Rabu, 6 November 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Ho-Ho-Holiday viewing


Still in holiday mode, The Spudniks share what their idea of perfect holiday viewing is.  

Not only was the house full of family and friends but the whole gin gang would be glued to the TV set as well. Well, at least the kids were. 

TV was fantastic then. Even though we only had two or at best three channels to choose from, there was always something great to watch. There would always be a fantastic movie, a variety programme, maybe an awards show, great cartoons – one would have no reason to complain. 

These days, there is very little thought about how shows can benefit the viewer's festive/holiday spirit.

For Deepavali, for instance, perhaps a Hindi classic? Take Haathi Mere Sathi for example. The 1971 film starred Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja, and a bunch of elephants. It is a tearjerker if I ever knew one, and features some unforgettable tunes (like Chal Chal Chal Mere Saathi). There's heaps of great old Tamil and Hindi movies like that to choose from.

My memories are mostly of the Hindi films (must be the handsome Northerners that made an impression, ahem) – Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Khabi, Khabi, Seeta au Geeta, Chalte Chalte, Sholay, Aaradhna ... and one of my all-time favourites – Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

Now since Christmas is just around the corner, here my heads up for what might appeal to you folks.

The all-time classic is of course, James Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life. But there's a whole slew of all-time favourites to choose from really: Tim Burton's twisted The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf (Will Ferrell), Love Actually (Hugh Grant), Bridget Jones's Diary (Renee Zellweger), Home Alone (Macaulay Culkin), How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey).

There's others that aren't really Christmas-related but seem appropriate for the season nonetheless, like Gremlins, Edward Scissorhands, While You Were Sleeping and Die Hard

And for the kids? Well there's A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Muppet Family Christmas, A Christmas Carol, The Santa Clause ... I assure you there's a snow covered mountain full of great films to choose from. 

And if you know you want a classic that's not related to any particular festivity – there's a greater treasure trove to pick from – vintage favourites such as Casablanca, North By Northwest; Some Like It Hot, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Eat Drink Man Woman, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Do Re Mi and Bujang Lapok to modern day wonders like Mission: Impossible, The Bourne Trilogy, Star Trek, Iron Man and The Avengers.

And let's not forget Indiana Jones and Star Wars. If all else fails, Harrison Ford will get the job done. 

It would be great if TV stations do marathon sessions of great TV series – reruns of The X-Files throughout the month of December, for example, ditto Fringe, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly.

And I haven't even come to cartoons yet. A Disney classic marathon? To die for. From 1937's Snow White to this year's Planes, there's just a gabazillion choices. Then throw in some memorable others like An American Tail and Watership Down, a Simpsons or Futurama special .... hey, if all of that is on the list, I'd start planning my leave right now. – AMC

Burn: Tom Cruise is shown little mercy by the gang on Southpark.

Burn: Tom Cruise is shown little mercy by the gang on South Park.

CARTOONS! Exactly what I liked to watch during the holidays as a kid. The Flintstones, Tom And Jerry, the endless Looney Tunes classics, The Jetsons and Scooby-Doo were early favorites.

In my teen years, I found great entertainment in Jem And The Holograms, He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe (who knew a cartoon dude could be so … err.. macho) and Thundercats (I used to be able to play the theme song on the piano!).

And then I graduated to cartoons with slightly more adult undertones (even though they can still be enjoyed by children) like The Simpsons, Adventure Time, The Regular Show, Family Guy and SpongeBob SquarePants

Cartoons are the best stress relievers. In fact, during this year's Deepavali break, I was entertained by Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny from the popular satirical cartoon South Park (which is currently in its 17th season).

I'd forgotten how funny (and shocking) the show can be – virtually no topic is off limits – God, politicians, parents, celebrities … everything and everyone is fodder for some really crude and often merciless humour that's completely politically and socially incorrect.

