The Television Thread

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Wooley
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Wooley » Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:37 am

DaMU wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:46 pm
Finished Watchmen, and it's not bad and sometimes very good and honorable and tries to earnestly examine America's sad past, but-- given its strong doses of sentimentality, obscurantism, and traditional thriller theatrics*-- mostly I just kept thinking that this is a show that wears an Alan Moore costume but is still Lindelof under the mask.

*: Moore kidded the idea of heroes battling a ticking time bomb by setting it off before they even arrived. Lindelof ultimately gives his heroes a ticking time bomb, and a fighting chance, and
a total victory over the "Veidt" of this story, complete with the old Veidt quipping on megalomania, "It takes one to know one." Jesus, come on.
I'm a fan of Moore's Watchmen, a little less Snyder's, and I thought this show, which I just finished, was the best television I've seen in years and a truly worthy successor to the original text. I thought it was beautiful, maybe even perfect. Obviously our mileage varies.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:56 pm

Deschain13 wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:18 pm
I loved the simplicity of Mandolorian, it reminded me of A New Hope in that way. Mando and Baby Yoda barely talk. Every episode is about one thing, they do the thing, and it ends.There’s some fun action and character moments along the way but that’s about it. I’m worried about season two hearing all these characters from other Star Wars things are going to be appearing. I don’t want it to get bogged down in fan service and member berries.
I don't think it's great, but I think I've warmed up to the logistics of it. Like you said, the simplicity, and every episode being "about one thing", and that's it. I still have two episodes to go, but the last two (The Gunslinger, The Prisoner) were pretty solid. I still think there's something missing, but it's ok.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:23 pm

Wooley wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:37 am
I'm a fan of Moore's Watchmen, a little less Snyder's, and I thought this show, which I just finished, was the best television I've seen in years and a truly worthy successor to the original text. I thought it was beautiful, maybe even perfect. Obviously our mileage varies.
If you think it's an A and I think it's a B / B+ show, we're probably in agreement on most things about it.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:33 pm

Man, at this point there could be unanimous agreement that the Watchmen show is the best thing ever and I still won't be convinced. There is just no way, NO way, Damon Lindelof is the man for this job and anything less than an S+ is just unacceptable. Every day we stray further from God!
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:23 pm

The only God I trust is six foot tall, blue, and deeply uninterested in clothes.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:27 pm

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Charles » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:47 pm

The only reason Watchmen is well rated is because all the other superhero shit is so bad.

DIsclaimer: I've never read Watchmen.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:49 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:33 pm
Man, at this point there could be unanimous agreement that the Watchmen show is the best thing ever and I still won't be convinced. There is just no way, NO way, Damon Lindelof is the man for this job and anything less than an S+ is just unacceptable. Every day we stray further from God!
As Lindleof’s most vocal hater... It’s great more often than not.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:51 pm

Torgo wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:27 pm
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Six.

Foot.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:24 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:49 pm
As Lindleof’s most vocal hater... It’s great more often than not.
You may be his most vocal hater but I had to break an ancient blood oath just to mention the man's name
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:27 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:24 pm
You may be his most vocal hater but I had to break an ancient blood oath just to mention the man's name
I vomit blood every time I complement his work, so I can relate.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Wooley » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:42 am

I honestly don't know who the fuck this Lindelof person is, it was just a helluva viewing experience.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:04 am

Wooley wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:42 am
I honestly don't know who the fuck this Lindelof person is, it was just a helluva viewing experience.
Why, he's the writer of Lost, Prometheus, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Cowboys & Aliens, World War Z, and Tomorrowland!
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:44 pm

In total fairness, he was co-writer on all of those. Carlton Cuse co-wrote Lost, Spaihts for Prometheus, the dreaded Orci / Kurtzman for Into Darkness and Cowboys and Aliens, Carnahan and Goddard on Z, and Brad Bird on Tomorrowland.

