swordznsorcery: (ratpack)
( May. 11th, 2012 22:43)
Sometimes television surprises us. It gives us shows that we love - carefully made, well-acted shows, with characters that we want to spend time with. Shows that make us laugh, shows that startle us, and most importantly keep us entertained. Most of the time though, television just drives us nuts. Its favourite way of doing this is by deluging us with nonsense; but most frustrating of all is its sneakiest trick. This is when it gives us the things that we love; teases us with promises of all that's to come; and then takes it all away again just when we're getting acquainted.

A secret world of wolves and forests, where the moon is always full )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( May. 5th, 2012 00:25)
I've discovered an entire tape full of Players. That's a TV show, rather than a packet of cigarettes. It is, you probably won't be surprised to learn, utter nonsense, but finding it makes me stupidly happy, in that "I know it's daft, but I just can't seem to care" way that characterises so much of my television viewing. Players is a show about three con men, who get early release from prison in exchange for working with the FBI. And yes, that is basically the plot of White Collar. There are big differences, though. No redemption arc for starters, and no ongoing storyline. Television didn't seem to like doing them too much until recently. Players is mostly just about being a con man and chasing bad guys; and about being filmed from arty angles, whilst pretending that you're in a hip-hop video. And car chases. It's about quite a lot of them as well.

Probably more than you could ever wish to know about a low budget action adventure series from 1997. Starring Ice T. )
Pop videos! Sorry, but it was bound to happen eventually. As I work through my VHS tape collection, I keep encountering the weird and the wonderful. Now I come to both.

The first and second parts of Queen's Greatest Hits have long been out on DVD, but they're twiddling their thumbs over part three. Most of that doesn't really come under the heading of "fun", though, so I'm skirting around it here. The videos from the Made In Heaven album were a mixed bunch, and nobody really likes them anyway; but there is one little gem on the tape that we'll get to later. Elsewhere we have the questionable glory that is Wham!, the sometimes baffling imagery of a-ha, and the ever wonderful E Street Band. That's probably way more music videos in the space of an evening than anybody should ever sit down to watch. Well, perhaps not. I could never tire of Queen or Bruce and the boys, but I really don't think it was entirely safe to watch that many Wham! videos in one go. Dear heaven, the fashions. And the dancing. How the hell did any of us make it out of the eighties alive?!

... )
Given some of the utter tosh that I've watched over the years, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me to discover that I've also taped a lot of utter tosh. Mind you, even knowing that, it's weird what colonises the ends of video tapes, lurking in forgotten nooks and crannies, from back in the days when I used to use the things regularly. Some things are reasonable enough, if long forgotten. Others are just downright bizarre.

... )
swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Apr. 15th, 2012 15:20)
Another one from the "Episodes of Doctor Who that aren't on DVD yet" cupboard; and this one's even better than the last one. Although, to be scrupulously fair, I don't think that I could rate Jon Pertwee higher than William Hartnell in the Doctor stakes. Too many of those seventies stories are just that little bit naff. He's bloody awesome, though. Swashbuckly and splendid, and everything you want from a hero. And why in heaven's name do people never wear frilly shirts and velvet jackets on television nowadays? That is the way to dress, people. It's certainly the way that heroes ought to dress. Shirts with splendid cuffs, and jackets that look like pirates might wear them. And capes! More heroes ought to be striding into danger wearing capes. Beats the hell out of jeans and a t-shirt.

... )
swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Apr. 13th, 2012 23:59)
My adventures hunting through the VHS collection have taken a detour into the "Episodes of Doctor Who that haven't come out on DVD yet" cupboard. Mostly because I wanted to watch some episodes of Doctor Who that haven't come out yet on DVD. And I am very glad indeed that I agreed with myself, and didn't try to insist that I watch something else instead.

... )
A little while ago I found some episodes of Team: Knight Rider on video tape. Continuing to work my way through the collection, I find that I have another episode. And boy is it a special one...

What do you get if you cross Knight Rider with The Mysterious Cities Of Gold? )
Apparently it's Newsround's fortieth birthday today, so happy birthday Newsround. Makes today's post actually relevant to something for a change. So, been rummaging around the video tape collection again, and this time turned up a cavalcade of Newsround. Mostly Roger Finn being wholly enviable. He's trekking in the Himalayas quite a lot, and that sort of thing. I know he also went boating around the Great Barrier Reef, and jaguar-spotting in Belize, the lucky sod, but I don't seem to have either of them. I do have him building rockets in France with a bunch of school boys, though. Or actually they do the rocket-building. He just stands to one side and narrates it, which isn't nearly as much fun. Quite bizarre, actually. Seems the French invite British schoolboys to an empty building in the middle of nowhere, and then give them some high explosives and cardboard tubes, and see who can reach the moon first. I like France. France is awesome.

