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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

I just wanna say: I'm sure everyone's bored of hearing things described as "gritty" all the damn time, but one of the most pleasant surprises about Daredevil is that Matt Murdock is almost constantly smiling. It's nice.

Disclaimer: if you dislike the tone of a post I make, re-read it in a North/East London accent until it sounds sufficiently playful smile

Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

Gritty might be a poor term, but if I say "realistic" I don't think it quite carries over my meaning. I love Murdock and his attitude, as well as the fact that he is willing to put himself in harms way, and get hurt really badly but still does it. I love the fact that he knows he can get hurt, and tries to protect those around him but struggles to do right by everyone.

I don't know. Its a very character driven piece.

God loves you!

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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

"You said gritty city again".

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

fireproof78 wrote:

I don't think it quite carries over my meaning. I love Murdock and his attitude, as well as the fact that he is willing to put himself in harms way, and get hurt really badly but still does it.

Oh god, the second episode. Just how completely wrecked he was the entire way through it, and how destroyed and exhausted he was by the end of it, and then that fucking fight to cap it off. just to save that one kid. At the end of that episode I knew this show knew what it was doing. Absolutely fantastic.

I have a whole thing I want to write up for daredevil, but I'll say I have never seen the MCU do ANYTHING even remotely as character oriented as Daredevil. Everything about this series is 100% about the characters and what's happening to them, and what they are doing. The "super" aspect of this "superhero" show, is almost ancillary, most of the time you forget that there are superpowers involved. It's just a story about these people trying to make it fucking work. Even when Matt is Daredevil, he's not invulnerable, he's not some demigod, he's just a guy trying to figure out what's right, and trying to make the world a bit better. And getting the ever living shit beat out of him along the way.

Daredevil also has easily the most rounded villain of the MCU. Fisk feels exactly as human and well rounded as every other character in this show. He just happens to be the bad guy.

Daredevil really really hit me hard. It's unlike anything I've seen from the Superhero thing up to now. And honestly kinda went a lot further than I thought they could with the genre.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2015-04-25 22:41:36)

ZangrethorDigital.ca
youtube.com/bigdamnartist

Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

redxavier wrote:

"You said gritty city again".

I need to buy a thesaurus...

God loves you!

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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

Sorry, it's not a criticism, it's a movie quote. I do that a lot.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Herc wrote:

I just wanna say: I'm sure everyone's bored of hearing things described as "gritty" all the damn time, but one of the most pleasant surprises about Daredevil is that Matt Murdock is almost constantly smiling. It's nice.

Did they show the baby turtles at all?

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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redxavier wrote:

Sorry, it's not a criticism, it's a movie quote. I do that a lot.

Oh, I didn't realize. Not a movie quote I recognize...:)

God loves you!

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It's pretty obscure in retrospect. It's from Three Kings (which hopefully we'll have voted in as a FIYH movie club choice sometime), and the response in the movie is something like "who gives a shit these people are dying!"

Most people remember song lyrics, I remember movie lines (but not lyrics, I'm hopeless with them).

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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I usually remember film lines too, but I actually never saw Three Kings so I missed it.

Actually, I have a lot of Red vs. Blue memorized too (as well as all of Emperor's New Groove) but not everyone knows them so I just laugh to myself wink

God loves you!

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Orphan Black season 3!
Allison is consistently the most joyfully entertaining aspect of Orphan Black. Don't get me wrong, I love the rest of the show and characters, but Allison/Donnie, Allison/Felix, Allison/whoever is the best. I genuinely would watch an Allison spin-off. For serious.

To be honest, I would also watch a spin-off which was nothing but Helena reviewing food.

God damn, Tatiana Maslany is so fucking good.

Disclaimer: if you dislike the tone of a post I make, re-read it in a North/East London accent until it sounds sufficiently playful smile

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Orphan Black is stellar.  Allison is reliably hilarious.

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Anyone watching HUMANS?

