Friday, December 04, 2009

Media Overload

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So for the past few months I have been unemployed. That's right, just another casualty of the economic downturn, not that I enjoy making excuses for myself nor dwelling on that fact. Now, I have days where I'm exceedingly pro active in applying for every job that might conceivably take me; and others, like today and the latter section of yesterday, where the only useful thing I do is try out recipes (see below) and spend the rest of the day immersing myself in media to the point where I might conceivably need a monocle (I may just have seen an advertisement for Monopoly). So here's what I've been interested in of late in between applying for scores of jobs and twiddling my thumbs waiting to here back from said institutions:

Scrubs

This is my cue to request you all imagine the melancholy piano cue music they use for poignant or otherwise sad moments on the show. The hardcore fans will know what I mean - duh duh du-duh duh duh duh duh... etc. I was underwhelmed by the first two offerings of the new season (now in its 9th), despite expecting very little. In a bid to retain the fiercely loyal fanbase of seasons past, they have retained JD, Turk, Dr's Cox and Kelso, and Denise, that grumpy (yet strangely attractive) blonde doctor from the past season, albeit in diminished roles. Zach Braff, back to in order to aid the transition, is as quirky as ever but now a father and very much meant to be a role model for the new intake (indeed, the "Scrubs" title screen has a sub byline of "Med School" underneath) is now just vaguely pathetic and immature rather than endearing. Blink-and-you'll-miss them cameos from Elliot, the Janitor and the Todd raise smiles in the first episode before they vanish back into the night. The hospital has now changed building also, further adding to the detachment from the previous structure. There are three main new characters in the med student intake, a cocky son-of-major-sponsor Cole, dark and Cox-ian former med school drop out Drew, and in the starring role, Lucy, who would have done perfectly well as a back up character formerly but I currently have doubts whether she will be able to carry the show as JD did in the past. I like the character and the actress (Kerry Bishe) in a pretty and dorky ingenue role which seems rather cynically to be a blend of JD and Elliot, with the former's strange outbursts and need for a role model (enter previous JD) and the latter's latent insecurity. But her daydreams are not as wacky nor well themed as JD's and there is only so far sweetly smiling will carry you. I have loved this programme from the outset so I will continue to give it a chance, but based on initial opinion and the fact that the show was already on a downward slope before JD 'left', I am thinking that perhaps they should consider stopping the dead-horse-flogging. Seriously. Even Friends knew when to end on a high note, and they were infinitely more inventive with their scenarios and old fashioned situation comedy.

Augmented Reality

I might be a few weeks late to the party on this revelation but this is the future of media I reckon! The talented bunch at Rocketboom.com did a pretty good explanation that I can probably not improve upon.



The bottom line is that camera-enabled computers, laptops and smartphones will soon be able to have a whole new slew of features, such as slideshows, enhanced maps, and probably even games with minimal new software. The easiest and most comprehensive the general public could try out if one is particularly interested in this concept is the 'Virtual Echo' over at the official website for the TV programme Dollhouse (on its deathbed currently *sniff sniff*). You print out a logo on a piece of paper which enables you to play around with an admittedly not very interactive display of Echo's personas, but you can move the screen around a lot and for a half minute it feels thrillingly (and geekily) like you're Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

 My Sassy Girl

This is a 2001 Korean romcom flick with a slight twist, based on a hugely popular Korean online romantic blog. Think an older Asian cousin of (500) Days of Summer (who says analogies have to make sense?) This has achieved massive cult and box office success in South East Asia, which is how I know of it despite it being all but unknown over here. I initially resisted for that exact reason. It's a very popular romcom, and those generally have a tendency to make me feel not unlike someone shoved a caramelised rainbow down my throat. But in its Asian setting, its unabashed kooky nature. Given the current reception of (500) Days, this film was a while ahead of its time, and the script is clever enough to keep it engaging over its lengthy run time. Certainly, this film has its flaws: the setpieces feeling forced and incredible (the Girl's script ideas and the soldier scene in the middle partily springing to mind), the comedy can sometimes be very Asian (huge dependence on slapstick and social awkwardness to the extent that some may wrinkle their noses) and the story arc jumps to and fro so much it might give you plot-whiplash. But the central relationship is played sublimely, the comic timings are on beat and such as they are, there exist some very clever (if a tad predictable for romcom cynics like myself) plot devices. I would definitely recommend it, and doubly if you're Asian and/or a romcom fan.

For IMDB addicts - My Sassy Girl
and those who want a second (very worthy) opinion - JapanCinema review

p.s. I hear universally that the 2008 remake with Elisha Cuthbert is a wash out. Beware.

The law/human rights gone wrong?

'A 66-year-old church elder convicted of indecently assaulting a child will not be sent to jail because his obesity means his health is "precarious"'


Where do we draw the line?


Source: BBC News

1 Response to Media Overload

19 December 2009 at 20:13

I've watched the Elisha Cuthbert version and didn't quite like it..

But would like to add that there was a Bollywood version made with Mallika Sherawat in the lead which was oh-so-awful. And
I believe this one was a frame-to-frame 'inspiration'.

But now that you suggest I watch the Korean version (me being Asian et al!), will check it out once I land my hands on a DVD. Thanks.