What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:32 pm

JimBentley wrote:My minor gripes above aside, I thought the reboot was about as good as could be expected.
Me too really. Obviously as the spoilers are out of the bag now, Razer's elimination did annoy me about the first round. I do think the format is objectively weak but not enough to affect my enjoyment, and I have no problem with Dara O'Briain. Behemoth always used to be pronounced "Bayer moth" though.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Conor » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:29 pm

Also thought it was generally very watchable. The format is of course poor, though I can see the thought process leading there: if in each heat there are good robots and some shit robots and the good ones beat the shit ones in the early elimination round, then we should get lots of high quality entertaining fights in the round robin. In practice though, you'll get some surprises early on and lots of one-sided fights thereafter with the eventual finalists becoming obvious quickly. All a bit like the 2007 Cricket World Cup, which was a bit crap. I also liked how the standard of the robots doesn't seem to have changed much. I want robots kicking the shit out of each other, not amazing technology 'cos you can see that shit anywhere.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Ben Wilson » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:30 pm

JimBentley wrote:Series 1 was shit because everyone was effectively designing in a vacuum
Psychosprout vs Hypnodisc is probably my #1 dream robot battle. :D

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:22 am

Jennifer Steadman wrote:RuPaul's Drag Race (so many fashion choices I aspire to)
Can't wait to see you lip sync for your life at the next co-event.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:50 pm

A bit of a weak heat in Robot Wars again last night. I don't think we've seen the winner yet.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:41 pm

I've been reading some stuff about how Storm 2 was apparently robbed in the seventh series, with the judges awarding it to Typhoon 2. I remember at the time thinking Storm 2 should have won, but I didn't know about any of the other stuff. Here is a video of it and you can read some stuff here and here. Be careful about that second link because Wikia pages are often pretty unusable. It's a shit site.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by James S Roper » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:14 pm

Interestingly, the most most blatant sounding pieces of evidence still require citation, so I'd question those two articles. If the active weapons rule were still in place then Thor would have been disqualified in last night's programme as the axe didn't activate in one of the fights.

Got to agree though that Shockwave surely can't become the series champion, doesn't seem strong enough of a build or destructive enough :D

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Zarte Siempre » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:54 am

We thought episode 2 was a step in the right direction here, though admit that the standard wasn't amazing in terms of the actual robots. But Dara seemed a bit less stilted, and Angela was... trying.

I liked Mr Speed Squared's concept and am hoping they work out how to fix what went wrong for another go.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Mark James » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:42 pm

Watched most of the new season of Bojack Horseman. It's pretty cool. Not as funny as other comedies but still funny enough and really well written. Also I'm considering re-watching Narcos. It's amazing.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:27 pm

Mark James wrote:Watched most of the new season of Bojack Horseman. It's pretty cool. Not as funny as other comedies but still funny enough and really well written.
I watched one episode of that last year (I think it was the first one) when I was round a friend's house. I quite enjoyed it, but we both agreed that the main character (the reverse centaur or whatever he is) was a fairly generic character that you get in this proliferation of cartoons aimed at adults over the last 20 years or so, and that the show was a reflection of that. Maybe if I watched more episodes I'd get into it, but my first impression was that it was rather formulaic.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:45 pm

I've finally got round to watching the rest of the Robot Wars series. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by the quality of the robots. I mean, there were some fairly decent robots, but none of them really stood out and it seemed that one of about a dozen could have won depending on which robot decided to break down or not. So it all seemed a bit random.

That said, the two that made the final were arguably the best two because of the power of the flipper and the spinning disc. But if they were, then it was largely a fluke. They were still both very unreliable robots and neither functioned properly in the final, so it was decided by which one was more functional. The grand final winner (Apollo) I believe lost two fights and the runner up (Carbide) lost three over the series. TR2 only lost one and I think was the only robot that was unbeaten in its heat. Carbide was probably the best overall robot ignoring reliability though.

I watched the first Battlebots of the series on Spike on Sunday (available on 5 on Demand). They seemed to fit far less into an hour, but some of the robots - in particular Icewave - looked quite good. I don't know if the construction rules are the same as for UK Robot Wars though. The UK Razer team were in it with some spinning disc robot. It was a bit shit though and lost.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:38 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:I've finally got round to watching the rest of the Robot Wars series. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by the quality of the robots. I mean, there were some fairly decent robots, but none of them really stood out and it seemed that one of about a dozen could have won depending on which robot decided to break down or not. So it all seemed a bit random.

That said, the two that made the final were arguably the best two because of the power of the flipper and the spinning disc. But if they were, then it was largely a fluke. They were still both very unreliable robots and neither functioned properly in the final, so it was decided by which one was more functional. The grand final winner (Apollo) I believe lost two fights and the runner up (Carbide) lost three over the series. TR2 only lost one and I think was the only robot that was unbeaten in its heat. Carbide was probably the best overall robot ignoring reliability though.

