Happy Gilmore.

TV You will have heard the exciting news that the Gilmore Girls is returning as a limited series on Netflix (which reminds me that I should get around to watching seasons four to seven which I've been saving for too long) (yes even seven) (because apparently this is going to be a sequel).

Lauren Graham has been interviewed about the scripts and is very happy. There's also an indication that Amy Sherman-Palladino is utilising a clever structure in order to maximise the amount of narrative ground covered:
"TVLINE | Have you read all four scripts?
I haven’t read the last one. We just got it. They’re looong. [Laughs] I read “Winter,” “Spring” and “Summer.”

TVLINE | Are fans going to be happy?
[Pauses, adopts a serious, thoughtful tone] For sure. For sure. I read a scene with Kelly [Bishop, who plays matriarch Emily] today… and it was just completely alive. We have some really nice story together. And there’s definitely some resolution that we didn’t get [at the end of the series’ original run].
One of my favourite elements of the show was how it dealt with seasons and celebrations so hopefully this means we'll still get the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and err Summer break episodes.

Behind The Sofa Archive.

TV In February 2005, I received an invite from Tachyon TV's Neil Perryman, perhaps best known now for his Adventures with the Wife in Space, to join "Waiting for Christopher", a group weblog dedicated to Doctor Who or more specifically the revival which was due to begin within a few months.

With little idea of what this would lead to I accepted and a couple of weeks later posted my first, slightly weird missive on the subject of the 60s story, still missing, Marco Polo and then persisted to post slight weird missives there for the next five years, a total, as far as I can tell of five hundred and eighteen posts.

Within a few months of show's debut it was renamed Behind The Sofa and became pretty well known around fan circles and beyond.  We were even mentioned in The Guardian's The Guide one Saturday.   The comments sections were certainly buoyant (an understatement but it will do) and a few people even mentioned reading the site to me offline.

Eventually, by 2010, most of the writers had drifted away to their own projects and although a few of us were still plugging away, it was obvious the site wasn't what it had been so Neil decided to end it with the final set of review of that year's Christmas special.  It's still there if you want to have a look.  As ever I think everyone else's writing is better than mine.

Since then I've always thought it would be a good idea to absorb my writing from there into this blog, but with so much text and slight embarrassment about a lot of the earlier stuff, I never did get around to.  But lately I've needed a project so decided to have a go and over the past few weeks, I've copy and pasted every single one of those five hundred and eighteen posts to here.

My Behind The Sofa archive is here, every review of Doctor Who and Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures I posted there across those five or six years, along with a couple of hundred news stories and other bits and bobs because I didn't know when to stop.  A lot of broken links because the web's ephemeral.  I've substituted some of the good stuff, ignored the rest.

The process of copying them over has reminded me of just how much writing I did then as the television franchise constituted three series on top of which I was review various radio broadcasts and the Eighth Doctor novels and various other freebies were being sent to the blog for the purpose of producing promotional writing.

Some of it seems pretty good.  A lot of it seems pretty bad.  There's also a lot to be embarrassed about as my opinion of various things has changed over the years or I've said something rather rash about the work of someone I'm now friendly with online, well ok, Twitter.  During these blog transfer computations, I've posted links to the odd thing on there and well, you can imagine.  Eep.

But I'm pleased that there's now another copy of all this somewhere else, especially as this blog reaches its fifteenth birthday, I'd like it to reflect my life online.  You will have noticed I've also absorbed in The Hamlet Weblog too.  Heardsaid will be next I expect, once I finally work out how to just copy over just my contributions.  Oh and completing Off The Telly and I don't even know where to begin with that.  Blimey.

And thank you to Neil for inviting me in the first place.

A Good Life.

Books Lovely. Bit dark in places, but lovely. Simon Gurrier's tale is also one of those Short Trips which is near impossible to talk about without ruining the twist, one which is actually so marvellous that it's a surprise it hasn't been utilised in a much longer story. The Doctor and Charley go on holiday by mistake and I don't think it's giving too much away, not everything in this idyllic rural sixteenth century village is as it seems.  This is a story about how the Doctor is forever jumping to conclusions and seeing the worst in people and sometimes gets it wrong.  In which case things are probably left well alone.  He won't intervene in time when he's aware of the problem, but what about those occasions when his morality is telling him that he should but the people involved, those affected, don't want him to, even if he thinks it's for their own good.  What makes him an arbiter just because he happens to gave randomly blundered in?  Placement:  No specific guidance but the author's suggested this.

"Shaznay, you worked with Mutya Keisha Siobhan on their comeback a few years ago ..."

Music The All Saints ID interview also yields this on the topic of the proper Sugababes:
Shaznay, you worked with Mutya Keisha Siobhan on their comeback a few years ago. From the outside, how did you view the dynamic of a girlband getting back together after a difficult falling out?
Shaz: I was really happy for them! Before we were even signed to London Records, when Mel and I first started All Saints, the people we initially worked with went and found those first three girls, Keisha Siobhan and Mutya. We've kind of done the same path as them so for me to work with them was lovely. Their voices together have a distinctive sound, like ours. I enjoyed seeing the three of them back together. Loved it. I champion those girls.

They'd be good to tour with.
Shaz: Yeah!
Mel: They would actually…
Sob.  Oh sob.

Never Say Never Ever.

