Movie News

Mr. Beaks Dines With LOOK AROUND YOU Masterminds Robert Popper And Peter Serafinowicz!

Published at: July 30, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST by mrbeaks

At last, the first season of Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz's classic BBC series LOOK AROUND YOU is available to purchase and view in the U.S.! This means you've no longer any excuse to avoid what THE SIMPSONS creator Matt Groening declared "One of the funniest shows I've ever seen!" And just in case you think this is logrolling, please keep in mind that Popper and Serafinowicz hate Groening's guts*. Last week, to celebrate the release of their DVD (which is loaded with hilarious commentaries from the clever likes of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Tim & Eric, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, etc.), Popper and Serafinowicz screened a couple of their favorite episodes - "Sulfur" and "Music" - at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. They were joined onstage by Patton Oswalt (whom they also loathe**), and graciously answered questions from an adoring audience until everyone fell asleep. They also unveiled a new work called "Markets of Britain", a pre-existing short film to which the boys have added an irreverent bit of narration (watch it here). Then they went down to San Diego the following day, and did it all again for a larger, perhaps even more adoring audience at Comic Con (if you were there, please attest to the genius of "Markets of Britain" in talkback)! Prior to the event, Popper and Serafinowicz sat down at the nearby eatery La Poubelle with a small group of journalists (Devin Faraci of CHUD, Damon Houx of Collider, Drew McWeeny of HitFix, and yours truly) to discuss everything from the creation of LOOK AROUND YOU to a potential movie spinoff (an epic sci-fi goof that would surely make Douglas Adams smile). It was a relaxed, conversational back-and-forth, so please excuse the many digressions in the below transcript. Basically, we were more than happy to let the duo go wherever they wanted to go. Naturally, this led us to ZARDOZ, which Serafinowicz - an avowed fan of floating heads - has somehow never seen (it's possible he remedied this over the last week). This was a fun Q&A. I hope you enjoy it. Popper kicked off the recorded segment of our conversation defending the commentaries on the DVD.

(Drew McWeeny interrogates Serafinowicz and Popper)

Robert Popper: We wanted to do something for the American release. We re-did our commentaries as well. We weren’t happy with our British commentaries and then we just suddenly thought of all these people we knew that liked the show that we really liked. Tim and Eric had become really good friends of ours. When we were introduced, someone said “you’d like their stuff, they’d like your stuff, you should swap.” And so we got them to do this. Simon (Pegg) and Nick (Frost) are hilarious, we got one with Edgar (Wright), Trey (Parker) and Matt (Stone) – which was amazing – and Jonah and Michael. They said “we’ll do it," and then said, “Why are we here?” It’s quite a good mix, I think. I read one review that said something like “the extras are awful.” I think the extras are pretty good for a little show. They complained that we just sat there doing admittedly uncanny impressions of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The only impression I can do about 65% good is Margaret Thatcher, so I’m quite pleased about that!

Peter Serafinowicz: Also, getting back to when we first did the DVDs, I think we still have this option on it, where you can watch it without the narration, with just the music and stuff.

Popper: It’s really stupid.

Serafinowicz: It’s freaky.

Popper: It’s horrible.

Q: Is there an I.O.U. sort of thing with the commentaries? Are you going to do some for Tim and Eric?

Popper: A Tit for Tat? If they asked.

Q: (To Serafinowicz:) I like that [the guests] on your commentaries always recognize your brother.

Popper: They do. He does that look really well, that bored look at school. That image keeps repeating, so it burns itself in.

Serafinowicz: James [Serafinowicz] co-wrote and produced my sketch show. It’s funny to think of him as so grown up now because he still kind of a kid then, wasn’t he? He was like, twenty or whatever.

Popper: He was also crying all the time. He was like, "Mommy!"

Q: You guys recorded new commentaries. How was that?

Popper: It was nice this time, because the last time we did it... I mean, it was fine, but this time there was a bit of info we gave. The first time we’d never done it before, so it was “Oh, I like this bit! I like this bit!” And then afterword realized, “Oh, we should have said something.”

Q: Did you guys do all the “Letters from Ceefax” stuff [a very funny text supplement on the DVD]?

Serafinowicz: Yeah, we spent far too much time doing that.

Q: But it speaks to the show.

Popper: Yeah. There’s also some guitar music to it. There’s an improvised modern classical piece. It’s a classical guitar but it’s equalized to be modern. It’s bland and horrible, but when you listen to it, it’s kind of marvelous.

