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Watch, Watching, Watched -- Until the Sun Comes Up


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23 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Gasp. Filthy lies. 

The main marriage plot was a bit random but I liked the Featherington and Whistledown sub plots. 

I watched… 3 episodes I think and there are very few things I like so far. Maybe it’ll get better. 

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

I think Peacemaker is classic James Gunn formula - equal parts action, raunchy jokes and clever banter, with heartwarming characterization sprinkled in...along with way too much Gen Xer music Gunn likes.  I really like that formula!  But it'd take a radical shift in tone and structure - which would probably be off-putting to many of his viewers - for it to approach the "prestige" level those other shows were shooting for (and achieved).  I suppose anything's possible, but I think it's very unlikely.

Personally. I think the formula is getting a bit tired. TSS was OK on first watch but it's considerably less interesting on a 2nd or 3rd viewing IMO. This is in sharp contrast to his GotG films, which, among MCU films, have a high re-watchable quality for me. 

I will get around to Peacmaker eventually.

21 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

How have you both finished so quickly? I really can't binge watch things anymore, I can manage a max of two hours TV per day, and usually less than that

I stayed up way too late last night to finish it. 

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1 minute ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

This is in sharp contrast to his GotG films, which, among MCU films, have a high re-watchable quality for me. 

Yeah I agree the GOTG films are significantly better, even the second one.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

Halt and Catch Fire's first season was very heavily informed by Mad Men, it must be said. No surprise, given that it was from AMC who was trying to fill the Mad Men-sized hole in their lineup after Mad Men ended. Once they gave that up, though, the other seasons were stellar (and I liked the first, mind you) as they tacked a different course.

Given that I very recently binge-watched all seven seasons of Mad Men, you can guess where my views lie as to whether it fits in the Golden Age pantheon or not. Of course, Weiner first pitched it to HBO, and they just happened to reject it. (So, too, was Breaking Bad.)

The Americans is another really excellent show which I loved, start to finish. That finale...

I was immediately hooked on Halt and Catch Fire, and in love with the show before season 1 even finished, whereas I just had to make myself go through Mad Men. Clearly some things were different and the characters, theme, dynamics and overall tone appealed to me much more.

Edited by Annara Snow
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2 hours ago, RumHam said:

I don't know, I think you could argue that both The Sopranos and Peacemaker are dramas and comedies. Sopranos is a hilarious show. Peacemaker has some emotionally impactful stuff. 

But yeah I don't think Peacemaker is a top tier show. I don't really expect it to become one either.

No, The Sopranos is occasionally funny/has comedic elements,but definitely not a comedy. Peacemaker is a comedy with some dramatic elements.

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12 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Personally. I think the formula is getting a bit tired. TSS was OK on first watch but it's considerably less interesting on a 2nd or 3rd viewing IMO. This is in sharp contrast to his GotG films, which, among MCU films, have a high re-watchable quality for me. 

I will get around to Peacmaker eventually.

I stayed up way too late last night to finish it. 

Gunn's formula is doing perfectly fine. Why fix what's not broken? He has his very specific and recognizable style, which can't be said of that many people doing superhero films and shows.

And if he were to change something, it certainly shouldn't be to imitate other creators. The idea that he needs to try to make a The Sopranos 2.0 is just weird. He is making dramedies that are predominantly comedies with dramatic elements. It sounds like it's been suggested that only dramas are "prestige" enough and are automatically better/ greater than comedies- which is, of course, nonsense.

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1 hour ago, Annara Snow said:

No, The Sopranos is occasionally funny/has comedic elements,but definitely not a comedy. Peacemaker is a comedy with some dramatic elements.

I disagree. (Obviously, I guess.) Yes there is more drama than comedy, but the comedy isn't "occasional" and a show can be two things. I would bet that just about every episode had something I laughed at. 

The Wire I would say fits your description. Occasionally hilarious but clearly not a comedy.

Incidentally I just now drove by Satin Dolls, the real Bada Bing! as a passenger of course I'm not driving and typing this.

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1 hour ago, RumHam said:

I disagree. (Obviously, I guess.) Yes there is more drama than comedy, but the comedy isn't "occasional" and a show can be two things. I would bet that just about every episode had something I laughed at. 

The Wire I would say fits your description. Occasionally hilarious but clearly not a comedy.

Incidentally I just now drove by Satin Dolls, the real Bada Bing! as a passenger of course I'm not driving and typing this.

