Friday, 22 April 2011

Casting a British Version of Community

Community is the best sitcom on television at the moment. At the very least, it's the best English-language sitcom. The story centres around a group of people who go to a second-chance college. Their lives have not really worked out, so they've gone back to college to either get a new degree, meet some new people, or get away from their previous lives. The show stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, and Chevy Chase. Given American TV's insistence on recasting and remaking British shows instead of airing the original series, what would it be like if we recast Community for a British audience, using actors who are in a similar position to the actors on the American version? Well, it'd be a lot whiter, for a start. Here's where we think it'd go.

Jeff - played by Joel McHale
British counterpart – Harry Hill

Joel McHale's 'main' role is as the commentator on The Soup, a TV show which makes fun of other TV shows. In Britain we have a slightly better version of the same show, and in Britain it's run by Harry Hill. A bald, bespectacled former doctor with a wacky sense of humour and a fondness for puppets and animation, Harry Hill is by no means leading man material. However, he is Britain's version of Joel McHale. Or rather, Joel is America's version of Harry Hill.

Britta - played by Gillian Jacobs
British counterpart – Tamsin Grieg

We needed to pick an actress who is known for comedy, but comedy which is kinda dramatic. A proper actress who can do comedy at the same time, in other words. With Episodes, Love Soup, and a variety of other roles under her belt, Tamsin Grieg fits this role perfectly.

Abed - played by Danny Pudi
British counterpart – Sandi Toksvig

We picked another Nordic comedian. Sandi Toksvig should be in everything.

Shirley - played by Yvette Nicole Brown
British counterpart – Dawn French

They have the same voice! Listen to them both and see if you disagree. We looked for female comediennes who looked like they'd give you a good, strong hug. And Dawn french sprung to mind almost instantly.

Annie - played by Alison Brie
British counterpart – Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan stars in a series of TV shows, including The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and Pulling. She can do proper roles. She can do humour. She is good at acting. She is AMAZING at comedy. Plus she has brown hair. How perfect!

Troy - played by Donald Glover
British counterpart – Noel Fielding

A very popular comedian who sings, does sketch comedy and writes extensively for other shows, Donald Glover only has one contemporary who comes to mind. Noel Fielding. The energetic half of The Mighty Boosh is massively popular right now, especially on the internet. He has more female fans than male fans, just like Glover, and has a surprisingly wide range of voices and characters.

Chang - played by Ken Jeong
British counterpart – Omid Djalili

Think of a smart comedian who can look completely crazy on a whim. You're thinking of Omid Djalili. The role of Chang requires a witty, intelligent, charming comedian to act like a total mental jerk every week. Omid has shown with some of his film work that he is not only absolutely mad at times, but he can be mad, a jerk, and kinda likeable.

Pierce - played by Chevy Chase
British counterpart – Michael Barrymore

Michael Barrymore is somewhat disgraced from the British comedy scene, despite being a brilliant personality and great comedian. Chevy Chase was in the same role before Community, and is now starting to recover his career. What do you think, guys?

Monday, 18 April 2011

Stephanie Meyer Announces a FIFTH Twilight Book!

Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series have been a tremendous success around the World, and possibly the area between the World and Mercury. While Venusians are keen on the timeless tale of vampires and werewolves and the human caught between them, the people of Mercury find the writing to be a little lacklustre. The Martians are outright angry about the existence of the books, furious that there are no strong Martian characters in any of the title roles. The books are most massively popular on Earth, where the books – and Robert Pattinson’s dreamy combination of looking like he hates being in the film adaptations and staring both to and from the camera – are some of the most read and loved in the World. After four books which take the story to the logical conclusion of turning the main character into a vampire and having the werewolf fall in love with her newborn baby, we all thought Meyer was done. Nobody expected there to be more novels in her, especially not ones which could capture the heart, imagination, verve and wit which were so admirably left out of the original quadrilogy.

