The OtherArena Forum IndexThe OtherArena Forum IndexThe OtherArena Forum Index The OtherArena
"Best not to think about it. I know that's a problem for you... not thinking. " -Steve Yohe
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

General TV Series
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The OtherArena Forum Index -> Entertainment
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Kronos



Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we have talked about this before, but the first 3 seasons of MAD MEN have a tendency to start strong, die in the middle, and end on a superfuckingawesomehighnote. If you're in the middle of the slump, have patience.

Seasons 4 and 5 are a lot more consistent -- and very, very good.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kronos



Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been watching and enjoying Bunheads, the current show by the creator of the sublime Gilmore Girls.

6 episodes in, and it's not as strong as GG. But it has real potential. They have begun to settle into themselves a bit and trust their characters. A lot of the earliest episodes felt like attempts to recreate the magic of certain aspects of GG -- especially the lovably crazy Kurt.

Sutton Foster plays Lauren Graham quite well, with the added dancing abilities. It helps that she's working with Grandma Gilmore, who can pretty much do no wrong. (now we need an Edward Hermann cameo)

The four teen girls all lack the spark of Alexis Bledel, and I wish that their personalities weren't so cardboard. But we'll see.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17132

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Justified is back... and it is good:

Justified Season 4, Episode 2: 'Where's Waldo?'

Spoiler...



Quote:
The best scene in this episode — and one of the best Justified scenes ever — involves Boyd going to the snake-handling church to test its weaknesses. His theory, advanced to Sheriff Shelby (the always-welcome-to-return Jim Beaver), is that the church puts down its tent stakes in a community just long enough to turn enough junkies and prostitutes to Jesus, thus squeezing the local criminal element and eventually forcing it into a hefty payout. It’s a solid theory, which sends Boyd to the tent for the aforementioned awesome scene. He confronts Billy, played by the wholesomely slippery Joseph Mazzello, and the two toss Bible passages back and forth. Boyd’s inner preacher comes out here, as he tries to sway the congregation away from a man he’s accusing of being a fly-by-night huckster. To counter that, Billy agrees that times are tough, so he’s not going to be sending around the offering plates for the foreseeable future.

It seems like a setback for Boyd, but what works so well here is that the scene takes on an added dimension on a rewatch, after you’ve seen the subsequent one where Boyd says Billy’s sister is the mastermind behind everything, the person who’s trying to gut his enterprises. Watching the scene again, all of those quick shots of the sister, intercut with Boyd wandering the crowd, take on new meaning. Boyd’s on a fishing expedition here; with every word, he’s probing not just Billy, but the entire crowd, trying to figure out the weak links present and ascertain the real problem. What makes Boyd a great character is the way he uses his ostentatious, showboating nature to hide his very real and cunning intelligence. Boyd didn’t get where he is simply because he’s unpredictable; he’s unpredictable because he knows that will get him the most knowledge about any given situation. People react differently when pushed off guard, and he uses that to his advantage.


It's not a "OMG THIS IZ SO COOLZ~!" type of scene, and I'm not sure it's one of the very best scenes in the history of the show. I thought it was already clear that the sister was more than meets the eyes from last week. But for those who weren't paying attention, it was more clear in this scene... and of course Boyd actually articulated it at the end of the scene as his crew was leaving. To be great-great Series Top 10 moments, it wouldn't have felt the need to articulate it so specifically, and instead Boyd could have left it at:

"It wasn't a total waste. I got what I came looking for."

And let his stooges either seem befuddled or specifically ask Boyd what he got, which he evades with something along the lines of:

"I need to think some more on how to use it best."

This is pretty common in mysteries. The Nero Wolfe mystery The Silent Speaker has one such comment by Wolfe, which he off hand tosses at Archie Goodwin. It's Wolfe, so we don't know if it's true or he's just bullshitting Archie to get him to shut up (which happens on occasion). It turns out there was a grain of something that he saw, which he did explore... outside of Archie's eyes (and thus we the readers since Archie is the narrator).