I watched the first Battlebots of the series on Spike on Sunday (available on 5 on Demand). They seemed to fit far less into an hour, but some of the robots - in particular Icewave - looked quite good. I don't know if the construction rules are the same as for UK Robot Wars though. The UK Razer team were in it with some spinning disc robot. It was a bit shit though and lost.
It's a strange one. I've been following this since 1995 (it was Jamie Hyneman's Blendo that got me hooked) and the amount of changes (in both the UK and US versions) have been, to say the least, bewildering. When both Robot Wars in the UK and Battlebots in the US were running concurrently, the UK builders concentrated mainly on flippers/lifters rather than spinners (or other kinetic energy weapons), whereas the US builders went the other way (it was only really with Toro that the Americans seemed to get the hang of doing a flipper properly). Meantime, the American builders were coming up with some astonishing kinetic spinners, far more powerful than anything seen in this or any other series of the UK Robot Wars.

The new BBC2 series, I thought seemed mainly like a blend of the two; high-powered flippers (pretty much all of which were based on the Dutch entry Gravity from one of the latter UK series) and attempts at a decent kinetic spinner (of which Carbide was the only one that I could envisage holding its own in Battlebots), plus a few other, less effective designs. I was impressed with Thor, though, as it was so dramatically improved from its previous incarnations and Razer is always good fun even though they always either break down or end up in the pit.

Warhead was the Razer team's entry in Battlebots and it was a monster in the early Battlebots series (it absolutely took Nightmare - one of the favourites for the series - apart in about thirty seconds). But it was ultimately overwhelmed by bigger, better spinners (the shufflebots (fake walkers, so allowed 50% more weight) in particular, which I believe are now banned) that took advantage of Warhead's relatively high ground clearance. I thought it was a shame because it was undoubtedly the coolest looking robot there. Or ever.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:50 am

Where are the drones?
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:07 am

Marc Meakin wrote:Where are the drones?
They only allow them in the US version (Battlebots) but for various reasons they just form parts of a cluster-bot. They have to be quite light, so there's not a lot they can do in terms of damage, anyway.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:29 pm

Conor wrote:Also, persist with Arrested Development season 4, it requires a bigger investment than the previous ones but it's well worth it.
Finally got round to watching this the whole way through! Found the film/Ron Howard/sweat lodge/wall stuff boring and confusing at points, so the first 6 episodes were a bit of a slog (the second episode was particularly tedious). But it got a lot more enjoyable from the Gob episode onwards - the jokes came a lot more naturally and were just funnier imo, plus it was satisfying to see how it all fitted together, if frustrating that nothing was really solved. I'm hoping they revert back to the old format so there's a consistent level of Gob, Lucille and Maeby throughout.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Edward McCullagh » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:28 pm

Gomorrah. A crime drama about the Mafia in Naples. So utterly brutal and bleak and depressing, but you can't take your eyes off it.

Game Of Thrones. I binge-watched it from first series to last over two months. It's worth the hype.

Broad City - simply laugh-out-loud hilarious. The chemistry between the two main characters makes it.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:43 pm

JimBentley wrote:Warhead was the Razer team's entry in Battlebots and it was a monster in the early Battlebots series (it absolutely took Nightmare - one of the favourites for the series - apart in about thirty seconds). But it was ultimately overwhelmed by bigger, better spinners (the shufflebots (fake walkers, so allowed 50% more weight) in particular, which I believe are now banned) that took advantage of Warhead's relatively high ground clearance. I thought it was a shame because it was undoubtedly the coolest looking robot there. Or ever.
Before Warhead's battle, they were saying it was one of the most famous robots, but according to this, it doesn't seem to have much history.
Warhead only competed in Season 5.0, despite original attempts to get it ready for both Seasons 3.0 and 4.0.
I watched today's episode as well, and the champion Lockjaw didn't look that impressive. I can't really see that it's going to have anything if it comes across a good spinner like Icewave or Tombstone. Or was there a decade gap in Battlebots as well as Robot Wars, meaning that "champion" just means "used to be good over a decade ago"? Well, it looked impressively engineered, but I can't see it winning actual fights against some of the others.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Before Warhead's battle, they were saying it was one of the most famous robots, but according to this, it doesn't seem to have much history.
Maybe you had to be there at the time, but I remember Warhead's first appearance in Battlebots as being a Big Thing (I think because of the impression (pun intended) Razer made in the original August 1999 event). They were a very respected team in America, so anything they entered was always going to be anticipated with relish. And Warhead was just so unbelievably cool-looking and could do all sorts of things with its wings and tail and at the time, that spinning dome (that could adjust to various angles) was one of the most destructive kinetic energy weapons at the time. I know I always enjoyed watching it in action, anyway.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:46 pm