Yet the news has just come through that Meyer IS currently in the process of writing a fifth novel. While it may seem that the stories Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn definitively told the story of Bella and Edward, the vampire couple who will glitter forevermore, the title of the new book suggests a new direction for the storyline. Titled “Lunchtime”, the novel follows on directly from the past four books and sees Bella struggling to cope with her hunger. Although she wants to gorge herself on the arteries of some orphan children, Edward doesn’t dig fat chicks and she develops bulimia as a result. Meanwhile her former love interest Jacob is happily married to her newborn baby, and they are living in Alaska.

Now, things seem to be simple so far, until the arrival of a zombie into the picture. Called Samuel, the zombie meets Bella and is instantly smitten. As she is dead and thus has no legal obligation to stay loyal to Edward, Bella elopes with Samuel in some gloomy woods and they stare at each other for the middle section of the book. Meanwhile Edward himself finds that his eternal love for Bella is severely tested by the arrival of a mermaid, whose watery tendrils drag him underwater. He learns that he has gills and was the son of The Mermaid King. He’s asked to stay underwater forevermore, living underneath a lake near a gloomy forest.

This may seem simple so far, but things get complicated when the newborn baby ‘imprints’ a human male called Leslie, who wears a deep overcoat and lives in council housing on his own, in a deserted neighbourhood. Leslie attempt to abduct the child, and Jacob is too distracted by his own struggle not to cheat on the baby with a Chimera. Although Leslie is eventually caught by the Werewolf council and eaten, Jacob is left an outcast by the clan and has to go live on his own in a gloomy forest.

You may be thinking “this is all pretty simple so far”. Well hold on to your hats, because one day Bella and Samuel go for a row on the lake where Edward is living as the Crown Mermaid Prince, and Jacob spots her. Running across the surface of the lake, as all werewolves are able to, he pounces on Bella and eats her for being unfaithful to Edward. At the very same time, Edward abandons the mermaids and returns to the surface. Upon seeing what has happened on the boat, he is about to attack Jacob when they suddenly imprint on each other and fall in love. They push Samuel over the side of the boat and he floats to the bottom of the lake, where he falls in love with the mermaid Princess and they rule the lake forever more.

The final chapter sees Edward and Jacob row away on their boat together, little aware that a Medusa called Stephanie is watching them. To be continued??

Friday, 15 April 2011

Is TV Ready for a Sports Series About Luge?

I was reading a newspaper article – I know, right? – about the decline of bizarre sports programmes. When I was a child I was roughly the same age as the reporter when he was a child, and his disappointment about the disappearance of Trans World Sport and Gazzetta Football Italia struck a nerve with me. Hello if you’re reading by the way, Johnathan Liew. Isn’t it weird how some people are called Johnathan? Like, they actually think that’s a real name? Anyway. Trans World Sport was a short programme dedicated to showing Britain how uncultured it was. Showcasing the best and most exciting sports from around the World, it was designed to show off the global culture which is rapidly taking over the World and may even now be considered ‘officially’ international. It was a noble cause, but the reality was that Worldwide sports are bollocks and played mainly be mentals. Instead of being surprised by inspirational acts and ingenious sports, we instead laughed heartily at people cycling backwards or attempting to play trampoline volleyball. Most sports seemed to end with someone lying concussed on the floor, while other players ignored him or order to showboat at the camera. Trans World Sport was mad, quirky, and the funniest programme on telly. And now it’s gone.

To Sky, where sports programming goes to die. It leaves a hole in the schedules which has been swallowed up by cooking shows and home improvement advice, and people who don’t like sports but like laughing at people who do (the internet) are left with nothing to watch. Youtube has filled the void for many people, but there’s still something impersonal about that website and the way it lets everyone do whatever they want. If an enterprising and exciting television channel were to decide that they should put some more sports on TV, there would certainly be an audience for it. But what sport could possibly be MASSIVE enough to keep us all entertained? The answer is ludicrously, literally Luge.

