The Television Thread

Free and open discussion of anything that may or may not need discussing.
Post Reply
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:45 am

Captain Terror wrote: Dang, they have Buffy too? I'll never finish that in a month. My brother has also recently recommended Hulu to me, but I'm currently subbed to 4 services with the Criterion channel on the horizon so for now Hulu is the odd man out unfortunately. (and my brother's using a friend's login so he's cheating anyway). Maybe one day.
Got it.

In terms of deciding what to watch in your free month, I'd recommend using the site JustWatch. Go to the site and click the Hulu button. You can sort by TV or movies.


On a separate note, I'm done with the first episode of Umbrella Academy and am intrigued enough to keep watching.
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:13 pm

Takoma1 wrote: I'd recommend using the site JustWatch.
Soooo...I didn't know that existed. I may never leave the couch again. My future obesity is on your head. THANKS.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:00 pm

...so I watched two seasons of The Good Place and I find it decidedly uneven.

The film barely touches ethics, treating everything like an excerpt of a summary of a dumbed down version of ethics.
The show features the worst character I've ever seen in anything ever.
Two of the other main characters are bland archetypes.

...but Kristen Bell is hilarious and the middle of the second season was clever in the way they embraced the chaos so there's clearly at least one writer in the room trying to make up for at least one awful, awful writer. Perhaps if the good writer murders the bad writer then the show will get to the Good Place even as the good writer is condemned to go to the Bad Place.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 1586
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:23 pm

Captain Terror wrote: Soooo...I didn't know that existed. I may never leave the couch again. My future obesity is on your head. THANKS.
Yeah, I didn't know about it either. Considering all the time I sometimes spend just browsing 2 or 3 streaming services, this will surely help.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:38 pm

Captain Terror wrote: Soooo...I didn't know that existed. I may never leave the couch again. My future obesity is on your head. THANKS.
Don't worry 'gout it.
LEAVES wrote:...so I watched two seasons of The Good Place and I find it decidedly uneven.

The film barely touches ethics, treating everything like an excerpt of a summary of a dumbed down version of ethics.
The show features the worst character I've ever seen in anything ever.
Two of the other main characters are bland archetypes.

...but Kristen Bell is hilarious and the middle of the second season was clever in the way they embraced the chaos so there's clearly at least one writer in the room trying to make up for at least one awful, awful writer. Perhaps if the good writer murders the bad writer then the show will get to the Good Place even as the good writer is condemned to go to the Bad Place.
I think that the show gets stronger as it goes along. The most recent season was my favorite so far.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:47 pm

LEAVES wrote:The show features the worst character I've ever seen in anything ever.
Is this Derek (Jason Mantzoukas)? He's the only character on that show who hasn't made me laugh.
Last Great Movie Seen
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949)
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:00 pm

Takoma1 wrote:I think that the show gets stronger as it goes along. The most recent season was my favorite so far.
And of course it's not on Netflix yet!

Did you keep going with Bunheads?
Torgo wrote: Is this Derek (Jason Mantzoukas)? He's the only character on that show who hasn't made me laugh.
No, Jason (Manny Jacinto). Instead of being wise, he was dumb. The only time the joke worked was the first time he was revealed to not be a brilliant monk. I want to say that it's hard to write a dumb character, but the majority of American comedy is buffoonery so they weren't exactly reinventing the wheel.

One character goes to hell because she's greedy or selfish, another because she's vain, a third because he's indecisive (which is the weakest reason I've ever heard), and the last because he's... dumb? Poor? Dumb and poor? All they had to do was raid the 7 circles of hell and pick out 4 of them and they didn't make it that far. So strange.
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:02 pm

Thief wrote:
Yeah, I didn't know about it either. Considering all the time I sometimes spend just browsing 2 or 3 streaming services, this will surely help.
Right? For me it was sitting at the PC with 10 tabs open. "Tubi? No. Crackle? No..."
Takoma1: Saving lives one website at a time.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:44 pm

LEAVES wrote:And of course it's not on Netflix yet!

Did you keep going with Bunheads?
I'm like five episodes in? I need to get back into it.
No, Jason (Manny Jacinto). Instead of being wise, he was dumb. The only time the joke worked was the first time he was revealed to not be a brilliant monk. I want to say that it's hard to write a dumb character, but the majority of American comedy is buffoonery so they weren't exactly reinventing the wheel.
I think that Manny Jacinto is pretty funny, and I enjoy Jason as a character.

