"Surprisingly, Black Books has no affliction with the BBC whatsoever; created by Dylan Moran
(who also plays the lead) and Graham Linehan, the show was filmed at Teddington Studios and broadcast on Channel 4. It centers around Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), the careless, grumpy, wine-inhaling owner of Black Books, his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) and his assistant shop keeper Manny (Bill Bailey). Specked with a few fun cameos by people not yet famous at the time, this show is a hilarious roller coaster ride that will make you laugh until you cry." Black Books: 4 Reasons the British Sitcom Remains a Classic [more inside]
Toast Of London
stars Matt Berry (IT Crowd
, Snuff Box
, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place
) as troubled theatre actor Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it. With a recent divorce, a highly controversial play to perform every night, a shell shocked army officer for a brother and an audition in a prison - it’s turning into another very busy day for Toast in this, the pilot episode for the Channel 4 series. [SLYT] [NSFW] [more inside]
So Breaking Bad
isn't the only series having it's final episode this weekend. The IT Crowd hits end of program
with a one off special.
In 2008 the actor Rupert Everett hosted (seemingly from his apartment) a rather strange documentary: The Victorian Sex Explorer
( 2 3 4 5
), an attempt to follow in the footsteps of famed Explorer, translator, and author Sir Richard Burton
and convince us of Sir Burton's passion for sexual experimentation while laying in lots of bathhouses and visiting brothels. [more inside]
The Evolution Documentary channel (autoplays video)
has collected documentaries and clips about evolution available on youtube, including documentaries from BBC
, and National Geographic
. [more inside]
was a late-night video review show from the late 90s, presented by Nigel Buckland
and Stef Gardner and shown on Channel 4 in the UK. It concentrated mostly on reviewing low-budget, cult and foreign films. Most of the episodes can be found on this youtube channel
and there's an episode by episode guide here
). After a break of 12 years or so, they're back, this time in podcast form
Channel 4 in the UK recently began broadcast of their new reality show My Transsexual Summer
. The first TV show of its type to have been produced with consultation from Trans Media Watch
, MTS follows Channel 4's signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
earlier this year. Response has been largely positive
, but not everyone was happy
. [more inside]
Sweatshop is a new educational game for teenagers from Britain's Channel 4.
Produced by Littleloud
, Sweatshop aims to teach teens about the working conditions behind their clothes through a mixture of frenetic, tower defense-based arcade levels set in a contract clothing factory and factual inserts between levels. [more inside]
10 O'Clock Live
is a show currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK. It could be considered a British take on the Daily Show, but longer, weekly, with more discussion, and performed live. MeFi favorite Charlie Brooker
is one of their presenters, along with David Mitchel, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr. While focused on British issues, the show sometimes covers international topics, and is wildly funny. Here are some highlights:
Charlie Brooker: On Gaddafi - On Berlusconi - On the 'Big Society' - On Sarah Palin -
On the iPad 2 - On the English Defense League & the Daily Star - On Ed Miliband (Leader of the Labour Party, beating out his brother David) - On Prince Andrew
David Mitchell: On political hyperbole - On language in the media - On encouraging rich people to immigrate - On what to do with the Olympic Stadium
Jimmy Carr: As Berlusconi - On Product Placement
Lauren Laverne: Guide for new democracies - Inside the brain of Ed Miliband - British PR companies helping tyrants
Everyone on David Cameron on The One Show (this one's awesome) [more inside]
KNTV is an educational programme for secondary schools, produced for Channel 4. It ran for three series, covering science, philosophy and sex education. Oh, and it happens to be hosted by two animated teenagers, Kierky and Nietschze, residents of the last Communist country in Europe, Slabovia
, who understand the modern world only via You've Been Framed-style home video bloopers. Slabovian news. Educational ditties
, including the excellent Communist Song
. Watch the Sex series on 4oD here
(may be UK only)
"is an adventure web-game created by Littleloud, published by Channel 4
and written by acclaimed comic book author, Kieron Gillen
. Set in 2027 in the heart of an authoritarian security state, The Curfew could be described as a miniature Canterbury Tales set in a not-so-distant future, where citizens must abide by government security measures and 'sub citizens' are placed under curfew at night. The player must navigate this complex political world and engage with the characters they meet along the way to work out who they should trust in order to gain freedom.
Choose wisely and you could change the course of history. Choose poorly, and it'll be changed for you."
So.. right. You've been enjoying the new IT Crowd
episodes but you need more.
For a bit of Friday fun, check out the IT Crowd Game! [more inside]
provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's
, [more inside]
UK adoption agencies are reporting "huge numbers of calls from 'deeply distressed' adoptive parents whose children have been contacted"
through Facebook and other social networking sites, in violation of the traditional, confidential reunion process between birth parents and their offspring who have been placed with other families. Full report from Channel 4
. [more inside]
How Music Works
- UK Channel 4 documentary (~180 mins.)
Why do some rhythms get our toes tapping, while others make us feel mellow? How does a love song bring tears to our eyes? What links African drumming to J S Bach?
