By: Twitter Buttons

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Jack of all Trades...

Is it me or is Beyonce getting tres annoying? Now before you all sing a chorus of "Hi Hater", realise that this statement is coming from a Beyonce fan...or ex fan...well I'm going to her concert in May so I guess I still like the girl. I followed DC, watched every documentary and interview on MTV, rinsed her solo albums, knew all of her dance routines - my girls can vouch for that; writhing around on my living room floor practising the 'Baby Boy' routine - good times!!

So what went wrong? Three things for me. The first two are sort of interlinked. When Beyonce started on her 'journey to an Oscar', appearing in films in the hope of becoming a major movie star, I watched through my fingers -you know, the same way you watch a friend who thinks she can sing, giving it her all with a terrible rendition of Mariah Carey's Hero, complete with ad libs, neck movements and eyes clenched in emotion... She's just not that great. 6 months with an acting coach does not turn you into Dame Judi Dench, ok honey.

With the films came the over-exposure, my second reason. When Usher goes away in between albums - he makes a baby or something. When Justin Timberlake goes away, you start to miss him. When Beyonce goes away-she doesn't. Its just like 'arrggghhh get out of my face dammit!' Yes, I know she is on the Diva tip, wanting to be a legend, the next Barbara Streisand (her words not mine) but is that really feasible? Jack of all trades, master of none, hmmm?

That leads me on to my final reason. The talent. Is B that great of a singing talent - one guaranteed for legendary status? Will she ever be that ultimate Diva she plans on becoming? Is she one already? Listening to her new album 'I Am...Sasha Fierce', I'm not convinced. 'Halo' is my fave track on the slow CD, basically the only song I like, but with the rumours that Simon Cowell accused Beyonce of stealing it from Leona Lewis, I can't help resenting B's oversinging and feel that Leona would have done a better job. The second CD...hmmm ok, but still not great. Can B really do both - the Barbara Streisand romantic ballad image as well as the ride-or-die, RnB chick - watch the DIVA video and tell me if you think it's believable.

Let me just say that it's not all bad - I think she has a great voice and is a mesmirising performer; despite competition in the form of Keyshia Cole, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Jazmine Sullivan et al, I think B is still the reigning Queen. However, is it only a matter of time, (poor songs, confusing musical direction and bad acting performances) before her crown slips? Or is B the definition of versatility and longevity in the entertainment indusry. What do you think, has B still got it?


Seasons Greetings from Fantasy Ride

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..roll on 2009 baby!



Friday, 19 December 2008

Doctor, I Have a Problem....

As David Tennant is set to leave the role of Doctor Who, there is much talk over who is going to be the next controller of the Tardis. Personally, I rarely watch the programme; old people falling over and cats fighting their mirror reflections on You’ve Been Framed always seemed to grab my attention on the other side. However, in the year of ‘black firsts’, many have predicted the coming of an ethnic doctor, no not Dr Raj from your local GP, but a black or Asian actor to play the most iconic timelord of all….well, time. Patterson Joseph and Colin Salmon have been name dropped – although I think Salmon should hold out for James Bond status. Meera Syal has also found her way on to the list as potentially the first female Dr Who.

To me an ethnic Doctor Who would be a positive development in an industry which has been labelled institutionally racist at times. Nevertherless, I also strongly believe that the concentration should be on finding the best actor for the job- if that person happens to be of ethnic orgin, then hip hip hooray. I don’t think precious Doctor Who fans will be too pleased with the media hype and fenzy overshadowing the show. Studio bosses making decisions with the primary concern of creating publicitiy and impact will only draw critisim and unfair scrutiny if an ethnic actor is in fact cast. You just know that certain people are waiting for Obama to slip up, anticipating even, in the hope that they can turn around and say “ha ha told you so”. If ratings of DW fall, you know the line will be “too much change…it alienated viewers” and the new doctor will be swiftly aneathetised.

I guess we’ll see what happens when they announce the new recruit. My money is on Patterson Joseph; with his typical English accent and theatrical/Shakespearean background, I can see him being a great Doctor. However, I can’t wait for the day when the phrase ‘the first black (insert high profile position here)’ is the first time it isn’t used.


