Radiation by Fiona Rae

Jumpin' Jack Flashback

Salon.com's Heather Havrilesky recently held a Fix 24 contest; the top six entries included the gem: "Two words: musical episode." Sadly, Jack's unlikely to break out into song ("Regrets, I've had a few ..."), he's wrecked his voice with all that heroin and shouting for a start, but you get the point: maybe the "real-time" concept was never meant to go to three seasons.

My pick for a fix would be a flashback to Jack's time with the Salazar Gang - you know, getting his tattoo, getting high, slickly killing Ramon and Hector's enemies and having sex with Mexican hos for his country. Looks like I might get my wish too, after Thursday's double-double cross. He's already given the clearly expendable Pedro the scissor legs of death, the partying can't be too far away.

Jack's an anti-hero, but I'm not sure my sympathies lie with him anymore. 24 often seems to be an exercise in getting Jack into the most inextricable positions possible, then finding novel ways to extricate him. They also seem to think they needed a Sherry substitute, but I'm not buying the President's brother, either, even if it is DB Woodside, the spunky principal from the last season of Buffy. They don't even look alike.

But sometimes you have to sit back and feel the width: that's about a million bucks on screen right there, folks, in unmarked US banknotes, including some for Kiwi DOP Rodney Charters.

And now let's open the mail bag. John Watson comments that,

The BBC has regular roundtable discussions between media correspondents on topical local and international affairs. We need more open discussion -- not the pre-recorded sanitised variety we are getting.

That we do, although who's going to run the thing? I happened to catch a bit of Marae one morning and guess what? They were having not so much a round table discussion as a round couch one about Brash's speech/race relations etc that was enlightening. The only programme to actually get all parties together. Incredible. That would be Marae, on Sunday morning. At 11am.

And a big squishy welcome to Vibeke, who is a mum who liked Sesame Street. A lot. (Motherhood will do that to you. The technical term is "Mummybrain".) Unfortunately it's been replaced:

Options now seem stupid pink and lime green party animals, whose sole purpose in life is to say party party party, a mouse that likes ballet, hardly very punchy either, or High Five or the Wiggles and YES I KNOW THE KIDS LIKE IT, the kids like just about anything that moves ... but High Five is blond girlies in short tops looking sexy and the boys are showing off their fashionable jeans and they all pout and purr and I know that young people look nice, but why would you have to be under 22, and look like a tvdatingshowhost to be a child entertainer? And the Wiggles, well they are a bit wooden. And then Blue's Clues, DO YOU REALLY NEED TO SPELL EVERYTHING OUT LIKE THAT?

How about children's TV that is funny, and a little twisted and down to earth and has real people in it and represents the diversity or our society and is not about clothes or things you want to own or have to get, and is imaginative and not preachy and not overly goody-good educational but simply good TV, good story telling, good variety, and a little bit wacky?

Gosh I'm lucky I missed the era of High Five and my kids never liked the Christian fervour of the Wiggles. It was all Thomas the Tank Engine in my day. You wait, Vibeke - the hell of Yu-gi-oh! and the excruciating Dragonball Z may yet come. If you think High Five is bad, try sitting through the Pokemon movie. Twice. Current fave in our house: Megaman.

Some websites we like:
Square Eyes recommends www.tvshowsondvd.com and the Six Feet Under site is kick-ass, according to Magz. Yeah, those HBO sites are really good - check out The Sopranos. You just have to be careful of spoilers, as The Sopranos has just started in the US. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Steve Buscemi is in it this season. Yay! TV One will be playing the fourth season of Six Feet Under (a few of you are hanging out!). I'll see if they can give me an approximate on when.

I've also had an email from Robyn at idolblog.com, which is a fantastic site. I've been thinking about NZ Idol, so will address that in the near future.