Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 29th September
Dan Brusca - 86
George Raison - 62
Tricia Finn - 33
Spotted three 8-letter words - DRAGOONS, COLLARED, DEBONAIR - and the conundrum, IMPLOSION. Rachel Riley, as ever, looked amazing.

America's Next Top Model: Do You Like The Way I Look - not really connecting with any of the contestants this time round, though I do quite like googly-eyed Allison - 4/5

Las Vegas: Bait and Switch - 3/5

Numb3rs: Dirty Bomb - 3/5

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 28th September
Dan Brusca - 78
Tricia Finn - 71
Jackie Dowdy - 28
8-letter words spotted: PROTEINS, POINTERS and MOISTEST.

Hotel Babylon: Episode 2.2 - 4/5

Dispatches: MPs, Planes and Gravy Trains - a bit thin, really - 2/5

FlashForward: No More Good Days - 3/5

Monday, 28 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Family Guy: Fifteen Minutes Of Shame - 3/5

From The Earth To The Moon: Spider - 5/5

The X Factor - 4/5

House: Both Sides Now - 4/5

Spiral: Episode 2.3 - 4/5

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Damages: Sort Of Like A Family - 4/5

The Tudors: Episode 3.8 - exeunt Cromwell, hacked to bits! - 5/5

The X Factor - liking Rachel Adedeji - 4/5

What Katie Did Next - 4/5

Entourage: Berried Alive - 4/5

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 25th September
Dan Brusca - 72
Jeffrey Burgin - 66
Richard Moody - 42
Spotted just the one 8-letter word, REINVENT.

Dallas: Double Wedding - 3/5

Vertical City: Shanghai World Financial Center - 5/5

Vice Squad - 5/5

Derren Brown: How To Be A Psychic Spy - not so surprising that all those people drew concentric circles when the wall behind the stand was covered in concentric circles - 4/5

Friday, 25 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 23rd September
Jeffrey Burgin - 88
Dan Brusca - 62
Martin Edwards - 47
Spotted three 8-letter words: PEASANTS, BARITONE and LOAMIEST.

Countdown: 24th September
Jeffrey Burgin - 87
Dan Brusca - 53
Laura Leach - 44
Spotted one 8-letter word, FLUNKIES, and the conundrum, CORRUPTLY.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey: Black and White and Read All Over - why does Teresa have such a pointlessly huge house? Nothing wrong with a big house, but if you're going to have one, you need to make use of it. Her bedroom is one part bed, 19 parts empty floorspace. Ridiculous - 3/5

CSI:NY: Corporate Warriors - 3/5

Question Time - gave up on this halfway through because of the dismal standard of panellists' answers, recycling the same old crap about Downing Street influencing the Scottish government into releasing Al-Megrahi or po-faced calls for Baroness Scotland to lose her job because she didn't photocopy a piece of paper. Fraser Nelson, you've disappointed me. David Starkey on next week! - 2/5

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 22nd September
Jeffrey Burgin - 69
Dan Brusca - 64
Mhairi Cameron - 63
Spotted two 8-letter words, INTRUDES and STAGIEST.

CSI Miami: Entrance Wound - 4/5

Spiral: Episode 2.2 - 4/5

Criminal Minds: The Fisher King, Part 2 - 2/5

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 21st September
Dan Brusca - 102
Jeffrey Burgin - 91
Russell Langdown - 75
Spotted one 8-letter word, REDOUBTS, and a 9-letter one, TOLERATED. Special mention for Rachel, who looked amazing in her pink minidress ^_^

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Butterflied - 3/5

House: Under My Skin - 4/5

America's Next Top Model: Fun and Games - not sure I really care about it this time around... - 3/5

Monday, 21 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Alias: So It Begins - the one where Jennifer Garner wins THAT blue latex minidress. Pause, rewind, play, pause, rewind, play, pause, rewind, play... - 4/5

Bad Girls: Appearances Sake - 3/5

The X-Factor - Amie is looooovely - 4/5

Dragons' Den On Tour - 4/5

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Watched yesterday

The Wire: Margin Of Error - 4/5

Wire In The Blood: Nocebo - 3/5

The X-Factor - for no discernable reason I enjoyed this more than recent weeks. I think the menwill be strong contenders this year, largely because many of those who appear to be having success are men, with strong voices, not streak of piss boys - 4/5

The X-Files: Revelations - 3/5

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 18th September
Jeffrey Burgin - 88
Darren Carter - 86
Dan Brusca - 62

The West Wing: Pilot - yup, back to the beginning again! - 4/5

Spiral: Episode 2.1 - 4/5

Vertical City: Taipei 101 - 4/5

Derren Brown: How To Control The Nation - 4/5

The Tudors: Episode 3.7 - if Anne of Cleves looked anything like Joss Stone then Henry was a bit harsh on her. Joss Stone was actually a pretty good actress in this, though she didn't have to do much. Could have been much, much worse. She's a dead ringer for Maggie Grace too - 4/5

Entourage: Security Briefs - 4/5

Friday, 18 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 17th September
Jeffrey Burgin - 68
Phil Reed - 63
Dan Brusca - 52
Spotted a couple of 8-letter words that neither the contestants or Susie got - ARROGATE and PARTICLE.