From Kyle taunting Cartman about his weight ("Cartman, you're such a fat a** that when you walk down the street people go, 'Goddammit that's a big fat a**!'"), cruel jibes about poor people (Cartman: Why do poor people always smell like sour milk?") to just plain gross jokes about … err.. farts.

As unsophisticated and puerile as it sounds, seriously, what better way to unwind (no pun intended) than to listen to completely unlikeable characters spew cringe-worthy jokes about unspeakable topics like passing gas?!

These are the jokes you wish you could repeat but can't because you'd be seen as completely juvenile, gross and rude (unless you're under 10 or Russell Brand). The show has come under fire from various groups – religious, political, environmentalists, etc – because of its seeming irreverence to topics commonly regarded as sacrosanct.

Like the episode in Season Nine involving (the cartoon version of) Tom Cruise. The episode goes like this: Stan tells Cruise that Leonardo DiCaprio is a better actor than he is. Devastated, Cruise locks himself in Stan's closet and refuses to come out. Do you see the joke coming?

Yeah, Stan yells to his father that, "Tom Cruise won't come out of the closet". Geddit? Oh gosh, I can't go on. I'm laughing uncontrollably just thinking about that joke! – SI

Nothing charming about this reboot


If orange is the new black, then witch is the new vampire as the spell-casting, broomstick-riding, cat-loving ladies are suddenly TV's supernatural archetype du jour.

With American Horror Story: Coven and Witches Of East End already on the air in the United States, it's no surprise CBS wants in on the action, but its proposed reboot of the not-too-distant-past witch series Charmed is getting the evil eye from two of that show's stars, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan. 

Charmed aired on the WB network from 1998 to 2006 and starred Milano, McGowan, Holly Marie Combs and Shannen Doherty (for three seasons) as witchy sisters who work to protect humanity from various nasty magical threats, including demons.

The eight-season run was one of the WB's longest-lived TV shows and notable for being the rare network series with an all-female lead cast.  With the show's continued popularity even after its ending, it's no surprise that someone would aim to bring it back to the air. 

But a reboot means younger (cheaper) talent, with no starring place for the show's original witches. Something that hasn't sat well with the first set of Halliwell sisters.

A fortnight ago, Milano, who currently appears on the series Mistresses and the reality series Project Runway: All Stars, tweeted her frustrations to her fans, writing, "The thing about them doing a #charmed reboot is... it just... it feels like yesterday. It feels too close." 

McGowan, who recently appeared on the ABC series Once Upon A Time, also wasn't thrilled about the prospect of someone else filing her shoes, even if those shoes didn't show up on the original series until Season Four (she replaced Doherty as a Halliwell half-sister).

"They really are running out of ideas in Hollywood," she wrote. She followed it up with "lame lame lame lamertons," which sounds like some kind of spell incantation. 

The Charmed reboot in development at CBS joins another high-profile reboot in development at NBC: Murder, She Wrote, with Octavia Spencer replacing the original star, Angela Lansbury. However, Lansbury has reserved comment on the matter. – Los Angeles Times/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Ali G is coming back


Sacha Baron Cohen's popular 'gangsta' character will make its way to the US.

Recently launched Fox network FXX will bring the hugely popular gangsta interview prodigy Ali G to the United States in early 2014. British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is set to wear his baggy pants and bling jewellery once again in Ali G: Rezurection.

Like Borat and Bruno, Cohen's Ali G first appeared on British television in The Eleven O'Clock Show. The fictional West Staines Massiv gang member was given his own Ali G Show two years later on Channel 4 before switching to HBO in 2003.

The programme gave way to the movie Ali G Indahouse in 2002.

FXX will air the entire Ali G Show series, as well as previously unreleased episodes and bits that never aired on US television.

Through his characters, Cohen unveiled the scale of his acting talents. Recently seen as Thenardier in Les Miserables, he will star in comedy sequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues next year. — AFP Relaxnews

Sacha Baron Cohen will bring back beloved gangsta character in Ali G: Rezurection.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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