General Open Thread – TV Shows (2)
18 September 2015 at 11:53 #42834
I wonder how many viewers realised that the original inspiration for ‘UpPompeii’ was the comedies of Plautus, right down to the prologue (to help a dim Roman audience follow the plot). And Plautus in turn was drawing on the Greek comedies of such as Menander. In both, the clever and wily slave was a stock character.
Are you familiar with Lindsey Davis’s novels set in the Roman world of the first century and featuring Marcus Didius Falco? In ‘Last Act in Palmyra’ the setting is a troupe of travelling actors who deal in just this sort of comedy.18 September 2015 at 12:03 #42837blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
I will look out for the Lindsey Davis novel based on your recommendation.18 September 2015 at 13:45 #42850
The Falco novels are great fun. Lindsey Davis is a classicist and, although she wears her learning lightly and the style of the narrative is irreverent and colloquial, the background details can generally be assumed to be accurate.22 September 2015 at 22:48 #43260
This isn’t about a TV show in the sense of a series, but this seems the best place to comment on a short programme shown on Sunday on the art of Escher, presented by Sir Roger Penrose, the mathematician and cosmologist. I recorded it for later viewing and have just finished watching it.
We were discussing a short while ago the purpose of art and art criticism, and Escher’s work is something which speaks to me and intrigues me, despite the fact that my mathematical ability never extended much beyond the GCE ‘O’ level pass (geometry, algebra and trigonometry) which I managed in 1959. Escher had an intuitive grasp of mathematical concepts, despite having had no mathematical training, and the topological patterns and puzzles which he depicted remind me in some ways of the way that Moffat plays with time loops and paradoxes. Why can’t Moffat’s detractors see it in that light 😕12 October 2015 at 22:01 #44635
The Arrow season introduction for season four was a great start for the new season and set up the new factors of the show very well. It gave us a small taste of how characters are changing and gave us a good look about what we would see this season. However, the story wasn’t it’s best and was a little more boring than the others but, it is completely understand able do to the show having to pick up from huge changes from the season three finally. From what I can tell, they are setting up for a great story full of adventure and excitement.
The Flash season introduction was great. It showed what changes the characters are going through. It made great changes that will add drama into the show. Their super villain story might not have been the best but, it did a great job setting up for the main villain and gave the fans enough information and room to start creating theories of their own. The Flash is setting up for great drama, action, and twist and turns.17 October 2015 at 18:57 #44940ScaryB @scaryb
Just realised Orphan Black‘s back!! Series 3 🙂 @phaseshift – why didn’t you tell me?!!! (Anyone watched? Is it any good? Just downloading from iplayer – trying not to get too excited!!)28 October 2015 at 10:38 #45729
So over the past couple of days I have been able to prove scientifically, with science, that it is impossible to watch just the first couple of episodes of Veronica Mars season 1.29 October 2015 at 04:23 #45797Anonymous @
a few colleagues love it: so, I must clearly invest in Netflicks when I finally finish Farscape and with the boy (ahem) something called Primeval which, with Douglas Henshall, was wonderful: without him, less so.
@scaryb I don’t even know ‘Orphan Black’! (try saying ‘O..B..Back’ 10 times). So much good telly, but, you know, is it American (?) because, due to our friendly troll, anything American is ‘just’ bad.
Deary me.29 October 2015 at 12:44 #45827
I first saw it after seeing it listed on totallylegitimatedownload sites and reading a few positive comments, but having no clue what it was about. Work finished early so I thought “I’ll watch a couple of episodes before tea to see if I like it”.
Ten episodes later is was 2:30am.
And that first season still has it.
As I recall S2 struggled a bit not because of the cast or concept, but because Rob Thomas started to indulge the so-far-up-their-own-arses-they-can-brush-their-teeth-from-behind tossers at Television Without Pity. (My Region 1 season 2 seems to have gone walkabout in the move).
Edit: Orphan Black is a BBC America production and Tatiana Maslany is quite amazing in the lead.29 October 2015 at 13:18 #45829
To echo @pedant — Veronica Mars — well worth a binge at some point. It’s great.
