Monthly Archives: February 2013

Black Mirror…

just makes you fall in love with its characters shortly before putting you through just about as much trauma as it can, doesn’t it?

Yeah, Brooker really seems to have a handle on when to twist the knife.

Talented bastard.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bundle of bedsheets inside which to sob incessantly.

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Sleeping Around

Say you’re playing a sandbox/crime game like Grand Theft Auto or Sleeping Dogs, where your male avatar can – amongst other things – carry on a number of affairs and sexual liaisons with several women, often at the same time. Even though you are occasionally reprimanded by said ladies for carrying on with other girls even though you assured them you were definitely a one-pixel guy, the game itself doesn’t chastise you nearly as harshly – it just cooks up another round of females who aren’t wise to your adulterous nature just yet.

I guess this is made acceptable because these games are perceived as being for guys and that the criminal activities you participate in mean the characters are rarely role models for good behaviour, but I can’t help but wonder if the target audience for these games would feel just as comfortable if they were playing as a similarly amoral female character who sleeps around with a bunch of clueless dopes and doesn’t give it a second thought.

Something tells me that there’d be a fair amount of uncomfortable shifting in seats were that the case.

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An(other) Appreciation of Girls

Girls is kind of a contentious topic, especially on the global entertainment forums of the net but also occasionally among my friends, who alternately love and despise the show with a worryingly quick turnaround. And certainly there have been ostentatious moments (Hannah’s coke-fuelled, insincere rant at Marnie in Bad Friend, every scene Jessa’s in), but for every one of those there are three incredibly well-observed moments of social awkwardness or facepalm-worthy train wrecks of jokes or a completely unexpected emotional gut-punch.

Which makes it well worth wading through all the hype and bile surrounding the show and just letting yourself feel the characters’ pain and embarrassment and unintentional hurt. I kind of live for those moments in shows, because while I love being sweet-talked by laughter and raucous set-pieces in one, I know that I’ve fallen in love when a(n ostensible) comedy hurts me just as bad as its characters.

Last week’s episode One Man’s Trash did so beautifully in what was more or less a bottle episode about series creator Lena Dunham’s character Hannah, who for my money works best when stripped of all her airs and hipster affectations (as opposed to her clothes), not when she’s telling us what she’s not really feeling but when we’re seeing what she really is.

The episode takes place largely in 42 year-old Joshua’s brownstone house, wherein he and Hannah (complete strangers until that morning) develop a strange romantic companionship, an isolated couple of days that act as a sabbatical from their real lives (Joshua’s getting divorced, Hannah’s avoiding both her train wreck of a love life and highly dysfunctional friendships) and seems almost too good to be true…which, of course, it is, and though the cracks are there from the very start (both Hannah’s sudden desire to give Josh space and his subsequent dismissal of the notion are the first flashing red lights) they both clearly just want someone to pretend and play house with, if only for a night or two.

And though both realise it won’t last quickly enough, the fact that Hannah’s late to that party – waking up in Joshua’s house alone, eating breakfast on his patio and even taking out his trash (it’s perfect when you see it) – is just enough to break my heart all over again. She’ll be fine after this – well, as fine as she was before – but I can’t help but feel somewhat melancholy over the sense that baring your soul to a complete stranger might only serve to make you even lonelier in the end, with the slightest catharsis your sole comfort. And even that’s fleeting.

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Anti-Screenwriting Advice

Charlie Kaufman’s superb monologue from the beginning of Adaptation:

This always strikes home in more ways than one, unfortunately.

Well, at least I don’t have to worry about being bald.


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Sheeple on Toast

Last night my house was assaulted by a possessed toaster and a few dozen browned, sharpened slices of bread. There were many casualties, both physical and psychic. Oh, and a film crew was there too. It got messy, including (but not up to) an actor replacing a perfectly reasonable line* with the word ‘potato’, resulting in the complete and utter abandonment of professional composure. Not that we had that in the first place.

Which is about par for the course for an I Am Tim shoot. As are the many, many puns (mostly condiment-related, natch).

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but if you liked this:

Then you’re pretty much in for a treat with Episode 2.5: ‘Night of the Living Bread’.

Oh, and did I mention that 2.3 came out on Thursday? How silly of me. Here it is:

It’s essentially An American Werewolf in London by way of The League of Gentlemen, with a slight detour in Black Sheep country.

I’m sure you’ll figure out why pretty quickly.

[I realise I haven’t posted in a few days and that my output’s been pretty erratic of late. I’m trying to sort out my headspace and I hate announcing that ‘normal service’ will resume and never coming through on that front, so I’ll just say I’m doing my best…and that there WILL be a post tomorrow.]

*There are no reasonable lines in Tim.

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The best part of this Kickstarter campaign to build a Death Star…

…is the Hudsucker Proxy joke.

Which may indicate to some that we’re reaching critical mass on the whole ‘oh wouldn’t it be fun to build a gigantic orbital killing machine’ thing. The White House already nailed it. Let’s not drag this out.

Although, as one myself, I realise I’m saying this to Star Wars fans…

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Pintless and Pitiful

Here’s my review for Ghostwatchwhich is very strange indeed, mostly because it has Craig Charles being out-acted by Michael Parkinson.

Today was something of an admin day – it started with being asked boring job-related questions and ended with a slog through working out the finer points of telling a person their writing’s rubbish at the York Screenwriter’s Guild AGM. Well, that and Banjo-Kazooie.

Well, I earned it. I did! I sat in a pub for two hours and didn’t even have a pint! If that’s not hard work then I don’t know what is.

…Okay, so I really don’t know what hard work is.

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So it turns out co-writing a screenplay intercontinentally mainly involves shouting at one another over Skype for an hour and a half until you agree with one other and have somehow developed much stronger plot and characters.

Good to know!

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Kicking Invisible Heels

I’m currently watching a paranormal drama starring Michael Parkinson and Craig Charles masquerading as a live TV show from the 90s.

Yeah, Ghostwatch is kind of weird, and it’s hard to view it in the same context as its audience in 1992 did when it was first broadcast. I imagine it was designed to have a similar effect to Orson Welles’s 1930s radio performance of The War of the Worlds which did the faking-reality thing with such success that people genuinely started fretting about the reality of an alien invasion, though Ghostwatch tends to suffer somewhat from being presented in a visually and aurally, as being able to see the performances ups the chances that you’ll witness something that doesn’t exactly ring true.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m supposed to be reviewing it for Blogomatic  3000 so I better not give the game away on here. Actually, I started yammering about that because there’s not exactly a lot for me to talk about today. Or rather, there’s quite a lot that I can’t talk about.

The second draft of Scars is still doing the rounds with various readers, so that’s still in the drawer, and the other writing projects I’m currently working on are still in the earliest of stages, though  their number increases seemingly by the day, so it’s highly likely that’s where they’ll all stay.

However, I am supposed to have a big ol’ Skype chat with Seb (my Austrian collaborator) about the furthest-along of these projects tomorrow, so I might have some waffle about overseas partnerships or somesuch come then.

Until then, I leave you with the unsettling notion that Parkinson’s toupée is likely the only thing in Ghostwatch that’s genuinely haunted.

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Strange Breadfellows

So I finally got my act together and put the second part of my two-parter on rewatching up on Strange Bedfellows. It’s here if you want to have a looksee, and here’s the first part if you’ve forgotten what it was all about. (I certainly did…)

Oh, and housemate/wunderkind Tom’s started baking bread for us now. I’m a lucky gal.

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