Luge isn’t even recognised as a word on Microsoft Office, let alone appreciated on a mass scale like football or baseball or tapir-pouncing (national sport of Gibraltar). But it is exciting, entertaining, and British people are actually quite good at it. The premise is that people lie down face-forwards on a tray and go down a slide made of PURE ICE. Whoever gets to the bottom quickest is the winner. Now I know what you’re thinking – there is no sportsmanship involved in this, it’s an event which relies entirely on body shape and weight. And yes, that seems to absolutely be the case. But Luge looks AMAZING on television. It’s the right mix of dangerous, speed-freaky, and all the contestants wear skintight outfits. Fetishists and sports enthusiasts are going to love it. Is TV ready for Luge? We’re going to start pushing for more Luge coverage on TV over the next few months. Stay tuned to see how our campaign goes…

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Lone Girl At The Pool

Swimming is a great source of exercise. By jumping into a single contained body of water and not drowning for upwards of twenty minutes at a time, one can be refreshed, invigorate, and reminded what it feels like to have half a litre of chlorinated water swilling round between your eardrums, behind your optic nerve, and in your nose. But picture this scene, imaginauts – you are a girl.

Picture these other things also! In this XX chromosomed scenario, you are a girl who also decides to be healthy, fit and active. You go to said body of chlorinated water with an eye to jumping in it and not drowning for a while, thusly exercising your muscles. It’s a wise decision, and will help with your asthma. The only problem is that, upon arrival at the swimming pool, you find that you are... The Lone Girl At The Pool.

Suddenly everything starts to fall apart. Old men are doing groundbreakingly slow laps of the fast lane. Large men with varying quantities and qualities of facial hair are lounging around the steam rooms. Boys are hogging the slide, forcibly pushing each other down and jumping on top of each other loudly. And muscular douchebags – oh, those muscular douchebags! – are sat in the Jacuzzis. How do these bros manage to have six-packs when they do no exercise at the gym, instead spending two hours every night in the Jacuzzi before heading off down the pub to glass a minority? It’s an irritating mystery, girls. They may look hunky and powerful, but they seem to do bugger all work to get to that stage. What do they know that I—

I mean, picture yourself as a girl. What do you do if you are the only girl there, and the men are imminently about to start tearing their eyes into your legs, bum, and boobs? We’re here to help, literal and visualised girls. We’re here to help.

So what should your first few moves be? How can you manoeuvre yourself through this situation without causing embarrassment or self-awareness, or bringing leering, judgement, and yes a small degree of self-awareness from the boys? Well let’s start this off by breaking down who the men at a swimming pool will be, and what they are doing there. Pre-planning and research is key to your success!

Location #1: The Kid’s Pool

If there are no women in the pool apart from yourself, then by process of logic there will be no mothers watching over the kid’s pool. This will dramatically decrease the number of kids in the training pool in the first place, leaving only the sons whose fathers are either exceptionally well-meaning or whom only see their sons once every month. In the first case, there is no problem. These devoted dads are dedicated to their doggy-paddling delinquents and won’t pay you any notice. The latter set of dads, however, could prove problematic. Ignoring their brattish sons at the first opportunity, these lanky deadbeats will ogle you as soon as they hear your footsteps approaching.

Location #2: The Main Pool

Focus on the main pool. All manner of pondlife could be floating around in here – from yappy frogspawn right through to warty toads. Be particularly careful as you scan, as certain swimmers may be underwater as you sweep the horizon, biding their time until you swim past before they latch onto you. These are some of the most dangerous predators in the pool, as their eyes are resistant to the sting of chlorine, making them immune to any pepper spray you may fire at them following an awkward encounter at the car-park afterwards.

Location #3: Steam Rooms/Sauna

Not every, or many, pools have either a steam room or sauna. So don’t waste your time looking in the sauna if you don’t have one, or you may rip into the fabric of linear space. If you do have either of these rooms in your pool, look for the tell-tale sign of blobby movement behind the door. The majority of steam room/sauna users are fat businessmen. STAY AWAY!

