Beaver Falls – Just Another Typical Teen Comedy?

New to E4, is the latest comedy programme with all the hype about it – Beaver Falls focuses mainly around three university friends, Flynn (Sam Robertson), A-Rab (Arsher Ali) & Barry (John Dagleish) who, after having graduated, decide to go for one more crazy Summer, partying away. However, they manage to do this through enrolling for jobs at an American Summer camp, Beaver Falls. Once they arrive, they realise it wasn’t exactly what they were expecting; there were plenty of hot girls, but their requirement of having to be responsible adults gets in their way of just wanting to have fun.

As soon as I started watching, it seemed like a typical comedy. Stuff that had already been done, like in The Inbetweeners; and to an extent, is does involve this a fair bit, typical teenager-style comedy, which we’ve witnessed so many times that it unfortunately becomes predictable and old. Even so, this programmes still manages to have its funny moments.

One thing I particularly liked, which I wasn’t expecting, is that there is actually a background story to each of the characters; and these storylines actually seem interesting – so much so, that I would want to watch on to find out more about them. Although it mostly isn’t the ‘laugh out loud’ comedy I was expecting, I still find it entertaining to watch from a comical aspect, and the added storylines for each of the characters only makes it more enjoyable.

I also enjoyed how each character appears to have their own uniqueness to them. Sure, they all share the same characteristics, in that their aim is to party, get girls, and well, basically do everything they were told they’re not allowed to do at this camp; but look past this, and you see there is more to each character than meets the eye. Right from the first episode, all three of the main characters each meet a different girl, and each manage to build an interesting relationship with each, though not necessarily a positive relationship. And I think it will be interesting to see how these relationships progress throughout each episode.

The main aspect which caught me off guard was that, contrary to what I was expecting, there is definitely an emotional aspect to the programme, particularly, with each of the characters. They all seem to be carrying some problems on their shoulders from back home in England, and it seems these problems are still affecting them. However, despite a failed attempt at first, they seem determined to actually care for the children at the camp, and it would seem they will try to deal with these problems throughout the rest of the series.

Although it wasn’t as funny as I was expecting, nor was it the type of comedy I was really expecting, Beaver Falls looks promising. With a good combination of emotion, humour that isn’t necessarily laugh-out-loud, though can be at times, and storylines which actually seem quite interesting for a programme about partying and getting girls, I think this is one which seems like it could end well, and is worth watching. I felt myself feeling convinced by the of the programme that I will enjoy the next episode.

Beaver Falls is on every Wednesday at 9pm on E4. Give it a watch and see what you think.

By Manpreet Singh


The Apprentice Final Review: Tom The Real Winner? An After Thought

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‘Once again Tom…he’s in a losing team, however he has brilliant ideas, he’s an inventor, that’s what I need’

‘Tom, I don’t want to see you in the boardroom again’

‘Tom, I feel every time your in this boardroom, you always know when a task is going wrong but you never fix it, am I right?’

Just a few memorized quotes there about Tom Pellereau from this series of The Apprentice. And what strikes me more is that I heard these kind of comments 9 out of the 12 weeks. Tom, the record holder for losing tasks, ultimately became Sir Alan Sugar’s business partner. No-one has ever lost that many tasks and then got to here the famous words ‘your hired’. Because on the ‘old format’ or whatever they like to call it, it was about selling and the ability to lead a team. On the ‘NEW’ format it was about showing the ability of creating a business. If that is the case then, why did they give the candidates tasks that required to sell more than creating a business model. Creating an idea, branding, marketing were a few key themes in the series that matched the new format. Tom however never really excelled on any task, don’t get me wrong, his inventing abilities is next to none but when it came to bring the idea to existence, he was terrible.

And that brings me to the semi-final, where Helen Milligan and Tom were on a team. Now if it wasn’t for Helen then Tom would of never made it to the final. And before we even discuss creativity, Helen thought of the pies, created the business model, got everything organised and made sure the brand was ‘fast food’. Tom on the other hand created the brand name by simply misreading a word on a advert after recently admitting he’s dyslexic. The brand MyPy, got them straight through to the final.

Now onto the final, apart from Jim Eastwood I liked the other three candidates, I thought Susan Maa was abit full on at times, and I don’t think she had a chance of winning tonight, in which she didn’t however she will be successful with out Lord Sugar. Going into the final Helen was my favourite candidate out of the whole show, because she showed consistency. I do feel however she was harshly done to in the ‘Interviews from hell’ which took her out of her comfort zone. After the interviews it was concluded in the boardroom (which sounded like a bunch of friends having a laugh) that Helen didn’t have the kind of entrepreneurial flair..Really? Are we forgetting when she broke the board room record in week 8 when she sealed a deal with a company for €214, 000 worth of car seats. And then a week later managed the team in securing 800 thousand units of Star biscuits? And then the board room tried making out like Susan had better business skills than her. Jim was ripped apart from the start, deservedly and was also the first to be booted from the final, his interview moments where Margaret made him look like a fool about cliches was absolutely comedy. Never have I felt so happy about a candidate getting fired, he was so close in become the next ‘Baggs brand’.

