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  1. #2161
    Lesser Hivemind Node SirDavies's Avatar
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    Watched the first season of The Good Wife... huh, it's alright. Kind of bland and nauseatingly conservative in terms of the overarching plot, aesthetics and the particular cases. The writing is very up and down; I think it is redeemed by some of the cast's excellent performances. At some point it changes from cases spanning more than one episode to a strict one case, one episode structure, which feels formulaic and means that they spend too much time introducing the case and making it intricate and they proceed to rush the conclusion into the last 5 minutes, which isn't satisfying at all. Overall it's fairly enjoyable but not particularly impressive in any aspect.

    Looking for something different, I watched Brass Eye.



    Now THIS, I can get behind.

  2. #2162
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaraJaymes View Post
    I just started watching Chuck from season 1 on Netflix and it's actually a lot of fun. Kinda cheesy but in a good way...but I'm a sucker for Bond-esque stuff.
    Yeah, so Chuck's greatest hook is that it takes itself as seriously as it needs to, which is to say not at all. The whole set-up is ridiculous, but because it's carried on something that doesn't pretend to be serious, it actually works. A quick ranking, but I'd say season 1 is good, season 2 is legitimately fantastic, the first half of season 3 is just pants, the second half redeems it somewhat, season 4 is season 1 quality (but has two great recurring guest stars, one in particular) and I can't tell you on season 5, I've yet to watch it.

    When people talk about how good the show is, they're talking specifically about season 2. I don't know how much you know, but the show was essentially cancelled at that mark, but brought back continually through massive fan actions. It might explain why the beginning of season 3 was so rocky (I don't think it was, but I'm happy to live in denial) and it was never really secure from then until the final word. But season 2 offers so much and ultimately I have fond memories of that show, I really much finish it at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirDavies View Post
    Looking for something different, I watched Brass Eye.

    Now THIS, I can get behind.
    So good. That paedophile episode in particular just has so many great moments. The school sketch is remarkable. If you haven't already, I recommend The Day Today, a combination work between Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci. And once you're done with these, watch Nathan Barely, an eerily prophetic show written again by Morris and Charlie Brooker.

    Anyhow, I've gone and caught up with New Girl after being on a bit of a draught of TV watching (I've otherwise been keeping up with Castle, a smattering of the latest series of Outnumbered, both of which have been thoroughly enjoyable) but neglected everything else; no Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Agents of SHIELD, the latter I'm okay with, the former I'm thinking I might get back into. Anyhow, New Girl. So three episodes knocked off, the first was with Prince and wasn't as bad as it had every right to be. In fact, it was actually pretty good. The entire episode made me hate the fact that Zooey Deschanel is as good looking as she is. It's distracting. Brr. But it was funny and had a good pace and Prince was pretty good in it.

    Then there was the one with the exes which was also pretty good. Some funny comedic beats and good one-liners; it's amazing how little screen-time Winston has and yet how much is achieved with it. "I'm Frank Krabopolis!" "I also want sex." Then there was the one with Jess' sister, which had the difficult task of introducing us to a character we've never heard of before, but at least did it in an understandable and reasonable way, as well as that sister being played by Linda Cardellini meaning there was an immediate charm to the character. Which makes me think I should probably watch Freaks and Geeks at some point because I've heard a lot about it. Anyhow, it was a solid episode and I look forward to seeing how the Day sisters mix it up.

    So yes, TV. It's still a-okay!

    Help me. I wanted to watch New Girl for a few days but I've spent the last 9 days watching that damn Pokémon stream.
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  3. #2163
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    Ok I have a real problem with tv series. So far my favourite are:

    Breaking Bad: probably you have heard this too many times, it's the best tv show ever

    Dexter: binge-watched it, this may be an unpopular opinion but I even liked the finale

    HIMYM: always funny, last season has been a little disappointing

    The Walking Dead: see above, the first season was awesome. Btw I HATE CARL

  4. #2164
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Finished Strike Back: Project Dawn.
    Can someone explain how a TV show with 300k viewers per episode has better and more action than most Hollywood movies?
    I planned to finish the first season of Hannibal but now I'm going to watch the next seasons of Strike Back...