Wainwright Walks: Haystacks - 4/5

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey: Not One Of Us - 3/5

What Katie Did Next - 4/5

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 16th September
Jeffrey Burgin - 91
Bob De Caux - 79
Dan Brusca - 51
A wholly unimpressive performance.

The Vice: Betrayed, Part 1 - 3/5

The Tudors: Episode 3.6 - 4/5

America's Toughest Prisons: Sex Offenders - 3/5

Daredevils: The Human Bird - 4/5

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 14th September
Dan Brusca - 73
Bob De Caux - 68
Lorraine Brookfield - 54
Spotted two 8-letter words: MASSAGER and MOISTURE.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain Of Command Part II - THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS! - 4/5

Thomas & Friends: Thomas's New Trucks - 3/5

Countdown: 15th September
Bob De Caux - 79
Dan Brusca - 74
Simon Porter - 41
Another two 8-letter words: MUSTIEST and PLEASANT.

America's Next Top Model: What Happens In Vegas - 3/5

House: House Divided - Anne Dudek is sooooo sexy :) - 4/5

Monday, 14 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Star Trek: The Man Trap - 3/5

Vantage Point - 3/5

The Inbetweeners: Road Trip - somewhat annoyed that I seem to have missed episode two of this given it was on Sky+ series link - 4/5

Dragons' Den On Tour - 4/5

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Watched yesterday

The Shield: Strays - 4/5

The Sopranos: Pilot - 3/5

The X-Factor - gosh, this new format is getting really, REALLY tedious - 2/5

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 11th September
Dan Brusca - 83
Bon De Caux - 76
Alex Richards - 54
Finally, my first win in months, helped along by SOLENOID.

The Love Of Money: The Bank That Bust The World - interesting companion piece to The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers - 4/5

Derren Brown: The Events: How To Win The Lottery - for the first time ever, Derren brown has left me disappointed. His explanation for how he appeared to predict Wednesday's Lotto numbers was utterly unconvincing and this show itself was incredibly tedious from the moment you saw what road he was going down - 2/5

Friday, 11 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 9th September
Bob De Caux - 79
Ken Mackenzie - 70
Dan Brusca - 71
Spotted one 8-letter word, HORNIEST.

Peep Show: The Interview - 5/5

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey - I love Dina, she's so... dominant! - 3/5

The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers - 4/5

Countdown: 10th September
Bob De Caux - 72
Dan Brusca - 61
Christopher Harris - 45
Spotted SMOKIEST, INNOCENT and the conundrum, HARVESTED.

Popular: Ex, Lies And Videotape - 3/5

Vertical City: 1180 Peachtree, Atlanta

Shooting Stars - 3/5

What Katie Did Next - don't like that new fella. Seems like a bit of a meathead - 3/5

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

How Derren did it. Maybe.

[UPDATE: 12th September - James Poel has a good analysis of how Brown pulled this off. You can read it here. His explanation for the shaky camera is far more convincing than mine, but I'm not far off at all really.]

Anyone watching Channel 4, E4, More4 or Film4 at 10.35 this evening will have witnessed Derren Brown appear to predict the numbers in tonight's Lotto draw.

He walked into the studio being tracked by a cameraman. On the left of the 'set' was a clear perspex stand on top of which were six white balls, supposedly representing Brown's predictions. The numbers were on the opposite side of the balls to the camera so we couldn't see them.

Brown talked for a while then, on cue from a crew member, turned on the TV to show the live Lotto draw on BBC One. Once the balls had been drawn and displayed in numerical order, he wrote these onto a length of card and walked over to the stand, turning it around to reveal that his predicted numbers matched those drawn.

I think that Brown pulled this off with camera trickery. As he walks into the studio he makes a point of saying that there only himself and two cameramen (not cameras) in there. He waves to the second camera, which is off to the side of the studio and further back. We don't see any more shots from this second camera.

My theory is that during this cut to the second camera, the first camera, through which we believe we are seeing the draw, is taken away and we actually watch via a third camera. I think this camera is motorized so as to mimic the subtle movements of the first, hand-held camera.