Orphan Black took me a long time to get into and it’s still a case of like but don’t quite love. Tatiana Maslany is going awesome work on it though….29 October 2015 at 22:32 #45859Anonymous @
So… I know this is totally self promotion. But I thought of all people in the world…you would appreciate this. I loved Sally Sparrow so much I named my band after her.
We would like to think that if Sally Sparrow heard our song “Don’t Blink/Close to the Sun”, that these would be the images running through her head.
Apologies to the BBC, David Tennant and Carey Mulligan (and basically everyone else).30 October 2015 at 00:01 #45870
@jimthefish Orphan Black took me a long time to get into and it’s still a case of like but don’t quite love. Tatiana Maslany is going awesome work on it though….
My feeling too; it never became “appointment TV watching” for me, so I missed some episodes and completely lost the thread, so I went elsewhere. By all means, send in the clones — just not so damn *many* of them. Can’t keep ’em straight.30 October 2015 at 00:24 #45873
just not so damn *many* of them.
Really? I had no difficulty keeping them straight (well, except the gay one, obviously). And Alison Hendrix is one of the great TV characters of recent years.5 November 2015 at 01:46 #46374
Hi guys, this post is going to be about my favorite cartoon however, this cartoon has offended a lot of people, so I’m highly worry about typing this post. I will not say anything that can be considered offensive, this post is just about my thoughts on this cartoons latest season and where the show can be going from here. I promise, nothing offensive is in this post however, if some one is offended by me talking about this show, feel free to delete this post and I will not type about this show any more.
The show I am talking about is South Park (again, nothing offensive, just talking about the changes the show is going though). I have to say that season 19 is my favorite season so far. The show started bringing in one story into the full season in season 18. However, season 18 was rusty at doing this, even though it was a good start. Season 19 is changing all of this. Season 19 has brought one great story into the season, making it full of laughs. There are a lot of great episodes coming from the new story format of containing one big story. All the episodes have been lay out perfectly. The town of South Park has also gone through some changes. The town has been adding in buildings that are bringing in new characters that add to the great story line and the buildings and stores have also been brought in due to the main story and have been adding to the story very well. This season has been planned out very well and the episodes still have room to add in anything to the episode that has happen in the last week, something South Park is known for. These changes should stay with the show and I think they will. I’m sure that this seasons story will continue in the next season, bringing out the best side of South Parks changes. I would say more but I don’t want to say any spoilers. Again, I hope that no one was offended.5 November 2015 at 09:14 #463875 November 2015 at 23:54 #46402
@missy Oh alright, I just wanted everyone to know that even though this show might not be approved by everyone, that I was just going to step around that and just talk about the new format for the show.26 November 2015 at 23:39 #47952toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond
Anyone seen David Tennant in Marvel’s Jessica Jones on netflix?
The ultimate psycho stalker ex from hell.26 November 2015 at 23:57 #47953
Watched the first couple of eps (not had time for more). Lovin’ the proper grasp of Noir.28 November 2015 at 19:59 #48036PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
Just on Sarah Dollard, I thought I’d mention I’ve been watching the Sky comedy ‘You me and the Apocalypse’ and, while it’s not perfect it has raised a few laughs with a very varied cast. I particularly enjoyed Rob Lowe’s turn as a priest. And Pauline Quirke lusting after him. She’s on the writing team and credited with episode 5.5 December 2015 at 00:59 #48653
So anyway. Season 2 of Les Revenants. Catch up with it. Thank me later.5 December 2015 at 19:17 #48713StormBringerDWF @stormbringerdwf17 December 2015 at 21:14 #49477
I just started watching a great TV series call Ash vs Evil Dead. It is a TV show that contains the fun of a B movie (the show is based on two B movies) and is fun to watch if you want to hear great one liners, don’t mind some gore (the show is considered a horror however it is not scary. It is base off of B movies, nothing looks real.) and if you enjoy some great fight scenes.25 January 2016 at 23:01 #50475
@jimthefish @Puroandson (when you are feeling better)
Gamesradar did a top 20 Buffy eps. Not many surprises (except fewer spuffy-centreed eps than might be expected from shipper noise) and I might fiddle with the lower rankings a bit. Impressed that they put Passion so high in the list – it often gets overlooked. And, of course, The Body really is, indeed, one of the great episodes of television, in one of the great seasons.25 January 2016 at 23:25 #50481
@pedant– Yes, that’s a list I find very hard to disagree with at all. I suppose Buffy is unique in a show that if someone else tries to cite an episode other than The Body as the best episode you automatically know you’re talking to a crazy person.
