Tales from the Other Side: Trailer Trash, Babies and… the Chateau de Chenonceau?

This is only the second edition of Tales from the Other side, but it feels like we have already uncovered some of the ugliest recesses of television. Frankly if such thing as a neural scrub existed it is safe to say that TOTB would be investing in one.

We start our latest adventure in South Carolina at Myrtle Manor, which is the sort of show that gets you to consider what you’re doing with your life after just 3 minutes, thanks to a combination of mind-numbing banality and embarrassingly obvious fictional narratives.

For those of you unable to watch that 4 minute video without suffering a brain hemorrhage, Betty is the landlord of the trailer park whose residents include the likes of Jared – who wears a baseball cap with a propeller on it – and TV jingle writer Roger, AKA Bandit. It’s such a horrific way to spend an hour of your life it is hard to know where to start with it, and we’re not sure what’s worse, either someone thinking that creating these characters was a good idea or that they actually exist.

It’s the kind of TV that leaves you needing to cleanse the soul, and what better way to do it than with random pictures of aesthetically pleasing buildings accompanied by operatic musical concertos? Well that’s exactly what the Landscape Channel on Information TV is all about.

Tonight’s edition features the Chateau de Chenonceau alongside a rousing piece of music by Handel. Who’s watching this sort of thing is anybody’s guess, but it’s something that Information TV feels warrants a whopping FOUR HOURS of running time from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

It might be exceptionally dull but at least it doesn’t make you want to gouge out your own eyes with table spoons in quite the same way as Quints by Surprise on Home & Health. This televisual equivalent of being talked at by an irritatingly earnest mother at a bus stop follows the lives of the Jones family after the unexpected arrival (does anyone ever ‘expect’ quintuplets?) of five babies.

Quints by Surprise

Genuinely as annoying as they look.

Casey Jones is described by her husband as having been “born to be a mom” – which presumably means she was too stupid or lazy to do anything that requires more than simply having a uterus – while Ethan Jones himself apparently wasn’t meant to be a parent as the couple required a sperm donor and intrauterine insemination to conceive. Who gives a shit about ‘God’s Plan’ anyway?

The highlights of this episode included eldest child Eliot getting a cactus pine stuck in her foot and the decision to put the babies to bed at a different time than usual. Suddenly Myrtle Manor seems like The fucking Wire.



Trailer Trash: Insidious: Chapter 2, The Call, Thor: The Dark World & Gravity

Where would we all be without movie trailers? In their absence, to find out what the upcoming movie releases were going to be like we’d have to… I don’t know, read something. Or something.

Well, good news ‘Subjective Advertising Dressed Up as Exclusive Preview’ fans, as Think Outside the Box brings you Trailer Trash, an exciting combination of both video and words. Don’t know which upcoming feature you should spend your money on? As long as you only want to see one of the following four films you now have your answer…

Insidious: Chapter 2, released 13th September 2013

Without even pressing play you can see that the second (presumably, of many) installment in the Insidious franchise is going to be a scary one. I mean just look at that woman. She’s ominously pointing – with her mouth all open and dark. She’s either very bad news or she’s just seen that Miley Cyrus VMA appearance and is thoroughly disapproving.

Anyway, Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up where the last movie left off (well, not exactly – as previously Patrick Wilson’s character seemed to be possessed and about to butcher his family – but let’s gloss over that) with the Lambert family continuing to be tormented by the malevolent spirit world. The original was essentially a horror designed by committee, with all of the standard clichés included, and TOTB doesn’t suggest you expect much different second time around, with the trailer itself full of the tropes that you can tick off like some kind of unsettling bingo.

The Call, released 20th September 2013

TOTB doesn’t know about you, but we love a good trailer. A little teaser of all the exciting movie action to come really whets our appetite, but with the trailer for The Call the studio has basically shoved a 10oz steak in our face before giving us a chance to enjoy the aperitif.

This 2 minute 31 second preview of Halle Berry’s latest thriller essentially takes us through the narrative of the entire movie and leaves us in no uncertain terms as to where the film is going. She plays a 9-1-1 operator who feels she is responsible for the death of a young girl at the hands of a serial killer – and she’s back at the centre of the case when she is on the call of a seventh potential victim where she must make up for previous mistakes. If you’re intrigued by the premise we suggest clicking stop after 45 seconds.

Thor: The Dark World, released 30th October 2013

The general worldwide consensus is that if you didn’t love Avengers Assemble then you don’t have a soul – but then if you are going to find a humanity vacuum anywhere it will probably be the internet so it may be some of you are unmoved by the thought of a second edition to the Thor franchise. Even so, it can’t be denied that the trailer to Thor: The Dark World is action packed.

The one concern would be that it doesn’t look as though it has that same sense of fun as Avengers Assemble or indeed the first Thor film, which could be it’s undoing, but then given the stock the Marvel universe is receiving nowadays the trailer could be 5 minutes of Chris Hemsworth blow drying his hair and it would still be a box office hit.

Gravity, released 8th November 2013

Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock Gravity appears, from the trailer at least (which by the way is an example of how to make a great teaser), to have a similar sensibility as Open Water and Buried, in as much as it is about human isolation and generally desperate circumstances.

It is director Alfonso Cuarón’s first helming of a major film (his only other notable credit is as writer of the Children of Men screenplay), but the cinematography and score give the impression of a movie that could prove to be stunning.