "classic" companions; her character Sarah Jane Smith partnered the John Pertwee and Tom Baker incarnations of the Doctor and along with her brief appearances alongside the Patrick Troughton and Peter Davison versions, her enduring appeal - an appealing merger of sass, intuition, enthusiasm, chemistry and independence - ensured an iconic standard was made. Her first guest appearance alongside David Tennant's Doctor in 2006 could have been done by few other previous Who companions, really - when one has lived down an increasingly absurd selection of clear practical jokes played by the BBC's 1970s wardrobe department  (who wants to look back on their (at the time) final appearance and note how Andy Pandy-like their outfit is?) and remained a fandom star, then there's no doubting the welcome impact of a brief reprise

   Sladen was in the midst of capturing a new audience of once and future Whofen with as the headliner of spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures, where her ability to sync with any and all co-stars remained appreciable; she was reunited with fellow 1970s Who staple Nicholas Courtney (whose aborted Mode Parade posthumous tribute this past February would have been entitled "Five Rounds Rapid", probably. Sorry, Brigadier) and most memorably performed alongside the current - and for my money, most enjoyable modern - Doctor, Matt Smith, and her predecessor as Pertwee's girl, Katy Manning, late last year. She also made her ongoing teamup with her much younger co-stars, Tommy Knight, Yasmin Page, Daniel Langer and Anjli Mohindra, seem like the most natural companions a middle aged weird happenings fighter should want to surround herself with

   To quote your sadly (and ironically) apposite final story's title, "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith." I should think it's going to be very hard to forget you now

Friday, 11 March 2011


   Whilst the font is on the uninspiring side and the CGI glow that adorns our tweed-clad hero is rather unappealing - even if it is in reference to his alien nature and upcoming Roswell adventure - this is reasonably effective in drawing attention to the imminence of Doctor Who's sixth season

   My semi-regular readers probably dreaded some sort of recap of last year's successes, since they are really here to see some dork with a baby Afro attempt to to adorn himself in style and present himself as "witty" to the 39 people foolhardy enough to follow him. And of course, there are dedicated Who blogs and columns; no one really requires an analysis of the show written in the most grandiloquent style possible

   So, here is all that needs to be known - it is the wittiest, frothiest and gosh darn best adventure series going, starring a Brummie with a long nose, the prettiest willowy redhead this side of Lily Cole and a very talented fellow with a funny face who may have finally upgraded to self tying bow ties and can hold his own in performance with the likes of Michael Gambon. And to top it off, they will be promoting the almighty Stetson:

   April 23rd cannot come soon enough

Monday, 28 February 2011

Dance For Imaginative Miss Potter

   I have had Tales of Beatrix Potter on my mind of late. Perhaps it's the delightful music that accompanies the fleet of feet in its performance. Perhaps it's the surreality of ballet, the kinetic interpretive expression of passion, composure and the vagaries of life, executed by professionals garbed in outsize 'human animal' costumes. Perhaps it's Oscars Night and I am musing over whether Black Swan's chances would increase had Natalie Portman danced in an outfit representing an anthropomorphic cygnus in a bonnet

   If the talking animal genre has elements of parody in its whimsical little heart, then this might be its apogee: humans dressed as animals that behave as humans, yet lacking any discernibly natural behaviours beyond the motions of the dancers, wearing eyes that remain utterly unmoving and mouths that never part, making no sounds to complement their hybrid disposition. Like The Nutcracker, such a fever dream of the stage requires a child or a childlike mind to see such things as they should be; playthings brought to life and their absurdities then rendered through a slightly off-kilter (in its own right) yet resolutely elegant medium. It is also a testament to the varied methods for telling a well loved story

   Besides, this sort of fun is the perfect gateway drug for ballet if one wishes to start them young. For this arrested developer, it's very much perfect

Monday, 14 February 2011

Flight of the Conchords - 'If You're Into It' (2007)

   It says much about my state of mind that my thoughts on modern romance must be articulated by two comedians from New Zealand. Though possibly not

   In summary: Happy V D

Saturday, 16 October 2010

My Daria Morgendorffer

   Beavis and Butt-head was good for some things, but few scaled the heights of this misanthropy icon, who deservedly spun-off into her own series during her time with Mike Judge's name-making creations. God bless Glenn Eichler

