Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tagged + Australian Television in Good Production Shock

As per my policy on tagging - I reply to them to be polite but don't tag others, since a/ I'm lazy and b/ this website is all about me and how phenomenal I am, and nobody else - I accept the challenge from Richard.

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences along with these instructions.

5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Since I'm at work, the only book on hand is "Essentials of Corporate Finance" (ooooh, note for stalkers*, hint about where I work!). So umm, here goes:

"The cash flows here have the form of a four-year, $1,000 annuity. The present value is $3,000. We need to find the discount rate, r. Our goal in doing so is primarily to give you a feel for the relationship between annuity values and discount rates."

Yeah, you're right. I should get another job.

(*I hope I have stalkers. Only pretty and popular people have stalkers.)


Fireflies. Headland. X-Factor. Yasmin's Getting Married. The Surgeon. The Master. The Hot House. The Resort. Let Loose Live. Greeks on the Roof. Hamish and Andy.

The list of intelligent and successful Australian television productions in the last 3 years goes on and on.

So it's actually quite a pleasant surprise to discover an Oz TV show that a/ is not "reality" crap, b/ has good production values, c/ is well-acted, d/ dares to assume viewers have some modicum of intelligence, and e/ supports local talent.

Yep, it's Bryan Brown's Two Twisted.

If memory serves, there was a general invite to all emerging or unfilmed screenwriters to submit Twilight Zone-like scripts, the best of which would form this series. That in itself is such a better idea for a show seed than, say, "oooh, what should we at Channel 10 make next? I know! A rip-off of a UK show which is actually a rip-off of another UK show!" (The seed of X-Factor)

Anyway, the four stories I've seen thus far are tops. OK, maybe they're a little obvious, but this is a brave attempt of Oz TV to not completely suck, as it usually does. Let it crawl before insisting it walk. And one of last night's effort, featuring the excellent Greta Scacchi as an apparently grieving wife who ends up cheerily feeding her husband's heart to a dog, was just delicious (not literally, obviously).

In offering the tagline of "Australia's best", maybe I wouldn't lump Scacchi, Sam Neill or Wendy Hughes in the same category as Lisa McCune (all of whom star at some point), but that's just splitting hairs. This is good, old-school televisual entertainment - tense, spooky, stylish and not afraid to be adult. I guess this is how it found at home at Channel Nana.

Initial ratings would suggests it's not doing phenomenally well but I really hope it's given the chance it deserves, or at least a DVD box set release further down the track. If we don't support this sort of stuff, it'll just be more of Yasmin Honey, We're the Biggest Australian Celebrity Dancing Brother on Ice from our good friends at the local studios.

Does that sound appealing to you?


At 22/8/06 9:41 pm, Blogger "AK" Adam said...

Sam, I'm pretty down with corporate finance basics: determining the discount rate in that question is just a matter of plugging in different options and isolating the right one. Where do you work, anyway? Are you an accountant or something?

On TV, I haven't watched that show, but agree that any attempt by Oz programmers to develop an idea that isn't itself crap - even if the show winds up being so - is a good thing. I wouldnt hold a candle for Two Twisted, though; I reckon its going to get the axe real soon.

At 23/8/06 12:09 am, Blogger Riza said...

"Essentials of Corporate Finance" was really the nearest book? You are SUCH a show-off...

At 23/8/06 10:23 am, Blogger mscynic said...

I am stalking you.

Sheesh. Ingrate, much?

At 23/8/06 10:27 am, Blogger Sam said...

Adam: close (sorta).

Riza: Hardly. Unless you're the sort of guy who's impressed by corporate finance. Well, you are a bit of a wild child I guess...

MsC: I couldn't think of anybody else I'd rather have stalking me. Except perhaps Jake Wall. Or, you know, I could just keep stalking him. Whatever works.

At 23/8/06 4:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of great Aussie TV on DVD as of October Grundys will be releasing ALL 692 episodes of Prisoner onto DVD. They will come out in 16-episode boxed sets at $50 each. I dread to think how much it will cost to buy the whole series ...oh well...there goes my house deposit. CW

At 23/8/06 4:57 pm, Blogger Sam said...

No way CW! Truly, that's my definition of Paradise.

Already own the existing box sets of course, now proudly getting my boyf into them. And there are so many great eps that aren't covered in the current box sets.

Oh my, I'm shaking in excitement...

At 23/8/06 11:05 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

I had the misfortune of having to interview Jake Wall for MCV last week; trust me, you don't want him stalking you, he's a doofus. That said, I currently have a real-life stalker stalking me, and he's just psycho. Personally I wouldn't wish either on anybody. Given the choice between the two though, I guess I'd take Jake the Snake.

At 27/8/06 11:06 pm, Blogger northernlad said...

wow - what a great blog site - i just love it
keep up the great work!

northernlad ***
:)))) gay & proud ****


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