Serafinowicz: Yeah, that is good. I remember now. Robert’s an amazing guitarist. As you can hear on the show.

Q: This show seems a part of a wave to a return of absurdist comedy. What were you guys into at the time that was influencing you?

Serafinowicz: Well, we both grew up loving Monty Python, of course, which you may have heard of.

Popper: It’s very obscure.

Serafinowicz: And Spike Milligan as well. And then I guess for me a big influence on the first season was POLICE SQUAD!

Popper: The pace and the one-liners.

It’s that straight-facedness. What I love about LOOK AROUND YOU is that it’s never winking or tipping its hand.

Popper: There are a couple of mini-winks.

Q: But here is such an integrity to the style. I love the washed out look, the commitment to the style.

Popper: We had a brilliant director as well [Tim Kirkby]. He was brilliant with effects, and just a really good eye.

Q: Well, you do have some stuff that’s on the nose, like the AC/DC "Heavy Metal” bit.

Popper: You caught that. Not everyone catches that.

Serafinowicz: There are jokes like “Germs come from Germany," where we thought, “We can’t use that joke." But then we were like “We should use that joke!”

Popper: But as for influences, there’s THE DAY TODAY and Chris Morris were hugely influential. Electronic music...

Serafinowicz: The Film Board of Canada.

Q: Watching it, did you guys ever think about shooting it 4x3 [rather than 16x9]?

Popper: We did talk about it at the time. I think we thought that was going one too far. We knew we were making a weird show. Obviously, it’s fucking weird – excuse my language – so let’s try and make it as easy to watch, it always starts the same way, so let’s just make it a teeny bit more palatable so people don’t go “Why is it like this?”

Q: Well, one of the great things about the show is the commitment to the joke, which has so much to do with the aesthetic in ten minute bursts. I don’t know where you’d go in America to get financing for that, to pull it off as you do.

Popper: I don’t think you’d be able to make it anymore. It’s very rare that they’d have those ten minutes slots. And it's much harder to do weird stuff on BBC2, to do weird odd arty things.

Serafinowicz: It only really happened once, and they only ever showed it twice in total.

Q: But it became very influential, Tim and Eric are heavily influenced by it, and WONDER SHOWZEN. Was it fans passing tapes?

(l. to r. Tim Heidecker, Popper, Serafinowicz)

Serafinowicz: Yeah, Video tapes.

Popper: Yeah, when we made the first show “Calcium” it wasn’t for TV, it was for fun. We never thought it would be a TV show. It was just “Let’s make something amusing.” We gave people tapes, and we had a big screening with a lot of people we looked up to, and gave people we looked up to tapes. It was kind of like that.

Q: The original pilot is 22 minutes. Was there a conscious decision to make it nine minutes?

Popper: No, the BBC eventually said to us they had ten minute slots, and we thought, “Well, how can we do it?" And they said, “We’ll give you six episodes." We said, "Ten." They then said,“Eight.” And then we said, “Okay.” It was a struggle to get it off.

Q: I would love to see this shown to a science class.

Popper: They’ve done that. We get loads of emails and YouTube comments like “My science teacher showed us this. He’s fucking cool.” Or “I’m a science teacher and…” I mean, we would like to make these until we die, really.

Serafinowicz: We did a three minute film for tonight where we used existing footage, and it was really really fun to do. We’ve been talking about doing more of them.

Popper: Did you see “Birds of Britain?" Our little viral thing for Series Two? It’s the same sort of thing, same sensibility.

Q: Is there a chance of a tie-in book?

Popper: Well, at the time.. you mean actually doing a science book?

Q: By E. W. Whitemarsh.

Serafinowicz: Yeah, we’d love to, but...

Popper: We’re not on TV anymore. At the time we probably wanted to, but they said “Let’s wait for the second series,” and then they wanted people in that. I think we would have a great freaky textbook.

Q: One of the things I love about Season One is that you guys get jokes out of camera angles. Season Two is obviously similar but different. Do you have a preference?

Popper: Yeah. Season One, I think, because it was so pure. I like Season Two. I like the last episode, the live episode with Prince Charles. There’s some stuff in season two I love so much.

Serafinowicz: There’s some stuff that just annoys me, I wish we had been a bit freer.

Popper: Or if we had done every episode as if it were live, so it’d give the impression something could go wrong - which worked so well in the last episode. I think also when you watch Season One, you feel like you’ve never seen anything like it before, while Season Two, which is still original, you might have seen something like that before.