Tom also got criticized from the interviews and in the board room but the usual comments kept coming up. ‘He’s an inventor’. And it’s that comment that has silently irritated  me from the start of the show because I was led to believe it was about been able to start a business, not just inventing things. Anyone with the right amount of money and expertise can invent and create a business. Sir Alan made out like he was the next Albert Einstein, however Tom did do that dodgy eye shift movement like he was calculating space and time around him.

So my theory is, I believe Sir Alan wanted Tom to be the winner right from the early stages as soon as he realised he’s can invent random things from the top of his head. And in a way I feel robbed, because I absolutely loved this series from start to finish and I had a hunch that Lord Sugar was trying his hardest not to sack him from the middle of the show. Even when he declared that he didn’t want to see ‘Tom in the boardroom again’. Tom returned to the boardroom and still survived. It felt like losing a task on the show had no damaging effect if you got far or not which surely defeats the whole point.

It’s only a theory though, maybe Tom was a rightful winner but something doesn’t add up. The mention ‘he’s an inventor’ every week eventually got drilled into my head, it was like the show was trying to sell you the idea that this guy is the worthy winner. It didn’t work though because in the after show even the panel agreed that Helen would of won hands down in different circumstances.

So that’s the end of a very successful series 7, and I cannot wait for the next series already.

‘Stop guys, were not making any money here’ – Helen Milligan. —A quote that would of made more sense, if Tom said it.

By Daniel Hart.

The Apprentice Final Preview: Who Deserves To Win The Most?

Sir Alan Sugar at the BAFTA awards 2009, mirro...

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After 11 compelling weeks the candidates have been whittled down to 4, and what an interesting series this one has become. This is the first ever series where the winner of show doesn’t actually get employed by Sir Alan Sugar but actually gives them the opportunity to make a business with him. A concept I agree with because it means the candidates didn’t just get judged on selling skills alone.

Can I just start by saying I bloody hope Jim Eastwood does not win, if there is ever an arse licker then he is one, he defines it and has got through week by week by small talk situations. Luckily for him Sir Alan likes talkers so he has managed to scrape through awkward situations in the board room.

With Susan Ma I feel sorry for her, because with two or three more years experience on her then she would of done so much better in this process on the tasks,  she really is a mouse whisperer in the wind and luckily for her she has grown strong as the competition has gone on and Sir Alan has seen some potential somewhere.

Tom Pellereau has being like a genius gone mad in this series, his ideas are sometimes near perfect but his ability to convert ideas into an actual business model is quite poor unless he is working with a good team however Sir Alan has had plenty of opportunities to get rid of him in this process and he has each time given him a chance. So maybe he sees something in him that I don’t.

And finally my favourite Helen Louise Milligan, the cool and collective business woman that has managed to break records in a couple of tasks by making alot of profit, she should win by performance in tasks over all but let’s see how the final goes with the interviews. Her semi final performance was brilliant.

If you are like me you are probably excited for the final tonight. The interview task has always been the most intense one, and I can’t imagine what it will be like in a final.

By Daniel Hart

Falling Skies – Is It Worth An Hour Of Your Life Each Week?

Falling Skies, is the latest sci-fi drama to hit out television screens. New, and as an exclusive to channel FX, Falling Skies, is set after a huge alien invasion on Earth, leaving many dead, and massive global destruction. As much as it sounds just like any other typical alien invasion programme, don’t shy away just yet. There seems to be a little more to this than your generic alien invasion gun-fest.

Although I have only seen the first episode so far, it seems pretty promising. Created by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot), along with a lending hand from Steven Spielberg as executive producer, the first episode sees a group of survivors, left amidst the destruction caused by the invaders. Instantly, the programme jumps into the main aspect of the programme, rather than providing an uninteresting introduction.

One thing I like about this programme, is that they actually show the invaders in some detail, rather than at little glimpses, like many other programmes/movies. The special effects are pretty impressive too, especially considering that it’s on FX. There also seems to be a good emotional aspect to the programme too, adding enjoyment and emphasis on the sub-plots which will most likely run through the episodes. At some points, however, some of the dialogue scenes did seem to get somewhat boring. However, they were in pretty short bursts, and did appear reasonably relevant, and so were manageable – and I feel the dialogue scenes will become more interesting and integral throughout the series, as they did towards the end of the episode, hopefully leading the programme to a very interesting outcome. The action scenes are also tense and enjoyable, and not just some crappy generic crap scene like you get in many TV series.

Although in many aspects it does seem quite similar to any other alien invasion programme, I’m going to give this one a chance. The characters seem to have a lot to them, and I think this will be explored further in the later episodes, giving an interesting sub-plot to the main storyline. And it may just be me, but there seems to be a bit of a ‘Terminator Salvation’-type feel to it; although I’m not necessarily complaining about this – it just seems quite familiar.