In this case, it would have sent people who hadn't yet gotten it to hit the rewind button to rewatch it... and it would be there.

Anyway, the season is opening in interesting fashion. The cameo by Wynn Duffy was great, and played out perfectly. Duffy has escaped getting killed off by Raylan for three seasons so far, and part of me hopes he's around for the final season (whenever that happens). But you also feel that if he's on the opposite side of Boyd that it might be a bad season for Duffy. On the other hand, I don't know if Boyd ever wants to tangle with "Frankfort", which Duffy now seems to head up or be at least way up in. I'd hate to see them go Sopranos on us, where credibility was shot by how Tony was able to get away with shit that "New York" never would have put up with in real life and killed him off far earlier in the show.

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17132

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rock to host reality competition show

I had mute on when something aired on TNT for this last night, and was wondering why Rock would be doing a TV series when his movie career is doing reasonably well as it's his most active year ever:

02/22/13 Snitch
03/28/13 GI Joe
04/26/13 Pain & Gain
05/24//13 Fast & Furious 6
06/10/13 Empire State

But it doesn't look like a real TNT-drama style show, and instead something that probably won't take a load of his time.

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17132

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so glad I bailed out on this, as the conclusion of the Red John storyline in The Mentalist was even worse than one could imagine:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/11/24/the-mentalist-red-john-review

Then this does a good job of looking at where the Red John storyline went unhinged:

http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/11/24/the-mentalist-red-john-mystery

The whole thing really should have wrap on one level with Red Josh really being Red John, and then had the hanging storyline for the following season of cleaning out the rot tat Red John created in Law Enforcement. Instead, they didn't have the balls to kill him off. One gets the sense that they did it this year to boost the ratings that sank a good deal last season.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2883
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reviving an old thread to say I really have enjoyed Arrow. They've done a nice job building how Oliver Queen becomes the vigilante, who evolves into a hero, all while smartly doing parallels to his time on the island away from his family.

It's a good move to build to everything, rather than just dropping you right into the idea of Ollie teaming with Canary, Arsenal and Speedy.

I watched the first season again on DVD and it held up well the second time around. Will likely sit down to watch Season 2 on DVD again... and thus far, Season 3 has been interesting, with the plot focusing on their interpretation of Speedy joining up, and what's going to be the confrontation between Ollie and Merlyn (which you know is going to fall apart at some point) and how the League of Assassins become involved this time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17132

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really need to get around to watching The Arrow and The Flash now that I have Netflix. :)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17132

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I've been watching Folye's War. Wiki page here for some overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foyle%27s_War

Basically a British period piece detective story, set in southern costal England during WWII. It starts in May 1940, early in the War. The first "movie" is pre-Dunkirk, with the second movie hitting Dunkirk, and the bombing of England increasing as the first series wraps up.

The anchor of the show is of course the titles character. DCI Christopher Foyle runs the Hastings Police Office and at the start of the show would rather be anywhere else involved in something more important in the war effort. The best of many good things about the show is Michael Kitchen's performances as Foyle, in one of the best examples of "give me fewer lines to say" acting that you'll ever see. Kitchen plays him as a man of selective words, so that when speaks you pay attention and when he doesn't you watch his face and body language for clues, reaction and emotion.

Foyle is good at his job, and over time tends to understand he is having a useful role in the Home Front even if it doesn't have the juice of working in something more directly war related. He has his standard issues with superiors up the food chain, who have other obligations related to the war to consider, or other areas they obsess about while Foyle tends to stick to law & order. He does face tough moral dilemmas, not all of which play out in a fashion that he likes or fails to pain him. All in all... he's dealing with a lot of stuff. :)

The co-stars are Samantha "Sam" Stewart, his driver, and Sgt. Paul Milner, his trusted Detective Sergeant.

