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Thread: What have you watched lately?

  1. #5026
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Hah, I didn't even know he'd planned on adapting it. From a writing standpoint, it's starting to make more sense why all these bits and pieces came together the way they did, then, especially S3's headlong dive into a modernised psychohistory framework complete with Foundation and Empire's Mule writ large. I think Jonathan shares Asimov's weaknesses in that his characters tend to be fairly stiff, but Asimov had both a scientific eye and a warmer philosophical outlook that informed his stories. Nolan, instead, is treading the line between gimmicky populist entertainment and thoughtful science fiction, and it's a very hard thing to balance if you're not equally gifted in writing both character drama and technological vision. I wouldn't call S3 a complete waste of time because the concepts it's chewing on will never not be interesting, but you'll have to prepare to be underwhelmed.

    Thirith: I see Succession less as cringe comedy and more as black-hearted family satire. There's a lot of comparisons to the Murdoch empire, and as a window into the familial/political machinery of something like that, it never fails to stoke a morbid curiosity. And the cast is absolutely perfect, yes. S2's Holly Hunter was a more than welcome addition, and I hope they have her return in S3.

  2. #5027
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    I see Succession less as cringe comedy and more as black-hearted family satire.
    I think they're both a part of Succession, and especially the scenes where we get to watch the pathetic dick-waving contests and corporate dysfunction at Waystar Royco feel a lot like the cringier parts of The Thick of It. I don't mind that aspect as much as my wife does, but I definitely respond more to the darker, more layered strands of the series. (We just watched the S1 Thanksgiving episode today, which may be one of my favourite TV episodes since Watchmen and The Leftovers before that.)

  3. #5028
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I watched S02 of Westworld. I liked it. Just as good and entertaining as S01 imho. I watched 2 episodes of S03. Promising. Then I got distracted.

    This week I watched 8 out of 10 episodes of S01 of Better Call Saul. Awesome ! I have 2 (female) friends who highly recommended the show. I wasn't sure I'd like it. I've seen all of Breaking Bad. But I never was a huge BB fan. It took me 2 seasons to start to appreciate BB a bit. Otoh, I really liked the first episodes of Better Call Saul immediately.

    Gonna finish S01 of BCS, then finish Westworld S03, then watch the other seasons of BCS. Looking forward to that.

  4. #5029
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'm 4 episodes into Better Call Saul Season 5, when we can finally really start to feel it approaching Breaking Bad's era. It's been such a slow burn building up to this point that the characters are pretty rich with history and emotional baggage, Saul and Mike particularly. In typical form, you can feel something ominous coming is already in the pipes, but we don't know what, which is quite a feat when we already know the "end" (the start of Breaking Bad). It's also nice to see more coverage in the post-BB part this season.

  5. #5030
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I've always been more than a bit worried about Kim from the start, knowing as we do she doesn't figure in Breaking Bad. Nacho, as well, has exactly one mention in BB. Absolutely agree about the ominous clouds on the horizon for the final season.

    The thing about BCS is that I've never bought the character drama portion of it. I've enjoyed individual parts of it, but never the whole. I don't think Jimmy's personality is particularly well-developed, it's always felt to me like with his character, they're trying to cover a jumbo-sized slice of toast with a tiny pat of butter. Kim almost seemed like she'd end up as the long-suffering, unhappy, fractious wife counterpart to Skylar, but I'm glad they gave her far more depth than that. The inverse BB formula doesn't quite work for this as an overarching arc - Jimmy's move from conman to conflicted wiseass lawyer was never going to be as compelling as Walt's unravelling from Mr. Chips to Scarface, so the drama is something I usually end up tolerating more than being invested in. It's very push-pull.

    Also, is anyone else tired of the flash-forwards to Cinnabon Jimmy that have been happening for five seasons now? There had better be a hell of a payoff (prediction: involving Kim in some capacity) at the end of this.

    The drama that does work though, is every single thing that harkens back to Breaking Bad. The cartel parts, everything with Mike and Gus and Nacho and the Salamancas, it's all gripping stuff that plays to the show's strengths. The payoff for when Jimmy and Mike are forced to cross paths again was a long time coming, but it's now paying dividends.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 13th May 2020 at 02:33.

