The Superbowl: we watch the commercials

Word will have reached across the Atlantic by now of the winner of the 2012 Superbowl, with, despite the game being an American national sport, the New York Giants being proclaimed world champions. This result may be meaningless to many –  the easier fluff to engage with is the commercials and of course the half-time act – and was this year brought to us in fine theatrical style by Madonna. As ever with Madonna, the consensus is polarised. She is like the coriander of music, people get volatile over their disdain for her or insist that she is a legend. Whatever your view, both she and an M&M last night declared they were sexy and they know it: My impression, 3 hours in, loaded on Carlsberg and having made a minimal dent in a wagon wheel pizza, was that the ads were underwhelming. I can sleep more soundly tonight knowing … There’s more

Facebook Timeline, Mad Men style

When Don Draper sets his mind to it, he can construct a sincere and effective pitch to sell most anything. With Facebook’s launch of it’s latest innovation to cater for those who like to stalk, Facebook Timeline, you can now compile a collage of details, characteristics, favourites, social apps and of course countless pictures to portray the full life you lead. Someone very smart has taken a clip from Mad Men, where Don Draper is making a pitch and as it happens, the dialogue is suited perfectly to creating a nostalgic, aspirational tone about the new launch. The clip has some smart and funny comments inserted into Draper’s presentation and is a knowing treat for Mad Men fans.

Descent into Ethics

It’s an ubiquitous phenomenon of 21st Century television but not one that appears to have been consciously documented … until now.  The transformation of television programming from entertainment to ethics.  Allow me to elaborate: Soap Opera Pre-dating the reality era, soap operas have long since become a conduit for social awareness. Whether the storyline involes domestic abuse, homosexuality, or eating disorders, the end credits will have the support line to call for watching sufferers. Comedy Not the full transfer of other genres but the comedy realm will always have the annual red nose day celebration, all for the good cause of aiding the developing world. But these are ethics light compared to other transformations. Music Music telly used to be Legs & Co and MTV videos, even the early music talent shows were about talent, then came the X-Factor’s sob stories, fullfilling dead relatives’ dreams and giving hope to the … There’s more

Eurovision Eurofashion

It’s upon us. The TV extravaganza that’s camper than Louis Spence’s knicker drawer, tackier than Katie Price’s wedding chariot and about as harmonic as a dyspraxic orchestra playing Morton Feldman. Yes, it’s Eurovision time. Truly Eurovision is a wonderful event. Providing us with a much needed dose of hilarity in the otherwise dull month of May, it also serves as a handy reminder that there’s more to Europe than the louche French, organised Germans and get-your-coat-you’ve-pulled Italians. There’s also the Swiss, the Maltese and a plethora of post-Soviet Balkan states with a penchant for early ’90s trance and white leather crotchless pants. If ever there were a reason to forgive Europe for forcing us into a generation of indentured economic slavery then participation in this glorious cultural smorgasbord is it. Not to be outdone, good old Erin is putting forward our best exemplars of homegrown musical “entertainment” – Jedward. With … There’s more

An Jig Gig 2010

An Jig Gig is the x-factor of Irish dancing – without the pantomime and endless ad breaks – which airs every Sunday night on TG4 at 7.15pm (repeated Tuesdays at 11.30pm) and is well worth watching. We’re mid way through the second series now where every week 10 acts battle it out for one place in the semi finals.   The acts come in all shapes and sizes with young and old, professional world champions, part-time amateurs; dancing in groups or solo; to pop, country and classical music as well as traditional Irish. Every style of dancing is on display with riverdancers, hard and soft shoe, sean nós, etc.  I’ve no background in Irish dancing and wouldn’t know the terminology but you don’t need to to watch this programme. Everyone will get something out of it. An Jig Gig is hosted by Róisín Ní Thomáin and judged by Breandán de Gallaí … There’s more

What you looking at? Emmy Nominations announced

Good news Gleeks, your favourite show has just picked up 19 nominations for this years Emmy Awards! Leading the pack is The Pacific, HBO’s brilliant mini-series depicting the battles in the Pacific theatre during World War II. Glee is second with 19 and last year’s big winner Mad Men is in third with 17. On the comedy side Tina Fey’s 30 rock picked up 15 nominations, narrowly beating Modern Family on 14. There’s a welcome inclusion for Friday Night Lights stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton with their fine performances having finally been recognised. Conan O’briens short-lived stint on The Tonight Show also sees him pick up a nod, with Jay Leno missing out. Saturday Night Live received 12 nominations for a total 126 nominations during its run, surpassing ER’s all-time record of 124. It has been on just that little while longer though so nothing should be taken away … There’s more

