The Television Thread

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ThatDarnMKS
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun May 19, 2019 6:38 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:32 pm
Perish the thought!



Fair enough. I don't think you're out to lunch or anything. Clearly I just don't have any faith in Benioff and Weiss.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Sun May 19, 2019 8:10 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:38 pm
They wrote "Flowers for Charlie." For that alone, I bend the knee.
Didn't know that. *sign of the cross* Te absolvo.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sun May 19, 2019 9:29 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 5:20 pm
A total heel turn absolves people of their prior support of Dany's project, giving them room to say, "If only she wouldn't have turned heel here, it would've been fine." It doesn't underline the horrific consequences of conquest that don't hinge on crazy, bloodthirsty acts of malevolence. Lastly, it has nothing to do with ideals and everything to do with basic instrumental reasoning to say that any appeal to the calculation of rule by fear founders on the precedent of Dany's father. "Recent events make me nervous that my subs will overthrow me. Better lean into the crazy stuff that got my dad assassinated by his subs!"
I think part of the problem in talking about it is people say, “It wasn’t built up well because it doesn’t jive with her previous actions...” and then the defenders jump in. However, there’s also a second part: “...and because it doesn’t jive with history or her previous actions, it avoids all of the thematically interesting elements at play which have been built up for 8 seasons.” If we look at the true monsters of history, we don’t have one person reaching one point where they singlehandedly jump on the back of a real-life-dragon-equivalent and do damage. Hitler institutionalized ethnic genocide. The Mongols institutionalized the destruction of civilizations. ISIS institutionalized religious genocide. Dany’s father institutionalized the preparation of the city for destruction by fire. Dany has a bad day at the office? What is the point of having 8 seasons only to warn us about the equivalent of a very powerful person going postal one day? It makes no sense. It makes no sense because if Dany is to turn true Mad Queen, she would have truly tuned up the tools of madness to do her bidding on an institutional level, which would have both given a conceete signifier of her dedication to fear and aligned with reality and history. In effect, Dany is reduced to making a brash decision without using any of the numerous military or bureaucratic powers she wields to fully carry out her intentions. Without her dragon, what would she do? Run around with a torch? The dragons’ omnipotence extends even to have the power to reveal lazy, insipid writing.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon May 20, 2019 2:42 am

Well, the finale felt a bit metafictional. If they'd done this... War. If they did this... War. If they did this? No one is particularly happy which means it's probably a good compromise.

I'll be a champion for the Bells forever though. This is an okay epilogue but the show could have ended on that episode for all I care.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon May 20, 2019 3:08 am

As soon as it ended I was over it. Weird how that works. I don't want to hear any more fucking theories or fan speculation. I'm gonna wait for word of mouth before I bother to invest in the spin-offs too.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon May 20, 2019 3:52 am

I love that this last episode finally has Tyrion spell it out in crayon for Jon (and thereby the audience), that Dany was on the make the whole time.
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
Your own post said “out of character”, so assuming that your post was a reminder that even when people burn small parts of small cities in small countries no, they do not typically genocide the population then, yes, we agree that Cockburn does show that Dany’s behavior is not plausible.
So, it turns out we can, in fact, compare these cases?

And the point about Cockburn is that aberrations in war is itself normal. Cockburn went out of bounds of nineteenth century propriety when he burned the nation's capital and the Whitehouse. Walkers Rangers went well beyond the bounds when they entirely slaughtered the town of Huamantla. Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more than Dany did, in part, as a weapons test, in part, as a statement to the world (we have the biggest stick), and, in part, as payback. Contemplate this when you make lazy comparisons to ISIS.

In short, aberrations in war (war crimes) are also "normal" (in a population with an average height of five foot five, the most "abnormal" thing imaginable, would be to find that everyone in the population is exactly five foot five--Dany's turn within 1 standard deviation or so for behaviour in war). History records countless crimes of war by states and rules who claimed to know and do better. Would you say that these actual events are "not plausible" because they do not match the official rhetoric and more subdued norms of combat? Oh dear sweet summer child...
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
Since Dany’s governance is based on the Mongols who did genocide populations repeatedly and did destroy some of the world’s greatest cities brick by brick then they are a better comparison.


And the comparison works even better for my side of the case. What would a Khan have done in the face of the defiance of a Cersei who broke military commitments, destroyed invaluable military assets, and slaughtered a key advisor in his face?
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
They did it to conquer additional territory. Dany did not.


No. She did it for territory. She wants to rule the seven kingdoms. She sees it as her right.
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
Why is she different in this story from both Cockburn and from the Mongols her character is based on?


She isn't. She is just the latest in a long line of "liberators" who burn the old to make space for the new (or the "defender" who burns the new to preserve the old).
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
A plausible explanation is shitty writing.


