Category Archives: TV

Angry Boys

On Wednesday 11th May 2011, the ABC are going to unleash a 12 part mockumentary comedy series by Chris Lilley named Angry Boys. For those unaware, Chris Lilley first hit the scene on Big Bite in 2003 and later made mockumentaries of We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High. Angry Boys continues some of the characters from his previous work and pokes a whole lot of fun of what it is like being a teenager growing up in the 21st century. It is rated M and is going to be reasonably inappropriate in places but it is going to be really funny, Kath & Kim funny.

Grundy Television, Copyright & Social Media

YouTube Grundy Television Copyright ClaimTelevision and movie companies love their copyright, rightfully so – they’ve invested a lot of time, money and energy into producing something. Unfortunately, in their rush to protect their copyright, they often stomp on a thriving community which is actually advocating their brand and product.

Case in point, back in 2006 when Bobby Flynn was on Australian Idol I posted a number of links on my blog to excepts of the television episodes that’d be recorded and uploaded onto YouTube. Those clips have existed on YouTube, copyrighted or otherwise now for a number of years, received hundreds of thousands of views, all of which help build and reinforce the brand Australian Idol, but only now, years later does anything happen with it.

YouTube were clearly given a legal letter from Grundy Television to remove the copyrighted material from their site, which they of course obliged. The thing is though, Grundy Television don’t provide a comparable service – if they did, everyone online that wanted to talk about how positively amazing Bobby Flynn was, would have linked to their excepts of the show with him singing.

I see these sorts of actions from television and media companies to be rather short sighted. People online wanted to discuss the different contestants from Australian Idol, re-watch and live their performances & the TV companies should be elated about that fact. It could be worst, much worst, everyone could be completely bored with the format, show and what it has to offer and be on Facebook instead – but they aren’t, they are actively seeking out information and videos about artists from their show.

If I were in their boots, I’d be setting up an Australian Idol channel on YouTube and uploading every song of every contestant from the first series to the latest. Then I’d start uploading interviews with each of the contestants, then the judges and more. All branded with the appropriate network logos and product placements. They’d then be in a position where they can control, more or less, what gets published online and since their is an official channel on YouTube – the enthusiastic viewer doesn’t need to upload an inferior qulality recording. All the while, they get to engage with their avid fans and target audience – seems like a win win situation for me.

I understand the copyright side of the fence but what were Grundy Television losing by allowing the songs from Australian Idol to exist on YouTube, the single biggest, most prolific source of video on the internet?

Dancing With The Stars, Err Popularity

The Dancing With The Stars finale was held on the Sunday evening and larrikin country and western singer Adam Brand won.

Throughout the 2009 series of Dancing With The Stars, Adam Brand was lucky not to be cast out on numerous occasions – regularly scoring the lowest scores on the night. To everyone’s surprise, he continued to make it through the eliminations and wasn’t really showing a lot of improvement compared to other dancers in the competition.

I was shocked to see that Adam Brand made it through to the Dancing With The Stars final, he just wasn’t dancing well enough compared to other dancers – nor was he the most improved. He was being held up throughout the elimination process by the popularity of the singer and not his dancing skills.

On the night of the finals, Kylie Gillies was voted out first and came third after receiving the highest level of praise from the judges. Next up of course was Matt White and received nearly perfect scores across each of the dances and was still eliminated. Throughout the dances on the night, the comments that the judges were providing to Adam Brand were phrased in a way that equated to “you’ve done a good job but you don’t deserve to win” and some how he came out the other side the winner. According to the Dancing With The Stars Wikipedia article, Adam Brand has now scored the lowest of any finalist in nine seasons to win and by a considerable margin.

I understand that there is a viewer vote, however the viewers got it wrong – horribly wrong. This is without question the major flaw within reality television – crowd sourcing votes doesn’t mean it is right – it just means a lot of people are easily influenced.  Consider what happened with Casey Donovan in Australia Idol – she was proclaimed to be the next big thing according to the public; which I personally felt was a joke and hasn’t managed to sell any significant number of records – which proves the point that viewer voting isn’t a solution.

Compare the viewer voting model from virtually every reality TV show around the world to the phenomenon of Master Chef. In the Master Chef model, there are a panel of industry recognised judges and experts who solely decide the fate of the amateur chefs. I find this to be a great example of how reality TV shows that can facilitate ‘experts’ to work – the contestants are being judged and marked by their peers and recognised experts – not a 15 year old with a mobile phone that is never going to buy a CD.

In my opinion Kylie Gillies and Matt White were robbed of a title for the 2009 season of Dancing With The Stars.

Cheap Credit Cards, They Don’t Exist

Citibank LogoCitibank have an exclusive TV only offer running currently with an amazingly low 2.9% interest on their credit card. The advertisement starts off with the bloke asking rhetorical questions about how much interest you are paying currently – 19%, 20%, 21% or more and you’re meant to gasp in shock. He then proceeds to tell you that Citibank offer a low interest credit card with only 2.9% interest and you’ll also receive a long list of additional benefits when you sign up.