Serafinowicz: In Season Two, I really liked the filmed bits. Whenever we went outside, we shot on film. For some reason. I’m always happy with those.

Q: Like Monty Python.

Popper: Exactly. And we used the same yellow text.

Q: For us, when it came to British comedy, we had to work for it; we had to track it down. But it’s interesting because I think the guys who are making American comedy are just as versed in each other as anyone working today. But you guys seem to be working in your own pond. And with Chris Morris there is a sense of overlap. There is a sense that you all work on each other’s shows in small things or big things.

Popper: It’s nice. It’s England.

Serafinowicz: It sort of is. It’s that all comedy gets made in the middle of London. Whereas here, everyone is spread out in Los Angeles and New York, and more.

Q: There is an evolutionary sense to comedy. Did you see LOOK AROUND YOU creep into other projects> Do you ever think, “There’s some of our DNA in this?”

Serafinowicz: Yeah. (Laughs) Yeah, yeah...

Popper: Especially commercials.

Serafinowicz: We’d get annoyed when people would just rip off our things for a Pizza Hut campaign. We’d just think, “We’ve never made a penny out of this.” We called it our expensive hobby. But also it’s flattering as well.

Popper: And they make great pizzas at Pizza Hut.

Q: It’s interesting that you say this show couldn’t happen again. Is the internet changing that? You guys are so active online, and there’s so much comedy now on line…

Popper: Well, we’d love to…

Serafinowicz: This whole thing is with online comedy is you can only do so much with a budget of zero. Everyone can have final cut, and everyone has... I mean my iPhone shoots 720p. But still, even with all that, there’s a ceiling on the comedy you can do.

Q: How much do you want to give away for free?

Popper: There is that. That’s the practical side of it. You can kind of get away with making a pilot for free. But then making a series…

Serafinowicz: That was, like, eight- to ten-minute episodes, but it took us fucking months to write it and rewrite it and rewrite it. That’s the same with anything. Who’s going to pay for that?

Popper: You guys are!

Q: Monetizing the internet is the question.

Serafinowicz: I’m wondering how you get a big brand to sponsor a show on the internet. Maybe the model is how television worked in the fifties: you do it in a more post modern way; in some cases, you don’t even have to mention the brand, or by association. I don’t know how it would work.

Q: (To Serafinowicz:) Well, it ties into that article you wrote, about how you don’t care how your stuff gets out there, virally or whatever, and you’re okay with it.

Serafinowicz: Yeah, I am, but I still have to feed my kids. I don’t know if you’re familiar with my character Brian Butterfield from my sketch show... me and my brother James are trying to do this chat show. We’re looking to do it on the internet with sponsors, that’s what we’re looking to do. But at the end of the day, someone has to pay for it. Someone forwarded me Al Pacino doing a coffee advert saying, “Al Pacino’s sold out.” And I thought, you know, "People just have to fucking earn money."

Q: A lot of those guys have been doing stuff overseas for years.

Serafinowicz: People need money to make good stuff. They just do.

Q: It’s a business. You need the space, the psychic space to sit and create, and not worry about your next meal.

Serafinowicz: That's why The Beatles will never happen again. We’re not one huge audience; we’re a lot of small audiences. We’ve been talking about a LOOK AROUND YOU movie. If we can convince people we have a large enough audience, people will be interested.

Q: Shows like yours inspire loyalty. I think for us, when you saw Monty Python or some of these other shows, there was an element of “I get it!”

Popper: When you speak to Americans who like it, they really like it.

Q: It’s that you had to find it. It wasn’t something just mass-produced and forced on you by marketing.

Popper: Is it because you have so little of that stuff?

Q: Yeah. I think it’s also because LOOK AROUND YOU appeals to – I hate to sound elitist – but people who may be a little more well read - like with MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. It appeals to people who have a broader frame of reference. It’s also high comedy and low comedy.

Serafinowicz: You know, we have shown it to kids. They’ve obviously never seen any of these '70s things, and they get it instantly because it’s this important voice telling them things that are so obviously wrong, you know? Like this film we just made.

Popper: This movie.

Serafinowicz: This motion picture. By the way, that’s what we’re going to call it: LOOK AROUND YOU: THE MOTION PICTURE. Seriously. I showed my little boy Sam this, and he got like two of the jokes in it cause they’re so stupid. He went “Ahhh.”

