TV Party


#323

Based on the first 4 episodes of Arrested Development season 5, I agree. There are a handful of pretty funny moments but it’s fairly uncomfortable to watch.

What I posted a few days ago about the follies of making your TV show a really long movie applies here. The episodes I saw weren’t really episodes, it’s just a single narrative (that is a straight continuation of season 4, with some weird retconning) broken up into arbitrary breaks. But there’s no compelling reason for this. The story isn’t interesting and it’s not creating any funny moments.

I’m not sure why this season exists.

Arrested Development always had an exciting urgency to it, that the creators HAD to make this show. The first 2 seasons were packed with well thought out characters, creative formal choices, and clever plotting. The 4th season, while flawed, is probably the only TV show to successfully pull off being puzzle box where 15 hours of events intertwine very neatly (compare it to Westworld).

I’m not getting that sense with this season. It has yet to reveal a single idea that necessitated a reboot. It just seems like a fan service.

Also, the show looks so cheap! There’s like 5 sets re-used across 2 hours. Arrested Development was never a cinematic show, but it had been designed and filmed to suggest a lived in and expansive pseudo-cartoon world. The new season looks like a Saturday Night Live set.

The magic of the show is lost – they don’t have the cast committed solely to the show, they don’t have the budget a network TV channel afforded them, and they’re laden with 10 years of expectations.

There’s something deeply regressive and depressing about the writers and actors pretending that this frankensteined season in 2018 naturally fits in with a show that originally aired in 2003.


#324

I got through it yesterday while working and it almost gets a little better around episodes 5-7 but doesn’t, really. The only redeeming element for the most part is Alia Shawkat.


#325

Was watching an episode of Billions and one scene has a few characters playing two turns of Netrunner and it’s just there. There’s no befuddled third party gawping and wondering what the fuss is about or rolling their eyes at the nerds. There’s no explanation of the rules, and as far as I can tell they just straight up play a turn, it’s not exaggerated or oversold. I found it kind of refreshing.


#326

Yeah, I found Maeby to be one of the most compelling characters this season. She’s no more than a background character in the previous ones, but she stole nearly all the scenes she was in this time.


#327

Carrie Coon is my recent fave. I last saw her in Fargo season 3. Well the other day I saw a screenshot from infinity war of some final fantasy looking witch and immediately recognized her. So I looked at her IMDB to see what else she’s up to and apparently she was in another show called The Sinner.

Two episodes in, no sign of her yet. But Jessica Biel is doing a solid job.


#328

HBO’s succession is fantastic in ways I did not anticipate

See twitter thread


#329

You’re making this sound really good. I’m going to check it out! Sounds viscerally satisfying and zeitgeist-fulfilling in a similar way to Arrested Development in the Bush era.


#330

#331

Westworld is such a mind-bogglingly stupid and arrogant show


#332

Westworld is a tremendous achievement. I loved it.


#333

I loved the first season but season 2 has been a disappointment and is nowhere near the same level.


#334

I was a little bored at first and stalled watching it early on but man that finale was outstanding, and now I have to go back and watch the whole series again because everything has been realigned and transformed, and not in a ‘making it up as we go along’ LOST way but very tightly controlled. It would maybe benefit from dropping all at once because the whole thing is so spectacularly nonlinear it’s impossible to really get without watching it all two or three times. Maybe people hate that sort of thing but I love it, my favorite books are told the same way.

In terms of single episodes, episode 8 was the best standalone episode of the whole series IMO, like a great story PKD never wrote. Maeve was the MVP of the season, Thandie Newton is a hero and it’s sad how pitifully they wasted her in Solo.

Also WWs2 >>> Legion s2


#335

I fuckin love Ninja Warrior


#336

My sister turned me on to HBO’s Sharp Objects and I’ve been enjoying it very much! I think it’s just an 8 episode mini-series, which makes it even more appealing to me (I love things with endings!)

It’s a slow burn of small town paranoia and it sort of oozes style. It has some really powerful imagery and visual motifs and quick cuts that aren’t just vaguely spooky; they’re all pretty closely tied to the protagonist’s backstory and convey her state of mind really well. Amy Adams does a great job drawing you into the headspace of her character, too.

The first three episodes have been very good; I hope it keeps it up! Has anyone else seen it? I’d probably love it just for the setting and tone, so I want to hear some other opinions.


#337

@jsnlxndrlv I think it was that mentioned Halt and Catch Fire either here or on Facebook and I happened to stumble on it on Netflix while going through a broad category search on “TV Shows”(their algorithms have been utterly useless in finding me those normally). So far I’m enthralled a little over halfway through the first season. Very gender agnostic when it comes to telling a story of the development of an IBM clone, which is amazing.


#338

I tried really hard to get into halt and catch fire and while I really admired how agnostic it manages to be about specific technologies (seriously, that’s a real feat, every episode impressed me in this respect), something about AMC’s production values just doesn’t work for me


#339

I think this must have been somebody else, actually? I haven’t seen it, but I’ll have to remedy that.


#340

The patterns that start to emerge from Halt and Catch Fire get a little exhausting a few seasons in. The show definitely has some good female characters though! I think I’m with Felix in that I thought the first season was a little flat in terms of production, but they get better I think!


#341

i watched part of the first season of HACF and gave up like halfway through then jumped back in randomly in season 2 and kept going until the end

knowing how it ends up makes me actually want to go back and watch what i skipped


#342

Yeah, season 1 of HACF has some definitely problems finding an identity. It starts off very much as Mad Men of the 80s, but also maybe with Patrick Bateman, but it gets better the more humanized the various people get, and steadily becomes a show about people who mean to be friends also constantly fuck each other over in way both intentional and not.

And man, that show really nailed the ending, which does make up for the relatively uneven start. I was glad I stuck with it.