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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
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oliverkinne
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 20, 2022
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Michael Barnes
July 14, 2022
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thegiantbrain
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adamr
July 13, 2022
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What TV SHOWS are you watching?

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15 Apr 2022 11:12 #332331 by Shellhead
Recently finished season one of Our Flag Means Death. As I mentioned upthread, it's a pirate comedy. The production values are great, so the ship, the pirates, the locations all look as good as anything from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The comedy has some nice biting social commentary, and gradually the show goes from offering a hint of a gay subtext to a full mouth-on-mouth gay kiss later in the season. I don't laugh easily these days, but the show delivered many smiles.

Now I am finally watching the BBC comedy Ghosts, after first seeing a great trailer for it a couple of years ago. A married couple inherits a mansion that is infested with ghosts. The ghosts don't want them there and try to drive them out. The couple can't afford to give up the mansion, because they took out a big loan to renovate the place so they can operate it as a bed & breakfast inn. The ghosts are diverse bunch, ranging from a caveman to a politician who died a particularly scandalous death, and some of the ghost actors have excellent comedic timing. The married couple play straight to the funny ghosts, and the wife has a plucky charm that reminds me of Margot Kidder.

Still watching The Minx, and it's great. In one episode, the feminist editor of the magazine does an interview with a couple of radio shock jocks. They get in some cheap, sleazy jokes at her expense at first, but she soon turns the tables and goes on an amazing rant that left a huge smile on my face. The history of the human race is also a history of men treating women badly because they can, so it was bracing and refreshing to see someone finally call out all of that shit, with passion and conviction and wit. Bravo!
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15 Apr 2022 14:25 #332337 by jason10mm
There is an american (well, made in america starring an aussie) version of Ghosts (on CBS i think?) with the lady from I, Zombie as the female lead. I watched a few eps and while it isn't knock down drag out funny, it was mildly amusing. As expected, the antiquated ghosts are decidedly NOT vintage thinking except when it would be funny to do so in a relatively crude way (so very few puns/deep jokes). Seems to sorta follow the American Horror Story version of ghosts, i.e. folks who died on property but with some unexplainable bits.

It irks me how much of the dramatics center around a woman who can see ghosts talking in front of folks who can't. I feel like in the modern age of many many shows doing this and universal airpods it would be trivial to pass off these one sided conversations to others and move the genre past "wow, is she crazy?" to something else. But I only watched 4-5 eps I think so maybe it got better.

Started Vikings:Valhalla on netflix. This is ostensibly a follow-up to the Ragnar Lodbrok focused Vikings show, just a century or so down the road with folks like Lief Ericksson and Freydis Ericksdottir now in play. As expected, the production design is well tuned and the pagan/Christian conflict well entrenched. This is straight modern viking fantasy though as is apparent by some casting choices. But at least they tried to explain it and the actors are doing well so I'm fine with it. Hope to pair it with "The Northman" in the theater soon and the last season of "The Last Kingdom" to get my fill of mead and blood soaked action media.

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15 Apr 2022 16:02 #332345 by Msample

jason10mm wrote: There is an american (well, made in america starring an aussie) version of Ghosts (on CBS i think?) with the lady from I, Zombie as the female lead. I watched a few eps and while it isn't knock down drag out funny, it was mildly amusing. As expected, the antiquated ghosts are decidedly NOT vintage thinking except when it would be funny to do so in a relatively crude way (so very few puns/deep jokes). Seems to sorta follow the American Horror Story version of ghosts, i.e. folks who died on property but with some unexplainable bits.

It irks me how much of the dramatics center around a woman who can see ghosts talking in front of folks who can't. I feel like in the modern age of many many shows doing this and universal airpods it would be trivial to pass off these one sided conversations to others and move the genre past "wow, is she crazy?" to something else. But I only watched 4-5 eps I think so maybe it got better.