Sunday, 7 December 2008

Alex vs Leona

Alex to win X-Factor, she is definitely a star. The only time I voted in all the history of X-Factor/Pop Stars/Pop Idol/Strictly shows was the Leona vs Ray Quinn final. This time around, T-mobile will be happy that I'm gonna be spending money outside of my free allowances, as I am committed to contributing to Alex's success on finale night.
However, when Alexandra wins, (yes "when"), and is under Simon's management, how is he going to successfully maintain Leona rise to superstardom and simulataneously launch the career of Alex's, without compromising either?

It's all about positioning. (Eve, my old lecturer will be soooo pleased that Im putting my marketing degree to good use here!) While both are great ballad singers, I think Leona's weakness may lie with the more up tempo, edgier records, for instance her single 'Forgive Me'...sorry but I can't. That was like 1991 Mariah BBE (before breakdown and Emancipation).

I think that Alex should be marketed more down the Beyonce avenue - not exactly like the diva herself but more the dancing, performance route and not the 'make love to your microphone stand' one. Should be interesting to see how Simon handles it. What are your thoughts and make sure you vote people!

"I'm sorry but that wasn't good.....that was fantastic". One of SyCo's many quotes.


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Britannia Low

Miley Cirus, Corbin Bleu, Demi Lovato, the Jonas Brothers - just a few of the names making millions from the 'Tween' market in the States. Everyone's on a high with High School Musical and can't seem to get enough of Zac and Vanessa.

And then came the UK with their own attempt of annoying cheese and 'you can do it/follow your dream' cliches. It should have been good. It should have been the one programme to revive children's TV, with Arlene Phillips in production and Gary Barlow doing what he does best in the musical chair. So why did a couple of tin mugs from 1870, that Margaret found in a cardboard box in the loft, blow Britania High off the ratings radar?

Its debut only managed to secure 3.3million viewers. 'Only' I hear you cry, "why, 3.3million viewers is a lot, especially in these days of digital TV and multiple choice". Yes, it is a lot but compared to the Antiques Roadshow's 8.6million, it's a tiny drop in the ocean. With viewing figures dropping every week (2.5million by the 3rd episode), I doubt this bundle of sickly joy will be on our screens for a second series. At least then, Arlene can go back to her day job - coming up with the most complicated, long-winded, aliteration-littered compliments and put downs ever known to man on Strictly Come Dancing: "You were like a leopard leaping across the luxurios Lagos landscape, lothariously and lovingly licking his lady lioness. That Cha Cha Cha was magnificent!" Wow, the lady makes me laugh.

But what is the problem here? Why didn't it work? Despite the significant marketing investment, why are people switiching off? One of my arguments would be that children in the UK are much more cynical than kids in the US. Our ideologies are a far cry from 'the American Dream'. In America Billy Bob from Arkansas actually believes that he can be anything he wants to be; yes, even the President of the United States, because it has been drummed into him since the day he was born - that America is the land where dreams come true. In the UK, little Charlie is told to keep his expectations low, get his head down and maybe one day, if he works really hard, he might become head of the Soups and Sauces ailse at Tesco (no offence to Soups and Sauce heads at Tesco). Ok, maybe I'm going too far but the point I'm making is that even as kids, UK children are extremely clued up as to what the real world for the majority of us is like. They understand that it's hard out there and that we can't all be rich and famous, spending our lives doing only the things we like to do. This cynicism, and sadly loss of childhood innocence and optimism, may be why BB and the gang should maybe take a hop and a skip to their local job centre pretty sharpish...just in case.

Grange Hill, Byker Grove, Children's Ward. These were gritty, realistic and my favourite word - relatable. They brought in the numbers and I think that even though Britannia High was a good idea on paper when you look at the success High School Musical had in the States, the producers missed a big trick here. Trying to create a carbon copy to serve an audience that is so different may have been the reason why "This could be the start of something good" wasn't.

"I cannae see man, I cannae see" (PJ from Byker Grove blinded by a paintball pellet - classic)

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