TV Party


#21

The Tick dialogue is really fun, but other than that I wasn’t really impressed. The Tick Saturday morning cartoon on Fox was pretty big thing in my childhood–one of those “this is for me” things.

I’d kind of rather that Edlund just make a new animated show. I’ve never read the comic, but if it was darker, you could just make it an Adult Swim show. I dunno.


#22

Well, yeah, ideally we’d get the original show back, but it looks like that’s not in the cards. I think this is a good angle to take off they’re really intent on going live-action.

In a perfect world we’d have another open-format gooffest like the orig:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtO0diaiZEE

But this was good, and I’m willing to keep watching to see where it’s going.


#23

Hopping into this thread to talk about The Sopranos since I finally started watching it a week ago. Just finished season four and to summarize my thoughts into bullet points:

  • This show really is the blueprint of the modern hour-long TV drama. Particularly in regards to how music is used (Which is just to say that Sopranos translated how pop music had been used cinematically for several decades and dropped it into the television format)

  • It actually looks very nice, much nicer than most of the current TV that I’ve seen. That might partially be my bias towards film, but lighting, editing and cinematography are all consistently good.

  • There is a tendency to introduce sub plots that either go nowhere or are given very little time. Junior’s trial is particularly underdeveloped and resolves far too easily. Additionally, there is a lot of reuse of character archetypes that play out in incredibly similar manners through seasons 2-4. At least the show occasionally acknowledges this in interesting ways.

  • Meadow basically disappears for most of the fourth season to the point that she might as well have went to Europe. AJ too for that matter has very little going on this season (not that I’m complaining) . The fourth season as a whole is pretty bad at exploring the side characters or even giving them things to do. Paulie being a pathetic sycophant is the highlight.

  • Melfi really should have been given more to do. As one of a few relatively moral people in the series, she makes for a nice counter-point. Even just more scenes of Peter Bogdanovich being incredibly insensitive to her would be nice.

  • Breaking Bad is basically The Sopranos, but with an even more loathsome lead character.


#24

has anyone been watching nightmare show “world peace”?


#25

marshall logan-green isn’t terrible and annoying in quarry. incredible!


#26

I didn’t realize that in 2016, sitcoms did shameless, episode-length advertisements for their parent company’s resort holding.

What a sad note for Black-ish’s third season to debut on.


#27

This bit in Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 8 was maybe my favorite thing in the show so far. The episode is titled “You Are Not Safe”.

[…] security is a myth. Contrary to what you might have heard, my friends, you are not safe. Safety is a story, it’s something we teach our children so they can sleep at night, but we know it’s not real. Beware baffled humans, beware false prophets who will sell you a fake future of bad teachers, corrupt leaders and dirty corporations. Beware of cops and robbers, the kind that rob your dreams. But most of all, beware of each other. Because everything’s about to change. The world is going to crack wide open. There is something on the horizon. A massive connectivity. The barriers between us will disappear, and we’re not ready. We’ll hurt each other in new ways, we’ll sell and be sold, we’ll expose our most tender selves only to be mocked and destroyed. We’ll be so vulnerable, and we’ll pay the price. We won’t be able to pretend that we can protect ourselves anymore. It’s a huge danger, a gigantic risk, but it’s worth it, if only we can learn to take care of each other, then this awesome destructive new connection won’t isolate us. It won’t leave us in the end so… totally alone.


#28

No one here has watched Atlanta? It gets my vote for show of the year so far.


#29

there apparently is an overall rather positive critical and audience reception to Designated Survivor?
and I personally am watching it, and do not have a negative view of it, but I find this somewhat surprising
I suppose I may be overstating the acclaim, and its only had three episodes so far
if it does well, good for it, i guess.

I can’t help but wonder, however
is some of it because of the terrible election cycle we’re in, whicht the show was no doubt timed to coincide with but could not anticipate the insanity of
a month until most people put a vote in for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton
and i do really strongly suspect
we would all prefer calm, understanding, fatherly Kiefer Sutherland as our commander in chief


#30

Atlanta is outstanding. Best directed show on right now.