Started Vikings:Valhalla on netflix. This is ostensibly a follow-up to the Ragnar Lodbrok focused Vikings show, just a century or so down the road with folks like Lief Ericksson and Freydis Ericksdottir now in play. As expected, the production design is well tuned and the pagan/Christian conflict well entrenched. This is straight modern viking fantasy though as is apparent by some casting choices. But at least they tried to explain it and the actors are doing well so I'm fine with it. Hope to pair it with "The Northman" in the theater soon and the last season of "The Last Kingdom" to get my fill of mead and blood soaked action media.


That reminds me, I need to pick back up on VALHALLA. While its not bad per se, its so hard to follow in the footsteps of the original series. It was nice how it started off relatively small scale then gradually became more epic in scope whereas V:V starts off "big" already . And the casting of Ragnar and Lagertha was perfect; I don't feel nearly the same attachement to the new leads/characters .

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21 Apr 2022 09:12 - 21 Apr 2022 09:12 #332430 by hotseatgames
I have now watched all 5 available episodes of Tokyo Vice. I am enjoying the show, mainly for its main character, Tokyo. Assuming they are painting a realistic picture of Tokyo culture at the time, it's pretty fascinating to me.

The story is normally plodding... but episode 5 pops off. Looking forward to more.
Last edit: 21 Apr 2022 09:12 by hotseatgames.
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21 Apr 2022 09:34 #332434 by charlest
I'm watching Tokyo Vice now too and enjoying it.

I'm also three episodes deep into Severance and really enthralled by this one.
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21 Apr 2022 13:47 #332453 by fightcitymayor

ChristopherMD wrote: Britannia - Recently watched the first 2 seasons. It's an odd duck. I don't care about historical accuracy and the show doesn't either so that's fine. It appears at first it's about the Roman invasion but really it's about the Druids. Even the Roman General is like a demon more interested in destroying the Druids than anything else. Mackenzie Crook plays the lead Druid under quite a bit of makeup. The first season was good if a bit uneven like the show was still trying to figure out what it wanted to be. The second season was a lot better and felt more planned out with some great music choices. Divis and whatshername were a more fun duo than Arya and the Hound.

UGH! Watch the first episode & you think you're getting a trippy, mysterious, violent show about serious Celtic clan intrigue in the time of the Roman conquest of Britain. What you get afterwards is a dopey, stone stupid hash of TV trope characters (the evil king! the plucky little girl! the scheming shrew wife! the noble beefcake dunderhead!) tossed together with slapstick comic relief, with the requisite softcore scene sprinkled in once per episode (as dictated by the age-old by-laws of pay cable TV.) The costuming is nice, the locations are great, the actors are acceptable (The Governor from The Walking Dead as the main eeeeeevil Roman general), but the script is severely lacking & quickly descends into a scattered series of lame character interactions with plot-holes large enough to drive a Roman legion through. One of those series I went into with no expectations, was met with a lot of first-episode promise, and then utterly disappointed by the execution.

Amazon's original stuff might have the lowest batting average of all of the various streaming options. So much of it sounds okay-ish on paper, then you watch it and think, "UGH!"
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21 Apr 2022 15:08 #332455 by Nodens
We are Lady Parts is a much needed gust of fresh air. It's short (six episodes under 30 minutes each) and seriously fun.
The protagonist tries to finish her Phd, find a husband and gets sucked into an all female muslim punk rock band. Hits include 'Honour kill my sister' and 'Voldemort under my headscarf'. I loved every second.
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21 Apr 2022 15:27 - 21 Apr 2022 15:28 #332457 by ChristopherMD

fightcitymayor wrote:

ChristopherMD wrote: Britannia - Recently watched the first 2 seasons. It's an odd duck. I don't care about historical accuracy and the show doesn't either so that's fine. It appears at first it's about the Roman invasion but really it's about the Druids. Even the Roman General is like a demon more interested in destroying the Druids than anything else. Mackenzie Crook plays the lead Druid under quite a bit of makeup. The first season was good if a bit uneven like the show was still trying to figure out what it wanted to be. The second season was a lot better and felt more planned out with some great music choices. Divis and whatshername were a more fun duo than Arya and the Hound.

