I loved The Young Ones. I actually thought they were an MTV creation and the existence of that show was one of the many reasons MTV was awesome. I rarely saw my people represented in film and, despite its over-the-top comedy, The Young Ones reflected my real life experience far more than most…( Read more )
by Amelia G : December 24th, 2009
Mary Queen of Shops comes from the same team which produces Gordon Ramsay’s F Word and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, both shows about how to improve commercial kitchen work. My problem with the Gordon Ramsay shows is that I can’t watch most food television without getting insanely hungry and desperately craving whatever is being prepared. Basically, I have way too low a threshold for food porn. Mary Queen of Shops has a similar format with none of the insatiable craving for sauteed scallops in some special parsley butter sauce following viewing.
Mary Portas is a branding and retail consultant for fashion enterprises. Each episode of this show, she takes a small floundering independent boutique and helps it improve the way it does business. She is a strong advocate of fabulous service and careful market segment focus. It doesn’t even matter if one always agrees with everything she says because part of the show’s appeal is that it puts one in a business frame of mind. It makes you think about what you would do in whatever situation is being presented. Mary Portas comes across as high energy and even playful, while simultaneously being aggressive and can-do. She seems like she would be both a lot of fun and a formidable adversary.
Fascinated by her powerhouse on-screen presence and my own wish for more shows with this sort of business theme, I started casually researching her background. The best bit I found was that she got a gig as Creative Director at Harvey Nichols, after being in charge of window dressing at both Harrods and Topshop previously. At Harvey Nichols, she not only brought in cool designers like Vivienne Westwood, but she arranged for extensive product placement and name shoutouts on the TV show Absolutely Fabulous . . .
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by Amelia G : July 25th, 2009
This week BBC America ran the Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth one episode a night all week building to tonight’s epic finale. Sunday, they will run the whole Torchwood Children of Earth series with all five episodes back to back, so there is still time to catch it. Purely from an entertainment perspective, I recommend watching the first four episodes and skipping the fifth. Children of Earth has Torchwood’s usual style and panache and dark-edged fun. Captain Jack Harkness, played by the pretty John Barrowman, even has a couple of nude scenes which BBC half-heartedly fuzzed out for the American audience. One can always hope they will be censor fuzz-free on the Torchwood Children of Earth DVD release. The DVD comes out next week and it is pre-ordering at a #8 ranking for all DVDs on Amazon.
Torchwood is reportedly BBC America’s biggest hit ever. As usual, Torchwood has accompanying behind-the-scenes DVD extras segments with Children of Earth. The interviews in this one with show creator (and primary writer) Russell T. Davies are interesting and insightful. The BTS here is more about how the writer and actors feel about the subject matter, and less focused on the special effects the way earlier seasons of the show were.
My favorite aspect of Torchwood has always been that it is science fiction aimed at an adult audience and makes no pretense of . . .
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