Yes, of course a lot of shows are a mix of genres, and there are many dramedies on TV, but The Sopranos isn't one. The amount of humor is nowhere near enough to balance the amount of drama and downright tragedy that happens.

Putting a certain amount of humor in dark themed dramas is not a new thing, Shakespeare and the other Elizabethan/Jacobean playwrights did it all the time. Romeo and Juliet probably has a higher % of comedy in its overall runtime, but it's still considered a tragedy, and Henry IV probably has as at least as many comedic scenes as dramatic ones, but it's still not considered a comedy by anyone I'm aware of. Heck, ASOIAF also has many funny moments and witty lines. If it were a happy lightweight story about some nice people looking for love, those funny moments might be enough to make a dramedy, but it being dark AF, that's obviously not even a possibility.

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41 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

Yes, of course a lot of shows are a mix of genres, and there are many dramedies on TV, but The Sopranos isn't one. The amount of humor is nowhere near enough to balance the amount of drama and downright tragedy that happens.

Putting a certain amount of humor in dark themed dramas is not a new thing, Shakespeare and the other Elizabethan/Jacobean playwrights did it all the time. Romeo and Juliet probably has a higher % of comedy in its overall runtime, but it's still considered a tragedy, and Henry IV probably has as at least as many comedic scenes as dramatic ones, but it's still not considered a comedy by anyone I'm aware of. Heck, ASOIAF also has many funny moments and witty lines. If it were a happy lightweight story about some nice people looking for love, those funny moments might be enough to make a dramedy, but it being dark AF, that's obviously not even a possibility.

For some reason, and this may just be me, I feel like a "dramedy" is more a comedy that gets serious (like say Bojack Horseman) than Dramas that are consistently funny. I never meant to claim that there was balance, I think I said that there was more drama than comedy. 

I never said it was a new thing either. I don't disagree RE: ASOIAF, I haven't read Shakespeare since high school and never read Henry IV.

I dunno I think like I said something can be two things, I never meant to suggest it was equal parts comedy and drama. If I had to pick just one it would be drama. But I do really think you're underselling how funny it is. Humor is more subjective though. 

I could also just be remembering the funny bits more. I've been meaning to re-watch it since The Many Saints of Newark anyway came out, so I may as well start that after The Dropout and Last Kingdom. 

 

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3 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

Gunn's formula is doing perfectly fine. Why fix what's not broken? He has his very specific and recognizable style, which can't be said of that many people doing superhero films and shows.

"Perfectly fine" is certainly what I strive for with my entertainment dollar. Each to their own. But I find myself getting less and less invested in a genre thats becoming less and less interesting.

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

Halt and Catch Fire's first season was very heavily informed by Mad Men, it must be said. No surprise, given that it was from AMC who was trying to fill the Mad Men-sized hole in their lineup after Mad Men ended. Once they gave that up, though, the other seasons were stellar (and I liked the first, mind you) as they tacked a different course.

What do you mean by that, mate? I watched the first season and liked it well enough but not sufficiently so to continue onward. Now I wonder if maybe I should reconsider.

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2 hours ago, Scott_N said:

What do you mean by that, mate? I watched the first season and liked it well enough but not sufficiently so to continue onward. Now I wonder if maybe I should reconsider.

The second season pivots away from being super-focused on just Joe and Gordon and their personal lives, and becomes as much about Cameron and especially Donna as they create a fledgling online community called Mutiny. That really broadens the narrative in a really appealing way, not least because for those of us who remember BBS's and Compuserve it has some nostalgia value.

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14 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Interestingly, "Shipping up to Boston" appears a few times in these Channel 4 clips but not in the Canadian Netflix version of the show. This scene and the detention scene are scored differently here. Must be some kind of weird rights issue or something. 

Definitely a rights issue. The score for Orla's talent show routine in the season 1 finale is different too - the original broadcast on Channel 4 used Madonna's Like A Prayer while Netflix used Pray by Take That which is why the choreography does not line up.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

The second season pivots away from being super-focused on just Joe and Gordon and their personal lives, and becomes as much about Cameron and especially Donna as they create a fledgling online community called Mutiny. That really broadens the narrative in a really appealing way, not least because for those of us who remember BBS's and Compuserve it has some nostalgia value.

Season 1 was already about all 4 of them and Cameron and Donna had big arcs of their own and reflected in different ways (as the two very different women) the reality of women trying to make it professionally in the 1980s. Sure, they get more screentime as they found their own company in the season 1 finale*, but it's not like they needed to run a company before they had a meaty character arc.

