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The Day Today (1994)
Good show....not great
`The Day Today' is a good show, not a great one. Carrying on in many respects from the classic `KYTV', `The Day Today' is basically a satire on tabloid TV news.
While maintaining the same high production values and calibre of actor as "KYTV", the show does fall short in a few places. The show distinctly drags in places because rather than developing a character's quirk, the show falls into the trap of creating characters that do and say practically the same thing every episode (I'm thinking specifically of Steve Coogan's character here).
There is still a strong British flavour to the comedy here, so many Americans will find themselves lost - perhaps even insulted - by the comedy employed.
It's a shame the show wasn't given more time to develop - as I remember it, the last episode was probably one of the funniest.
As a fine example of British comedy that wasn't either totally degenerate or else heavily influenced by the shrink-wrapped American sit-coms, `The Day Today' is a good place to start - especially the episode where they cover a war!
Great show from the heyday of modern British comedy
KYTV was probably one of the greatest(and most underrated) British comedies of the last fifteen years. The premise was simple: set around a TV station the show is a satire on the sensationalism of such tabloid stations - of which there are now many.
The writing was clever, witty and, in places, extremely subtle. Ironically, it could also be coarse and very base.
The production values for the time were excellent. It's a shame that British comedy has fallen so much since this high point with paltry pretenders to the KYTV mantle such as `The Day Today' falling far short of the mark when placed up against KYTV(although taken purely on its own merits, `The Day Today' is a pretty good show). Much of the humour and attention to detail(or, for want of a better term, reality) present is noticeably British, as opposed to the American style that has crept into BBC productions since then (benefits of an Irish viewpoint there!).
The quality of performance is excellent also, with every actor giving just the right performance.
If you're after a good side splitting laugh, you'll find it in this show.
I Went Down (1997)
Second time's the charm!
'I Went Down' is a great movie.
Ok, I'm Irish, I would say that.
However, most English-speaking people would actually have no problem in understanding and appreciating most of the wit, humour and language in the movie, despite all the 'scare-mongering' on the web. In fact the movie proved to be very popular in non-English-speaking countries as well. The film contains a good measure of violence mixed with humour that isn't forced. The situations presented in the movie, while being out of the ordinary, are presented in a way people can relate to, more-so than many American movies of a similar vein.(I'm talking about the usual mob based story involving million dollar drugs deals, corrupt FBI agents, rogue-turned-hero and the like. That just doesn't happen too regularly outside the confines of script-writer's minds and movie theatres.) 'I Went Down', by not being over-ambitious with either its villains or heroes, creates more believable characters and a situation that could happen anywhere.(It probably won't, but then again it could...groovy, huh?)
I must admit, I didn't enjoy this movie very much when I saw it in the cinema. But then I watched it again when it was on television.and it blew me away. The humour got to me and its one of the few movies I laugh out loud to.
I urge anyone who didn't enjoy it first time 'round, give it a second chance. Those who haven't seen it - Rent it NOW! Here's the teaser that'll bug you until you do see it (and that'll make those of you have seen it smile smugly to yourselves ;^) - Think about the balaclava scene, think about the gun that Bunny gives Git and you're thinking about cinematic comedy classics.
Makes students get up early in the mornings!
It's been many a year since I've felt the need to rise early in the mornings, i.e. before 7.30, and never for a cartoon show.
But now there's Roughnecks:Starship Troopers. All I can say is "Wow!". It's witty and fun to watch. The animation is top notch, and the use of background sounds(more in the earlier episodes than the latter ones), is amazing. The story line is good, but I sense it has been over sanitised in places, probably for the kiddies. Then again, if you want to look for them, there are subtle nods towards this and towards off-screen events, which can be fun discovering(or creating) by yourself.
Stylistically speaking (I'm not an expert), there are subtle touches to the character animation that are worth mentioning. It seriously is enough to make us Computer Science students wonder why we would want to spend our lives looking at fibre-optic cables when we could be doing animation as cool as this.
Watch it, even if you haven't watched a cartoon in twenty years...it'll grab your imagination, take your breath away and, if you want to, spur you to learn the basics of computer animation...(which is easier than it sounds)