the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “TV”

Holiday Reading – Underbelly: The Gangland War

By John Silvester and Andrew Rule

I am a huge fan of the Underbelly TV series and my wife and I have watched all four shows shown here in NZ, and we did attempt to watch the Kiwi-made one based on Mr Asia, but nope, rubbish when compared to the flashy and professional hits out of Aussie.

My favourite one was based on the Gangland Wars in Melbourne, the show focussing mostly on the Morans and Carl Williams, and this is the book on which the show was based. It was originally taken off the air in Aussie, (and subsequently delayed here) due to pending court action in Melbourne so didn’t actually show until some months later in both countries.

This book is a great read, once you get used to the style it is written in – it tends to cover the same ground a lot as it goes into each chapter – and considering the show was viewed here well over 18mths ago it is easy to relate incidents and characters based on what was seen. Each chapter sort of focuses on a main ‘player’ in the Gangland Wars; Jason, Mark, and Lewis Moran, their nemesis Carl Williams, and those caught up in the cross-fire such as Mick Gatto, Andrew Veniamen, Nik Radev and others.

Short, brutal, and to the point, this book is a quick companion to any budding Mafioso without a brain in his head, and while the photo galleries are a little odd (side by side shots of the gangsters and their on-screen actors?? Really? I wanted to see crime shots and such) it is too hard to put down.


Teenagers…who needs them?!?

Harry Enfield

Harry Enfield is one of the true comedy legends in my book…I was introduced to him by a mate of mine who swore by him and whenever his reruns show on TV, I’m there. He stills get out and about with his partner in crime, Paul Whitehouse.

He came to light in the eighties with a character he and Whitehouse had created called Loadsamoney (as well as Stavros the Greek), and in the nineties was given his own show which became Harry Enfield and Chums which starred his mate and Kathy Burke. He also starred in a new comedy of the time, Men Behaving Badly but left this show after one season.

During his first series he created a wide range of characters that have become part of the English psyche, amongst them The Scousers, the overly stupid rich twit, Tim Nice-But-Dim, his anti-heroes Wayne and Waynetta Slob, and the washed-up DJs, Smashie & Nicey.

But this clip will showcase Kevin, the angst-ridden teenager from hell…the clip shows the remarkably realistic transformation of the lad into a teenager. This character went on to have his own movie in Kevin & Perry Go Large (who can forget Perry’s crush on Kevin’s mum?).

PiS…titbit of info; Enfield used to go out with Lily Allens’ mum, living with her and looking after the kids. Maybe this is where Lily’s quirky lyrics have their origins from?

Classic Comedy…roadies tell it like it is…

The Management...

A classic English duo out of the eighties were Gareth Hale and Norman Pace, known to you and me as Hale & Pace.

With sketches such as the iconic “Billy & Johnny”, “The Management”, and their tour of Aussie pubs, these two have built up a reputation of producing humour in a sometimes subtle and innocent method.

Like most of the UK comics I touch on (and will touch on, “oooer”) there will be more than just one the clip to spout forth over the course of my scriptures. But if there was one to stand out, it is this little gem from Jed & Dave…nothing like a double-entendre to get one thinking.

Comedy Classics – Fawlty Towers (or Flowery Twats)

This really should have been one of the first posts on comedy, but sometimes the wait is well worth it. To a lot of people who come to my blog you may never have heard of it (maybe those as Basil himself would say, Trans-Atlantic tripe), but trust me, this is one comedy that everyone must see.

Based on a real life experience by writer (and then Monty Python stalwart) John Cleese, Fawlty Towers is based on the most dysfunctional hotel owner (Basil, played by Cleese) and his cohort of staff and guests. A mix of what the English are best at, wit, sarcasm, and a dash of slapstick, the sitcom was only written for two seasons and 12 episodes (not including the lesser-known “Tatty Revue”). Connie Booth, who played Polly the chambermaid co-wrote the series (and was in fact married to Cleese during the first season).

The sitcom was voted the Greatest British Television Programme by the BFI in 2000…justifiably so. Typically, it came second when the list of best (worldwide) sitcoms to Frasier (very funny, but as good?). Basil was also voted second amongst greatest TV characters (between Homer Simpson and Edmund Blackadder).
Read more…

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