Incidentally, did I ever tell the whole story of my attempt to make a robot? I can't remember where I posted the details (I'm definitely losing some of my memories) and it might have been here and I wouldn't like to repeat myself. But if it wasn't here, then I probably should, because it's quite funny.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:59 pm

I'd like to hear that story.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:48 pm

Me too.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:01 pm

Long version or short version? If it's long version, it's going to take me a while to find all the bits and pieces to put it together (because I can't remember where the pictures went; no video unfortunately, I didn't have a device capable of recording at the time). Short version - which in itself will be quite long - I could do right now, but it would lack the verisimilitude. What to do, eh?

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:07 pm

Do you really need to ask?

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:50 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Do you really need to ask?
Yes. Yes, I do.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:45 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Do you really need to ask?
Yes. Yes, I do.
And do we really need to answer?

OK, to stop this becoming long and drawn out - the long version. It has to be the long version.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Johnny Canuck » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:20 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:OK, to stop this becoming long and drawn out - the long version. It has to be the long version.
Bit of a contradiction IMO.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:41 am

Johnny Canuck wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:OK, to stop this becoming long and drawn out - the long version. It has to be the long version.
Bit of a contradiction IMO.
Yeah, as Johnny points out, those two things don't really correlate, so in the interests of getting it over with (I'm still quite embarrassed about it) I'll do the short version, which as I mentioned earlier, is itself quite long.

Ultimately this goes back to 1998, when I moved into my house. It wasn't meant to be sold as furnished, but the previous owners left a fuckton of stuff, probably because they couldn't be arsed moving it out. Anyway, one item left was a washing machine that still worked - after a fashion - and I used it for a good few years, until something went wrong and I had to buy a new one (which is still going strong, 12 years on). I couldn't figure out what the problem was with the original one, even after dismantling it - probably a loose lead or something equally stupid - but anyway, the upshot was that the motor still worked. It was a Bosch 750W (that's about one horse power in old money) and I somehow worked out that if I could hook it up to a power source, I could make things spin really fast.

At the time, my garden looked like this:

Image

Which wasn't really a good look (although the abandoned satellite dish, I thought, added a dash of glamour). Something had to be done. So I thought: why not try using the motor to power some sort of spinny thing that would fucking destroy that mass of grass and weeds?

Anyway, I erm...found a car battery from somewhere and found it surprisingly easy to hook it up to the motor to get it spinning. And spinning fast. So then the next logical point was how much mass I could attach to the pinion (or whatever the central spinning thing of the motor is called) without slowing it down too much. It turned out that about ten kilos of random metal shit stuck onto the end of the rotor didn't really slow it too much - I'm sure that I could have done better by attaching something actually designed for cutting, but I was all gung-ho in those days and just wanted to get something moving - so that was what I went with.

Bearing in mind that I had no remote control over it, I just put it down in the middle of all the weeds, connected up the terminals and ran away really quickly. Now, it certainly worked - in that it took out a lot of the weeds and grass and rubbish - but it turned out to work a bit too well. After a few seconds it looked like it was going to take off (luckily it didn't) but it did do some funny jumps all over the place, gouging out big dirt clods and eventually it took down large parts of the garden fences (all three sides) before burying its spinny bits so far into the ground that it stopped moving (although it was still trying to). I assume the effort of this eventually drained the battery, as it was effectively dead the next day (I didn't dare go near it after it had done its immediate "business").

I suppose it could have been worse - the whole contraption could have caught on fire as well as rampaging across multiple gardens - but to be honest, it wasn't great. I had to replace the fences and the garden still looked like a complete wildernoid mess and now had big clods taken out of it at randomly-placed intervals, to go with it.

Needless to say, I didn't try it again.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:48 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Johnny Canuck wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:OK, to stop this becoming long and drawn out - the long version. It has to be the long version.
Bit of a contradiction IMO.
Yeah, as Johnny points out, those two things don't really correlate, so in the interests of getting it over with (I'm still quite embarrassed about it) I'll do the short version, which as I mentioned earlier, is itself quite long.
I think you got me on a technicality there.

Anyway, I'm not quoting the whole thing (it's too short), but I don't think it's anything to be embarrassed by. I think it's really awesome. I mean, it's completely insane, but awesome nonetheless. I'm not entirely sure what you hoped would happen - it's not as if it was going to spontaneously and methodically go around the exact boundaries of your garden, cutting the grass and weeds nicely as it went. It was either going to stay largely in the same place or move around completely unpredictably. But I'm glad you did it. Maybe a flipper would have been a better weapon though?