Sam is plucky, inquisitive and enjoying life away from what she thinks is a boring home (family of priests). It's a semi-thankless role in the sense that there growth is in spurts, she deals with a 180 in the course of one episode that then 180s back at the start of the next seasons. She's not a detective like the other two, and the show doesn't try to over-force her into helping solve cases, so on the murder side she often has limited to do. Her personal life could have been more interestingly explored without the 180-180 issue, with the key probably being that the first 180 should never have happened. The show deals with a good deal of sexuality (pretty much always off screen) over the years, because it doesn't shy away from the reality that quite a few people had their spouses away due to the war, that pregnancy wasn't uncommon, etc. Sadly they don't deal with her sexuality during the war, and her dating is pretty much always uninteresting (including the 180-180 section). The show deals a lot with Women During War, often sympathetic, at times not in a realistic way. It's possible that the creator didn't want Sam's personal storylines to get too much in the way of other stories of women that he wanted to tell. But... it adds up to a semi-thankless role.

Sam makes up for it by being very likeable, and having a nice though not always deep relationship with Foyle. I'm glad to have her in the show, I like her... but you kind of wish that there was more for her during the War Years.

Milner is war vet who got chewed up and spit out by the war extremely early: the campaign in Norwegian. He comes home without a leg, sunk and depressed. Foyle breaks through that in pretty typical Foyle fashion in the first movie, and Milner joins the station as his DS in the second movie. Milner is another typically thankless role in these types of English detective stories: the sidekick who does grunt work but really doesn't know a lot and it takes the Big Detective to add all the pieces together. Foyle is the detective who adds things together, but the nice thing about the series is that they actively make Milner smart and competent. He sees through people, knows when they're lying, does good detective work to pull together information on the case, and at times is right there with Foyle in figuring out who done it. He's not a dummy, and he doesn't spend the series in awe of how great Foyle is, which makes for a good sidekick.


The show balances a murder (or several related deaths) with what's going on in the Home Front in England each month/period covered by the movie. The nice thing is that rather than an episode, each one really is a separate movie, with four per series in the first four series, then three per series from 5-8. The movie format of 90-100 minutes allows the show to deal with both the Home Front aspects of the war while also the murder, and interweaving them. This lets them cover a lot of ground from looting to black market to conscientious objectors to the political difficulties of getting the US into the war / helping to Nazi sympathizer to the rounding up of Germans to anti-Italian feelings to the Yanks coming to England to weapons of mass destruction to bomb squads... and on and on and on. It's staggering the number of different items they touch on. The series has been rather acclaimed for it's accuracy in referencing and dealing with historical events, or using them as a basis for elements of stories.

The murders themselves are largely well plotted out, with a variety of different possible candidates set up or given twists along the way. At times we'll get a second one along the way, at times related or at times unrelated-but-related to people we've met. The murders often aren't the keys in the early seasons/series, with the Home Front aspects that are touched on or tied in being more the focus or morale of the movie.

The series is at its best through the first three series of movies, and the first movie of series four ("Invasion"). I wouldn't say "Invasion" is one of the best of the first 13 movies, and it has to deal with a semi-major retooling due to Foyle's son being out of the show for Series 4 & (most of) Series 5 that really isn't very smoothly dealt with. But in covering major elements of the Home Front events, it hits a pretty key one (the Yanks coming to England) and captures the tone of the first three seasons in how England has been changed and how people are reacting to it.

The further three movies of season 4, and the three movies of season 5 are perfectly "okay" but not quite up to the level of the first 13. The show was hit by cancellation as season 5 was about to be produced, and the creator wanted to finish the series with the end of the war. This forced that out of what had been a wonderfully leisurely trip through the war in the early season to scrapping most of what was planned for 1943-44 and then 1945 prior to VE day:

--------Season 1------------
Movie 1: May 1940
Movie 2: May/June 1940
Movie 3: June 1940
Movie 4: August 1940
--------Season 2------------
Movie 5: September 1940
Movie 6: September 1940
Movie 7: October 1940
Movie 8: October 1940
--------Season 3------------
Movie 9: February 1941
Movie 10: February 1941
Movie 11: April 1941
Movie 12: June 1941
--------Season 4------------
Movie 13: March 1942
Movie 14: August 1942
Movie 15: December 1942
Movie 16: March 1943
--------Season 5------------
Movie 17: April 1944
Movie 18: October 1944
Movie 19: May 1945 (VE Day)

That one reason why the first three seasons are the best: 12 movies covering 14 months of the war, all while England is feeling the fear and oppression of an imminent invasion by the Germans.

