Today class, we’re discussing streaming.
Originally this was going to be one of those random thought posts where I wax lyrical on anything and everything. Only after writing for a bit, I realised most of my thoughts were aimed squarely in the direction of the TV behind me and everything streamed to it recently. So welcome to what I’ve been watching and in one particular case, a show I still wouldn’t watch even if I somehow ended up on it..
Random streaming thoughts from an occasional streamer
-I’ve just binge watched the entire second season of Clarkson’s Farm and I can’t recall a show like it that’s had such an effect on raising awareness of a serious issue in a positive, entertaining and amusing way. Because the UK farm industry seems to be suffering at the moment and in each episode of Jeremy’s adventures and plans on his Diddly Squat Farm, he shines plenty of light on the plight that fellow farmers are facing from rising costs of everything and overseas imports undercutting local produce to badgers with TB not the mention the infuriating bureaucracy people have to deal with from local councils and government groups, to not only run a farm but generally earn a living out on the land.
Okay yes, the man is wealthy already, he can certainly be controversial when he wants to be too and the show will get any occupational health and safety officer a heart attack – but he also seems genuinely in love with the land and protecting the farming industry that’s become his latest passion, only to face stiff opposition and red tape every time he tries to make positive changes. Which while frustrating is also riveting viewing, especially when the team go in hard to work around what they can and can’t do.
Oh and Kaleb truly shines in this season too, giving Jeremy plenty of stick along the way. Love it.
On paper, this really doesn’t seem that exciting but I urge you to give it a go because after two seasons of watching Jeremy bumble about breaking various bits of machinery and occasionally bits of himself, I’ve learnt more about the life of a farmer in the UK on this show than I would anywhere else and I’ve loved every episode of it along the journey. I now want to eat at the Clarkson Farm restaurant and buy a bag of spuds at the Diddly Squat Farm Shop.
TV producers if you’re reading this – more of these kind of shows and less of…well that gets me to my next point:
-Surely if you put down ‘I was a relationship expert on Married at First sight Australia’ on your resume, that’s a massive red flag to potential employers that ‘I’m pretty much making this stuff up as I go along.’ I haven’t even watched a single episode but even I’m aware of the fact that it’s the worst personalities mixed together on wedding day to see what might stick, or in a producers wildest dream, explode. And then you poke and prod them for a few weeks through different events before sitting them down and finding out how much they can’t stand each other.
If this show is still working on the premise of a social experiment, how come nobody has tapped any of these experts on the show as said ‘Look, you might want to close up shop here mate, this one’s well and truly cooked. This just isn’t working at all‘? Because if I had the same staggeringly low success rate at anything like the ratio of still successful partnerships to separations, I probably would have been marched out of the building and over to the nearest unemployment line years ago.
-While I haven’t watched a single MAFS episode, I have thoroughly enjoyed the work of James Weir’s incredible recaps on season 2023. He’s been living through the adventures of the horny mum and co on this show so people like me don’t have to and they truly are a thoroughly funny read each and every morning through News.com.au, in amongst a sea of random filler content fished out from Tik Tok and Reddit. Thanks for taking more than one for the team here James!
-Aside from getting into each years WWE Royal Rumble (usually a good month or two after they happened), I’m nowhere near the level of wrestling fan I used to be. However I still enjoy a good behind the scenes wrestling podcast (Like 83 Weeks or The Jim Cornette Experience) and I’ve finally taken the time to catch up on the riveting Dark Side of The Ring series by Vice. Last night I sat through The Life and Crimes of New Jack and at the end of it, as entertaining as it was (it certainly had more than a fair share of laughs in it especially with his stories about his tag team partner Mustafa and the pencil shavings) I started to wonder how the hell he got away with so much for so long. There was the Mass Transit incident where he cut up a rookie wrestler, his revenge on Vic Grimes with the stun gun, beating seven shades of hell out of Gyspy Joe because nobody explained his gimmick and confessing that most of the time he was as high as a kite while doing things.
And yet he remained employed and continued to get bookings. Was the occasional chance of going deeply off the rails really worth that kind of risk?
Now cards on the table, back in the day I was quite the ECW fan because it was so different to the tame fare from WWF (now WWE) and WCW offerings. I liked the angles and the unpredictability, the occasional humorous story lines (Blue World Order and Little Spike Dudley becoming a giant killer come to mind) and intense characters like Raven and The Sandman (when he wasn’t so blind drunk of course.) And in those crazy days, the ECW loved their violence – from chair shots to tables on fire, high spots and barbed wire and New Jack certainly was right in the thick of that action (First time I saw him was in a November to Remember as part of a four way dance of death, where he and his partner intentionally turned up a good ten minutes after the match had started..) But surely even ECW boss Paul Heyman in this mecca of madness should have realised that New Jack was possibly just a couple of steps away from literally killing someone in the ring? Or was that the vibe Heyman was aiming for with his mad collection of misfits?
New Jack was utterly terrifying…and yet in this show, incredibly captivating. Seriously, watch the episode, shake your head at the journey but try to tell me he’s not, I think you’ll find it difficult. Especially the hilarious ending where he describes the final scene of his own movie…
-Matt Smith from Doctor Who, apologies for sleeping on your work. I grew up in the Tom Baker and Slyvestor McCoy era and then returned for Christopher Eccelston and David Tennent, deciding that Tennant was my favourite version of Doctor Who of all time. But recently I’ve been getting into (thanks to ABC’s streaming service Iview) a tonne of stuff featuring Matt Smith’s version and the more I watch, the more I appreciate what he’s brought to the character. From a child like innocence (usually at double speed) to absolute heart wrenching sorrow when he loses companions, his turn as the Timelord just got better and better as it went on. Plus we got to meet Amy, Rory (god did I feel for Rory at times getting dragged into things) and River for the first time in this era and they really helped shape this series too.
David still remains my fave version but I certainly can’t overlook what Matt brought to the table.
Streaming thoughts in short
-Streaming The Last of Us has been entertaining so far for two reasons: Pedro Pascal as the grumpy dad we all want to protect us when the world turns to crap and Bella Ramsey’s hilarious sense of humour to tame his rough edges. Some terrific casting right there.
-Streaming Taskmaster Australia with Tom Gleeson off Ten Play is a very entertaining show, provided I’m watching it on actual Ten Play and not on free to air TV. Because you only get a couple of ads on the Ten Play version and you can watch it when you want, not when the Project decides to finish doing their thing first. However like the AFL grand final and the Melbourne cup each year, this is one of the only things I’ll switch over to free to air to watch.
-I still prefer the UK version of Would I Lie to you over the Aussie retake. The pacing for the most part, it seems a lot slicker over there than here.
-When it comes to streaming anything, one of my favourites has to Drive to Survive and you can read here how obsessed with it and the sport of F1 I’ve become..
-And finally Working Dog, more of Thank God You’re Here please. Send it to streaming please, Netflix or Disney I don’t mind which. I recently watched a few episodes, forgetting how creativity both the show and some of the performers were each and every week. Plus there were a whole heap of jokes I’d completely glossed over the first time which made it even better. so please bring it back!