TV Series On The Television

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Thad
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Sat May 28, 2016 3:30 pm

TJ Miller is one hell of an ad libber. Apparently his scene describing Deadpool's face went on a pretty similar series of riffs.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Healy » Sat May 28, 2016 9:59 pm

"Father figures of other father figures" and "the second run of Beavis and Butthead" are my favorites and I don't know why.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Tue May 31, 2016 11:06 am

On the one hand, tabs vs. spaces is a delightfully specific hangup for Richard Hendricks to have, and that kind of verisimilitude is a big part of Silicon Valley's appeal.

On the other...you guys realize that people who use spaces don't actually hit the spacebar eight times every time they indent, right? They still use the Tab key. They just set the editor to make the Tab key generate multiple spaces. (And it's never eight. It's usually four. If you want my opinion in this silly debate, I think two's plenty.)

I mean, I know, rule of funny, and ultimately they're working in an audiovisual medium and made the best choice to communicate what was happening given that platform. But there's still a weird feeling of cognitive dissonance when a joke is rooted in a pretty obscure bit of trivia, and is conveyed 99% accurately but then punts on a detail that's obvious to the members of the audience that got the other 99% of it.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mothra » Tue May 31, 2016 11:50 am

Caught up on The Flash and Daredevil.

Daredevil's struggling without Kingpin in the second season. The Punisher arc is good, with some great payoffs, but it feels like it's in a completely different show than the shitty ninja-war thing that's going on elsewhere.

Season 1 of The Flash was an absolute joy, like everyone said it was. I really came to love Cisco and Harrison, in particular. Season 2 varies quite a bit between downbeat and sloggy, and full-on embracing the absurdity of everything they've set up so far. The new villain wasn't close to as good as season 1's, sadly, and wow are those Legends of Tomorrow tie-in episodes awful, but I loved a lot of the new villain-of-the-week crooks. I don't think I'll ever get over how perfect Grant Gustin is as the Flash, either. This is an extremely well-cast show.

Making some headway into Jessica Jones as well, which is excellent. Further proof that a superhero show is only as good as its hero-villain dynamic.

Arrow season 3 got reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hard to watch so I just dropped it completely.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Grath » Tue May 31, 2016 12:22 pm

Arrow season 4 is... uh... well my roommate was watching it so I watched it while it was on the TV. That's about the only good thing I can say about season 4.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby sei » Tue May 31, 2016 6:18 pm

So, super hero shows do drama best before the heroes get too super.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:17 am

Seeing as I just got through complaining about Silicon Valley getting computers slightly wrong, it's only fair that I contrast it with shows that straight don't give a fuck.

It's not like I expect superhero shows to be realistic, but some sort of internal logic would be nice. The last few weeks of Arrow involved a plot where the bad guy hacks into the nuclear arsenal to launch all the nukes in the world at the same time.

At no point does anybody ask (1) why all the worlds nukes are connected to the Internet or (2) why they don't try just unplugging the fucking network cables.

And the thing is, the bad guy is literally a wizard. There is absolutely no reason why his scheme to blow up the world has to involve computers at all, except to give Felicity and her secondary cast something to do.

I think Flash, Arrow, and Legends all suffered from the same problem this season: extended season-long arcs that took entirely too long to resolve.

It was worst on Legends, which is funny because Legends had the shortest season.

Legends' flaws are as follows:

1. It vastly overestimates the number of fucks I give about Hawkgirl's love life. (In its defense, on Justice League it turns out I actually gave a lot of fucks about Hawkgirl's love life, so I can see where the misunderstanding might come from.) The most important relationship, the one at the center of the series, is between two bland characters who I want to go away.

There COULD have been a satisfying conclusion to the episode where Ray and Jackson are competing to try and get her attention, and that conclusion would have been her ending up with Sara. I would have loved that. Instead we get the rest of the season with a limp Kendra/Ray romance that goes nowhere and accomplishes nothing.

2. Rip Hunter is no fun at all. All the other characters (especially Captain Cold and Heatwave, but even Dr. Stein) get a chance to have fun, but Rip just mopes. I know Rip Hunter can be a fun character, and I know Arthur Darvill can be the best thing on a time-travel show. The closest this show ever comes to that is the Old West episode with Jonah Hex.

3. The budget. Most of the time the show doesn't even bother to try and come up with an explanation for why Stein and Jackson don't just fucking turn into Firestorm. (There's a throwaway line in one episode about how it's too dangerous for them to transform on a ship. Then, in the finale, they transform on the ship, and there are no consequences whatsoever.)

