Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the tag “Neighbours”

Answering the phone and door

atheist evanglizing door knocking

Have you found Jesus?
First of all, I didn’t know he was missing. So I did a bit of checking, turns out Jesus is the reining world hide and seek champion, 33AD to present. Given how many people are now out door-knocking, trying to find him, it must be only a matter of days before Jesus will be found and people will stop knocking on our doors.

Are you happy with your telecommunications provider?
It seems odd that none of the telecommunications providers offer a service that stops you being bothered by marketers trying to get you to switch providers.

Would you like to donate to a good cause?
I love donating to good causes. Sadly I’m often lacking in cash on hand and none of the donation collectors seem willing to accept sperm bank cheques.

Our ball went into your backyard….
As long as there has been neighbours there have been kids deciding their backyard is too small for the games they play. Thankfully children are very useful for household chores  like hand weeding my backyard in order to find the lost ball that may, or may not, have found its way inside with the dog.

We’re from the Church of Latter Day Saints, could we come in to speak to you?
Religious people are interesting, going out and visiting everyone and wanting to have a chat about their religion. How do they coordinate their visits so that all the religious people aren’t all out door-knocking so no-one is home to talk about religion with them? I wonder how many Mormons (or others) have been invited in so they can help with the filming of the low budget home movies that are popular on the internet.

I’m campaigning for the local member of parliament.
You really have to wonder how these people manage to avoid the bear traps I set in our front yard. Thankfully our dog enjoys chasing down fair game.

We’re going door to door to see if anyone saw or heard anything?
Do the police actually get much useful information out of this? Won’t most people who heard or saw something be out at the crime scene taking pictures on their phone? Sometimes it is very tempting to reply with, “No, I was too busy going all Dexter on my neighbour. “

We need to read your meter.
Why?
So we can bill you the correct amount.
Wouldn’t it better if I don’t let you read my meter and have you not charge me?

TV Shows From Around the World

I was viewing the new series of Sherlock, written by the fantastic Steven Moffat (Coupling, Dr Who, Jekyl), when a thought occurred to me; would the deli be open to sell me an ice cream at this hour? Sadly it wasn’t, which gave me plenty of time to think about how various countries differ in the way they do TV shows and movies.

I present my musings and gross generalities about TV shows around the world.

UK – Talkies.

The best Dr Who – Tom Baker a close second.

When I think of UK TV in general I think very little action but a lot of dialogue. Not much happens in any one episode of UK TV, but all the characters have a lot to say. The best shows – often written by the aforementioned Steven Moffat et al. – are also witty and intelligent.

A great example of this is Dr Who, the David Tennant version. The Doctor is stuck in a life or death situation – lets say its Darleks about to shoot him – and yet he talks his way out of it. Any other country would have him ducking for cover. Another example is the crime drama Luther. This is more an exploration of the main character and his strained relationships and his commitment to solving crimes.

Example: Sherlock, Luther.
Outlier: The Bill (cookie cutter).

USA – Explosions and cookie cutter formats.

Cookie-Cutter was a term invented for this franchise. 

The Americans are terrific at doing formulaic shows. Their crime shows follow the same patterns each episode, the dramas have a list of top topics – also used for identifying when they have jumped the shark – and all their comedies gradually morph into dramas. They also do gun fights and explosions. More bullets are fired in one episode of US TV than in the entire year of all TV shows from the UK and Australia (NB: made up statistic that is possibly true but I’d have no idea).

As a result they can attract audiences in large numbers to watch things go bang. The longer the show runs the less ideas are used in any one episode as the formulae takes over. In fairness, compared to UK TV, series in the US produce a lot more episodes, so writers would have a harder time coming up with fresh material.

Example: CSI whatever.
Outlier: Justified, The Wire.

Australia – Soapies.

Neighbours, the long running steaming pile of dog droppings.

Aussies can’t produce a TV show that isn’t a soapie. We have tried many times, failing miserably to make the show not morph into a soapie. Sometimes we start off with a great premise and even a few episodes that show promise, but it doesn’t take long before we have just another soapie.

I don’t watch Aussie TV any more.

Example: We don’t do anything other than soapies.
Outlier: The little watched Good Guys, Bad Guys.

Western Europe – Gritty and noir.

Unit One making you squirm.

Americans have recently started (re)making European shows with more explosions. They have realised that there are so many well written shows there that they just had to copy them. Since Americans can’t handle accents and subtitles they need to redo the lot. Of course the Americans are then surprised when there is something lacking in their version.

I don’t know why, but gritty seems like a default position in every drama produced in Europe (Inspector Rex doesn’t count). As a result shows can become very dark, but at the same time are generally more substantive.

Example: The Elephant, The Killing, Unit One.
Outlier: All the same soaps and reality TV that they produce like every other country/region.

Canada – USA shows

We’re in Canada Scully; it’s a conspiracy!

If it is a US TV show, it is likely to be made in Vancouver. My theory for this phenomenon is that American actors and stuntmen on TV shows generally aren’t making enough money to afford decent health care. As a result they like to locate themselves in a country that has proper health care available. Just a theory.

One of the ways to spot an Canadian TV show versus an American TV show is how much shooting and explosions occur during any one episode. At one end you have American shows, at the other end you have Canadian shows, and right in the middle are the Canadian produced American shows.

Example: Stargate, Supernatural.
Outlier: Any show that looks kinda American but hasn’t got people shooting someone every 2 minutes.

Eastern Europe, South America & Asia
I’d like to know more as Australians don’t have many of them on our screens.

NB: I’ve tried to be as intentionally insulting to the various countries with my observations as possible. There is a lot of great TV out there, Australia makes virtually none of it, so I’m bitter, resentful and ultimately jealous.

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