Robots are domestic servants, a British re-make of a Swedish series.
I watched the first six episodes, but ready to bail out.
None of the characters pass the PLINKETT test. The entire main family mopes about incessantly.
There's a rogue sentient robot sub-plot that's been done better in Blade Runner. Episode after episode, we're only drip-fed the back-story.
Is it just another allegory for slavery or discrimination? Even worse, I can easily see this descending into standard soap tropes.
On the plus side, some of the actors playing robots look reasonably convincing - almost in the uncanny valley.

There's so much that could be explored, but this series pulls its punches. It doesn't have the budget for world-building (the impact on the economy would be huge). The rules on what the robots are and aren't capable of aren't clear.

Awaiting the American remake of the British remake of the Swedish series...

http://www.writingtimes.co.uk/Websites/writingtimes/images/Humans-la-nueva-apuesta-de-AMC-image.jpg

And just like that...

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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

avatar wrote:

Anyone watching HUMANS?

Robots are domestic servants, a British re-make of a Swedish series.
I watched the first six episodes, but ready to bail out.
None of the characters pass the PLINKETT test. The entire main family mopes about incessantly.
There's a rogue sentient robot sub-plot that's been done better in Blade Runner. Episode after episode, we're only drip-fed the back-story.
Is it just another allegory for slavery or discrimination? Even worse, I can easily see this descending into standard soap tropes.
On the plus side, some of the actors playing robots look reasonably convincing - almost in the uncanny valley.

There's so much that could be explored, but this series pulls its punches. It doesn't have the budget for world-building (the impact on the economy would be huge). The rules on what the robots are and aren't capable of aren't clear.

Awaiting the American remake of the British remake of the Swedish series...

Third time is the charm?

God loves you!

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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

Nine episodes into Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and I'm in love.

It's a bonafide musical TV show—at least two original songs per episode—that absolutely no one is watching because it airs on the CW, and it's brilliant. Rachel Bloom, the uber-talented savant behind it all, is the showrunner, star, and writes all the songs, which would be impressive even if the show weren't that great. But it's actually a really funny, often very poignant black comedy about relationships and mental illness (the latter of which I'm told gets an even better treatment in subsequent seasons).

And the songs are FAN-fucking-TASTIC. All kinds of different genres, witty lyrics, and insanely impressive choreography. AND THERE'S TWO A WEEK.

Seriously, just watch this shit, then remember that "City of Stars" won an Oscar and weep.




First two seasons are on Netflix. Run don't walk.

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2018-01-11 19:26:51)

Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

0:44 into 'Settle For Me,' and I'm already with you on putting this above 'City of Stars.'

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

To be fair, I'd put basically any song written in the last fifty years above City of Stars.

Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

2:10, if the timecode link doesn't work.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Not sure if that's good or bad but I'll take it. tongue

Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

I guess it's not worth a new thread...

Season 11 of The X-Files is halfway through.

SPOILER Show
Out of the six aired episodes, only the comedic one ("The Lost Art Of Forehead Sweat") stands out (a similar thing happened with Season 10's "Mulder And Scully Meet The Were-Monster" written by the same guy). The episode works only because it admits that the show's signature tropes DO NOT WORK in the modern era. It seems like conspiracy theories have ultimately jumped he shark soon after 9/11, at least for the average viewer (those batshit crazy people with tinfoil hats on their heads don't count). We've noticed that they're too ridiculous to be used even as light entertainment.

A question for our resident screenwriting buffs: do you think the show had a chance of working well in 2018? Could it be salvaged by making some changes? I haven't been able to figure this out on my own. Any ideas?

We all float down here...

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MartyJ wrote:

A question for our resident screenwriting buffs: do you think the show had a chance of working well in 2018? Could it be salvaged by making some changes? I haven't been able to figure this out. Any ideas?

Hm.

I think the problem is less about the X-ness of these here Files, and more about the intended fantasy of them.

