General Open Thread – TV Shows (3)
9 February 2020 at 13:52 #69618Craig @craigEmperor
A continuation of the General TV thread, which was well over its 1000 post limit.
The previous thread can be found here:11 February 2020 at 08:12 #69647Rob @rob
I am greatly enjoying Picard I do have a couple of issues with the burning of Mars.
The androids are shown as very much lesser than Data, all locked together overnight like tractors in a barn. They are seen and act as interactive tools. There are only two reasons I can see for this.
1 they are purely talking machines
2 they are Data equivalents but for some let’s tear up cannon reason the Federation now enshrines slavery
The assumption has to be item 1 is valid and sort of expanded on in the first 3 episodes.
So a machine ( group of burn Mars) the reason must be they were programmed to, so it a huge handwavium to ban all synthetics might as well ban calculators for doing the maths on weapon design. For an advanced civilisation this really doesn’t scan. If Lore had done it then maybe.
Ps to this, Data downloaded all his daughters memories (Lal) so his biological children being based of him will have her too in their positronic pathways.
The other slight niggles I have are with the supergirl jump and the acid phlegm
But on the whole very very good12 February 2020 at 04:55 #69660
We have now watched the first three episodes of Picard, and recorded a podcast about the first. In the past watched Star Trek intermittently but aspects of the show annoyed me firstly the lack of story development. I dislike episodic tv where you know that everything will end back where the story began. Also I disliked the utopian starfleet which to me had a strong hint of propaganda. As @blenkinsopthebrave described it, “Californians in outer space”. I understand that Roddenberry was aiming to show society as it should be but it came across as “aren’t we perfect now”, to me.
Picard has none of those faults, reflecting perhaps the less idealistic times we now live in and it feels stronger and more real for that. Before Picard and co felt like “police in outerspace” now they are the rebels, which I can relate to. By the end of the the third episode I was complaining, “what is it finished already. I want more.” So also cannot wait for the next episode.
Janette16 February 2020 at 04:12 #69684
Just watched the first episode of the Gatiss and Moffat version of “Dracula”. Loved it! It is Gatiss and Moffat doing what they do best; being incredibly clever (Van Helsing, the sleek adaptation of a very Victorian novel) and witty (Harker: “You’re a monster! — Dracula: “And you’re a lawyer. Nobody’s perfect”). And…frightening. As I said to Mrs Blenkinsop when the credits came up: “Tonight, we leave all the lights on.”18 February 2020 at 02:14 #69722
@blenkinsopthebrave. We really enjoyed the series. Dolly Wells, (Van Helsing) is now on my “potential Doctor” list. We are really enjoying Picard too. It is another series the entire family watches, a rare thing these days.
Janette21 February 2020 at 03:10 #69766
Another excellent episode of “Picard”. I find the way they can weave the old NG memories into the darker reality of “Picard” stunning. Even “Voyager”, which is amazing…This episode in particular, where everything you think you know about the characters (from the past or from the present) is turned upside down, is really effective. OK, here is the point where I compare it to the current “Who”. There is no comparison. For me, “Picard” is wriiten really, really well. Chibnall’s “Who”…?…Sorry, but there is no comparison. The current “Who” tries hard, but…21 February 2020 at 09:28 #69769
@blenkinsopthebrave You have a point. I am really enjoying Picard.(and I a not a “treckie”) but won’t be able to watch the most recent episode until next week however. It has become one of those rare series that we watch together and the kids are out and about this weekend. We have done a podcast reviewing the first episode which I should get up on the site in the next day or so. (editing takes forever..)
