Sometimes, when it’s 2pm and you’re still in your jammies watching yet another repeat episode of The Big Bang Theory on E4, it gets hard to believe there are actually some pretty funny TV shows out there. But there are. Really! There are comedies out there that don’t revolve around laugh tracks and making lame jokes out of the protagonists. How exciting!
Three years ago, a new type of television programme was born. A Frankenstein’s monster composed of parts of Big Brother, The Apprentice and Boozed Up Irish Abroad, they called it Jersey Shore. The premise was fairly simple:
1) Throw a few attention-seeking, lovable-yet-slightly-dim human beings in a house together.
2) Add copious amounts of alcohol.
3) Observe results.
(Finally got around to reviewing this – I was at the April 5th show.)
It’s all very lovely. The curtain rises to the show’s peppy theme tune, and a brightly dressed man and an equally bright puppet (held by a sombrely dressed woman) stand on stage. They begin to sing. Everything appears to be shiny and happy, until the puppet utters six words that set the tone for the entire musical:
“FUCK! It sucks to be me!”
(I bet that you thought by the title that this was going to be a personal post about the legendary extremely tough bad girl Valerie Loftus! I’m actually just going to talk about the song “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett. Sorry.)
At home in Mayo and availing of the ridiculous amount of movie channels the Sky box offers, I watched Easy A and Kick Ass back to back. Both extremely enjoyable movies. Both teen movies. But other than that, completely different, right? Nope. Easy A and Kick Ass have one more thing in common.
(These next few articles are bits and pieces I wrote for The College View during the last (veery busy) semester. I decided to put them up here for posterity and lulz. New posts coming soon!)
Love it or hate it, come October everyone is talking about The X Factor. We clamour for information about the finalists, we try to predict who will battle it out in the Sunday night sing-off and tweet our way through each show. Then the winner is announced and we promptly forget everything about the people we cared about so deeply for three months. Yes, it’s the ultimate in throwaway television, but it works.
Yet after seven seasons and hundreds of contestants, I can’t help but notice some patterns emerging. “Chasing Cars” or “Run” by Snow Patrol are played when someone promising is about to be turned down. Finalists and Nutcases (more about them later) will get the most camera time. The people who eventually get through to the live shows will always have a sick grandmother/goldfish/pet rock that “really wanted them to do this.” But these are just little things.
(Here’s a wee article I wrote for studenty.me. It’s a nice site, full of funny and interesting things to read. Check it out.)
Earlier this month, The Guardian published an article about “The New Boring” in pop music, mentioning acts like Ed Sheeran, Birdy and Mumford & Sons, artists who are happy to stand back and let the music do the talking. The article cites Adele’s now famous performance at the Brit Awards this year, where she sang “Someone Like You” stripped back to the bare essentials of vocals and piano, as the moment where the floodgates opened to let in a wave of “beige music”.
In about three months, I will no longer smell like teen spirit. I can no longer feel like I’m living a teenage dream, nor get teenage kicks right through the night. I am turning 20.