When you first posted about it, I actually thought you meant you'd made an attempt to get an entry into Robot Wars.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:43 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:...I don't think it's anything to be embarrassed by. I think it's really awesome.
Aw, you are kind. And I suppose it was quite funny at the time (if slightly terrifying). But I don't think I'm going to try it again.
Gavin Chipper wrote:I'm not entirely sure what you hoped would happen
To be honest, the unpredictability was part of the fun. It having no drivetrain essentially meant (or so I thought at the time) that it would randomly hop around scything down the vegetation. The problem was that I thought it would sort of bounce off the fences rather than shatter bits of them around. Come to think of it, god only knows what would have happened if it had actually got through the back fence onto the railway line.
Gavin Chipper wrote:When you first posted about it, I actually thought you meant you'd made an attempt to get an entry into Robot Wars.
Heh, I don't think there's much chance of that happening. I'm just not good enough at the engineering stuff, never mind the electronics.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Matt Morrison » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:57 pm

Jim that story is fucking brilliant. I knew it was going to be fucking brilliant from
Jim wrote:So I thought: why not try using the motor to power some sort of spinny thing that would fucking destroy that mass of grass and weeds?
onwards.

Like Gevin I think the whole thing is majestic, and to be proud of. Even though in imagining it in my head I managed to picture you as a bit of a big girl's blouse with lots of high-kneed running around, some of it in circles, and most of it with arms flapping around above your head.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:34 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:Warhead was the Razer team's entry in Battlebots and it was a monster in the early Battlebots series (it absolutely took Nightmare - one of the favourites for the series - apart in about thirty seconds). But it was ultimately overwhelmed by bigger, better spinners (the shufflebots (fake walkers, so allowed 50% more weight) in particular, which I believe are now banned) that took advantage of Warhead's relatively high ground clearance. I thought it was a shame because it was undoubtedly the coolest looking robot there. Or ever.
Before Warhead's battle, they were saying it was one of the most famous robots, but according to this, it doesn't seem to have much history.
Warhead only competed in Season 5.0, despite original attempts to get it ready for both Seasons 3.0 and 4.0.
I watched today's episode as well, and the champion Lockjaw didn't look that impressive. I can't really see that it's going to have anything if it comes across a good spinner like Icewave or Tombstone. Or was there a decade gap in Battlebots as well as Robot Wars, meaning that "champion" just means "used to be good over a decade ago"? Well, it looked impressively engineered, but I can't see it winning actual fights against some of the others.
I had a dream last night where Icewave and Tombstone faced each other and basically destroyed each other. I suppose we'll find out what happens soon! (No spoilers if you've already seen it on some dodgy US feed).

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:09 pm

Battlebots was interesting today.
Gavin Chipper wrote:I had a dream last night where Icewave and Tombstone faced each other and basically destroyed each other. I suppose we'll find out what happens soon! (No spoilers if you've already seen it on some dodgy US feed).
It seems that the organisers were thinking the same as me, because they've got Tombstone as the number 1 seed and Icewave as number 2.
JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Before Warhead's battle, they were saying it was one of the most famous robots, but according to this, it doesn't seem to have much history.
Maybe you had to be there at the time, but I remember Warhead's first appearance in Battlebots as being a Big Thing (I think because of the impression (pun intended) Razer made in the original August 1999 event). They were a very respected team in America, so anything they entered was always going to be anticipated with relish. And Warhead was just so unbelievably cool-looking and could do all sorts of things with its wings and tail and at the time, that spinning dome (that could adjust to various angles) was one of the most destructive kinetic energy weapons at the time. I know I always enjoyed watching it in action, anyway.
Warhead made it in as one of the wildcards being one of the "best losers". I'm not sure how it was all decided though. And the seedings weren't all the winners followed by all the wildcards, which is interesting.

But having watched Warhead again today, while it looks nice, I prefer Razer. And also, looking nice is only one thing - it has to be functional. I'm not saying it has to be the best for me to like it, but Warhead falls quite far short. It keeps floating off the ground at the front making its spinning disc less effective. The spinning disc, despite being adjustable, always looks like it's at an inefficient angle. I just don't think it's a well-designed robot.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:25 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:Battlebots was interesting today.
I've not watched much of the new series, but plan on doing so later so no spoilers please (as if you would, of course).
JimBentley wrote:...stuff about Warhead..
Gavin Chipper wrote:Warhead made it in as one of the wildcards being one of the "best losers"...But having watched Warhead again today, while it looks nice, I prefer Razer. And also, looking nice is only one thing - it has to be functional. I'm not saying it has to be the best for me to like it, but Warhead falls quite far short. It keeps floating off the ground at the front making its spinning disc less effective. The spinning disc, despite being adjustable, always looks like it's at an inefficient angle. I just don't think it's a well-designed robot.
I'm assuming you're referring to the Warhead fighting now, rather than its original appearance? If so, or if they haven't changed it in the twelve or so years that it's been around, ignore me. But even so, I would hardly say that it wasn't well-designed, especially considering when it was made. OK, there was always the potential for other robots to get under it and DO STUFF. And I suppose it does have a tendency to accidentally hit the ground with its drum and send itself arse over tit. But hey, it's an old man now and it would be absurd to suggest that it could still hold its own, unchanged, over ten years later.

