The Adventures Of Tintin in 3D Review

I’ve been waiting to see this a while now, but I got confused with the release dates – Spain had it months ago, and some places still have yet to screen it, despite the fact that this Belgian-crafted idea was made into a feature film by Americans. Weird. Having been out of action from the cinema for a while now, I figured it would be an ideal opportunity to get back into the comfy seats of the local multiplex. Tintin originated as a Belgian animated comic series in the mid 20th century, and became an icon of Belgian culture. The legacy of Tintin has been relatively quiet, and I was quite surprised to hear that Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg had decided to make a movie about it. How does it all fare?

The story starts out not with a bang, but a whimper. In a day when we watch films that usually begin with epic explosions or battles leading up to the main narrative, here we start in a market place. We are shown the original pictures of all the characters from the original comics for added nostalgia. Then five minutes in, you’re already worried about getting lost in the increasingly expanding narrative.

The film tells the story of young journalist Tintin, who – along with his pet dog Snowy – has a pretty respectable repertoire with his local Belgian townsfolk. One day, in a market place, he spots a model of a ship called ‘The Unicorn’ and makes the purchase. No sooner has he done this, several shady characters turn up demanding for custody of the model. Naturally, Tintin investigates, and it’s not long before we have police agents, sailors, legends, myths and maps all thrown into the fray in the search of – you guessed it – long lost treasure.

I found the pace quite slow to start with – despite a lot of characters being introduced all at once, nothing much really happens. You realise this is an odd little movie that isn’t your usual CGI film – the characters are odd, the humour is close to corny, and the whole things seems a little bit old fashioned. But then you get the joke – that’s the whole point. The trailer had me expecting something a little more modern, but in fact this film is more of a homage to grand old days of the ‘ripping yarns’ than something striving for innovation.

Anyone who’s played Tomb Raider or been on some of Spielberg’s previous exploits with Indiana Jones will find themselves in very familiar waters here. This film is aimed at children, but there have been children’s films of late that have proven equally engaging with adults alike. For me, this is not so much one of them – you’ll remain five steps ahead of Tintin more or less throughout the entire film.

The script gave the impression of a character-driven film, yet we find out hardly anything about the past history or exploits of the protagonist. The film later becomes centrally focused around Captain Haddock and his past history with another man chasing the treasure called Sakharine. We learn all about these two in quite a lot of detail, meaning that when the danger comes a-calling, we care more about what happens to them then we do about the main character. This was a fault – if anything, the film started descending into the narrative way too quickly. The model ship makes it’s debut about three minutes in, and it’s all guns blazing straight from the off.

Despite being a rather archaic form of story telling though, the CGI is amongst some of the best I’ve ever seen – even good enough to rival Avatar. This film was a human study – facial features and water effects really are spectacular, with the pinnacle of the work going into a motorbike chase that takes place cutting through a shanty town that is slowly being flooded by a broken dam – right from the top down, in one continuous five minute long shot. Indeed, special effects have come a long way since Tintin was first created.

I had fun watching this movie, but it left a lot out that I felt could have definitely been beneficial. There are a couple of gaping plot holes, and the infamous Thompson and Thomson characters (voiced by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) are painfully underused, serving only to randomly appear to get Tintin out of a pickle when he conveniently needs them. The narrative and CGI go to great lengths to create a realistic setting, only for Snowy to have complete flights of fancy and adventures that are just too elaborate to make any sense.

In a nutshell, this is a good enough film that can take you back in time to an older version of storytelling, where the humour is cheesy, and the adventure is old-school. However this movie has been done a hundred times before, and in most cases, much better. Despite the great CGI and the loyalty to the origins, this film really needed a creative twist to make an impact on a modern audience. What’s left is a nice film that wont set your world alight, but passes the time comfortably.

7 / 10

Iceland Film Proposal

‘Troll’ / ‘Inside, Outside’ / ‘Wilderness’ Proposal

Synopsis Summary: Two British geologists conducting a study in Iceland endure a terrifying night out in the wilderness with a mysterious ethereal creature.

