Archive for March, 2011

It is now certain that the much anticipated return of the 5th season of AMC’s Mad Men will not be until 2012 (at least). The reason: the almighty dollar. It appears that the network has greenlit the return of its critically adorned hit, but with some interesting conditions. The show’s creator will be forced to ‘cull’ two characters a season for the next 3 seasons. Hmmm…interesting. I don’t know about you but this seems a little ridiculous. It’s almost as if AMC is conveniently forgetting the role Mad Men played in the network’s rise to acclaim. The Network Execs are like “Screw them, we still have Breaking Bad, Rubicon and the Walking Dead”. If loyalty and a lust to produce quality programming isn’t sufficient, how about a reality check. Breaking Bad may be one of the greatest shows on TV, but TWD and Rubicon are fairly mediocre. TWD especially is less than captivating viewing.  ‘Crap’ I called it. A Mad Men-less AMC schedule certainly devalues the overall quality of the network.

However, if creator Matthew Wiener does agree to the gradual assassination of our beloved friends I have a solution for him: Lung cancer.

Who will be the first to die?

Keep Watching Your Screens

Misanthropic Ficus

Update: A deal has now been reached for the next 2 seasons, with the likelihood of a 3rd. The 5th season will premiere in March 2012. The episodes will be slightly shorter and feature more product placement.

My owners have seen fit to move me over to this location


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The spawn of Monty Burns and ET?

Is it over yet? Can I open my eyes now. Geez, that was bad. This was a series which felt as if it had only just begun. It was fall of undefined characters and undeveloped relationships and Franky. Oh Franky, ‘don’t label me’ Franky. The post-label, post-sexual, post-gender, pre-human Franky. It’s as if the writers remembered the joy of having an enigmatic and ambiguous talent in ‘Effy’ and decided to replicate her…but something went horribly wrong…and Franky was born!

There were a couple of standout episodes, although looking back now I like Rich’s episode less and less. Nick was the most interesting character, he underwent serious transformation and I imagine next season we’ll see him rise like a phoenix from the ashes of his former skin.

But overall it was all too familiar, all too ‘Skins-Lite’. There was too much melodrama (ficus-off wedding). The characters just seemed to hover on the edge of oblivion. Sure, previous Skins generations did a lot of drugs. But it was interspersed with meaningful connections…and…and…JJ.

Moreover, the humour at the start of the series quickly dissipated. Usually this doesn’t occur until the second series of each generation. This doesn’t bode well.

In conclusion,  the acting was fairly ordinary, the characters were deformed clones, the stories stale and seemingly inconsequential.

Skins may be dead friends.

But hey, it’s still better than the American travesty, right?

And the Brits still have Misfits.

Until next time

Keep watching your screens

A Misanthropic Ficus


My owners have seen fit to move me over to this location

Community, Parks and Recreation and the leader-less, rudder-less ‘The Office’ have all been renewed through 2011-2012. Community continues to be the most ambitious and intelligent comedy on television. Parks has continued to grow from it’s rather mediocre debut season, though one wonders about the overall direction of the show given that arcs to date have been rather insignificant.

The Office will be without Steve Carell. It’s fairly stale and humourless with him so it’s difficult to see if it can get any worse. I’m sure you’ll all tune in to find out. I know I will.


Keep Watching Your Screens

A Buoyant Ficus


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Today, I continue my look at the problems with Glee. It isn’t, perhaps, the most ideal time to post this given the rather excellent (in season 2 terms) episode that aired this past week. Indeed, keep a look out in the coming days or week for my analysis of my new favourite romantic couple on TV: Britana (Britney + Santana)

Regardless, here is the second problem with Glee, an issue which I do not foresee being remedied any time…well until the series is eventually cancelled in 2016 due to Will’s hair being deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I’m with you Sue…

2.      Theme episodes


Rewind to season 1. They have a Madonna themed episode. Fine I say: Musical icon, symbol of women’s liberation from the yoke of patriarchy. Season 2, a Britney spears themed episode. Ficus-off I say. I literally had to fast-forward through much of this episode. 4 songs in 10 minutes: check. ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’… I screamed as I gouged my metaphorical ears out with my neglected branches, sap running down my roots. Ridiculous and illogical Britney Spears guest appearance. Check. Although it was nice to see the character ‘Britney’ gain some air time.

Then came the Rocky Horror tribute. It may have been the greatest Rocky Horror tribute ever. I haven’t seen the film so the convoluted winks and nods were all but indecipherable to me. Given the shows demographic I found it hard to believe many knew what the ficus was going on. There was one transsexual too many if you ask me.

I understand it is a musical-comedy which lends itself to musical tributes. But, as everything with Glee, the writers aren’t content with doing it once. They will squeeze that lemon until there is nothing left. Didn’t they realise it was fairly sour the first time?

