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Aug 26

Watch With Father #12: Paw Patrol

Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 by Paul in Watch With Father

I said I’d do a post on remakes.  We’ll get to that.  But the Boy is obsessed with Paw Patrol right now, so it seems a good time to write about it.  I’ve been seeing enough of it.

Paw Patrol is a hit pre-school franchise.  And it takes us for the first time outside the sheltering arms of CBeebies, into the world of Nickelodeon.  This is what happens when you take the kid on holiday and expose him to the Danish version of Nick Jr, which shows Paw Patrol incessantly.  (In the UK, you can get it on Nick Jr or Channel 5.)  The show’s appeal turns out to survive dubbing remarkably well.


Aug 19

Charts – 19 August 2016

Posted on Friday, August 19, 2016 by Paul in Music

This is what you call a laughably uneventful week.  It’s the sort of week that must leave the Official Charts Company’s social media people bashing their skulls off the desk in frustration as they desperately scour through the top 40 looking for something, anything, worth tweeting about.

There really isn’t much to work with, which is why I’m doing this post on Friday night and getting it out of the way.  (Not that there are any X-stories to review this week either.  Might do Paw Patrol.  Been watching a lot of Paw Patrol.)

1.  Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ – “Cold Water”

You’re still reading?  Okay.  Well, this is four weeks at number one.  Long by normal standards, not so much by this year’s.  In fact, there hasn’t been a number one that lasted less than a month since February.


Aug 14

Charts – 12 August 2016

Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2016 by Paul in Music

Looks like another single might be settling in for a long stay…

1.  Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ – “Cold Water”

Three weeks at number one, which is no real surprise.  It’s not the top seller any more, but it does have a big lead in streams.  But for a change, it has a challenge from a new entry.

2.  DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber – “Let Me Love You”


Aug 12

All-New X-Men #12

Posted on Friday, August 12, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

There’s a time honoured tradition in the X-books of following up a vaguely regrettable crossover with a rather better single-issue character piece.  Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley actually had the best of the “Apocalypse Wars” crossovers, even if that still fell short of completely working, but this issue gives us the traditional change of gear, as the series turns its attention back to Warren and Laura.

So this is a nice, simple, light story on which a bigger point can be hung.


Aug 8

Charts – 5 August 2016

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2016 by Paul in Music

After last week’s exciting anticlimax, when Drake didn’t set a record after all, the singles chart has a nice lie down and a rest.

1.  Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ – “Cold Water”

It was miles ahead of everyone else last time, so it’s completely unsurprising that “Cold Water” gets a second week at number one.  Combined sales and streams are actually slightly up.  It still doesn’t have a proper video, by the way, which means that we haven’t had a number one single with a video since April.

2.  Calum Scott – “Dancing On My Own” (more…)

Aug 3

Extraordinary X-Men #8-12 – “Apocalypse Wars”

Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

If the three “Apocalypse Wars” storylines are supposed to share any broader theme, over and above just having something to do with Apocalypse, then it’s far from clear what that might be.  All-New X-Men had Apocalypse in the past, and could at least play off having Evan in the cast.  Uncanny did the present (even though Apocalypse wasn’t actually there), and it had Angel to work with.  Extraordinary gets the future, but it doesn’t have any characters with any particularly close link to Apocalypse.  I suppose one of them gets one here.

Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos’s story has fairly clear goals in mind, at least when it comes to changing the status quo of various characters.  Quite why it wants to do those things is less clear.


Aug 1

Charts – 29 July 2016

Posted on Monday, August 1, 2016 by Paul in Music

Last time, Drake’s “One Dance” had reached its fifteenth week at number one, just one week short of matching the all-time record held by Bryan Adams.  And…

1.  Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber & MØ – “Cold Water”

…it’s a bit of an anticlimax.  Because as I also pointed out last time, Drake only made it to fifteen weeks thanks to the boost from cutting the price on iTunes.  That was always going to make sixteen weeks a struggle, and so after all that time at number one, “One Dance” drops straight to number five.


Jul 30

Uncanny X-Men #6-10 – “Apocalypse Wars”

Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

For the second part of the “Apocalypse Wars” trilogy, Uncanny X-Men has a problem.  The idea of this event is past, present and future – one story dealing with each.  Uncanny gets the present.  But Apocalypse isn’t around in the present.  That’s kind of the point of Evan, who may or may not be his reincarnation.  So Cullen Bunn and Ken Lashley end up giving us an Apocalypse story without Apocalypse.


What we have instead is… well.  There’s a lot going on in these five issues; there’s a lot of stuff trying to build to some kind of climax; there are changes of status quo for both Warren and Monet; and Fantomex and Mystique are drawn into contact with the rest of the cast.  So it’s certainly trying to pay stuff off.



Jul 27

Charts – 22 July 2016

Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 by Paul in Music

So, I’ve been out of town, which is why I haven’t got around to reviewing the Uncanny arc that finished last week.  I’ll get to it in the next couple of days.  But first, let’s see what’s happened in the chart while I was away…


1.  Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla – “One Dance” 

Another challenger is seen off, as the Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down” falls back to number 3 this week, and Drake’s seemingly eternal run at the top drones on.  We’re getting to crunch time, because this matches the fifteen week run of Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around” in 1994, and one more week will match the all-time record for the longest single stay at number one, set by Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” in 1991.


Jul 18

All-New X-Men #9-11 – “Apocalypse Wars”

Posted on Monday, July 18, 2016 by Paul in x-axis

“Apocalypse Wars” may for once be better described as an “event”, because it isn’t a “crossover” in any real sense.  In fact – and as Marvel made clear from the outset – it harks back to the structure of 1988’s “Fall of the Mutants”, which was simply a banner slapped on three storylines that shook up the status quo but were otherwise unrelated.

“Apocalypse Wars” doesn’t shake up the status quo.  Instead, it consists of the three X-Men titles each doing an unrelated Apocalypse story.  Why Apocalypse?  Because there was a movie out when this whole thing started.