Currently binge-watching Jessica Jones which is just great and I think definitely follows in Buffy’s shadow — although they’re obviously very different shows. Maybe it’s because I keep seeing little flashes of Faith in Jessica herself.26 January 2016 at 00:20 #50488
“Was it sudden?”
“No…. Yes….. It’s always sudden”
Yeah, was watching Jessica Jones, when life interrupted and I lost the thread. Will definitely get back to it – loved the Noir stylings, and the sense that someone involved understands Noir as more than a mere style. Kristen Ritter is tops too.
However, am currently finally catching up with Rectify S3 (slow burn as art) and The Leftovers S2 (which is as uncompromising as ever).31 January 2016 at 00:41 #50676Anonymous @
Fringe…. Jim, Jim Jim,
OK. Something is wrong in my world. 🙂
I have to convince myself that I’m enjoying it so it’s a personal thing mainly.
I love Noble. He spoke at my school (a small Catholic school) when I was in Year 10. He had thick curly hair and amazing teeth and he could act -beautifully. All us girls had crushes. He was born north of Adelaide in the town of Port Pirie.
I just found half way through when we find he’s been experimenting on children that Noble acts the e-vil guy like a munchkin: “I vont my milkshake. You vill bring it!” His Walternate was more true -slimmed down, focussed, clear sighted. But I understand Walter was incarcerated in a mental institution -god knows how I’d react.
So you see, I do keep swingin’ back and forth. The test comes when Son and I start talking, and 10 mins in the ‘event,’ which could have played out is still going! Then we play games. We pause it and converse: “What’s Charlie going to say now?”
Exact words, mind.
75% of the time we’re right.
Or, we know Olivia is going to get hit on the head or the taxi driver is going to help her after all.
Having said that, I loved the red world: that was a real feat. Everything was subtle and immense thought seemed to go into constructing that universe. We also loved the Olivias: Bolivia with her red hair and strut and Olivia, all buttoned up and reticent. Brilliant.
Now, though, Peter has just returned and no-one knows him. This is fascinating and we’re upon a dream scene so I’m not sure what happens next and we’re placing our usual bets:
I think we could be wrong this time! — and we hope. I will persist though and I assume the end of the show, in S5, is excellent. Still a fair way off. School and stuff.
Puro and Son31 January 2016 at 13:01 #50710
They weren’t dead? Well, it did seem like a very odd set-up for “purgatory” or whatever, all that para-science stuff. What did you think was going on?
(Moved here ‘cos off-topic)
As I said it was spelt out in text.
Those who died on the island, really died on the island. Those who escaped lived for however long they lived, while Hurley and Ben remained as the guardians of the Island and lived for however long they lived. Fake LA was where those who were ever effected by the island came together after death, as clearly explained by Jack’s dad, because the Island was the most important thing that happened to them. That is why Kate said, to an uncomprehending Jack: “I’ve missed you so much”. She lived many years without him. It is why those with some specific bond moved on together, while others (Ben, the Michelle Rodriquez character) remained to work on their issues.
So on The Island, was it mad scientists fighting over fundamental forces, or the Old Gods fighting over turf? Who nose. That’s not for us to know – it is for use to ponder. Because the story wasn’t about the Island, but about what it did to the passengers of Oceanic 815.31 January 2016 at 19:35 #50712
Hmm. Thanks for the comment. No wonder people were confused; little of this, little of that, little of some other thing . . . a whimper rather than a bang, messy and unsatisfying. What comes to mind now is the acres of filler, with everyone racing around the forest yelling the names of whomever they (or some of them) had misplaced lately. This became a joke in my house, and usually when it happened in a given episode, we’d groan and change channels, knowing that — after much panicky flailing through the bushes — eventually the strays would be found knowing nothing more than than they’d known when they’d left. Mind you, I’d gone to just popping in for a look rather than following all those clues (that just led to more clues) by the third season. There they’d be, running around yelling “Jack! Jack!” or whatever, so I’d turn it off and go read a book.