D&D's writing of episodes is bad, but this is GRRM's plot. This is how Martin planned to end the story. You wanted her to be the hero. Some wanted Stannis to be the hero. They weren't. Dany was a well intentioned and idealistic narcissist (MKS is right about this).
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
Another plausible explanation is shitty writing due to shitty stereotypes of women.


Oh, for fuck's sake. It is not misogyny when a female character turns out to be a villain. She's a Targaryen. They are (men and women) half of them mad through incest and/or the "Will 'o the Gods." She's also been raised told that she was destined to rule. And like many men, she bought her own press.
LEAVES wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:55 am
Oh, and Dany is literally worse than ISIS in this story. Contemplate that.
Only in terms of body count. All great nations of the world are well ahead of ISIS in this regard. Strangely, I still prefer to see ISIS put the sword and civilization conserved. ISIS only has a body count and shitty ideology. What did the Romans ever do for us?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Bandy Greensacks » Mon May 20, 2019 4:37 am

D&D were hired to adapt a series of books, and they ran out of books.

That's really the gist of it.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon May 20, 2019 4:42 am

Bandy Greensacks wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:37 am
D&D were hired to adapt a series of books, and they ran out of books.

End of story.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Bandy Greensacks » Mon May 20, 2019 4:43 am

At least we won't have to ask that about the new Star Wars trilogy, because that series was ruined a long time ago.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon May 20, 2019 2:13 pm

Bandy Greensacks wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:37 am
D&D were hired to adapt a series of books, and they ran out of books.

That's really the gist of it.
I think it actually is. I think the two were given certain assurances from Martin or were somehow convinced that he'd be done with plenty of time to spare. I think they saw it as a sandbagging or betrayal of sorts and figured that the stink would ultimately be his and said "fuck it". Not that they might not actually suck but I think it was a no win situation for them.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 20, 2019 5:14 pm

Ok, saw this last night. Haven't been able to share my thoughts here and I kinda wanted to jump in without reading your reactions, but I'm also a bit adamant to write anything because of the animosity, for lack of a better word, that most people have about this last season; whether it's here or on Twitter or on any social media... but what the heck.

I was... disappointed, to say the least. Not only because I think the episode just furthered the notion that the writers had fell short of the task they had taken, or because I think there were too many subplots that were presented as key or relevant that ended up being ultimately pointless, but mostly because I think it was a poorly executed episode, overall. From poorly executed scenes or weak/bad dialogue to some directorial decisions or the overall feeling of how it all played out. I'm struggling to find out things I liked from the episode, but I'll shoot out some: the tragic notion that the realm will get back to the same banality and mundane affairs, highlighted by the final Tyrion scene with the Small Council, the scene where Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei, and that shot of Daenerys walking towards the crowd with the dragon wings behind... and that's... about it.

I found the rest (most!) of the episode stumbling between blandness and dullness, and just pure mediocrity. From small things like the aforementioned scene of Daenerys unmounting Drogon to address her army all dressed in black (talk about hammering the theme, has she ever worn black?) to even big crucial scenes that you would expect to be fairly powerful, like Jon and Dany's final scene, it all felt just bland and stale. And that "crucial" scene with all the lords meeting to decide the fate of the kingdom, the way it played out didn't make sense at all. They're bringing Tyrion (a prisoner), but all of a sudden, he's nominating the king? And by the way, his speech about Bran being their "memory" and the stories and whatnot, my Gawd, that was one of the lousiest speeches ever written on the show. And if it were the only thing, but we also had Sam "inventing" democracy much to the laughter of the others (har-har-har! see what we did there?). Clumsy and stupid scene.

Finally, there's the issue of how utterly pointless a lot of things ended up being... Jon was killed and brought back from the dead, so what? Jon is the true heir to the throne, so what? Varys sent ravens telling everybody about it, so what? Bran spent 1-2 seasons training to be the Three-Eyed Raven, for what? He can warg into animals and people and move through space and time, for what? A lot of things that were presented as crucial, and in which they invested not only episodes, but seasons, ended up being completely pointless. I mean, this is not ambiguity or effective smokescreening, but wingin' it as far as storytelling goes. Dealing with storylines to present them to the audience in a relevant matter, staging cliffhangers based on them, only to do nothing with them in the end. And if the point of everything was the tragedy that lineage or skills doesn't matter and that not always the "true" heir ends up getting the throne, then it was extremely poorly executed.

I know there'll probably be people who disagree here, but it was easily one of the worst series finale I've ever seen.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon May 20, 2019 5:25 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:14 pm
Ok, saw this last night. Haven't been able to share my thoughts here and I kinda wanted to jump in without reading your reactions, but I'm also a bit adamant to write anything because of the animosity, for lack of a better word, that most people have about this last season; whether it's here or on Twitter or on any social media... but what the heck.