Q: You guys mix the high and the low. In America, it’s one flavor. If you’re watching TWO AND A HALF MEN, it’s not working on four levels. You’re watching Charlie Sheen dick jokes for a half-hour.

Popper: We write one percent smutty, but in like an innocent smut sort of way.

Serafinowicz: Can I say about TWO AND A HALF ME... and I don’t want say anything bad about it... but when Charlie Sheen is on screen and not speaking, he looks like he’s thinking about pornography.

Q: (Laughing) Earlier, John Landis came up. Landis knows something you guys know as well. That there are funny angles. How long to hold a shot can be funny, and, with a lot of modern comedies, they aren’t as precious with composition and editing as LOOK AROUND YOU. One of my favorite jokes is the lowering the magnet.

Popper: I like that too.

Serafinowicz: But a lot of that is the editing, and our editor, Chris Dickens, who’s an Oscar winning editor, though he wasn’t at the time. He edited SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. So much of that stuff - framing, timing and stuff - is built in the edit. So much stuff gets created in the edit that didn’t exist before, that gets pieced together...

Popper: We didn’t get a lot of money to make it. And when we looked at the things that inspired us, they didn’t have a lot of money either. So we thought “Great. We used only three takes, and that’s it. If there’s a hair in the gate? Brilliant!" Every joke is framed for the information, and that is what’s funny. And sometimes we’d think, "Well, how would you shoot that?” It’s about the information. It’s as simple as that. That’s the joke.

Serafinowicz: Another thing we experimented with a bit was using CG very sparingly throughout, because everything was so low-fi. It’s not as easy as it is now, but there were things like when you see the outside of the science lab and you see the big dome? Tthat was actually a ping pong ball. I just love that thing generally. You can manipulate anything now with CGI. I like when it’s used sparingly. I looked at JURASSIC PARK, and that film used CG in such an artful way. Also in the new STAR TREK. I like how used CG in that.

H: We were talking earlier about how much we like "Little Mouse".

Popper: It’s a nice little song, isn’t it?

Q: You did more songs in Season Two. Would you have liked to do more or less?

Serafinowicz: I think we would have done much more music, I think.

Popper: We loved that stuff. Originally the song was going to be about something else.

Serafinowicz: Originally it was going to be about an Owl.

Popper: Little Owl.

Serafinowicz: There was going to be a sequel song “Me and My Big Mouse.”

Popper: To do the longer video, we went to the cameraman’s house in Suffolk. I think we had – literally – a ghetto blaster to sync, and we did our own makeup. There were fisherman nearby fishing.

Q: Was Tim the third person in the video?

Popper: Yeah. He couldn’t remember moves. If you watch him, you can see it. He’s so funny.

(I'm never this happy.

Q: What is the attrition rate for what you’re writing? How much do we not see?

Serafinowicz: 90%.

Popper: Really?

Serafinowicz: Yeah, go looking through that book. [Popper brought along the thick, leather-bound notebook in which they wrote most of their ideas.] How much of it did we actually use?

Popper: Quite a lot we didn’t, yeah.

Q: How much was improved on, and how much was just thrown away?

Popper: Well, when filming, we only cut one scene. The show remained very faithful to the script.

Serafinowicz: Two scenes.

Q: What was the writing like? Was it just making each other laugh?

Serafinowicz: When they told us we had these ten minute slots, we thought “Fuck, how can we compress all this?” Because "Calcium" was as long as we wanted, and you could drop in surreal jokes if you wanted to; we liked that dreamlike quality. And then when we reluctantly moved to this ten-minute format, we thought, “Oh, this is actually good; this allows us to regiment it a bit.” And it made us pack in as many jokes as we could. I mean, we had the template for the show already.

Q: How often do you think about bits that could be for LOOK AROUND YOU now?

Popper: In real life? Quite a lot.

Serafinowicz: I really want to do this film. We have a number of ideas we want to do in this whole world. I'd love to do a film that starts for the first five minutes [as a LOOK AROUND YOU segment], and then turns into a weird STAR WARS-type adventure.

Q: I thought you’d do some mockumentary.

Popper: I don’t know.

Serafinowicz: I thought there’d be robots in it.

Q: When would it be set?

Popper: It’d be the seventies, but it’d jump around in time.

Q: I love films that are set in their future that have now passed. "The year is 1996!”

Serafinowicz: A friend recommended SILENT RUNNING, which I’d never seen. The trailer looks like... “Aw, yeah, that’s what we want to do.” We wanted to do a story [with a man who invents a] time machine that goes to...