Offering a cheap credit card is fine, in fact I like it as hopefully an average consumer could save a few dollars. However, the nature of the advertising makes it seem so good that it nearly can’t be true and when you read into the details – it is too good to be true in my opinion and is nothing but greasy advertising.

As I mentioned above, it starts off by comparing your current high interest rate credit card to the excellent 2.9% low interest rate credit card from Citibank. Throughout the commercial, the Citibank guy keeps reinforcing the low interest rate for their cheap credit card but conveniently doesn’t emphasize or reinforce the catches and caveats. I suspect that the average consumer would infer that the Citibank credit card offers 2.9% interest – period. Citibank state that the 2.9% is only for new customers, only on the transferred amount and that it is for 18 months. However, the manner in which the conditions are advertised forms such a small component of the selling that it is misleading in my opinion.

The average person doesn’t read the fine print, which is now taken into account by the fair trading authorities throughout Australia. If you did care to read the fine print on the Citibank TV commercial, it states that cash advances and retail purchases on the credit card are charged at 20.74% per annum. Hang on a cotton picking minute, at the start of the TV commercial he was bagging your existing credit card company because they were charging you a high interest rate over 19% – pot meet kettle.

The deal is so good, you could nearly think they are doing you a favour by allowing you to sign up. You’re intrigued by the pitch so you go to their site and read a little more, only to find out that there are terms on the repayments for it as well – you’re 2.9% transferred debt is cleared first. That might seem fairly inoccuous to start with, however if you continue to use your credit card after moving to Citibank – you’re new purcharses are charged at 20.74% with 55 days interest free. That essentially means that you’re not paying off your new purchases until you’ve cleared the 2.9% interest debt, thus maximisng the opportunity for Citibank to make more money from you.

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the cheap credit card offer from Citibank just proves it. From what I can see with the deal, a consumer’s best option is to take Citibank up on the deal for their existing credit card debt and not making any or very limited additional transactions. If you took that route, you’d receive the benefits of the 2.9% interest on the transferred amount for the first 18 months and none of the pitfalls.

Australian Idol 2008: Early Predictions

Sunday night saw the final 12 contestants for Australian Idol 2008 perform and it was a pretty strong showing across the board from the idol contestants. Never the less, there is always certain people within the group that have the edge over their competitors and below is my take on it and listed in no particular order.

My Picks

Madam Parker
Wow, is the right place to start with Madam. Another New Zealander that has made it through to the finals of Australian Idol and unless something goes horribly wrong for her will be in the final few.
Chrislyn Hamilton
One of the younger Australian Idol competitors in 2008, however delivered an outstanding performance and is definitely a contender.
Wes Carr
Excellent voice and we’ve seen quite a bit of diversity from him already in his voice. He is also an avid writer, plays the piano and also the guitar.
Mark Spano
Looks like an unlikely kind of a bloke to be on stage, however has so far delivered two great songs and has an excellent voice. I’d definitely be keeping an eye on him to progress through the early rounds of Australian Idol 2008.
Roshani Priddis
Outstanding voice for such a physically small person and after performing for so long, controls the stage and audience very well.
Luke Dickens
The token occa Australian in the competition, a sheep shearer by trade and a music lover by night. An excellent untamed voice that through its rawness delivers some great music.

In With A Chance

Thanh Bui
A solid voice but has delivered some mixed performances. While I think there is a lot of room for improvement, I don’t think he has what it takes to win when compared against Roshani or Madam.
Jonny Taylor
Looks very rock and roll but so far has delivered a bit of a mixed bag. The first performance was a random song choice and then backed it up with a Pearl Jam classic that was performed quite well but didn’t quite deliver. I’d like to see him say in the contest for at least another couple of weeks to see what he has to offer but he is at risk at the moment I think.
Brooke Addamo
Nice voice, looks great on stage but the performance she delivered last night didn’t live up to the original. I suspect that she’ll go through a round but will be one of the contestants that’ll leave early on unless her next performance is outstanding.
Teale Jakubenko
Another solid voice, however not good enough to make it through and I’d expect him to leave the competition in the first few weeks.

Out Of The Running

Sophie Paterson
An okay voice, however slides through key changes a little and has what I’d consider terrible enunciation for a singer which was also commented on by the judges in her latest performance. I’d be surprised to see Sophie go through more than the first two or three rounds.
Tom Williams
Nice enough young man, however as far as I can see so far – his voice isn’t strong enough to win, in my opinion his age and maturity are going to be a problem as well. Unfortunately, all of the young teeny boppers will vote for him as they think he is cute, all the while allowing someone with a much better chance of winning fall by the side of the road. The sooner he is knocked out of the competition the better, welcome back next year I say.