And the question of why people end up in the Bad Place (and more broadly the question of what it means to classify strictly into categories of Good People or Bad People) is explored with more nuance in the third season.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:10 am

Takoma1 wrote:I think that Manny Jacinto is pretty funny, and I enjoy Jason as a character.
He's dumber than Derek Zoolander, and it's a show supposedly about somewhat-plausible people having to face somewhat-plausible ethical conundrums. "Let's make him fall in love with a robot because she is designed to have no agency whatsoever and must merely serve his every whim" - the feminist statement of the year! I could go on, but I think I would end up talking about every scene he's in, ever.
Takoma1 wrote:And the question of why people end up in the Bad Place (and more broadly the question of what it means to classify strictly into categories of Good People or Bad People) is explored with more nuance in the third season.
Such a tease!
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:37 am

LEAVES wrote:He's dumber than Derek Zoolander, and it's a show supposedly about somewhat-plausible people having to face somewhat-plausible ethical conundrums. "Let's make him fall in love with a robot because she is designed to have no agency whatsoever and must merely serve his every whim" - the feminist statement of the year! I could go on, but I think I would end up talking about every scene he's in, ever.
I mean . . . they are somewhat plausible, but also I don't know many women who get drunk and stuff shrimp down their bras. (Maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong ladies?!).

I don't mind the Jason-Janet relationship for two reasons. (1) His lack of understanding of who/what she is means that he treats her like a person (in other words, his behavior toward her comes more from a place of naivete than exploitation). When Jason talks to her, he says, "You're the only person here who's nice to me". Janet is the only person (or person-like being) who knows who Jason's true self is AND doesn't treat him like an idiot/child. It makes a lot of sense from an emotional point of view that he falls for her, and not just because she knows how to make jalepeno poppers. Both love and sex seem to be new frontiers for both characters, and so I never really felt like their relationship hinged on a master-servant dynamic. (2) Janet and her agency is an ongoing conversation in the series, as is her evolving sense of self and emotional awakening. Her relationship with Jason (and how she handles the fallout of them not being together) serves as a pivot point for the deepening of her character. In the third season (and specifically in the second half of the season) Janet is really brought to the forefront as a character, which I loved because I think D'Arcy Carden is pretty great.
User avatar
Ergill
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:47 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ergill » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:41 am

I love Janet.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:22 am

Takoma1 wrote:I mean . . . they are somewhat plausible, but also I don't know many women who get drunk and stuff shrimp down their bras. (Maybe I'm hanging out with the wrong ladies?!).

I don't mind the Jason-Janet relationship for two reasons. (1) His lack of understanding of who/what she is means that he treats her like a person (in other words, his behavior toward her comes more from a place of naivete than exploitation). When Jason talks to her, he says, "You're the only person here who's nice to me". Janet is the only person (or person-like being) who knows who Jason's true self is AND doesn't treat him like an idiot/child. It makes a lot of sense from an emotional point of view that he falls for her, and not just because she knows how to make jalepeno poppers. Both love and sex seem to be new frontiers for both characters, and so I never really felt like their relationship hinged on a master-servant dynamic.
"You treat me as you are programmed to and literally can't say no." Mutual respect, admiration. and consent at its finest! It is literally a master-slave relationship. For a show whose central premise isn't "How do I live a fulfilling and ethical life" it's pretty dubious. For this show it's somewhere closer to "The worst possible thing you could include." You could say that the show isn't morally responsible for his moral vacuity, but it also doesn't comment on it meaningfully and did choose to include it and omit something interesting instead. The silence is deafening. It's about as self-defeating as anything I could imagine. It would be far better if he were smart and capable of understanding the moral implications and did it anyway. To say that he's not capable of understanding his actions isn't an out - since it means that the character isn't a human and therefore is irrelevant to any conversations about ethics and hence irrelevant to the show - and then is reinforcing negative archetypes of the subservient female solving all of the troubled male's problems. It may be true that she enjoys the sex, but she can't meaningfully consent to it, so...
Takoma1 wrote:(2) Janet and her agency is an ongoing conversation in the series, as is her evolving sense of self and emotional awakening. Her relationship with Jason (and how she handles the fallout of them not being together) serves as a pivot point for the deepening of her character. In the third season (and specifically in the second half of the season) Janet is really brought to the forefront as a character, which I loved because I think D'Arcy Carden is pretty great.
Janet's agency is an ongoing conversation. Blatant sexual exploitation of a character that is supposed to be a female but isn't able to consent is not really an ongoing conversation... If his entire schtick is supposed to be his ignorance, and pretty much his only contribution to the show is that he has sex with two women, then it seems that there should be some discussion of the ethical considerations surrounding the only two things he does on the show. Instead, the woman's plight is completely and utterly ignored. Feminism!
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:44 pm

LEAVES wrote:"You treat me as you are programmed to and literally can't say no." Mutual respect, admiration. and consent at its finest! It is literally a master-slave relationship.
I would just . . . disagree.

We've seen Janet be blase and indifferent when given strange requests for things to do. But in the episode where they get married (which is after she has been rebooted), she is largely the one driving the wedding.

Consider the dialogue when they are getting married:

"When I was rebooted and lost all of my knowledge, I was confused and disoriented. But you were always kind to me."