 

Characters: 5 – Geologist 1 (male), Geologist 2 (female), Troll, The Local, ‘The Wilderness’

 

Genre and Audience: Psychological horror aimed at a mature audience (15+).

 

Style: Content will be largely suggestive, with very little action scenes, but plenty of atmosphere. Mysterious music of a high quality standard will be required to pull this movie off. The film will largely be based around Geologist 1, with Geologist 2 missing for most of the film, and the Troll mostly suggested with the exception of a few key scenes.

 

Synopsis:

Two geologists arrive in Iceland. Their mission is to take some rock samples and study the earth, as apparently there is a possible seismic event waiting to happen in the area in the upcoming year.

The duo are both British and find themselves alienated by the local culture. After a brief encounter with a local man who tries to say something in broken English, the pair hire a jeep and head out to the excavation site in a valley.

Upon arrival, the pair set up a tent, and get to work immediately. Whilst recording data of tectonic movements below the surface, the two sit in the tent and talk for a while. It becomes apparent that there is some sort of romantic entanglement between the two, resulting in jealous sub-plot.

Geologist 2 records the data, and is surprised to find that the data may suggest another volcanic eruption in the next year or so. As the sun begins to set, she ventures to the top of a nearby hill in order to send a signal back to the offices in England, leaving Geologist 1 in the tent.

Two hours pass, and the wind picks up. Geologist 1 goes to the top of the hill to look for her, but finds nothing. He then (having now got a signal) receives a cryptic text from Geologist 2, saying that she’s has gone to investigate something and to wait for her back at the tent.

Geologist 1 hears strange barking / growling noises on the way back to the tent, even though there doesn’t seem to be any wildlife around. He quickens his pace to return to a tent where several interior items have been dragged out of the entrance. Inside, he decides to play games and music in order to calm his nerves, as he waits for Geologist 2 to return.

Three hours later, nothing has happened. Geologist 1 decides he’s going to drive back into town using the jeep. Unfortunately, he remembers that Geologist 2 had the keys, and probably has them on her person wherever she is.

He secures the tent properly and storms back up the hill, getting quite upset now, and hears the growling noises again. This time though, there’s a screaming sound blowing on the wind. He’s almost at the top when he receives another text from Geologist 2. This time it is complete gibberish (random letters), and makes no sense at all. Now getting scared, he rushes back to the tent. Foliage rustling around him as he descends suggests he is being stalked.

He reaches the tent and seals himself in. After a few moments of waiting, sure enough something is circling the tent outside. Something presses into the tent canvas, again snarling and growling. Geologist 1 retrieves a little pocket knife and gets ready to fight when a flashlight hits the tent.

Geologist 2 is returning and calling out Geologist 1’s name. Her flashlight briefly illuminates the tent from afar, creating a dim silhouette of a strange human-looking creature stalking the outside. The creature runs off, and not soon after Geologist 2 has arrived. She claims to have seen nothing.

In the denouement, it is revealed that she ran into a local traveller whilst sending the signal , who’s partner had injured his leg. She helped the man all the way back through the night to a safe house. Whilst having a small rest before her return, she catches the traveller playing with her phone. Apparently the second text wasn’t gibberish – it was Icelandic, but neither of the two understand what it says. The film ends with a close up of the text. No translation is given, but in actual Icelandic, it will say:

‘halda ut i dalnum, og gaeta sin eyoimorkinni’

Stay out of the valley, and beware the wilderness

Mini Treatment for CovTelly

The purpose: To represent / show the Coventry Peace Festival – What is it? Who takes part? Who is it for? What is it for? Do people know about it? –> SELL THE FESTIVAL, primarily for next year’s event.

The audience: Aimed at a general audience – for families, focusing on the community spirit, and the social aspect. No violence, no swearing, no controversy.

–> November 11th is Memorial Day – Important part of the festival. Important to include.

MANY varied events to look into and investigate / represent. This fact should add variety to the overall artefact. Different people, different locations, one festival. Focus is on unity.

