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Kransky

20 Apr

The Kransky Sisters

Last night the Kransky Sisters appeared on Spicks and Specs (one of the lesser known gems of australian television). They did an amazing version of Highway to Hell to end the show. I've searched high and low for mp3s but have unfortunately come up empty. 

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Lost Insanity

19 Apr

Hurley and Friend
Lostpedia is a wikipedia clone which obsessively records the minutiae of the show and hosts theories of wildly varying quality relating to what the hell is going on in it. I really like it; trawling through tonight I found myself picking up lots of threads in the show that I had forgotten about.

Claire also pointed me towards this terrific writeup on why Lost is new media.

Warning: if you aren't watching the shows as they appear in the US, both of those sources will contain spoilers.

Freaks and Geeks

30 Mar

Freaks and Geeks
A while back Claire bought Freaks and Geeks on DVD and we've been watching it for the past couple of nights. It's hilarious; terrific music too.

(updated, because I spelled my wife's name wrong.  Ouch.)

Curse You Tim Gunn!

15 Mar

Tim Gunn Messes with me

A week or so ago, before I had seen Part 2 of the finale of Project Runway, but after I had seen part 1, I noticed that Tim Gunn had published another podcast, appropriately called ‘Finale Podcast Part 1’. So I started listening; there were some early warning signs that all wasn’t well, since Tim kept mentioning things that I didn’t remember seeing in Part 1. I persevered though, because it was so interesting. Then about 4/5ths of the way through the podcast, Tim tells me that Chloe has won. Ouch!
So we watched the second part of the finale a couple of days later; I kept the winner to myself, because Claire (Bloggie award winning) hates knowing ahead of time. I thought the finale was kind of lack luster; they all produced nice collections, but nothing really grabbed me. Chloe’s looks like it was heavily inspired by 80s fashions, which put me off it a bit; but I don’t think I had a preference in terms of a winner. It could have gone to any of them and I would have been equally satisfied.

I think for me, the finale was a letdown because typically in the rest of the series, so much drama is built up around the construction of individual pieces. In the finale there is a visit from Tim, where we get a glimpse of what they’re designing, and then there is lots of drama around them getting organised and getting finished, but there isn’t actually much focus on the pieces themselves, and 36 (or in this case 39) items of clothing is too much to digest. Last year there was the pure freakishness of Wendy Pepper to keep me interested; but there was nothing comperable this season. That’s my current explanation for my care factor drop off.

Anyway, back to my faux curse on Tim Gunn. Today I was in iTunes, and I noticed that there was a new podcast from Tim. It had the same name as the previous one, but it was about 10 minutes shorter. I had a listen, and it was actually Part 1 of the finale podcast, published in the wrong order. Curses!

Gorge

19 Feb

We’ve been gorging ourselves lately on reality television, because some kind soul has provided torrents of the first season of Project Runway.  I remember Claire had asked me a few times last year if the show was ‘available’, but it seems like it wasn’t popular enough then to attract an international following.
Project Runway Season 1

It’s pretty interesting to see the way they fine-tuned the show as it went along (things like having the models wear black slips rather than their street clothes), and the changes they made from season one to season two.  My general impression so far is that the designers from season one, with a couple of notable exceptions, produced more interesting and more varied clothes than the designers this year.

An Uncanny Resemblance

8 Feb

Is it just me, or does Ben de Lisi from Project Catwalk look a lot like Ben Stiller?

Ben de Lisi

Ben Stiller

Side Note: I’m really amazed at how terrible the Project Catwalk website is. It’s not just ‘after-thought’ bad; it’s much worse than that. How can you launch a reality tv program and not provide eager viewers with the extra information that they’re hungry for? Hello, SkyOne? 1997 called and it wants its shitty 4 page brochure website back.

Here is Santino from Project Runway doing his uncanny impersonation of Tim Gunn:

I’m off to watch the first couple of episodes of The IT Crowd now. Releasing episodes onto the net prior to showing them on TV is a really interesting move on Channel 4’s part.

Project Runwalk

28 Jan

We don’t watch much tv anymore at chez Concur; but what we do watch is delivered almost exclusively by the internet, letting us neatly sidestep the vast wasteland of Australian free-to-air television. (Imagine my horror when I arrived in Australia 1992 and discovered that there were only 5 television stations here, and that the most popular show at the time was an evening variety program co-hosted by a man and a hand puppet named ‘Ozzie Ostrich’.)

At the moment we’re preoccupied with Project Runway and it’s nascent British version Project Catwalk. If you’re unfamiliar with either of them, the premise is that a group of unknown fashion designers is given a design challenge each week that culminates in a runway walkoff, scoring, and an elimination. In some respects the shows are identical, but it’s the differences between them which are kind of fascinating.

Project Runway

Project Runway

Project Catwalk

Project Catwalk

Runway is hosted by Heidi Klum and Catwalk is hosted by Elizabeth Hurley. I spent much of the first episode of Project Catwalk freaking out because Elizabeth Hurley’s mannerisms reminded me of every Hugh Grant movie I’ve ever seen.

The American version is actually easier to watch because Project Catwalk uses a lot of very rapid cutting and is generally too frentic during the workroom scenes; it is almost impossible to see the clothes properly until they appear on the catwalk at the end of the show.

Culturally the British version is much more relaxed about smoking, drinking and modest nudity, while in the American version these things are (for the most part, unless they are strongly relevant to the challenge) judiciously edited out or pixelated into oblivion.

Of the two, Project Runway seems to more skillfully extract and distill the weeks’ events into drama. Project Catwalk has only had 2 episodes so far, so perhaps it gets more engaging as we get to know the designers a little better. Project Runway also has much more tech cred, with a fully loaded website and a weekly podcast from Tim Gunn; Project Catwalk fans have to make due with a 4 page brochure website, cooked up as an afterthought.

A comment on Ben’s site alerted me to the fact that a couple of the Project Runway contestants have weblogs: Santino Rice and Diana Eng.