"Jason, do you want me to be your wife?" "I want you to be my husband."

When she later asks if anyone has any objections, both Eleanor and Tahani say that of course they object and it's a terrible idea, and Janet cheerfully replies, "Overruled!". If Janet was just programmed to blindly follow what she is told, then surely she would have to give Eleanor's advice to NOT get married consideration if not obedience. But she doesn't. There is choice embedded in what she does. This extends to her hiding their marriage from Michael.
For a show whose central premise isn't "How do I live a fulfilling and ethical life" it's pretty dubious. For this show it's somewhere closer to "The worst possible thing you could include." You could say that the show isn't morally responsible for his moral vacuity, but it also doesn't comment on it meaningfully and did choose to include it and omit something interesting instead. The silence is deafening. It's about as self-defeating as anything I could imagine. It would be far better if he were smart and capable of understanding the moral implications and did it anyway. To say that he's not capable of understanding his actions isn't an out - since it means that the character isn't a human and therefore is irrelevant to any conversations about ethics and hence irrelevant to the show - and then is reinforcing negative archetypes of the subservient female solving all of the troubled male's problems. It may be true that she enjoys the sex, but she can't meaningfully consent to it, so...
Janet is not a woman, but neither is she a robot (as is repeatedly stated). She does have limits to her programming, but at the same time we repeatedly see that she evolves past those limits. I'm also not sure how she's solving Jason's problems. It's incredibly clear that their marriage means something to her--enough that she creates Derek as a rebound. If she were just a robot following orders, then being with Jason or not being with him romantically wouldn't make any difference to her. Janet clearly has desires and emotions (or whatever her version of those things are), even from her first incarnation. When talking about marrying Jason, Janet repeatedly displays excitement. Considering the shrewd way that Janet is able to navigate rules and her own programming, I don't think she would have married Jason if it wasn't what she wanted.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:22 am

I finished Umbrella Academy (thanks, snow day!).

I liked it a lot.

It's definitely got weak writing at times, but the performances are good and the story is light enough as it bip-bops along that I didn't really care that the story takes too much joy in lingering over secrets and mysteries.

In many, many ways it is derivative (very Wes Anderson looking set design, plenty of "now a violent action scene takes place to a bubblegum song!"), but I didn't really care. It was great popcorn television and perfect entertainment for a snow day.

And to stay vague, I was satisfied with the conclusion with managed to walk that fine line between resolution and potential for another season.
User avatar
Deschain13
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:49 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Deschain13 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:41 am

Takoma1 wrote:I finished Umbrella Academy (thanks, snow day!).

I liked it a lot.

It's definitely got weak writing at times, but the performances are good and the story is light enough as it bip-bops along that I didn't really care that the story takes too much joy in lingering over secrets and mysteries.

In many, many ways it is derivative (very Wes Anderson looking set design, plenty of "now a violent action scene takes place to a bubblegum song!"), but I didn't really care. It was great popcorn television and perfect entertainment for a snow day.

And to stay vague, I was satisfied with the conclusion with managed to walk that fine line between resolution and potential for another season.
4 episodes in ad I pretty much agree so far. It reminds me of Watchmen a lot. I can’t stand Klaus though.
User avatar
Slentert
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:23 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Slentert » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:31 am

Takoma1 wrote:I finished Umbrella Academy (thanks, snow day!).

I liked it a lot.

It's definitely got weak writing at times, but the performances are good and the story is light enough as it bip-bops along that I didn't really care that the story takes too much joy in lingering over secrets and mysteries.

In many, many ways it is derivative (very Wes Anderson looking set design, plenty of "now a violent action scene takes place to a bubblegum song!"), but I didn't really care. It was great popcorn television and perfect entertainment for a snow day.

And to stay vague, I was satisfied with the conclusion with managed to walk that fine line between resolution and potential for another season.
I have a hard time getting through it. Maybe because I already love the original comic books.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:24 am

Takoma1 wrote:
I would just . . . disagree.

We've seen Janet be blase and indifferent when given strange requests for things to do. But in the episode where they get married (which is after she has been rebooted), she is largely the one driving the wedding.

Consider the dialogue when they are getting married:

"When I was rebooted and lost all of my knowledge, I was confused and disoriented. But you were always kind to me."

"Jason, do you want me to be your wife?" "I want you to be my husband."

When she later asks if anyone has any objections, both Eleanor and Tahani say that of course they object and it's a terrible idea, and Janet cheerfully replies, "Overruled!". If Janet was just programmed to blindly follow what she is told, then surely she would have to give Eleanor's advice to NOT get married consideration if not obedience. But she doesn't. There is choice embedded in what she does. This extends to her hiding their marriage from Michael.