–> Do we show the Peace Festival as a whole, or only certain aspects of it? (e.g. One man, such as the photographer or the mayor). Every person has a story to tell – do we tell the story of the festival, or the stories of the individual people in it?

Style should be simple and basic – interviews with cut aways. Include some footage of what happens at the actual festivals – shoot everything, only include best bits in final product. Interview everyone you can – only include most interesting vox pops in final product.

–> Easy to contact or get in touch with representatives of the festival. It’s community-focused, thus working with students from the local university is not really an issue. –> Representing Coventry as a city? –> For Olympics?

No back up plan – what if we can’t film the festival? – We need to get in touch ASAP.

Bob Dylan at Capital FM Arena – 11/10/11

How could I possibly introduce this review?

As I sat in the Capital FM Arena, I had difficulty trying to grasp the immensity of the importance of the musician I was about to see. The aged audience all around me made me realize how young I was, and how far back this man really goes, yet the anticipation of seeing the man himself gave them all a glint of rekindled youth. The man who effectively inspired The Beatles, who revolutionized the music industry, and the boy who came from the wilds of America with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and became the greatest singer songwriter to have ever existed. Despite the excitement however, there was also the dwelling thought that ever since ‘going electric’ in the mid-sixties, Bob Dylan has been gently annoying audiences with his unpredictable on-stage antics. So how tonight was going to go down was anybody’s guess.

Dylan’s support came from Mark Knopfler. The guitarist and frontman of legendary 80s band Dire Straits came on stage with a bunch of salty-looking guys who looked like they’d just been found in the pub down the road. He even commented that the last time he’d played Nottingham was in a pub called The Boat Club. I got a feeling this wasn’t going to go well, but all of a sudden Knopfler started playing his six-string, and it suddenly all made sense. If there was any doubt in the band’s ability, it was gone by the second song. Knopfler had about ten different guitars – almost one for each song. The musicians at his side changed instrument almost every song – we had every type of flute, cello, violin, accordian, bagpipe and banjo on stage, almost being passed around. With every song also, perfect musical mastery. The tunes came through with tuneful clarity, and despite the few usual drunks in the audience, they played on. It was so professional it almost hurt. I haven’t seen anyone completely own the stage and the audience like Knopfler did in a very long time. Occasionally, the western-sounding songs broke for some guitar solo times – not shredding strings or blitzing our ears, but soulful, emotional execution.

If there was any doubt to be had that the audience had not enjoyed it, the fact he did an encore confirmed the best. They weren’t songs from his solo career either – two songs from the classic Dire Straits album ‘Brothers In Arms’ (to the young ones reading this, that would be the first music CD to go to press). He looked happy. The audience looked happy. The stage was set and ready for Mr Dylan’s presence. It would not get any better than this.

After a short wait, the lights went down. A rather bland stage set-up gave it a rather 1960s feel, as if trying to immitate the earlier days when it was more about the music than the spectacle. Bob Dylan came on to a vocalised introduction, stating that he is a man who survived substance abuse. When the lights went up and everyone saw him, he looked it. The slightly mad, squinty-eyed musician entered on with frizzy grey hair, slightly contained under a black hat. His co-musicians looked like something from a Gothic metal band from a lost corner of Finland, but the music was far from. The token Bob Dylan sound was there – guitars, harmonicas and vocals. Sadly, his voice didn’t seem to be holding up too well, but at aged seventy, it’s good he’s still able to perform at all.

By the fifth song, it was becoming apparent that – as most would warn you – this was not going to be a recollection of the greatest hits. Anyone who was going down to hear ‘Blowin In The Wind’ or ‘Times They Are A-Changing’ was going to leave sorely disappointed. What with his voice though, even if he had played them, they would not have sounded like the classic tracks anyway. No ‘Hurricane’s at this show. This made the audience two types of people – those who were sated with that fact, and those who weren’t. Evidently, he was just playing whatever felt right to him. Even the die-hard fans wearing three shirts each on the front row didn’t know the words to any of the songs. Judging by the look on Dylan’s face, sometimes I don’t think he did either. However, his almost demonic smile showed that he was having fun. A lot of fun, or he was in a lot of pain. But everything sounded good, the skill of the band could not be faltered, and even though Dylan seemed to prefer keyboards on this particular run, even that sounded tuneful.

