Couch Potato

When he's supposed to be doing other things, chances are you'll find Mike Kilpatrick watching television instead. He styles himself on comedy hero Jim Royle, loves a laugh, enjoys a cry and if it's on the box he will share his opinion on it too. Whether you want it or not

Truth, justice and so many television shows

10:49am 17 Oct 2014

Today we must deal with a genre of television that is seemingly ubiquitous. You know what it is...

You can't turn the box on without stumbling on another bunch of weird characters sharing their story. They're almost certainly annoying. And loud.

Reality television? Nope, superheroes.

I'm not quite sure at which point the lycra-clad freaks shot out of the subculture and into mainstream acceptability, but it wasn't when I was young.

The desire to be Spider-Man pervaded my youth. But it was hidden. I was Peter Parker, the nervous nerd who couldn't say boo to a goose. I longed to be his alter-ego. Confident. Abrasive. Heroic. But there were no nuclear irradiated spiders in North East Scotland in the early 1980s - and no willingness for anyone to play any games other than football - so it wasn't to be.

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The good, the bad and the indifferent...

01:11pm 15 Oct 2014

There's nothing worse than investing years of your life in a television series, only for it to be ruined by the writers' inability to bring things together in a way which doesn't anger the audience.

I've been thinking about this lately because of a recent interview Sopranos creator David Chase gave to a journalist, in which he seemed to indicate Tony Soprano wasn't dead.

It was one of the big unknowns about the end of what was a terrific show - the fade to black left us unsure whether our antihero had gone the same way as so many other members of his 'family'.

Now Chase quickly backtracked and said the answer he had provided was much more grey than the black or white response the journalist eventually published and that whether Soprano was alive or dead wasn't the issue. I agree.

Many people had an issue with the ending of the show. I didn't. I thought it was absolutely perfect. Tony Soprano will forever be the television version of Schrodinger's Cat. The only difference is that instead of opening the box to find out whether there is life we rely on one person never articulating it.

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The latest in a line of insulting remakes

07:40pm 13 Oct 2014

US remakes of foreign television shows aren't exactly a new thing and, despite the usual negativity that comes with such seemingly pointless effort, there have been a few successes.

The US version of Ricky Gervais' classic British show The Office is probably the best example, despite a couple of seasons which were ordinary by its high standards.

Shameless is another UK show which, because they got absolutely the right cast in the US version, has taken the premise of the original show and found its own unique, funny and beautifully written voice.

And, closer to home, Wilfred - the story of a man who sees his next door neighbour's dog as a loud-mouth, stoned Aussie in a dog suit - had some moments of greatness when transported from across the Tasman.

But let's be honest - we do love it when the Americans makes a mess of these things and there is a long line where the shows are so bad it, literally in most cases, isn't funny.

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Time for Homeland to redeem itself

05:00am 03 Oct 2014

MIKE KILPATRICK

The arrival of spring is my favourite time of the year. The budding of new life. The longer days. The temperature edging up a few degrees . . .

But that's not what makes it special - nope, it's the new television season and there are so many new shows that it becomes a TV fan's dream.

Over the next few weeks I'll be taking a look at those shows - the good and the bad and letting you know if there are any potential new Breaking Bads or Game of Thrones out there.

Before that, however, let me turn to a show that's not quite as new but has the potential to be big again this year.

Homeland burst on to our screens in 2011 and made an immediate impact. It tapped into the zeitgeist surrounding Muslim extremists.

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Emmys a bigger joke than The Big Bang Theory

12:11pm 27 Aug 2014

I used to love the Emmys. Back in the day it was aspirational - all of those award-winning television shows we'd eventually get to see on our screens. Usually about a year or two later.

However with the advent of streaming video, torrents - and, it has to be said, the willingness of local channels to get content from the US quickly - those of us who are television fans have undoubtedly seen most of those nominated for the awards.

Which, of course, makes it much easier to look at some of the recipients and wonder what on earth the voters were thinking about.

And if that wasn't bad enough the sheer snobbery regarding the advent of the likes of Netflix creating their own content is palpable.

Let's start with the latter.

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