Archive for September, 2012

They dont all have to be this bad, you know……

Watching a Frasier re-run the other night I got to thinking: why do so few comedy spin-off’s work? From Daria to Joey, from The Green Green Grass to, eh, Joanie Loves Chachi, telly history is littered with abominable spin-off failures. Perhaps the reason Frasier worked was because his character in Cheers was merely one of a large ensemble and had never been forensically explored so there was therefore still a lot of untapped comedy to be mined from the neurotic shirk. But whatever the formula behind this unique successful spin-off, thanks to the aforementioned offenders the words ‘comedy’ and ‘spin-off’ bring an almost universal groan, but it should never have come to this. Had producers being canny enough and focused on the right characters we could have been treated to some TV gold. In no particular order, here are five missed comedy spin-off opportunities:

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Will We Not Like This?

Years ago in a previous job my company was being audited and as a result I had to endure an entire day of some spotty number-cruncher sitting with me as I explained the every move, thought and process that constituted my average working day. Despite him possessing all the menace of a pacifist on valium, I suddenly found myself feeling deeply self-conscious and began to doubt my professional capabilities, querying all the actions I would have normally done without a moments thought. I had gone from being a confident, self-assured worker to a jittery mess who appeared to be making it up as he went along, all in a single day. And why? Simply because someone was watching me at work. (more…)

Is This Really the Best We Can Do?!

Obese Health Ministers, a Taoiseach who explains his wealth on ‘a good day at the gg’s’, a Government who impoverishes it’s own citizens in order to repay foreign bond holders – there can be few countries in the world who’s perpetual dysfunction provides as many glorious opportunities for even the most moderately talented satirist to sink his teeth into as Ireland. Yet watching the last episode of Rte’s dire comedy, The Savage Eye, is to be reminded that we Irish just don’t do satire.

Whilst honourable mentions should go to Scratch Saturday and Fr Ted, the history of top quality satire in this country could be written on the back of a box of matches, the relatively harmless contents of which would still be more explosive than anything contained in Rte’s latest lamentable attempt at lampoonery. (more…)

At Least Donkeys Dont have to Pay For a TV Licence!

After decades of initiatives, truckloads of cash, blood curdling telly adverts and, worst of all, the reinvention of Gay Byrne, finally a solution to the carnage on Ireland’s roads has been found – more carnage! Because nothing slows the Irish driver down quicker than the chance to gawp at an accident.

Driving on Dublin’s N11 recently I found myself being reduced to crawling speed as up ahead, there was clearly some sort of accident. What was the cause of this delay?  Debris? Emergency services? Bodies strewn across the dual carriageway? No, just morbid curiosity.

Despite said incident involving a collision so slight as to have had all the impact of a field mouse attempting intercourse with an elephant, every fellow road user deemed it fascinating enough to drop down to first gear as they fed their gore-starved eyes with the sight of a barely visible scratch on a Ford Focus’ bumper. How ironic, I thought; the one fool proof method of getting drivers to slow down is the thrill of watching the aftermath of the one thing they don’t want to do themselves.   (more…)

Right all Along?

They say you need a thick skin to be a football manager but it seems that sometimes you require an even thicker one to be a fan. Whilst there may be an abundance of platforms from which the modern fan can voice their discontent – from phone-ins to terrace chants, from banners to websites – the perception that the fan-manager criticism dynamic is one-sided is far from the truth.

In fact, it’s difficult to think of any other set of stakeholders whose input is so arrogantly dismissed as that of the football fan. The last 12 months alone has seen fans of Spurs, Blackburn, Villa, West Ham and Man Utd, among others, described as everything from ‘delusional’ to ‘idiotic’ by their clubs’ manager (the fact that the delusional jibe came from Sam Allardyce, a man who once claimed his unfashionable name was the only barrier preventing him from managing the Real Madrids of this world is currently being investigated by the irony police.) (more…)