4. The heroes are objectively bad at their job. And that's the problem with a season-long arc where characters time-travel to different periods to achieve a certain goal: they are, by definition, going to spend most of the season failing.

That it actually turns out there's a reason for this at the end of the season, that they were set up and they were supposed to be making everything worse, is probably the cleverest twist the show pulls off.

MEANWHILE, Flash and Arrow both mostly suffered from just not having very good villains this year. Arrow also suffered from Flashback Island being at its most boring and pointless, while Flash relied on keeping its plot twists surprising by making them incoherent fucking gibberish.

But for all my bitching, you know, I still liked all three of them enough to keep watching them. They all have good casts, even if they don't always know what to do with them, and they've all got some potential to get back on the right track (or on the right track for the first time, in Legends' case). The shared universe stuff continues to be a highlight, and this season we got Jonah Hex, John Constantine, and Vixen, plus Flash guest-starring on Supergirl. There's a lot that's still going right.

I think maybe if they switched from season-long arcs to half-season arcs it would fix a lot of the pacing issues.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby zaratustra » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:55 pm

Speaking of season endings, anyone else found it weird that Steven Universe did what would be -two- season-enders at the -start- of this season?

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mothra » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:33 pm

The one episode of Flash hawkgirl sucked up to lay out her crappy origin was easily the worst of the season. Didn't exactly have me psyched to see Legends.

I think Arrow started nosediving for me when the flashbacks stopped being enjoyable. Season 1 and 2's Lost adventure was great, splitting up the modern-day stuff just when it started feeling samey.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Rico » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:38 pm

If I had no background knowledge at all I think Flash this season would have been better, but it is doing roughly the same thing that Arkham Knight did: Making all the twists incredibly goddamn obvious but pacing them like they are compelling.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Newbie » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:57 pm

zaratustra wrote:Speaking of season endings, anyone else found it weird that Steven Universe did what would be -two- season-enders at the -start- of this season?


I think the creators admitted that, since they have so little control over their scheduling, they've stopped writing according to any sort of seasonal plan and are now just making story arcs. It gives CN something to advertise around, and it minimizes the damage of sudden unexpected changes like the bifurcation of seasons two and three into four seasons of 26 episodes each.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:27 pm

Mothra wrote:I think Arrow started nosediving for me when the flashbacks stopped being enjoyable. Season 1 and 2's Lost adventure was great, splitting up the modern-day stuff just when it started feeling samey.


Season 3's was mostly not bad and had Katana in it. Season 4's was a big wet raspberry.

Season 5 is finally getting into his adventures in Russia, so fingers crossed that will be better. And then we're all caught up, and I guess season 6 can start doing flashbacks to season 1?

Rico wrote:If I had no background knowledge at all I think Flash this season would have been better, but it is doing roughly the same thing that Arkham Knight did: Making all the twists incredibly goddamn obvious but pacing them like they are compelling.


I wouldn't say the twists were obvious, but that's mostly because they were goddamn incoherent. They would have been obvious if the show hadn't straight-up goddamn cheated and introduced a bullshit explanation for how two of the same person could be in the same place at the same time.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:57 am

Silicon Valley's biggest problem is its inertia. It's a fantastic joke delivery system, but it's a show that's trying to have an arc and a sense of momentum but has had two separate stories where Pied Piper moves into a big office building and then back into Erlich's house.

Now, there's a pretty obvious non-plot reason for that -- the show tends to be at its funniest when the cast is bullshitting at Erlich's house (not least because Erlich is there) -- but it really doesn't help it feel like exciting change is happening.

Who knows, maybe the end of last week's episode is an attempt to fix that. Maybe Erlich will become an employee of Pied Piper.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Mothra » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:36 am

Roots is good so far. On episode 3, and it's been gripping in that staring-through-cracks-in-your-hands kinda way.

It does have that problem where every single terrible thing that has ever been done to a slave all happens to the main character, one after the other, in steady succession, with no breaks in the story, which takes away from the realism and starts making it feel like a calculated drama. That said, it's worth it to have each one of these horrors laid upon a character you really care about, one you deeply sympathize with.

The acting across the board is excellent.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Healy » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:07 am

So I'm watching Twin Peaks with a friend. The pilot kinda sucked, but then it hits its stride in the second episode and keeps on going. The terrible teens are a drag so far, but everybody else is a hoot. It's kind of amazing how funny this show is. Like, take that bit at the beginning of Dale's speech about Tibet, where everybody else leans forward. It's like, "Well, we have no fucking clue what's going on, but we'll give it a shot." It's such a small moment, and yet it adds so much.