It boils down to an A-meets-B problem, where A is your topic and B is your genre; where A is your thematic setup and B is your thematic payoff. The need to keep major secrets from the public will always have a place in the culture, and from this we can assume paranoia and conspiracy-theorizing aren't going anywhere. For lack of a better word, we'll call that particular topic 'conspiranoia' — and conspiranoia is a super-solid thematic setup; it speaks to human nature, it's a part of us. Thus, 'secret powerful operations that must be happening in the background' stories will always be eligible for being taken seriously — if it's not James Bond, it's Bridge of Spies, or Men in Black, or All the President's Men, or Independence Day, or Ocean's 11 [think about it], or Citizenfour, or any of a hundred documentaries about classified ops or UFO sightings — because people love big complex secret truths hidden from everyday life. Conspiranoia is an itch the audience is permanently willing to scratch; what may not be permanent is any cultural interest in scratching conspiranoia with monster-of-the-week magic in particular.

"Where The X-Files gets into trouble," Teague said authoritatively, like an asshole, having never watched The X-Files, "is connecting serious conspiranoia thematic setups to magic monster-of-the-week thematic payoffs."

You can land on monster-of-the-week magic by way of any number of different genre setups, you don't have to use conspiranoia to get there: Buffy gets there by way of dramedy, Ghostbusters and Men in Black get there by way of comedy, and if you're willing to swap 'secret alien shit' for 'secret supernatural shit,' Indiana Jones gets there by way of adventure. But getting to monster-of-the-week magic by way of conspiranoia is trickier, because conspiranoia takes itself a little more seriously than those other thematic settings do — after all, another way of describing conspiranoia would be 'revealing the secret reality that's even more representative of how the world actually works, mannn.' It's inherently a topic with high standards for plausibility; audiences of any given random zeitgeist might be willing to roll with inherently silly payoffs to inherently serious setups, but that's a function of the escapism and whimsy of the zeitgeist at the moment, not audiences in general. In the nineties, we seem to have been pretty willing to roll with it — or perhaps it wasn't the nineties, it was Gen X. Whatever.

Basically, I think what happened is 9/11 advanced the zeitgeist and made silly premises look sillier.

Modern audiences are still quite willing to engage in stories about whimsical escapist cartoonish shit — oh my christ don't get me started on Marvel and Star Wars — but our standards have shifted greatly: escapism currently works if the pay-off is a lot less magical than The X-Files, e.g. The Dark Knight trilogy, or if the setup is a lot more fun than The X-Files, e.g. Marvel and Star Wars. In this way, X-Files suffers because its serious setup is a mismatch for its escapist pay-off. (It's also possible to have the opposite problem — and if you've come this far without wondering where DC might fit into this theory, you're going to enjoy the thought you're now having.)

I think the problem X-Files faces with modern audiences is that modern audiences are perfectly willing to sit through your thematic setup about humongous secrets the government has been keeping, but we also expect those setups to pay-off with plausible reveals, because we've been hearing a lot about humongous government secrets lately and the subject doesn't seem remote and escapist to us like it did in the nineties. In this atmosphere, with this audience, it's way harder for a story to follow its conspiranoia setup with a pay-off that feels monster-of-the-weekish, rather than feeling journalistic or gritty; equivalently, it's way easier for a story to take the form of a monster-of-the-week fantasy so long as the setup feels escapist. It's only when you take something that no longer feels like escapism and try to turn it into a fun genre story that you hit a disconnect.

Following from all this theorizing, it would seem X-Files has some meaningful options: it can drop the serious conspiranoia and become 'more fun' (tonally: Buffy, Agents of Shield, Men in Black), or it can drop the escapist fantasy and become 'more serious' (tonally: Bridge of Spies, Citizenfour, All the President's Men). If both sides of this spectrum are untenable, as I imagine they would be — I mean, at a certain point it just ceases to be The X-Files, y'know? — is there anything they can do to appease modern audiences? Can any show like this appease modern audiences? Sure: Fringe. Fringe skates with modern audiences because it anchors so much of its fantastical monster-of-the-week shit with explicit magic beans in the universe, rather than some hazy sense that the truth could be anything. Perhaps X-Files could skate just as well, if they were to drop the conspiranoia thematic setup and follow Fringe's lead with an escapist setup modern audiences are far more tolerant of: sci-fi.

Here's your high-concept pitch for a workable X-Files reboot: 'Fringe at Area 51.'

