Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Mongrel » Sun Jul 07, 2024 10:47 am

My hatred for Voyager was a mix of:

- Confused writers mostly not knowing how to write the characters, such that 2/3rd of the crew end up as grating or people you don't care about.
- Its insistence on committing to terrible things and not sticking to terrible-but-good things.

The former is things like constant drop-in appearances of characters from other shows, or - the greatest crime of the series - the crew flippantly killing the doctor for the most asinine, 90's PC user reason. That just broke me as a Trek fan at the time, and the franchise has never had the hold on me it did as a kid since then (but more because of how bad it was to become in the following years than me being bitterly resentful about one throwaway episode of Voyager).

The latter is things like making Year of Hell an "It was allll a dreeeammmmm!" cop out episode instead of making it an actual full season (uh maybe not so lethal but you get the idea), completely ignoring the entire Maquis-Federation tension after the pilot, or, in the aforementioned killing the doctor, ignoring it like every other bit of episodic nonsense, no one grieves (or gets to), and everything is fine next episode.

Overall, I think my takeaway even after all this time is that Voyager's writing team spent so much effort on making me not care what happened to anyone on that show (except the Doctor and then fuck you). It was like they had the chance to do DS9-type writing but on a conventional Trek "vessel on a journey of exploration" platform and gave us the worst of both worlds instead of the best.

I hated it then, and, with the wisdom of hindsight, the tempering of many years of age, and the knowledge of how bad Trek can get thanks to later shows... I still hate it.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Büge » Sun Jul 07, 2024 9:00 pm

Friday wrote:If TOS is the freshfaced start of Trek's lifespan, a young boy full of stupid ideas, but ideas, then Voyager is the point at which Trek sees it's first grey hair.


It's also the point at which Trek has a house, a steady paycheque, two cars, and has gone from passionately liberal to staunchly conservative. If Star Trek Voyager were a person, they'd vote against every initiative for expanded transit systems or local homeless shelters.

Mongrel wrote:My hatred for Voyager was a mix of:

- Confused writers mostly not knowing how to write the characters, such that 2/3rd of the crew end up as grating or people you don't care about.
- Its insistence on committing to terrible things and not sticking to terrible-but-good things.


I feel like the writers weren't so much confused as they were shackled to the Rick Berman dictum that audiences should be able to tune in to any episode and be able to understand what was going on. Berman had a brobdingnagian hate-on for the way the DS9 team was doing things at the time.

The leitmotif for Voyager seemed to be "great ideas, but never following through on those ideas in any meaningful way." It's frustrating how often Voyager episodes seem to have the kernel of an interesting story, but the plot unfolds in the most contrived fashion to ensure that the characters never learn or grow or change the status quo in a way that would affect future episodes. That would mean that it could maybe potentially alienate first-time viewers!
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:27 am

Büge wrote:The leitmotif for Voyager seemed to be "great ideas, but never following through on those ideas in any meaningful way." It's frustrating how often Voyager episodes seem to have the kernel of an interesting story, but the plot unfolds in the most contrived fashion to ensure that the characters never learn or grow or change the status quo in a way that would affect future episodes. That would mean that it could maybe potentially alienate first-time viewers!

Yeah, for sure if Voyager could have committed to some of its bolder ideas it would have been a very different show.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Büge » Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:08 pm

They did that, though. It was called Battlestar Galactica.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:31 pm

Büge wrote:They did that, though. It was called Battlestar Galactica.