Janet is not a woman, but neither is she a robot (as is repeatedly stated). She does have limits to her programming, but at the same time we repeatedly see that she evolves past those limits. I'm also not sure how she's solving Jason's problems. It's incredibly clear that their marriage means something to her--enough that she creates Derek as a rebound. If she were just a robot following orders, then being with Jason or not being with him romantically wouldn't make any difference to her. Janet clearly has desires and emotions (or whatever her version of those things are), even from her first incarnation. When talking about marrying Jason, Janet repeatedly displays excitement. Considering the shrewd way that Janet is able to navigate rules and her own programming, I don't think she would have married Jason if it wasn't what she wanted.
To me, you're making the case that she show sufficiently showed that Janet said yes, but it's not clear that Janet can consent even if she says yes. Given that Janet is clearly undergoing a change from a mere automaton to a "humanoid" there may be some point where she is able to consent. To me, they don't explore this whatsoever. But, then, I also feel that they barely explore anything ethically whatsoever, so it's less a problem of me being particularly concerned with the ethical failings on this particular subject and more that the show simply doesn't satisfactorily address ethics and only uses it as a red herring rather than a central conceit.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:59 pm

Deschain13 wrote: 4 episodes in ad I pretty much agree so far. It reminds me of Watchmen a lot. I can’t stand Klaus though.
Ha--I love Klaus, partly because I love Sheehan. He's basically playing a slightly altered version of Nathan from Misfits. (But while I like him, he's the kind of character who you can totally tell is an acquired taste). He does get a pretty interesting character arc in the last 4-5 episodes where he becomes a lot more than just the comic relief.

Slentert: I haven't read the comics, but I can kind of sense that the show might be a departure from them.
LEAVES wrote:To me, you're making the case that she show sufficiently showed that Janet said yes, but it's not clear that Janet can consent even if she says yes. Given that Janet is clearly undergoing a change from a mere automaton to a "humanoid" there may be some point where she is able to consent. To me, they don't explore this whatsoever.
I understand where you're coming from, and I agree that the show doesn't make it explicit the degree to which Janet is able to consent to decisions like the one to marry (or have sex). All I can say is that (for several reasons) I am incredibly sensitive to consent issues that involve unbalanced power dynamics, and the Janet/Jason relationship didn't trip any alarms while I was watching.
LEAVES wrote:But, then, I also feel that they barely explore anything ethically whatsoever, so it's less a problem of me being particularly concerned with the ethical failings on this particular subject and more that the show simply doesn't satisfactorily address ethics and only uses it as a red herring rather than a central conceit.
I think you might be slightly underestimating the degree to which a lot of people don't have exposure to basic ethical/philosophical discussions. When I discussed a variation on the trolley problem with my class of 5th graders, the two other adults in the room had never heard of it.

What the show offers might be cursory/superficial, but I appreciate the questions that they raise because they get me thinking. What are my ethical responsibilities when it comes to the "ripples" caused by my actions? What do I "owe" others, and what do I feel that they owe to me?

But at the end of the day, I just find the show really funny and I enjoy all of the actors on it. While the seasons are running, new episodes are like the light at the end of my work week.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:35 am

Takoma1 wrote:I understand where you're coming from, and I agree that the show doesn't make it explicit the degree to which Janet is able to consent to decisions like the one to marry (or have sex). All I can say is that (for several reasons) I am incredibly sensitive to consent issues that involve unbalanced power dynamics, and the Janet/Jason relationship didn't trip any alarms while I was watching.
That's fair. It's not an uncommon trope, and the trope always goes completely unchallenged, but I was basically watching that going, "Oh, wow, this is going to set his chances of getting to the Good Place back a lot. I wonder how they will address this!" They just didn't.
Takoma1 wrote:I think you might be slightly underestimating the degree to which a lot of people don't have exposure to basic ethical/philosophical discussions. When I discussed a variation on the trolley problem with my class of 5th graders, the two other adults in the room had never heard of it.

What the show offers might be cursory/superficial, but I appreciate the questions that they raise because they get me thinking. What are my ethical responsibilities when it comes to the "ripples" caused by my actions? What do I "owe" others, and what do I feel that they owe to me?

But at the end of the day, I just find the show really funny and I enjoy all of the actors on it. While the seasons are running, new episodes are like the light at the end of my work week.
My problem with the trolley problem episode is that they don't actually tell you why the trolley problem is a problem. They say different scenarios, but never give you the reason why these are troubling. They could have easily thrown in a "5 mass murderers vs. a doctor on a humanitarian mission" to throw the audience a softball, but they didn't even do that.