  6. #5031
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Tea_Addict View Post
    Never played Castlevania games, but the series has me considering that rather seriously
    The 2D entries are fantastic. The 3D entries are terrible. One of the rare few franchises that just never managed it in 3D despite numerous attempts.

  7. #5032
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Better call saul keeps getting better and better imo. Took a couple seasons to really find its footing but the last 3 have been top notch.

  8. #5033
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I really liked BCS. Nacho and Lalo especially. Oh, and Kim is great.

    Watching The Good Fight S03 atm. The Good Wife was really good, this is better. Micheal Sheen's character He's almost as good as Wags in Billions.

  9. #5034
    I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Disney+ to check out The Mandalorian. I'm liking it so far, it's nice. I like that they take a semi-serious tone, not too gritty but but not cartoonish. They made Jawas look pretty badass, of all things! On the artsy side, I love that the end credits show story-board art from each episode's production, that's very cool.

  10. #5035
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Currently watching "Meghan Wants a Millionaire" season 1.

    This one has a bit of a story to it. VH1 from 2006 - 2010 originally aired a whole bunch of reality dating shows which were all interconnected MCU style. You had Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Rock of Love, Frank the Entertainer and more. And then you had the shows that linked them all up, with Charm School and I Love Money, which were more like Game Shows.

    One of the contestants of Rock of Love, Charm School and I Love Money got her own show, with Meghan Wants a Millionaire. However after filming finished of her show + I Love Money season 3, the winner of S3 of I Love Money and a contestant on Meghan's show, was arrested for murder. Meghan Wants a Millionaire was just into airing on TV, and season 3 of I Love Money had yet to air. For obvious reasons, Meghan's show was pulled from the air 3 episodes in, and I Love Money season 3 never aired on television. Torrents were briefly up for Meghan's show but soon after all the seeds vanished and the show was thought lost forever. Fast forward 10 years later to January of this year and an anonymous user (under a fake name) uploaded a high quality dump of episodes 1-3 of Meghhan's show, and then the star of the show (Megan Hauserman) uploaded episodes 4-5 to her own Youtube channel which had never aired on television. Only the finale episode is still lost.

    I'm not normally one for dating shows, but the VH1 ones had something special about them. Especially with them all being interconnected which is unheard of with those kinds of shows. So Meghan Wants a Millionaire and season 3 of I Love Money were like the holy grail to many people to try and find, which the majority had all given up on. So to get to see 1 of those 2 missing shows after so long is amazing. Like finding one of those missing Doctor Who episodes of the black and white era. Watched the first episode so far. 4 to go. My wife is completely OBSESSED with the shows, which I introduced her to, early in our dating life. It's not everyday that you get to watch lost television shows .
    Last edited by icemann; 18th May 2020 at 12:26.

  11. #5036
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    We all know about Death of the Author, but what about Murder by a Contestant? I dunno, seems kind of weird to yank the shows on that, unless the victim was also part of the show or otherwise a direct connection?

  12. #5037
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    A paste from wikipedia on it:

    An arrest warrant was issued for contestant Ryan Alexander Jenkins as a suspect in the murder of Jasmine Fiore, a 28-year-old swimsuit model who had recently moved to the Los Angeles area from Las Vegas. Fiore's body was found in a suitcase near a dumpster in Buena Park, California.

    On August 19, 2009, VH1 placed the series on indefinite hiatus out of respect for Fiore's family. The network also released the following official statement:

    Ryan Jenkins was a contestant on Megan Wants A Millionaire, an outside production, produced and owned by 51 Minds, that is licensed to VH1. The show completed production at the end of March. Given the unfortunate circumstances, VH1 has postponed any future airings. This is a tragic situation and our thoughts go out to the victim’s family.

    Although VH1 officially stated the show was on hiatus, it gave strong indications that the show would never air again. All mentions of the program, beyond the single statement above, were removed from VH1.com. The remaining run of the series, reruns, and previous episodes were also removed from the iTunes Store, cable video on demand services, and the network's schedule.