   Insanely easy for the disaffected to identify with, as an archetype, Daria is more than due for a revival: so says the Paris Review. And, of course, so do I

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The New Statesman - Sex Is Wrong

Come spend twenty five in the Machiavellian company of Ultra Tory, Alan Beresford B'stard

Series One, Episode Three:

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Faculty, Or, "... But I Play One on TV"

I don't know who devised this, but s/he may now be a new favourite human of mine

Friday, 28 May 2010

Gainsbourg x Houston: Naked Conversation

Straightforwardness' retirement may be traced to this excerpt from the last years of this Master of Uncontrite Provocation

Needless to say, this is mildly unsafe for work

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Mad Men Myself

   I can see this little device doing more than a few rounds across the internet, so I'd suppose that I'm getting the hang of being "on trend" for once. The opportunity to insert myself between Joan and Peggy (oh, matron!) was too good to pass up, as was the option to reference my own eyeframed look. Even the bow ties hid themselves behind my avatar's shirt collars - is there nothing that this creation can't do; no facet of fantasy or reality that it will not capture? For when you reach its limits, you will indeed have discovered its tragic flaw - it doesn't get any better than this

   Ladies, I hope you, in particular, will enjoy this - I hear the program's collection of cocktail dresses and go go boots is truly to die for

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Pop Culture Thumbs-Up - 31/05/09

   This is Karen Gillan, the first companion for the Eleventh Doctor in next year's all-new Doctor Who series. I approve. I can imagine the trickle of information increasing over the summer to maintain interest in the remaining specials and beyond

   Hickey A/W09, via A Continuous Lean - worth a glance to see one of the most striking Sartorialist subjects take the stage as Hickey's mannequin

   Much as I maintain a healthy disinterest in Britain's Got Talent, I must approve of the winners - who doesn't love a dance crew?

   Observant as ever, Bill Cunningham does one of his sporadic weigh-ins on NYC men's outfits in a slideshow entitled 'Boundless.' In the microcosm of the world's cultural capital, dressing up is king

   "I'm extravagant in ways that relate to my heritage" - celebrated man of letters Gay Talese on his love affair with suiting. It truly is all in the details. If that quote does not become his epitaph - I'm sure he's said better - then I'd like it to be mine

   UK-specific - Sky1 stealthily nabbed House season 5 whilst Channel 5 was procrastinating and episode one went out earlier tonight. It's an uneven season, but stick with it - the highs are as emotive and hilarious and thought-provoking as ever, and if you're at all emotionally invested in the Damaged Doctor, the finale just might crack your heart

   Late addendum: Eminem vs. Bruno. Nothing distracts from the ills of the world like a gross-out moment on national TV that will probably lead to a major vendetta (as long as it really was unscripted, of course. Which it wasn't)

    Pointless note: the last entry in this column was on the 13th. How palindromic

Monday, 13 April 2009

Doctor Who and the Planet of the Dead

   Cue heavy linkage:

   I'm pretty certain a spin-off fiction Time Lady used a TARDIS disguised as a bus to get around. But then, the Easter special of Britain's Favourite Alien and his adventures was quite a self-referential affair, particularly if you're deeply immersed in the franchise. A one-off companion with thieving tendencies and infiltration skills - they would have done that in 1990 if not for the show's cancellation. Insectoid aliens - hugely common in sci fi, most recently seen in the series in 2007's 'Utopia'. A predatory, swarming species that devours anything and everything in its path, reducing its prey to practically nothing - the Vashta Nerada from 'Silence In The Library' and 'Forest (wait for it...) of the Dead', 2008. The companion-less Doctor on a damaged bus with human passengers, menaced by a mysterious, malevolent entity with panic and confusion in the air, as well as a black woman who turns out to be the other most important passenger aboard - the man himself compared it to the events of 'Midnight' (last year again). Is there any reason I'm mentioning all this besides flexing my keen eye for cannibalisation?