I was... disappointed, to say the least. Not only because I think the episode just furthered the notion that the writers had fell short of the task they had taken, or because I think there were too many subplots that were presented as key or relevant that ended up being ultimately pointless, but mostly because I think it was a poorly executed episode, overall. From poorly executed scenes or weak/bad dialogue to some directorial decisions or the overall feeling of how it all played out. I'm struggling to find out things I liked from the episode, but I'll shoot out some: the tragic notion that the realm will get back to the same banality and mundane affairs, highlighted by the final Tyrion scene with the Small Council, the scene where Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei, and that shot of Daenerys walking towards the crowd with the dragon wings behind... and that's... about it.

I found the rest (most!) of the episode stumbling between blandness and dullness, and just pure mediocrity. From small things like the aforementioned scene of Daenerys unmounting Drogon to address her army all dressed in black (talk about hammering the theme, has she ever worn black?) to even big crucial scenes that you would expect to be fairly powerful, like Jon and Dany's final scene, it all felt just bland and stale. And that "crucial" scene with all the lords meeting to decide the fate of the kingdom, the way it played out didn't make sense at all. They're bringing Tyrion (a prisoner), but all of a sudden, he's nominating the king? And by the way, his speech about Bran being their "memory" and the stories and whatnot, my Gawd, that was one of the lousiest speeches ever written on the show. And if it were the only thing, but we also had Sam "inventing" democracy much to the laughter of the others (har-har-har! see what we did there?). Clumsy and stupid scene.

Finally, there's the issue of how utterly pointless a lot of things ended up being... Jon was killed and brought back from the dead, so what? Jon is the true heir to the throne, so what? Varys sent ravens telling everybody about it, so what? Bran spent 1-2 seasons training to be the Three-Eyed Raven, for what? He can warg into animals and people and move through space and time, for what? A lot of things that were presented as crucial, and in which they invested not only episodes, but seasons, ended up being completely pointless. I mean, this is not ambiguity or effective smokescreening, but wingin' it as far as storytelling goes. Dealing with storylines to present them to the audience in a relevant matter, staging cliffhangers based on them, only to do nothing with them in the end. And if the point of everything was the tragedy that lineage or skills doesn't matter and that not always the "true" heir ends up getting the throne, then it was extremely poorly executed.

I know there'll probably be people who disagree here, but it was easily one of the worst series finale I've ever seen.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 20, 2019 5:34 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:25 pm
Have you seen Dexter or Sons of Anarchy?
Nope.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon May 20, 2019 5:44 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:34 pm
Nope.
Lost or Battlestar Galactica?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 20, 2019 5:49 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:44 pm
Lost or Battlestar Galactica?
Battlestar Galactica, no.

Lost, yes. And, although I think it's close as far as worst/most disappointing finale, I still think this was worse.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon May 20, 2019 5:59 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:49 pm
Battlestar Galactica, no.

Lost, yes. And, although I think it's close as far as worst/most disappointing finale, I still think this was worse.
What did Lost do better than GoT?

Also: Buffy? Oz? Damages?
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 20, 2019 6:03 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:59 pm
What did Lost do better than GoT?

Also: Buffy? Oz? Damages?
I think that the Lost finale was slightly better directed, and did manage to evoke some slightly better visuals. I felt the last shot of Jack's lying between the trees looking up, camera focusing on his eye, which goes back to the way the show started, felt poetic and evocative, regardless of the show's failures or how much I disliked the way the last 1 or 2 seasons unfolded. Was I satisfied? Not at all, but in a very close race of worst series finale, that's the bit of edge I give Lost.

Also, no Buffy, no Oz, no Damages here.

Let me know if these are shows I should catch up with, or shows I will be disappointed with so I don't waste my time here ;) :P
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon May 20, 2019 6:21 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:03 pm
I think that the Lost finale was slightly better directed, and did manage to evoke some slightly better visuals. I felt the last shot of Jack's lying between the trees looking up, camera focusing on his eye, which goes back to the way the show started, felt poetic and evocative, regardless of the show's failures or how much I disliked the way the last 1 or 2 seasons unfolded. Was I satisfied? Not at all, but in a very close race of worst series finale, that's the bit of edge I give Lost.

Also, no Buffy, no Oz, no Damages here.

Let me know if these are shows I should catch up with, or shows I will be disappointed with so I don't waste my time here ;) :P
Dexter and Sons end so poorly they're not worth going through. MAYBE Oz too but it's legacy as the first HBO drama makes it important and it's pulpy watchable. The others are good shows that end weakly but the journey is certainly worth the ride.