Janette23 February 2020 at 06:08 #69784
Well, have now watched the last two episodes of “Dracula” and confess to feeling that it did not live up to the promise of the first episode. The last episode in particular, where Gatiss was given primary credit for the writing, was, I feel, a letdown. Every decision to change the novel was a poor decision. The characterization of Lucy, in particular, lessened the impact of what happened to the characters in the novel considerably, it seemed to me. The brilliant decision in the first episode to change Van Helsing into a nun was, I felt, totally lost by the third episode, where her descendent had very little impact (in comparison to the first episode). Even Dracula seemed less…frightening (?) by the final episode. So…a brilliant beginning, but…28 February 2020 at 02:47 #69890
@blenkinsopthebrave and @janetteb I have just finished watching the 4th episode of Picard and I can’t believe how good it is and how much we are loving it! It gets better every episode and it is fun seeing Picard gathering up his new crew. I also admit to giggling every time someone swears and imagine Scotty or Jordy swearing at the engines.You know they wanted to. Every time an old character shows up I watch the old episodes that featured them which has been something to do on these long snowy days while we are stuck at home. Anyway my OH is making me wait to watch the next episode till tomorrow night! We also watch together and that is nice too.1 March 2020 at 03:01 #69898
have just watched episode 6 of “Picard”. It was simply brilliant. It just keeps getting better and better. As I have said before, the way it weaves our knowledge of NG in to this show and then turns our expectations on its head is amazing. To anyone with a memory of NG this episode in particular is exceptional.
I hope you managed to watch the NG two-parter “The Best of Both Worlds” and have embarked on “Picard”.
What can I say? Clearly, I am very impressed with this show.1 March 2020 at 03:58 #69899
@blenkinsopthebrave I literally just finished part 2 of “The Best of Both Worlds” 5 minutes ago and it was a great episode! The Borg are scary enough without a Picard Borg helping them out.
I am also really impressed with Picard and it does get better and better. I especially enjoy the new Captain and his hologram helpers with different personalities. Great idea and acted superbly. One of my new faves.1 March 2020 at 13:43 #69907
RE. Dracula. Yeah, I don’t think the third episode really lived up to the predecessors but I have to admit that I really liked the Demeter episode and might even consider it the strongest of the lot.
RE. Picard. Yes, I’m really enjoying it too. And can we just take a moment to appreciate that it’s being co-written by Michael Chabon. Michael. Chabon. Of course, it’s going to be great. As you say, I do like how they’ve taken the characters and, well, the hope of previous Trek serious and successfully incorporated them into this darker world.
However, at the moment I’m mostly in awe of and loving The Good Place. Late to that party, I know. (And Ted Danson or Jameela Jamil for future Doctors anyone?)2 March 2020 at 08:32 #69924
@jimthefish oh The Good Place is fabulous. How far have you got out of interest?2 March 2020 at 11:45 #69930
I’m almost done. About halfway through s4… I shall miss it….2 March 2020 at 16:14 #69936CanadianFan @canadianfan
The Doctor is alive and well after just coming back from China looking into Coronavirus!
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/checkup/should-medical-assistance-in-dying-be-an-option-when-the-diagnosis-isn-t-terminal-1.5478629/5-lessons-about-covid-19-from-doctor-who-led-who-mission-to-china-1.54819386 March 2020 at 05:00 #70023
Another episode of “Picard”. As expected, excellent. This one (that includes the characters of Deanna Troi and Will Riker) reminded me, in a good way, of the the rather unique chapter in “Wind in the Willows”, called “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”–that is, the chapter that was very…pantheistic.
What sort of writer could pull off such a feat on prime time televison? Well, as @jimthefish has pointed out, it might have something to do with the fact that the show runner and principal writer is Michael Chabon.
Are there lessons for Doctor Who…? Well, yes, probably.7 March 2020 at 11:49 #70060seeoswald @seeoswald
Loving Star Trek Picard.
Sadly the new season of Doctor Who is worse than last year. I’m not even keeping up with the episodes, last one I watched was “Can you Hear Me”. I was so disappointed and missing real Doctor Who so much I immediately re-watched the 50th anniversary special and “An Adventure In Space and Time” again to remind myself the show was once great.
Chibnall needs assassinating for destroying a legend !!!7 March 2020 at 14:12 #70067
Yes, the Piper analogy is really cool (and didn’t occur to me at all till you mentioned it). I guess it’s meant to contrast with the coldness of the Borg cube and the Romulan tech. Nice to see Riker and Deanna again too. (And was sad to say goodbye to Hugh again so soon. Couldn’t they have kept him around for a while longer?)
