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Veltigar

Watch, Watched, Watching: The Shield lands on top

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Posted (edited)
6 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.

Is Sons of Anarchy actually good? I think I quit during season one. I'm just surprised out of those four shows that was the one that got the parenthetical. 

 

Edited by RumHam

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8 minutes ago, RumHam said:

Is Sons of Anarchy actually good? I think I quit during season one. I'm just surprised out of those four shows that was the one that got the parenthetical. 

 

To borrow a phrase, it's not 'good' in the conventional sense. :p

I started watching it because it had Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal (and later, Jimmy Smits, Drea De Matteo, CCH Pounder, and even Henry Rollins!) I kept watching it because I could not figure out if Jax was supposed to be smart or not: was he a cunning character played by a slightly dim actor or did the writers mean to make him not as clever as he thought he was? In fact, there was a lot of trying to figure out how self-aware the writing was in my fascination with that series. I watched seven seasons of that show and still am not sure.

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20 minutes ago, RumHam said:

Is Sons of Anarchy actually good? I think I quit during season one. I'm just surprised out of those four shows that was the one that got the parenthetical. 

 

Season 1 was good, season 2 better; the remakning seasons went downhill. I never bothered with the last two seasons

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3 hours ago, RumHam said:

Is Sons of Anarchy actually good? I think I quit during season one. I'm just surprised out of those four shows that was the one that got the parenthetical. 

 

There's like 3 good seasons, when it goes downhill it goes downhill spectacularly. The final two seasons are absolutely awful.

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39 minutes ago, GallowKnight said:

There's like 3 good seasons, when it goes downhill it goes downhill spectacularly. The final two seasons are absolutely awful.

It took a page out of Dexter's book and decided that, if you're going to suddenly become a bad show, swing for the fucking fence.

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The worst thing about Sons of Anarchy, other than the writing, is that it spawned a whole generation of biker wannabe's, at least near me.

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1 hour ago, GallowKnight said:

There's like 3 good seasons, when it goes downhill it goes downhill spectacularly. The final two seasons are absolutely awful.

You didn't like Jax's Jesus pose?

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Posted (edited)
11 hours 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)

Ooooo. someone else watched that series, Hoory!  Damages was one of the best of the best of that era, but I've never encountered anyone else who saw it.  Never could figure out why, especially when everyone had seen the Sopranos.  Centering women as protagonists?  Glenn Close and Rose Byrne sparring and scheming?  What could be better?  It also had the best theme song/lyrics:

 

And on that other note, how anyone can see Al Swearingen as self-pitying I cannot figure out.  He's a lot of things, many of them negative, but he's not that, which, considering everything that he is, if he were, would make him unbearable.

Now Atia can be self-pitying because the whole world is Atia and that's just how it is for a domina.  Horrible as a mother, a friend, a lover, anything, but as a character to watch, she's just great -- while we all thank our lucky stars we are not in her orbit -- though a lot of us probably know people just like her, though not, of course, ancient Roman aristocrats -- though surely those people would like to be. :cheers:

Edited by Zorral

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Twas a major movie weekend for me. In order of watch:

Godzilla 2: King of Monsters. I enjoyed it enough and liked how they pulled of King Ghidorah and the antagonist's motivations if stupid. 

Godzilla vs Kong. Got to watch this one in theaters. The physics don't make any sense but you're not supposed to care about that in these movies. The Millie Bobby Brown scenes were the worst just as in 2. As a matter of fact, I didn't like any of the human scenes outside of the deaf girl and how they used her to humanize Kong.

Spider-man: Far from Home. It was okay I guess. I was never sure how exactly you'd be able to pull off Mysterio in a motion picture but they made it work well enough. I did like how the characters had connections to the original Iron Man movie as well. 

Tenet. Jesus, Nolan loves to play with time in a fast paced movie. Right from the beginning I had no idea what was going on, and had to pause a couple of times to catch what the characters were saying and make sense of the plot. It's like he doubled down on Inception.. except here, if you miss a second or two of the movie, you're going to have a harder time catching up to what's going on. The action scenes don't really help either and just create more chaotic frenzy in a movie with an already convoluted plot. This movie could have been a mini-series that dived into it's characters more, and took more time to explain the concepts visually and cinematically as opposed to lecture-to-the-audience dialogue on how the physics of time work. Really wish Nolan went back to something like the Prestige (which still lets him play with the concept of time) but without feeling like a very rushed story. 