Who knows? Maybe it's in the remaining 75!
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Upthorn » Mon Jul 08, 2024 4:27 pm

I can confirm that Battlestar Galactica (2003) is not a better show than Voyager.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 08, 2024 7:35 pm

I confess I never watched it - wasn't the deal with BSG that it came out of the gate incredibly strong, but when it was halfway down the road they ran off into a ditch?
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Friday » Tue Jul 09, 2024 8:48 am

75. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air



So, I'm white. I was forcefed all the standard lies that white people are fed. Some of these lies are also fed to non-white Americans, but not all. That list of lies is so incredibly long as to be out of the scope of this thread, but here are some of them that I was fed and believed (for a long time, often into my 30s) because I was a child:

1. Christopher Columbus was a super cool explorer dude and didn't do any genocide and slaving and raping
2. Mexicans are lazy
3. The Police are our friends
4. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans had some tension at first but then got along in happiness forever
5. Black people are criminals

(Random aside: I know, factually, that I still believe some of these lies I was fed. Not the above ones, or any that I'm aware are lies, but others that I just swallowed and have never given a second thought to. This bothers me a lot and whenever I can I try to challenge things I have known to be "true" since I was a kid, but I know I'll never purge them all, there are simply too many.)

Guess what was the first show to (very slightly) open my eyes to Black American issues?



You know how people say that Black people have been telling us for decades that the Police are trigger happy murder morons and it's only just now that White people are sort of kind of waking up to that fact because the cops have gotten so fucking out of hand that their bloodlust is now also spilling over to killing white people too?

Yeah, they were telling us that long, long before that clip was filmed in the 90s. Hell, I would not be at all surprised if they've been telling us that since the invention of the police, and by the way, they absolutely have.

Anyway, Fresh Prince is a good show. Shredder makes his live action debut here as Uncle Phil and is by far the best character. Carlton is iconic for both being goofy but also wholesome and genuine. Hillary is an idiot, but a lovable one. Geoffrey is the king of both class and snark. Will is the classic fish out of water, a street rat from Philly suddenly thrust into an upper class lifestyle.

Fresh Prince was part of a wave of "Black prosperity" TV shows that were on the air in the 80s and 90s, and while there are some issues with that, it's also okay that not all Black Media has to be about the struggle. And uh. Fresh Prince wasn't not about the struggle.

Carlton's encounter with another Black man who sees him as "not a real Black man, just a sellout" is another great scene. I won't go too far into this, as Black community issues are basically entirely out of my purview as a white person, but let's just say that Black people getting down on other Black people for being "too white" is absolutely a real issue that Black people (especially those from the upper class) face to this day. As Carlton puts it so well, we're all running the same race and jumping the same hurdles, so why are you tripping me up?

Will's scene where he lets his emotions out to Uncle Phil about his deadbeat dad is probably Will's best acting he's ever done.

Don't get me wrong. The show is, for the most part, lighthearted 90s sitcom nonsense. But I wouldn't put it up this high on the list if it didn't have some real bite to it. But it's also this low on the list because, well, as I've established earlier, I'm just not that brobdingnagian of fan of the traditional sitcom. Though it's certainly better than the bad 75% of Home Improvement.

They did a remake called Bel-Air in 2022, which is a serious dramatic reimagining of the plot. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's very good and it's on my list to see soon.

Do I recommend this show:
Yeah, I do. James Avery is always amazing and the show has some real shit. The 90s sitcom stuff is alright, neither good nor bad. Most of the plots are about how Will doesn't fit in with the life he finds himself in.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Mongrel » Tue Jul 09, 2024 12:16 pm

Friday wrote:Yeah, they were telling us that long, long before that clip was filmed in the 90s. Hell, I would not be at all surprised if they've been telling us that since the invention of the police, and by the way, they absolutely have.

It sure generates some emotions to listen to songs which said the exact same thing, a full hundred years ago.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby KingRoyal » Tue Jul 09, 2024 12:27 pm

Mongrel wrote:I confess I never watched it - wasn't the deal with BSG that it came out of the gate incredibly strong, but when it was halfway down the road they ran off into a ditch?


The thing about BSG is that it manages to strike this weird balance of Good Ideas vs Stupid Ideas that stays in perfect harmony until the shows conclusion. At no point does any season ever tip one way or the other, you'll just have good plot and storylines that also has to weave in bad plots and storylines until the finale. It's a remarkable piece of television in that regard, in that looking back I still think it's a pretty good show but boy is there some dumb stuff in there.

