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About Us: Paul Kelly

This is the last in our "About Us" series. Meet Paul Kelly!

What area of the world do you live in, and what do you do? (Because we all know you don't make any money doing this.)

I live in England; more specifically, in "God's own county". I'm mostly a music teacher, though I do post the occasional article in my local rag.

What show or shows are you covering on the site?

Just Doctor Who at the moment. I'm also to blame for the Heroes, Lost and Battlestar Galactica webisode reviews. And when the wind's blowing in the right direction, I submit the occasional book/movie review.

Fill in the blanks: "If ______ weren't already doing a great job, I would review _____."

Along with Billie, I'd quite fancy a stab at Glee. As for shows now over, I'd quite like to have done Terminator:TSCC, and maybe Firefly, too.

What's your favorite television show of all time? (Okay, top five will do if you can't narrow it down to one.)

Dexter, Lost, Veronica Mars, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. I'm also partial to the X-Files, Alias and Babylon 5. As for English TV shows, I like Doctor Who, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes (and, yes, I did enjoy how the show ended).

What was the first show you fell in love with?

Babylon 5 was the first show which really blew me away. The Shadow war stressed the hell out of me. Babylon 5 was the first show I ever watched where the main characters felt genuinely flawed, and I was never sure they were going to live from one week to the next. Why did they have to kill Kosh? Why? (*rents garments asunder*).

What shows would you consider to be your guilty pleasures?

I've got loads... NBC's Ed, ABC's Modern Family (so clearly, I've got a Julie Bowen obsession going on), ABC's The Wonder Years (I used to cry at that a lot... and I'm relatively stable, mentally). I suppose Veronica Mars should be up there, too, since I'm a grown man.

Who's your favorite male television character? Same question for female.

Unquestionably, Malcolm Reynolds. He's so damn cool, and funny, and handsome... and other things I'm not. Female wise, probably Sydney Bristow; because of her ass-kicking antics, and the fact that she's quite soft inside and knows how to cry (like me, when I'm watching The Wonder Years).

Favorite television theme songs?

Phantom Planet's “California” (from The OC). Remy Zero's “Save Me” (from Smallville). The Theme music from Mr Ed. Joe Cocker's “With a Little Help From My Friends” (from The Wonder Years). The Hawaii Five-O theme music. Laurie Johnson's theme music to The Professionals (TV theme music or porno music? Discuss).

The Tales of The Unexpected theme music used to scare the crap out of me... as did Henry Mancini's "The Pink Panther".

We love movies, too. What's your top five movies?

Blade Runner is my favourite film of all time. If I told you how many times I'd seen it, you'd talk about me behind my back (and I'd probably deserve it). And now I own 5 versions of the movie, I can't see things improving any time soon.

Other films I really love are Donnie Darko, Solaris (the 2003 remake, oddly enough), Dances with Wolves (Oh, Mary!), Cypher (Oh, Lucy!), V for Vendetta (O, Padmé!), AI (Oh, FFS!)... and delving into the (more) embarrassing stuff, Some Kind of Wonderful, Atonement and Big Fish. That's about five, isn't it?

We love books, too. Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?

Right now I'm (again) reading “Cat's Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut. My other favourite authors are: Philip K Dick, Stephen King, Robert Jordan (despite volumes 8-10 of his WOT series bordering on the slow), Graham Greene, Stephen Lawhead, Ray Bradbury, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ellis Peters.

My favourite classic is Alexandre Dumas' “The Count of Monte Cristo”. Everyone should read the unabridged version of that book before they die (Robin Buss translation). In fact, at over 1200 pages, it may be the reason why you die.

When did you realize you were a hopeless geek?

Excuse me! I'm actually exceptionally cool. (He says, straightening his tin foil helmet and doing the Vulcan salute.)

Star Trek was, I suppose, when the rot started to set in. That opened my eyes to sci-fi, and it was a downwards spiral from there. I'm also a gigantic fan of British sci-fi comic 2000 AD. I started reading it at 9 (the age, not the hour) and I still buy it today.

