Seven live versions of popular Australian TV shows

As television executives watch their audience and – more importantly – advertisers dwindle, they are increasingly looking for new revenue streams. A current winner is to stage live versions of popular television programs in the hope audiences will pay $99.95 plus booking and parking fees for something they could watch for free.

In the last 12 months alone Australia has hosted live versions of Grand Designs, Spicks and Specks  and QI, the later proving that even if you don’t own a TV, Stephen Fry is an inescapable presence. Continue reading


Don’t ask me, I’m just an audience member

Okay, so I can handle most of the annoyances of going to the movies. The children, the coughing, Shia LaBeouf’s continuing career. I don’t particularly like any of them but I unwrap another Fantale and keep my opinions to myself.

However, there is one trait I find so annoying I am forced to abandon any pretence of civility and make my feelings known. Continue reading

@HenryLawson: Classic Australian authors in 2012

It is a cliché now to speculate whether Shakespeare, were he alive today, would be working in Hollywood, churning out scripts for hits like The Full Montague and Shrew 2: Katharina Strikes Back.

Jane Austen would probably find a publisher if she included more bondage scenes while the BBC could keep Oscar Wilde on retainer just in case something happens to Stephen Fry.

But what of Australia’s cultural champions? Where would Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson and Norman Lindsay find work if they were to stumble out of some Federation-era time machine? Continue reading

Somebody must be buying all those Justin Bieber CDs

Four entertainers who have achieved massive success despite nobody apparently liking them.

Without wishing to sound like Donald Rumsfeld, pop culture can be divided into three broad categories: the popularly popular, the unpopularly unpopular and the unpopularly popular.

The populary popular are books, TV shows, films and music that are both objectively successful in terms of sales/ratings and have a highly vocal fanbase.

Examples include Harry Potter, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and the recent fake moustache drama Howzat. Continue reading