UGH! Watch the first episode & you think you're getting a trippy, mysterious, violent show about serious Celtic clan intrigue in the time of the Roman conquest of Britain. What you get afterwards is a dopey, stone stupid hash of TV trope characters (the evil king! the plucky little girl! the scheming shrew wife! the noble beefcake dunderhead!) tossed together with slapstick comic relief, with the requisite softcore scene sprinkled in once per episode (as dictated by the age-old by-laws of pay cable TV.) The costuming is nice, the locations are great, the actors are acceptable (The Governor from The Walking Dead as the main eeeeeevil Roman general), but the script is severely lacking & quickly descends into a scattered series of lame character interactions with plot-holes large enough to drive a Roman legion through. One of those series I went into with no expectations, was met with a lot of first-episode promise, and then utterly disappointed by the execution.

Amazon's original stuff might have the lowest batting average of all of the various streaming options. So much of it sounds okay-ish on paper, then you watch it and think, "UGH!"


While I thought the second season was an improvement on the first; the third season was awful so I won't be back. For me they needed more slapstick and trippy stuff but instead they went serious and cannibalism.
Last edit: 21 Apr 2022 15:28 by ChristopherMD.

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21 Apr 2022 16:16 - 22 Apr 2022 11:17 #332459 by Shellhead
I bailed on Ghosts early in the 4th episode. I might come back to it later, because I enjoyed the first 3 episodes, especially the confrontation with the ghosts in episode 2. But the 4th episode kept doing the same gag: ghost says something to lady who can see ghosts, and she responds, then immediately has to try to cover for it because she is in the presence of a normal person who doesn't know about the ghosts. Comedians are often able to do a callback to an earlier joke in a routine, and a good comedian can make it funnier with each callback. But here it was just annoying and then finally irritating and then unbearable.

Still enjoying Tokyo Vice. The most recent episode really escalated the action, but I feel like I can anticipate the next couple of episodes. The attention to detail of life in modern Tokyo continues to impress me, and Ansel Elgort is doing a fine job in the starring role.

I have also been watching Young Justice. The first season came out back in 2010, and I think I watched part of it a couple years later, courtesy of the local public library's dvd collection. It seemed okay, but I think that I was a little lost because I was watching the second half of the first season. Now HBO has four seasons on, and I'm partway into season three. The animation is decent, the characters are okay, the stories are good, and the writing ranges from okay to very good.

However, the cast starts out big and gets too big by second season. There's the Justice League, and it's a classic line-up with more than a dozen members at any given time. Then there are the young heroes who are the stars of the show, ranging from sidekicks and legacy heroes to new heroes. I'm familiar with most of the characters from my years of reading DC comics, but the sheer quantity of characters is excessive and then it gets more confusing when they sometimes hang out as civilians. To make matters worse, we eventually get a clone of a hero, and he stays around as a separate character instead of quickly dying like a normal clone character. Sometimes a character will just show up and start doing stuff, and many episodes pass before there is any explanation or introduction. But the stories are good, and sometimes I am actually surprised by a plot twist. The continuity of this show is fairly independent of mainstream DC comic continuity (which has been repeatedly rebooted anyway), which gives the writers more freedom.
Last edit: 22 Apr 2022 11:17 by Shellhead. Reason: paragraph break

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21 Apr 2022 20:54 #332469 by DarthJoJo
Finished the fifth season of Better Call Saul on Netflix. It’s still brilliant. Better than last season because the lab digging arc, as important as it was to Mike, dragged. Somehow the directors get top performances from every role, no matter how minor. The locations and camera work remain gorgeous, and every lead is such a great, fascinating character. Sometimes I’m ready to name Nacho as my favorite and then we get a Kim or Mike scene, and I can’t stand by that.