And, games wise, I'm a long-time player of Guild Wars (so I love pwning bitch-ass noobs... whatever that means), and I still play Oblivion more than is good for my health. I'm also old enough to remember Jet Set Willy, the original Space Invaders and Asteroids (affectionately known as haemorrhoids in our house; probably because it was a pain in the arse).

What's your sign?

The Southern Cross. (Rest in peace, Ronnie.)

What's in your iPod/MP3 player?

Good grief, it's positively heaving with stuff. Being a music teacher, I listen to just about everything, so my iPod reflects that. There's Dream Theater, The Liquid Tension Experiment, Hiromi, David Bowie, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Blondie, Anna Netrebko, The Bluetones, Bob Marley, Maria Callas, Bruce Springsteen, The Smiths, Damien Rice, Felix Mendelssohn, The Foo Fighters, Echo and the Bunnymen, Greenwheel, Muse, Pink Floyd, The Sixteen, Joe Bonamassa, Black Sabbath, KT Tunstall, Marillion... I could go on, but would rather stop before I get to Adam and the Ants and Abba..

What's your least favorite chore around the house?

Cleaning the windows. So quite literally “around the house” in my case.

What's your favorite flavour of ice cream?

Carte D'or Mascarpone. (Incidentally, a good name for a Guild Wars character: maskerpwny.)

Cats or dogs? Elvis or the Beatles? Sam or Dean?

Allergic to both (but fond of both). The Beatles, because they wrote their own stuff. And probably Dean.

Right, I'm off to watch Blade Runner... again.


  1. You cheat! Modern Family, the Wonder Years, and especially Veronica Mars are very good shows, however old you are. These don't qualify as guilty pleasure.

    (In fact, I think teenagers wouldn't click with WY and VM as much as adults.)

  2. Hello Gustavo. I guess they feel like guilty pleasures in the sense that they seem lightweight in comparison to the genre shows I usually watch. I think Veronica Mars is brilliant, but can't for one moment conceive that I was ever meant to be a part of the show's intended demographic. The same's probably true of The Wonder Years and Modern Family. Not that I care. I watch what I like and like what I watch ;o)

  3. I think that, unless you are a very young child, that Modern Family and The Wonder Years are for everyone. I was a fan of The Wonder Years back in the day, and am a huge fan of Modern Family now. They were/are both pretty big hits, so I doubt you need to feel guilty about liking them. Even if you are generally more of a genre fan.

    I can maybe see your point about the demographic for Veronica Mars, but I don't really think that one should be a guilty pleasure either. I know plenty of grown men (many of them renowned television critics) that loved that show, too.

    But, if loving those shows makes you feel shame, then I guess they are, indeed, your guilty pleasures. I thought about saying "Imagination Movers" for mine (a series for pre-schoolers on the Disney Channel), but I just really love that show and don't feel the slightest bit guilty about it. So I went with "Project Runway" instead. I do feel a bit guilty about that one.

  4. VM is a noir detective story that just happens to have a teenaged girl as the protagonist. The age of the characters and the high school setting makes it even darker. I would be suprised to see the supposed target demographics actually watching it. Maybe that's why it only had 3 seasons.

  5. Paul

    Anyone who listens to Dream Theater and Marillion and loves Veronica Mars deserves my admiration and respect.

  6. Hi Paul!

    Good stuff! You made me laugh at the (O tempora, O mores) Oh Mary, Oh Padme point! Definitely agree with you about Mal: but add that he's genuinely dangerous as well. It was a true moment of flux (capacitor?) when he kicked ol' evil whasizname right into the ship's turbine with zero hesitation. Shocking, funny and a clear indication that this is not just a 2-dim hero, flaw-wise or udder-wise.

    I always liked Wonder Years -- but was subconsciously fact-checking the 1960's verisimilitude too, which was always a bit of a distraction. They did good on that score (as well as doing good on the, uhm, Score); for instance I appreciated their heavy rotation of boy's checked shirts. Which we wore ALL. THE. TIME.

    Ok dangerous question but I gotta ask it: which VERSION of Blade Runner? (Putting on crash helmet and assuming position...)