  5. #2165
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    Yeah, so Chuck's greatest hook is that it takes itself as seriously as it needs to, which is to say not at all. The whole set-up is ridiculous, but because it's carried on something that doesn't pretend to be serious, it actually works. A quick ranking, but I'd say season 1 is good, season 2 is legitimately fantastic, the first half of season 3 is just pants, the second half redeems it somewhat, season 4 is season 1 quality (but has two great recurring guest stars, one in particular) and I can't tell you on season 5, I've yet to watch it.
    Yeah, season 2 is well written and hilarious. I think the show has great difficulty justifying the limited sets in season 4 onwards, and it gets really bad in season 5 when the action is at the Bymore for the one hundred thousandth time. Near the end of season 3, there's a long term mission in Rome that would seem like the natural conclusion to the show because the budget costs would be enormous.
    Last edited by Drake Sigar; 23-02-2014 at 11:15 PM.

  6. #2166
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Had I have known that season 3 was going to follow season 2 (you know what I mean...) I would not have asked for the show back. As it was then, it was two seasons of solid TV, one of which was fantastic stuff, and it ended on a perfect note that whilst it would've been a massive tease, would've also been a pleasing way for it to end. I do want to watch s5 because I've come this far and I have heard a bit about it (including its ending), but I'm in no rush to unfortunately. If you just take the best of the show, you probably have two solid seasons (calling one season a full run and not the truncated 11 or 13 episodes).

    What I'm saying is, Chuck needed to be made in Britain.
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  7. #2167
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    Finished the original Strike Back series and watched the first four episodes of the Cinemax sequel.
    It keeps the original's two episodes per plot + overarching conspiracy gimmick. I watch two episodes every night so it's like a full-length feature.
    The Cinemax version is a lot more dudebro but it's damn fine action moviemaking. Every episode features shootbangs, tits, plot twists, tough guys and awesome international locales (I think it's mostly filmed in South Africa).
    I wish I knew about this earlier. It's a must-watch for every male on Earth.
    Totally agree with all of the above. And it helps that the two lead actors are both excellent, haven't watched it all yet but glad to see that Stonebridge and Scott are in all of the last 3 seasons. Whoever did the Special Ops boot-camp for Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester to get them into the role did a fine job.

    Recent find for me too, I only stumbled on it on Sky On Demand couple of months ago, watched the first two seasons so far and it's terrific entertainment that had gone under my radar too. Who knew Sky was commissioning shows this good?
    Last edited by Colonel J; 23-02-2014 at 11:37 PM.


  8. #2168
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    After watching "serious/gritty" stuff for a while like Homeland (stop after the first season!) I wanted something a little lighter and more "buffy". Tried ONCE Upon a Time, but it's pretty clumsy and slow. Things like Castle and Bones are fun, but don't really work on an "on demand schedule". Just burned through all of The IT Crowd, which was very funny.

  9. #2169
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Yeah, season 2 is well written and hilarious. I think the show has great difficulty justifying the limited sets in season 4 onwards, and it gets really bad in season 5 when the action is at the Bymore for the one hundred thousandth time. Near the end of season 3, there's a long term mission in Rome that would seem like the natural conclusion to the show because the budget costs would be enormous.
    I originally watched Chuck when it first aired because of Adam Baldwin, but lost interest partway through the first season. I recently watched the entire series because a girl I had a thing for loved it and wouldn't shut up about it.

    The show is actually pretty good. Not great, but good. It definitely hits a massive high note on the next to last season (the one with Timothy Dalton), but the actual last season was pretty meh. It had a few decent moments, but it definitely felt like the show was just going through the motions because the fans didn't want to let it get cancelled.

    And yeah, Chuck was one of the first shows to operate under the assumption that every season finale would be the series finale. So every season leads up to a way to end the show, and some of them outright could have been the end of the show (I guess it depended on when they got the renewal order, heh).