...but so long as we're throwing everything out anyway, I'd rather explore 'The West Wing at Area 51,' myself.

tl;dr — I think X-Files is out of fashion. It may become workable again once the world gets less scary.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Altered Carbon.

It's a cyberpunk sort of detective show, about the future(obviously). People have disc sort of things embedded in their spines at 1 years old, which records their consciousness, and upon death, they're able to put it all into a new body, or sleeve, as they call it. It enables immortality, basically.

The premise of the show is a hitman of old being dead for 250 years, being resurrected to investigate the murder of a multi-billionare, and a few episodes in, I'm loving it. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good, and I love me some cyberpunk.

Available on Netflix.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2018-02-08 22:11:54)

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: What Are You Watching - TV Edition

Good analysis. That's why I love DiF so fucking much  smile

Teague wrote:

"Where The X-Files gets into trouble," Teague said authoritatively, like an asshole, having never watched The X-Files, "is connecting serious conspiranoia thematic setups to magic monster-of-the-week payoffs."

That may be a large part of the problem. The X-Files uses a huge Wonderland encompassing every "paranormal" phenomenon, conspiracy theory and urban legend from existing crackpot literature (I used to read a lot of that shit in the '90s) instead of one consistent Magic Bean. Mulder insists that all those "monster-of-the-week" cases are somehow connected, which makes it even worse. Maybe it's not even a setup and payoff problem, just a Wonderland that's simply too rich in various Magic Beans. Why has that never occurred to me before? I'm stupid.

Teague wrote:

once the world gets less scary

Yeah... A nostalgia filter for the '90s isn't necessary. They really WERE a simpler time in many respects.

We all float down here...

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I've been slowly chewing through Star Trek in its entirety. TOS, Next Gen, DS9, and I'm almost through the second season of Voyager. It's the second time I've done this, and it's taken me about a year and a half so far, with an episode here and there. This is the second time I've done the entire series, though I might not continue with voyager and might skip to Enterprise (which I've never actually watched at all).

My thoughts on the entire series are that TOS is fun, but wildly overrated as being the 'best' trek. The first four movies are solid, with 4 being mostly a guilty pleasure, but the show itself veered wildly between interesting, engaging scenarios and ludicrous nonsense. Next Gen is more consistent, but has a new problem that TOS never really had: some of the episodes are unwatchably dull and dry. DS9 might actually be my favorite Trek. It takes the entire notion of Trek and the Federation and examines it from a bunch of different angles. It questions how great the Federation actually is and challenges the notion that it's a peaceful, harmonious organization. Lots of interesting subversions going on, and it deals with a lot of interesting backstory for the universe and the federation in general. Really interesting show, though the last season feels really fucking rushed and cluttered and lets the series down, IMO. It would have been amazing to have seen the last season's arcs get spread out a bit more over a couple additional seasons, but I think they were forced to end the run earlier than they wanted.

Voyager... I dislike it, but there's a good episode every once in a while. Like, it'll be OK for an episode, then kinda bad for a couple episodes, and then there will be just a fucking miserably stupid episode that ruins everything about Star Trek, but then it'll do something really clever and interesting and engaging, and I'll think to myself "eh, this isn't so bad...". But I just finished the episode where Tom Paris goes to warp 10 and turns into a salamander and then kidnaps and breeds with the captain. It's maybe the worst episode of star trek ever. Voyager is a terrible Trek show, and it annoys me that it lasted as long as it did, and it annoys me that the only reason it lasted so long was by adding mecha-boob-lady in the third or fourth season.

I've never seen Enterprise. Is it worth watching, or should I cut my losses and end this cycle of self-torture that is Star Trek?

Side-note: I didn't watch any of the Next Gen movies because they are all terrible, without exception.

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Squiggly_P wrote:

I've never seen Enterprise. Is it worth watching, or should I cut my losses and end this cycle of self-torture that is Star Trek?

Seasons 1 and 2 are pretty awful. Season 3 is a small improvement. Most of Season 4 is good - they finally remembered that it's a prequel to Star Trek and started having fun with it (the new Season 4 approach reminded me of Stargate SG-1 a little bit).

We all float down here...

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