I can see how the how is enjoyable from a funny jokes perspective, but to me it's disappointing that they don't even try to make it substantive with regards to ethics. Oh well, not everything can be for everyone.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:55 pm

LEAVES wrote:My problem with the trolley problem episode is that they don't actually tell you why the trolley problem is a problem. They say different scenarios, but never give you the reason why these are troubling. They could have easily thrown in a "5 mass murderers vs. a doctor on a humanitarian mission" to throw the audience a softball, but they didn't even do that.
I thought that they actually did make it clear why the trolley problem is a problem. For example, they give a scenario where Chidi knows the "one" person (his former co-worker). In a later version, he chooses not to kill the person to give organs to the other five, but then is confronted with the fact that he caused the other five to be in peril in the first place.

I think that the bigger impact of the episode is in realizing that decisions might have a "mathematical/logical" element to them that makes a choice seem more obvious or preferable, but that all changes when it's actually happening. Choices involving sacrifice frequently pop up in The Good Place (starting with the "which two will go to the Bad Place?" question at the end of season 1), but they get more complex as the show goes on. As a basic message, "Making the right choice isn't always obvious or easy" isn't a horrible thing to get people thinking about.
User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:48 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
I thought that they actually did make it clear why the trolley problem is a problem. For example, they give a scenario where Chidi knows the "one" person (his former co-worker). In a later version, he chooses not to kill the person to give organs to the other five, but then is confronted with the fact that he caused the other five to be in peril in the first place.

I think that the bigger impact of the episode is in realizing that decisions might have a "mathematical/logical" element to them that makes a choice seem more obvious or preferable, but that all changes when it's actually happening. Choices involving sacrifice frequently pop up in The Good Place (starting with the "which two will go to the Bad Place?" question at the end of season 1), but they get more complex as the show goes on. As a basic message, "Making the right choice isn't always obvious or easy" isn't a horrible thing to get people thinking about.
It is telling that the best example of the trolley problem that the show used - didn't involve a trolley. And it happened to be the scene that was immediately followed by Danson admitting that he was just torturing the professor, which sort of gave the impression that he wasn't actually presenting an ethical problem, just torture, coupled with the fact that being confronted with troubling images that were supposed to torture Chidi isn't all that conducive to learning.

I do agree with you that it's good to get people thinking "Making the right choice isn't always obvious or easy." I just wish the writers would think to themselves. "Making the right choice in the writing isn't always the obvious or easy choice." Lazy ass writers!
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:48 pm

LEAVES wrote:It is telling that the best example of the trolley problem that the show used - didn't involve a trolley. And it happened to be the scene that was immediately followed by Danson admitting that he was just torturing the professor, which sort of gave the impression that he wasn't actually presenting an ethical problem, just torture, coupled with the fact that being confronted with troubling images that were supposed to torture Chidi isn't all that conducive to learning.
Right, but trolley problems don't necessarily need a trolley, do they?

I do think that the ethics as presented, even if basic, do payoff later in the series. Particularly when Michael is making decisions.
I do agree with you that it's good to get people thinking "Making the right choice isn't always obvious or easy." I just wish the writers would think to themselves. "Making the right choice in the writing isn't always the obvious or easy choice." Lazy ass writers!
That might be true in terms of the presentation of the ethics, but I've really liked the direction that the show has gone plot-wise. And this is really true for me in terms of the third season (which I know you haven't seen, but maybe you will also find it lacking).

It might well just not be a show that pushes your buttons. I'll admit that I get emotionally attached to shows/movies I like, so that when someone says "XYZ was kind of stupid" my immediate response is not an even-handed "Well, *shrug* different strokes for different folks!", it's "MAYBE YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S STUPID!!! EVER THINK OF THAT?!?!?!?!!!".

In the last few years I've gotten more comfortable admitting that sometimes I just need shows or movies that make me smile and feel good, even if they aren't that deep or aren't asking particularly challenging questions of me as an audience member.
User avatar
Captain Oats
Posts: 28928
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:00 pm
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Captain Oats » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:47 pm

User avatar
LEAVES
Posts: 15541
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: LEAVES come from TREES

Re: The Television Thread

Post by LEAVES » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:05 pm

Takoma1 wrote:That might be true in terms of the presentation of the ethics, but I've really liked the direction that the show has gone plot-wise. And this is really true for me in terms of the third season (which I know you haven't seen, but maybe you will also find it lacking).

It might well just not be a show that pushes your buttons. I'll admit that I get emotionally attached to shows/movies I like, so that when someone says "XYZ was kind of stupid" my immediate response is not an even-handed "Well, *shrug* different strokes for different folks!", it's "MAYBE YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S STUPID!!! EVER THINK OF THAT?!?!?!?!!!".
I actually do think of that, quite often. It's probably the best outcome: ignorance is bliss, after all. Intelligently finding your way to bliss is a god damn hassle.
Takoma1 wrote:In the last few years I've gotten more comfortable admitting that sometimes I just need shows or movies that make me smile and feel good, even if they aren't that deep or aren't asking particularly challenging questions of me as an audience member.
I'm with you, until I start fighting windmills and then all bets are off.
User avatar
boojiboyhowdy
Posts: 441
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by boojiboyhowdy » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:43 am