I would have put the final episode of GoT above all of those, including Lost. On your notes of direction, I found the first half to be very visually striking, with the walk through the ruins and Dany's wings. Both shows also have the circular ending as GoT started with the gate opening beyond the wall and the Watch going out into it. I liked that.

I also tried to keep it limited to dramas and shows that were at some point considered "good."

It is sad that I'm arguing that GoT finale isn't THAT bad rather than that it is good. I do think there's a great deal of hyperbole about the quality of the season and a push to discount technical merit as something that has minimal or superficial value and the finale is no different. It just happened to also be thoroughly mediocre. The kid who does just enough not to fail for the year.

"The Bells" still may be my favorite episode of the show.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon May 20, 2019 6:59 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:21 pm
Dexter and Sons end so poorly they're not worth going through. MAYBE Oz too but it's legacy as the first HBO drama makes it important and it's pulpy watchable. The others are good shows that end weakly but the journey is certainly worth the ride.

I would have put the final episode of GoT above all of those, including Lost. On your notes of direction, I found the first half to be very visually striking, with the walk through the ruins and Dany's wings. Both shows also have the circular ending as GoT started with the gate opening beyond the wall and the Watch going out into it. I liked that.

I also tried to keep it limited to dramas and shows that were at some point considered "good."

It is sad that I'm arguing that GoT finale isn't THAT bad rather than that it is good. I do think there's a great deal of hyperbole about the quality of the season and a push to discount technical merit as something that has minimal or superficial value and the finale is no different. It just happened to also be thoroughly mediocre. The kid who does just enough not to fail for the year.

"The Bells" still may be my favorite episode of the show.
I agree about some of the direction early in the scene, particularly Tyrion's long walk, the "zombie"-like guy that walks past them, Daenerys and her army within the ruins, etc. but it wasn't enough to sustain what was an otherwise mediocre (to put it mildly) episode.

As for the other shows, I don't think I ever considered watching SoA. My older brother, who led me to The Shield, recommended Damages to me at one point (Glenn Close connection), but I never picked up on it, and since it doesn't often come up in discussions, I haven't prioritized it. I might have considered Dexter at one point, but the reactions to the later seasons are so overwhelming that I think I'm over it. I think of that bunch, Battlestar Galactica might be the one I've considered more strongly, partly because I like sci-fi and also because I used to watch the original show when I was a kid. We'll see.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Mon May 20, 2019 9:36 pm

It's just hard for me to watch TV anymore, especially when there's a multiple-seasons investment. Part of it is the captioning work I do, but part of it is I literally struggle when I know something requires dozens of hours of time. Can't play long video games, can't read overlong books (though I'm trying, fuckin' Moby Dick, this Melville idiot), and watching something like The Shield does not seem appealing at all due purely to the time spent.
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The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 21, 2019 1:42 am

Thief wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:14 pm
Finally, there's the issue of how utterly pointless a lot of things ended up being... Jon was killed and brought back from the dead, so what? Jon is the true heir to the throne, so what? Varys sent ravens telling everybody about it, so what? Bran spent 1-2 seasons training to be the Three-Eyed Raven, for what? He can warg into animals and people and move through space and time, for what?
Subverting expectations!

There is a Reddit thread that compares Bran to the kid who does nothing to contribute on the group work project, but still winds up getting an A in the class. I hate Bran. He starts the war by climbing around where he isn't supposed to be. He mind rapes Hodor and fries his mind. As the three-eyed raven he becomes a mere expository device. We didn't need Bran to be our memory and tell stories. Old Nan was handling that just fine.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 21, 2019 2:08 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:36 pm
It's just hard for me to watch TV anymore, especially when there's a multiple-seasons investment. Part of it is the captioning work I do, but part of it is I literally struggle when I know something requires dozens of hours of time. Can't play long video games, can't read overlong books (though I'm trying, fuckin' Moby Dick, this Melville idiot), and watching something like The Shield does not seem appealing at all due purely to the time spent.
I get what you're saying and my TV watching has dropped tremendously post college and I find myself regretting investing that much time into a TV show when I could kill a half dozen movies in the same amount of time.

That said, the Shield is one of the most immensely watchable shows that's gratifying in all the ways TV can possibly be.