It may not necessarily seem like the best programme to have hit our television screens, but I think it will be worth the watch (it has already been scheduled to return for a second season). Falling Skies, stars Noah Wyle (ER, Donnie Darko) and Moon Bloodgood, who, ironically, stars in Terminator Salvation. Skies is on channel FX Uk, every Tuesday at 9pm. Give it a watch and decide whether it will be worth sticking to or not.

I’ll be posting a couple more updates on the programme as it progresses, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested!

By Manpreet Singh

Can Skins Series 5 Be Saved?

Freddie McLair (Luke Pasqualino) & Effy Stonem...

Image by r9M via Flickr

Skins, one of the most original teenage dramas when it first aired.
You had the likes of Tony, Cassie, Sid, and Michelle. Teenagers loved the sharp wit, the humour, and the drama of regular teenage problems in the storylines. It worked because you learnt about the characters – they all have flaws, their friendships had on-screen chemistry.

Then that cast ended (apart from Effy), and Series 3 emerged. Everyone’s expectations were high. What would the new characters be like?
Fortunately, the characters were really good; but unfortunately, some viewers didn’t like the new series at first. This could have been due to a number of reasons: they became too used to the original characters, they were not used to the new style of script, or possibly the hype and expectations made them want more than what they got.

Eventually, people warmed to Skins, it had guest celebrities, like Will Young; and people began to enjoy the characters’ mannerisms and sense of humour. Series 3 and 4 were criticised for being too deep, and not having enough fun involved. But I, personally, thought this worked in favour of the storyline.
You had Cook and Naomi, Effy And Freddy, Pandora and Thomas, JJ and the Twins, Emily and Katie – all of whom had deep, psychological, teenage problems. Cook’s was obvious, he was an abandoned child (not raised properly), so lost control. And Effy, became a partial schizophrenic. I think eventually the previous cast grew on people, and their audience started to understand the storylines.

Skins listened for series 5, which many people will heavily disagree with. They have tried to make it more fun, but the characters do not yet look comfortable on-screen. Especially the second episode of series 5, which was awful (no disrespect to any moshers reading this) but for some reason the stereotype for that episode didn’t suit how Skins works. It became disjointed, and uninteresting. Like listening to a character being deaf for 15 minutes is entertaining?
Things finally got going in the third episode however, but is it enough? I find that in the first and second episode, the show was trying to develop a storyline and character progression in a vacuum, and that, quite frankly, doesn’t work.
It needs to keep up with the same consistency as episode 3 from now, before it loses a majority of it’s viewing figures.

There will be no more Tony’s and Cook’s, or Cassies’ and Effy’s. But hopefully, it will manage to get itself out of this vacuum and produce something that they are truly capable of.

By Daniel Hart

X-Factor Semi-Final, Who Will Go?

Simon Cowell Plaque

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Last night wasn’t cringe-worthy because Wagner wasn’t there, which was good because I couldn’t take another performance from him.

For the first time this series Simon Cowell didn’t warm to Matt Cardle, he almost mocked Matt’s illness and claimed he was ill himself but still got on with things. And then Matt’s second performance also didn’t work with Simon, will that hinder Matt’s chance of winning, probably not because he’s being favourite to win for most of the series now and I can’t see him losing, although I would like to see Rebecca or Cher winning the contract I doubt that very much however after last night’s two flawless performances from Rebecca, she has a really good chance.

Cher once again had a good week with the performances, she’s just going for it now isn’t she, I think she knows her chances of winning from the start to the series to the end are now extinguished but if she did win, then she would of won from pure determination along with abuse from the public but hopefully she makes the final which she deserves. I can’t see a final without Simon having a act, and lets face it One Direction have a huge teenage girl fan base, just like JLS did and I could see this group being in the final two next week, I ain’t a fan, they are boring.

And finally dear old Mary Bryne, could criticise her but she is too kind, I do think she should of left out the tears at the end of her second performance, like Simon said its all about reaching the final now, not bringing in emotional tactics to get more votes, but good on her, and even though I think she will go tonight she’s done well to get this far.

Hasn’t it gone quick? Next week we will have a new winner, and then the race for Christmas number one starts.

But for now a voting poll for tonight.

The end of Wagner

Louie Walsh - Virgin Mega Store, London, Engla...

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It happened, finally, Wagner has left the building (and his hotel) in last nights results on the X-factor. And all those who tried boycotting the show by voting for him are going to be ultimately disappointed but proud of how long they kept someone so incredibly bad at singing in the competition. My respect for Louis Walsh increased last night because he chose between two of his acts. Something Cheryl Cole couldn’t do, at least he plays by the rule book and he respectively kept Mary Byrne in the competition, but lets face it, better than Wagner but not going to win the show but good on her. So with that over now it’s getting serious and it’s the semi-final stage this week. I’m sure all of you will tune in. I will keep you posted.

Bye Wagner.

By Daniel Hart