I am guessing that Dylan enjoyed the show, as he decided to end with two hits – ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ were his closing tunes, and his voice distinctly murdered them both. However, I felt lucky that I’d seem him play them – I have a feeling he doesn’t do that on all of his shows. He didn’t bow, he just stared out openly and experessionless as the audience applauded him. Then he left, and there was no encore.

To summarise, I had very low expectations of this night. I knew of Dylan’s controversial approach to concerts, so I went in not expecting anything at all. Knopfler definitely stole the show in terms of content, but alongside a man as legendary as Bob Dylan, it’s hard to say that he was the better musician. It was pretty much a co-headlining act, and they both complemented each other well. Unlike the previous concert I saw at Capital FM Arena, I didn’t feel cheated in the fact that classic songs hadn’t been played. Those songs belong in some dark sleazy club with a crowd of two hundred, somewhere in Texas in 1962. I have respect for people as old as he is, who could have taken early retirement years ago, but are still doing what they’ve always done. It gives me a chance to catch a glimpse into an era long before I was even born, and see just a little of the magic that cultivated music as we know it today.

In his own words, times have a-changed. He may be barking mad, but I consider his concerts a tribute to a time long ago. The music was masterful throughout, and Dylan’s ego wasn’t half as irritating as I thought it would be. It was strictly professional, and you can’t ask for more than that. If you were expecting hits, this is probably well below the five out of ten mark. But I wasn’t, and so it’s only fair to judge accordingly.

9/10

Iron Maiden at Capital FM Arena – 27/07/11

This is one concert that had been a long time coming. You would have to find a seriously lost corner of the world to find a person who hadn’t heard of them. They’re one of the biggest bands in the world, with decades of touring behind them spanning a career that goes back to the 1970s. With a number of hits behind them, it was sure to be a concert that could do no wrong. Could the legendary performance of Def Leppard in 2008 finally have met it’s match?

Before we got onto the main act however, there was some unfinished business in the form of Airbourne. I had been there at the beginning – on Running Wild. I remember when they played the basement of Nottingham’s Rock City – a date I missed, but I managed to catch them months later at the same venue. They were playing the main hall this time. Lead singer Joel O’Keeffe seemed unsure of whether he was intoxicated or not, there was a lot of smoke, and generally all the songs were played out of tempo. O’Keeffe’s famous ‘climb on something and do a guitar solo on top’ happened atop the Rock City balcony, which he subsequently jumped off and landed on the sound system, much to the dismay of the staff. In my review, it led me to use the words ‘next time I will be in the mosh pit, or not at all’.

Funny then, when Airbourne come on, and are more or less exactly the same as before. O’Keefe slurs his words a little, with a bottle of red wine in hand. There’s a lot of smoke machines going on, and a lot of noise. The entire band jump around the stage, running back and forth to give the audience the best view. Again, the music is off tempo, slowing down to a crawl at points. Then, they do the unthinkable – breaking up their sing-along songs mid-riff to stop and have a chat with the audience. I expected nothing less. As they closed their set with more songs from their first album than their second, I started to wonder where all the new material was at, or indeed why O’Keeffe hadn’t climbed something dangerous yet. Songs like ‘Born To Kill’, ‘Armed And Dangerous’, ‘Steel Town’ and (of course) ‘Blonde, Bad, And Beautiful’ all seem to be missing from the set list, even though they are some of Airbourne’s best songs. A bit rich for the band to ask the audience if they’ve saved up their money to see the gig, and use that to get them ready for the main act. But then I remember that they’re only the warm-up band – they couldn’t steal Maiden’s thunder, could they?

I mosh around a bit at the end, but then I get a little nervous. Surely Airbourne could be twice as good, and not even scratch Maiden’s performance? Airbourne definitely seemed to hold back on their set, meaning a lot of older people just saw a bog-standard rock band that didn’t excite of enthuse them in any way. But alarm bells were ringing a little bit – what did Iron Maiden have to fear from these Aussie rockers?

