Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Ashes to Ashes - Exhibit C

Scene of crime: BBC One, Friday 16th April


Executive producers Ashley Pharaoh, Matthew Graham, Simon Crawford Collins, Jane Featherstone, Alison Jackson.

Case for the defence:

DI Alex Drake was shot in 2008 and woke up in a low-budget 1983.

This week a mad bomber threatens an election, and Ray has his life saved by a fireman after he runs into a flaming building. Despite being surrounded by firefighters with correct breathing equipment. Ray still runs in. He should be booked for endangering the life of his rescuer.

The fireman has a brother who's sleeping with his wife. This isn't a spoiler, it's because Ashes for Ashes is so by the numbers that any new character is up to something – in this case, his sister-in-law.

Alex, it's now established, has forgotten she's in a coma and her daughter, although she seems to be enjoying her fantasies of Heartbeat Pc Nick Berry with a smashed in face. While many of us would like to see that, that does not justify it.

Witness statements:

"The climax of the episode was fantastic." – Gerard McGarry, Unreality Shout

"What does seem clear is that Ashes To Ashes is continuing to lay down some narrative threads that we can’t wait to see resolved. This was the weakest episode of the three we’ve had of series three to date, but the standard was still good, and the decision to give Ray some spotlight time was a well rewarded one." - Simon Brew, Den of Geek


Explosions and fires like it was a rehash of the Apocalypse Wars, but my main concern was that the cardboard characters would catch fire.

Yet another character development by numbers - big speech by the antagonist for empathy, even longer one by Ray because after three series of Ashes to Ashes. plus Life on Mars, the writers think it may be time to give him some character development.

Pc token woman aka Shaz makes some right-on jibes about the Falklands. But seeing as the war was to liberate a democracy from a dictatorship, her notion of right-on is not recognised by the Hall of Justice definition. Some mandatory re-education hypnosis may be needed on her.

Case note - "Bolly Knickers" is getting tiring as a knickname. Gene Hunt has become the office bore who uses knicknames that are only funny to him and where you cringe each times he uses it. Gene's engaged in "repeat until funny" mode. Scriptbot, disengage this phrase.

And where does Gene get his guns from? The Acme Corporation? Was 1980s London really so lax about weapons? No wonder their civilisation collapsed.

Verdict & sentence:

I should have locked you perps up a long time ago. You seem to think that because of your good work on Life on Mars you're free to do as you please. Justice doesn't work like that, she's blind. Lucky her, she can't see what you've sunk to.

I'm saving final judgment until I've reviewed all the evidence, but I'll tell you now, creeps, you're already looking at a long stint in the cubes at best. This episode alone deserves five years each.

Fresh evidence next week

Sunday, 18 April 2010

I am Love - Case no. 180410

Scene of crime: Cinema, BritCit.

Defendants: Writer & director Luca Guadagnino. Actress Tilda Swinton.

Case for the defence:

"I am Love stars Tilda Swinton as the head of a large, wealthy Milanese family who, with little real temptation or any bad treatment by her husband, into a nude affair with her son's business partner, chef Edoardo Gabbriellini. Two hours of art-house direction, music and themes, almost entirely in Italian with some English and Russian. Plot in no language."

Exhibit A: Defendant Swinton engaged in the crime.

Witness statements:

Seemed like a false call to start with. Everyone from the Times, the Telegraph, grud, even the Independent, seemed to think there was no case to answer to. Even some jimps [tharg note: judge impersonators] over in Boulder seemed to be taken in by it. If you listened to them it was a five-star 'glorious' film.

However, if every judge believed what they were told then we may as well disband becasue according to every perp who's had his collar felt, everyone's innocent. Let me set the record straight citizens - no one is innocent, there's only degrees of guilt.

That's why I roughed up Nigel Andrews at the Financial Times and I was right there was more. A whole lot more. Turns out not only is this film a "long-winded work in an outdated form, in which you could go blind searching for small but essential information", but lead actress Tilda Swinton had a hand in this. She's already facing a charge for lying to a judge, so I reviewed the video logs to see what really happened.


At first I felt a little guilty. The first minutes of the evidence swept this old judge up. However, a big warning alarm bell rang inside my head. I'd seen this case before - servants busying themselves, big family dinner, old patriarch telling his family 'as you all know...' - these perps are history freaks. They'd dug up an old Victorian artefact and were passing it off as their own. They're already looking at three years for theft and deception and I was only ten minutes into the vid.

I wish I could have stopped watching then, but a judge has to be thorough and review all the evidence. I'll keep it brief, although the writer couldn't - characters who do nothing, irrelevant flashbacks, characters spouting lengthy speeches on behalf of the writer - grud, I nearly threw up during some of the tracking shots, let alone that speech. And as for the sex scene... Flowers budding. Music crescendo. Climax. I nearly whipped out my lawgiver and shot the screen. Melodrama. And then it ends.

Verdict & sentence:

Luca Guadagnino, in the name of the law, I sentence you to five years hard labour in the off-world penal colony followed by five years in the isolation cubes. May it be an example to others.

Tilda Swinton, three years for withholding information from a judge, three years in the isolation cubes for theft to be served consecutively.

Nigel Andrews, on behalf of the citizens I present you an award of 100 creds.

Now beat it.