I’m struggling to think of a Chabon-like saviour who could come into Who, largely because I don’t think the UK has produced an author remotely of his calibre for decades.7 March 2020 at 17:07 #70070
Agree about the lack of TV writers like Chabon in the UK, but Chabon is probably pretty unique as a TV show runner in the US, come to think of it. I read, nervously, that he won’t be the show runner for season 2 of Picard. I think we should savour the show while it lasts in its current form. To that end (reading your other posts) I hope you stick around to swap thoughts on the remaining episodes of Chabon’s Picard.7 March 2020 at 18:20 #70071
Agree about the lack of TV writers like Chabon in the UK, but Chabon is probably pretty unique as a TV show runner in the US, come to think of it
That’s very true. I’m glad that he’s finally got to get involved in genre film and TV as it’s clearly been a long-standing interest — his book of essays on among other things Howard Chaykin, His Dark Materials and Sherlock Holmes is really good imo. I was aware that he’d submitted a treatment for an X-Men film many years ago and that it had gone nowhere. I wonder if Picard has put him off the TV process in general and if he couldn’t be tempted to have a little spell on Doctor Who once Chibs goes. I wonder if he’s a fan….
Will definitely stick around to ruminate on what’s left of Picard. And perhaps for a blog discussion on Penny Dreadful, if people are still interested….7 March 2020 at 21:00 #70072
Just finished The Good Place. It was all kinds of perfect.
And now I’m feeling rather … emotional.10 March 2020 at 08:36 #70096
@jimthefish It really was perfect.
A lot of people saw dips in quality over different seasons, but personally, I thought every one bought something new and interesting to the story. Predictably, some people in a certain place found a lot to object to in the ending. Evil, even. (!).
You chose the perfect time to start watching. I burned through the first few seasons than had to wait and do episode by episode (and then a break around the turn of the year before the last few). It’s been a long time since I waited impatiently for a twenty minute episode (by the way, how much they packed into each short episode!).10 March 2020 at 11:13 #70097
I thought it was mostly adept at knowing when one particular approach to the concept was wearing thin and to shake it up a bit. The s3 stuff back on Earth was to my mind the weakest scenario but even that was still lots of fun and it worked because the characters had well and truly bedded in by then and the jokes were always good. Sure, there will be scenarios that some like more than others. Personally, I preferred the first two series when we still got a ‘bad’ Eleanor and and ‘evil’ Michael. The later series where everyone was ‘good’ was maybe less delicious in it’s humour. But it was all great. And it possibly has one of the best finales to a show ever. All down to character, of course. I actually found Jason quite annoying initially before growing to love him by the end. And I don’t mind saying I was in bits when he stepped through the doorway.
And yes, I’m glad I got to binge it. I don’t subscribe to this fogeyish view that it’s better to get streaming shows week by week. I like to binge. Give me it all, man. I’m finding it quite maddening, for example, having to wait for Picard every Friday. I guess I can see the point, in that encourages subscribers to stick around but largely I prefer to wait until the run is finished so I can watch it at my own pace.10 March 2020 at 11:17 #70099
Also Jeremy Bearimy deserves to enter the pop culture lexicon in the same way that ‘time-wimey’ has.10 March 2020 at 13:08 #70100
@jimthefish. Moffat made an excellent point re’ binge viewing. We don’t read books a chapter a week so why should we watch Tv that way just because it is how it was done since the fifties. Reading fiction is like stepping through a door into another reality which is why we have trouble putting down a good book until it is finished. Watching an episode a week one just gets absorbed into the story and then are yanked back out of it. I would much rather binge watch Picard and will probably re watch “at my own pace” it after it is finished, as I did with His Dark Materials and enjoyed it way more watching in my own time.
Janette10 March 2020 at 13:16 #70101
@jimthefish I don’t get much choice re: streaming because my boyfriend has memory problems. Which means a: I have to wait when a show is being presented week by week (mutter mutter Better Call Saul, mutter) and b: I have to watch all the previous seasons with him just before because for some reason he prefers to do it that way rather than just have me pause every few minutes to explain what past events are being referred to. (Can’t think why…)
Literally no one says we ought to read long novels one chapter a week as though that is somehow morally superior, even Dickens.
We’re waiting on Picard. I would say the downside to binging is the ‘just one more episode’ syndrome. Especially when you need an early night.
