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What TV SHOWS are you watching?

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12 Sep 2019 20:46 #301673 by san il defanso
My wife and I started Derry Girls last night. Then I looked on the episode list and saw that the each season was only six episodes. Which was disappointing, because I enjoyed it so much.
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13 Sep 2019 10:09 #301686 by Joebot

Jackwraith wrote: Veep was the best comedy on TV, while it was running; writing, acting, directing. Just crushed it.


Totally agreed. I remember reading an article about the show a couple of years ago. Julia Louis Dreyfuss was fussing over the script, trying to figure out what exact word she wanted to use in a particular scene. It had something to do with vegetables, I forget exactly. Anyway, all I remember is she settled on "carrot" because according to her, "the 'k' sound is funny." I mean .... is it?? I'm sure the hell not going to argue with her. She has comedy down to a mathematical formula.

I watched a documentary called Eye of the Beholder last night on Amazon Prime. It's all about Dungeons & Dragon art, and all the artists who have worked at TSR / Wizards over the years. They spent a good chunk of time on the Big Four -- Elmore, Easley, Parkinson, and Caldwell. At one point, they dragged out an old copy of the "Art of the Dragonlance Saga" book. I still have that book, and I spent countless hours flipping through it when I was a kid. The documentary is pretty good. They show tons of art going back to the 70's across all kinds of D&D materials. They also talk about the origins of TSR and what it was like to work there in the early days. Very fun documentary, and the artwork is just a blast to see.
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13 Sep 2019 10:55 #301687 by Shellhead
I should watch that Eye of the Beholder documentary. That big four is a respectable group of artists, but I actually have more nostalgia for their less-talented associates: Erol Otus, Bill Willingham, Jeff Dee, David Trampier. Artists like that were less polished but made the hobby seem so accessible, like anybody with paper and pencil could make a living in games.

www.somethingawful.com/dungeons-and-drag...-dungeons-dragons/1/
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13 Sep 2019 13:34 #301702 by Joebot

Shellhead wrote: I should watch that Eye of the Beholder documentary. That big four is a respectable group of artists, but I actually have more nostalgia for their less-talented associates: Erol Otus, Bill Willingham, Jeff Dee, David Trampier. Artists like that were less polished but made the hobby seem so accessible, like anybody with paper and pencil could make a living in games.

www.somethingawful.com/dungeons-and-drag...-dungeons-dragons/1/


All four of those artists you mentioned are featured in the documentary. Jeff Dee in particular gets a lot of interview time. I believe Trampier is deceased, but they talk about him a lot and his early influence.

Oh and Margaret Weis is interviewed as well, which was fun. I met her at a book signing in College Station, TX back in ... 1995? She's a very kind and generous woman, and I still have my signed copy of "Dragons of Autumn Twilight." And she looks exactly the same!! She hasn't aged a day in 20 years.
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13 Sep 2019 17:02 #301712 by Msample
Going back to the B5 discussion, I recently finished a selective rewatch. I skipped about half the first season and last season, but the middle three are all quite good, with only a handful of clunkers/bottle eps. Even the weak first season has some crucial eps relevant to the long term story arc, and the last season has some decent eps , like the Bester/Psi Corps centric one or the arc about Londo/Centauri Prime.

I saw it when it originally aired; I remember eagerly awaiting the recaps/creator commentary at the Lurkers Guide to Babylon 5 website, an amazing resource that was ahead of its time.

www.midwinter.com/lurk/countries/us/eplist.html

Someone mentioned the weak performance of Michael O'Hare ( first season, commander Sinclair ) . It only came out after his passing in 2012 that he was suffering from mental issues: from his IMDB bio:

"By the time O'Hare passed away in September 2012, he hadn't had a role in over a decade, nor had he been seen out in public for years, fueling speculation he was gravely ill for the last several years of his life. Only upon O'Hare's death (and at his request) did close friend and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski confirm that he had, in fact, been battling an increasing debilitating case of schizophrenia. Straczynski also confirmed that O'Hare's difficulty with the illness was the primary reason he was forced to leave Babylon 5 at the end of the first season, a decision which was mutual and very amicable. JMS even went so far as to delay the filming of the series several months to try and accommodate his condition, but O'Hare declined, citing that the delay would adversely affect the rest of the cast & crew, and insisted that they should continue without him. O'Hare would eventually return for a brief cameo in the second season, as well as a guest role in the third season that concluded his character's story in the series."

He passed away at the relatively young age of 60. In fact, the shows cast seemed/seems doomed. Besides O'Hare:

Richard Biggs ( Dr. Franklin ) died age 44

Stephen Furst ( Vir Cotto ) died age 63

Jerry Doyle ( Garibaldi ) died age 60

Jeff Conaway ( Zack Allen ) died age 60

Andreas Katsulas ( G'Kar ) died age 59
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13 Sep 2019 18:04 #301715 by Michael Barnes
But you know who isn’t dead? Peter Jurasik. Londo. Hmmmmmmmmm........

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16 Sep 2019 14:38 #301750 by Sagrilarus
I bumped into Hogan's Heroes while testing out Locast.org on my smart TV. A staple of my childhood. I can't get Locast to connect to local channels which kind of sucks because watching NYC local advertising is just painful. They're such an arrogant lot. I don't need any more people telling me it's the greatest city in the world. I've heard it plenty enough already.

