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What TV SHOWS are you watching?

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16 May 2018 08:28 #273407 by charlest

Gregarius wrote:

Jackwraith wrote:

cranberries wrote: Season five was notoriously slow, and more about their relationship than anything else.


And I'm OK with that except... we've done this bit already, multiple times. Every season has one or the other of them getting jealous about the esoteric parts of a job THAT THEY'VE BEEN DOING FOR TWENTY YEARS. Shouldn't they be past the jealousy part, already? For that matter, midway through season 5, we have Philip getting uneasy about the job again. This is the same thing he was complaining about in the VERY FIRST EPISODE of the series. After 4.5 seasons, you're telling me that they can't come up with some new themes? By far the most interesting sequence in the entire series is (spoilers)

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

I don't think they're *returning* to the theme of Philip questioning his job, I think it's still unresolved. Unlike most TV dramas, real, life-changing decisions don't get made over the course of a week so that people can move on. It's an internal conflict that will probably never properly resolve for him. He's good at it, but he hates it. He wants to quit, but doesn't want to give up all the things it has given him. That inner turmoil influences every action he takes, every interaction with other people, even his own family. I find it fascinating and well-imagined.

I've watched every season so far on Amazon, but I didn't realize I could get currently airing episodes on there. I'll have to look into that.


Was going to reply with much of this.

Some of this does come to a head in season 6.

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17 May 2018 12:42 #273495 by Count Orlok
I started to watch The Expanse while working in my shop, so I have to admit I'm not following it as carefully as I could, but I'm lukewarm. I'm part way into the second season and it's... fine? Sort of fun but a bit shallow?

It's entertaining enough to keep watching but I've been hearing praise for it as "the smartest science fiction to appear in a long time" (to quote Patton Oswalt) but I'm just not seeing it. What is the show even about thematically? It seems like a pretty clear retread of Game of Thrones. Multiple stories of human political conflict all of which are a distraction from the real magical enemy (I have not watched the last few years of Game of Thrones). Apart from the pulpy thrill of "what comes next" is there more to it? Does it improve over the second and third seasons?

Again, I'm not disliking it but am trying to understand the praise it has received. Is science fiction on tv so bad that the show stands out this much? Have I just fallen out of love for sci-fi storytelling?
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17 May 2018 12:46 #273497 by ChristopherMD
I think you nailed The Expanse. I like it and continue to watch it but the show has no charisma and I'm not surprised its been canceled.
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17 May 2018 14:06 #273504 by Shellhead

Count Orlok wrote: I started to watch The Expanse while working in my shop, so I have to admit I'm not following it as carefully as I could, but I'm lukewarm. I'm part way into the second season and it's... fine? Sort of fun but a bit shallow?

It's entertaining enough to keep watching but I've been hearing praise for it as "the smartest science fiction to appear in a long time" (to quote Patton Oswalt) but I'm just not seeing it. What is the show even about thematically? It seems like a pretty clear retread of Game of Thrones. Multiple stories of human political conflict all of which are a distraction from the real magical enemy (I have not watched the last few years of Game of Thrones). Apart from the pulpy thrill of "what comes next" is there more to it? Does it improve over the second and third seasons?

Again, I'm not disliking it but am trying to understand the praise it has received. Is science fiction on tv so bad that the show stands out this much? Have I just fallen out of love for sci-fi storytelling?


Great post. I agree that The Expanse would like to be A Game of Thrones, but only one of the stories really matters, the one with all the action. The rest is just context. If Game of Thrones only had action when Jon Snow was on screen, it would be more like The Expanse. The first season of The Expanse was okay, but after two episodes of the second season, it didn't seem to be getting any better, so I gave up. The Expanse isn't a bad show, and the science-fiction seems realistic enough though not particularly imaginative or original. It's just that I only have so much time for tv watching, and "not bad" isn't good enough.
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17 May 2018 14:14 #273505 by Gregarius
I really like The Expanse, but I totally get why people would be lukewarm on it.
I think the reason it gets praise as the "best sf show" is simply because they make an effort to use real-world physics and science.
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17 May 2018 14:40 #273511 by Count Orlok
I plan to keep watching it for the time being, but I am a little disappointed. I was so into the Battlestar Galactica remake when it was first on and I really wanted that rush again.

I did finally figure out what The Expanse reminded me the most of: an RPG campaign. The emphasis on setting and plot hooks really make me think of all the time I used to spend fantasizing about the grand narratives I would take a group through as a GM.
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17 May 2018 16:47 #273534 by CranBerries

Jackwraith wrote: Perhaps it's just the deep cover KGB agent's way of bitching about one's job but never actually doing anything to solve the conflict that they're bitching about.