And Dale! Oh man, Dale is great. He's just so dorky and enthusiastic about every fucking thing. He's amazing and I love him. If I get an avatar of Dale here in the next couple weeks, now you know why.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Sharkey » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:48 pm

Just finished Jessica Jones. We started that and the second season of Daredevil at about the same time. Gave up on Daredevil pretty quickly when we realized we liked The Kingpin Show and weren't all that interested in it without that particular villain. Jessica we stuck with right up to the penultimate episode, and by that point we'd long since started calling it "Stupid Lady Makes Bad Decisions." Both shows had fantastic hero-villain dynamics, but one had a hero who was constrained by his own code of ethics, and the other had an "I ain't a hero" character who had frequently unclear reasons as to why she would do all kinds of sketchy shit and fuck over her friends, but wouldn't just break the fucker's neck. When it became increasingly obvious that she was just going to break the fucker's neck it became a game of how many more innocent people were going to die and how much drama was going to be made of that before yeah, she just breaks the fucker's neck. We had completely run out of give a fuck by the time that actually happened. Something like a month went by before we finally got around to the last one and it was just... yup.

Other than that the only thing the shows have in common is that I recognized both villain actors based on the backs of their heads. Most embarrassing thing since I recognized Lou Ferigno from a single closeup of his non-green bicep.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:44 am

Bob, Gordon, and Luis have all been let go.

I'm simultaneously a lot more upset about this HBO move than I was before, and more sympathetic to it. It sounds like Sesame Workshop might be really desperate.

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:01 pm

"Stupid Lady Makes Bad Decisions."


I think what they were going for was "we have to really justify her killing him to the audience, so we have to REALLY hammer home how bad he is and how jail won't work and just how many innocents he'll kill because Jessica won't just fucking kill him or else they'll think Jessica is a bad person and not a hero" but they really, really, REALLY overdid it. To the point where literally every person who watched the show thinks Jessica is a fucking retarded monkey. Because she acts like it.

Gave up on Daredevil pretty quickly when we realized we liked The Kingpin Show and weren't all that interested in it without that particular villain.


This was my reaction as well, though I finished the season anyway. Kingpin does show up midway through for 2 episodes, and they're far and away the best of the season.
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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:41 pm

Neil Gaiman wrote:
Neil Gaiman wrote:'One Million Moms' Says New Fox TV Series 'Lucifer' 'Mocks the Bible,' Starts Petition Urging for Show's Cancellation



Ah. It seems like only yesterday (but it was 1991) that the “Concerned Mothers of America” announced that they were boycotting SANDMAN because it contained Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans characters. It was Wanda that upset them most: the idea of a Trans Woman in a comic book… They told us they were organising a boycott of SANDMAN, which they would only stop if we wrote to the American Family Association and promised to reform.

I wonder if they noticed it didn’t work last time, either…


They’ve just launched a new petition agains Season Two. I feel weird about the fact I think of them as lucky, but I really do. Sandman took off after their boycott was announced, and Lucifer seems to have been astonishingly well received and is coming back for a second season. Never change, Concerned Mothers of America (it was a better name than 1 Million Moms, honestly, because we wouldn’t have noticed the vast disparity between your name and your 3,528 Twitter followers if you were still the CMA).

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Re: TV Series On The Television

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:01 am

Wilmore's cancelled. Abruptly. As in his last show will be this Thursday night.

I always liked Wilmore but I quit watching his show regularly after the first couple of months. I think he made some fatal missteps with the format early on, and even though he took steps to correct them later on, by then it was too late.

The panel format never really clicked. Occasionally he'd get a great guest on like Lewis Black, but it lived or died based on who was invited and usually it wasn't a very good group. Early on it seemed like a random assortment of people who didn't even know what the show was or what they'd be talking about; even after Wilmore smartly pared it down to 3 panelists instead of 4, it usually wound up being 2 people from the show staff and one guest. The guests were hit-or-miss, and, well, I hated pretty much everyone on the show staff except Wilmore himself, Mike Yard, and...there was one lady I saw on a couple of times who I thought was great; she did a segment about Twitter but I can't remember her name offhand.

All the other correspondents were tedious, their participation in the panels tended to emphasize cheap jokes over informed discussion, and oh God the sketches were excruciating.

But the show emphasized a viewpoint that its contemporaries didn't (and not just Black Guy Stuff; as Wilmore noted, his statement of purpose was to tell stories from the little guy's perspective, whoever the little guy may be in a given story), and we're losing something valuable with that.

And occasionally it was fucking fantastic. I've never seen anything else like that episode where he sat down with the Crips and the Bloods.

I hope he can get another show. (I mean, another current events show. I hear good things about Black-ish.) TBS seems happy to hire Daily Show expats.

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