Fears aside, thirty minutes later, and we’re into the main event. After one of the longest entrances I think I’ve ever seen (it took five minutes, from the lights, the air raid sirens, the rumbling noises, the stars in the background, the smoke, more rumbling, the sounds stopping, more lights, and then the band came on), the band come on – and not to Aces High as I predicted, but some unknown one from their new album. It was a trend that was to accelerate into this gig from the offset, and kill Iron Maiden’s hopes of ever being a top notch performance in my eyes.

It’s a given that their current tour is called The Final Frontier, after their latest album release. You would expect some songs to be played from the next material, and that’s fine. However, you expect them to be played without the expense of losing the older songs. To criticise a band of this magnitude, I need solid evidence to support my critique. As I only own 2 Iron Maiden albums – Edward The Great and Fear Of The Dark – I have to be sure that the toned-down vibes of the audience as they left the place were genuine. After all, from the first song right through to the last, Iron Maiden gave a top-notch performance. All the right notes were hit, the band looked like they were enjoying themselves, and the audience generally looked happy. The circle pit was not too violent, the older generations weren’t too drunk, the youngsters weren’t too rowdy, and nobody looked bored. Well, until we got towards the end, that is.

So, asserting that audience and band were one with each other right until the bitter end, here is the absolute ultimate problem with this concert. Edward The Great is a ‘greatest hits’ compilation. I am going to read out the five (that’s correct – FIVE) songs on that CD that Iron Maiden played last night – The Number Of The Beast, The Trooper, 2 Minutes To Midnight, The Evil That Men Do, The Wicker Man. Literally, that is it. Already you may be beginning to see the big issue with Maiden’s performance. I’ll just read out of some of Maiden’s greatest hits now, in no particular order, of just a few songs that you may have expected them to play, but didn’t make the set list – Flight Of Icarus, Can I Play With Madness?, Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter, Wasted Years, Aces High, Brave New World, Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Be Quick Or Be Dead, and – most SHAMEFULLY – Run To The Hills. This is also of course keeping in mind that Bruce Dickinson will hardly ever play songs from the ‘Blaze Bailey’ era of Maiden either, so all those songs are absent as well.

Now… is it just me, or were people expecting more of the songs above than material from the new album? Fear Of The Dark made an appearance, and I feel lucky that they played that. For a band that claim to be ‘a band of the fans’, I just didn’t get it. I understand they don’t want to be labelled as ‘that band from the eighties’, but even reciting Fear Of The Dark seemed to be a bit of an effort for Dickinson. Even with all the shouting and jumping, after you’ve been to as many concerts as I have, you can tell the ones who are fed up with their job and the ones who aren’t. Some may tell me to give Iron Maiden a break, that they’ve been going a long time and they’re bored with playing their old songs and want to do new things.

Okay, well let me tell you about some bands I’ve seen in the past. First and foremost, Def Leppard and Whitesnake in the same arena hall back in 2008. They had both made new studio albums – Songs From The Sparkle Lounge and Good To Be Bad. They played a few songs from their new albums, and all the rest were all classic rock anthems. They played the songs with smiles on their faces – the songs were the tunes that had made their bands what they are today. Maybe they’re labelled as exclusively ‘eighties bands’. Maybe not. But the look of joy on the faces of the fans were now what kept them going. Imagine if David Coverdale hadn’t sung ‘Here I Go Again’, or if Def Leppard decided to omit ‘Photograph’ and ‘Armageddon It’. The concert just wouldn’t have been what it was. What is was, was better than what Iron Maiden delivered last night. And just to kick Maiden when they’re down, lest not we forget AC/DC last year at Donnington. You may think AC/DC have nothing to with Iron Maiden, but you’d be surprised how many Download Festival 2010 shirts I saw fans wearing last night. It was a festival that was so legendary, it’s still rife in metal concerts to this day. AC/DC didn’t feel like making an entire set list about Black Ice. No, they did the whole lot – T.N.T, Back In Black, Thunderstruck… they played so many hits I can’t really recall all of them. But they played songs from the Bon Scott era as well – songs AC/DC were performing long before Iron Maiden’s best albums even existed. And AC/DC played still with smiling faces and enthusiastic performances. Okay, it was the 30th anniversary of the Monsters Of Rock, maybe I saw a special one-off show or something – but something tells me not.