IIRC, he's actually responsible for salvaging the final act of World War Z (Pitt was originally meant to lead some sort of goddamn army charge against the zacks). But he also bent the knee to Scott's weirdass story demands on Prometheus, so call it a push.

None of this is meant to absolve him of his crimes. It's just good to remember that Orci and Kurtzman suck regal.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Wooley » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:42 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:04 am
Why, he's the writer of Lost, Prometheus, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Cowboys & Aliens, World War Z, and Tomorrowland!
So you're saying Watchmen is easily the best thing he's ever done.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:26 pm

DaMU wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:44 pm
In total fairness, he was co-writer on all of those. Carlton Cuse co-wrote Lost, Spaihts for Prometheus, the dreaded Orci / Kurtzman for Into Darkness and Cowboys and Aliens, Carnahan and Goddard on Z, and Brad Bird on Tomorrowland.

IIRC, he's actually responsible for salvaging the final act of World War Z (Pitt was originally meant to lead some sort of goddamn army charge against the zacks). But he also bent the knee to Scott's weirdass story demands on Prometheus, so call it a push.

None of this is meant to absolve him of his crimes. It's just good to remember that Orci and Kurtzman suck regal.
I'm not going to extend any sort of leniency on his suckage and ruining these projects as the aspects that are terrible are uniform for the projects he works on and not his collaborators (well, outside of Kurtzman and Orci, who suck in very similar ways).

He's especially to blame for Prometheus, as Spaiht's draft was a fairly solid and straightforward Alien flick. All the incompetence and slapdash theming came from Lindelof's subsequent work.

As for WWZ, the rewrites for the 3rd act are credited to both him and Drew Goddard. Given that Goddard has a lot more proof of doing tight, tense thrilling work and Lindelof has the propensity for open endings and a sense of "this is how our fight begins!" anticlimax, I can presume who worked on which part.

All of this is what makes Watchmen so anomalous.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:26 pm

Wooley wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:42 pm
So you're saying Watchmen is easily the best thing he's ever done.
Not only best. The only good thing he's ever done.

*Vomits blood*
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:58 pm

I liked the first and fourth seasons of Lost. Those are probably still my favorite Lindeloffery. And Watchmen after that; like I said, it's honorable and often very good.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:08 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:26 pm
He's especially to blame for Prometheus, as Spaiht's draft was a fairly solid and straightforward Alien flick. All the incompetence and slapdash theming came from Lindelof's subsequent work.
My understanding of Prometheus was that Ridley Scott was unsatisfied with the Spaihts draft, and Lindelof was brought in to bring it more in line with Scott's interests. I'd definitely grant you that it's... curious that Scott's interests as filtered through Lindelof came off like classic Lindelof, with an eye toward momentum and Asking the Big Questions as delivered through slapdash plotting and inconsistent characterization.
As for WWZ, the rewrites for the 3rd act are credited to both him and Drew Goddard. Given that Goddard has a lot more proof of doing tight, tense thrilling work and Lindelof has the propensity for open endings and a sense of "this is how our fight begins!" anticlimax, I can presume who worked on which part.
My understanding was Lindelof convinced the studio to scrap their bloated wasn't-working ending, and then he and Goddard were hired into what was basically a writer's room / punch-up situation and worked together. That would make sense, since they'd worked together previously on Lost.

None of this is me going to the mat for this clown, don't get me wrong. I mean, I could talk all day about how I think the final season of Lost is just an unmitigated disaster of bad plotting and worst instincts followed, washed over with cheap and trite sentiment (I literally could talk all day about this, I am not joking).
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:55 pm

