Oooooooooboy. Technology and I are not friends at the moment, as such I am going to do a very quick recap and hope that uploads. You may have noticed that I’ve missed a couple of recaps. Soz. Will get back to them.
First things first. Regular panelist Sami Shah is not there. Or at least not on screen. I usually worry that they don’t let him go home because he’s always on but now I’m worried that they’ve locked him under the desk because he’s not on. Could friends of Sami please check that he’s okay.
Secondly, the panelists are Benjamin Law (BLaw), Marc Fennell (flings spiderman underpants at screen), Nakkiah Lui (swoon) and Zan Rowe (sweet). Host Chris Taylor is there. Possibly sitting on Sami. Seriously, someone let me know how Sami is.
Thirdly they’re discussing Murder on the Orient Express and GoggleboxAu. I’m slightly worried that a tv show about discussing tv shows discussing a tv show about discussing tv shows will cause some sort of rip in the fabric of the universe and we’ll either be invaded by more of those Bernstain Bear bastards or I’ll be forced to go back to high school.
Views on Murder on the Orient Express:
BLaw loved the visuals. He enjoyed that it was cheesy.
Marc loved it. Thought it was bonkers.
Nakkiah Lui points out that it glamourises imperialism. And more damningly… her mother didn’t like it. That’s it. I was already a bit iffy about watching it but now definitely won’t. Said it was a bit self indulgent. It was all about Kenneth.
Zan couldn’t understand why it was made but liked it. It was pretty but why when it has been done so many times before. It had a large cast but they didn’t get to interact like they do in great ensemble movies.
And now let’s move onto GoggleboxAu.
BLaw says that it has made him fall back in love with Australia. It lets us know our neighbours and that they’re not that awful… unlike half the panel of Q and A.
Nakkiah points out that they don’t have an Indigenous family on the show and volunteers as tribute. Yes! Make it happen. I will watch it forever!!! She loves that it is diverse.
Zan says it’s a good catch up on the week. Is pleasantly surprised they cover SBS and don’t just cross promote.
Marc thinks that they’ve captured the lifecycle of tv and that’s beautiful. No, you’re beautiful Marc, you are. He says it works because it is set in lounge rooms and lounge rooms are relaxed.
Now it is time for show recommendations.
Marc recommends Star Trek Discovery. He is right. It is great. Might I also recommend Marc’s show on SBS? The Feed.
Zan recommends a doco, The Go-Betweens: Right Here. It’s on iView
BLaw is watching new Will & Grace. I too love this show. Have all the previous seasons on DVD, will also get the new ones. Might I also recommend BLaw’s show, The Family Law, on SBS?
Nakkiah recommends Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. Might I also recommend Nakkiah’s show Black Comedy on ABC?
Image found on Anna Spargo-Ryan’s official website
Anna Spargo-Ryan is an Australian novelist, journalist, digital strategist, content creator and social mediaist (it’s a word now, deal with it). She has written for The Guardian, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, The Saturday Paper and many more literary and journalistical (another totally realz word) organisations. Anna originally hails from Adelaide and now lives in Melbourne. When she isn’t writing Anna enjoys Balfour’s custard tarts, oak trees and going to the beach.
Even before leaving school, Anna’s literary gravitas was recognised. Her English teachers sent her to writing workshops and camps to develop her skills…. Unlike my senior high school English teacher who told me it seemed like I had no grasp of the English language and can go suck a dog’s fart. It turns out that Anna’s English teachers were right as The Monthly has now described her as ‘a writer to watch.‘
In January of 2016 Anna shot to international fame with a Facebook post that went viral. In it she took on journalist James Adonis who had indicated that people were faking mental illnesses and how employees should single them out in a now infamous piece for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Evidently 2016 was a busy year for Anna with the release of her debut novel, The Paper House, through Pan Macmillan. Later in the same year she receivedThe Horne Prize for her essay The Suicide Gene. Both works were highly regarded by critics.
Image found via google image search, words put on via imgflip.com
Praise has followed Anna into 2017 with the release of her second novel, The Gulf, also published through Pan Macmillan. Anna’s writing has been touted as visceral and emotive. The Guardian has described her as ‘a sharp observer of human emotion.’
On top of these already impressive credentials Anna has also worked her digital strategist and content creation magic for giants such as Bauer Media, Telstra, Kmart, Deakin University and the AFL to name but a few. Her English teachers really were right about her, she’s ace and very talented.
Screen Time is here and it is rated M. Can we expect some intimate countdown like they had in episode 1? Let’s find out.
