Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ARTSO: Foreign Shows

A Bit of Fry and Laurie

Absolutely Fabulous

Allo Allo

Ashes to Ashes

Black Adder
Watch This Opening

Visual: It seems a little low budget. They were trying to look epic, but fell a little short. Granted, this is a comedy series, but I don't know. I think something more interesting could have been made. 5/15

Audio: The soundtrack is kind of fun with the Movie style Medieval music. The melody is hummable, but not really that memorable. 8/15

Mood: So they start off rather serious, then somebody gets pushed down some stairs and people laugh. That means this is a comedy. 4/5

Information: I can see Rowan Atkinson riding a horse. He obviously thinks highly of himself, but I'm not sure what his role is. Apparently this is set during the reign of Richard III. 5/10

Want to Watch: There's not much there that interests me. I might do so anyway because it has Rowan Atkinson. 2/5

Overall: 24/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: A snake (Black Adder?) crawls across the floor as a hand constantly pulls it back to keep it in screen. Finally a potato is put on the floor and the word "Potato" comes on the screen, which leads me to believe that this is something that changes for each episode. Quite interesting and a little funny. 10/15

Audio: Instead of the brassy horns from the first season, we get flutes and a smaller chamber ensemble. The music isn't as epic as before, but it's still fun. 8/15

Mood: The credits are humorous enough. 4/5

Information: Rowan Atkinson is Black Adder. That's all I can tell, really. 2/10

Want to Watch: I don't know. I don't know anything about the show and the credits aren't interesting enough to make up for it. 1/5

Overall: 24/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: Very nice. I like the idea behind it, with Blackadder looking around the library for a book. The way the shots are set up is quite interesting, and the gag of him finding a cheesy romance novel isn't too bad either. 12/15

Audio: Now the main tune is played in a kind of Baroque style. Very stuffy and proper. Other than that I feel about the same as I did before. 9/15

Mood: If it wasn't for that one small gag at the very end, I wouldn't know this was supposed to be funny. 3/5

Information: So Blackadder is in charge of books now? He doesn't seem to be that serious about his job. 4/10

Want to Watch: I'm still iffy about it, but this one gets a maybe. 3/5

Overall: 31/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: Not much to look at here. It's just a military ceremony. The same problems I mentioned in the first season are even more prevalent here. 4/15

Audio: Now the theme is renderred in a miliatary march style. I'm not sure if it's even the same theme anymore. I feel kind of sad that they dropped it for the fourth season. 5/15

Mood: Well the triangle player was kind of funny: 3/5

Information: I actually know what Blackadder's job is this season. He is a miliatary officer. It looks like Hugh Laurie is an officer as well, and Steven Fry is higher ranked than both of them. You can also tell the era by looking at the uniforms. 7/10

Want to Watch: This one doesn't really pull me in that much. 2/5

Overall: 21/50

Degrassi Junior High
Watch This Opening

Visual: Mostly just clips from the show. There really wasn't anything that interesting in there. 5/15

Audio: What was that? Really that song does nothing for me. 80's pop synth and not the good kind either. 4/15

Mood: This is a teenie-bopper show from the eighties, right? 2/5

Information: So you get to see the students of the school. You do get to see some student interactions there, I'm not sure who among the characters is important, or if any of them are. Some of them seem to fall into common student archetypes, though. 5/10

Want to Watch: Not especially. The description sounds interesting, but those credits are awful. 1/5

Overall: 17/50

Degrassi the Next Generation

Doctor Who

Father Ted
Watch This Opening

Visual: I like the writing they used for the titles. After that it kind of lulls you to sleep. Not saying the Irish countryside isn't lovely, but I don't want to spend the entire credits watching. Okay, fine, the ending made me chuckle. 8/15

Audio: As the song is probably more supposed to be a set up for the end than an actual credit theme song, I think I can give it some leeway for being kind of unspectacular. 7/15

Mood: It probably fits rather well. 5/5

Information: None. Absolutely none. I know they're Irish and I know what their house looks like, but I can't really tell anything else. 3/10