    Oh, and it also suffers from the "popular kids in high school became hollywood writers" effect when it comes to "geek culture". I never once believed Chuck as an "intelligent nerd", and it really felt like they just went down a checklist of "This is what those brainy kids think is cool, right?". Not insulting and I admit that this show carved out its own niche, but it is just one of those things that annoys me. Any time they had an episode centered around "Chuck is a nerd and it gives him an advantage" I couldn't stop laughing for all the wrong reasons.
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  10. #2170
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    Finished Strike Back: Project Dawn.
    Can someone explain how a TV show with 300k viewers per episode has better and more action than most Hollywood movies?
    I planned to finish the first season of Hannibal but now I'm going to watch the next seasons of Strike Back...
    I have never heard about this and the first season is apparently subtitled "Origins" which cannot possibly be a good sign. Then again again, I could do with another show that is vaguely like Burn Notice.
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  11. #2171
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Oh, and it also suffers from the "popular kids in high school became hollywood writers" effect when it comes to "geek culture". I never once believed Chuck as an "intelligent nerd", and it really felt like they just went down a checklist of "This is what those brainy kids think is cool, right?". Not insulting and I admit that this show carved out its own niche, but it is just one of those things that annoys me. Any time they had an episode centered around "Chuck is a nerd and it gives him an advantage" I couldn't stop laughing for all the wrong reasons.
    Given Zachary Levi is a massive nerd/geek/whatever in real life, it's very possible they based Chuck's geek-interests off of his. Whilst it could be a bit too obvious some times, it did at least fit in with the team; Sarah was the diplomat and stealth operative, Casey was the Can We Question Them After We've Shot Them? agent leaving Chuck to be The Tech Guy. That he was also into his programming and computers in general I never really questioned it. [Big spoilers for s2]You could also argue that given he was kicked out of university without personal involvement, he attempted to distance himself from that interest until it became a massive factor with holding The Intersect. If he had cheated knowing the risks, he might have cared more.[/spoilers] Fixing a lot of the equipment taken to the shop never really required that much technical knowledge either, although he clearly likes to tinker a little bit.

    Then you add that the people he surrounds himself with are skilled in other areas: his sister (and Captain Awesome) possess more physically capable traits and memory for technical skills (further increasing the irony that at the time Chuck, as part of the ensemble, was one of the least viable for The Intersect); Morgan has loyalty on his side, but shows nowhere near as much intellectual or academic aptitude as Chuck; the less said about the Buy More crew the better. He has no-one around to engage his intellect, really, until it becomes important for a mission.

    And at the end of the day, as mentioned, the show never took itself that seriously. Most of those moments were just played for laughs.
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  12. #2172
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthile View Post
    I have never heard about this and the first season is apparently subtitled "Origins" which cannot possibly be a good sign. Then again again, I could do with another show that is vaguely like Burn Notice.
    The first season originally had no subtitle.
    Then the main dude got cast as Thorin Oakenshield. Cinemax and Sky joined forces to produce a more expensive series 2 with a new cast. It references the first season a lot so they slapped the Origins subtitle on that one.

    I started season 3. Rhona Mitra joins the dudebros in action! A+

  13. #2173
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    Given Zachary Levi is a massive nerd/geek/whatever in real life, it's very possible they based Chuck's geek-interests off of his. Whilst it could be a bit too obvious some times, it did at least fit in with the team; Sarah was the diplomat and stealth operative, Casey was the Can We Question Them After We've Shot Them? agent leaving Chuck to be The Tech Guy. That he was also into his programming and computers in general I never really questioned it. [Big spoilers for s2]You could also argue that given he was kicked out of university without personal involvement, he attempted to distance himself from that interest until it became a massive factor with holding The Intersect. If he had cheated knowing the risks, he might have cared more.[/spoilers] Fixing a lot of the equipment taken to the shop never really required that much technical knowledge either, although he clearly likes to tinker a little bit.

    Then you add that the people he surrounds himself with are skilled in other areas: his sister (and Captain Awesome) possess more physically capable traits and memory for technical skills (further increasing the irony that at the time Chuck, as part of the ensemble, was one of the least viable for The Intersect); Morgan has loyalty on his side, but shows nowhere near as much intellectual or academic aptitude as Chuck; the less said about the Buy More crew the better. He has no-one around to engage his intellect, really, until it becomes important for a mission.

    And at the end of the day, as mentioned, the show never took itself that seriously. Most of those moments were just played for laughs.
    Yeah, I get that, and I admit there is only so much improv that actors can get away with, it was just kind of annoying when Chuck's core was supposed to be "nerd becomes spy" and they kind of half-ass the nerd angle.

    Contrast that with something like Leverage (which I am re-watching/watching the episodes I missed) which did a pretty good job with Hardison (fun fact: the actor was the first person to do an on-screen kill of a Winchester and is arguably the first person to actually kill one of the brothers). Yeah, the show itself suffers horribly from "I can hack anything with this app on my phone" syndrome, but Hardison comes across as being a "realistic" "nerd" as it were. It never defines the character and he is quickly shown to be very competent, but you just have those random bits like "I skipped work to play the new WoW expansion" and "I just googled it".

    And, of course, his arch-nemesis was Wheaton in one of his dickiest roles to date. So that is always fun.