Also, John David Washington's acting was very wooden. I couldn't figure out if it was the script or his acting, but he came off like he was trying so very hard to be cool all the time and it didn't quite work for me. Also, I've never seen him in a movie before and something kept nagging me while he was onscreen and it's that his voice reminds me so much of his father's. Once I realized that, I couldn't stop hearing Denzel all of the time.

That said, while the review might seem negative, I did enjoy the movie overall. It could have just been a lot better with some adjustments that Nolan should have learned by now with his previous movies (given how they're practically cookie cutter by now).

 

 

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15 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.

Definitely oversimplifying! Gilligan was definitely fascinated by Walt... but the show deserves a lot more credit than this. Plus, "near the end" of season 2 makes me wonder what you would think of it further. 

I've watched some of the first season of Sons of Anarchy, but couldn't really get into it. I love Ron Perlman and Katey Segal (actually most of the actors are great), but biker culture is boring and the early attempts to intellectualize some kinda "code" didn't work for me. Might try again though. 

2 hours ago, Zorral said:

Now Atia can be self-pitying because the whole world is Atia and that's just how it is for a domina.  Horrible as a mother, a friend, a lover, anything, but as a character to watch, she's just great -- while we all thank our lucky stars we are not in her orbit -- though a lot of us probably know people just like her, though not, of course, ancient Roman aristocrats -- though surely those people would like to be. :cheers:

I think I'm really due for a rewatch, at least the first season. Plus I've missed seeing Kevin McKidd playing an actual character since he got trapped in the purgatory of the (soon-to-be-ending?) Grey's Anatomy.

2 hours ago, WarGalley said:

Tenet. Jesus, Nolan loves to play with time in a fast paced movie. Right from the beginning I had no idea what was going on, and had to pause a couple of times to catch what the characters were saying and make sense of the plot. It's like he doubled down on Inception.. except here, if you miss a second or two of the movie, you're going to have a harder time catching up to what's going on. The action scenes don't really help either and just create more chaotic frenzy in a movie with an already convoluted plot. This movie could have been a mini-series that dived into it's characters more, and took more time to explain the concepts visually and cinematically as opposed to lecture-to-the-audience dialogue on how the physics of time work. Really wish Nolan went back to something like the Prestige (which still lets him play with the concept of time) but without feeling like a very rushed story. 

Also, John David Washington's acting was very wooden. I couldn't figure out if it was the script or his acting, but he came off like he was trying so very hard to be cool all the time and it didn't quite work for me. Also, I've never seen him in a movie before and something kept nagging me while he was onscreen and it's that his voice reminds me so much of his father's. Once I realized that, I couldn't stop hearing Denzel all of the time.

That said, while the review might seem negative, I did enjoy the movie overall. It could have just been a lot better with some adjustments that Nolan should have learned by now with his previous movies (given how they're practically cookie cutter by now).

Nolan is getting ever better at the scope of his set pieces (I love that they crashed an actual 747 into a building), but the movie made no sense and it was very, very hard to follow. At a certain point, a "complicated" high concept just ends up being incoherent, and Tenet definitely went down that path. I had such hope for it - and even enjoyed it - but I completely agree that I wish he'd go back to well-executed stylish movies. I rewatched Memento not that long ago and it's still really cool (and sad!). Plus I want to have more fun at the theatre (where I did see Tenet), and it's hard when you have little idea what's going on or why characters make decisions the way they do. 

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Damages was really good, and I was never sure why it didn't get much love.  Such an excellent cast, especially the people they would bring in for a one season arc.

 

I'm another one that couldn't make it through the first season of Sons of Anarchy.  Made it through 5-7 episodes before I bailed on that hot garbage. 

 

2 hours ago, Aemon Stark said:

I think I'm really due for a rewatch, at least the first season. Plus I've missed seeing Kevin McKidd playing an actual character since he got trapped in the purgatory of the (soon-to-be-ending?) Grey's Anatomy.

 

I've been thinking the same thing lately, and had looked up McKidd awhile back because I couldn't remember seeing him in anything in such a long time.  I was shocked to see he's been on Grey's Anatomy for 13 fucking years.  I definitely understand the appeal of steady income, but fuck.

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I loved Damages, at least in the first few seasons, last one was much worse IIRC.

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Watched the first episode of Mare of Easttown (HBO Max), featuring Kate Winslet.

There are a lot of characters, most of whom are introduced in that first one, and thus difficult to get straight and figure out who they are in relationship to each other and to Mare.  But one of these characters leaped right out at me --  Richard Ryan, a single book novelist, whose book became a television movie -- or was it a feature film?.  Ryan's a visiting creative writing teacher at the local college, played by Guy Pearce, who is Jack Irish in the Australian television adaptations of these detective novels.

