Category Archives: TV

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Hi Panda Lovers
My new home is going great guns and would love to see you there.
You can get your fill of TV, FILM, OP ED PIECES, and BRISBANE AUSTRALIA FOCUSED PIECES.

Some of the popular tv shows I review are:
SMALLVILLE, VAMPIRE DIARIES, NIKITA, THE WALKING DEAD, CAPRICA, FRINGE, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, MAD MEN, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, HAWAII FIVE-0, COMMUNITY and many more.

Some come visit.

You can also follow me on Twitter where I link my new articles where I talk back to my followers and love to hear your feedback.

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HowManyPandas is Mirgrating

I was feeling like this earlier - but click on the pink panda packing heat to visit my new site.

Yes – we are going official – to howmanypandas.com
Give me a little time to work it all out – but I have a few reviews ready to go… once I work out how to do it.
Das Panda
PS. Is pretty much done now, but I need to retag and recategorise everything. Also for some reason I can’t get my twitter feed up. No problem. You will need to change your RSS to my new site. So please don’t forget.
XOXO
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Review – Caprica – The DirtEaters

caprica dirteaters avenging angels

What all the cool New Cap City players are wearing.

This week:
The idea of ethnicity is re-explored through flash backs and choices by the Adama family. Daniel makes yet another deal with the devil. The Avenging Angels are the latest fad.

Pluses:
The idea that honest work like farming could be so distasteful to others.
One’s own choosing to return to the soil.
Sam and Joseph’s journey as children.
Daniel being even more devious.
Everyone has their own agenda.

Minuses:
I still lack empathy for Amanda.
That stupid editing between V-World and Caprica.
Tamara and Zoe aren’t strong enough actors to pull of their current story lines.

This was an incredibly strong character driven episode. It is a shame that just as this series/season found its feet, they were removed out from under. I write this having seen The Heavens Will Rise, and I found this episode a perfect counterpoint for the next step.

#threeandahalfpandas

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Review – Stargate Universe – Visitation

Dear Santa. I would like a pony, a puppy, oh and not to die alone.

This week:
What a left behind has returned. Hope is dashed. Love makes hard decisions and a wish is made reality.

Pluses:
The nice little twist at the end.
The “something missing” effect.
Greer’s farewell to Chloe.

Minuses:
What happened last week seems to be forgotten.
A glimmer of hope once again smashed by the show (including buy in by audience of TJ’s baby)
Unnecessary pain and suffering.

For the love of pete, please do something with your minor characters. Volker is begging for a real story – he is probably the most interesting of the minor players and what I have seen of Patrick Gilmore’s acting here and in Riese, he could deliver something really strong, funny, interesting – anything! Or how about some more Vanessa James- I would even take more Brody (and yes while Kelamis is an Aussie – I don’t think his character is as interesting as Gilmore’s). We were going somewhere with James and then the wheels just fell off. The main characters are decidedly boring with only Greer and Eli still really engaging. Please!!!

#twopandas

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Review – The Walking Dead – Vatos

Beauty and a moment of normality in a post apocalyptic world

This week:
Life returns to normal – as much as it can under the stress and duress of the zombie apocalypse, but the pressure does show. The boys are not alone in Atlanta. Behind darkness there can be light. Merle has disappeared with something very dear to our heroes’ hearts. Nowhere and nothing is safe.

Pluses:
The disparity between those perfect moments and reality – that eternal attempt to stay human (literally and metaphorically speaking).
Andrea and Amy.
My mind coming up with a stack of hypotheses while watching.
Moments of tenderness and hope.
The sense of loss.
So strongly character driven.
So simple yet so brilliant.
The development of Jim and Shane.

Minuses:
Losing characters I was just starting to love.
I think it was Merle who bought those Walkers to camp (I hope I am wrong).

I wouldn’t want to be signing on to that show – chances are you will die within a couple of episodes. I can’t express just how poetic this episode was – exploring the themes of humanity and family counterposed against the raw savagery of the Walkers.. From the colours to the light to the shot style, everything reflected the disparities. It was all I could do not to cry in the office – I watched this episode over lunch on my MBP.

My only concern is that it will develop into the depressing and hopeless (feeling) of SGU – however I understand the source material is strong, so fingers crossed this will not be the case.

#fourandahalfpandas

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Review – Hawaii Five-O – Mana’o

Nice role reversal

This week:
Danno’s old partner is murdered and disposed of in the most delicious way. Sierra from Dollhouse has a new mission. Danno is determined to prove his innocence. Cross and double cross. Old enemies become allies. They solve the case. Garrett says Book him, Danno. Some cheesy American stuff.

Pluses:
Is always good to see Dichen Lachman in a role.
Nice shift away from the normal case scenario.
Nice backstory for Danno.
Buddy cop development.
Most creative interrogation method I have ever seen on teev.

Minuses:
Kono still very much a “support” vs the major kick butt player she was in the pilot.
No shonky policework – except that play ground visit.
is like every major crime syndicate in the world putting down roots in Hawaii?
Obvious twist.
What was with the Bing plug?