I do agree that Razer is - and always was - the better of the two robots but that's because it was not only a fantastically original design, but also because - when it wasn't breaking down for one reason or another, it was brutally effective, and as crushing robots go, still hasn't been bettered, if you ask me. And that's for a robot that - beyond minor modifications - has been unchanged for over fifteen years.

I suppose it's all down to the differences between the UK and US formats. Warhead was designed for Battlebots - because even at the time, you were unlikely to win with anything but a kinetic energy spinner - whilst Razer was perfect for Robot Wars, where the spinners were at best weak and could easily be brushed aside.

Although in a weird turnaround, the UK reboot seems to consist of a bit of both; spinners in the UK have made moves on catching up with those of the US, whilst the US reboot has caught up with the UK's realisation that CO2-powered flippers can be pretty effective too (OK, the US had the superb Toro back in 2003 or 4, but that was pretty much of a one-off, and if I remember rightly, it was a super-heavyweight anyway, so wouldn't have been eligible for the UK version anyway).

There was a period from around 2005-2012 (probably longer, I'm guessing here) when there weren't any TV rights being sold either side of the Atlantic, but that's probably when things got interesting. After the appearance in (televised) Battlebots of Whyachi/Son of Whyachi, I didn't really think that a more destructive type of robot could be made. But then I saw Sewer Snake and its imitators and realised that I was completely wrong.

Sorry that was so long, I was just sort of typing without thinking, but I can't be arsed to go back and correct any mistakes. I'm tired.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:05 pm

Just watched the last episode of Mr Robot season two.
Probably the only series I've seen that makes me want to watch it again from the beginning.....roll on season three.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:32 pm

Watched Stranger Things recently. Enjoyed it (and the soundtrack), but not as much as I enjoyed seeing yesterday's pictures of Steve from the show and Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Rec hanging out like long-lost family members :'D
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:45 pm

I thought "National Treasure" on Tuesday was really, really good. They don't seem to be taking the angle that I assumed they would - i.e. reputations ruined by false allegations, bandwagon-jumping and all that, although that's one aspect of the story - but are rather taking a more nuanced approach. It's going to be fascinating to see where it goes next, if only to find out how far the scriptwriters were prepared to go (Savile was mentioned early on, but I've a feeling they're going to go beyond the standard Savile/Denning/Glitter/King/ etc. axis).

Brilliant casting and acting too. Channel 4 are coming up with some great stuff lately, let's hope it continues.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:34 pm

JimBentley wrote:I thought "National Treasure" on Tuesday was really, really good. They don't seem to be taking the angle that I assumed they would - i.e. reputations ruined by false allegations, bandwagon-jumping and all that, although that's one aspect of the story - but are rather taking a more nuanced approach. It's going to be fascinating to see where it goes next, if only to find out how far the scriptwriters were prepared to go (Savile was mentioned early on, but I've a feeling they're going to go beyond the standard Savile/Denning/Glitter/King/ etc. axis).

Brilliant casting and acting too. Channel 4 are coming up with some great stuff lately, let's hope it continues.
I am hoping they will leave the viewer to decide if he did it or not at the end rather like SPOILER ALERT the excellent The Night Of series on Sky Atlantic
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:54 pm

Did anyone else see Louis Theroux's follow-up documentary about Jimmy Savile last night (it's on iPlayer if not)? I thought it was fascinating, if at times unsettling viewing. I remember the original doc (from about 2001 I think?) and thought that Louis got some very interesting stuff at the time; he obviously suspected that Savile was a bad 'un and came very close to the truth, although never really getting anything concrete. He obviously found Savile a fascinating character as they stayed in touch for years afterwards, but seemed - in last night's follow-up - to be overly blaming himself for not spotting what now seems obvious (on reviewing clips from the original documentary). I thought he was being very hard on himself; Savile was a very slippery character, not to mention notoriously litigious. An interesting fact that emerged was that in the original documentary, Louis got one definite thing out of Savile - an admission (more of a boast) - of having sex with a 15-year old girl, which he reported to the BBC producers, but it was suppressed and no action was taken.