That sort of sounds like every job, ever. Especially academics.

But season six RIPS OFF THE BAND-AID BABY!

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18 May 2018 04:43 #273568 by Nodens

Count Orlok wrote: I plan to keep watching it for the time being, but I am a little disappointed. I was so into the Battlestar Galactica remake when it was first on and I really wanted that rush again.

I did finally figure out what The Expanse reminded me the most of: an RPG campaign. The emphasis on setting and plot hooks really make me think of all the time I used to spend fantasizing about the grand narratives I would take a group through as a GM.

You are right on the money:
1. Of course SciFi fans are socialised to be happy with 'good enough', there is almost no show or movie without significant problems.
2. The Expanse was a RPG campaign first, then a mediocre book, now a slightly above mediocre show. Still, I will consume all of that, because that RPG aspect is still alive in there.
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21 May 2018 21:15 #273850 by DarthJoJo
I finished season three of Better Call Saul on Netflix last week, and I think I’m ready to say it’s better than Breaking Bad or at least more adult. It doesn’t go for the flash and spectacle of Breaking’s big moments and violence so much. It lets the desperation and tragedy of its characters be quieter and hit harder. Walt laughing under the floor boards may be an indelible image, but it isn’t as terrible as Chuck destroying his house.

I like to that it makes no bones that it’s leafs are villains. We may like and empathize with Jimmy and Mike and even Nacho, but they’re not good people. Breaking tried to have it both ways with Walt. It knew he was a villain but kept putting him m against worse people (street dealers to kingpins to skinheads) to make him look better.
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21 May 2018 23:15 #273853 by SuperflyTNT
Same reason I love Way of the Gun

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22 May 2018 11:43 #273876 by Gregarius

DarthJoJo wrote: I finished season three of Better Call Saul on Netflix last week, and I think I’m ready to say it’s better than Breaking Bad or at least more adult. It doesn’t go for the flash and spectacle of Breaking’s big moments and violence so much. It lets the desperation and tragedy of its characters be quieter and hit harder. Walt laughing under the floor boards may be an indelible image, but it isn’t as terrible as Chuck destroying his house.

I like to that it makes no bones that it’s leafs are villains. We may like and empathize with Jimmy and Mike and even Nacho, but they’re not good people. Breaking tried to have it both ways with Walt. It knew he was a villain but kept putting him m against worse people (street dealers to kingpins to skinheads) to make him look better.

Hey, I finished it last week as well. I'm pretty sure I like it better than Breaking Bad, but it also makes me want to watch that whole series again.

I disagree with you about Jimmy, though. I think he's very much a good person, but the world just won't ever let him succeed. He has flaws-- he's a little selfish, he cuts corners, and to him the ends always justify the means-- but his heart is usually in the right place. To me, he's the epitome of a modern tragic hero.
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22 May 2018 14:23 #273894 by JMcL63
Yeah, Jimmy is a truly tragic character, because you know that, no matter what he does, he's going to end up as Saul in Breaking Bad. And when you see him in Better Call Saul, you realise that he so nearly had it all: successful high-powered career, beautiful girlfriend, the lot.

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22 May 2018 15:16 #273898 by Gregarius

JMcL63 wrote: Yeah, Jimmy is a truly tragic character, because you know that, no matter what he does, he's going to end up as Saul in Breaking Bad. And when you see him in Better Call Saul, you realise that he so nearly had it all: successful high-powered career, beautiful girlfriend, the lot.

My dream is that the series finale of Better Call Saul (whenever it happens) ends with him in the "present" as the Cinnabon Manager. He's sitting in his lonely apartment when the phone rings: "It's done," they say, then click. He smiles and hangs up. Cut to: Jimmy walking down the beach in Zihuatanejo as Kim Wexler rises from a lounger to greet him, with a giant bottle of Zafiro Añejo in her hand.

Whether it's the money from Breaking Bad, from the Sandpiper settlement, or from who knows what other shenanigans, I hold out hope that eventually Jimmy gets to retire on some luxury estate on the coast of Mexico.
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22 May 2018 16:44 #273903 by stoic

Msample wrote: After recently getting hooked on THE EXPANSE, bummed to find out that ScyFy is dropping it after this season. Hopefully some other network picks it up.



The Expanse is coming back on Amazon Prime!

www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/expa...-4-at-amazon-1113803
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23 May 2018 13:20 #273952 by RobertB
I'm reading that they're 'still in talks'. Hope it happens, but...

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