I must admit, I am getting a little tired of the first part of each show. Random people doing something random and most likely a touristy appropriate past time in Hawaii then BAM dead body or murder… could be Bones, NCIS, Law and Order, Castle etc… This week’s episode name – Mana’o – means to have faith, confidence, to believe – which is very apt considering noone but Danno believes in his friend’s innocence. Another enjoyable romp that suspends any need for thought.

#threepandas


Review – Hawaii Five-O – Mana'o

Nice role reversal

This week:
Danno’s old partner is murdered and disposed of in the most delicious way. Sierra from Dollhouse has a new mission. Danno is determined to prove his innocence. Cross and double cross. Old enemies become allies. They solve the case. Garrett says Book him, Danno. Some cheesy American stuff.

Pluses:
Is always good to see Dichen Lachman in a role.
Nice shift away from the normal case scenario.
Nice backstory for Danno.
Buddy cop development.
Most creative interrogation method I have ever seen on teev.

Minuses:
Kono still very much a “support” vs the major kick butt player she was in the pilot.
No shonky policework – except that play ground visit.
is like every major crime syndicate in the world putting down roots in Hawaii?
Obvious twist.
What was with the Bing plug?

I must admit, I am getting a little tired of the first part of each show. Random people doing something random and most likely a touristy appropriate past time in Hawaii then BAM dead body or murder… could be Bones, NCIS, Law and Order, Castle etc… This week’s episode name – Mana’o – means to have faith, confidence, to believe – which is very apt considering noone but Danno believes in his friend’s innocence. Another enjoyable romp that suspends any need for thought.

#threepandas


Review – Smallville – Patriot

Script meeting: So we have Oliver Queen without a shirt? "Actually sir, we have him without a shirt for most of the episode." Good, good. Any chance we can get Clark shirtless? "No sir, but we have AquaMan with his shirt off, AquaMan's wife naked and Lois with a lot of cleavage." Good work team!.

This week:
The Vigilante Registration Act goes live and it is under the command of Col Tigh. Seems the cylons survived after all! Oli signs up. AC knows his past, gets captured. Clark tries to save the day and Lois gets into the group. Lots of mushy stuff.

Pluses:
The Silver Age is about to begin.
Nice tie ins back to the old Lex days.
Lois fighting for her man.
Oli being a guinea pig.
Lovey dovey stuff.
Great to see AC again.

Minuses:
Clark’s speech at the end lacked the passion that Lois’ had.
Still doesn’t feel like a cohesive unit.
The Omega symbol… really?

This season certainly took a while to find his feet, but it is finally here. This episode had everything. Overall arc, minor character return, not one, but two super heroes shirtless, and a cylon.

#fourpandas
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So What's Up with CityCycle? Some Questions Answered

citycycle rack newfarm

Fantastic shot by StephenK1977 via Flickr

I was thinking about what I was going to write next week to commemorate 2 months of citycycling around BrisVegas when today CityCycle (JCDecaux) called me.

At first I thought it was going to be that survey that was doing the rounds a month or so back. Instead it was someone to answer my questions – someone who actually knew some answers and had a positive attitude… totally unlike my second last experience with their Call Centre team.

I was gobsmacked recently when I rode past Commercial/Florence St #65 after a little under a week away to see the once busy station closed – red guards in place and everything. This station is used a lot by the Bulimba crowd, so I couldn’t understand why it was closed, especially given that stations #66 and #67 (the large stations built for the bus hub and cross river ferry) had yet to open.

So I sent an email and expected one of the typical emails back. Instead, I got a phone call and since this person was in the know and helpful, decided to ask all the questions that no one else seemed to have been able to answer.

So why is #65 closed given that it is currently the only station near the ferry terminal?
Oh. It is closed for two weeks due to building construction next to the site and then it will be open again.

When are the other stations (66/67) going to open?
Early 2011.

BREAKING NEWS: CityCycle has opened station #67 – Vernon Tce and Commercial Rd 24 hours after saying it wouldn’t open till 2011. I will pretend it is because I told them that you couldn’t catch the CityCat there and that people needed a station for the cross river ferry. In truth I go back to my communication comment, as he physically looked up the stations in the system for opening dates. No surprised they can’t communicate with the general public if they can’t even get their internal communication right.

So not late 2010? (as per advertising)
Unfortunately no, 2011.

CityCycle South Bank

One station now live kinda close to South Bank - but isn't a major station

So does this mean that the stations at Southbank are going to be early 2011?
We don’t know. We are waiting for signoff from Southbank Corporation.

(????) So it has nothing to do with you?
Waiting for Southbank.

What about the people who have signed up but can’t actually use the system at all or as it is supposed to be used? When Merthyr Village went down I got a number of weeks added to my account. Some people still can’t ride at all.
We are doing extensions for those subscribers.

There was some idle banter but that is the crux of it.