Music The All Saints are back again and unlike the proper Sugababes actually have an album coming out which is just so typically All Saints and also so typically proper Sugababes. There's the inevitable interview, with ID (of course) which isn't just a typical fluff piece as Mel B (no not that one) goes off-piste on why it went wrong last time:
…and this was looking back on the last All Saints comeback, which you'd previously said you'd done for the right reasons. You said: "I don't think we did it for the right reasons, I did it for the money…"
Shaz: (To Mel) Did you?
Mel: Yes, because I didn't like it.
And there's more: "It wasn't like we felt we had something to give back to the world."
Shaz: No way! Well that's her own opinion.
Mel: Well that was just me. My heart wasn't really in it.
Nic: That was Mel personally, but it wasn't all of us.
Mel: But it was absolutely how I felt. Because you know what, we got signed [to Parlophone] having not made one piece of music. They signed the idea of us getting back together. I felt fraudulent from that moment on and it didn't feel like a real thing.
It goes on but that explains a lot.

  As I said at the time (ten years ago, this blog is old) the single, Rock Steady was fine but a bit inauthentically All Saints.

Listening now, it's not bad and certainly retains the London sound and does fit within previous strategies, but it doesn't splash in the way it needed to, feeling more like a third or fourth single off the album rather than "Wow, the All Saints are back, back, back!"

The problem was it turned out to be the strongest track on the subsequent album which sounded mediocre in comparison to the solo work of Mel, Shaznay and the Appletons.

The new album's called Red Flag which makes it a bit difficult to find on Amazon but I'll pre-ordered it anyway when it's made available.

... Be Forgot.

Books One of the suspensions of disbelief us fans often have to deal with when considering Doctor Who related material featuring supporting characters is why the Time Lord doesn't appear whenever they're fighting the big battles, why he wasn't there during Children of Earth or Miracle Day to save them all, a syndrome typical of shared universes narratives. Not having kept up with Professor Bernice Summerfield's adventures I'm not sure of the war that's caused the emotional scars in this intricately written Short Trip about one of her Christmases, but she asks the question we simply don't hear often enough when the lonely God finally drops in, "Where the hell were you?" Typically he doesn't have an answer. Actually he probably does. It's probably a sentence which includes the words "fixed", "point" and "time" somewhere in there which is easy to say to strangers but less justifiable to friends and family especially if it's about the people they care about.  Eighth confirms to Benny here my theory that if he's aware of the original history he simply can't go back and change it.  If he'd stumbled into whatever it was half way through it would have been fine but he heard about it retrospectively so that was that.

My Favourite Film of 1962.

Film The lyrics to Deep Blue Something's Breakfast At Tiffany's used to bother me. Actually the promo to bother me too with its literal interpretation of the title of the song but only to the point that it features the band eating a repast in front of the jewellers rather than actually having a couple of actors illustrate the lyrics instead.  This being the mid-90s, promos for guitar bands tended to be shaggy haired men only doing men things, apart from Sleeper because Louise Wener was goddess, not that I noticed at the time.

The problem with lyrics to Deep Blue Something's Breakfast At Tiffany's is that they ignore the content of the film.  Songwriter Todd Pipes has apparently said that the inspiration for the lyrics was actually Roman Holiday but that he prefered the other title.  So it's an afterthought, a case of having to find a movie title which scanned and provided a hook, something with six syllables and the stresses in the right place.  Might as well have been Battle Beyond The Stars, The Shawshank Redemption, The Silence of the Lambs, Grave of the Fireflies or The Bridge on the River Kwai (ish).

But it's the casual nature of the conversation.  "And I said, "What about Breakfast at Tiffany's?"  to which is his paramore says, "I think I remember the film / And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it / And I said, "Well, that's the one thing we've got".  Is it?  Is it the only film you've both liked at the same time and the only thing?  Not exactly the most solid basis for a relationship really so you're probably best shot of each other.  I appreciate that this is not a song which can really be held up to much scrutiny.

Except, it's how they treat the film.  She thinks she remembers the film.  It's Breakfast at Tiffany's.  How can you forget Breakfast at Tiffany's?  Especially the opening shot of Holly GoLightly standing in front of the retailer with coffee and croissant, its atmosphere so inviting even this cis male wished he could be a Givenchy dress wearing, pearl dangling girl about town in 60s New York.  Despiting fancying Audrey Hepburn in all her other films, this is the one in which I actually want to be Audrey Hepburn. As she says, "It's useful being top banana in the shock department."

But in the years since I've come to realise that for some people film isn't the most important thing in their lives.  They watch films, a lot of films, but once they've seen them, they're gone.  They don't have a working memory of Gwyneth Paltrow's filmography to hand, don't know which order the Fast and Furious films are supposed to be in and can't tell you which films are usually in Sight and Sound's decadal film poll.  They watch films, they enjoy them, they move on.  Breakfast at Tiffany's included.

None of which stops me from shouting at Pointless most episodes of course, wondering how anyone can not know the difference between Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton to the point of listing three of the latter's film appearance in a final round asking for examples of the former.  Or entirely failing to find the all important Pointless answer because I've assumed that someone in the hundred would have known Matt Damon was in Mystic Pizza and so dismissed it as a potential answer.  Yes, he is.  He plays Julia Roberts's boyfriend's little brother.  No I don't know that actor's name.

There is of course the music or literature version of the above paragraphs with me cast in the role of the passing interest person and I'm sure if I was on Pointless struggling to remember the titles of songs on The Smiths's Meat is Murder album (and yes I did just have to Google to find the title of a The Smiths album for the purposes of this sentence) or Bernard Cornwell's back catalogue (he's the Sharpe guy right?).  It's this reality which led me to lighten up on people who haven't seen a Tarkovsky or Whit Stillman film or not remembered even if they did.

Soup Safari #63: Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Tomato at the Mezzanine Café in Liverpool Cathedral.

Lunch. £5.95 (including Ham Salad Bloomer). Mezzanine Café, Liverpool Cathedral, St James Mt, Liverpool L1 7AZ. Phone: 0151 709 6271. Website.