Anyway, amongst all the reporting and the mountains and the exploding schoolboys, I also found something else - a celebrity edition of Double Dare, the highly noisy game show that used to run as part of Going Live! on a Saturday morning. This is from 1989, and features the Newsround gang versus the Blue Peter lot. So here it is:

I have no idea why I kept it, let alone for twenty-three years, but I'm glad that I did. It's absolutely daft as a brush, mind.
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Apr. 1st, 2012 19:37)
I have a completely inexplicable love of various television shows. Some are good shows, some are bad shows. Some manage to transcend the concept of both good and bad by being spectacularly, frighteningly unique. Well, one of them does. Yes, I have found some old Days Of Our Lives episodes lurking in the VHS collection. And yes, you do want to hear all about them. No, really, you do. Everybody should experience Days Of Our Lives at least once. It's like a television rite of passage. Okay, no it isn't. I fully admit it's... not exactly brilliant. It has John Black in it, though. Seriously, what else do you need from your television?

Now, just to bring you up to speed on a few minor plot points first...

Joy. You will feel it. )
It never ceases to amaze me just how much of my life I seem to have dedicated to slightly dodgy American action adventure shows. Browsing through the old video collection I've found two episodes of Team: Knight Rider. There may well be more. Two episodes is probably two too many for a lot of people, and I know that Knight Rider purists loathe it. I can't help but have some fondness for the thing, though.

... )
swordznsorcery: (queen)
( Mar. 24th, 2012 03:31)
I have Now & Again! Four episodes, apparently. I have an episode with assassinationing, an episode with walking up a building, an episode with Thanksgiving, and an episode with sinister eggs. This is a marked improvement upon yesterday, when I had no episodes at all. Or did, but didn't know that I did. Or did know, but had forgotten. Whichever.

On the downside, it appears that I'm going to have the theme song stuck in my head for the rest of the night. I'm still glad though, 'cause Now & Again.
What the hell? Why do I have a three hour tape full of episodes of Meego? That's six episodes. Six whole episodes of Meego. Why?! For anybody who doesn't know (and, let's face it, that's going to be everybody, because it's flipping Meego, for goodness sakes), this is a children's sitcom from the nineties. Think Charles In Charge, but with an alien. Basically this hyperactive alien named Meego crashes on Earth, and winds up as nanny to three kids, because when a spectacularly strange man turns up on your doorstep, you're obviously going to just assume that he was sent by the employment agency, and leave him in charge of your children, without even asking for ID. Anyway. I called it a sitcom - the script is impressively short on laughs. There's something weirdly compelling about it, though. Bronson Pinchot is actually very engaging as Meego, and he has a terrific rapport with the little six year old boy he's looking after (and with the obligatory dog, all of which does lead to some genuinely good adlibbing). I have no idea how this show got made though, let alone broadcast. It's seriously weird. It's clearly meant for children, and yet Meego's like this slightly less child-friendly version of Captain Jack, flirting with everything in sight, up to and including the household appliances. There's one episode where he reprograms the microwave to flirt back, in a throaty female voice. They huddle up together in the kitchen, and she asks him to push her buttons harder. If it's not the most bizarre sitcom ever, it must come bloody close.

And I have six episodes of it?!
As a sequel to the last post, I now has BBC2 iconses. Oh yes.

Happy little '2' symbols. They are many. )
You know, whilst looking at old TV shows is fun, one of the really good things about hunting through all these video tapes is the other bits - the between programme bits. I suppose old adverts have some appeal, but what I really enjoy is the programme continuity. Old, animated menus, that they used to have on the BBC, to advertise the evening's schedule. Terribly serious men telling us during the end credits that so-and-so is currently appearing in pantomime in Dorset. Unexpected flashes of Andy Crane trying to make things work in the Broom Cupboard. I appear to be Phillip Schofieldless, which is peculiar, but Andy's good too. Best of all, though, are the idents. I have a bit of a thing for idents.

Warning, TV geekery within )
swordznsorcery: (face)
( Mar. 15th, 2012 01:19)
Roaming through the old VHS collection again, and I has Riptide now! Not as much as I should do, sadly. Another tape had gone mouldy (perils of living in a damp house). The mouldy one had a label saying "Riptide - holiday one, casino one, pirates" (basically I suck at Riptide episode titles). I did Research, and I think that means "Fuzzy Vision", "Oil Bets Are Off" and "The Pirate and the Princess" have now gone to the big VHS player in the sky. But! I still have an episode with Cody handcuffed to a boat, and one with Richard Hatch being a rock star. I appreciate that the former isn't too specific, but the latter should be obvious. I think Richard Hatch being a rock star only happened once.

... )
swordznsorcery: (methos)
( Mar. 10th, 2012 14:36)
Another one from the VHS collection here. If you were a member of the Methos & Kronos Mailing List (hosted by Yahoo, I think) back in 1997, then I once told you that I had these, and said that I'd get them internetted as soon as I was able. Well, it only took me fifteen years...

Peter Wingfield being very cool, in thirty second segments )
So, I've got this gadget now, and I plug one end of it into an old VCR, and another end into the computer, and I can watch old video tapes again. I like this gadget. It opens up whole new worlds of geekery, and has been reintroducing me to things on tape that I'd forgotten I had. Some of these things are good, some are bad, some are just baffling. Why do I have an entire episode of Neighbours on tape? I have never watched Neighbours. I suppose I may have taped it for my sister, but why that led to me keeping it for the next nine or ten years, I have no idea. Or longer. There was Paul and identical twins, but he thought they were just one person. I could probably look it up on an episode guide or something, if I cared. So anyway. Naturally I have decided that the entire internet needs to know what I find on my old VHS tapes as I abandon them. I'm just naturally kind like that.

... )



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