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TV's Vast Wasteland


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#1
Amentep

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<opening theme>
 

When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.

But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.

You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly, commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you’ll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.

</opening theme>
 
<narrator>Previously, on Obsidian Forum's TV Topic</narrator>
 
 

So Hulu is reviving Veronica Mars, and they've now confirmed Enrico Colantoni is also signed on to return as a regular cast member (aka, Veronica's Dad).
They want to follow on from the film, but where the film was "nostalgic" this will be an 8 episode detective story.

 
 

Huh nice. I liked it, and Kristen Bell is hot. :>

 
 

Speaking of Kirsten Bell, I'm really enjoying The Good Place.

 
 
<narrator>And now...</narrator>


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#2
majestic

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I watched the second episode of season 11 of Nu Who.

 

Let's just say I don't like the new look of the show. It's unecessary... edgy, for want of a better term. Even the inside of the new TARDIS is darkish. Jodie Whittaker does a decent job so far but all that jubilant motormouthing ends up being suffused in all the doom and gloom of the design and lighting. It's like they took the anguish of Eccleston's survivor's guilt ridden Doctor and made it manifest visually.

 

The companions so far, save for the replacement Wilbur who is at least trying, are about as interesting as Martha was.



#3
Raithe

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I think what's annoying me is the rampant "weapons = bad" rants that the Doctor has been going on against guns and knives.

 

It's gone from being a little put off by technology that's only designed to be a weapon to outright sneering at anything, but in a somewhat hypocritical manner.

"Guns are bad, you've got to use your brain to outthink them!"   Followed by setting off a high-tech explosive to deal with the enemy.



#4
LadyCrimson

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wtf - I try to go to Dramafever site and it just has this big announcement page of "being shutdown immediately." Stuff happens, things go kaput, I get that, but what I'm peeved about is no announcement to subscribers? The site loaded up fine last night, btw. No email, no "go here to deal w/your account" link on the website, nothing. Will they auto-cancel the CC sub for me? What's going on? Thanks, Warner Brother's. Not.

 

https://www.dramafever.com/

https://www.forbes.c...wn-immediately/



#5
kirottu

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I do like the cinematography in the new Doctor Who. Episodes look more like mini movies than TV episodes.

Everything else has been mediocre, but I hope it gets better.

#6
Zoraptor

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Yeah, it looks good. I'd probably rate the rest as adequate rather than mediocre as it held my attention well enough. I'm not expecting too much from the season though, as I'm not a big fan of Chibnall's previous episodes nor the 'philosophical' shift of no well known enemies and no arcs.

 

OTOH, the Walking Dead's 1st two episodes have been pretty good. The plotting is still a bit iffy, it is a zombie show rather than Breaking Bad after all, but a massive improvement over the illogical mess of its last two seasons (and FtWDs last one, which really shows who the problem was). Too late to repair the most overt damage done thjough, and they'll struggle to hold onto viewers once [spoiler events] happen let alone regain those who have quit.



#7
Amentep

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nor the 'philosophical' shift of no well known enemies and no arcs.

 

Eh, they've done it before in classic Who with respect to no well known enemies (Series 7-9, Series 13-16) and Pertwee was consciously launched to not rely on the Daleks and Cybermen or traveling the cosmos (the Daleks didn't start sneaking back in until after the tenth anniversary serial, THE THREE DOCTORS).

 

And for me, I'd rather there be no arc than a bad arc.



#8
majestic

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I do like the cinematography in the new Doctor Who. Episodes look more like mini movies than TV episodes.

Everything else has been mediocre, but I hope it gets better.

 

I can appreciate the production values of the episodes so far. One of my first thoughts when the Predator showed up in the first episode was "Woha, I wonder when we get a bottle episode, looks like they've blown the budget on the first episode :p".

 

Just not digging the style too much.