I was really into the first season of Lost before it, um, lost me. There wasn't a consistent quality of characterization, as ambitious as it was at the time... it's easy to play "favourites" with the cast and I didn't want to go off wondering when the next Hurley episode would be. My SEETHING hatred of the Lost family occurs somewhat naturally in it's mix of Orci/Kurtzman and Lindelof abominations where I'm willing to tip my hat to what has been done well, such as Mission Impossible 3, Cloverfield, parts of the first Star Trek, producing a successful transition into the future Mission Impossible franchise, and perhaps Star Wars Episode VII (2/3 acts for me there)... Bad Robot is a solid production company and while not having seen the bulk of their TV work, I am drawn to Lovecraft Country - probably more for the Monkeypaw involvement

Lost had you all going NUTS on RT. Really impressive how much discussion that show generated through the good and the bad
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:05 pm

Oh, for sure. I loved talking about it on RT, and for a good while it was my favorite show. But once that final season dropped, it really brought into stark relief the inherent problems with the narrative choices. I have no real desire to revisit it, but I do think the first and fourth seasons have an edge because there's a bedrock survivalism drama that keeps things grounded and moving. (The first season is about people surviving on the beach, the fourth is about people escaping the island.)

I bought Lovecraft Country, I want to read it first since there've been so many accolades. Hope it's good; Peele is probably a better storyteller than any name mentioned so far in this convo, so hopefully his guiding spirit helps.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Wooley » Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:59 am

DaMU wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:05 pm

I bought Lovecraft Country, I want to read it first since there've been so many accolades. Hope it's good; Peele is probably a better storyteller than any name mentioned so far in this convo, so hopefully his guiding spirit helps.
Wait, is Peele doing something with Lovecraft Country?
I read it a few years ago and thought that it wasn't always great but overall ended up being more than the sum of its parts and I was glad I read it and I lended it to several people and they liked it, one of them loved it.
I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it adapted to the screen, although they'd have to trim it down quite a bit or make multiple movies, or make it a limited series (the latter would probably be best).
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:06 am

DaMU wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:08 pm
My understanding of Prometheus was that Ridley Scott was unsatisfied with the Spaihts draft, and Lindelof was brought in to bring it more in line with Scott's interests. I'd definitely grant you that it's... curious that Scott's interests as filtered through Lindelof came off like classic Lindelof, with an eye toward momentum and Asking the Big Questions as delivered through slapdash plotting and inconsistent characterization.



My understanding was Lindelof convinced the studio to scrap their bloated wasn't-working ending, and then he and Goddard were hired into what was basically a writer's room / punch-up situation and worked together. That would make sense, since they'd worked together previously on Lost.

None of this is me going to the mat for this clown, don't get me wrong. I mean, I could talk all day about how I think the final season of Lost is just an unmitigated disaster of bad plotting and worst instincts followed, washed over with cheap and trite sentiment (I literally could talk all day about this, I am not joking).
This is what I mean about the problems that rise to the surface being uniform to Lindelof and not his collaborators. Scott does have a penchant for ambiguity but he usually has it employed for radically different reasons than Lindelof. Scott isn't blameless because he hired and approved what Lindelof brought to the table. Prometheus is basically all the shittiest and laziest elements of Lost boiled down to feature length.

Similarly, this is how I feel about WWZ. The third act DOES have the best sequence in the film. But it also has a half assed, "the real journey has just begun" ending that Lindelof employed in Prometheus. So I'm forced to ask, which of these two has a history of stripping a story down into a taught, complex sequence of cat and mouse? The guy who made Cabin in the Woods, Daredevil, and Bad Times at the El Royale or Lindelof? I'm probably not giving him enough credit (he somehow pulled off Watchmen and I did think seasons 4 and 5 of Lost were entertaining though not "good") but his tendencies to suck do so in such an ideosyncratic and specific way that it's hard not to find the similarities echoing through his work. Even Watchmen has some slapdash plotting and character work that doesn't really cohease into a whole, its strengths just seem to overcome those and make them insignificant rather than the focus.

Is he as bad as Orci and Kurtzman? No. But for some reason, he has long since made me angrier. I think between Lost not measuring up to the hype and tanking what may have been my most anticipated film (Scott's return to sci-fi?!?! Oh my!) in a very specific way that pit religion against science just hit me in a way that felt like I was being internet trolled with million dollar budgets.

