Feed on Posts or Comments 01 October 2023

Category ArchiveTV

Media &TV newlight on 13 Dec 2009

You can remake those on the cheap too

A series of short videos were posted on a Chinese video sharing website. You don’t have to know any Chinese to understand it, because you will have probably seen the scenes before somewhere else…

The title of the series, by the way, is Office HipHop Quartet. Besides ‘recreate’ the scenes, the makers – they have credit sequence – of videos are also cheerfully unasamed of the fact that two commericals are bluntly ‘placed’ (it goes way beyond ‘production placement’, without any irony).

TV newlight on 20 Aug 2009

CCTV News Channel’s new countdown sequence

A Chinese blogger accused CCTV (China Central Television) News Channel’s recently unveiled countdown sequence plagirised BBC News’s countdown. I think what he’s talking about is the music. He’s obviously an admirer of the BBC sequence, displaying almost second-by-second stills from it. I’m not a music expert. To my untrained ears, they do sound a bit similar.

Media &TV newlight on 28 Jun 2009

Very broad sense of traffic

I noted last month that the BBC TV programme Click used a video sequence taken out of the documentary Britain from Above. The sequence, as explained in Britain from Above, was made for the documentary to illustrate the taxi traffic in London over 24 hours. While being used in Click, however, it implied another kind of traffic, internet traffic. I wrote to Click through their online form but got no reply.

I was a little suprised to see it appeared again in last week’s Click, this time when commenting on Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report. It looks neat and convincing for that purpse, but I don’t think it’s right for Click to do this.

2009-06-27 Click 20090620

TV newlight on 24 Dec 2007

Spooks: shock the unshockable

Spooks ended its sixth season with a bang, which is what it has been doing every season. When a fast-pacing, shocks-stuffing series enters its sixth season, it’s much more difficult to provide more surprises. The strategy seems to have one story throughout the season. The story, that Iran is acquiring nuclear weapon technology, is quite timely, as usual. Spooks has distinguished itself with topical and sensitive storylines, which wins a lot of admiration. In the previous season, Adam Cater has to decide weather or not to shoot a terror suspect on spot, on the crowded street, who is believed about to blow himself and bystanders off. Of course Cater’s decision is the correct one, fully vindicated afterwards. It is darker and uglier in real life.

But I feel it’s kind of lost the focus a bit at the beginning of the season. And gosh, MI5 is so seriously short of hands. Everyone in the section D has to do everything, even Harry has to kidnap someone, and a retired officer and a noisy journalist have to be called into action. They also seems spending a large amount of screen time trying to save each other. In such genre, it is most interesting and intense when the personal safety and integraty of the protagists are threatened. However when it happens too often, it loses the power of shock, only lookes careless.

Fortunately it’s back to form in episode 6, when Adam and Rose try and fail to stop the handing over of the nuclear bomb trigger on the plane. However in the next episode, when some white extremists hijack the stagged live Question Time type of show, it’s just a bit silly really. The plot has never quite recovered after that I’m afraid, although in the last episode, it comes back, albeit with the old trick – the personal destiny of our protagonists.

Having seen the stranger than fiction reality of the war on terror, and enjoyed many similar shows with twisted plot and morality, the audiences are almost immuned to any kind of horror. By turning to the establishment and to each other, Spooks managed to shock the unshockable once again.