    On August 20, Jenkins was formally charged with Fiore's murder, and VH1 canceled Megan Wants a Millionaire a day later. The search for Jenkins would end three days later on August 23, when Jenkins was found dead in Hope, British Columbia, Canada reportedly having hanged himself. The next day, VH1 not only formally announced the cancellation of Megan Wants a Millionaire, but announced that the third season of I Love Money, on which Jenkins was reportedly a contestant and the grand prize winner, would not air.

    It subsequently emerged that Jenkins had not only been charged with assaulting Fiore, but had been convicted in 2007 for assaulting a woman in Calgary. The 2007 incident had not been disclosed to either VH1 or 51 Minds. In a statement, 51 Minds said that had it known about Jenkins' past, he would have never been allowed on the show.

    Collective Intelligence, the private investigation firm charged with vetting the show's contestants, had outsourced Jenkins' background check to a Canadian firm, Straightline International. In October 2009, Collective Intelligence sued Straightline for breach of contract, alleging that it had failed to uncover Jenkins's criminal record. The suit is still pending as of 2013.

  13. #5038
    Speaking of murderers on TV, The Jinx was a spectacular series I finally got to watch recently. However, I lost a lot of respect for the director when I found that they had doctored the ending "confession" to make it sound more damning. The real transcript is equally chilling and I can only think they did that for the sensationalism, in spite of their protests of wanting to do the right thing and all that... It was pretty bad form and crossed the line from documentary to opinion piece.

  14. #5039
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I still find it ironic that Robert Blake killed his wife and got away with it since his one big hit was Baretta which opened with a song that said "don't do the crime if you can't do the time". But I wish all so called reality show people would kill each other in a glorious blood bath of knives and axes. I picture Kim Kardashians head flying through the air in lovely spirals of blood. They are like a joke that wasn't funny on the first telling being told now for the hundred thousandth time. Only war and demons crawling forth to claim them can make things right at this point.

    Speaking of demons, I finished Witcher. No damned reason they should have jumped back and forth in time the way they did. I have seen stories where that made sense but this one was more as if the writer hadn't figured out yet how to fill in the missing information. They did a decent enough job of filling it in though. The story is interesting enough to follow. As hard as they try and as broad a palate magic provides I haven't yet developed much feeling for the characters. It's easy enough to recognize which characters they want you to feel for because they all wear colored contacts but despite the pathos of Yennefer her story was too hodgepodge for any great empathy. The Witcher himself is the most interesting character. He has a certain disdain for himself and others that somehow comes off as charming. It mitigates all the manly shit he does. I want to see where the story goes though. That's enough to pick back up on it when it comes on again.

    All caught up on Outlander too. This one has a less scattered story telling style that I prefer though the characters bump into each other too often in a deus ex machina way. Our running joke about it is whenever a new character appears we wonder when they will try to fuck Jamie. Poor Jamie, everyone wants to, women, men, horses, goats, some even succeed. Not the horses and goats. It has happened so often that when he meets his daughter for the first time (while pissing no less) he tries to fend her off saying he is a married man. Misunderstandings and evil characters abound throughout naturally. These last seasons they have taken to North Carolina and even settled near Grandfather Mountain, a place we love, though in reality it was shot somewhere in Scotland with a background pasted in. Somehow they make it feel like those days and that area. Each episode has both a concluding story arch and a continuing one that leaves off on a cliffhanger of some sort that makes you want to see the next and that is good writing no matter the feminine slant it most definitely has. These characters I feel for. Not always in a positive way but moreso than any in Witcher thus far.

    Other than that I've watched every Ray Bradbury Theater though I had read all but one of the stories and about half of the Outer Limits (latter one) and Monsters series that I had missed back in the day. Dust is also on Roku. Quite a few things are. It's a nice platform for free stuff and Netflix type things as well.