The point here is that Iron Maiden have no foot to stand on. Their refusal to play the classic songs that people have paid them to perform is an insult to the fans in my eyes. They are, after all, the songs that made Iron Maiden the band they are. They are never going to have a number one hit today – heavy metal was a genre of the 1980s whether they like it or not.

I’m sure the band will come round eventually – at the moment, they feel they’re the best band in the world, and seem to be taking their fans for granted. Unfortunately they’re not the best band in the world – these are. And really, there’s nothing more to say. This concert could have been the stuff of legend, but fell short of something as stupid as not playing signature songs. All the gusto is there, as well as the atmosphere. But not even a giant Ed appearing the background could lift the mood when the audience realised that the show was closing with so many classic tracks missing. And the encore ended with another track that didn’t seem to ring many bells to me or those around me. Thus, the show ended not with a bang, but a whimper, and I for one felt I’d only seen half a performance from both acts concerned.

It’s hard to rate a concert so well executed and performed. How much can you criticise a band for playing the songs from the album that the tour is supposed to be promoting? I think Iron Maiden is trying too hard to be a modern band, and if they’d just embrace their 1980s heritage more, their concerts could be up there with the genuine legends of musical metal performance.

8/10

Equals Three – At The Future

About 2 years ago, I made a blog post based around the rather recently-discovered Youtube show ‘Equals Three’. At the time I had only just started university, and so I decided to keep my eye on this show as time elapsed, watching intently as this paved the way for several TV shows to be broadcast for free on the internet, to an audience so vast that even television stations would have difficulty competing. A few weeks ago, Equals Three became the number one most subscribed and most viewed channel, now making it statistically the most popular show on Youtube. But how far has this phenomenon come, and how much further can it go?

Throughout my time at university, this show has single-handedly lead me to believe that the threat posed by the internet to traditional forms of broadcast media can be condensed into one notion – that production values for official, traditional media are going down, whilst the production values of user generated content are going up. This is a notion I plan to investigate further within my final year on my Media Production course.

By just going onto Ray William Johnson‘s channel, you can see how far the show has advanced, from humble beginnings (where he’s promising to read every e-mail that’s sent to him) to the shows of today, which get well over a million views each every week. You can see that on many of his websites, including ones outside of Youtube, have all been well-constructed and financed. RWJ is an internet celebrity, but not because of a viral video or doing something stupid. Quite the contrary, he’s done something really clever. He’s done something that, as I predicted two years ago, is starting to pave the way for other user-generated content, which is now starting to amass and make the first serious challenge to standard broadcasters.

Two other Youtube shows that I often site in essays and blog posts are Shane Dawson and The Annoying Orange, both of which have a relatively large chunk of the ‘Youtube Comedy Show’ market. I looked at what all these shows had in common – one of them is that all the shows appeared to be somewhat topical towards any major events that had recently happened. This dates the episodes quickly, yet effectively captures the entire duration of the show’s existence in relation to the passing of time. One of the most obvious challenges they pose are that they are easily accessible from the internet anywhere in the world. The market open to them far exceeds any audience that can be broadcast to through networks outside of the internet. Of course, in recent years in Britain, the BBC, ITV, Channel Four and others have all gone online. However, they seem to have gone online against their best will – TV licenses are still supposed to be purchased to use these services. Youtube has, and always will be, a free service with no strings attached.