  7. I don't know what Paul will say, but for me, the only versions of Blade Runner I watch are the director's cut and the final U.S. director's cut, which were similar. I was never satisfied with the original theatrical version, although I could see the film's greatness lurking around the edges.

    Aren't there six versions now?

  8. So Paul, as a geek of various musical tastes what was your overall opinion of Glastonbury 2010?

    All in all I’d say it was a great festival (least what the Beeb showed of it) with some standout performances by Muse, Shakira, Florence and the Machine, Pet Shop Boys, Orbital (plus the Doctor), Ray Davies, Stevie Wonder and farmer Michael Eavis, who was a credit to cat stranglers everywhere.

  9. Jess: I suppose I'm coming from the perspective of an Englishman with friends who are mostly into "adult drama". So any mention of the Wonder Years is generally greeted with an annoying “Isn't that that kids show?” and Veronica Mars with “What? You mean that teenage show for girls?” So much of my shame may be because my buddies are so uncool (sorry guys, but you are). Plus, many US shows don't have the same mainstream appeal here they do in the US. Most people I know haven't even heard of some of my favourite shows. The Philistines!

    Patryk: Yeah, I've used the “detective noir” angle a few times. Then they see Kristen Bell, see she's still at school and, suddenly, I'm in the dumpster again and someone's stolen my underpants.

    Binkley: Glad to see someone else with good taste. There's aren't many of us Marillion fans around. Spread the word, good buddy. It's a better way of life ;o)

    GreenHornet: I'd probably agree with Billie about liking the Final Cut best. You're not forever worrying about Joanna Cassidy's hair changing colour, or trying to work out why the dove flew up into a blue sky. When you watch a film over and over, these things have a habit of driving you mad.

    Billie: I think you're right with six. There may have been a seventh – some rare, only-ever-shown-once-in-San-Diego style affair – but I'm not sure its available any more.

    Mark: The highlight of the festival, for me, was the all conquering Muse. I perhaps didn't enjoy them as much this year as I did back in 2004 (when they were simply astounding), but they were still head and shoulders the best act of the day. Seeing the Edge up on stage with them was also pretty cool.

    Other thrills were Florence and the Machine. Groove Armada, Seasick Steve, Rodrigo y Gabrielle, Orbital (plus Matt Smith, natch) and Slash. Faithless surprised me, too... and in a good way.

    Bands I wish we'd seen more of... Gomez, Ash, Imogen Heap, and Judy Collins.

    Things I wish we'd seen less of... Jake Shears' tiny underpants and Michael Eavis singing.

    Thanks for your comments guys.

  10. Muse will likely never equal their legendary 2004 performance but they came close this year. ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ with the Edge was the highlight of the entire festival for me. Followed closely by Neil Tennant strutting around the stage in a crown while singing Coldplay better than Chris Martin ever will.

    I’m still working my way through all the highlights on iPlayer. There’s bucket loads I haven’t got around to seeing yet like Faithless and Grove Armada.

    Still annoyed they haven’t posted Rolf’s performance, though. How can they dis the didgeridoo like that?

  11. Nice to see another Muse fan Paul. I'm an board ever since i heard Muscle Museum the debut single.

    Seeing as you review the Twilight movies what do you think about Muse contributing to the soundtrack? The only redeeming quality of the flicks? ;)

  12. Mark: They only bit of Rolf's set I saw televised was this:

    Rolf at Glastonbury

    Try not to cry at "Two Little Boys," eh? ;o)

    Patryk: By "you" I'll assume you mean us collectively as a site (as Daniel, Billie and Dimitri have been doing the movie/book reviews). Personally, I'm happy to see Muse anywhere, and "Supermassive Black Hole" enhanced the movie no end. Oddly enough, "Muscle Museum" was the song which turned me on to them as well. Then I fell in love with "Showbiz" and "Cave".

    I hear they've written a track exclusively for Eclipse, too. I heard it on the radio this morning. Not bad at all.

  13. Hi. I saw that you were having trouble finding the original pilot for Being Human (BBC). I actually have it. If you're interested, I could send it to you over the interwebs. Feel free to shoot me an email: cdeantoneo731@yahoo.com

  14. Thanks for the offer, anon, but I've already found a source :o)


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