Part 1 - Melody
Part 2 - Rhythm
Part 3 - Harmony
Part 4 - Bass
Then: Music producer and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession
and The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
, shares some of his thoughts at Google Talk
Zombies don't run
, says Simon Pegg. Well ours do
, says Charlie Brooker, director of Deadset
. (also some stuff about the election and skeletor and stuff)
Channel 4 recreates The Shining to promote its Kubrick season.
A 65-second tracking shot through a recreated Shining
set, complete with look-alikes.
One Last Journey.
"Cars these days, they're like washing machines." (Not Clarkson...)
Make me a Muslim.
The recently aired three episodes show takes a glamour model who wants to experience being completely hidden under a dress ,a skin therapist looking for meaning of life, a taxi driver that strongly feels islam is threatening UK lifestyle, a school teacher who wants to learn, an interracial interreligion couple and a flaming gay hairdresser tired of shallow party life.
Take this colourful bunch and have two imams, a preacher and a converted woman lead them through an "islamic lifestyle" experience. You can watch the results here
, I guess at least for a while.
God's Waiting Room
is a British documentary
about the daily struggles of Haji Taslim Funerals
, the first European Muslim Funeral Directors, and how they work to honor the requirements of ancient faith while cutting through the red tape of modern death. [more inside]
Nazi Pop Twins
is an eerie documentary
that debuted this year on BBC's Channel Four
about the neo-Nazi teen folk musicians, Prussian Blue
. The girls are managed by a neo-Nazi stage mom from hell, and the girls already seem to be more interested in shopping at the mall than singing white power lyrics. One of the creepiest scenes includes the twin girls on a phone call with their prison "pen pal," David Lane
, the Neo-Nazi convicted of the murder of radio talk show host, Alan Berg
. Lane refers to the twin girls as his "fantasy sweethearts," raising issues about whether an obsession with genetic "purity" leads to pedophilia on the Racist Right
. Watch the documentary on YouTube (Parts 1
, and 5
) (Warning: may be exposed to YouTube comments from racist asshats.)
Sorry lads - Wank Week is cancelled
. Channel 4's planned series on masturbation, which would have come this month and which was to feature such illuminating documentaries as "I Can't Stop Wanking
" and "Masturbation for Women
, as well as a portrait of the UK's first masturbate-a-thon
, has been pulled
as a result of the recent Big Brother controversy
. Would-be viewers feel stiffed
and wonder why 4 is being so hard on
its viewers, who are now left to entertain themselves.
The UKs Celebrity Big Brother provokes a diplomatic incident
after bullying and alleged racism in the Big Brother house. At the center of the furor are Shilpa Shetty
, massive bollywood film star, and Jade Goody, a previous Big Brother content famous for being a previous big brother contestant and her odd views on geography
. Both Jade and Shetty are now up for eviction, with the formerly popular Jade being widely expected to be evicted
. She could face trouble on the outside, where already an anti-bullying charity she represents has dropped her
. Meanwhile Shetty has become favorite to win
The IT Crowd
is a sitcom produced for Channel 4
. Although it follows the traditional laugh-track sitcom format, it manages to have some really funny moments
. Season one was only six episodes, but season 2 is due to start this January. Chris Morris
is particularly good as the CEO, Denholm. Full episodes can be found on YouTube
and Google Video
God's Next Army
a british documentation
about the Patrick Henry College
. It's only goal: to train more soldiers for God and the evangelical agenda in US politics
. Shouldn't there be a separation of education and ruthless fundamentalist indoctrination
UK Channel 4's Digital and Interactive Animation Finalists.
Creative archive licence group at The Beeb.
Today sees the launch of the Creative Archive Licence Group, a joint venture between the BBC
, the Open University
, Channel 4
and the BFI
to provide legal content to the (initially UK only) public under a series of licences
that are quite similar to those by Creative Commons
. Although at present only a trial, the project timetable
looks as though some good material will be made available.
3. The girls are always there: you make breakfast - lapdancers. You brush your teeth - lapdancers. You try and sleep - lapdancers. Can you handle that?
The Lapdance Island contestant application.
Can you handle that?
Russian Roulette live on TV!
On October 26th, Derren Brown
is going to play russian roulette live on Britain's Channel 4
. Good as he is, is this really responsible?
100 Worst Britons
as voted for by visitors to the Channel 4 website. The 'winner' isn't predictable at all. Omissions?
Richard & Judy's new show on Channel 4 has begun.
Three episodes in and Judy still looks nervous and Richard's marbles have still escaped him. But they've also taken a turn in 'National Enquirer' territory, featuring an item about non-movement excersise programmes and a video about a man who could change shape. As 'Off The Telly' reports: "This pandered to Richard and Judy’s well-worn obsession with anything of a freakish nature. The footage showed an ordinary person - or “Spookman” as Richard instantly dubbed him - whose face ostensibly changed into others as you studied it. The studio crew were convinced, gasping on cue, and Richard was rapt: “Oh man, I could watch this all night”
Great news! Channel 4 to re-screen Brass Eye
- with restored footage
So farewell then, Nasty Nick!
Or was he a stoolie all along?