  15. #5040
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Won't You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary about Fred Rogers, a popular US children's entertainer. I was vaguely aware that he was a beloved figure in US culture, but I had no idea that he was also a controversial figure who inspired such seething hatred in some people that they were protesting at his funeral. I think the film does a pretty good job at showing some of the complexities around that -- you get a glimpse of his self-doubt and some of his darker thoughts, but also of his unmistakable sincerity and conviction. It certainly makes a convincing case that he was far from being the naive fool the right-wing reactionaries try to paint him as. And some of the things he did were undoubtedly radical -- such as trying to teach children how to deal with and take control of their emotions or assuring them of their self worth. And, of course, the idea that a child should get unconditional love without having to do anything to earn it rubs some people very much the wrong way.

    I don't think that anybody can grow unless he really is accepted exactly as he is. 'Cause if somebody's always saying to a child, "You're going to grow up and you're going to be fine--" There's so much of that in this country anyway, that a child is appreciated for what he will be not for what he is. He will be a great consumer someday. And so, the quicker we can get them to grow up, and the quicker we can get them out of the nest so that they will go out and buy--you know, set up their own home at twelve, maybe--then the better.
    Another thing that impressed me was how the documentary was paced -- for this short amount of time, it was necessarily going to have to be a cliff notes version of his life, but the film takes its time and has a very leisurely tempo. I thought it suited Fred's own use of silence very well and it was a stark contrast to the very frantic pace US television has usually. I think half of the reason why I appreciate pundits like Rachel Maddow or Chris Wallace is that they seem so calm and measured compared to the usual rapid fire delivery of US shows and their pandemonium of having multiple people on at the same time talking over each other. Also, probably a not insignificant part of why I love books so much is that being able to move at your own pace gives you as much time as you need for reflection.


  16. #5041
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    That's a good description of the film and of Mr Rogers. It's an impressive documentary to watch.

  17. #5042
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I was initially a bit wary about the high ratings and awards, but it really is an excellent documentary. A lot of the time it just presents its material without comment and lets it stand on its own -- like when it shows people cynically mocking him and questioning his manhood after having shown the immense effort he took and the adversity he faced to produce the shows... having to write all the scripts and songs, compose all the music, and address tough questions in the backdrop to the dark times he lived in.

    One of the impressive things he accomplished that I thought was a bit of a shame that it was clipped so short in the film was when he testified to Congress when Nixon wanted to cut funding to public television and managed to convince the senator at the hearing to save PBS:

    Last edited by Starker; 20th May 2020 at 10:50.

  18. #5043
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I liked when someone asked how he kept his persona separate from his real self and he said he didn't understand the question. What you saw was what he was.

  19. #5044
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Having finished watching Community (again) I will now rank the seasons from best to worst.

    Season 2

    Everyone's gotten into their roles, and the writing staff are firing on all cylinders. This is peak Community!

    Highlights: Advanced D n' D, Basic Rocket Science, My Dinner With Andre Dinner With Abed.

    Season 3

    A bit more uneven than season 2, but it does have the greatest episode of Community, HECK possibly the best episode of any TV show ever: Remedial Chaos Theory, aka the timelines episode. Not only is the timeloop a fun sci-fi concept, but the way it's used to explore new crinkles in these characters is the genius of it.

    Highlights: Remedial Chaos Theory, The Smashed Yam Case, The Videogame episode, THE RULE OF CHANG

    Season 5

    Kinda an underrated season, I think. Sure, Pierce is gone and Troy sails off with LeVar Burton after 5 episodes, but this is still a stellar (tho short) season where almost every episode is a solid hit. Jonathan Banks is a great addition as cranky criminology professor Hickey who aspires to be a cartoonist.

    Highlights: The Hunt For The Ass Crack Bandit, Lava World, MeowMeowBeenz Beta Test (KOOGLER!)

    Season 1

    I used to think this season was very weak compared to what followed, but rewatching now I'm digging it. It takes a few episodes for everyone to get into their characters, but once they do it's good times.

    Highlights: The Halloween Party where Pierce is Beastmaster and Abed is Batman, Chicken Mafia, The first paintball episode

    Season 4

    Showrunner Dan Harmon got kicked out at the end of Season 3 for being a huge dick, but it turned out the series really needed him. He got re-hired for the later seasons. This season is just... lacklustre.