Another great shot by StephenK1977

Now we already know that the problem with the inital construction of the stations (some are still being built) is the Brisbane City Council. But what I (and others I had spoken to) wasn’t aware that the hold up with getting stations into Southbank, possibly the most relevant place to have them is Southbank itself. Now we know that Southbank is a state owned corporation, and were recently in the news due to planning rights negatively impacting the BCC – at the time I was thinking so what? The ABC is getting a nice new studio finally! Now of course it directly impacts me and dang it all if I don’t agree with Can-do Campbell. (For those keeping count, we are at 3 things) Why, if this has been signed off on and part of the service level agreement has it not been signed off?

What I foolishly didn’t ask was why there was such a hold up on the other stations (blown back from late 2010 to early 2011) – because there is a station just near Southbank that would be awesome. I also didn’t ask why they didn’t communicate to their users that the station #65 was going to close temporarily. They did post on their webpage (and I use the term literally not flatteringly) that they had opened six new stations, taking their total to 57. How did I find out? BCC twitter account – CityCycle’s communication team does not exist I have decided. I have commented a couple of times in previous pieces and interviews that their communication, or rather lack of it, is their biggest challenge.

57 < 100. 43 in a month is just not going to happen.

It is great to hear though that subscribers who have bought their card to “change they way you move” will get extensions – though I suggest you probably need to call the Call Centre to get that done.

So let’s talk about the last few weeks of CityCycle.

First up – a HUGE improvement on the movement of bikes in New Farm, Teneriffe and The Valley. Within 48 hours of my radio interview on Brisbane’s #1 breakfast show (That is ABC Brisbane612) bikes were being regularly shuffled. I could check in on the app during the day and see the stations getting evened out. So 10 points for fixing that.

Secondly, they finally opened my second (of three) local stations. I finally don’t have to cycle up a hill to rack my bike after riding for 25mins. That is worth another 30 points.

Thirdly, they have finished construction on my third station – located at Malt St – so soon I can skip the hills and coast downhill into the city – YAY! Please open this station soon, but for finally finishing it – you can have another 20 points.

Forthly, you opened up the stations at The Palace Barracks and Palace Centro (local station recently opened) in time for BIFF. I can’t tell you how great it was to be able to cycle to BIFF. Not having to pay for parking or circle and circle to find a park in a side street when the carpark is full at The Barracks was just awesome. Cycling home (mostly down hill) after 9pm at night with the cool breeze past my face was brilliant. Dodging drunken twats in The Valley, not so much.

Fifthly, their response to my email – a call was super nice – so another 10 points there. Normally I get an email like this one. You do get a response quickly which is good, and I have seen them action an email, fixing a station problem.

Prompt but soulless.

Sixthly, I am seeing a lot more people riding. I am seeing more people heading back from work and on the weekends it remains very popular. I am changing roles, so hopefully my next position will see me working near a CityCycle station!

The only negatives has been 2 faulty bikes – 1 with a faulty seat lever and 1 with dodgy gears, and of course their woeful communication with the public and their users.
My suggestions: Get a Communications person on board – my contract finishes on December 3rd – so I am available. Update your app so I can email you directly from it, rather than having to go onto the webpage on my mobile device. Get a twitter account – I saw a tweet the other day asking the BCC CityCycle questions. Communicate with your users.

Things are slowly turning the corner for CityCycle. A couple of friends of mine just moved into the next street from me, I asked them if they were going to subscribed – they said yes. Good sign.

#threepandas

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Review – Mad Men – Blowing Smoke and Tomorrowland

What once I despised I have become.

I finally got around to seeing the last two episodes in Mad Men. I always meant to, and I was really engaged this series – but stuff came up and I forgot about it. It wasn’t till I was recently house-sitting and going through my media drive for something to watch (their dvd collection was almost non-existent and entirely non-compatible with pandas).

It was actually nice to see these two episodes back to back. From the uncertainty and lack of control in Blowing Smoke to sense of surety that Don felt in Tomorrowland it was such a good conclusion to this season and to his journey. It was also very pleasing in a schadenfreude way to see Betty’s misfortune as she lives out her choices.

Pluses:
Changing the message.
Seeing Don happy (or at least thinking he is happy).
Megan Calvet’s reaction to the milkshake.
Peggy and Joan discussing the development over a cigarette.
Seeing the kids actually happy and acting like a family.
Faye Miller breaking down on the phone.
Betty getting what she deserved.
Sally’s progression through therapy.
Sally’s little friend telling Betty that just because she was said not everyone else had to be.
Those brief moments of almost honesty Don has with the kids and then with Megan.
I also adored how of all the women he has slept with, he loves Megan.
Finally I found it very interesting that for all his snide looks about Roger marrying his secretary, Don will do the same.

Minuses:
No more Dr Miller.
I miss Cooper.
An eternity till next season.

I do wonder if we are going to get another time jump like we did for the start of this season. It was interesting how Dr Miller said that Don only liked the beginning of things, let’s jump past the honeymoon and see them as a family – I wonder if the kids will be with them instead of Betty – who as Sally’s friend correctly said doesn’t like kids. Bring on next year

#fourandahalfpandas

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