I wonder why none of the credits listed for Pearce on the Mare of Easttown sites mention his Australian work.

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On 4/27/2021 at 11:26 AM, DMC said:

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

I can't say I do. He's a good character and all, but I'm not that engaged in his story. That being said, I'm only episode 7 and he had a pretty good speech in that one 

Spoiler

during the rehad group therapy session

 

On 4/27/2021 at 12:37 PM, 3CityApache said:

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

I forgot about Hank XD But the episode I just watched had some strong detective work from him in it. I guess that he's indeed the closest person to root for from my perspective.

On 4/27/2021 at 12:38 PM, Ran said:

@Veltigar

  Reveal hidden contents

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.

 

That does make sense. Any idea on when they had this epiphany? I'd say they started shifting gears pretty early on as season two already sets up that arc in my opinion.

Just to underscore what a ridiculous idiot Walter is

Spoiler

I just watched the episode where Skyler (the voice of reason in all this really, kudos how they transferred her from the biggest nag into a likable character) asks him to bring back the ridiculously expensive muscle car he bought for Walt Jr.

A simple job, something he shouldn't be able to screw up, but no his disillusion of grandness won't let him spend 800 USD. Instead he totally destroys the car, which is just so inconceivably pointless and risky.

And this wasn't even the most egregious mistake he makes this episode. Who brings 200,000 USD to launder in a car wash they just bought for only 800,000 USD? Why on earth would he not communicate the scale of his earnings to Skyler if she's supposed to become a full-time mob wife/accountant? This struck me as odd a few episodes back, but now it seems clear he just wasn't telling her all the facts until he felt like bragging about it.

 

On 4/27/2021 at 1:00 PM, Annara Snow said:

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.

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?

Agreed on both accounts. Promising Young Woman really deserved more love for being its own unique thing. Judas and the Black Messiah did little with the powerful story at its heart imo.

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16 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Damages was really good, and I was never sure why it didn't get much love.  Such an excellent cast, especially the people they would bring in for a one season arc.

I honestly forgot that show even existed until it came up in this thread, but I do remember thinking it was good and I'm pretty sure I watched every episode.

I think it was a victim of coming out right at the tail end of the TV renaissance that HBO kickstarted with The Sopranos and got overshadowed by shows like The Wire (which was entering its final seasons), Breaking Bad (which premiered a year later), Mad Men (same year), and The Shield (ended around the third season of Damages).  Those are generally thought to be four of the best shows ever, and shows like Damages that were very well made but not groundbreaking or unique just got lost in the shuffle.

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Posted (edited)

Damages slipping through the cracks could be timing, certainly, or at least partly.  5 seasons, the first 2007, right before the 2008 financial crash in North American Atlantic sector of the global finance industry, with the final season 2012, with enormous other fraught events and conditions going on, including politically.  So many people lost their homes and jobs in 2008.  We only began crawling out of that financial catastrophe in Obama's second term.

First 3 seasons were on EPIX tv-- pioneer subscription service, which limited viewership.  Like Justified, I was able to watch Damages, like Justified, only because of the Netflix dvd service. Damages's last two seasons moved to Channel Audience Network on DirectTV in 2010.  EPIX started garnering audience with Justified in 2010, but it never go the kind of numbers series on HBO at that time got.

According to some Damages immediately began losing audience due to its serialized format.  Which seems ... odd, right?

Yet it was nominated for, and won, a lot of awards, including Glenn Close, being nominated for, and winning, Emmy for best actress in a dramatic series.

In its final seasons was overshadowed again , surely, as The Good Wife series hit the ground running as media darling, as well as did Justified.

But mostly my intuition says, it's because Damages featured a woman who was as ruthless and effective as any man in her position. Nor did she feel guilt and remorse. People, male and female, just don't like that in female characters, on screen or anywhere else.  Look at all the sympathy the loser of Breaking Bad gets -- and yet people terribly dislike his wife as a character.  If a woman is to be centered she'd better be noble and sexy, or at least sexy young badass.

Still,  :dunno: 

Edited by Zorral

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6 minutes ago, Zorral said:

First 3 seasons were on EPIX tv-- pioneer subscription service, which limited viewership. 

The first 3 seasons were on FX, then it switched to Direct TV.  Justified was also only ever on FX.

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I really liked the first season of Damages. I think I watched the 2nd as well and thought it was fine. The concept started to wear thin on me though so I never went back for the 3rd.

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