    Highlights: eh... well... Pierce's Haunted Mansion, I guess? I also kinda like the musical Puppet Therapy episode.

    Season 6

    Pierce, Troy, and Shirley are gone. Newcomers Frankie Dart and Elroy Patashnik never really develop into fully fleshed-out characters. But worse is that the energy has seemingly gone out of the rest of the original cast and the writers.

    Highlights: The last 3 episodes are a bump in quality: Modern Espionage, Garrett's Wedding, and a very bittersweet finale.


    Ahhhhh... welp. Now that I've finished rewatching The Office and Community, what's supposed to be my late-night comfort food-viewing that I can half-pay attention to while playing Jigsaw Puzzles HD on the iPad? Can't wait for Disney+ to get here so I can start watching through the Simpsons from start to finish.

  20. #5045
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    oh oh OH speaking of Community, the cast just reunited for a table read of season 5's "Cooperative Polygraphy" and it's great stuff. Such a well-written episode. Pedro Pascal stands in for Walton Goggins as Mr. Stone, and his reaction to the final act is great.


  21. #5046
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Finished Black Mirror. What a mind fuck. Literally. Back in the early eighties Omni magazine discussed ramifications of embedding computer programs in the brain but it was mostly on the value of having information at your disposal in an encyclopedic way. These guys have gone way beyond anything they dreamed of and into the land of nightmare. The stories are unflinching in their explorations of human interaction and expanded tech development. Some of it is hard to watch. Dear lord the prime minister and pig episode was so far over the line it was teeth grinding. If I have any complaint, and it's a small one, it's that I wish there were a few more like "Hang the DJ" to alleviate some of the unrelenting tension. A happy ending every so often, when inventive, is just as good as forcing us to see our darker natures. So much of it is an indictment of current societal trends and so depressingly accurate that it's crushing. But it is so clever it's also stunning and addictive.

  22. #5047
    BANNED
    Registered: Nov 2016
    Location: Trollinus Maximus
    Waco was good, won't spoil it for you guys.

  23. #5048
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    With the lockdown here in the UK, I've been looking for more stuff to watch. Just to test a new streaming service, I tried an episode of Westworld, a show I did not have high hopes for, but I was very quickly proven wrong. It was brilliant. Well, at least season one was, season two was ok but weird, season three seemed like any other sci-fi. It's all good, but season one was done amazingly well, says me the bitter old grumpy cynic who never likes anything anywhere of anything. Do try to watch it if you haven't already done so, when it was first out 4 years ago. Yeah, I'm slow, as usual.

    Also, there are new episodes out of Rick & Morty. Yay! And there's a Netflix movie now of Invader Zim. Oh, how I've missed Zim. Thank you, Omega, for introducing me to Zim.

  24. #5049
    BANNED
    Registered: Nov 2016
    Location: Trollinus Maximus
    bunch of netflix
    extraction was good, but I heard they are about to fuck it up with a sequel. pre-quel I can see.
    Ozarks, loved the ending to season 3
    Waco, pretty good at showing how BOTH sides screwed things up.
    Ragnarok, slow but still ok.

  25. #5050
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    oh oh OH speaking of Community, the cast just reunited for a table read of season 5's "Cooperative Polygraphy" and it's great stuff. Such a well-written episode. Pedro Pascal stands in for Walton Goggins as Mr. Stone, and his reaction to the final act is great.
    Oh man, this is probably nostalgia (or whatever the short-term version of it is), but I enjoyed this more than the original episode. It's great seeing everyone reunited, even if it is virtually. And they still have the same chemistry!

    @Tocky: Actually, I still feel the PM episode's the best possible introduction to Black Mirror's uncanny observational skills. While it's satire, it remains something that's absolutely possible today, and it doesn't need the technological leaps most of the rest of the show explores. I think San Junipero's probably one of the happiest of the Black Mirror episodes, and not coincidentally it's also one of the best. Which reminds me, I need to check out this show called Upload faetal mentioned a little while ago. Apparently it deals with the same speculative concepts of a technological afterlife, maybe crossed with a little bit of The Good Place.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 26th May 2020 at 00:19.

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