Orci and Kurtzman just suck in a cynical Hollywood sort of way I can understand.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:01 pm

Ok, so I finished The Mandalorian last night. I guess I warmed up to it halfway through. The last couple of episodes were pretty good. Overall, I don't think it's a groundbreaking, amazing show, but after a shaky start (Episodes 2 and 4 were the weakest), it becomes solid fun.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:29 pm

Thief wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:01 pm
Ok, so I finished The Mandalorian last night. I guess I warmed up to it halfway through. The last couple of episodes were pretty good. Overall, I don't think it's a groundbreaking, amazing show, but after a shaky start (Episodes 2 and 4 were the weakest), it becomes solid fun.
Glad you liked it. Episode 5 was the weakest one for me. Aside from seeing Ming-Na and Amy Sedaris in the Star Wars universe, it seemed pointless. In fact, I fell asleep.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:31 pm

Fair points all around.
ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:06 am
Scott isn't blameless because he hired and approved what Lindelof brought to the table.
That's more my point. Lindy has his tendencies, for sure, but I think collaborators can bring out the best or the worst in him, and his best can be very good. I didn't read much about it, but my understanding is that Lindelof stacked his writer's room for Watchmen with a diverse staff, which probably helped a lot with investing foundation and meaning to the tricky politics.

[I haven't seen The Leftovers, but I've heard it's good.]
Is he as bad as Orci and Kurtzman? No. But for some reason, he has long since made me angrier. I think between Lost not measuring up to the hype and tanking what may have been my most anticipated film (Scott's return to sci-fi?!?! Oh my!) in a very specific way that pit religion against science just hit me in a way that felt like I was being internet trolled with million dollar budgets. Orci and Kurtzman just suck in a cynical Hollywood sort of way I can understand.
I think I hate Orci/Kurtzman more because of how mercenary and hacky their work can be. I think I'd rather have a Lindelof, whose fuckery comes from the heart.

Orci/Kurtzman and Lindelof, though (IMO) both inherited (from their television writing) the idea of "writing to the next beat," if that makes sense. They know the flagposts of the narrative, the same way a TV writer is always cognizant of the upcoming commercial cliffhanger, and they'll get you to that big beat, and it's a good beat (on its own, as spectacle or rug-pull), but they won't earn the development. Or they won't actually follow up on it. My go-to example is blonde lady in Into Darkness watching her dad die in front of her eyes, and it never mattering again, because the film hit its flagpost and can move on to the next one. For Lindelof, an easy example is the outrigger chase in Season 5 of Lost, or maybe that one lady dying by TNT in Season 6. Wow, what a Wham Moment. Very shocking. This is good story. It's very easy to imagine the Lube Man scene in Watchmen ending and immediately cutting to the Charmin bears.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:36 pm

Just to even things out, can't emphasize this enough, the Hooded Justice episode truly is special and wonderful and by itself would make the Watchmen series worth a watch (and the show broadly hangs together even without that tentpole episode). It reminds me of how, even with my issues re: The Haunting of Hill House, "The Twin Thing" and "The Bent-Neck Lady" and "Two Storms" showed up in the middle and kicked my ass up and down the street.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:42 pm

Torgo wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:29 pm
Glad you liked it. Episode 5 was the weakest one for me. Aside from seeing Ming-Na and Amy Sedaris in the Star Wars universe, it seemed pointless. In fact, I fell asleep.
It was cool to see Ming-Na, but I feel that she was more or less "wasted". To me, Jake Cannavale was the highlight of that episode. I really enjoyed his performance.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:04 am

I guess the new season of Archer premieres September 16th on FXX.