   Well, only because while traditionally, Doctor Who has channelled influences from other works, genres and stories, it tends to do something special with the result. It's somewhat rare for the show to eat itself, and the regurgitation didn't necessarily amount to much except window dressing. The most recent attempt was actually the aforementioned 'Library' story, but while that ultimately felt like incoming showrunner Stephen Moffat reaffirming and closing the book (doyousee?) on his prior themes, it's generally thought of in the fandom that anything he can do, outgoing showrunner Russel T Davies... can't. While 'Planet of the Dead' was ultimately entertaining, it was also painfully obvious most of the time, to the extent that the sacrificial lamb character was dead within the first 10 minutes and the friendly aliens should have been wearing red shirts. The central concept - Doctor Who does Pitch Black does Flight of the Phoenix (and that's not even mentioning the combo of wacky scientist, trainers-wearing pretty boy, flying automobile and a time machine) - would have been better executed back in the 2005 series when the Doctor was discussing the morality of execution over steaks, emphasising the importance of accepting mortality, showing total comfort over pansexuality and facing up to the consequences of genocide. With one exception, the series' Christmas specials have even featured some dark moments and a high death toll, whereas this was as safe as, well, the last Christmas special, with a similar "hero moment" of the Doctor high up in the sky, saving the day in an unusual mode of transport (because in the nu-Whoniverse, the least likely can become the saviour of the world, much like a certain shopgirl that Russel T pushes as The Most Important Character in the Series Besides the Doctor)

   I think I liked this better than other formulaic Russel-penned special tales like 'Voyage of the Damned' and 'The Christmas Invasion' because luckily, there was a certain sense of restraint - maybe co-writer Gareth Roberts has a calmer penhand than his caper-based stories would lead one to believe. The potentially grating supporting cast stayed on the bus, far in the background of the Dubai sand. Tennant was reasonably toned down and was allowed to bond with the passengers in a way that rang true, being compassionately reassuring rather than babbling platitudes at 900mph. No one spoke "profoundly" about how special - and/or dangerous - the Doctor is (something that the old series showed far more than it dared talk about - adds to the mystery), and the gun-happy soldiers of UNIT waited until their cue to start blowing crap up. I won't bother delving into the upper class action woman thievery antics of Michelle Ryan's Lady Christina, which has a long fictional precedent, or her overly clipped accent, but as a companion, I rather liked her. Aside from refusing to fawn all over the Doctor, even in the rote Forced Sexual Tension Scenes, she was so blasé and occasionally amoral that she felt like the companion the Tenth Doctor has needed almost all along (Catherine Tate aside). Someone who likes the adventure and participates in it as much as possible while remaining just curious enough to be the audience surrogate. The production team described her as a "typical" companion in the old series sense, which seemed to be a tacit way of admitting they wanted to depict a woman not drowning in her own angst for once. Thanks for that

   The ending was actually the best part, with some well directed, if clichéd, portents of doom for the Doctor (yes, we know he's regenerating next year, but if the character himself doesn't treat them as deaths since he's essentially the same guy each time, then others shouldn't either), and a thrilling escape for Lady Christina with a pleasant parting between her and the Doctor for good measure. And especially because Lee Evans's ultra geek scientist (hopefully the apex of Evans's obsession with the name 'Malcolm') was finally shoved offscreen once he met the Doctor. Time was, the Doctor interacted with social misfits who were actually entertaining. And in the name of restraint, the Time Lord finally managed to sell the concept of his loneliness without utilising Tennant's sadface to get the point across. And I have a good feeling that the rejection scene between the two leads won't be the last acting high point of the specials, not by a longshot

   Maybe I'll go fire up the iPlayer again

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Pop Culture Tick-Offs - 07/04/09

   Things that have not made me happy of late include the untimely death of Angel alumni Andy Hallett at 33 last week. It was a sad piece of news made even more surreal and sad because earlier in the day I viewed him during a rewatch of the final episode to feature series lynchpin Charisma Carpenter, in which she and David Boreanaz genuinely cried during their final scene together. But then the show was stuffed with the talents of professionals who loved and knew what they were doing, and it's an apt and special body of work that Mr Hallett has left behind him

   It's somewhat ridiculous, given the circumstances, to say that this next story left a bad taste in my mouth, but one of my favourite Japanese indie-pop stalwarts, Hideki Kaji, was beaten up in Sweden on a video shoot while dressed as a pineapple. Ridiculous, but rather uncool nonetheless. Here's a video of Mr Kaji dressed as a rotating head on a yellow background and note that this assault is driving up his video comments on YouTube

   And finally, I'm predictably unimpressed that House M.D. is now short one main cast member, if only because I'm sceptical that the show is going to do justice to the fallout. But the actor did a great job bouncing off the rest of the cast and I cannot wait for the next season (not that this season is done yet)