Wednesday, December 28, 2005


TV Schedulers Are The Spawn Of Satan, Quite Possibly Made From His Very Tissue And Sinew

You know what they say about buses? Wait ages, then two simultaneously? I have never known that to be true - here in Stourbridge, you have to wait an hour and a half for a bus, and then one may, if the driver can be bothered to show up for work, or bother to stop to let you on, wheeze asthmatically to a halt. You'd better make sure you don't miss that one, because it'll be another two and a half hours for the next one.

In Manchester, meanwhile, living on the most bussed route in Europe means that they arrive all the time, even if they do take forever to get anywhere.

TV Schedulers are the real masters of 'the irony of timing.' Christmas TV is usually the best of the year, but it's been incredibly weak this year. Apart from 'Family Guy', which the BBC disgracefully relegated to about midnight, and the Christmas Day 'Doctor Who', which was deliriously silly, and rather wonderful in a kitsch way, there's been nothing I can really say I enjoyed.

All of which makes it even more sickening that the four principle terrestrial channels screened, at the same time last night, 'The American President', 'Once Upon A Time In The West', 'Bulworth' and 'Taxi Driver.' What to do?

In the end, I plumped for Scorsese's masterpiece, but really, I wanted to see them all. TV schedulers - bastards!

Anyway, that's it from me for the year - I'll be back on Monday. I'm retreating to here, and then having a big New Year's Eve. Please take the time to read my last two posts or look through the archives if you wish. Oh, and please do comment too! When I come back, I promise I'll do the posts I said I'd do recently.

I think you made the right choice. No one personifies the spirit of Christmas like Travis Bickle.
I hate to admit it because Taxi Driver is one of my favourite movies, but I would have watched the American President. It's a sickness I have.
Scorsese? Pah! He makes better documentaries than he makes films. Once Upon a Time in the West for me.
Bernard Herrmann's score for Taxi Driver makes it one of the best films ever. Whereas the soundtrack to Scorsese's Dylan documentary makes it one of the worst.
A Christmas Doctor Who?!?
Is this a new thing? Sounds terrific.
We have the scheduling blues here as well, but since each network is run by a different company, the conflicts are caused by competition.
The big tanks either roll against one another or nothing. That is, unless something is so awesome that no one bothers to compete (Desperate Housewives, for instance) then there is always something equally good on some other station.
Happy New Year !
Tough call.

I can't watch Taxi Driver too often. Good as it is, its also painfully incremental.

Hung - You're absolutely right. I love Taxi Driver no end, everything about it is as near as could be to perfect.

Apollo - There's nothing wrong with a bit of saccharine every now and then.

Tony - I haven't actually seen OUATITW before, but as a lover of teh spaghetti western, I'm sure I'd like it. I'll have to hunt me down a copy.

SafeT - The Who episode struck me as covering a lot Hitchiker's ground, particularly in the Doctor's final confrontation when he's rescued by tea and fights wearing his pyjamas. Don't expect a classic with fantastic insights into the human condition, but as a piece of nonsensical froth for post-Xmas lunch slumping it was all you could ask for.

Pam - Happy New Year to you too!

Boudica - It sure is as rough a ride as you can get in mainstream cinema, but then, that's why I love it.
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