Location #4: Jacuzzis

A bubbling hotbed of male testosterone, the hot tubs are the most terrifying of sights for a young female to behold. Only one form of the male species frequents the hot tub – the “bro”. Bros are youths between the ages of eighteen and thirty who only go to the pool to lounge around in the Jacuzzis. Bafflingly muscular despite their hard-drinking, tough-bro’ing lifestyles, these men are thoroughly tanned and tattooed liberally. You wouldn’t want to come across on in a night club (or would you?), let alone a whole posse of them in a hot tub. Sat alone in there, cramped on all sides by mean-flirtin’ bros who all have jobs in construction? NIGHTMARE!

Check by next month for more advice!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Reasons We Should Expect The Giants To Attack Us #1

Noticed all those dead birds recently? If you’re the kind of person who enjoys leaving the house, you’ll have noticed by now that there are dead birds lying everywhere, just scattered dead on the floor like tiny bird-shaped corpse presents. What’s with all the dead birds, you guys? It’s a sign that the Giants are returning, is the answer. Why are they a sign that the Giants are returning? Let us answer that. Let us tell you why they are evidence that the Giants are returning.

We’re talkin’ about golden eggs, yo. It’s an expensive life, being a Giant, and there are very few careers which ask for applicants to be monstrously tall. As a matter of fact, most businesses actively discriminate against the gargantuan. As a result Giants have switched their attention to magic, and attain all their wealth exclusively from the golden egg business. While there is the odd fruity Giant who makes his money from Golden Harp Recitals, by and large (if you’ll excuse the pun), Giants rely on golden nuggets for their day-to-day financing.

The problem is that in our current economic and environmental climate, such fowls no longer exist. Evolution and capitalism at work, people! So when the Giants do finally return, they’re going to need to find new birds to fire out Golden Eggs for them. Birds worldwide, having sensed that the return of the Giants is imminent, are all about the immortality. They want to live forever and become famous, guardians of golden gander gifts, and so they’re straining and straining and forcing themselves into producing gold eggs.

The trouble is that only select birds are able to tap into the magics which allow them to produce golden eggs, and the majority of them are doomed to failure. Gold is notoriously difficult to spontaneously create, and birds are typically unfamiliar with the periodic table. Thusly, too often we are seeing birds create granite eggs which weigh them down. Too heavy to fly anymore, they hurtle down to Earth in this thousands, dying instantly upon impact.

Now, I’m not a Scientist, but this sounds irrefutable to me. The moment a sparrow succeeds in turning their yolk into gold? The Giants will return.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Podcast à la mode #3

The Adam and Joe Podcast
By Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish

By the time you read this, it should be April where you live! If it isn't April where you live, then we strongly suggest you stop living near The Large Hadron Collider! But for the majority of you all, and us also for we are part of the greater we, it is now April. And this is glorious news, because that means it's time for Adam and Joe to return to broadcast! A pair of radio-presenters with a difference (the difference being talent and creativity), Adam and Joe are now available to you on a weekly basis, and hilarity can once more reign down upon your houses! As a note, you do not need a skylight in order for hilarity to reign down into your house, as hilarity operates in a manner similar to - but not akin to - radiation poisioning. It can penetrate your roof, unless you live in a house of lead.

Do you live in a house of lead? If so, then we'd love to hear from you! There are experiments that we've always wanted to try, but have never had the facilities to enable.

What Happens In This Podcast?

Adam and Joe used to present on telly back in the nineties, doing their own show for years as part of Channel 4's dedication to reaching a youthful audience. Their unique type of silly childish humour proved to be a big hit, as they were intelligent and witty without isolating dumb people, and they could perform pranks without being mean-spirited of nasty. They were nice chums that liked computer games and comics, and they were on telly! What an inspiration for a whole generation of bloggers they must've become, surely, perhaps. Well once they stopped doing their telly show they moved to radio, and started to do much the same as they did before, only this time on the radio. Um, obviously.