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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:19 pm

It actually looks pretty damn good. I don't like Dreamland or 1999, but Danger Island is good enough for me to believe that the show still has life in it.
Having a new show runner will help (does anyone know who it is? I couldn't find anything). You could practically taste Adam Reed's disinterest.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:20 pm

Torgo wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:19 pm
It actually looks pretty damn good. I don't like Dreamland or 1999, but Danger Island is good enough for me to believe that the show still has life in it. Having a new show runner will help (does anyone know who it is? I couldn't find anything). You could practically taste Adam Reed's disinterest.
This is from August of last year so I don't know if it still holds.
...Reed is handing over the showrunner reins to executive producer Casey Willis.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:41 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:20 pm
This is from August of last year so I don't know if it still holds.
Wow, I was under the impression it would be a complete outsider. Casey Willis has been there from the beginning, so I doubt the show will seem that different.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:35 pm

Started What We Do in the Shadows a couple of days ago, based on the feedback from you, guys. First two episodes were ok, I guess, but nothing hilarious. However, Episode 3 (the one with the "emotional vampire = EV = Evie, get it?" and the werewolf feud) had me LOL.

Also finished The Last Dance, which - as a Jordan and Bulls fan who grew up watching both of their 3-peats - was pretty cool and interesting. Maybe I might've preferred a bit of a more balanced story, and not something so Jordan-centric, a bit less "ass-kissing", but still pretty cool.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:44 am

Thief wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:35 pm
Started What We Do in the Shadows a couple of days ago, based on the feedback from you, guys. First two episodes were ok, I guess, but nothing hilarious. However, Episode 3 (the one with the "emotional vampire = EV = Evie, get it?" and the werewolf feud) had me LOL.
I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say keep watching. The next five episodes are one of the series' best stretches.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:12 pm

Thief wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:35 pm
Started What We Do in the Shadows a couple of days ago, based on the feedback from you, guys. First two episodes were ok, I guess, but nothing hilarious. However, Episode 3 (the one with the "emotional vampire = EV = Evie, get it?" and the werewolf feud) had me LOL.
Yessssss
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:13 pm

Speaking of WWDitS, watching Matt Berry in Toast of London. Not great, but quite good. Exactly the kind of low-threshold goofery I need in my life. Ebert's Law of Funny Names can fuck right off, because I laugh every time I hear Steven Toast seethe "Ray Purchase!" or "I can hear you, Clem Fandango!"
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:50 pm

Biggus Dickus immediately disqualifies Ebert's silly rules.

For such a smart man, he had so many silly rules.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:24 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:50 pm
Biggus Dickus immediately disqualifies Ebert's silly rules.

For such a smart man, he had so many silly rules.
If it's just the name by itself, with no comic premise, I get it, but silly names set against seriousness? There ya go. "Ray Purchase" is always spat out in the context of a deeply emotional feud between the two men. "Biggus Dickus" works because Pilate demands it isn't silly. It's... super-basic shit. It's why Groucho has a Dumont.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:36 am

Torgo wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:44 am
I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say keep watching. The next five episodes are one of the series' best stretches.
Saw the one where they take the Baron out last night and it was a lot of fun.
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Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:39 am

I know it's not a very "demanding" show, but I started season 3 of Agents of SHIELD a couple of days ago, and I'm enjoying it a lot more than I did season 2.
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Ergill
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:47 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:54 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:24 pm
If it's just the name by itself, with no comic premise, I get it, but silly names set against seriousness? There ya go. "Ray Purchase" is always spat out in the context of a deeply emotional feud between the two men. "Biggus Dickus" works because Pilate demands it isn't silly. It's... super-basic shit. It's why Groucho has a Dumont.
Laughed at the Dickus scene very hard last viewing. If I could decompose my feelings, the stupidity of the name was essential, but the most important part was all the pressure in the scene for everyone NOT TO LAUGH. That frisson is the secret sauce taking a a grade-school, basically dumb joke and makes it a real bit for us grown-ups who still want to laugh at dick jokes.
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