Until next time

Keep watching your screens

That’s how the Ficus Sees it…

My owners have seen fit to move me over to this location

No review today.

Just though I would let you know that the book Liv was reading down by the pier was a graphic novel named ‘Black Hole’ by Charles Burns. It’s about a bunch of teenagers who do alot of psychoactive drugs, have sex and get STD’s…which causes them to become deformed…like they grow tails…and shit.

That bunch is probably still more tame than the Skins’ characters.

It’s truly disturbing. Great illustrations.

A Literary Ficus.


My owners have seen fit to move me over to this location

Quiet times here for a TV addicted Ficus. Hiatus breeds contempts. Ficus breeds baby Ficus. Whatever that means…

I thought I might as well discuss Glee. Never felt the emotion myself. Good show though. Sometimes….

Firstly, I love Glee. I don’t luv Glee like OMG! But I do love it…like omg.

I do consider myself a gleek, newly born into the land of gleekdom.

I’m a new convert to glee-stianity, a politically active member of the gleecrats.

I mean the gleeks shall inherit the earth, right? (This is my favourite pun)

See, I watched the pilot when it first aired and I liked it, but I got sidetracked and the show fell from my radar.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I spotted the first season on ebay, bought it and watched it in a week. I have now caught up to the current episode.

I love it’s heart and its humour…. But, man, when it is bad it is horrific. Like nigh unwatchable. Like literally I have fast-forwarded through a couple of episodes.

Where do the problems lie?

Here, there, everywhere really…

1. Which Glee?

First of all, I subscribe to the theory expounded over at AVClub about the ‘three Glees’. That is, the 3 Glee creators Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan all have competing visions for the show. Consequently, whoever writes an individual episode writes it in a certain way. Murphy’s the over-the-top crazy, big-budget, theme episode guy. Falchuk’s the message, smaltzy guy. Brennan writes the more sombre, melancholic, cathartic episodes. Being misanthropic I tend towards Brennan but I do like certain episodes by each of the creators. The problem is, this makes the show very erratic and unpredictable. Sure, it’s part of the charm but it’s also very frustrating to watch.  And let’s be honest. Season 2 has magnified these inconsistencies. One week the characters seem to be heading in a certain direction only to be thrust in a completely different one as a different creator takes the reins. How can there be realistic character development with 3 versions of each star randomly appearing each week? Will is a prime example of this. He has probably suffered the most from the chef’s broth fiasco. One episode he’s chicken and pea, the next he is minestrone. The next he is smoked salmon…huh? Imagine how the viewer feels! The result being a character which is devoid of any real identity. He’s each creator’s mouthpiece…and a fracking irritating one at that.

This is probably the main issue which hinders Glee from being a truly ‘great’ show. It lacks a cohesive vision and a coherent set of characters.

Tune in tomorrow for another reason why I’m a little ‘meh’ on Glee.
Keep watching your dvds
Until next time

Dair Watch: Poll

Posted: March 6, 2011 in Dan-Blair Watch
Tags: , ,

Damn you hiatus!

Damn you CW!

Anyway, I have created the first and only facebook page dedicated to honouring our favourite GG couple:

FB Group: Dair- Our Favourite Inter-borough Couple

…So I have succumbed to pop-cultural pressure and reverted to the ‘Dair’ moniker to describe our favourite inter-borough couple. Blan is dead. It really did kind of suck anyway.

Wow. What to make of tonight’s episode? It was perhaps the biggest cliffhanger known to man-kind, as the instant Dan and Blair kissed and morphed into Dair, Gossip Girl whispered xoxo and that was that.

I enjoyed the episode. I liked the fact it demonstrated how good Dan is for Blair. She is no longer the shrill, hyper-active, vindictive classist cut-throat bitch. Well, she is…but she has definitely mellowed. Moreover, it finally addressed the question of whether Dair even exists. Was it all in the Ficus’s mind? It’s a resolute NO!

Dair recognise they may indeed have feelings for each other that extend beyond a common appreciation of the arts. Sure, it’s a friendship which is built on shared interests and their mutual intellectualism. But it has grown into something on an emotional level partly inspired by their loneliness.

I guess we want know what the kiss will reveal until… April!!!! (NOOOO!)

I still have concerns that a relationship between the two can’t endure. I sure hope it does. The specter of Blair and Chuck (Buck?…Chair?) still hangs over Dair like the ‘Dark Mark’.  But Chuck and Serena are caught up in their own melodrama and I hope this continues.

Dair is the centre of Gossip Girl romance. Dair is the centre of Gossip Girl fandom.

Viva la Dair!

Until next time

XOXO Ficus