Television Finales

The past two weeks season and series finales have hit the television screens here in the US.  Most of my favorite programs will be back in the fall with two exceptions ’24′ which ended a great eight year run on Fox,  and ‘FlashFoward’ which ABC has given the axe, which surprised me quite a bit.  Here is a run down of the finales. Apologies if the finales have not aired in Ireland yet, so avert your eyes, spoiler alert ! The House season finale was a real emotional rollercoaster of a show, dealing with the collapse of a building and a woman who was trapped underneath with a leg crushed and pinned, and of course a decision has to made eventually, I’ll not give away anything on that end, but the part of the show was the last minute when Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) arrives to find House (Hugh Laurie) on his bathroom floor … There’s more

Culch Catch-Up 24

Here’s a round up of what’s been happening on Culch the last 2 weeks. As well as lots of film, music and game reviews; there are details of upcoming events and a competition to see Powderfinger.  Check out the new twitter book club and most of all, check out the details of Culch’s upcoming night out for Eurovision 2010 in the Odeon Saturday week. It’s the society columns event of the month, maybe. Upcoming Events Dublin Dance Festival – until 23 May Culch’s Eurovision Party The Odeon – Sat 29 May Bollywood festival in Dublin – 25 to 28 June Cork X Southwest Festival Skibbereen – 31 July Competition Win tickets to Powderfinger on 31 May Catch-Up 23

It’s been a while since we did a Catch-Up and there’s been a lot going on lately. Have a glance through the categories below and see if there’s anything you missed.  There’s plenty to keep you going for the afternoon. Upcoming Events Chalks at the Complex Smithfield – until Sat 8 May Nouveau Vaudeville Cabaret Night – Sat 8 May International Gay Theatre Festival – 3 to 16 May Absolut Gay Theatre Festival – 3 to 16 May Shawshank Redemption in the Gaiety – 5 to 29 May Competitions Win tickets to Cathy Davy in Olympia on 14 May Wins tickets to Pendulum at the Olympia on 18 May Win a Samsung S3500 mobile by entering any Culch competition before 20 May Film Reviews of Iron Man 2 and Cemetary Junction

‘An Crisis’ TG4 series

‘An Crisis’ is a new tv series which started on TG4 a few weeks ago airing on Wednesday nights at 10.30pm, repeats Saturday at 8.40pm. ‘An Crisis’ is set in the office of a small organisation called ACT (An Comhairle Teanga) and is centred on their wrangles and fights to keep funding during the Big Crisis-cutbacks in public sector funding. Along the way we are treated to some strange and funny moments seeing the inside workings of the department. At one point in episode two, in order to suit people’s personal wishes and to get a formal meeting over and done with, they are reduced to having a meeting with some Ulster Scots in Spanish with translations being done to Ulster Scottish and Irish for the various parties. I’ve never worked in the public sector but from some stories I hear and things I read, this might not be verging … There’s more

On set at Meteor’s new ad – Houseparty

It’s not often that you get to go on set at an ad shoot but myself and Darragh made our way out to Shankhill recently to view the filming of Meteor‘s new ad. The shoot, directed by Steven Green, is taking the form of a house party at a huge house. One of the rooms has been decked out with DJ, funky props (the Mr Ben is a nice touch) and people are dancing wall to wall (to Two Door Cinema Club’s Undercover Martyn). There aren’t any standard 35-mm cameras but hand-held high end still cameras shooting in HD (Canon 5D to be exact). We’re shown upstairs where members of the creative team are reviewing footage from the previous take. Instead of the them viewing live footage, memory cards are brought up from the two cameras shooting downstairs. The footage is focused on two girls filming a guy dancing furiously … There’s more

Online video presents The Streamy Awards

Yesterday saw the release of the nominees for the second annual Streamys. For those of you unfamiliar with the awards they celebrate the best in online television and videos. Last year saw some high profile shows, such as personal fave Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, awarded for their greatness and this year is no different. If for no other reason the award nominees are worth checking out for the sheer calibre of online television that you may have missed. I’m a big fan of The Guild myself. The awards ceremony takes place on April 11th, 2010 and the full list of nominees is listed below (with thanks to Streamys).

Gotta sing, gotta dance?

You have until Friday February 5th to jump the queue and be “invited” to audition for a new reality show being put together by Screentime ShinAwiL (their caps, and known for The Apprentice & Dragons’ Den) and RTÉ. The details are under wraps, but there are going to be a series of open auditions in Dublin, Cork and London on dates yet to be announced for a new talent search. They are looking for singers with a strong dance and acting ability to take part in a television series with the aim of giving passionate performers the chance to land their dream job; to star in a national tour of a West End Musical.

It’s all Golden – Globe Nominations Announced

Yesterday was the Critics Choice but today marks the real start of awards season for Hollywood, with the announcement of the nominees for the 2010 67th Golden Globe awards. Unfortunately unlike yesterdays list there is no Irish hope for the Globes in the movies category save for U2 entry Winter from in film Brothers in the Original Song category. Elsewhere, Brendan Gleeson is nominated for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the mini-series Into the Storm. George Clooney starrer Up in the Air, which has yet to be released in Ireland, has the most movie nominations with six. Rob Marshall’s musical Nine has five, while Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds has four.