Aside from the ill advised Kid Rock montage in the first episode.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Tue May 21, 2019 2:35 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:36 pm
It's just hard for me to watch TV anymore, especially when there's a multiple-seasons investment. Part of it is the captioning work I do, but part of it is I literally struggle when I know something requires dozens of hours of time. Can't play long video games, can't read overlong books (though I'm trying, fuckin' Moby Dick, this Melville idiot), and watching something like The Shield does not seem appealing at all due purely to the time spent.
Dick came easy for me. All those little chapters with a handful of bigger bursts. I could knock off a couple of chapters a night and say "great job, you!" as I slapped the whale dust off my hands.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Tue May 21, 2019 3:32 am

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:35 am
Dick came easy for me. All those little chapters with a handful of bigger bursts. I could knock off a couple of chapters a night and say "great job, you!" as I slapped the whale dust off my hands.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Tue May 21, 2019 3:40 am

Thief wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:32 am
Image
Your gif fits in another sense. Melville's The Confidence Man: His Masquerade is a document closer to our times. And fewer people would be able to finish it.

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Rock » Tue May 21, 2019 4:17 am

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:40 am
Your gif fits in another sense. Melville's The Confidence Man: His Masquerade is a document closer to our times. And fewer people would be able to finish it.

No snorting coke out of assholes that I remember.
How about snorting coke out of whales' blowholes?

Also, I'm with DaMU. The amount of effort it takes me to get through even a single season makes it feel like work more than anything else, but I have no problem going through however many movies would take up the same amount of time.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Tue May 21, 2019 4:42 am

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:35 am
I could knock off a couple of chapters a night and say "great job, you!" as I slapped the whale dust off my hands.
Palm d'Ambergris.

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:40 am
Melville's The Confidence Man: His Masquerade is a document closer to our times. And fewer people would be able to finish it.
I finished it. 8-)

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:40 am
No snorting coke out of assholes that I remember.
More of a blowing into assholes, I think.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Tue May 21, 2019 4:47 am

I also agree with being phobic of long TV commitments. I'm dragging my feet on my film commitments as it is, and, TV?, I just don't love you like that.

It's always a lot of fun when a friend tries to woo you with some amazing new series of hyperemotional athletics (Lost in Space, most recently, where everybody cries and whines for some reason), but then caveat: "Now, you're going to want to stick it out through the first, oh, 8 or 9 hours, because that's just horrible, but, man oh man, you'll never see that twist coming." And they're probably right. I never will.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Tue May 21, 2019 5:20 am

Not to be so snobby in the TV thread. Y'all are fine.

Veep - Relatively strong finisher for the series. I've had the feeling all season, though, of running out of gas, with a number of characters falling into lazy self-parody. Probably the highlight was watching Amy morph into Kellyanne Conway. It was nice to see Gary again. A show like this requires one to embrace its cruelty. And I appreciate bringing back Sue, if only for a single slap of shade.

I felt that Andy Daly was underused, as he seems to be a perfect fit for the comedic style. Probably should have gotten on board several seasons earlier. Also Thomas Lennon, for a single scene, seems tailor-made for this brand. At least Matt Oberg excelled in his brief but effective capacity.

The show remains perhaps the finest sitcom of the decade, certainly the meanest and most sharply written, and after two or three rewatches of this season's episodes, you can still unearth a number of choice shrapnels which flew by the first time around.


Barry - As I pointed out last year, I thought that the premise for this show was utter horseshit. I stopped caring about the plight of hitmen around the same time John Cusack began shellacking his bald spot. Somewhat against any reasonable expectation, the show has proven to have its moments.

Bill Hader, the reliable mugster, decides to play it mostly straight, showing an ample pathos, and he also reveals a lot of writing and directing ("ronny/lili", guys) talent that suggests his contribution to Documentary Now is underappreciated, and Henry Winkler and Stephen Root give an all-in commitment.

The show does have some trouble balancing its theme of the trauma and guilt of violence with indulging in a lot of juvenile brutality. I assume the target audience for the latter is the intended recipient of this moral lesson, but it comes off as cake-eating at times. The balance between the show's humor and its epiphanies of self-delusion in other contexts is much more successful. Still, a show that really had no right to be this good, and I'm thankful that it is.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Bandy Greensacks » Tue May 21, 2019 7:18 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:44 pm
Lost or Battlestar Galactica?
You're not suggesting BSG's finale was worse than GoT's, right? That show was well written throughout its entire run.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 21, 2019 8:25 am

Bandy Greensacks wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:18 am
You're not suggesting BSG's finale was worse than GoT's, right? That show was well written throughout its entire run.
BSG was a great miniseries and "33" was a great episode. It went from tightly written, to straining, to silly. My satirical prediction was the show would go full goofball and reveal that the audience themselves were Cylons all along, and then RDM delivered.

One show was "boobs and dragons" (as Ian McShane put it). The other was "boobs and spaceships." The former, however, worked from better source material and produced a better show, until D&D ran out of source material.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Tue May 21, 2019 3:11 pm

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:35 am
Dick came easy for me.
;)
NOTE:
The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Stu » Tue May 21, 2019 6:34 pm

DaMU wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:11 pm
;)
Image
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 21, 2019 7:00 pm

From GRRM's blog.

