Saturday, 22 October 2016

Black Mirror Nosedive Review

It was a Friday afternoon, my partner had the afternoon off, I was kicking back on the sofa and we stumbled across Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror episode, Nosedive, on Neflix.
I personally have an intertest in Charlie's anarchic style of video mash-up and writing, and hands down, it was better than having to sit through The Great British Bake Off! Having said that, I'm not a huge fan of Charlie's work, just someone who likes to watch good telly. Call me old fashioned, but there's good viewing and then there's just utter thoughtless shit on the box. And Charlie uses thought and lots of it, capturing the very real essence of social media rating systems. Showing us how we live in this not-so-fantasy world that was played out in this short but beautifully portrayed and powerful film.
For myself I would put me around the 1.4 rating, still struggling to get to that all important 4.5. I mean who's going to rate a 1.4?  Regardless of their skills or hard work through out the years.
As I watched I got a familiar sense of it's not what you know but who you know, and it's better being friends with the hip and cool "In Crowd" in the vain hope that they will pass you up the ladder and boost your ratings.
To be honest when I post a video, or piece of music, or a write an article, I'm the first one that likes it, hearts it, or thumbs it up.  I have to - I'm more or less the only fucker who's going to read it, watch it or listen to it.  Is that shameful or just trying to save face, or am I just proud of my work?  Like I said, I'm a 1.4. We do what we can, every little helps because nobody watches a YouTuber with a thousand subcribers or follows a Twitter account with a few hundred followers - are you fucking mental? They're obviously shit and are never worth a few minutes of your valuable lifeforce and you couldn't possibly been seen to be in direct involvement with them because this would harm your virtual street cred.
I guess the saddest thing here that rang true for me was the main character called Lacie who tried so hard to get her rating up by pretending to be someone she wasn't and to be in with that higher society of friends to further her dreams.
That is me as my comedy character "Kathleen Dawson". But oddly enough, Kate is liked, hearted, and thumbed up tenfold over me, the man who's underneath it all.  I actually have had the opposite result over the years and Kate is easily a 4.8 on the media social scale. And all I am is that person in the final scene screaming "FUCK YOU!"
Anyways a brilliant piece and I expect nothing less from Charlie Brooker. I happily rate this as a 5.0, all the stars.
Very good Brooker, now GO AWAY...!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Michael Pennington AKA Johnny Vegas

Michael Pennington AKA Johnny Vegas
From time to time I like to write my thoughts about comedians and British comedy.
I believe my last review was about the British comedy awards 2015 and I felt that British comedy had lost it's way and that British comedy and it's comedians had fallen into a ground hog day of lame pannel shows of limited interest.  It's not that they aren't any good, it's more that we have too many of them and I personally feel this to be lazy or prehaps that production companies aren't willing to invest in new acts and we end up with masses of fresh comedains with nowhere to showcase thier funny bones apart from these carbon copied pannel shows.

I've decided to write about Johnny because to me he is the last great comedy character actor that we had.  He broke all the rules pushed the boundaries danced with taboos and told you all to "Fuck off."  He was as Johnny Vegas the under dog the sad clown a loser showing key elements of any great comedian of worth. 
He was over weight drank too much smoked too much shouted alot and told the truth, there was a little bit a Johnny in us all.  Well maybe not all of us but most of us!
I first came across Johnny in 1995 on a TV show called Win lost or draw and I think this was Johnny's first appears on Britsh television.  Although Michael wasn't Johnny at this point, it give him that all important first break that all comedians are looking for including myself as a would-be character comedy actor.
Naturally I could write about his past life experiences of being a potter etc... but honestly I feel most people know this about him, hell I've been a roofer labourer greens keeper and so on, we all come from somewhere in our past lifes.
Which is why it's been a great delight to watch Micheal over the years steal the stage and lime light at award ceremonies, going over time and being dragged off stage only to see him a few minutes later stagger back on and continue ranting.  A joy to watch his character develop and mature with shows as 18 stone of idiot, Ideal, Benidorm and Dead Man Weds which sadly only got one series written by Dave Spikey.

Johnny Vegas gave us real pure comedy as brash and grim as he was as a character he was gentle kind and thoughtful and would take us all on a wild invisible rollercoaster ride.
I know at this point that this may read as a eulogy, but in some respects Michael has pushed his character of Johnny Vegas to one side and matured into his ownself.
In a way Johnny was singing and shouting from the roof tops and getting a few pressing matters of his chest whilst getting paid and having a blast.
If I could ask Michael one question?  When are you and Kathy burke going to work together?
I wish him well in his further career and look forward to seeing him in any new projects.

Written by Kathleen Dawson