The weird thing is, well before the original film, I always thought that it was quite well-known that Savile was not only a prolific child molester, rapist and necrophiliac. When I was a student in Dundee in the early 1990s, Jerry Sadowitz had a show on BBC Scotland (as far as I know, it didn't run in England) and he regularly made jokes about Savile's necrophiliac tendencies. I remember one particular rant where he basically described not only Savile's unusual "tastes", but also how he was able to get away with it by threatening any would-be whistleblowers through various means: actual physical threats, litigation at any hint of impropriety, threatening to stop his charity work and his trump card, saying that if anyone reported him, he would simply name other far more high-profile names who shared his peculiar tastes. And of course, it turned out that Sadowitz was spot-on with everything he said, which is probably why he was never sued. However, this was Jerry Sadowitz and his jokes were dismissed as his usual brand of shock humour, so never taken seriously (there's a parallel here with similar allegations John Lydon regularly made in the late 1970s; he was Johnny Rotten and just trying to shock, or so people thought (or appeared to think). But even at the time, my mates and I were all of the opinion that Savile was a horrific creep and certainly guilty of everything Sadowitz and Lydon said.

Another story I remember from around that time was one my dad told; in the early 1970s he worked as a doctor at Leeds Royal Infirmary and said that Savile would regularly turn up as a volunteer porter (basically wheeling patients around on trolleys, including - and especially - corpses to the mortuary). He (my dad) said that it was pretty well-known that Savile wasn't doing this for purely altruistic and charitable reasons, but nobody could ever actually get conclusive proof of his wrongdoings, or catch him "in the act", as it were. But all the young nurses working there at the time were warned never to allow themselves to get into a situation where they were alone with him.

A lot has been made of his "hiding in plain sight" but I never bought into this angle. He obviously had dirt on some very important people and made it plain that he would bring them down with him, if anyone actually made serious allegations. It's well-documented that he was a regular visitor to Chequers when Thatcher was in power; also that - during the 1980s - she repeatedly tried to get him a knighthood but was warned off by senior Civil Servants, before somehow managing it in her last year of office. In the same year, he was made a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great (KCSG) by Pope John Paul II.

It's an awful story from start to finish, really. There's an obvious parallel with Max Clifford, another one with dirt on famous people, but it didn't save him from prosecution. Savile must have had some seriously explosive stuff, but I guess we'll never find out now, what with him being dead and all that.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:22 pm

JimBentley wrote:I remember one particular rant where he basically described not only Savile's unusual "tastes", but also how he was able to get away with it by threatening any would-be whistleblowers through various means: actual physical threats, litigation at any hint of impropriety, threatening to stop his charity work and his trump card, saying that if anyone reported him, he would simply name other far more high-profile names who shared his peculiar tastes.
I don't see how this trump card would protect him. If I'd had some evidence of his wrongdoings, and was going to report them and he said "If you do that, I'll report some other people too", I'd say "Good!"

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:26 pm

I watched it and thought it was brilliant. Thinking about it now the original must've been one of my first Louis Therouxs because of how young I was.

Definitely with you on the "hiding in plain sight" not being particularly convincing. Also amazing how his PA has utterly failed in her reevaluation of him as a person now that she has read what he was really like.

The only bit of the documentary that I didn't really like was when they had the candid footage of him saying he tied troublemakers up and kept them in a basement somewhere, and acted as if that was an insight into his evil side. I just don't buy that it's on the same scale of evil as rape, child abuse, molestation etc. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion that it was the real Jimmy speaking then.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:31 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I remember one particular rant where he basically described not only Savile's unusual "tastes", but also how he was able to get away with it by threatening any would-be whistleblowers through various means: actual physical threats, litigation at any hint of impropriety, threatening to stop his charity work and his trump card, saying that if anyone reported him, he would simply name other far more high-profile names who shared his peculiar tastes.
I don't see how this trump card would protect him. If I'd had some evidence of his wrongdoings, and was going to report them and he said "If you do that, I'll report some other people too", I'd say "Good!"
I think you're missing the point. If you had evidence of his wrongdoings (and could prove it), you would go to the police and report it, as you say. Then the police (might) begin an investigation which would be definitely closed down once Savile got wind of it. Don't forget he was very well-connected to people in high places.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Mark Deeks » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:53 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:The only bit of the documentary that I didn't really like was when they had the candid footage of him saying he tied troublemakers up and kept them in a basement somewhere, and acted as if that was an insight into his evil side. I just don't buy that it's on the same scale of evil as rape, child abuse, molestation etc. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion that it was the real Jimmy speaking then.
See, I found this part absolutely fascinating, mesmeric and important. It really was a different person speaking. The act (and seemingly almost his whole life was an act) was finally dropped for a minute. Savile was a genius - a deeply deeply evil genius, but a genius nonetheless. He was able to manipulate everything and everyone, even smart folks like Theroux who were trying to catch him back. Yet for that one brief bit, he dropped his guard and got caught. It's not about the nature of what he said with that particular exchange, but how he said it. That was a nasty man talking, not an eccentric one.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:42 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:
Jon O'Neill wrote:The only bit of the documentary that I didn't really like was when they had the candid footage of him saying he tied troublemakers up and kept them in a basement somewhere, and acted as if that was an insight into his evil side. I just don't buy that it's on the same scale of evil as rape, child abuse, molestation etc. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion that it was the real Jimmy speaking then.
See, I found this part absolutely fascinating, mesmeric and important. It really was a different person speaking. The act (and seemingly almost his whole life was an act) was finally dropped for a minute. Savile was a genius - a deeply deeply evil genius, but a genius nonetheless. He was able to manipulate everything and everyone, even smart folks like Theroux who were trying to catch him back. Yet for that one brief bit, he dropped his guard and got caught. It's not about the nature of what he said with that particular exchange, but how he said it. That was a nasty man talking, not an eccentric one.
I see what you mean. I think it's clear from what we know now that he was an amazing high-functioning sociopath. Other parts of the documentary showed that as well.