The movements are also pre-programmed so that the stand with the numbers on could have been pre-recorded, then seemlessly laid over the live broadcast in-sync, even though the camera appeared to be moving throughout. This would allow someone to place the correct balls on the stand as the draw took place then the pre-recorded overlay was removed so that Brown could walk back to the stand for the big reveal.

There is one big problem with this theory though in that at one point prior to the draw Brown walks behind the stand, then in front of it, meaning that a straight overlaying of the pre-recorded and live images wouldn't be possible. However I'm sure there's a way around that, even though off the top of my head I can't think what it would be.

Of course, all of the above could be complete nonsense. Brown reveals how he did it on Channel 4 on Friday.

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 7th September
Chris Davies - 103
Marcus Bearpark - 42
Dan Brusca - 41
Spotted one 8-letter word, PROUDEST.

Oz: Great Men - 4/5

Warship: Episode 2.2 - 3/5

Countdown: 8th September
Chris Davies - 98
Dan Brusca - 53
John Smoker - 41
Davies becomes an octochamp, I make do with FAINTEST.

America's Toughest Prisons: Surviving Stateville - 4/5

The Palace: Episode 5 - 3/5

Monday, 7 September 2009

Thought for the day

There are only two paths to G-d's house: the Jewish one and the Noachide one. Neither is easy, but both are clearly marked.

Many people try to take shortcuts across the fields to reach His door, but they should not be surprised if He does not let them in for the mud they have gathered on their shoes!

Watched yesterday

Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic - this was the edited TV version, running at about 50 minutes, as opposed to the 72-minute cinematic release - 4/5

Dragons' Den: On Tour - 4/5

House: Saviors - 4/5

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Watched yesterday

The Tudors: Episode 3.5 - 4/5

The X Factor - it's just not as good in this format. Way too obvious who's going to get passed through to boot camp. Also, in the old format some of the not-so-good acts did get through to boot camp for the entertainment value, but that seems to have been excised now - 3/5

The Cube - 4/5

The Inbetweeners: Episode 1.1 - 4/5

Coast: Rosyth To Hull - the sequence about the painting of women dragging a lifeboat along the shoreline felt like it went on for six hours - 3/5

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Watched recently

Shooting Stars - 4/5

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey: Thicker Than Water - yay for a new guilty pleasure! - 4/5

Skins - 4/5

Countdown: 4th September
Chris Davies - 121
Jonathan Seal - 57
Dan Brusca - 45
Dismal performance, going six consecutive rounds without a point. Spotted two 8-leter words though - RIVULETS and CALORIES.

Entourage: The Sorkin Notes - 5/5

Big Brother: Day 92 and Final - natural justice is served, Sophie wins! Interesting choice of words from Davina near the end:

If you want to take part in next year's Big Brother, it's the last on Channel 4...

Big Brother's Big Mouth - never watched this with Davina hosting and I'm thinking maybe I should have because potty-mouth Davina is wonderfully entertaining - 4/5

Friday, 4 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 3rd September
Chris Davies - 139
Ross Mackenzie - 89
Dan Brusca - 71
Davies achieved the second-highest score in Countdown history. A very high-scoring game overall. I myself spotted three 8-letter words - SALTIEST, CANNIEST and MARDIEST - and one 9-letter word, HERALDING.

Dragons' Den - 4/5

Big Brother: Day 90 - 4/5

Big Brother: Day 91 - 3/5

What Katie Did Next - 4/5

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Watched recently

Inglorious Basterds - too long, but there's enough good stuff going on to make that a quibble rather than a criticism - 4/5

Frozen River - well-acted and admirable in many ways, but really very slow - 3/5

Telstar - great supporting performance from Kevin Spacey - 3/5

Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 - 4/5

Countdown: 3rd September
Chris Davies - 97
Dan Brusca - 56
Michael Jocelyn - 35
Got the conundrum: SYMBIOSIS. Rachel looked mighty fine in her tight little minidress and heels :)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

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Watched yesterday

Countdown: 2nd September
Chris Davies - 110
Dan Brusca - 58
Julie Lane - 35
Underwhelming, but it didn't help that I had tootache.

Big Brother: Days 88 and 89 - Sophie to win, she's the odds-on favourite! - 4/5

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Watched yesterday

Countdown: 31st August
I've lost my score record for this, but I came third with a pretty poor performance. Remember getting one 8-letter word though - PRIVATES - and the conundrum, UNINSURED.

Skins - 4/5

You've Been Framed! - 4/5

Warship: Episode 2.1 - 4/5