Here's the thing -- Hogan's Heroes was in High Definition and looked really good. It's from the 1960s. Best guess is that it was originally shot on film and they've re-coded from the original masters instead of just hanging the same tape that they did last century. It gave it a kind of uncanny feel, something that should have looked dated that didn't. Don't know how much other old television there is that they have done this for.

Not that my expectations were terribly high, but the show was better than I remembered it. The episode kind of had a Stalag 17 feel to it, one of the less pratfall oriented weeks apparently.

Locast.org is close to being useful. Let's see what the next week brings, I've opened a trouble ticket with them.
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16 Sep 2019 14:53 #301752 by Jackwraith
I watched one episode of Carnival Row. It's abysmal. dichotomouspurity.blogspot.com/2019/09/c...are-usually-fun.html
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17 Sep 2019 08:00 - 17 Sep 2019 08:08 #301767 by RolandHemisphere

Jackwraith wrote: I watched one episode of Carnival Row. It's abysmal. dichotomouspurity.blogspot.com/2019/09/c...are-usually-fun.html


I've watched a few now, and I have to say, on top of everything mentioned in your article, Carnival Row is insufferably "serious." I was drawn in by the art direction, but the grey, smokey, sunless Victorian London vistas are endless, the art direction, like the writing, is one note: dark. The writing, as mentioned, is terrible, overly baroque and overly expository, and yet it's biggest flaw isn't the dreadful prattling on, the restating of the obvious, it's that for all that, we have no idea what the larger conflict is about. We have characters that have been through a war, and yet the point of the war is completely opaque. They've gone out of their way to let us know the war is about something, but we're kept in the dark for what? I suspect the writers hide their absolute lack of ideas behind a veneer of mystery.

The show is grimdark, humorless and boring.

I think we're now seeing the BIG FLAW, in dropping entire seasons at once. The production team, isolated from public opinion, has no abilty to adjust their course during the season. Carnival Row, will get a few hits then fade from the scene.
Last edit: 17 Sep 2019 08:08 by RolandHemisphere.
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17 Sep 2019 08:23 #301768 by charlest
Loving "On Becoming a God in Central Florida". Kirsten Dunst is fantastic and it has a wicked, almost Coen borthers-esque, blend of comedy and drama.

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17 Sep 2019 09:46 #301769 by RobertB

RolandHemisphere wrote:

Jackwraith wrote: I watched one episode of Carnival Row. It's abysmal. dichotomouspurity.blogspot.com/2019/09/c...are-usually-fun.html


I've watched a few now, and I have to say, on top of everything mentioned in your article, Carnival Row is insufferably "serious." I was drawn in by the art direction, but the grey, smokey, sunless Victorian London vistas are endless, the art direction, like the writing, is one note: dark. The writing, as mentioned, is terrible, overly baroque and overly expository, and yet it's biggest flaw isn't the dreadful prattling on, the restating of the obvious, it's that for all that, we have no idea what the larger conflict is about. We have characters that have been through a war, and yet the point of the war is completely opaque. They've gone out of their way to let us know the war is about something, but we're kept in the dark for what? I suspect the writers hide their absolute lack of ideas behind a veneer of mystery.

The show is grimdark, humorless and boring.

I think we're now seeing the BIG FLAW, in dropping entire seasons at once. The production team, isolated from public opinion, has no abilty to adjust their course during the season. Carnival Row, will get a few hits then fade from the scene.


Is fixing up an ongoing season something that a show can do? I could see a soap opera doing that, because they have to do 5 shows a week, 52 weeks a year. Or something like Law & Order: SVU (24 episodes in season 20). But a show like Game of Thrones' season is done, even though there are weeks of programs left to broadcast.

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17 Sep 2019 10:01 #301770 by RolandHemisphere
Shows used to have longer seasons, and you would often see substantial improvements after a pilot episode. Shows like X-Files, would have a show hit the air while others were still shooting. So, yes, shows could be adjusted as a season progressed.

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17 Sep 2019 11:32 #301776 by Jackwraith

RolandHemisphere wrote: Shows used to have longer seasons, and you would often see substantial improvements after a pilot episode. Shows like X-Files, would have a show hit the air while others were still shooting. So, yes, shows could be adjusted as a season progressed.


Now, I guess they do that with seasons? A second season of Carnival Row was already approved before the first one was released, so I guess this is their opportunity to take what feedback they got and run with it. I have seen a couple positive reviews for it, so maybe they'll just take the smoke up their ass and run with that. There have been seasonal corrections in the past. Battlestar Galactica was failing with the second season, but they heard the clamor for less introspective horseshit loud and clear and went in a starkly different direction with the third season, which is what all my friends try to tell me when I tell them that I stopped watching after the second season. So, it is possible.

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17 Sep 2019 12:01 #301778 by hotseatgames
I don't want my entertainment designed by committee, so I think season dumps are just fine. If a show doesn't suit my taste, there are plenty of others.
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17 Sep 2019 12:01 #301779 by Shellhead

Jackwraith wrote: Battlestar Galactica was failing with the second season, but they heard the clamor for less introspective horseshit loud and clear and went in a starkly different direction with the third season, which is what all my friends try to tell me when I tell them that I stopped watching after the second season. So, it is possible.


I didn't start watching BSG until after getting the boardgame, but I'm surprised to hear that the show was failing with the second season. It wasn't quite as good as the mini-series or the first season, but still pretty good. Third season is where the show lost its way, especially in the second half of the season. It became apparent that the writers had run out of their planned material and were just making shit up along the way. I gave up at the end of the third season with zero regrets about skipping the final season.
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