Chris Taylor tells us that we’re discussing Detroit directed by Kathryn Bigalow and written by Mark Boal (they also teamed up on The Hurt Locker), Channel 7s Instant Hotel(but I don’t wanna talk about Instant Hotel), and a new form of reality television hailing from Norway called Slow TV (and I am here for this). His panelists tonight are Benjamin Law, Judith Lucy, Zan Rowe and of course Sami Shah (because they have trapped him there and will never let him leave).
They jump straight into discussing Detroit. Chris is pumped. He is using terms such as powerful and visceral. It’s set in 1967 and based around the uncontainable events that happened at the Algiers Hotel during the 12 Street Riot in Detroit. Read about the events here. White cops killing innocent black people is the summary. Chris says that it makes you angry because so little has changed. Zan adds that it doesn’t just make you angry but it also does a great job of making you scared.
Judith says that the stuff in the hotel was brilliant. She also says visceral. If you want a visceral film then go watch Detroit. She talks about how you could really feel for these innocent people, just wanting to be safe, and even having some fun, and then three of them end up dead because of police brutality. (Is it brutality or straight up murder? Do we need to sugar coat it?) BUT she felt that the end lagged. She’d be happy to cut the last 30 minutes. Says the court scene was unnecessary. Chris says it was necessary because people need to know that the white cops got away with murder. Judith says that there are other ways to show this without a full court scene.
Benjamin speakeths. He says he is ambivalent. Take that visceral, here’s some ambivalence. Benjamin indicates that it was traumatizing and fear inducing but he kind of got the point ten minutes in and then had emotional burnout and couldn’t be as emotionally present for the rest of the 90 minutes. He also didn’t like the way black people were reduced to victims and not full characters. Chris says that he feels that Benjamin is punishing Kathryn Bigalow for being too good at her craft. In case you have missed it, Chris really likes this film.
Sami says that Detroit is made for white people and not people ofcolour. He says that black people know this. Black people live this. This provides no new information for them. It provides no new rallying point. It provides no new understanding. Sami adds that he feels that it actually diminishes what people of colour experience because it almost makes it seem as if the racism is from a few bad individuals and that if you defeat them then it is over, whereas racism is deeply entrenched and systemic. He feels that it is almost portrayed as if the murders are horrific, and that Krauss is a terrible person, but the white people were just doing their job and that the ‘crazy’ black people were being ‘bad’ and overreacting and starting riots, when that reality is far from that. It allows white people to feel angry and scared of bad racists, but because they’re so individualised that white people get to see the racists as others when in fact racism is pervasive and part of white culture and something that needs tonbe dismantled not simply put in the box of ‘others’. Systematic abuse of power is the problem and that this belittles the experience of black people. Chris says that Sami saying that Bigalow is belittling the experience is belittling what Bigalow has done, and ‘even if’ Sami is right and that this film is just for white people, it is still valuable and important as it gives white people an experience to show them that they’ve been wrong. (Cringe.) Sami responds that if they don’t already know that racism is wrong then this film isn’t going to teach them that. (Sami is doing an amazing job of keeping his cool.)
Benjamin says that Bigalow is making us bear witness. And what she does in the hotel is amazing but then it flounders a bit. Sami says that the scope of the film being calledDetroit was too wide. He agrees, and the entire panel agrees, that the stuff in Algiers Hotel was incredible and that the focus should have been narrowed to that. Benjamin points out that this was a time and a city of radical protest and huge groundswell and this is not captured in the movie, for it to hold the title Detroit then it should capture this vibrant element.
Chris points out that Kathryn Bigalow is the only female to have won an Oscar for directing. Look, just in case you missed it, Chris fucking lovedDetroit.
Time for Not on My Watch, a little segment where Chris Taylor tells us about a shithouse show. This week’s show… Instant Hotel. I’ve seen an ad, which was enough to get a no from me. Some clips are shown, Chris calls it an Airbnb version of MKR. Lots of white people and crying over cars…. Sounds good? No. But it got greenlit by someone. What is going on at Channel 7? Not on Chris Taylor’s watch.
And now the moment I have been waiting for since the intro, SLOW TV!!!! I don’t really know how to explain this to you except to say you get to watch train tracks or a fire burning and it is very soothing. Chris is showing a clip of a train’s eye view of going along train tracks. It is the best. I could sit here for another 7 hours. But apparently it is not for everybody. Judith Lucy says that the ABC is not paying her enough money to watch this shit. She says that she is too close to death to waste her time. Zan defends Slow TV, says that it is a meditative experience. It so is.
Sami doesn’t watch train track Slow TV, he has something even better. Icebreaker Slow TV. A little something you can find for yourself on YouTube. Just ten hours of watching an Icebreaker stuck in ice somewhere in the Arctic. Not my thing, I prefer to have the vehicle’s view, not a view of the vehicle, but I suggest you give it a look.