Tag Archive for 'parody'

Unafraid. Unelected. The Hollowmen.

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The Hollowmen is a new political comedy/drama coming to ABC1 from July 9th. With this being the first on-air promo for the new show. The use of photographs in the video is a possible allusion to a 2004 election campaign commercial that adopted a similar style, or perhaps I’m just reading too much into it.

Produced by the Working Dog, the team behind Frontline and The Castle, the show is about “the workings of an internal think tank, set up by the Prime Minister, whose responsibility is long-term policy vision”.

The eerie calm of a no news day.

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Jason Arber, a director at the London based motion graphics outfit Wyld Stallyons has created a rather spectacular, and surprisingly profound commentary on the state of telvision news, and all without saying a word. Jason explains that

“for a long time I’ve been obsessed by the look that news presenters have when the other person in a news presenting duo is talking”

And it was this unease that inspired him to create the video.

“I recorded a bunch of footage and then stripped out the talking news presenters and replaced them with non-talking ones. The effect was weird and unsettling, and so I paired it with some wonderful music from the composer Ben Frost that really seemed to suit the mood”.

While its recently been brought to Jason’s attention that a fairly similar video was created by the comedy show Time Trumpet, I think the success of Jason’s video is that its more effective in capturing the vulnerability of the newscasters, and is more subtle and poignant in its approach. Mitchell and Webb also recently did a very funny piece of news parody, exploring the concept that really, everything was just fine.

Jason’s video is beautifully executed on both technical and creative fronts, and its about as close to art I’ve seen television news get.

What do you reckon? I know I don’t care.

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Mitchell and Webb poke fun at the maddening world of television news “interactivity”, because really..

What possible reason could there be for you not to email us, certainly ignorance shouldn’t be a bar.

News parody has filled many posts on this site, including Jeremy Clarkson’s commentary on the state of news, Melanie Bellamy with the standing news, Dead Ringers high brow jab at Newsnight, and of course all that Chaser stuff.

Arrested Development: The Movie.

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When anyone asks me what my favourite television show is, the answer is unequivocally: Arrested Development. So you’ll have to indulge my excitement over news that it looks like a movie could finally be in the works!

The Simpson’s War on Everything.

the chaser's war on everything as the simpsons style

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I’ve been reading Watching with the Simpsons by Jonathan Gray over the past few days, and its helped me further appreciate The Chaser’s War on Everything. Gray talks about “parody’s potential to mock, make us laugh, and teach us all at once”, and I think that sums up the incredible power of good television, and good media in general.

Parody, whether it be on The Chaser, The Office, or Arrested Development, uses our cultural literacy, or asks us to expand our cultural literacy to “get” the joke.

I may have gone to university, but it was Triple J, the ABC, a bunch of downloaded television and Wikipedia that made me the person I am today, which is kind of scary, but also why I think a smart and challenging media, from television to the internet, is for a lot of people a really accessible way to make us all a little smarter.

Update #1: I was at the taping of last nights episode, the Chaser guys displayed The Simpson’s image on the monitors in the studio for everyone to see. Chris was concerned he was portrayed with a bit more of a stomach than he deserved and Chas was grateful to be the tallest one in the group for once. They knew I was in the audience, and got me to explain the picture, everyone seemed to get a laugh out of it, it was a very cool night.

Update #2: The Sydney Morning Herald picked up on it too, if you have the print edition check out page 22.

Update #3: Turns out it got a mention on Triple J too. Download the MP3 here.

Update #4: The Herald Sun wrote something on it today too, if you have the print edition check out page 25.

I commissioned Nattalia Alonso to create the image for me, thanks Natt!

Melanie Bellamy with the standing news

standingnews

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I’ve had this sitting on my desktop for a few weeks, its from Broken News, the BBC comedy currently airing Monday’s on SBS. It’s funny, as is the whole show, but I feel Jeremy Clarkson got it best with his commentary on modern news.

You’re watching Newsnight, are you trying to impress someone?

newnewsnight

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After the passionate response I got to the new BBC 6 and 10 o’clock news I thought the next logical step would be Newsnight.

I’ve never actually seen the show, but I have seen it parodied on Dead Ringers (second video). Am I right in saying the Australian equivalent would be Lateline?

The combination of round desk and couch looks interesting, and the huge screen at the back seems more versatile then the usual plasma or graphics that accompanies most news presenters.