 

Yeah, it looks good. I'd probably rate the rest as adequate rather than mediocre as it held my attention well enough. I'm not expecting too much from the season though, as I'm not a big fan of Chibnall's previous episodes nor the 'philosophical' shift of no well known enemies and no arcs.

 

Adequate is pretty much it. The only Chibnall episode I really enjoyed so far was Power of the Three, but that can be pretty much chalked up to novelty.



#9
Zoraptor

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nor the 'philosophical' shift of no well known enemies and no arcs.

 

Eh, they've done it before in classic Who with respect to no well known enemies (Series 7-9, Series 13-16) and Pertwee was consciously launched to not rely on the Daleks and Cybermen or traveling the cosmos (the Daleks didn't start sneaking back in until after the tenth anniversary serial, THE THREE DOCTORS).

 

 

I'd be fine with no Daleks and no Cybermen (and no Weeping Angels for that matter) as they tend to be a crutch and have suffered from some of the worst plotting so long as it's an organic absence. However, there is a reason why the older enemies tend to get used, and that is that interesting new enemies are hard. Take the premier for example, the enemy there was basically a Predator minus some of its powers which is hardly original or interesting even for Who. It's also limiting, the final two regular episodes of Capaldi's run had Cybermen and The Master(s) and rather than being generic or boring were the best of the season by some margin in large part because of those old enemies and how they were used.

 

And for me, I'd rather there be no arc than a bad arc.

 

 

While I liked the arcs in New Who overall I'm not that wedded to them. The problem I have is much the same as above: it's artificially limiting and I dislike the philosophy of it. I tend to dislike standalone episodes unless they're really well written because in the end there's no point to watching them.


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#10
Amentep

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I get that its artificial in its way, but I figure it'll never really last so I guess it doesn't bother me as much.  Sometimes figuring a way to work around something can be unexpectedly inspiring.  It certainly was the last time they did more than one series of no-old Villains period, the show had a pretty good track record - series 13, 14, 15, and 16 have a number of important episodes that introduce concepts that became cornerstones to later series.



#11
Zoraptor

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13-16 wasn't wholly a no old Villains era though, since it at least had The Master in it. Yeah, he wasn't as old school as Daleks or Cybermen and was uniquely suited to the stuff they were doing with the Time Lords but his usage brought more to the story than if he'd been removed or [something else] was used in his role due to some arbitrary rule. To an extent the Time Lords themselves would also qualify as old 'villains', since they're initially from Troughton's era though not at all fleshed out.

 

Personally though I think the biggest 'philosophical' difference is that all the episodes in that timeframe were routinely serialised. They may not have had an overarching season wide plot (exc 16, which did) but were 4x30 or 6x30 linked episodes rather than 45-60 minute standalones. It's difficult to establish interesting new antagonists over such a short duration, especially if you're running a new Doctor and three new companions. I'd also have to doubt that Whittaker can match Tom Baker's performance, though she'll definitely get a chance to prove herself.



#12
Amentep

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Dangit, I actually forgot the Master was in Deadly Assassin. In my defence I haven't watched it since 1996 or so...

Edit: and Invasion of Time went back to galifrey and had sontarans in it...

#13
Volourn

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LMAO I guess  the punks behind the Connors underestimated how important Roseanne was to her own damn show. They were done a whooping 35% from the Roseanne reboot. IMAGINE. Get rid of the character and the driving force behind the original show and you lose a large chunk of your audience. :p



#14
Raithe

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Hm. Apparently it had completely skipped me that they got Neil Gaiman to be the voice of God in the final episode of Lucifer.



#15
InsaneCommander

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Several websites in my country are saying Luke Cage has been canceled. I can't find confirmation in any website in English.

 

If this is true, then I hope they are preparing a Heroes for Hire show.

 

Luckily Jessica Jones' season 3 has already been done (but not aired).

 

Also, this is interesting:

 

https://winteriscomi...going-anywhere/

 

Edit:

 

https://www.hollywoo...netflix-1154016

 

"A source tells The Hollywood Reporter the cancellation was due to creative differences and the inability to agree to terms for a third season of the show. Netflix doesn't release viewership figures for its content."

