Talking Movies

May 24, 2012

Any Other Business: Part III

Filed under: Talking Television — Fergal Casey @ 5:16 pm
Tags: , , ,

What is one to do with thoughts that are far too long for Twitter but not nearly long enough for a proper blog post? Why round them up and turn them into a third portmanteau post on television of course!

Burning Down the House

Back in October I heralded the start of House season 8 on Sky One with a piece exploring what I perceived as a change in the dynamic of the show over time; focusing on how Olivia Wilde’s character Thirteen exemplified it. Now I precede the final ever episode of House on Sky One tonight with some ruminations on how the show is going to go out. Season 8 has featured some fine episodes, but overall has given an impression of terminal drift; as if the writers knew well before it was confirmed that they were coming to the end, and were simply shoehorning in all the pet high concepts they’d never found a way to organically weave into the storylines. House’s season finales have tended towards the devastating; from psychotic breaks, to firing entire staffs, to procedures so dangerous as to be suicidal; and it’s unlikely that Gregory House will personally end the show on an upbeat note. (In this respect the producers will probably respect the logic of the show more than 24’s staff wimping out on Howard Gordon’s broken promise to kill Jack Bauer in the final episode) But how do you end the series on a note that is both devastating and organically generated? My hope some weeks ago when I started writing ideas for this piece was that Olivia Wilde would be enticed back to the show for the final episodes. My October hope that Wilde would stay with the show and that it would run long enough for it to do something truly remarkable by gradually depicting a slow physical decline for the beloved Thirteen had of course been well and truly dashed. My big idea was that Thirteen would arrive back for a suitably crushing finale in which she would hold House to his promise in season 7 that when the time came when her Huntington’s had overwhelmed her that he would kill her. Sadly, while my prayers were answered and the prodigal daughter did return and reference that promise from House, a bolt from the blue devastating ending rather than a truly organically generated finale will play out tonight…

48

I’ve been getting steadily more annoyed with 02’s endless promotion for its MVNO spin-off 48. The ever-present TV ads, the endless promo voiceovers on Phantom FM, and the posters at every bus stop. The first question I asked myself on seeing the TV ad was ‘where are all these burlesque costumed orgies in massive warehouses taking place anyway?’ Apparently this is what 18 to 22 year olds do nowadays, regardless of the fact that the space available for these parties seems to exist somewhere between 1970s New York and the copywriter’s imagination. Next I asked myself whether the copywriter would have dared to flip the ‘oh so daring’ bisexual experimentation depicted on its head, a la Bret Easton Ellis. Probably not, and this titillating but hypocritical use of lesbianism where two men making eyes at each other wouldn’t have been countenanced annoyed me. But then I noticed the voiceover, which is straight from Dublin, Ohio. There’s something incredibly jarring in Irish names like Emer being dropped into the middle of the narrator’s monologue (ending in the ubiquitous slogan “Go conquer”) which is delivered in tones that wouldn’t sound out of place anywhere in the American Mid-West. What the hell?

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