Yes I would agree some were better than others in particular respects, but I loved the different resets, the sense of variation but consistency in the characters in different situations/levels of knowledge. Very thought provoking. And as you say, the bad versions of the characters were great fun. This rather supports the way they decided to end it (um, spoilers if anyone else is reading….)
the idea of eternity as a somewhat better but still very grounded and recognisable version of myself, where everything is simply wonderful and I can have whatever I want really isn’t very appealing. I think there’s a reason the show didn’t spend very much time, overall, in the Good Place proper, why at first, it wasn’t all that Good. And why the last season was at it best at its sadest when we were saying goodbye, so to speak, to the characters. As a species, we kind of like the bite.
Jeremy Bearimy must and, I’m sure, will.10 March 2020 at 13:43 #70106
Yes, the treatment of the actual Good Place is really interesting and the point that for anything to be truly ‘good’ that it has to have ‘an ending’ and basically ‘death’ in it is actually a pretty challenging one for what’s essentially a sitcom. It’s essentially critiquing mainstream Christian assumptions really. (I wonder how this show would have fared if it had been on regular network television and if it would have attracted some criticism.)
And I bet Moffat really, really wished he’d come up with Jeremy Bearimy….10 March 2020 at 13:44 #70107
His Dark Materials was really good, wasn’t it? And I’ll bet you’ll really enjoy Picard too. It’s great.10 March 2020 at 16:47 #70108
We’ve been enjoying Picard (though I admit that I don’t know a lot of the past history for Star Trek: The Next Generation, so that can make some aspects of it confusing). I so wish Star Trek: Discovery were written and paced in a similar, more mature way.
We also like Avenue 5, an HBO series starring Hugh Laurie. Don’t invest too much emotional energy into the first episode; it’s meant to introduce all the characters and lay out the plot, and isn’t all that funny. But the subsequent episodes are. We’re into the second season of the TBS series, Miracle Workers. As far as I can tell, Season 2 is a completely different premise from Season 1 … but still very funny. And then we’re looking forward to HBO’s Westworld starting Season 3 on March 15.11 March 2020 at 11:38 #70109BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice
I’m definitely in the minority here but I prefer watching shows over the course of several days/weeks rather than binging them. I almost always feel like going and doing something else after watching just one episode of a show, even if it’s short. (Though it can sometimes be a bit frustrating waiting a whole week between episodes if I’m really invested in it, like I was with The Good Place and usually am with Doctor Who.) I’m not a fan of streaming services in general to be honest, I find them a bit overwhelming. I realise this makes me sound like an old fuddy-duddy even though I’m only 18…
Anyway, I second all the praise for The Good Place. Easily the cleverest sitcom I’ve ever seen, and the ending was absolutely perfect.12 March 2020 at 12:47 #70113
There was some talk of doing a Penny Dreadful rewatch blog after S12 was over. Just testing the water to see how many would be interesting in doing it. (Will probably leave it a couple of week anyway till we’ve had @phaseshift‘s blogpost on s13 and Chibs, if he’s still planning that….)13 March 2020 at 01:15 #70114
@jimthefish I would be interested in watching Penny Dreadful. I am pretty sure they have them at my library. I have seen the 1st series a while back but I would do a rewatch if others are interested.If I remember it was very good and very creepy.13 March 2020 at 03:01 #70115
OK. episode 8 of Picard, and…I can see a surprising connection with Who!
For those watching Picard you will remember when Commander Oh of Starfleet security embeds, into the mind of Dr Jurati of the Daystrom Institute, a terrifying story of how synthetics would destroy everything. This leads Dr Jurati to doubt everything she thought she knew and act against her own best instincts. But we still do not know if if that story is true or not.
Compare that with way The Master, who begins by calling himself O (not Oh, but O) embeds, into the mind of the Doctor, a terrifying story of the origin of the Time Lords. This leads the Doctor to doubt everything she thought she knew and sets up the possibility that she might act against her own best instincts. But we still do not know if that story is true or not.