Season 4 had to leap forward to some degree because of a production break, but still left lots of ground intended to be covered that then got pitched due to the cancellation. Other than the first episode, as mentioned there's a drop in quality. It's still watchable, with twisty murders but doesn't quite reach the level of the first 12.

Season 5 also has some twisty murders, deals with some historical issues, but has the feeling of being rushed. Movie 18 crams a lot into it: mental illness of vets, psychiatry trying to deal with it, British POW's coming home messed up, German POW's in Britain, husbands/wives dealing with each other after years apart due to the war (and mental/physical scars), and uncovering of the Holocaust. These are things that could have been dealt with in individual movies, and instead just got crammed together. Again, they are three watchable movies, but not at the level of the first 12.

Season 5 ended up bring so popular that the show was brought back.

Season 6 dealt with the Jun-Aug 1945 right after end of the war in Europe. Basically Foyle wrapping up his police career. I've watch half of the first episode.

Seasons 7-8 are after his police career where Foyle gets recruited into working for MI5 post war as an investigator. Season 8 just finished airing in the UK, and allegedly is the last one they'll do.

I'd serious recommend Seasons 1-4 to folks, with the acknowledgement that things slip a bit after the first episode of Season 4. If you've gone through Season 4, you'll then feel the desire to see Season 5 to get through the war. Again, it's watchable after the first episode of Season 4, and lord knows I watch a lot of TV that far below it on the watchable scale. I must have 4 new episodes of CSI on the DVR, and it's far below Season 5 of Foyle. Just that... the first 13 movies of Folye set a pretty high standard for good British detective shows.

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2883
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
I really need to get around to watching The Arrow and The Flash now that I have Netflix. :)


I've only had a chance to watch a few episodes of Flash because of other things going on Tuesday, and I have no DVR. But the episodes I've watched have been fun.

The two shows share the same universe and they plan to do a crossover each season. What was good is that they planted the seeds in the first couple of seasons for the Flash series, thus leading right into the spinoff.

Flash has the more lighthearted tone, while Arrow has a darker tone, so it really makes for interesting material when the two are paired up. I think Arrow has better writing, but Flash is just a lot of fun to watch... especially that they are finding ways to incorporate Grodd. :)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17132

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your last paragraph is something I find really interesting: the contrast of darker and funner. Comics Creative tends to want to go dark, dark, dark. I think there's room for lighter, funner stuff. The reality is the light, funner stuff can still deal with drama and darkness.

Castle is a light, fun cop show for the most part. But it certain deals with darker stuff and drama.

That was one of the things that I think a lot of us liked about Guardians of the Galaxy: it was the most "fun" of the Marvel movies. Not in the sense that Tony hasn't been "fun" to a degree in a lot of his movies. But more tonal, where GotG was having fun with (not "at", but "with") the long standing role of Fun in the comic genre. GotG had its dark element, and the Bad Guys are pretty damn heavy bad guys. But GotG kept a largely fun, lighter tone compared to say the also terrific Cap 2, which was pretty heavy in what it was dealing with.

That Arrow and Flash share the same universe, will cross link, but have different tones... I think that will be cool to watch. I'm really looking forward to diving into it when I get a chance.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2883
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After having watched Arrow wrap up Season 3, I found it a mixed bag down the stretch. Season 2 remains the best start-to-finish season, while Season 1 takes time to warm up.

I will need to catch up on Flash during the summer months.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The OtherArena Forum Index -> Entertainment All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Page 6 of 6

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
The OtherArena topic RSS feed 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group