The highest praise I can give it is that Disney just ripped off one of the episodes plots wholesale for The Last Jedi, the only good one out of the Disney trilogy
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Upthorn » Tue Jul 09, 2024 5:40 pm

I mean, the other thing about BSG is that it was produced during the years following 9/11 when all TV everywhere was like "what if torturing and raping war prisoners was the only way to keep us safe from terrorism?"
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Classic » Tue Jul 09, 2024 6:15 pm

I gave up on BSG, but this summary of the later seasons stuck with me:
Seasons 4 + 5 or whatever are interested in explaining the disposition and showing the way the "people on the ground" react to the US's "war on terror". The leads of BSG become various styles of occupied people trying to deal with a barely-restrained malicious force, considering you not-so-subtly inferior and interested only in extracting wealth from the place where you live. So... That sounded really neat and cool. But not enough that I could work up the will to actually watch it.

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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Upthorn » Tue Jul 09, 2024 9:28 pm

Man, if it had gotten that across in practice, I would have a huge amount of respect for the show. Instead it got lost in terribly executed "but what if is God?" navel gazing.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Friday » Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:43 am

74. Orange is the New Black (s1, part of season 2)



"Hey, sir, I've got an idea for a show."

"Okay hit me but I've got lunch in 5 so make it quick."

"Okay so we're going to do a show about systemically oppressed queer, pocs, and queer poc women prisoners."

"You're fired."

"No no, wait. Hear me out. We'll make the main character white, and a guppy, and also she's bi and her ex is in prison with her so we can constantly tease the "will they or won't they have hot steamy lesbian sex" so that a shitload of basic bitch white guys will watch the show. Also Janeway."

And thus, Orange is the New Black was born.

Piper, the main character, is so goddamn boring and irritating. Seriously her arc is "will she have lesbian sex with Donna from that 70s show, who plays her abusive manipulative ex."

Luckily, aside from those two, every other character is great. Kate Mulgrew is amazing as always, but the real highlight is on all the supporting cast. Each and every one of them is twenty times the character that Piper is. I won't get into them because learning their backstories and why they're in prison is a brobdingnagian part of the show.

The show also correctly portrays just how fucked and corrupt prison guards are. Like, it's bad folks. It's real bad. Real, real bad. Pornstache is a great name for a that fucking shithead though.

Overall, a VERY solid show that touches on a lot of important issues that is dragged down to the magmatic center of the planet by it's insufferable lead. I'm not blaming the actress, mind you. And to an extent I get that she's supposed to be annoying and shitty and learn and grow and become a better person. And maybe she does in the later seasons, but she didn't learn fast enough for me and I could not stand it anymore and quit mid-way or so through s2.

DOTA ASIDE: Laura Prepon (Donna from that 70s show) was a scientologist but quit in 2016.

Do I recommend this show:
Despite quitting, I do. I suspect most of your tolerances for a white guppy idiot lead are going to be higher than mine, and the rest of the cast is top notch. Plus the issues that it portrays about how fucked up and genuinely stupid our prison system is are important.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Friday » Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:54 am

73. Rugrats



The gold standard of children's programming.

Chuckie.

Do I recommend this show:
Sorry, not a lot to say here. It's a very basic show. But it stands above other similar shows aimed at very younger kids for a good reason. So like, it's not really FOR you as a cynical adult who watches Mad Men or whatever. But I'll still recommend it based solely on its quality.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Friday » Wed Jul 10, 2024 1:42 pm

72. Sherlock (2010–2017)



Starring Battlefield Counterstrike and Bilbo, Sherlock is an often derided modern remake of everyone's favorite drug addict. I mean the one who's a detective, not a doctor.

And why is Sherlock so derided? Well, it's sort of bad. Actually it's pretty bad. Actually it's kind of just bad.

