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What TV SHOWS are you watching?
PBS was a fascinating beast back in the late seventies and early eighties. They really took chances, but seemed to sort of invent the aesthetics for their documentaries out of whole cloth, with mixed success. The Galbraith doc is 10 hours of Galbraith basically reciting from his companion book of the same name, accompanied at times by weird little visual stage plays on elaborate sound stage sets. Galbraith is an abysmal speaker, punctuating his lecture on the roots of economic thought with bizarre little jokes that don’t land and a lot of nerve-y physical ticks that make me want to give the guy a hug. For 10 hours.
Anyway, it’s a curious snapshot into what mainstream economic liberalism imagined it was doing 40 years ago, which was to sort of save capitalism from itself, and to save people from it. His thinking on socialism is extensive and deeply researched, and probably more sympathetic to its aims than that of the contemporary DSA platform. It’s about political economy, rather than just MBA l33t speak.
A documentary on this subject on PBS today would just be a zippy, Koch-approved freakonomics thing about how hard you’re not working, and how you should be working so much harder.
Anyway, it’s all free on YouTube. It starts here:
PS: also from that era is Middletown, an 8-hour Maysles-style documentary series about Muncie, IN circa 1980. It is a must watch, especially if you’re a rust belt kid like me. film.avclub.com/middletown-1798166022
It was great. There was a lot of footage I hadn't seen before and I haven't seen the Ali-Spinks fights since I was a kid, so that was kind of a flashback. Watching the footage of him outside the fights in those years is kind of heartbreaking, though. You can see the decline from the always witty, vibrant, and energized Ali to the one who simply can't process what's happening in front of him without an obvious struggle; well before the fight with Parkinson's had started.
When it's good, Hannibal is shocking or smart or both. For better and worse, some of the elaborately staged crime scenes have not faded from memory so far. Certain scientific details or psychological analyses were interesting. The main characters and even some recurring characters had depth and actual character development. Many of these characters were played by good actors working from good scripts. The cinematography was often excellent, especially by tv show standards.
Despite these good qualities, I'm not sure that this Hannibal tv show serves any real purpose. Instead of being the prequel to Manhunter that I wanted to see, this series represents an alternate reality to the previous Hannibal books/movies, with stories being told in a different chronological sequence and with major variations in terms of plot. Here, the movie Hannibal takes place before Manhunter, and The Silence of the Lambs never happens at all.
When Hannibal is bad, it's painfully slow and very repetitive. There are times when all the characters in the scene are talking so slowly that it almost seems like my new tv is malfunctioning. And way too many scenes are wasted on speculation that Hannibal is or isn't manipulating Will. Or Will is manipulating Hannibal. Or Jack is manipulating etc. Or that Hannibal and Will are romantically attracted to each other. Even the series finale remains preoccupied by these questions long after the show has already addressed them at great length.
Watch Hannibal if you like good acting, crime scene procedurals, shocking plot twists, and also creative atrocities. If you don't like all these things, then you probably won't enjoy Hannibal.
It's all on Netflix now if you want to check it out.
hotseatgames wrote: It's all on Netflix now if you want to check it out.
That's great, I have Showtime but I keep forgetting to record Season 3 so I'm glad they've finally added it.
I've been watching Chernobyl and the first two episode are amazing, albeit more horrifying than most horror films. To see people unknowingly exposed to lethal doses of radiation due to a combination of denial and bureaucratic in-fighting and inertia is profoundly disturbing. That being said, I remember when it happened when I was a kid but I never knew that much about it, so the technical details and the human drama is all new to me and riveting. I highly recommend it, though if the series remains this harrowing all the way through I might watch the turtle scene from Cannibal Holocaust after each subsequent episode as a palate cleanser.
hotseatgames wrote: Just finished season 3 (and thus, the series) of Ash vs. Evil Dead. It was awesome and hilarious! This show is so good, it sucks that it's canceled. I would not be surprised if it was a very expensive show to make.
It's all on Netflix now if you want to check it out.
I liked the first two seasons, but somehow season 3 seemed more annoying than fun. Except the final battle with the demon Baal, which was delightful.
Doom Patrol is a lot of fun. Good cast and more character driven than spectacle. Not grimdark but weird science and technology that seems to range from 1950's style robots to Cyborg.
I don't get HBO, so I don't know when I'll get to see it.
mc wrote: Anyone seen Clooney's Catch 22 yet? Any good?
I just finished the first episode, and I cannot tell if I'm misremembering Heller's novel or if
A ) The producers, George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Ellen Kuras, have a different understanding or zero understanding of the novel or
B ) They think they're Terrence Malick
They seem to have somehow missed the black comedy and broad satire that is Catch-22 -- the names, the slapstick, the absurd humor -- and have instead turned to The Thin Red Line as their inspiration and it's honestly puzzling to me.
I've always equated the novel with the like of Kubrik's Dr. Strangelove, Paths of Glory and even Altman's M*A*S*H, but this ain't that.
It's not bad, exactly, but I can't reconcile it as being an adaptation of Heller's Catch-22.
Am I missing something?