Well, it took a while, and it probably doesn’t mean anything, but it was satisfying to find a strange connection between the two shows.13 March 2020 at 11:06 #7011723 March 2020 at 02:48 #70235
Had to share this review of two new Julian Fellows TV shows (two–I know…). I share it, not because it is an excellent dissection of both shows, but for the utterly brilliant: “Fellopian tropes”23 March 2020 at 06:25 #70236
@blenkinsopthebrave Thank you for that review of the latest bilge to flow from the pen of Julian ‘get me a bucket Fellows. It is more than time that British TV Drama departments found better writers than J GMAB F and Andrew Davies to write historical dramas. There are so many great novels crying out for adaptations and so many “stories to tap into. A shame to see Fran, AKA Tamsin Greig wasting her talent.
We will be watching the most recent episode of Picard in a couple of days time. (When homework is done and duly handed up.) so will keep your Who connection in mind.
Janette24 March 2020 at 15:12 #70252
@blenkinsopthebrave As I watched that episode of Picard, I made a similar mental connection to Doctor Who. I am siding with the notion that the mental image now afflicting Dr. Jurati is a fiction concocted by Commander Oh to compel Dr. Jurati to do what she did. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it was real. Either way, I liked Picard’s response, that just because this happened before doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. It doesn’t match the Doctor’s insistence that the future can be changed, that what they’ve witnessed as they travel forward in time isn’t the only possibility. But it aligns with that belief.24 March 2020 at 15:52 #70254
Yes, I continue to enjoy the show, and I have recently seen episode 9. As you probably haven’t seen it yet I won’t say much about it, except that it sets up what promises to be a powerful and, I suspect, really interesting (in dramatic, moral and ethical ways) finale next week.24 March 2020 at 18:30 #70256
That’s an excellent review and wholly deserved on Fellowes’ part.
On Picard, I’m limbering up for a promising finale. I had been hoping that Narek discovered a better nature but now I’m very much onboard with him getting what’s coming to him. The synthetics community was very much one of your typical TNG utopian communities that always made me kind of barf a little bit. Was I the only one being reminded of Insurrection at points in the last episode?
I have high hopes for the finale though and this has been a really fun watch imo. It’s been fun and smart and compassionate. And the fan service by and large served a purpose in the plot rather than being tacked on. I’m not sure I really want a second series though (depending on where the finale goes). I think this would be a nice little coda to the character of Picard as it stands. Now, a spin-off with Seven of Nine being a badass in her rogue Borg Cube, on the other hand….24 March 2020 at 18:44 #70257
I think the illusion to Insurrection was deliberate. But, like the rest of this show, done so for the purpose of inverting our assumptions about who is innocent and who is terrifying. As for Picard himself, I think all the pieces have been put in place, both through the whole show and especially in this episode, for something quite extraordinary to happen to Picard in the last episode. I could be wrong of course, but I can’t wait to see what happens.24 March 2020 at 19:33 #7025928 March 2020 at 18:15 #70309
Have now seen the final episode of Picard and I loved it! Will not say much in the way of detail, as many, like @whisht and @nerys are still catching up on episodes. So, no spoilers. But the episode, like the entire 10 episode story, was great; simultaneously capturing the spirit of NG while updating it to the darker mood of the present.
p.s. @whisht, now is the time to watch the 2 part NG story “The Best of Both Worlds”, and then embark on Picard!28 March 2020 at 19:01 #70311
I thought it was great. The series was consistently strong throughout. And I immediately went off and rewatched both parts of ‘All Good Things’ which I thought was also extremely pertinent….29 March 2020 at 19:33 #7033230 March 2020 at 02:32 #70335Shepherd @shepherd
Did Earth have a Time War before Gallifrey? I know wars fought across time it is difficult which came first and a war could end before it started.
As with the Time Lords and the Daleks Time War the Earth and Kyba Time War is a transmedia storytelling. See “Outer Limit” Season 2 Episode 5 “Demon with a Glass Hand”
In addition to “Demon with a Glass Hand”, Ellison wrote other stories set against the backdrop of the “Earth-Kyba War.” He adapted five of these — “Run For the Stars”, “Life Hutch”, “The Untouchable Adolescents”, “Trojan Hearse”, and “Sleeping Dogs” — into the graphic novel Night and the Enemy (1987), illustrated by Ken Steacy. Also, Ellison’s short story “The Human Operators” — later adapted into an episode of the new Outer Limits — is set in the same universe as this story. (The Starfighters were originally built for the Earth-Kyba war.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_with_a_Glass_Hand
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