Its storytelling makes me angrier at Ted Lasso, though. Nothing is ever done in Saul. Every action has consequences and fallout. Meanwhile Ted Lasso just accepts that Jamie is back on the team, Roy is a coach and Sam’s protest worked.
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21 Apr 2022 22:07 #332471 by hotseatgames
Nacho is great. That actor is the best part of the best Far Cry, Far Cry 3.

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22 Apr 2022 10:03 #332475 by jason10mm
Outer Range on amazon. This is a modern western with Josh Brolin with weird elements. TOTAL mystery box show, the first 2 eps are almost completely inscrutable as it lays the ground work for the "weird stuff", sets up all the requisite interpersonal conflicts and family drama, and brings in all the sinister or odd-ball characters. But then it totally stumbles and stalls out for the next 2 eps (of 10?, 8? no idea) as it gets mired in the mundane stuff and mostly ignores the weird.

Brolin is perhaps overly stoic in this, he seems almost pathologically uninterested in the core mystery of the show, either because he is too "salt of the earth" to care or his own mysterious past is guiding him. Imogen Poots, a name I never tire of saying, makes the most of her "hippy chick until she's not" role, her crazy eyes and ear to ear leer are put to good use. The rest of the cast is serviceable, though some think they are in Twin Peaks, a few think they are in Longmire, and I'm not sure anyone knows exactly there the show is going.

I'm cautiously optimistic that this show will stick the landing, but right now it is falling prey to the mystery box problems of "too much unexplained and likely unexplainable". I hear Severance NAILED IT and I hope this show does as well, but maybe wait for the full season to come out unless you actually like mystery box shows with no resolution.
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22 Apr 2022 11:28 #332477 by Shellhead
A few more comments about Young Justice. Normally young heroes in comics tend to get on my nerves. It's perfectly understandable that young heroes would make mistakes due inexperience both as heroes and as civilians, but unlike real people, they are trapped as eternally young dumbasses because superhero comics rarely let their characters age. And that also limits the adult heroes because they will never be allowed to grow old. So most of the significant life events end up getting reversed or retconned or rebooted away at some point, leaving these characters perpetually stunted in development.

Young Justice avoids these problems by actually aging their characters in real time. The first season started in 2010 and the fourth season was in 2021. I'm currently watching the 3rd season, which aired in 2019, so the characters are all nine years older than when I started watching the show. The awkward teens are now capable adults, and some have moved up to join the Justice League as full-fledged members. A hot-headed character from the first season is now a calm, mature adult who is mentoring a newer hot-headed hero. Some characters even have kids. However, a certain animal character from the first season no longer goes on adventures and is often seen sleeping in the background when the heroes are hanging out as civilians, and that saddens me due to the realistic implications.

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22 Apr 2022 12:58 #332481 by mezike
Season six of Better Call Saul has started, I’m really enjoying it. Nacho (Michael Mando) is very much the focal character and continues to be excellent. The show has gotten so much better from all the weird and slightly dull origin story stuff in the earlier seasons, and Nacho providing a very human element of someone caught up in something bad that is too big for them to stop sinking further into has been a big part of that. I do find it super hard to parse all of this as a prequel though given the noticeable ageing of the actors. We’re still not quite at peak Saul Goodman yet either, which I thought we’d have reached by now.

Also thrilled to see Inside Number 9 is back with a new season on BBC, only caught one episode so far with a boating trip that goes awry. The hallmark twist at the end was very much a throwaway afterthought in this one but it didn’t matter because the writing was superb. It never ceases to delight me that they can cram full character development arcs into less than half an hour and to tell these stories in single confined spaces almost entirely through dialogue alone. The minimal props and locations give the feel of a stage performance and allows the actors to really focus in on their characters.
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23 Apr 2022 00:37 #332502 by hotseatgames
Watched episodes 6 and 7 of Tokyo Vice tonight. This show is really working for me, and I can't wait to see more.
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