This becomes very apparent as the seasons progress. You can tell that the writers were just, like, making random-ass shit up. Not to the degree of Lost, which I quit midway through season 2 when it became obvious that there was no forethought or plan, but yeah. The whole arc of Sherlock season 4 is so dumb as to invite comparisons with that other show that had a bad final season, but unlike that other show, a lot of the earlier stuff is fucking bad too.

Man, whatever. It's a fun show.

Listen, I personally think that the acting is enough to redeem the bad writing and nonsense plots. Bandersnatch Snickersnack is a great actor, and Martin Freeman is actually even better as Watson imo. Plus you've got the supporting cast which are all great too. I don't care that the plots are silly and dumb as long as I get Watson sniping at Sherlock for being a fucking freak.

That's basically it. The detective stuff bores me to tears, and the solutions (I am SHERlocked) are dumb as hell. But the character moments are all great. Even the cop that Sherlock works with is great. Mary is great too. Moriarty is such a weird take on the character, but it sort of works. Instead of a sinister mastermind you get a guy who just likes causing havoc and misery because he's just that much of a sadistic asshole.

Honestly one of my favorite characters is Sherlock's brother, Mycroft. Mark Gatiss plays him with such absolute disdain for everyone and everything that you can't help but feel a kinship with him if you're an arrogant hater of humanity like me.

Fun fact: this show invented the "show the text on the screen without using a cutaway" when people text on their phones. Up till that point whenever a character would text they'd always show a close up and it was super awkward and distracting.

Do I recommend this show:
Sherlock is the type of show that can sometimes bug legit smart people. It's a "smart show" for normies. But it's still fun, so if you can sit down with that in mind, you can find a lot worse ways to spend your time. Skip season 4 though, it's not worth it. God the whole fucking thing is like a bad fanfic written by a tween, it's that bad.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Niku » Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:59 pm

RUNS IN PANTING AND SWEATING



(i also enjoyed sherlock up until i did not)
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby KingRoyal » Wed Jul 10, 2024 6:20 pm

Sherlock played themselves by having 2 hour long episodes. 30 minutes of a bad TV show is just 30 minutes. Having a third of your season be "Hound of the Baskervilles" or that one that had a bunch of weird Orientalism in it.

Even those bad episodes aside, worst moment for me was when the cliffhanger where Sherlock dies was resolved by calling the audience a bunch of pedantic nerds if they expected the writers to come up with an answer for how the main character cheats death
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Friday » Thu Jul 11, 2024 10:00 am

71. The Sopranos



So, this might be the spiciest placement on this whole list. I'm certain most people in the rest of the world (don't know about how people feel here) would be pretty angry to see this show so low. I imagine they'd put it in their top 20, or even top 10. Seeing it in only the third tier, down with all the rest of the shows here, is probably going to make people think I've got shit taste.

Normally, when I'm compiling these lists, I don't really care where shows end up within the tiers. With the exception of the top ten, all shows within the same ten block are basically equal to me. I first gather a master list of shows and then go through them, sorting them into tiers. The order in which they end up in those tiers is completely arbitrary. I might move something around if I want to segue directly from one show to another to make a point or whatever, but generally it's random.

Not so with The Sopranos. I put it last in this tier intentionally. I wanted to talk about it relation to the other shows in this tier (and below it) and I can't do that if I haven't talked about those other shows yet.

So, what the fuck is The Sopranos doing down here with fucking Rugrats? With fucking 90s Spider-Man, Voyager and My Little Pony?

Am I saying that The Sopranos isn't better than all those shows?

Absolutely not. The Sopranos is better than everything in this tier. It's also better than a ton of stuff that's yet to be discussed, in the higher tiers.

But this is not a thread/list about "better." It's not a ranking of the "best." It's about what I, Friday, like personally.

I can appreciate that The Sopranos is one of the best TV shows ever made. If this WAS a list of shows I considered "best", then it absolutely would be top 20, and probably top 10. I'm not an idiot, I usually know incredible quality when I see it.

But I don't like the Sopranos, for one very important reason.

There's no good guys on the show.

That's it. One very simple reason. There are absolutely no heroic or even semi-heroic characters on the show. Just villains, and their victims.