Once it ended (with a party in — Heaven?) I stumbled on the online discussions and found almost everybody else apparently just as baffled and let down as I was. “Lost” is still occasionally referenced as a cultural marker for an intriguing start melting away into nothing much (e.g., ‘What is going on in “The Leftovers”? Loving it, but I’ll be really annoyed if it just turns into another “Lost”‘).
What was that show about the farm-kid with the immortality powers wandering around in a version of the Depression-era middle America with a weird and tatty carnival run by a crazy German (Austrian?) who might mebbe have been the Devil? That was a much more interesting show, but short-lived. Now that I think of it, maybe it was canceled because it had a “Lost” vibe that turned people off. It seems in retrospect to have been another step in the direction of doing a show like “Lost” but doing it better.31 January 2016 at 21:26 #50719
No wonder people were confused; little of this, little of that, little of some other thing . . . a whimper rather than a bang, messy and unsatisfying.
Nonsense. It was perfectly clear, with no “this and that”. Seriously – it was as clear as I detailed above and explained in dialogue.
It simply required people not to be Tweeting when the story was being told (something that also affects Who) – and Lost was pretty much the first show have that level of social network engagement. By early season 3 I was ready to bail on it – but then a definitive timeline was announced, with fewer (but not zero) filler episodes. So I enjoyed the ride, careful never to give a single fuck how the McGuffin Machine worked.
But the sheer number of people who still say “the were dead all along” – and that is 99.9% of the complainers – were simply not paying attention.
Also, this view is strikingly similar to those who think Moff has failed because he hasn’t done a clinical dissection of 97 levels of Galliferyan society.
And, since you mention it, the Leftovers got a bit of flack for the idea that 2% of people suddenly vanishing would be in some way a big deal. The technical term of this is “failure to do the maths”: for context, only 5% of combatants died in WW1 – but only 13 villages in the UK have no war memorial and it is likely the same in France and Germany. But its utterly uncompromising approach to storytelling is a joy, even though I’ll bet it lost a lot of viewers after 2 episodes because not enough “happened”.
Carnevale – a story that was always intend to be 5 seasons long, but cancelled after 3. Even on HBO where they have more room for manoeuvre. Mostly I was annoyed ‘cos I really rate Clea DuVall and she has never quite got the breakthrough role she merits.31 January 2016 at 22:37 #50722
@pedant Nope, it’s still not gettin’ in, and for more reason for that than twitter. There was no twitter at the time — as I recall — and the problem of goldfish attention spans being so common hadn’t reached its currently alarming level. If 99% of those let down by “Lost” think the characters were all dead throughout indicates pretty clearly that no, the ending you describe was not clearly apparent to anyone paying proper attention. And wanting action (in “Lost”) that didn’t (literally) run in circles much of the time and still not get anywhere* does not equate, IMO, to an obsessive demand for detailed analysis of Gallifreyan society (rather than the character-based story-arc moving forward to its resolution that we got) either.
I agree, though, about the 2% of world population in “The Leftovers”. It would hardly make a dent, seems to me, particularly on a planet once again awash in tides of desperate refugees. I think that small figure was an attempt to avoid having to deal with huge disruption in the economic system from more significant depopulation (leading to a breakdown a la Mad Max) in order to concentrate instead on the disruption of people’s psyches and world view caused by having seen other human beings just vanish before their eyes. But it’s bothersome all the same. I have more hope for “The Leftovers”, though, because they’ve had the sense to limit the series to 3 seasons in which to tell their story.
“Carnevale”, yes; I liked the atmosphere of grunge mixed with marvels and darkly tangled passions in that show, plus good, sinister performances.