The last night, the last show. After eight epic seasons, HBO’s GAME OF THRONES series has come to an end.

It is hard to believe it is over, if truth be told. The years have gone past in the blink of an eye. Can it really have been more than a decade since my manager Vince Gerardis set up a meeting at the Palm in LA, and I sat down for the first time with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for a lunch that lasted well past dinner? I asked them if they knew who Jon Snow’s mother was. Fortunately, they did.

That was how it started. It ended last night.

I had no clue, that afternoon at the Palm, that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life. I had optioned books and stories for television and film before. Some had even been made There was no way to know that this one was going to be different, that this pilot would not only be shot, but would go on to become the most successful show in the history of HBO, win a record number of Emmy Awards, become the most popular (and most pirated) show in the world, and transform a group of talented but largely unknown actors into major celebrities and stars. Even less did I imagine that I would somehow become a celebrity as well… and if truth be told, I’m still not sure how that happened.

It has been a wild ride, to say the least.

I want to thank people, but there are so many. There were forty-two cast members at the season eight premiere in New York City, and that wasn’t even all of them. And the crew, though less visible than the cast, were no less important. We had some amazing people working on this show, as all those Emmys bear witness. David & Dan assembled a championship team. The directors were incredible as well. I should start naming names, but then I’d miss someone, there were so many. But I do need to mention David Benioff, Dan Weiss, Bryan Cogman (the third head of the dragon, as I said in the recent VANITY FAIR piece about him), and of course the great team at HBO, headed by Richard Plepler. Any other network, and GAME OF THRONES would not have been what it became. Most other networks, this series never gets made at all.

I could go on and on… and have, as I’ve been writing this post in my head… but there’s really too much to say. Parting is such sweet sorrow, the Bard wrote. In the weeks and months to come, I may post about some of my favorite moments from the making of this show… now and again, when I am feeling nostalgic… but just now, there are so many memories, and no time to do them all justice.

Let me say this much — last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning. Nobody is retiring any time soon. David and Dan are going on to STAR WARS and other projects beyond that. Amazon scooped up Bryan Cogman, and put him to work on developing shows of his own, as well as helping out on their big Tolkien project. Our brilliant cast has scattered to the four winds, but you’ll be seeing a lot of them in the years to come, in all manner of television shows and movies. Our directors are keeping busy as well. I suspect that you have not seen the last of Westeros on your television sets either, but I guess that all depends on how some of these successor shows turn out.

And me? I’m still here, and I’m still busy. As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel. I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others. There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced. I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan. And then there’s Meow Wolf…

And I’m writing. Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is. THE WINDS OF WINTER is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done. I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A DREAM OF SPRING.

How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?

Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.

I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had eight hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one. There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books… so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…

Book or show, which will be the “real” ending? It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?

How about this? I’ll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Tue May 21, 2019 10:23 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:47 am
I also agree with being phobic of long TV commitments. I'm dragging my feet on my film commitments as it is, and, TV?, I just don't love you like that.

It's always a lot of fun when a friend tries to woo you with some amazing new series of hyperemotional athletics (Lost in Space, most recently, where everybody cries and whines for some reason), but then caveat: "Now, you're going to want to stick it out through the first, oh, 8 or 9 hours, because that's just horrible, but, man oh man, you'll never see that twist coming." And they're probably right. I never will.
What about when they tell you to spend 8 or 9 hours of dreck to get to some twist... and then you tell them about a 2 hour arthouse film that is lovelier than any natural sight in the world that they keep spending thousands of dollars to go to for 5 minutes to get one Instagram photo... I try to skip those people AND those TV shows.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Tue May 21, 2019 11:17 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:42 am
I finished it. 8-)
Not surprising.
DaMU wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:11 pm
;)
:point_right::ok_hand:
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed May 22, 2019 5:09 pm

Ergill wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:17 pm
:point_right::ok_hand:
One of my favorite jokes from The World's End:

"So, have you two..."

:point_right::ok_hand:

"...fucked?"
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The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Wed May 22, 2019 8:46 pm

DaMU wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 5:09 pm
One of my favorite jokes from The World's End:

"So, have you two..."