Kind of a mixed bag of an episode for tonight's The Walking Dead. I'll admit that it has actually improved without the presence of Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan. They have literally divided the unwieldy cast into the three distinct camps. I know they had already done this but since it no longer needs the Rick Grimes character to tie it all together it's relaxed and somewhat freed up the storylines. It has an overall looser feel to it. I'm probably making it sound better than it actually is but at this point any improvement is welcome. There's still plenty of dumbassery to be found though with tonight's Kingdom contribution providing the impetus of yet another needless excursion. But at least this time they do a better job of rationalizing it. Oh, and the newest villain named Alpha is played by Samantha Morton.
User avatar
boojiboyhowdy
Posts: 441
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by boojiboyhowdy » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:40 pm

So has anyone else finished up the latest season of True Detective? If so, I wanted to ask if I missed some hidden meaning or layer. It wouldn't be the first time. But my take was that the overlying mystery concerning the missing kids was secondary or maybe even unimportant to the season. What it turned out to be was a deep character study of Detective Wayne David Hayes. And in that respect I think this season succeeded. Mahershala Ali's performance was seamless. I think Hayes was one of the more fully realized characters in recent memory. Which is quite a feat given the fixed series format. The rest of the cast were exemplary as well with Stephen Dorff showing he can be a solid actor given the right role. I think he and Ali should both earn some Best Actor Emmy and GG nominations at the very least. Carmen Ejogo was great as well. The time jumping may have been a little confusing but not detrimental overall. This third go around may not have reached the heights of season one but it was still an improvement over S2.
User avatar
boojiboyhowdy
Posts: 441
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by boojiboyhowdy » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:15 pm

Nevermind. I got that whole theory about the case not being important completely wrong. It was the catalyst and foundation for Hayes' entire life with his wife and family. He said as much. And the way they subverted genre expectations by making the search for the missing children both secondary but also indispensable was subtle and adept. And the more I think about it the more that last shot of Hayes looking over his shoulder before entering the jungle was note perfect.
User avatar
Andrew Ryan
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:13 am
Location: The Looking Glass

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Andrew Ryan » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:49 pm

boojiboyhowdy wrote:So has anyone else finished up the latest season of True Detective? If so, I wanted to ask if I missed some hidden meaning or layer. It wouldn't be the first time. But my take was that the overlying mystery concerning the missing kids was secondary or maybe even unimportant to the season. What it turned out to be was a deep character study of Detective Wayne David Hayes. And in that respect I think this season succeeded. Mahershala Ali's performance was seamless. I think Hayes was one of the more fully realized characters in recent memory. Which is quite a feat given the fixed series format. The rest of the cast were exemplary as well with Stephen Dorff showing he can be a solid actor given the right role. I think he and Ali should both earn some Best Actor Emmy and GG nominations at the very least. Carmen Ejogo was great as well. The time jumping may have been a little confusing but not detrimental overall. This third go around may not have reached the heights of season one but it was still an improvement over S2.
I really enjoyed season 3.

S1 was lightning in a bottle. I appreciated the curveball and narrative design with 3 - it let the show become something new.

Also, the Doc Filmmaker reminded me of conspiracy theory twitter.
User avatar
Jinnistan
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:40 am

boojiboyhowdy wrote:Nevermind. I got that whole theory about the case not being important completely wrong. It was the catalyst and foundation for Hayes' entire life with his wife and family. He said as much. And the way they subverted genre expectations by making the search for the missing children both secondary but also indispensable was subtle and adept. And the more I think about it the more that last shot of Hayes looking over his shoulder before entering the jungle was note perfect.
I like the character study stuff, and Ali was excellent, but rather than finding it "genre subversive", I'm a bit tired of Pizza's negligence over the mystery aspects, a problem that's been variable throughout the series. Rather than finding it subversive, I'm more of the mind now that Pizza is just a pretty horrible writer of detective fiction, and never develops his mysteries beyond the set-up stage. I don't see why character and crime plot should be necessarily mutually exclusive, and I feel it's more of a cop out, one he's repeated three times now. It's not as insulting as the second season, where the crime mystery was sidelined for several episodes, but it's still a cop out, and
referencing the season one crime
only accentuates this dilemma and the notion that Pizza is more about cynical nihilism than human drama. I mean, if we're to take the focus on Wayne's character, then why even tease
Michael Rooker
with no attempt to develop him? This is the shtick that every season has taken, to variable success. It's an unlikely long-game that Pizza has some kind of master plan for all of these mysteries, but the payoff in that scheme looks bleak.