    The chuck thing isn't a dealbreaker. To me, it is basically on par with "We can hack faster if we both type on the same keyboard!": Something hollywood consistently gets wrong (and kind of insulting), but nothing that really stops me from enjoying things. But when a character is actually believable (like a "punk rock chick" who actually comes across as having listened to punk rock and who has dialogue that is close to correct), it is just a really nice touch.
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  14. #2174
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    So that's Farscape finished, the end of Season 4 was brilliant and I thought they couldn't get into anymore of a hopeless scrape as they had and Crichton couldn't of been any more damaged by having to do something he really didn't have to do. Then surprisingly they topped it with Peacekeeper wars with so many things stacked against the characters and Crichton doing the ultimate in doing something he really didn't want to do. I still think the end of Season 4 was a bit of a mistep still a bit WTF even though they got the peacekeeper wars but the thing is that might not have been the case and it might have been the last episode you saw and to be honest it feels jarring. Another thing that feels kind of jarring is how everyones make up is different in peacekeeper wars.

    I think this show should be help up as a great piece of sci-fi and a great piece of TV in general, not perfect but damn near close.

  15. #2175
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what they were thinking with the ending to s4. They must've known they were at risk of being cancelled, so to go out on something as barmy as that? At least it got remedied suitably. The worst part of The Peacekeeper Wars though is what didn't happen, albeit not its fault; season 5 was supposed to be the Nabari going "Hello, please don't forget about us" and wrecking everything, particularly the Peacekeepers. Given what one of their cargo ships did to a Peacekeeper battleship (you have to go all the way back to season 1 and 'PK Tech Girl' for that one) it'd have made the Scarran/Peacekeeper conflict look like a friendly card game.
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  17. #2177
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    season 5 was supposed to be the Nabari going "Hello, please don't forget about us" and wrecking everything,
    I was thinking the Nebari should have made a come back especially since in A Clockwork Nebari they said they had infected quite a few people with some virus that made them stand down as it wrre well the peace with peacekeepers and scarrens would definitely be a ripe opportunity to use that.

    They must've known they were at risk of being cancelled, so to go out on something as barmy as that?
    Im thinking they did it just to get fans to do the whole write in and campaign to get tge series to continue and it worked.

    FYI, a Farscape movie is in the works:
    Hmm not to sure how I think about that I mean I would love more farscape but it ended on a nice note as and the chances of it being good im not to sure on.

  18. #2178
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    I remember watching the end of Farscape the first time, well aware of its cancellation. If anything it made the final episode of that season even better, as (courtesy spoiler) it looked for a little while at the end there they might be wrapping the show up with a happy ending. The twist at the end was all the more brutal for it, while perfectly in keeping with Farscape's stupendous season cliffhangers.

    I don't think it was a political move to rile up the fans, more just staying the course in the vain hope that the studio would change its mind on the cancellation. Given the timing of the cancellation news (right before season 4 started to air, maybe after filming was wrapped iirc?) they may have hoped for good ratings to change their fortunes, or they might have had little opportunity to change things if they wanted to.

    I enjoyed Peacekeeper Wars but I find it harder to watch than Season 4, because all it does is make me wonder what the real season 5 would have been like. (Thanks for the info JG Man, the Nebari government as a new big bad would have been really cool!)

    Possibly my favourite sci-fi show of all time. Easily in the top three.

  19. #2179
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Speaking of disappointing endings, I finished Twin Peaks the other day and watched the prequel (or is it?) movie afterwards. Meh. At least Farscape had an ending.
    I don't even know what to say. It seems like halfway through the second season everyone just got bored and started dicking around and after doing some research, that's pretty much exactly what happened. What a shame.
    I'm usually not somebody who feels strongly about fictional characters but Twin Peaks really made me loath some of them and as the series progressed, their number slowly began to outnumber the characters I cared about. If the series has one problem (besides having no ending) it is its inability to efficiently get rid of characters and sub plots that have outstayed their welcome. Sadly, by the end of the series that's just about everyone.
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  20. #2180
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Screwie's Avatar
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    Twin Peaks has been on my must-see list for a long time. I have no expectations of it other than having seen some of David Lynch's films, but that sounds like I might be in for some disappointment regardless. :/

    Speaking of series endings in general, the AVClub looked at the end of Blackadder Goes Forth recently. It's really interesting to read how potent the episode still is - despite being viewed by people who grew up without having already seen it, who hadn't watched the episodes leading up to it (or any Blackadder at all for that matter), and who didn't even have much knowledge of Europe in that time period.

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