:point_right::ok_hand:

"...fucked?"
:D
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Thu May 23, 2019 2:56 am

So... anyone else watching Chernobyl? If you're not, you should.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Thu May 23, 2019 2:59 am

LEAVES wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 10:23 pm
they keep spending thousands of dollars to go to for 5 minutes to get one Instagram photo...
I honestly am not sure that I know what this means, but, yeah, I'm pretty sure I would want to avoid these people too.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Spencie Returns » Thu May 23, 2019 10:45 pm

The Game of Thrones finale was pretty much a Sparknotes version of the ending we deserved. Everyone ended up where they should be, but the road there was a watered down snoozefest. There's plenty I could whine about, but I'll leave it at the one moment that bothered me the most.
So, after Jon lacklusterly murders Dany only a third of the way through the episode, does he just walk outside and confess to Greyworm? Why would Greyworm bother taking him prisoner? And why do the remaining lords need Greyworm's approval for peace? Why does no one ever mention Jon's lineage again? I assume the showrunners cut from Dany's death to the council meeting because they themselves had no idea how Jon could confess and keep his head. Heaven forbid we get a well choreographed fight between Jon and Greyworm, you know, like the good ol' days.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu May 23, 2019 10:53 pm

Spencie Returns wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:45 pm
The Game of Thrones finale was pretty much a Sparknotes version of the ending we deserved. Everyone ended up where they should be, but the road there was a watered down snoozefest. There's plenty I could whine about, but I'll leave it at the one moment that bothered me the most.
So, after Jon lacklusterly murders Dany only a third of the way through the episode, does he just walk outside and confess to Greyworm? Why would Greyworm bother taking him prisoner? And why do the remaining lords need Greyworm's approval for peace? Why does no one ever mention Jon's lineage again? I assuume the showrunners cut from Dany's death to the council meeting because they themselves had no idea how Jon could confess and keep his head. Heaven forbid we get a well choreographed fight between Jon and Greyworm, you know, like the good ol' days.
Yes, I think that "Sparknotes" is exactly right.

Greyworm
continues to cut heads after Jon steps in with citing the "Geneva-ros Convention," giving Jon a look indicating that he'd be happy to do him next. Greyworm would not have let Jon live. There would have been no trial. Jon would be dead. Tyrion would be dead.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Fri May 24, 2019 2:01 am

Spencie Returns wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:45 pm
The Game of Thrones finale was pretty much a Sparknotes version of the ending we deserved. Everyone ended up where they should be, but the road there was a watered down snoozefest. There's plenty I could whine about, but I'll leave it at the one moment that bothered me the most.
So, after Jon lacklusterly murders Dany only a third of the way through the episode, does he just walk outside and confess to Greyworm? Why would Greyworm bother taking him prisoner? And why do the remaining lords need Greyworm's approval for peace? Why does no one ever mention Jon's lineage again? I assume the showrunners cut from Dany's death to the council meeting because they themselves had no idea how Jon could confess and keep his head. Heaven forbid we get a well choreographed fight between Jon and Greyworm, you know, like the good ol' days.
Just one of the many evidences of the laziness of the people involved. The logistics of everything around that whole scene just doesn't make sense.

One could argue "Oh, but maybe Grey Worm didn't know he killed her; there was no body", but they make a point of telling that they do know. And this happening a couple of scenes after they highlighted Grey Worm's ruthless murdering of people, it just doesn't make any sense at all how we get from A to Z.

And how is the council in charge? Did the Unsullied/Dothraki all of a sudden lost grasp of King's Landing after such a "victory"? I'd hate to think it is because, you know, they're brown people that just lost their white saviour/queen which makes them unable to keep their shit together, but well, it seems it is. I might be mistaken, but I seem to remember the council telling them that they were surrounded or something to that effect? but still doesn't make sense how they have the upper hand and Grey Worm and the Unsullied just walk out pouting.

And just to keep up with the lazy writing, why is Davos sitting with the Council if he was fighting *with* Daenerys?? He threw a quick flip-flop and now he's back with the other team? And why the heck does he asks Grey Worm so condescendingly "did I pronounce your name right?" Didn't you just spent the last 1-2 seasons fighting together with him side by side??

And how is it that the one that's brought as prisoner is the one that ends up leading the meeting, even cutting off his captor a couple of times, while also nominating the king with one of the lamest speeches ever written not only on this show, but on TV? Bran represents "our stories"? What the fuck does that mean? Didn't Bran just say a couple of episodes ago he didn't want the crown, that he was barely a person just "living in the past"? Did they ever do something with the fact that he was the Almighty Three-Eyed Raven other than sitting there waiting for the Night King to kill him for some reason while having him throw a couple of conspicuous, riddle-like half-sentences? And why does they accept him as king? I can understand Arya and Sansa, but what do these other nameless, anonymous Council members know or care about him being the "stories" and the Three-Eyed Raven? Do they know what that supposedly means? And they all "aye" him with little to no argument? That's the fight for the throne?

And then Sansa decides to pull the ripcord of Winterfell becoming independent, and nobody does anything? No fights? No arguments? No other ruler saying "Wait, what? Can we do that?" Wasn't Yara quite eager to rule on her own a couple of episodes/seasons ago?

