Reviving long dead characters

The problem with bringing back Blackadder (as I’m sure many others will have noted by now) is  that the fourth series was  rounded off  with such a beautiful  finality that a fifth series would  just  feel surplus. It would just be a continuation of a story we all thought had ended ages ago, with all the characters being blown to pieces on the battlefields of the first world war. I remember my GCSE English teacher, Mr. Dale, talking about that final scene twenty years ago: it’s as if, in that last moment when Blackadder, Baldrick and co. leave the trench, the program  switches from comedy to tragedy. The music slowed, the shot faded to a field of poppies, and  it became a homage to so many dead young men.  To go back and  continue that story, especially after over thirty-five years, would probably feel rather misplaced.

If an author wrote a sequel to a bestselling novel after so long, you would probably accuse them of just wanting to make an easy few quid without going to the effort of creating anything original, and to be honest this kind  of smacks of the same thing. The entertainment world seems saturated with long running franchises at the moment; why not create new stuff rather than reviving characters  we all thought had had their time? Of course, there’s every chance another Blackadder series could rule (I’ve  been wrong about things like this before). Yet this feels like going over old ground which would perhaps be best left to history, especially given the finality, beauty and  seriousness of it’s last shot.

Arts and ents news

It’s fair to say I’m pretty low at the moment in my personal life, but all the same I’ve noticed one or two cooler things going on in the arts and entertainment world. For one, I took myself to see  Toy Story 4 yesterday afternoon. It struck me as fairly good, as far as fourth sequels go: the plot was a little contrived, the new characters felt slightly tagged on, but there were some fairly good jokes. What struck me most, though, was how much this film was about the passage of  time, and how much Woody struggles with the fact that the people he loves – the children who play with him – all eventually grow older and reject him. Frankly, that had a lot of personal resonance. At the same time, I liked the idea of the toy’s automatic  pull-chord voices acting as a sort of conscious – they pulled their string whenever they didn’t know what to do, so it functioned a bit like their id or superego, but let’s not get too  Freudian this early on a Monday morning.

Also, if you can, check out David Brent, Life on the Road. This 2016 filmic revival of The Office was on TV on Saturday night, and should still be on the Iplayer. As you might expect, it is gloriously cringeworthy. Ricky Gervais’ creation has lost none of that strange mix of arrogance, naivete and pathos which made him such a hit in the nineties. At the same time, I found myself hating this big-head, and feeling sorry for him in a very strange way. It is  very wittily written, and the soundtrack is superb.

In other news, I’ve heard a rumour that Blackadder might be making a return.  Atkinson, Robinson and  crew have all apparently met up to  discuss a fifth series. As I wrote here a few days ago, it might be the come back we all need at the moment, although part of me sort of feels that perhaps classics should be left to remain classics. Either way, let’s wait to see what, if anything, comes of this rumour.

Thirdly, I’ve also heard  that  Robocop is getting a reboot. Mind you, what Hollywood franchise isn’t these days. From what I heard, they’ll be using the original suit. At least that’s yet another bit of eighties nostalgia to look forward to.

The next step

Truth be told I’m going through a rough patch in my life. I’ve avoided writing about it on here, but Lyn and I stopped being a couple about a year ago. I’m still living with her,  but six months ago she asked me to move out, giving me time to get my own place here in  South London. We agreed that it was a change we both needed: I had become too dependent on her, and it was time for me to go it  alone. I think that L wanted a bit  of the space she used to have back as well as to encourage my independence.

Getting my own place has, however, proven easier said than done, and so far nothing has come up. I’m sure something eventually will, but with time growing so short I’m getting very, very worried. Being placed in sheltered accommodation, albeit temporarily,  is now a definite possibility. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t very upset about the issue; I know I’ll never meet anyone  as incredible as Lyn again. Nonetheless, as I said, this was a natural next step both Lyn and I definitely needed to take, and she remains one of my best friends. All I can do is thank her for a great decade together. But if anyone knows anything about housing or can help me out in any way,  please contact me.

Accommodation needed urgently

I’d rather not go into detail about why, but I now need to find a new place to live. If anyone reading this has any information or knows anywhere I could stay, perhaps until I get my own permanent place, could you please contact me. I’d prefer to stay in London, but as long as it’s accessible I’m open to all options.

Trackerball cleaning

All I want to do today on here is express my profound gratitude to my PA and friend Dominik. For the last few hours, he has sat laboriously cleaning out my trackerball. It stopped working yesterday morning: the ball would just stop rolling so I couldn’t use my mouse. We guessed that it had clogged up inside – quite a reasonable assumption given I’m still using the same trackerball I used through uni, fifteen years ago – so dom opened it up and gave it a thorough clean. I’m so grateful to him as, in the interim, I was forced to use my Ipad as a bluetooth trackpad, which, although usable, wasn’t easy. After the effort he made today, I owe Dominik bigtime! It’s working again now, but what concerns me is the company which made it doesn’t appear  to be online, so ordering a replacement might not be straightforward.

Monty Python fiftieth birthday celebrations to be held in October

I have just come  across something which cheered me right up. The beeb is celebrating Monty Python’s fiftieth birthday in october with a series of programs and events. According to the  report, the celebrations will include an attempt to break the record for the biggest gathering of gumbies. I have one more thing to look forward to, it would seem. While there is no mention of the chaps performing together again, I still hold  out hope. 2014  may have been the last big show they do all together, but the golden jubilee in  October could entice the guys to perform a few of their biggest hits again. What’s the harm in hoping for one last Parrot Sketch or rendition of the Lumberjack Song?