Popper: Like 1837 or 1850

Serafinowicz: And he ends up in Queen Victoria’s bedroom. She's [naked] and calls in the guards. And the man thinks “What do I do!?!?” So he sets it to to the year Thirty Billion. And he goes to Earth in the year [Thirty Billion]...

Popper: And it’s this desolate plain.

Serafinowicz: And in the sky are these huge black monoliths that are trained to kill anything on sight. They're called Sentinels. And the narrator would say “It’s the sentinels!" (Laughing

Popper: And then he presses the time travel button again.

Serafinowicz: Yeah, that’s right! He ends up back in his house in [the seventies].

Popper: He’s gone a bit mad and he’s talking to his wife. "I was in a time machine!”

Serafinowicz: And she says “What time machine?” And the narrator says, “You didn’t go in a time machine.” The narrator has also turned on him. [Flustered, the man returns to the year Thirty Billion.***] Anyway, that’s what I’d like the film to be like.

Popper: It’d be that flavor.



It's at this point that we got way off-track talking about ZARDOZ and other nutty '70s sci-fi flicks. It is my fervent hope that Popper and Serafinowicz will sit down very soon and write this screenplay, and that some brave studio (Universal?) will give them a greenlight. There just aren't enough films set in the year Thirty Billion. You can keep tabs on these lovely gentlemen by following them on Twitter here and here, and hitting up their blogs here and here. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

*Not actually true. **Also incredibly false. ***That's the gist of what Serafinowicz said. I couldn't transcribe it precisely because we were all laughing too hard.

Readers Talkback

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  • July 29, 2010, 7:26 p.m. CST

    No mention of Tarvuism?

    by -Halfscan-

    nt

  • July 29, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Great interview

    by Sir Nigel Lengthington-Smythe

    Look Around You is great, especially Medibot, with Benedict Wong from Sunshine as the creator. "What's that you're putting in his mouth?" - "Oh, hundreds and thousands. He loves them"

  • July 29, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Tarvu!!

    by LordPorkington

    Say hebbo!

  • July 29, 2010, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Serafinowicz is a fucking genius...

    by LordPorkington

    ...and a top bloke. Anybody who hasn't seen The Peter Serafinowicz Show yet owes it to themselves to seek it out asap. His spoof of Paul McCartney's 'I Will' titled 'I'll Kill' is superb. You can watch it on the UK Funny Or Die website. His Beatles impressions are spot on.

  • July 29, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Oooh, Truman Capote...

    by KubricksBellEnd

    I love the book that you wrote-y... Class!

  • July 29, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Serafinowicz IS a fucking genius!

    by Rendell

    Not only as the voice of Darth Maul, not only for his excellent cameos in Spaced & SOTD but who can forget the "Darth Vader in Love" sketches from his TV show? Comedy Gold!

  • July 29, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    I love these *

    by Toilet_Terror

    * not true.

  • July 29, 2010, 8:54 p.m. CST

    I do appreciate the interview though.

    by Toilet_Terror

    I have to find my workbook...

  • July 29, 2010, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Darth Vader In Love = hilarious.

    by LordPorkington

    Go and find it on Youtube you bastards! Funky Pete from Shaun Of The Dead is pretty cool too. "It's five o' clock in the funking morning!"

  • July 29, 2010, 9:01 p.m. CST

    this show is fucking BRILLIANT

    by BadMrWonka

    not in the British sense of the word (oh, let's go to the cafe. brilliant!) but actually, seriously brilliant.<p>the commitment is so thorough throughout, that even the jokes that are smaller and not big laughs, still make you laugh. because even when something is going on that's a set-up for a later joke, it still looks so absurdly dated, that every frame is funny.<p>I promise these guys I will get my ass, plus 5 more asses, in a seat, opening night, to any movie they every work on.

  • July 29, 2010, 9:47 p.m. CST

    season 1 and season 2--

    by dahauk--

    season 1 was pure crap, dry and bland and humorless. Season 2 was quite different and very funny. Just my opinion..

  • July 29, 2010, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Uh... no. Season 1 is genius. Season 2 sucks.

    by ShabbyBlue

    The format of season 1 with the parody of 1960s school educational videos was pure genius. The mock news program format they tried to do in season 2 just didn't work and too many jokes fell flat.

  • July 29, 2010, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Agreed ShabbyBlue!

    by Odog

    Season 1 was sublime, so spot on, the Tomorrow's World-esque season 2 completely missed the mark for me.