Want to Watch: I need a bit more before I make a decision. 2/5

Overall: 25/50

Fawlty Towers
Watch This Opening

Visual: A still image. How.. wonderful. There's not really much I can say here. I like that one letter is slightly askew, but it's a still image. 3/15

Audio: I guess it's supposed to be stuffy. It's also boring. 3/15

Mood: What mood is being set? That of a concert performance? 1/5

Information: The building is Fawlty Towers. Also, John Cleese. 2/10

Want to Watch: Well, I probably will, but not because of that opening. 1/5

Overall: 10/50

House of Cards

Iron Chef
Watch This Opening

Visual: They were trying to be epic, but fell short in my opinion. If they wanted to be over the top and dramatic, I think they could have done it a little more while still remaining true to the core of the show. 6/15

Audio: Something in the narrator's delivery just lacked the energy needed to match what they were going for. I would have liked it if he were a little more out. Iron Chef needs to be all about theatrics and that starts at the beginning of the show. 6/15

Mood: Epic cooking needs to be more epic. 3/5

Information: They go over the entire history of the show as well as the rules of The Game (which you just lost). They then introduce the four chefs and mention their specialties. It's just stated outright rather than shown, though. They might have been more efficient with time somehow. Don't ask me how. 10/10

Want to Watch: If it's on. 4/5

Overall: 29/50

Kids in the Hall

Look Around You

Monty Python's Flying Circus
Watch This Opening

Visual: Ah, where would Monty Python be without the animation of Terry Gilliam? I'm not sure, but it's possible the show might have made a little more sense. 8/15

Audio: Circus music. What else? 9/15

Mood: Monty Python goes back and forth between being incredibly witty and just plain silly. The opening titles are just plain silly. 4/5

Information: This show is random. 4/10

Want to Watch: I have no idea what I'm getting into. I'm not turned off, though. 2/5

Overall: 27/50

Mr. Bean
Watch This Opening

Visual: The concept is rather fitting. Mr. Bean gets abducted by aliens and is then promptly rejected by them. 9/15

Audio: A chorale. That music is a little out of place, but it works. 8/15

Mood: It sets the mood half well half "what?" 3/5

Information: Apparently Mr. Bean (if that is his name) is not the most glamourous of characters. 4/10

Want to Watch: Well, I don't know much, but I might give it a try. 4/5

Overall: 28/50

Red Dwarf
Watch This Opening

Visual: The shot of the ship is great. Along with the one guy painting the name on it, it gives a sense of the scale of the ship. 9/15

Audio: It's big and dramatic, then when you hear the actual theme tune in the closing credits, it's light and peppy. Part of the draw of this song is that it's based off the closing credits theme tune, which sounds completely different. 8/15

Mood: I think part of the idea behind this is it sets the viewer up to believe that this is going to be some great space epic, only for them to find out it's a character based comedy. 3/5

Information: There is a ship traveling through space, and it's huge. 3/10

Want to Watch: Even though it doesn't tell much, the credits look interesting. 4/5

Overall: 27/50

Super Sentai
Watch This Opening (I'm reviewing the second one. For the first, see Power Rangers)

Visual: Clips from the show and cast shots. The animatronics here are laughably bad. 4/15

Audio: It's pretty catchy. Not much to make it unique, but it's catchy. 8/15

Mood: Action and bad animatronics. How can you go wrong? 3/5

Information: In a world of shaky dinosaurs, five people come together to kick around enemies made of some kind of clay. They also ride motorcycles. 7/10

Want to Watch: Although it seems like it might be So Bad It's Good, I think I'll pass. 2/5

Overall: 24/50

Takeshis Castle

Ultra Man

Wallace and Gromit

Yes Minister
Watch This Opening

Visual: Done in the style of political cartoons. The long noses may be a reference to Pinocchio, or they may just be long to be long. Who knows these days. 9/15

Audio: It's based off the famous clock chime, but you have to listen a bit to hear it. It's done in a very different style. 7/15

Mood: Uh, what? 2/5

Information: Political satire, I think. 3/10

Want to Watch: What am I watching? 2/5

Overall: 23/50

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