I'm not saying there's nobody who is good on the show. The phrase "good guys" is slightly misleading. Some of the characters are nominally "good" in that they are just everyday people. But they're not anyone you can root for. They're either victims, or cops. And I ain't gonna root for fucking cops.

There are degrees of evil, of course. Some of the pieces of shit that this show delves into are worse or better when compared to others. But they are all, without exception, evil. I don't want to see any of them succeed. Doctor Melfi, Tony's therapist, might be claimed as a heroic character you could root for to "fix" Tony and indirectly make the world a better place, but nope. She's just another one of his victims. He's not really trying to become a better person with her. He's just using her. To get his anxiety under control so he can become a better criminal, a better murderer, a better evil person who does evil things. Melfi, to her credit, does eventually realize this and walks away.

The Sopranos is a watershed moment in TV history. Debate goes on as to when we entered the "golden age" of TV, but if it didn't start before The Sopranos, it definitely started with it. The level of technical filmcraft on display, the acting by James Gandolfini (RIP) and everyone else in the show, the quality of the writing and dialog, everything was on a whole other level. You wouldn't see another show with that incredible high level of nuance and quality until, well, no spoilers.

There's a scene in The Sopranos that I consider the best. Tony's wife, Carmela, played with impeccable skill by Edie Falco, has gone to a therapist of her own due to the issues Tony has had for a long time:



The "How's that going?" from this scene might be the hardest hitting line in the history of video media.

Carmela does leave Tony for a while, but eventually decides to go back to him, because she has grown so accustomed to the wealth her station as a mob boss's wife has afforded her. She takes the blood money, in a very literal sense, and thus proves that she is an amoral character.

No one to root for. Just hard realism and the nature of the human soul in the face of greed and luxury.

I could go on for ten pages about the themes and arcs of this show. There is a lot to discuss about The Sopranos. I am in the minority that actually liked the ending, a lot. I understood it, for one. I think most people were too stupid, too in need of hand holding, too in need of those annoying flashbacks that overexplain shit that they put in shows to understand why a sudden cut to black was, in the end, the absolute best way the show could have possibly ended.

For me, that hard cut to black was the most satisfying thing in the whole show. I'm not heartless, and I feel for the others, but yeah.

Do I recommend this show:
Hardest yes in the thread so far. But be warned: There are no heroes here. Only shades of black.
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Re: Friday's Favorite 100 Longform Video Media

Postby Friday » Thu Jul 11, 2024 10:11 am

Niku wrote:RUNS IN PANTING AND SWEATING



DISCLAIMER: hbomb is a shining paragon of a human being and a video essayist. I love him. He's one of the best examples of a content creator possible. S++ human being all the way.

I've watched that before, several years ago, and at the risk of having hbomberguy make a 3 hour video detailing everything I've ever copied in my life, FUCKING AQUAMAN, I am gonna go ahead an disagree with his video here.

I mean, he doesn't say anything wrong. Everything he says, that I can remember (I'm not watching that video again) was correct.

It's just, well, it's basically a video listing everything wrong with Sherlock. He glosses over most of the fun stuff, or just doesn't mention it at all. Sure, Moriarty's actions don't make any sense, and simply writing it off as "he's a lunatic" is lazy. But like, he's still fun to watch. And not because he can "do anything at any time because he's crazy" but just because he's a fun character. But like, yeah, it's shitty that they coded him gay, and it's shitty that his actions don't make any logical sense.

You can hate Sherlock and think it's garbage, hbomberguy. I mean, it is. But I can recognize garbage media and still enjoy it if it's fun. There's nothing wrong with you if you can't, and there's nothing wrong with you if you can. But I do think this excellent 3 hour video does paint a very (completely accurate) one-sided picture of the show. Sure, that side is a brobdingnagian part of the show, and nothing you say was wrong. But I'll take my joy from what I can.

Except season 4, which is just like, holy shit. I do have some standards.
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