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Veltigar

Watch, Watched, Watching: The Shield lands on top

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10 minutes ago, Veltigar said:

I do find it hard that there is no one I can really root for. 

If you're in the second half of season 4 then I was very strongly rooting for Jessie at that point.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

If you're in the second half of season 4 then I was very strongly rooting for Jessie at that point.

Yeah, this. Hank, obviously, and then Jessie.

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Posted (edited)

@Veltigar

Spoiler

Your impression of Walt actually closely tracks the changing vision of the show. The original pitch was simply taking Mr. Chips and have him become Scarface, which implied a fundamentally good person becoming corrupted. What they discovered as they wrote and explored the idea is that it made much more psychological sense to have him be a person who was already deeply flawed and in a sense corrupt thanks to his overwhelming pride and the inferiority complex that's the result of it. 

So, yeah, they revealed the moral rot was already buried deep and that'd be why he could so enthusiastically plunge into the underworld as his worst impulses were increasingly served by criminal dealings.

 

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

The thing with Breaking Bad (which, full disclosure, I gave up on near the end of season 2) is that it fits a genre that 'quality' TV loved at that time, the 'let's watch this entitled white dude roll around in awful, self-indulgent, self-pitying toxic behaviour and be a horrible human being because the showrunner finds the character fascinating for some reason' genre. Mad Men. Deadwood. Sons of Anarchy (again, full disclosure, I loved that series but hoo boy). The Sopranos. And yeah, Breaking Bad. There are more I can't think of right now, I'm sure. And maybe I'm oversimplifying and being unfair to some of those series but it's a trend I had my fill of fairly quickly.

I didn't find either Al or Bullock self pitying, don't disagree with the others. 

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I watched Promising Young Woman last night. Wow, that movie is... a lot. People seem to either love or or hate it. I love it.
In any case, it's certainly diferent and memorable and leaves an impression. The tone is unique, and I love the way the music is used throughout.

On another note, as a fan of Veronica Mars, it was interesting to see two of the actors from that show (two of Veronica's love interests!) cast against type (and, I'm sure, deliberately so).It shares some themes with VM,but more sincerely addressed The story is almost like an insane, extreme version of VM season 1 on steroids.

That's only the second Oscar nominated movie I've seen (after Judas and the Black Messiah, a couple of days ago), but I'm going to try to see all of them this week.

Judas and the Black Messiah mostly was as a history lesson for me. I looked up the info about Fred Hampton, confirmed it's all facts, and I'm astonished how I never heard about him or his murder before, and not just that - I asked a friend from US and she had no idea. How did they manage to bury this story for so long? There were other assassinations in the USA in the 1960s, and we've all heard about MLK, Malcolm X, JFK, Robert Kennedy's. But you need no conspiracy theory or speculation about who was behind here. The police and FBI straight up murdered him! How did the public just ignore it?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mormont said:

The thing with Breaking Bad (which, full disclosure, I gave up on near the end of season 2) is that it fits a genre that 'quality' TV loved at that time, the 'let's watch this entitled white dude roll around in awful, self-indulgent, self-pitying toxic behaviour and be a horrible human being because the showrunner finds the character fascinating for some reason' genre. Mad Men. Deadwood. Sons of Anarchy (again, full disclosure, I loved that series but hoo boy). The Sopranos. And yeah, Breaking Bad. There are more I can't think of right now, I'm sure. And maybe I'm oversimplifying and being unfair to some of those series but it's a trend I had my fill of fairly quickly.

That's a lot of generalizing. Al Swearingen was not the main character of Deadwood, at least not the only main character - no matter how much the media and fans tried to portray him as such (probably because it fit into the mold). It was an ensemble show.

The Sopranos can certainly be described as such - but it started long before most of these other shows, and before The Shield, which you didn't mention, although it fits the mold (unlike Deadwood). It wasn't following a trend, it was doing something new. And it was a damn good show with a lot more depth than just "look at how awful and toxic this guy is". (I still haven't seen Breaking Bad - shocking, I know - but I intend to this year. Mad Men was never really for me and didn't manage to hold my interest, so I stopped watching somewhere in season 2. I watched one episode of Sons of Anarchy and realized 1) the topic was completely uninteresting to me and 2) it didn't seem to be great enough for me to try to overcome my lack of interest in the biker culture.)

On another note, I am always disappointed that people rarely mention the shows in that mold and from roughly the same era that had female antihero protagonists, like Damages (which wasa great) or Weeds (wasn't for me so I dropped it).

Edited by Annara Snow

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10 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

On another note, I am always disappointed that people rarely mention the shows in that mold and from roughly the same era that had female antihero protagonists, like Damages (which wasa great) or Weeds (wasn't for me so I dropped it).

Weeds got pretty silly/ridiculous but had some really high points early on.  Never saw Damages.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, DMC said:

Weeds got pretty silly/ridiculous but had some really high points early on.  Never saw Damages.

Oh man, the first 3 seasons of Weeds were fantastic. I might have to rewatch that; I really enjoyed it.

Edited by Mexal

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

The thing with Breaking Bad (which, full disclosure, I gave up on near the end of season 2) is that it fits a genre that 'quality' TV loved at that time, the 'let's watch this entitled white dude roll around in awful, self-indulgent, self-pitying toxic behaviour and be a horrible human being because the showrunner finds the character fascinating for some reason' genre. Mad Men. Deadwood. Sons of Anarchy (again, full disclosure, I loved that series but hoo boy). The Sopranos. And yeah, Breaking Bad. There are more I can't think of right now, I'm sure. And maybe I'm oversimplifying and being unfair to some of those series but it's a trend I had my fill of fairly quickly.

I mean, I can see the trend you are pointing at, but the angle you are coming at it from is pretty horrible. 