As for that success, S3 may be the most successful in terms of character study. I find Wayne more compelling than Russ, and I dare say the Ali/Dorff performances surpassed Matthew/Woody. On the negative, Pizza still can't write for women worth a shit, and I felt horribly for the lines that Carmen Ejogo had to suffer through.
User avatar
Ace
Posts: 23718
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:11 pm
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ace » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:52 am

Just finished Season 3. Pizzolato cleared some stuff up about that last episode. But yeah that was a great character study.There was no big conspiracy this time which I liked. Some people were just looking for answers.Like
Michael Rooker's character. He didn't acutally know what happened because in actually he didn't know. Junius basically says as much that he was pretty much oblivious to what they were doing.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:29 pm

Maybe I missed something in the last few episodes of True Detective S3, but...
...who were the two people in the ghost costumes in Margaret's photograph? Was it Isabel and Junius?
Also,
What do you make of the final scene with Wayne in Vietnam? Was it just there to show how that experience shaped him as a person, and perhaps the U.S. as a whole?
Last Great Movie Seen
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949)
User avatar
Ace
Posts: 23718
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:11 pm
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ace » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:04 am

Torgo wrote:Maybe I missed something in the last few episodes of True Detective S3, but...
...who were the two people in the ghost costumes in Margaret's photograph? Was it Isabel and Junius?
Also,
What do you make of the final scene with Wayne in Vietnam? Was it just there to show how that experience shaped him as a person, and perhaps the U.S. as a whole?
Yes

And I make that
he's going back into his mind. Lost in the recesses' of his mind. He solved it but he wont remember it because it's lost in his mind and he's always looking for it. It's why he always manifested his wife when he hallucinated. She was his "inner" detective.
User avatar
Jinnistan
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:06 am

Ace wrote:
Michael Rooker's character. He didn't acutally know what happened because in actually he didn't know. Junius basically says as much that he was pretty much oblivious to what they were doing.
It's still pretty hard to believe that
he was unaware of the pink room on his property or the payout to the mother and all of the other things that Harris was up to
but whatever.
User avatar
Ace
Posts: 23718
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:11 pm
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Ace » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:38 am

Jinnistan wrote: It's still pretty hard to believe that
he was unaware of the pink room on his property or the payout to the mother and all of the other things that Harris was up to
but whatever.
He was aware of certain things. But not EVERYTHING. Pizzolato did an interview where he laid it out that he was just as in the dark as Wayne was about certain things.
User avatar
Slentert
Posts: 756
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:23 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Slentert » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:03 pm

Currently addicted to Mad Men.
User avatar
Stu
Posts: 25040
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:49 am

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Stu » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:24 am

User avatar
DaMU
Posts: 532
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:06 pm

Enjoying Russian Doll after five episodes, but I'm also a sucker for loop narratives.
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.
User avatar
Takoma1
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:25 pm

DaMU wrote:Enjoying Russian Doll after five episodes, but I'm also a sucker for loop narratives.
I think it does some pretty neat things with the "stuck in a loop" narrative trope.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:44 pm

Slentert wrote:Currently addicted to Mad Men.
You're in for a treat.

My current addiction is The Shield. Why did I wait so long to start watching this? Oh well, better late than never.
Vic Mackey may be the most terrifying character I've ever seen on TV.
Last Great Movie Seen
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949)
User avatar
Oxnard Montalvo
Posts: 1267
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:27 am

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:49 pm

Slentert wrote:Currently addicted to Mad Men.
I'm not sure if the ending was supposed to fuck me up, but it did.

but I can bring that up when you get to it.
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 1586
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:52 pm

Torgo wrote: You're in for a treat.

My current addiction is The Shield. Why did I wait so long to start watching this? Oh well, better late than never.
Vic Mackey may be the most terrifying character I've ever seen on TV.
Oh boy, my #1 show. You're in for a treat as well.

What season are you in?
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Thief wrote:
Oh boy, my #1 show. You're in for a treat as well.

What season are you in?
I'm only three episodes in, so I don't have much to say, but I'm still hooked on it like Connie's hooked on junk (sorry).
I figured Terry would die in the pilot, but I'm still reeling from how it happened.
Last Great Movie Seen
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949)
User avatar
Thief
Posts: 1586
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Contact:

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Thief » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:33 pm

Torgo wrote:I'm only three episodes in, so I don't have much to say, but I'm still hooked on it like Connie's hooked on junk (sorry).
Even though the first season is great, most people will agree that it is the weakest. Not because it is bad, but because you're still getting familiarized with these characters as they also try to find their footing within the story. So if you're hooked now, I suppose you'll overdose when you hit the next seasons. I also hope you've managed to avoid spoilers; not that it would take much from the show if you haven't, but I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it.
Torgo wrote:
I figured Terry would die in the pilot, but I'm still reeling from how it happened.
This is not a spoiler per se, but I'll just say that that's an event that drives most of the actions and consequences of the characters as the show goes on.