  • July 30, 2010, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Thanks ants. Thants.

    by Skullhair

    I wouldn't say Season 2 sucked, but it was no where near as good as the first. It was like a completely different show. Season 1 was spot on.

  • July 30, 2010, 4:46 a.m. CST

    series 2 is better on repeat viewing

    by Tony fucknuts

    Not as good as series 1, certainly, but the expectations I had for series 2 were unreasonably high. Taken by itself, it's still well worth watching. It perfectly captures the essence of Tomorrows World in the 1980's, and there's still a lot of little throwaway jokes in there, like the listing of the complete works of Shakespeare (Ian, Ian the Second, Ian the Third) or Sir Prince Charles. To be honest, if it was just half an hour of serafinowicz and popper having a staring contest, it'd still be better than

  • July 30, 2010, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Gym

    by Tony fucknuts

    ...97% of everything ITV has ever put out. Stupid accidental post.

  • July 30, 2010, 5:52 a.m. CST

    seriously

    by hazelam

    how is it this is the first i've ever heard of this?

  • July 30, 2010, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Season 1 was genius, season 2, WTF?

    by Eyegore

    I loved the first season, but why did they have to make season 2 a completely different show? After seeing a few episodes from season 2, I could see why there was never a third season. My favorite was the bit about the 'Helvetica Syndrome'. You don't ever want that to happen! Youtube it. It's awesome.

  • July 30, 2010, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Thants!

    by TheManWhoCan

    Saw these years ago when I had a really bad flu. I thought id tuned my TV into the 80's Open University for a minute. The bit where he picks a egg out of water with his bare hand and it goes all red and shaky was hilarious. That and the Snowman with the calculator for a mouth and robot voice! Genius!

  • July 30, 2010, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Stop fighting now...

    by Wackyal123

    Stop Writing now! Brilliant. Season 1 rocked. Season 2, not so much (although I loved Leonard Hatred and HRH Sir Prince Charles)

  • July 30, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    No mention of Darth Maul?

    by Righteous Brother

  • July 30, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Season 2 was ok..........

    by Righteous Brother

    It was just like Tomorrows World.

  • July 30, 2010, 10:35 a.m. CST

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  • July 31, 2010, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Absolutely baffled...

    by biscuithead

    ...and rather happy that this obscure little UK show Is finding an audience in the US. Yeah Season 2 is not as good but it has its moments. The Slimby sketch is fucking hilarious.

  • July 31, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Except for the time travel stuff, that was the Comic-Con panel

    by JT Kirk

    except the Comic-Con panel had a nearly-full room 6A (which is a decently-sized room with 2 lovely water coolers, one at either side), and the San Diego panel was just more electric for the audience, and threw clips at us simply to... I dunno why they threw clips at us actually, talk about preaching to the fucking choir. But it was a very good panel, loved hearing stuff out of their book of ideas, the idea of the Look Around You movie definitely caught the audience's fancy, and Markets of Britain went over beautifully. Markets of Britain's biggest moments at SDCC I think were the kids getting crucified for stealing apples, the "idiot" line about the lost butter (which had laughs so long they stepped on the "google maps on this piece of paper" line), "Lee Titt" at the begining and "Titt Vision" at the end, and of course everything to do with the sex robot. It was a great panel, and netted me a free Look Around You labcoat, and I ended up buying the DVD of season 1.

  • July 31, 2010, 1:36 p.m. CST

    RighteousBrother, I thought about bringing up Darth Maul

    by JT Kirk

    at the SDCC panel, but I was just too into the questions at hand, and it'd seem rude to leave Robert Popper out of a question like that. Someone asked a question claiming to be a big Medibot fan which went over like a bag of moldy tangerines with the audience. Season 2 had some interesting ideas, but it definitely felt a little more forced into a concept of those '80s edutainment shows apparently everybody in the western world got stuck with, so it struggles a bit more with overusing its ideas. I enjoyed it, but I gladly shelled out for a season 1 DVD where I don't think I would for season 2.

  • Aug. 1, 2010, 1:15 a.m. CST

    No mention of Sasha Baron Cohen?

    by GuiltyFeat

    Robert Popper was the year above me at school. He played a mean bass guitar. I think he may have been friends with Eran Baron Cohen, Sasha's big brother, who was also a keen musician. Sasha would have been two or three years younger roughly Matt Lucas's age. Sasha used to carry his violin case with him all around the school.