Sorry for beating this dead horse again, but I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say that that whole scene was one of the worst things I've seen on TV. Not only nonsensical as far as the logic and background that the show had already established, but just poorly executed and lazily written all through.

Ok, I'll shut up now.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Tue May 28, 2019 2:56 am

Some thoughts on shows I've been watching...

Chernobyl (mini-series) Simply amazing. Chilling, disturbing, neatly directed, written, and acted. Can't wait for the next episode.

Agent Carter (Season 1) Really good show, significantly better than Agents of SHIELD. Good balance of fun and action, and the 40's vibe is pretty effective. The gender politics drive me crazy and part of me wishes Peggy could just tell everybody to fuck off.

The OA (Season 1) I'm about to give up on this one. Very tedious and slow paced, but well acted. I've heard season 2 is quite better which is why I'm trying to get through this one.

Jack Ryan (Season 1) I had seen the pilot a couple of months ago and I wasn't impressed. Actually, I thought it was pretty bad. Still, I read good reviews and got back on it. Next few episodes are solid and I enjoy watching Bunk in it, even if he hasn't had much to do yet.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Tue May 28, 2019 4:35 am

Barry is giving me early Breaking Bad vibes. Its ability to take a silly premise very seriously and tight rope walk that line without sacrificing the humor is very impressive. With the show pushing it's formalism to an impressive degree, with action scenes that would feel at home in a Michael Mann film, while mining the talent of it's comedic actors for all their worth, I could see this following BB's suit and kicking into relentless high drama next season. I don't expect it to become quite as serious in tone (or at least as consistently serious) as later BB but I won't be surprised if it enters the same ballpark.

The fact that it's giving me these hopes with a half hour run time is seriously impressive stuff.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Tue May 28, 2019 2:30 pm

Without spoiling things too much, are the things I've heard about what happens to
the Pripyat animal population
in episode 4 of Chernobyl that hard to watch?
Last Great Movie Seen
Loves of a Blonde (Forman, 1965)
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 28, 2019 6:06 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:35 am
Barry is giving me early Breaking Bad vibes. Its ability to take a silly premise very seriously and tight rope walk that line without sacrificing the humor is very impressive. With the show pushing it's formalism to an impressive degree, with action scenes that would feel at home in a Michael Mann film, while mining the talent of it's comedic actors for all their worth, I could see this following BB's suit and kicking into relentless high drama next season. I don't expect it to become quite as serious in tone (or at least as consistently serious) as later BB but I won't be surprised if it enters the same ballpark.

The fact that it's giving me these hopes with a half hour run time is seriously impressive stuff.
I think the best aspect of Barry is the self-awareness and mockery of the entertainment industry. As you note, the show is walking a tightrope of tragedy and comedy. Push the action stuff too hard and you lose the comedy. Push the comedy too hard and the premise loses its edge. I don't it will or should kick into high drama.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Deschain13 » Tue May 28, 2019 6:23 pm

I like Barry a lot and agree the show does a great job of walking the line between comedy and tragedy. To me Barry is the most interesting character on the show. I don’t really care about Sally or Hank yet the show insists on heapeing subplots on them. And since they’re only half hour episodes it can be very frustrating spending a lot of time with those two.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm

Deschain13 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:23 pm
I like Barry a lot and agree the show does a great job of walking the line between comedy and tragedy. To me Barry is the most interesting character on the show. I don’t really care about Sally or Hank yet the show insists on heapeing subplots on them. And since they’re only half hour episodes it can be very frustrating spending a lot of time with those two.
Sally is interesting in that she is both caring and self-obsessed and she is a great vehicle for pointing fun at the shallowness of the industry.

Barry is a fun character, but it is hard to evolve him. He is, in effect, the straight man in this comedy world. With him, we view the ridiculousness of the crime world and the acting world. If he were to evolve in the direction he wants, the premise of the show would be lost. He would become a hack actor with a dark history. If he were to evolve in the direction Fuchs wants, the premise would also be lost. He would be the darkness no longer seeking the light. You're kind of stuck with Barry as an evergreen character. He has to be in danger of being caught, but never caught (just as Dr. House is always one step ahead of being fired and Dr. Kimball is always one step behind the one-armed man). His character has to be occasionally rebooted and the show strains most when he gets away with something, yet again or when he is pushed yet again by another character into his half-light (e.g., being praised for tapping into his darkness as an actor). In this sense, he is not that interesting. Is the eye of storm about which interesting things happen.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Tue May 28, 2019 7:40 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm
He would become a hack actor with a dark history.
I hope this show is secretly about Michael Shannon.
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