So you can hear their first radio shows via the XFM Adam and Joe podcast, which is still available on the ol' iTunes. But more importantly, you can hear highlights from their current radio show on BBC 6music even as we speak! Can you imagine listening to Adam and Joe and reading Wilftonville at the same time, chums? The sheer possibilities such an event could bring! Their regular features include Text The Nation, where they read out readers' suggestions about things like "what should the next crime show be about" and get answers like "Sgt Wiggle The Worm. He later gets cut in half and the short end becomes his sidekick". There's also the ever-popular SONG WARS in which the two literally WAR against each other via the use of SONGS, and many other bits of silly banter and giggling.

We Recommend This Podcast!

If you enjoy the podcast, you should also watch Hot Fuzz! Both Adam and Joe are in it, as they are good friends with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. They may also have appeared in Spaced, but we can't remember. And also! Joe's directed a film and written a film this year - Attack The Block, and it's going to be brilliant! You can find Adam on his youtube channel, also Joe co-wrote the new Tintin movie with Steven Moffat. Amazing!

Friday, 1 April 2011

What Should Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Video Have Been Like?

We're writing this post just after the release of Lady Gags' video release for her comeback single 'Born This Way', a Madonna-esque gay-power anthem which owes itself entirely to disco. The video can be seen below. Please watch it so you can draw your conclusions as to how effective it is as a piece of "art", which is almost certainly how Gags herself wants it to be seen. Well, it's B-Movie Art, in the sense that it's value as art is only due to it's camp value and exploitative themes being... well, exploited. But enough GCSE-Level Art analysis! (Talkin' bout a C Grade, y'all) Watch it now:

Isn't it a poor video? Not in the sense that it isn't well-directed and the dancing is poor, but in the sense that it pays no attention to the themes of the song itself. Gags' most popular video is by far Bad Romance, which featured a fluorescent sex-bunker in which she sold herself to a man in a half-mask for money and a polar-bear dress. The video ties in to the song, in at least the barest of ways (bearest of ways, heh). Her next video, Telephone, was about being distracted by her boyfriend when she's out having a drink. So she did a Tarantino tribute video about going on the run with Beyonce and killing a load of people. The shock value was what kept all that working. The song is so trivial and the video so over-the-top, that they worked together.

Then came Alejandro. Alejandro's video was at odds with the song once more, but this time the song itself was a somewhat sweet ballad about summer love... with three men. But still, summer love. The music was upbeat and optimistic, which is why Gags recreated the bra dance sequence she performed in Telephone, sang in front of a dark, dank backdrop, and generally looked moody and creepy. If the song had been "Dance in the Dark" or one of her genuinely off-beat tracks, this would've been all well and good. Against a relatively simple song melody like Alejandro, however, this seemed like a complete disconnect between music and video. It was, at the time, by far her weakest effort- and for a performer who pushes herself off the back of her creative output, that was a big blow.

As you can see above, Born This Way does much the same as telephone. Out goes the stalag camp of Alejandro, but the bra dancing is retained and lengthened, while the intro goes absolutely nowhere and leads only to one or two shots of Gaga giving birth to clones. There's some stuff with her and a male dancer grinding on each other while they have skeleton face-paint on, and at one point she fires a machine-gun leg lifted straight from Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse movie. So her videos have become tame, that's all very well and good. A tame Gaga song is still leagues ahead of the wildest thing Pink could dream up, right? Well yes, that's true, but at the same time let's just point out again that the song is about empowerment.

We're meant to be seeing a display of gay-power so strong and terrifying that the US Government will immediately drop any remaining homophobic policies as they run screaming from the mob of bears and twinks led by their platinum-headed Goddess Gags. Considering we're meant to be seeing a video which is abotu empowerment, why has Gaga instead decided that a better tactic for her video would be to blather on about some kind of dull alien story when she could instead be directly addressing what her song is about... What's the point of shying away from her own song in order to hide in genre and alien cloning stories. It seems like a massively wasted opportunity. Instead, we here at Wilftonville believe that the new video should have gone something like this:

Now you're scared, right? NOTHING CAN STOP THE FORCES OF GAY. Maybe someone needs to reign Gags in a bit more, so she can start leading her audiences astray again.