But let's say he'd said (for example) something racist then rather than something seemingly vindictive - that to me would've been a more compelling argument that he had exposed himself for what he really was. The content itself of what he said meant nothing. So I think we somewhat agree.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Mark Deeks » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:45 pm

It spoke to his use of blackmail and manipulation quite palpably, and the fact that he had a plan and method for getting away with stuff, be it violence or rape. The whole thing was very sad.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:57 pm

He did create this aura, for want of a better word of being untouchable.
I don't think the whole truth will ever be known.
Especially with this shambles of a court case about the children's home.
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:57 pm

I've just watched the Jimmy Savile thing. I have to say I didn't find it that informative. Obviously I didn't already know everything that was said, but I didn't come away thinking I'd learnt much. It seemed to mainly be Louis Theroux trying to get his head around the fact that he'd spent all this time with Savile and hadn't seen him for what he was, and he was trying to justify it to himself. That's more something for his diary than national TV.

While I don't think that he should be blamed for not realising that Savile was the sexual predator that he was, I still find it odd that he became friends with him. I haven't seen the first documentary, but from just the clips I saw from this one - I just can't imagine him being someone you'd actually be friends with.
Jon O'Neill wrote:Also amazing how his PA has utterly failed in her reevaluation of him as a person now that she has read what he was really like.
This was odd, especially since earlier in the documentary she said that he didn't understand people's feelings because they weren't important to him, and also he just sacked her without a second's hesitation. She knew he was a dick but still said he was a good person.
The only bit of the documentary that I didn't really like was when they had the candid footage of him saying he tied troublemakers up and kept them in a basement somewhere, and acted as if that was an insight into his evil side. I just don't buy that it's on the same scale of evil as rape, child abuse, molestation etc. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion that it was the real Jimmy speaking then.
Even if it doesn't reveal everything about him, I find it odd that you "didn't really like" it. I know you've already discussed this with Mark Deeks, but it showed him to definitively be a complete cunt, and that's important, even if we didn't get the scale of the things he'd done. And yet Louis Theroux was still friends with him after this.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:And yet Louis Theroux was still friends with him after this.
As I mentioned before, I think Theroux found Savile a fascinating (if disturbing) character and by being "friends" with him post the original documentary, he hoped to get the information that he was repeatedly probing for in the first place. After all, this is Theroux's general mode of operation; play all faux-naive in order to gain the trust of his subjects. At least, that's what I'd like to think.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:57 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
The only bit of the documentary that I didn't really like was when they had the candid footage of him saying he tied troublemakers up and kept them in a basement somewhere, and acted as if that was an insight into his evil side. I just don't buy that it's on the same scale of evil as rape, child abuse, molestation etc. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion that it was the real Jimmy speaking then.
Even if it doesn't reveal everything about him, I find it odd that you "didn't really like" it. I know you've already discussed this with Mark Deeks, but it showed him to definitively be a complete cunt, and that's important, even if we didn't get the scale of the things he'd done. And yet Louis Theroux was still friends with him after this.
I don't think it shows him to be a complete cunt. I know very nice people who've done much worse things.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:54 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
The only bit of the documentary that I didn't really like was when they had the candid footage of him saying he tied troublemakers up and kept them in a basement somewhere, and acted as if that was an insight into his evil side. I just don't buy that it's on the same scale of evil as rape, child abuse, molestation etc. I wouldn't have come to the conclusion that it was the real Jimmy speaking then.
Even if it doesn't reveal everything about him, I find it odd that you "didn't really like" it. I know you've already discussed this with Mark Deeks, but it showed him to definitively be a complete cunt, and that's important, even if we didn't get the scale of the things he'd done. And yet Louis Theroux was still friends with him after this.
I don't think it shows him to be a complete cunt. I know very nice people who've done much worse things.
People can do bad things and have a conscience about it and maybe regret it afterwards. His entire attitude towards his actions said to me loud and clear "I am a complete cunt!"

