Every now and again, I like to watch men and women in technicoloured fetish suits pummel each other for a good 90 to 120 minutes.
Earlier this week, I did just that and took the time to catch Marvel’s latest technogasm, Thor. It was awesome.
Stuff blew up, there were heaps of bright colours and Anthony Hopkins proved that elastic-less eye patches are indeed the way of the future.
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Tonight is Australian TV’s night of nights – the red carpet love-fest that is the Logies. But really, is there anything worth celebrating about Aussie television?
Yes we’ve got more choice than ever before, with the four major channels boosted by an increasing array of digital and Foxtel offerings.
But choice can be deceptive – and if I had a dollar for every time I clicked the remote these days, I could well have outbid Seven and Foxtel for the rights to AFL. Put simply: there’s nothing worth watching.
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Here’s a simple statistic that TV executives are happy you didn’t know. Back in the 1980s the population of Australia was about 14 million. A good TV show would rate about 5 million viewers. Fast forward to 2011. Australia’s population has grown to 20 million and TV execs are dancing on their mini-bars if their show attracts over 1.2 million viewers.
The population has doubled, the viewers have halved. The maths is not good. “Masterchef” peaked last year with over 3.5 million viewers. Proportionally, based on 1980’s viewing habits, Masterchef should have rated nine million viewers.
The velocity of the decline is increasing. For an industry that was once a sizable chunk of the life and breath of Australian culture, the Australian free TV industry is “circling the drain”. That’s cop show talk for dying.
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If you’ve wondered why Channel Nine’s The Golden Mile painted such an endearing portrait of its leading “Underbelly” character, King’s Cross figure John Ibrahim, it might well be because he’s had a hand in how he was portrayed in the script.
Ibrahim – who paints himself as a publicity shy businessman annoyed by the fame generated by the show – was so concerned about his portrayal in Golden Mile, The Punch can reveal he even confronted an actor who turned down the chance to play the lead in the Channel 9 hit series.
Young Australian actor Les Chantery - star of 2009 Australian film Cedar Boys about Lebanese-Australian drug dealers in Sydney’s Western suburbs - rejected the opportunity to audition for the starring role of John Ibrahim in The Golden Mile out concern of having himself and other Lebanese-Australians typecast as thugs.
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