Plus, Mad Men isn't just about Don Draper, Deadwood isn't just about Al Swear-again, Sopranos isn't just about Tony Sopranos and Breaking Bad isn't just about Walt. I guess if you look at shows from that angle then that is up to you. 

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Occurred to me after watching Wonder Woman 1984 that the Mandalorian tv series is basically what happened when Alistair wished for his dad to be like Boba Fett, only nicer to kids.

 

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52 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

That's a lot of generalizing.

Admittedly. But I'm looking at it as a trend in various 'quality' TV series at that time, so I'm looking at general similarities rather than things being identical.

1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

I didn't find either Al or Bullock self pitying, don't disagree with the others. 

 

52 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

Al Swearingen was not the main character of Deadwood, at least not the only main character - no matter how much the media and fans tried to portray him as such (probably because it fit into the mold). It was an ensemble show.

I think I watched a different show than you folks. ;)

Seriously, I get that Deadwood is an ensemble show but there's no doubting the characters that Milch found most fascinating: you need only look at the ones the focus remained on as the series progressed, as opposed to those who faded rapidly into the background. 

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1 hour ago, Annara Snow said:

 

On another note, I am always disappointed that people rarely mention the shows in that mold and from roughly the same era that had female antihero protagonists, like Damages (which wasa great) or Weeds (wasn't for me so I dropped it).

Amusingly, Vince Gilligan nearly dropped pitching Breaking Bad because he learned about Weeds being in production first and thought the concepts were too similar.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, mormont said:

the 'let's watch this entitled white dude roll around in awful, self-indulgent, self-pitying toxic behaviour and be a horrible human being because the showrunner finds the character fascinating for some reason' genre.

You omitted Dexter from your list.  Poor serial killer.  Gotta say, I find Dexter Morgan considerably more likeable than Walter White or Don Draper, at least during the good seasons (1-4).  Probably give him the edge of Tony Soprano too.

38 minutes ago, Ran said:

Amusingly, Vince Gilligan nearly dropped pitching Breaking Bad because he learned about Weeds being in production first and thought the concepts were too similar.

But Albuquerque ain't no Agrestic.  This was my first reaction when I heard about Breaking Bad too - as someone watching Weeds at the time.

Edited by DMC

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Posted (edited)

I finally started watching For All Mankind. It's very well done. Love the intro, too. (I guess Watergate won't happen, now?)

I don't know if it's just with this show/ timeframe, where the treatment and marginalization of women is so palpable, but I find myself less interested these days when most protagonists are male. Of course,

Spoiler

that might change a bit now after the first woman on the moon,.

It took me several seconds to recognize von Braun because, while I like the actor, that accent does *not* sound German to me.

Oh, and useless bit of knowledge no. 1: The senator who led the hearing was "Donny" in Frasier, Daphne's lawyer bf. It always drives me nuts hen I recognize an actor but cannot place them at first...

On another note, is it just me or have there been awfully many shows about people with superpowers in recent years?

Edited by Mindwalker

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It’s just a pretty narrow take on that trend, and I know it’s a take I’ve seen before on the internet so it’s hardly original. 
 

There really isn’t anything tying those shows together other than they sometimes have a main character who is more of an anti hero.. because you know, those kind of characters are just generally more interesting. Anyone who thinks all there is to Don Draper or Tony Soprano is just some ‘self indulgent white dude’ ( race is relevant because?) really isn’t paying attention. 

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

Admittedly. But I'm looking at it as a trend in various 'quality' TV series at that time, so I'm looking at general similarities rather than things being identical.

 

I think I watched a different show than you folks. ;)

Seriously, I get that Deadwood is an ensemble show but there's no doubting the characters that Milch found most fascinating: you need only look at the ones the focus remained on as the series progressed, as opposed to those who faded rapidly into the background. 

So should we include Rome, too, and consider Atia its protagonist? She was a similar kind of character - charismatic asshole that kept doing awful things, but that the fandom was obsessed with more than any other character on that show, and who kept getting a lot of attention and even 'sympathetic' moments towards the end. (Personally, I always preferred Servilia.)

Or are we not doing that because she's a woman?

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13 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

It’s just a pretty narrow take on that trend, and I know it’s a take I’ve seen before on the internet so it’s hardly original. 
 

There really isn’t anything tying those shows together other than they sometimes have a main character who is more of an anti hero.. because you know, those kind of characters are just generally more interesting. Anyone who thinks all there is to Don Draper or Tony Soprano is just some ‘self indulgent white dude’ ( race is relevant because?) really isn’t paying attention. 

Snowfall is an example of a show with a black main character who basically follows that same path.  Franklin Saint isn't all that different from Walter White. 

So it's by no means a narrative arc reserved solely for white dudes. 

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I mean, personally, I don't see Rome as part of that trend and don't see Atia as the protagonist. But, y'know, I'm not in charge or anything. You could do that if you want to. ;)

(Verena and Pullo are really more the protagonists, and each indulge in their fair share of toxic masculinity come to think of it, but the show doesn't seem to me to be as fascinated with them as these other examples, but again, that's just my view.)

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Plus what about the Wire, that’s full of unsympathetic anti hero characters who the audience jumped on and loved and the show followed quite heavily.. who were black.

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10 minutes ago, mormont said:

I mean, personally, I don't see Rome as part of that trend and don't see Atia as the protagonist. But, y'know, I'm not in charge or anything. You could do that if you want to. ;)

(Verena and Pullo are really more the protagonists, and each indulge in their fair share of toxic masculinity come to think of it, but the show doesn't seem to me to be as fascinated with them as these other examples, but again, that's just my view.)

I don't see Atia as the protagonist of Rome. But I don't see Al as the protagonist of Deadwood, either.

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