#31


#32

Atlanta’s the best show on TV right now

Man I was ready to quit Great British Bake Off without Mel and Sue but if the new host is really Richard Ayoade then damn


#33

Shoutout to the new Black Mirror season for literally putting the words “What if phones but too much?” onscreen for a second lol


#34

dream corp llc seems to be Adult Swim leaning into the stereotype of their original programming the way CBS has into their absurd action-science shows

maybe they can do a Black Mirror collab


#35

dream corp had basically all the ingredients of a show i would like (well except nonwhite actors) but it just didn’t work for me

too fully unmoored from anything

i kind of wish the reality sequences were less dream logic-y and more down to earth

the dream sequences are so beautiful


#36

after nate parker retroactively ruined beyond the lights by being a horror show i am glad that gugu mbatha raw somehow got another fantastic romantic drama in san junipero


#37

escape from the tv thread


#38

i am a gbbo megafan so that is good news. still not great that mel and sue (and mary) are gone but richard ayoade is good enough.

also i was in perth, scotland for like 10 minutes and flora walked right past me. no sign of that middle aged lady though.


#39


#40

I’ve been slowly rewatching The Sopranos, having last watched it as it aired 10+ years ago. It’s fascinating seeing it again not only through more mature eyes (I was in high school and college back then) but now in context with how much television has changed since it began.

As a teenager, I mainly cared about the plot - who was gonna get killed next, when will the “war” between NY and NJ occur, what happened to the Russian, etc. I appreciated the commentary on upper-middle class life, Tony’s psychotherapy, and his relationship with his wife but that was all secondary to the mafia part of the story. I now realize how little of the showtime is actually devoted to the mafia plot (varies from 50% to as little as 20% depending on the episode) and how much stronger the other aspects were.

All those dumb mafia plotlines and cliffhangers that enamored me before is what took over “prestige” television. Meanwhile, from season 2 onward the show decided to reject the entire concept of “plot.” Each season has its arcs, but the show overall is incredibly episodic. They rarely have cliffhangers. Most episodes tell a story to completion. A major character may die, Tony’s marraige may have a large setback, but eventually things revert to a band-aided status quo. This goes back to the show’s incredibly pessimisstic philosophy: people are resistent to change, we choose comfort over what is best for us/our family/the world. (I like comparing that philsophy to it’s sister shows, Deadwood and The Wire – Deadwood says people can better themselves if they work together as a community, The Wire says people usually want to better themselves but the system doesn’t allow for it)

Despite the pessimism, the show is probably the most entertaining TV drama ever. Most scenes have at least one funny remark and the full-blown comedic scenes are hilarious. Most of the actors are fun to watch. The cinematography and editing can be as good and clever as the best movies. The commentary on America circa early 2000s is insightful. The use of music is great. On top of all this, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco give the two of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

It’s depressing how such an intelligent show ushered in some “golden age of television” when all of it’s apparent successors have been regressions in maturity(besides The Wire, Deadwood and apparently Mad Men though I haven’t watched it). They learned all the wrong lessons. Just like teenage me, they like the “big sweeping plotlines”, the gore and gritty realism, the shocking character deaths, the tension of the penultimate episode of the season and just copied those ideas without having anything interesting or entertaining to say. I don’t know if this is because the showrunners are much younger or due to network interference (they now have a formula to make a “critically acclaimed” show). It could also be that televison isn’t naturally suited to telling a clean plot (as the filmmakers are committing to 30+ hours to tell a story, which is way more than necessary). You can either work around this by rejecting plot altogether (as The Sopranos did) or lead the audience on with cliffhanger after cliffhanger. It makes we wonder of some alternate timeline of 2000s/2010s television that learned more lessons from The Sopranos and less lessons from Lost. Which gets me to…

I’ve also been watching Westworld, which is yet another prestige drama that is fumbling its way to success by being competent. I guess eventually the show will have something to say about emerging artificial intelligence (though it seems to be getting awfully close to the same story as Ex Machina). Meanwhile it’s falling for same trap as Lost, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and its peers: it thinks cliffhangers and monologues of deep thoughts are entertaining enough to pull the viewer along. It wouldn’t hurt if shows like this were a little fun or took their characters a little more seriously than conduits to advance the plot to the next mystery.