*I kept longing for the “missing” character to trudge out of the undergrowth grumbling, “Jeez, can’t a person step away for a little private time without everybody else going batshit crazy around here?” Guess it’s a good thing I’m not a show runner . . .31 January 2016 at 23:40 #50727
Setting aside that 99% of the whiners are not even remotely close to 99% of the viewers (you have surely noted that when there is a lot of negativity, those who like a show move way – and sometimes even form their own community!), tell you what, let’s look at the text. I honestly don’t see how much more clearly it can be spelt out:
(Obv MAHOOSIVE spoilers for the end of Lost)1 February 2016 at 04:01 #50743
@pedant Right, I had completely spaced this scene, so I cede the field to you in this respect: the makers of this show did try to wrap it up. If it worked for you, good! For me, it was and remains so deeply unsatisfying that it was downright annoying. I can stomach the idea of all the weird anomalies on the island being hallucinations or metaphors of some kind, or a deliberately constructed environment, but just to say “it was all real” answers pretty much nothing, as far as I can see: no how, no why, no who (well, lots of them including — Ancient Egyptians? Too many but none that stick), and, I realize now, no when (well, finally outside of time but mostly inside it in a random seeming way). I’ve always said I’m not much good with time travel stories of any complexity, and one of the ways I learned this is by trying to make sense of the time line(s) in “Lost”.
Here’s one summary, if anybody’s interested, of the major bafflements on offer in this series, for those interested enough to take a general look-back at the show:
There are other sites that try to do this job too (because there *was* so much confusion about it after it was over), but in general (as on this one) most of the mysteries are *not* explained. IMO, the overall “explanation” that “everything was real but now we’re all dead or will be some time and this is our mystical reunion party” ducks all the questions that were also ducked in the course of the show. I think part of my problem with it was that I can tolerate a ton of ambiguity and open-endedness if there’s a plot-line that holds it together entertainingly enough, and if the characters are interesting enough *in themselves*, not just because weird things suddenly start happening *to* them just because.
Lost didn’t do this for me — I was drawn in by the promise of a couple of grown-ups among the passengers (notably Locke and Rose), but the story turned out to be mostly about Jack, one of the dullest lead characters I’ve ever come across, so . . .
I hope for better things from “The Leftovers”, which I believe is another child of Lindelof’s imagination (he was one of the creators of “Lost” too, as a number of commentators noted, with apprehension, when “The Leftovers” opened on TV) — so I’m not sanguine about its prospects. Which means that I’m trying to watch it the way you, pedant, describe watching “Lost”: staying in the puzzling present (which is quite beautifully done) and not worrying about the future conclusion.1 February 2016 at 10:40 #50751
We watched a programme on TV last night called: How Climate Change Made History
It ran for two hours – with adverts – and was a real eye opener. Most of the info has been around for ages, but it was like fresh air to actually hear that’s it’s all hapenned many times before.
Miss2 February 2016 at 10:52 #50776
Yes, Fringe is a very mixed bag. And even our Walter is a difficult character to take — you could definitely argue that he gets off too lightly for what he did in the past. And the last couple of seasons are, well, a bit lame. But I think Anna Torv (be still my heart) did great work and I loved all the Red Universe stuff. It was just a shame it tended to, er, peter out.
But having said that, it was a show I enjoyed getting into at the time and there’s lots of great stuff in those early years. It just lacked focus sometimes and did go on one series too long…15 March 2016 at 01:21 #51344Anonymous @
Check out this one of a kind Dr. Who quilt that is for sale.6 April 2016 at 05:58 #51588
SHERLOCK – SERIES 4
For all admirers (like moi) of this programme, filming began on the 4th.
No rumour, Mark Gatiss said so, I heard him.
Missy6 April 2016 at 11:55 #51590
@missy That’s fantastic news! I can hardly wait already! I believe it will actually go on tv on New Year’s Day 2017
I might just rewatch some episodes now!7 April 2016 at 05:52 #51591
Well, I’m excited! And yes, it has always gone to air on New Years Day or Eve.
Missy7 April 2016 at 23:50 #51594winston @winston8 April 2016 at 11:38 #51598
Enjoy, I akways do.
