fact: there are still good shows on TV

I never expect there to be particularly good shows on during this time of the year because (1) it’s the ratings off-season and (2) the majority of shows/movies on TV are Christmas-related and cliched.

However, to my good fortune, I happened to be watching ABC2 the other night (can’t remember if I was channel surfing or it was already on for some other show) and I happened to watch a show called “Would I lie to you?”, which, I gather, is produced by the BBC. I don’t think the show itself is new but, damn, it is funny!

If you haven’t seen it before, you could probably just Youtube it and find out what it’s all about, but if you can’t be bothered (do it anyway!!), then I suppose I can just explain it. Basically, it’s a game show where people tell random anecdotes, etc and people in the opposing team have to figure out if it’s actually true or a lie. It’s a good show to watch if you’re after some good laughs.

As it happened, I liked “Would I lie to you?” so much that I kept the TV on ABC2. The next show, if I remember correctly, was “Life’s too short”, which might sound like a serious sort of show but is actually a funny documentary-type show about the life of Warwick Davis, who supposedly played something (Ewok?) in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”. Some parts are very wrong (as in politically incorrect) but overall I found it quite funny.

And, finally, since ’tis the season, I’m going to share a Christmas show that I actually really liked. Well, it’s one of ABC’s “Xmas Quickies” and, as the name suggests, it’s only a short clip (less than seven minutes) but it’s probably the best Christmas documentary I’ve ever seen (to be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen that many, but that doesn’t matter).

It was created by the Van Vuuren Brothers and explores the existence of Santa. I could try to explain it more, but it’d just be easier (and funnier) if you just watched it. Merry Christmas.

a story punctuated by music

The Cory Monteith / Finn Hudson tribute episode of “Glee” (season 5, episode 3, “The Quarterback”) was aired recently (a week or two ago?), so I’ve gone back and re-watched a few old episodes as well since then. Well, not really whole episodes – I mostly just re-watched performances and stuff – but that’s not the point.

Also not the point but I thought the tribute episode was done so well. All the emotion… and still moments of humour (particularly classic Sue Sylvester humour). The music, the memories, the original cast returning…

Anyway, in the midst of my reminiscing, I came across the song “Barely breathing”, which is performed by Finn and Blaine in season 4, episode 4 (for those of you playing along at home), which I regard as “the break up episode” (not sure if it’s actually called “break ups” or something but everyone breaks up in that episode – sorry to spoil it if you’ve yet to watch it).

I really liked the song, so, out of curiosity, I went in search of the original version by the original artist. Turns out it was originally by Duncan Sheik, who released the song back in 1996. I was actually surprised to find out it’s a ’90s song because I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard it before. I really do like the song, though – both the original and the “Glee” version. And this is another reason why I like ‘Glee’: it introduces me to new songs and new interpretations of songs.

Speaking of new songs, and going back to the Finn tribute episode, I also really liked “Seasons of love” that the cast performed at the start of the episode. Makes me want to watch “Rent” (which is where the song is from).

And speaking of new interpretations, the other night, I happened to be watching “The X Factor”, and one of the male contestants sang Cindi Lauper’s “Girls just wanna have fun”. To be fair, he did do a great job with it, but the praise that he (and his coach) got for being so original hardly seemed justified. I’m not trying to have a go at anyone here – I’m just saying that Cory AKA Finn already performed that on “Glee”.

On yet another side note, that “break up episode” is probably one of my favourites in terms of music. And it’s not because they sing songs I love, but because of the performances, the context, the meaning, etc. Other than “Barely breathing”, I also particularly like the performances of “Don’t speak” and “The scientist”.

Just going off on another tangent (because this is my blog and I’ll write what I want) but I really like the MV for “The scientist” (Coldplay). I remember watching it as a kid and thinking how cool it was. I also vaguely remember seeing an interview that Chris Martin did in which he explained that he had to learn to sing the song backwards so that when the video was played backwards, the song would the be right way around.

Ok, that’s probably enough rambling for one post. Sometimes it just feels like I need to write about certain things/events to sort of put my mind at ease.

knock knock

I’ve recently (ok, maybe not that recently but, like, since this year or maybe late last year), really gotten into a cartoon called ‘Detentionaire’. I remember seeing the ads on TV when ABC3 first started showing it, and thinking that it was such a strange idea. It’s one of those storylines that have to end sooner or later.

For those of you who have never seen or even heard of the show, it’s basically about this guy who got framed for the biggest high school prank ever, and then he got put in detention for a year (for something he didn’t do). So, right from the start, you kind of know that one day he’s going to figure out who framed him – it’s just a matter of time, right?

I can’t really watch TV regularly these days because of work and stuff, so I never really followed it properly. However, I did watch a few episodes here and there, mostly on week-end mornings, and I thought it was actually alright – the characters, the animation, the plot development. It’s actually kind of original (based on my scope of cartoons). So then I started watching it online, since trying to watch it on TV meant that I never knew exactly where the story was up to.

Supposedly (i.e. I read somewhere) there’s supposed to be something like 53 episodes altogether, but I’m only up to episode twenty-something, which means many more hours of viewing pleasure before the truth comes out (assuming there is going to be a resolution at the end of all this).

