Shutting Up Shop

Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone who has read or subscribed to this blog. I am shutting it down because I don’t have the time to devote to it anymore.

Please come and visit my normal blog, Charcoal Ink, or my blog about Beyonce for more of my writing.




Music Videos Still Matter: Thoughts on Single Ladies

As you may have noticed from title of this blog, I am a Beyoncé fan. Sure, she is an R&B pop hybrid, and she has many haters (as per usual for successful black singers) but I am not one of them. She set YouTube alight with Single Ladies, her black & white homage to Fosse-esque dancing with loads of J-Setting. The video on her YouTube channel has almost 50 million views since it premiered last autumn.

I gave it a go below with the video. My dancing is pretty awful, but I will prove my point with it. Read more »

Quote of the Month: “Blood”/Law & Order/8×07

Just caught this right now as I am watching Law & Order on Hallmark. This episode was called Blood and remarkably is episode 8×07 from 1997.

In response to a potential witness who doesn’t want to talk, Jack McCoy says:

People who get in the way of my murder cases get run over!

That is a classic McCoy, and Law & Order when it pops and bubbles at its’ best. Hilarious.

Ratings Reflections: The Wire gets more spikes

Just to put my previous post about The Wire‘s pilot episode on BBC finding 600,000 viewers in more context, I have created a graphic to illustrate just how better it was done on terrestrial, compared to satellite when it was on FX.


Links for Data: The Times and The Guardian

As you can see, it’s an increase of 470,000 viewers, pure and simple from terrestrial. God knows why it took the Beeb so long to acquire the normal rights.

The third episode of the first series is back on tonight at 23.20 on BBC1.

Ratings Reflections: The Wire traps 600,000 viewers

Best ratings ever for the show in the UK, after it was shown on BBC.

The Guardian said:

The Wire attracted a respectable 8% share of the total TV audience last night between 11.20pm and 12.20am on BBC2, according to unofficial overnights.

‘Respectable’ – those are great numbers for such a small show, that no one barely saw when it came out. I will be interested to see what happens next week, whether they can build on those numbers, like how Law & Order UK has.

Ratings Reflections: The Apprentice takes 8.1m wickets…


[Image Source: Flickr/Uploaded by jovike/Creative Commons Licence Approved by Attribution]

…well, of course, I mean viewers! But they may as well have taken wickets because that is a fantastic start to the series. 8.1m! Just phenomenal. If we consider that Dancing on Ice was averaging about 9m in the middle when it hit its’ groove, the controllers at the BBC should be very pleased.

Episode Review: The Apprentice/Series 5×01

It’s back.

If you live under a rock, you probably do not know what it means. Million Dollar Traders came before it in February, Comic Relief giving it the celebrity push just before the launch. Oh yes, I am talking about The Apprentice (TA hereafter).

The first episode of the 5th series premiered just now at 21.00hrs. TA never disappoints because it always has the same punchy formula: Sir Alan’s joke phrases, Nick & Margaret’s biting comments alongside arrogant inflated egos of the candidates, vying for the job Tim, Michelle used to have. It’s fantastic to watch because it does exactly what it says on the tin.

This first episode of the franchise, created by British TV executive Mark Burnett, saw the candidates setting up a cleaning service. Naturally, there were so many explosions of not the right sort. Candidates already standing out for me are Mona (Tanzania baby!) and Deborah who did not get along whilst being on the same team.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 Crazy-in-Love choruses > it’s back, but we have to wait and see if it can top last years fabulous series.

Ratings Reflections: 12 Million Watch Dancing on Ice Final

Donal was robbed, I tell you!

X Factor finalist Ray Quinn won Dancing on Ice last night. He was definitely the favourite, with Irish journalist Donal MacIntyre as the underdog who somehow found his way to the final.

I enjoy these kitschy, cheesy over the top shows of sparkles and all that nonsense. I think shows like X Factor & Dancing on Ice¬†are just fantastic! I can’t pretend – I watched the whole final from 18.55-21.00. And who can forget Todd Carty coming out for one final skate too? Love it!

The Guardian has reported that 12 million people watched the final towards the end of the segment. Those are amazing ratings, whatever way you look at it. Sunday night is clearly a good slot for the show.

More Musings on 30 Rock & Five USA’s Nonsense

30 Rock: There is this insider’s TV blog called Complications Ensue that I found randomly one day. I’m studying to be a journalist so I have no desire to work in TV but I am a *massive* TV freak. It’s an interesting blog written by a TV writer, Alex Epstein, who clearly is an expert in the field of television.

When I was looking through the archives of this blog, I realised that the writer was not wild about shows I am a fanatic about like 30 Rock, then I found this post. I had no idea 30 Rock had ‘plussing’ as Epstein calls, which is, according to him when:

adding additional funny material to a scene that’s already funny.

This is why I think 30 Rock is so fantastic. I noticed it in the first series that the characters always had funny little extra things that they did. It always made me crease because as a viewer, it makes you realise how detailed the comedy is because you have to concentrate or you will miss the subtle jokes.

I am slightly confused with the route they are going for in the second series. I watched the new second series episodes last night on Five USA. They were better than last week’s episodes but I am starting to feel like the show has changed in that, it is more self-conscious. I know that it was critically lauded in the US with the first series but found it hard to break into the mainstream with a larger audience. I suspect that Tina has probably changed certain things to make it more mainstream but naturally, this does take away from the magic of the first series.

I will know for sure of my reservations when I watch next week’s episodes. I still think the show is great, but maybe it is trying to find its’ feet with the second series. Which brings me to…

Five USA: According to the irritating voice-over I heard last night after the episodes, 30 Rock is being moved to being at 10pm & 10.30pm instead of the 9pm slot. Again, Five USA are just not confident with the show. Maybe they have pushed it forward to catch more younger people but I just don’t understand why they cannot promote the show properly. It’s not pass the parcel – it’s a show that can be commercially successful if Five know what they are doing.

Like I said before, Dexter is successful (1 million viewers on ITV!) and it only has 12 episodes, whereas 30 Rock has more than 20 episodes yet numbers just in the thousands. Five need to think hard about what they are going to do.

NB: The best 30 Rock fansite I have found so far is Pregnant Cornbread. Any hardcore 30 Rock fans will understand the hilarious title.

Crazy-in-Love Screen Links

A collection of screen-related links:

  • Monie has written a summary of Vanessa Williams’ (Ugly Betty) career.
  • Broadcast revealed that Red Riding, the critically lauded Channel 4 trilogy, closed with around 1.7m viewers, citing that show was watched by mostly females & ABC1s. Must be the Sean Bean factor. I won’t pretend, he had me watching!
  • Variety learns that the Brazilian version of Big Brother will make circa $125m from advertisements alone. I can’t even think of a smoking hot pun to accompany this. That’s a lot of dosh!
  • Cammie says he’d freeze the licence fee for BBC because of ‘tough times’, according to The Indy. Okay Dave, but then how will the Beeb make money and even more, how will you fund me watching BBC3?

[Sources cited: Variety, Monie on the Outside, The Independent, & Broadcast]