This is not to mention that another big event that happened a few weeks ago was the shutting down of The News Of The World, and the phone hacking scandal. The downfall of newspapers has long been foreseen, and the fall of such a colossal newspaper to some signifies the beginning of the end for so-called ‘regulated media’. Newspapers would have failed long ago if it wasn’t for the advertisements that companies pay to have inside them (the newspaper Metro is almost entirely based upon this business, hence why it’s a free paper, and probably the one with the safest future at present). You wont have to go far to find advertisements on Equals Three, or any semi-famous Youtube show. If there’s a viewing demand, big corporations appears and immediately start trying to make money of a service that was originally free.

Equals Three have also have previous clashes ‘behind closed doors’ about the regulation of ‘viral videos’. Could Ray really be allowed to use viral videos that rightfully belonged to Youtube to further his own fame and his show ratings? Youtube didn’t seem too bothered about it until the show took off, and then all of a sudden there was a problem with censorship and copyright. Whatever the outcome of the argument was, he evidently managed to overcome the problems and keep his show going, which is still strong today. I’m sure the companies advertising on his site would jump to his defense, as there adverts are being watched by millions of people every week.

It’s a lot of profit that RWJ will get a chunk out of. A relatively low-budget production involving a man talking in front of a camera about ready-supplied and constantly-produced funny videos is a sure-fire hit, and sure to make a high profit turnover. What’s more is that it is short and to the point, it’s interactive for free (as oppose to ‘texting in’, such as on The X Factor), and it’s consistently humourous and funny. I also always thought that short episodes were definitely the way forward and everything is geared up to speed nowadays – less time spent watching Equals Three means more time to do something else, and the shows always finish before the jokes become repetitive.

But Shane Dawson TV is where things really start to take off. His humble beginnings were styled like vlogs, much in the same way as RWJ. Shane Dawson TV then became a channel for a variety of shows – not to mention episodes that had multiple outcomes depending on what you, the viewer, wanted to happen. ‘Interactive television’ is something I’ve only ever seen done once before, on a Final Destination 3 DVD many years ago – you could choose who died and who survived. This idea was revisited in a Shane Dawson Halloween special, where you had to unmask the serial killer by subsequently killing off all the other suspects. Again, the show follows a comedic route, proving that comedy really is the best way to go with short free online entertainment shows (another trait that all popular shows seem to have). And again, advertisements are the way big corporations have decided to cash in on the fun, and bring the hassle of television to free media consumption (but again, Shane Dawson would get a cut of this, which I’m sure he wouldn’t mind for a thirty second advertisement being placed before his newest videos).

The really amazing thing that happened was when the most viewed Youtube shows started to merge together. The Annoying Orange appeared on an episode of Fred (another Youtube sensation), the video of which can be found below. Much like ‘Justin Beiber Haters’, Fred has his fare share of hatred from amongst the older generations – something that Shane Dawson was perfectly willing to express in one of his videos. Meanwhile, RWJ got together with The Annoying Orange to make a hybrid of Equals Three entitled ‘Equals Annoying Orange’ (an episode that also parodied some of the most infamous viral videos ever recorded). What made this so brilliant was that is what comedy within comedy shows. You had to know about the internet, and viral videos, and internet celebrities, just to understand what was going on. Youtube was almost a fully fledged TV channel in it’s own right – it’s most viewed shows watched by so many people, the media producers decided to collaborate, confident that together they could boost each other’s ratings up, and at the same time make some of their most well-revised episodes. If you think you know your internet, the episodes can be found below:

As for Equals Three, it’s hard to know where it will go now, as it has become the overlord of every successful show on Youtube. Evidently it is the funniest, the easiest to access, and the most appealing to the widest audience. Youtube didn’t decide this – we did. Where can RWJ go from here? I believe that the time will come when Youtube will be recognised as a fully-fledged rival to the official broadcasters, who will get into fights over how Youtube can be regulated and the mass audiences controlled. If they are even half successful, all that will happen is that another Youtube equivalent will appear, and all the shows will just leave one site and re-appear on another. This is following the notion that the internet cannot be regulated – particularly with the current economic downturn, fast, free shows are definitely the way forward, and as long as there is a demand for free shows, people like Ray, Shane, and… err, ‘Orange’, don’t have anything to worry about.