Missy11 April 2016 at 12:41 #51612LittleFanStore @littlefanstore
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Anybody watch “Houdini & Doyle”? I did, sort of. Trouble is, I’m dead spoiled — and while this involved the infamous Magdelane Laundries and a female cop with some feminist consciousness, there’s a nice psychic character that Doyle consults, and the idea of teaming up the spiritualist Doyle with the ghost-busting Houdini has promise, the problem is that it’s all simplified and thrown in your face. The writing is a centimeter deep. And Houdini probably had a Bronx (or maybe Brooklyn?) accent. And the actor playing Doyle is just the wrong physical type and face and has — an American accent?!! Crikey. I quit halfway through, thoroughly annoyed.
On the other hand, I saw the first ep of the new season of “Penny Dreadful” instead, and it’s very handsomely and grungily its ultra, outrageously gothical self, with the astonishingly strong addition of Patty Lupone playing, ah, well, Dr. Seward. She’s an “alienist” with a hard but not (consciously) cruel manner, and she has been given great lines, including an on the spot diagnosis of “Vanessa’s” condition, and bone-dry wit besides. This show already has the magnificent Eva Green, and now this! Good going, and more power to them, I say. Well worth a look, IMO, if you’re not already acquainted. Not so sure about the replacement of the “magic negro” sidekick, Sembene, by what appears to be a “magic American Indian” partner for Dalton . . . a bit creepy on a whole other level . . . than bugs and vampires. I eagerly await developments in this season. Everything else looks like 100% proof drek, so far this spring.4 May 2016 at 05:43 #52110
Yes, I did and loathed it!
However I did watch the series “The Murder Rooms” or “Doctor Bell and Mr. Doyle”- superb.
Missy4 May 2016 at 07:49 #52118
@missy Yes, I did and loathed it! However I did watch the series “The Murder Rooms” or “Doctor Bell and Mr. Doyle”- superb.
I’m drawing a blank on Murder Rooms — though I did catch one episode and enjoyed it. But then, it’s a UK production, right? The problems tend to arise, perhaps, when someone pitches a story about characters *who do not belong to them* — that is, characters not of the same culture as the pitcher — and the damn fools run with it. And the result is a often culturally tone-deaf, literarily clumsy mess, like “Houdini & Doyle”. It’s a once-over-lightly money-spinner, and every note is “off”. It’s like reverse cultural appropriation — and falls helplessly into the category of jokes about American “crime” series, e.g.: “It’s the pope and Calamity Jane — they fight crime!” This one comes across as “It’s a dumb cartoon version of Conan Doyle and a slightly less dumb cartoon version of Harry Houdini — they fight psychic charlatans!” Fingernails on a blackboard.
It’s an interesting premise, minus the cartoon element and the throwing everything in your face in ep. 1 (Houdini loves his mom; Conan Doyle lost a child (am I remembering that rightly?) and goes to mediums hoping to find a way back to her. There, that’s it for characterization; let’s have each man yelling a neat little summary of his beliefs about spirits and psychics at the other. And a fist fight, of course! Gag.5 May 2016 at 05:20 #52136
If you ever get the chance watch this series. ACD knew Doctor Bell,worked with him and used him as his model for Sherlock Holmees.
Ian Richardson plays Bell. I saw a picture of the actual Doctor Bell and IR looks very like him.
Missy5 May 2016 at 09:04 #521385 May 2016 at 09:56 #521396 May 2016 at 15:46 #52164
So… Who watched Peaky Blinders?7 May 2016 at 07:14 #52184
I started to but the violence got me down. I have my limits, hence – from what I have heard – I shall never see Game of thrones.
I didn’t enjoy Happy Valley either, even after trying to watch the first episode twice, don’t know why. *scratches head*
Missy7 May 2016 at 11:26 #52188
Yes I was going to say that it is a bit violent and dark so maybe not some peoples thing! I still enjoyed it as for Happy Valley I’ve never even attempted watching it (probably because I missed the start of series 1) but I’ve heard many good things about though perhaps not for others!
I also have recently watched Line of Duty (police dramas of this kind usually aren’t my thing) but I found it gripping and very good! Did you see that? It was quite dark in places though.
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