I know some people like to download all episodes of a show and then watch it all marathon-style over a few days (or less, depending on the level of dedication), but I can’t really do that. I’m more like one of those people who prefer to watch just one episode (or two) at a time, so you have time to mull over everything before watching the next one. It’s the same with books and movies and stuff like that.

Anyway, I’d recommend ‘Detentionaire’ if you’re looking for an action-ish/drama-ish cartoon. It’s got some funny moments, too. I think ‘Detentionaire’ is actually Canadian (the main character, Lee Ping is supposed to be Korean-Canadian or something), which reaffirms my belief that Canadians are really good at producing cartoons (cartoons like ‘Stoked’ and ‘Total Drama’ are also Canadian). Kudos to you, Canadian cartoon producers!

so this is it

Well, I suppose I should probably do some sort of end-of-year wrap-up of sorts, seeing as there are only two more days left in the year. The main problem is where to begin. I was thinking I could just recap my favourite things from this year… so let’s just go with that for now.

Book: ‘The Name of the Wind’ – Patrick Rothfuss
Considering that I didn’t read that many books in 2012, there wasn’t much competition for this title. Regardless, this book was definitely a quality read. (NB: I might have chosen APF22 as my “best book of 2012” since it is so much better than the last edition, but I only counted fiction books that I read from start to end.)

Song: ‘We are Young’ – Fun. ft Janelle Monae
This was actually really hard to pick but I think with everything considered, this song deserves the spot. Very close runner ups include (but are not limited to) ‘Some Nights’ (Fun.), ‘Titanium’ (David Guetta ft Sia), ‘Lego House’ (Ed Sheeran), ‘Count on me’ (Bruno Mars) and ‘Call me maybe’ (Carly Rae Jepsen)

TV show: ‘YooHoo & Friends’ – ABC3
It’s a totally random concept, but I think it works. And I guess I should give an honourable mention to ‘Breaking Bad’ which I only started watching this year, but has turned out to be quite a good show.

Ok, can’t be bothered thinking of more things/categories. Was thinking about naming a favourite movie for 2012, but can’t really remember all the movies I’ve seen this year… ‘Looper’ was pretty good, though. And I quite liked ‘Ruby Sparks’ and ‘The perks of being a wallflower’.

In terms of highlights for this year, I definitely have to include passing my intern exams and becoming a registered pharmacist. But, surprisingly, despite it sometimes feeling a bit neglected, I don’t think my social life has suffered that much. So, I guess, all round, it’s been a pretty good year. Still, we’ll have to make 2013 even better.

o joyous day

Today is a very happy day for me because the oral exam results were delivered! (Yes, they were actually posted out by mail. It still baffles me why they couldn’t put the results online or email us, since that’s what they did for the written exam results – speaking of which, it also still baffles me why it took them two weeks to mark the written exam when it was an online, multiple-choice exam. And then it took three weeks for them to give us our oral exam marks when the examiners would practically know then and there if we passed or not. But I shouldn’t complain – not that I am complaining… just making statements about stuff that baffles me.)

Anyway, bafflement aside, you can probably tell from my joy that I did indeed pass my exam. I think I had to read the letter, like, five times to make sure it was saying what I thought (and hoped) it was saying. Seriously, I have not been this stressed out about possibly not passing an exam since first year uni when I didn’t study properly for the PHRM1010 exam and had to guess a lot of the questions.

I was waiting around all morning for the postie to come (waiting in the house, of course – I didn’t want to lurk around the letterbox like some crazy person). From experience from the last two days (because I’ve been at home), I know the postie delivers mail to the houses across the street before circling around and back to my street, so when I saw him across the road today, my heart actually started racing like it was frickin’ life or death (ok, yeah, being a bit melodramatic here).

But I didn’t run down to the letterbox (I’m not crazy). I waited until the sound of the postie’s bike continued down the street, and then I walked to the letterbox to claim my mail.

So now I can actually enjoy Melbourne (yeah, I’m going for another quick visit) with the knowledge that I don’t have to resit the oral exam. And since I probably won’t post as much while I’m on holiday, I would like to recommend that everyone watch ‘YooHoo and Friends’ in the absence of blog posts. It is such an awesomely funny cartoon, but I hardly ever manage to catch it on TV, so I’ve resorted to watching it online.

a shot in the dark

Sigh… The first day of my annual leave and I’m already so restless… And it’s technically not even part of my two weeks’ annual leave because it’s Sunday and I never work on Sundays anyway.

Well, hopefully tomorrow will be more … productive (?). But holidays aren’t meant to be productive… “Eventful”, then.

Anyway, really just wanted to mention this song: ‘She Wolf’ – David Guetta ft Sia. I just really, really like this song at the moment. Just everything about the song is awesome. I reckon I could listen to this a hundred times and not be sick of it (I’m probably already well on my way to hearing it 100 times).

Also started watching ‘Breaking Bad’ on recommendation by my sister on recommendation by her friends or someone. The concept kind of reminds me of .. ‘Weeds’ (is that what it’s called?) – a show about seemingly normal people who actually deal with illicit drugs. First episode was a bit.. hmm.. but I’ve watched a couple more episodes, and I have to admit that it’s actually pretty good. But it’ll be interesting to see where the story goes from here, seeing as the guy is supposed to have terminal cancer…