Anyway, what have you done that's so bad?

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:57 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon O'Neill wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Even if it doesn't reveal everything about him, I find it odd that you "didn't really like" it. I know you've already discussed this with Mark Deeks, but it showed him to definitively be a complete cunt, and that's important, even if we didn't get the scale of the things he'd done. And yet Louis Theroux was still friends with him after this.
I don't think it shows him to be a complete cunt. I know very nice people who've done much worse things.
People can do bad things and have a conscience about it and maybe regret it afterwards. His entire attitude towards his actions said to me loud and clear "I am a complete cunt!"

Anyway, what have you done that's so bad?
Lots, but that's beside the point.

What people seem to be missing here is that people can still be putting on a "front" if they're not in front of a camera. He's clearly trying to impress whoever he was speaking to about how hard he is/was. Pathetic yes, an insight into the personality of a highly-skilled sociopath, no.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:43 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:Lots, but that's beside the point.

What people seem to be missing here is that people can still be putting on a "front" if they're not in front of a camera. He's clearly trying to impress whoever he was speaking to about how hard he is/was. Pathetic yes, an insight into the personality of a highly-skilled sociopath, no.
It doesn't prove anything but I think it was worthy of inclusion at least.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by JimBentley » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:16 pm

Relatedly, "National Treasure" was brilliant again last night. The way it keeps twisting and turning to keep you guessing is great. I still have no idea whether the Robbie Coltrane character is guilty or innocent - I think he's a brilliant actor (same goes for Julie Walters; actually everyone involved is good in this) - and can't wait for the final instalment next week. Best TV of the year so far, for me.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:41 pm

I've been catching up on the latest series of Crackanory. I think that's pretty good. Also there's a new series of Inside Number 9 starting next week.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:13 pm

Yes, Inside no 9 is very good . The Christmas special was good though my favourite episode ever was the 12 Days of Christine with Sheridan Smith
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:07 pm

For those of you with Amazon. I can recommend Sneaky Pete with Bryan Cranston in a small but epic role and I can also recommend Goliath, like a fine wine Billy Bob Thornton gets better with age
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:33 am

Obviously I've been watching Robot Wars.

Also, I watched Crash and Burn, a documentary about Irish racing driver Tommy Byrne, this morning on the iPlayer. Quite interesting.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:58 pm

Also, I recently watched Carnage, a spoof documentary presented by Simon Amstell set in the year 2067 when everyone is vegan and looking back at the time we ate meat (also on the iPlayer).

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:31 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:58 pm
Also, I recently watched Carnage, a spoof documentary presented by Simon Amstell set in the year 2067 when everyone is vegan and looking back at the time we ate meat (also on the iPlayer).
is it any good ?
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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:58 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:31 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:58 pm
Also, I recently watched Carnage, a spoof documentary presented by Simon Amstell set in the year 2067 when everyone is vegan and looking back at the time we ate meat (also on the iPlayer).
is it any good ?
Yeah, I'd recommend it.

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Re: What TV programmes have you been watching lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:31 am

Fresh Meat - Series 1 just about bearable, Series 2 pretty good, Series 3 shit. Most of the characters are annoying as fuck with no redeeming qualities, but I did enjoy JD's dialogue.

Freaks and Geeks - Wildly overrated. I enjoyed it towards the end (the episode where it turns out that Cindy is a basic bitch and uber-Republican was pretty great), but the first half of the series was an absolute slog. Barely any likeable characters (mostly just Bill tbh), not much interesting dialogue and rarely any original plot points. I really can't believe that so many people consider it to be one of the greatest TV shows of all time. Not sure if it's aged terribly or if everyone else is wrong.

Bojack Horseman - Enjoying this a lot. WILL ARNETT'S VOICE. Big fan of Princess Carolyn and Mr Peanut-Butter.

Girls - For such an uncomfortable show, it's weirdly comforting to watch. Not a lovable show, but a likeable one (for me anyway) and the soundtrack is usually pretty great. Just bummed at the lack of Shoshanna so far this series, although more Elijah screen time is making up for it somewhat.

Mad hyped for the next series of Fargo and Stranger Things!!!
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