Even as the fine journalists at Fairfax walk out in protest of impending cuts, nothing can stop The Feed. It was this story that opened the episode of May 8 2014, and it really just serves as another depressing chapter in the miserable book that ‘old media’ has become- yet you can’t help but feel for the 80 odd staff who’ll be out of work in the coming months.
After a brief sojourn to the future (3D printed makeup? 3D printed everything please!), the core of this night’s episode focussed on a segment titled Losing Your Religion. REM references aside- this was a fascinated and immaculately presented piece. Three people told very different stories about their own drifts away from faith and organised religion. While it was fascinating, and honestly wonderfully, to hear the stories of two Australians who found true happiness outside of their respective churches (suitably enough, both found different support networks- an irreligious Sunday Service, and Sydney’s gay party scene), the story belonged to ‘Sam’. Sam, obviously not his real name, spoke through anonymity and voice modulation about his own renouncement of Islam and the hardships such a move means in a country under sharia law. With all the genuine and real woe we feel on a daily basis, be it due to religious/spiritual guilt, persecution or torment, it’s easy to forget just how terrible it is for other people.
The stories of stoning being a legitimate punishment for perceived adultery or limb severing following a theft are the stuff of old world horror, and it was incredible that Sam would speak about them at all, even under a veil of anonymity. The story itself would have been much less than what it was, were it any less amazingly presented. Simple and unobtrusive production simply allowed these three stories to carry along, simultaneously, without clear creator bias. The smart, integrated type work to fill in narrative blanks was pure Feed; really wonderful production work all around- bravo to Patrick Abboud for heading that one!
And being Thursday- the show closed with it’s now classic douche of the week segment. And while Avril Lavigne’s crazily cringe-worthy displays of awkwardness with her fans and Chris Sevier’s bizarre protest to homosexuality by attempting to wed his computer- the winner was well earned by child hero corporation Nintendo. In news sure to send nostalgia stocks plummeting, the Japanese gaming giant’s recently released life simulation game Tomodachi Life has been revealed to not allow any homosexual relations. Characters can date and wed, yet only the opposite gender. What makes this all worse is that initially male characters could engage in romantic pursuits with one another, yet this ‘bug’ was ‘fixed’ so as to not display “human relations that become strange” …god damn it Nintendo – first Luigi’s Mansion and now this!
Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Feed airs Monday-Thursday, 7:35 (repeated 10:30) on SBS2