I had a chance to chat with actor Reed Diamond regarding another show (24), but we briefly mention The Shield and the impact his character's death had on the show. Feel free to check it out here
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:40 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Torgo » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:57 pm

Thief wrote:
Even though the first season is great, most people will agree that it is the weakest. Not because it is bad, but because you're still getting familiarized with these characters as they also try to find their footing within the story. So if you're hooked now, I suppose you'll overdose when you hit the next seasons. I also hope you've managed to avoid spoilers; not that it would take much from the show if you haven't, but I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it.



This is not a spoiler per se, but I'll just say that that's an event that drives most of the actions and consequences of the characters as the show goes on.

I had a chance to chat with actor Reed Diamond regarding another show (24), but we briefly mention The Shield and the impact his character's death had on the show. Feel free to check it out here
Thanks! It was a welcome sight to see Reed Diamond, Max Perlich and Clark Johnson directing since they're in my favorite cop show besides The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street. I probably like this show so much because it reminds me of it.
Oh, and the montage with Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba" playing in the background is the most 2000's thing I've ever seen. I hope there's more of that. :D
Last Great Movie Seen
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949)
User avatar
Patrick McGroin
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:01 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:46 pm

Finished up season 2 of The Punisher. I thought it was pretty much great. Bloody and violent as hell but, after all, no one goes into something like this expecting My Little Pony.

The Good: excellent bad :?: guy in John Pilgrim. He's not part of the Punisher canon as far as I know so kudos to the writers. Lots of well choreographed fight scenes and blazing gun battles. The way they closed out the whole Frank Castle/Billy Russo arc. Rock solid while doing right by the Punisher character. Good cast overall.

The Bad: Bernthal's character tics gets a little one note especially if you binge all 13 episodes. There's also the usual sense of padding or filler when it comes to a lot of the Marvel/Netflix offerings. The Billy Russo stuff especially started to show it when it appeared to be covering the same ground over and over.

The Ugly: There's some pretty hardcore (but effective) scenes of violence. One especially involving brass knuckles and a guy's face that was a Holy Shit! moment. Characters dish out and take outlandish amounts of violence. But its all in keeping with the overall tone.

Overall grade: B+.
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:56 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote: The Bad: Bernthal's character tics gets a little one note especially if you binge all 13 episodes. There's also the usual sense of padding or filler when it comes to a lot of the Marvel/Netflix offerings. The Billy Russo stuff especially started to show it when it appeared to be covering the same ground over and over.
Agreed about the tics and also the Russo story. I was kinda disappointed to find that Russo was such a prominent part of this season. I would've preferred to move on.
Patrick McGroin wrote:The Ugly: There's some pretty hardcore (but effective) scenes of violence. One especially involving brass knuckles and a guy's face that was a Holy Shit! moment. Characters dish out and take outlandish amounts of violence. But its all in keeping with the overall tone.
Sweet jesus, yes. I also remember a scene involving a barbell weight that was hard to watch. I think your B+ is fair. Punisher and DD Season 3 put me back on board with the Marvel/Netflix thing after having lost interest somewhere in the middle there. Even Iron Fist 2 was better than 1. I'm ok with it being over, though. I feel like it's run its course.

EDIT: Maybe the barbell thing was Daredevil, come to think of it?
User avatar
Captain Terror
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:07 pm

On the complete opposite end of the Marvel spectrum, I've used my free month of Hulu to finally catch up on Agent Carter and found it thoroughly charming. The tone sort of reminded me of the superhero shows of my youth (Wonder Woman/Hulk/etc), with its straightforward good guys vs bad guys approach. (Something like Agents of Shield can sort of lose its way attempting to include too many twists, in my opinion.) I loved the Carter character in First Avenger and was bummed that the jump to the future meant that she'd be left out of future movies, so this was welcome for me. Also thought they did a great job with the period details. As someone that prefers the pulpy lighthearted side of superheroes to the grim stuff, this hit the spot.

My favorite moment was Carter's speech when her colleagues express disbelief that she carried on an investigation without their knowledge. The "I got away with it because I'm invisible here" speech. Good stuff.
User avatar
Patrick McGroin
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:01 pm

Re: The Television Thread

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:08 pm

Captain Terror wrote:Sweet jesus, yes. I also remember a scene involving a barbell weight that was hard to watch. I think your B+ is fair. Punisher and DD Season 3 put me back on board with the Marvel/Netflix thing after having lost interest somewhere in the middle there. Even Iron Fist 2 was better than 1. I'm ok with it being over, though. I feel like it's run its course.

EDIT: Maybe the barbell thing was Daredevil, come to think of it?
No, no. You're right. I thought it was the fight that Pilgrim had with his old white supremacist gang but it was indeed the one Frank had in the gym with the Russians. It was the ending shot of the guy on the floor after Frank got through pounding his face like a beefsteak with that weight. I was like, "Holy crap!"
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
Post Reply