 

I guess no Heroes for Hire then. :(


Edited by InsaneCommander, 19 October 2018 - 07:25 PM.


#16
TrueNeutral

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First episode of The Haunting of Hill House did very well in creating a massive feeling of unease. Brr.

#17
LittleRose

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First episode of The Haunting of Hill House did very well in creating a massive feeling of unease. Brr.

Good to hear. I'm saving this one for Halloween. That holiday isn't big over here, but I like to make it my personal horror story day.



#18
majestic

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Finished the fourth season of Better Call Saul.

 

it doesn't happen all too often that a spin-off of a well written, well directed and excellently produced show as Breaking Bad was ends up being well directed, well written and excellently produced.

 

But here's the crux - as much as I enjoy seeing Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks on the screen, just as much do I not give a rat's ass for the show itself. It gives me answers to questions I've never asked myself while watching Breaking Bad and it has the added prequel problem that it is primarly about characters that either have full plot armor or are entirely original, which is all of a problem on its own.

 

That would be all right if the show wasn't trying get me invested in storylines that almost all have forgone conclusions. It's like having seen the knockout round of a sports tournament and then watching the group stage afterwards.

 

Spoiler

 

It's made even worse by the show having these flashbacks to points further in the past and the flash forwards to after Breaking Bad - both of which are much more interesting than the near-past shenanigans of Gustavo, Mike, Jimmy and Hector.

 

Well, rant over. It's not the show's fault, but I really only like prequels if they manage to add something interesting to questions left by the original, and those are kind of rare. Cube Zero is a decent example. The conclusion has the same issue - why bother explaining how Rodney McKay ended up in the cube (and he's not even played by the David Hewlett in Cube Zero, boo!) but the rest of the film is interesting enough.



#19
InsaneCommander

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Finished the fourth season of Better Call Saul.

 

it doesn't happen all too often that a spin-off of a well written, well directed and excellently produced show as Breaking Bad was ends up being well directed, well written and excellently produced.

 

But here's the crux - as much as I enjoy seeing Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks on the screen, just as much do I not give a rat's ass for the show itself. It gives me answers to questions I've never asked myself while watching Breaking Bad and it has the added prequel problem that it is primarly about characters that either have full plot armor or are entirely original, which is all of a problem on its own.

 

That would be all right if the show wasn't trying get me invested in storylines that almost all have forgone conclusions. It's like having seen the knockout round of a sports tournament and then watching the group stage afterwards.

 

Spoiler

 

It's made even worse by the show having these flashbacks to points further in the past and the flash forwards to after Breaking Bad - both of which are much more interesting than the near-past shenanigans of Gustavo, Mike, Jimmy and Hector.

 

Well, rant over. It's not the show's fault, but I really only like prequels if they manage to add something interesting to questions left by the original, and those are kind of rare. Cube Zero is a decent example. The conclusion has the same issue - why bother explaining how Rodney McKay ended up in the cube (and he's not even played by the David Hewlett in Cube Zero, boo!) but the rest of the film is interesting enough.

 

I'm really curious about the flashfowards. I wouldn't mind if they did an entire season in that period, assuming there is actually something interesting going on.



#20
LadyCrimson

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But here's the crux - as much as I enjoy seeing Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks on the screen,

 

My #1 main problem with this show was:

 

-- The actor Jonathan Banks (whom I like/admire much), being only human, looks so much older than he did in Breaking Bad that I simply cannot "leave brain at the door" enough to go with the notion that the series is set before Breaking Bad. Sorry, Mr. Banks. :p

 

Also, 1.5 seasons in, even if it was well acted, scripted and produced I was super-bored of all the bro/gf drama (which I found rather predictable and too stretched out) and didn't go back for the 3rd season. I may try it again later.


Edited by LadyCrimson, 22 October 2018 - 09:11 AM.





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