Spamalicious 2

When bots try to leave comments that flatter you, you get nonsense such as this:

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Clever bot.


Or maybe it’s a Dada bot.

A New BBC Show to Look Forward To

This looks like it could be a whole lot of fun:

Filming starts on new BBC Two comedy The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff Date: 03.10.2011 Category: TV Ent; BBC Two

BBC Two announces that production is underway on The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, a new four-part comedy adventure set in the Dickensian world of Jedrington Secret-Past, the up-standing family man and owner of The Old Shop of Stuff, Victorian London’s most successful purveyor of miscellaneous odd things.

The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff is a BBC In-House production comprising a one-hour Christmas Special followed by three 30-minute episodes to air early next year. It is produced by Gareth Edwards (That Mitchell And Webb Look) and written by Mark Evans, who penned Radio 4 comedy Bleak Expectations, a Victorian adventure about a different set of Dickensian characters.

The series has an impressive ensemble cast led by Robert Webb (That Mitchell And Webb Look) in the role of Jedrington and Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) who plays his wife Conceptiva.

The Christmas special will feature Stephen Fry as the evil lawyer Malifax Skulkingworm alongside David Mitchell (That Mitchell And Webb Look), Celia Imrie (Nanny McPhee), Pauline McLynn (Father Ted) and Johnny Vegas (Ideal). The episode sees Jedrington’s family incarcerated by Skulkingworm in London’s infamous prison The Skint, until they can repay a mysterious and vast debt. Will Jedrington rescue his family in time for Christmas or lose them forever? And is there more to the name Secret-Past than meets the eye?

The rest of the series will feature Tim McInnerny (Blackadder), Kevin Eldon (Nighty Night), Sarah Hadland (Miranda) and Derek Griffiths (West End’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and sees Jedrington team up with a seemingly charming new business partner Harmswell Grimstone (McInnerny). As the Secret-Past family’s fortunes rise, it looks like they are built on crumbling foundations indeed, especially when it is revealed that Conceptiva too has a secret that turns out to be even darker than Jedrington’s own.

Mark Freeland, Head of In-House Comedy, says: “Mark Evans’s already well-loved Victorian comic world is a wonderful way to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth. He probably wouldn’t have agreed, but I am very excited.”

Robert Webb adds: “I’m really looking forward to working with my all-time hero David Mitchell. Apparently Stephen Fry is in it too, which is nice.”

The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff has been commissioned by Cheryl Taylor, Controller of Comedy Commissioning and directed by Ben Gosling Fuller (Ideal).

Original Press Release

Wait Wait . . . BRAINS!

h/t to BoingBoing for the link to this fabulous script for a Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me episode coming to us from the zombie apocalypse:

PETER: Steve, you’re going to start us off with “Who’s Carl This Time?” Carl will recreate for you three voices from the week’s news. Your job is to identify them. If you get two out of three right, you win our prize, Carl’s voice on your answering machine. Of course, since civilization is disintegrating around us, we’ll probably be relying on smoke signals for the next generation or two. Here’s your first quote.

CARL: “I am tired of these m-f’ing zombies in my m-f’ing White House!”

PETER: That was a slightly edited version of a quote from which world leader, in response to the zombie threat?

STEVE: Brains?

PETER: No, I’m sorry, it was Vice-President Joe Biden, who went, and we quote the vice-president again, “all Samuel L. Jackson on their asses.” President Obama, meanwhile, defended the West Wing with a functioning lightsaber that the Pentagon had apparently built for him in secret.

Go here to read the rest.

Zombie Watch! Part 5

In recent years, the popularity of zombies has led to an ever wider variety of stories that use the image and metaphor of a zombie in ways that are almost completely alien, even antithetical, to the traditional zombie movie structure that has been with us since Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Deadgirl was one such movie and American Zombie is another. Not that these two movies are anything alike. However, both reframe the idea of zombies in ways that might seem, to some hard-core zombie fanatics, almost sacrilegious.

American Zombie is structured as a documentary that is looking into the lives of the living dead. The Center of Undead Studies (or something like that, I’m not going to go back and check the reference because you get the point) has three classifications for zombies: Feral, Low-Functioning, and High-Functioning. High functioning zombies hold jobs, go about their lives trying to connect to something, trying to remember their past, trying to find true love. But for their rotting flesh they are just your everyday, ordinary Americans trying to get by. There’s even a Zombie American organization with the slogan “We’re here, we’re dead, get used to it.”

If you can’t tell by now American Zombie has both a sense of humor and a satirical agenda and is very clearly not your typical zombie movie. That said, it’s actually interesting. The characters who are interviewed as subjects of the documentary are compelling and the thin line between pity and fear is played with throughout the film. The filmmakers play themselves making the documentary and while we don’t have a lot of character development on their part, there are a few very nice scenes that give them some depth. A couple of creepy moments give the viewer a bit of a thrill but this isn’t a horror film in any real sense so don’t expect to be scared. Amused, curious, and interested perhaps, but not scared. If you are fascinated, like I am, in the whole zombie fascination our culture has going, I recommend this movie. If you want to watch a bloody and scary movie, you’ll probably want to skip it. And if you have Netflix Streaming you can watch it instantly and for free.

I’ll be interested in other reactions to the movie, so drop a comment if you watch it.