The show being just about Joe and Gordon is only mostly true in the pilot episode and nowhere else. 

BTW, I tried my best to calculate the character screentime during my recent rewatch (finished season 2) and Donna is the character with the most screentime in episode 1×04 (unsurprisingly, as that episode largely revolves around her, and to a lesser extent Cameron). The season finale has Gordon with most screentime and Donna with second most screentime.

ETA: Also, I'm confused by your wording "becomes as much about Cameron and especially Donna". That makes it sound like Donna becomes a more prominent character than Cameron, which is most definitely not the case.

Edited by Annara Snow
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8 hours ago, Scott_N said:

What do you mean by that, mate? I watched the first season and liked it well enough but not sufficiently so to continue onward. Now I wonder if maybe I should reconsider.

Depends on what you liked and what you didn't like about season 1.

I personally don't see much of a difference in quality between seasons 1 and 2, though I think seasons 3 and 4 are better (but all the seasons were great IMO) but there are others who disagree and think season 2 was much better than season 1. But I'm speaking as someone who loved the show after just a few episodes and thinks season 1 was great.

One of the reasons given is that the show focuses on Cameron and Donna more, which si true  as they are the ones running a company that's the focus of season 2 - but it's not like the show was not focusing on them at all in season 1. Every season reshuffles the character roles and interpersonal dynamics, but they build on what happened before. But did you like / feel interested in any of the characters to begin with? It's always those same main characters you met in season 1, although they change and develop a lot.

The other reason often given is a preference for the setting. Season 1 is mostly about Cardiff Electric, and the characters trying to move this old dinosaur of a company into the future and dealing with the the old boy Texan business network (or being a part of it, as Toby Huss' Boz). In season 2, the main focus is more on this new,, unconventional startup company Mutiny that you saw getting founded by Cameron in the season 1 finale. So, were you excited by that? Did you like what you saw of them, the young coders she recruited and the prospect of Cameron and Donna working together, teased in the finale? If yes, then you have a bigger chance of being interested in season 2.

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58 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

Season 1 was already about all 4 of them

It was a lot more about the women being adjacent to the men than it was about the women as themselves. Donna, in particular, was largely playing the "Betty Draper" role of supportive house wife of a work-obsessed husband, who had put aside her own dreams and desires to be a mother and wife. (When I say "especially Donna", by that I meant that her particular role on the show changed a lot more than Cameron's.)

The 2nd season took off in critical esteem precisely because it opened up their stories as entrepreneurs and innovators in their own right who weren't doing it as second fiddles to two men.

Obviously, you have a different impression, but I'm sharing mine, and what I recall of some reviews  from the second season (like this one or this brief blurb.)

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

It was a lot more about the women being adjacent to the men than it was about the women as themselves. Donna, in particular, was largely playing the "Betty Draper" role of supportive house wife of a work-obsessed husband, who had put aside her own dreams and desires to be a mother and wife. (When I say "especially Donna", by that I meant that her particular role on the show changed a lot more than Cameron's.)

The 2nd season took off in critical esteem precisely because it opened up their stories as entrepreneurs and innovators in their own right who weren't doing it as second fiddles to two men.

Obviously, you have a different impression, but I'm sharing mine, and what I recall of some reviews  from the second season (like this one or this brief blurb.)

You don't have to link any reviews, I've heard all of that before, it seems to have been a popular narrative by reviewers/orders who were trying to hype up season 2,  which I get as a motivation.   But I find most of that criticism to be an example of reviewers being incredibly lazy and their need to always compare shows to other shows. It's like when every fantasy show and every pre 1800s period drama is compared to GoT.

Donna is not even remotely similar to Betty Draper. She's not a housewife nor a trophy wife, nor is she emotionally repressed. She is a working woman who also has to deal with children and home and a husband who's frustrating her not just because he is work obsessed but mainly because he is a mess and feels like a failure. Donna didn't set aside her professional dreams to be a mother and a wife, she and Gordon worked together in the past  and their dreams crashed 3 years before with the failure of their computer, Symphonic. Donna is never too shy to tell Gordon how she feels, and she expects him to do some work with the kids too, but he is too much of a mess to do it  She is supportive of Gordon's work, but that's in part because this is the first time he has been excited about something in years, and it makes him less depressed and apathetic (she basically tells him in the pilot, you may work on this project with this guy, if you also promise to be there for us at home from now on) though over time his obsession with it starts being a problem in itself. She has a job of her own (and works hard at it) and ambitions, but that job is not fulfilling or rewarding enough; but she also gives a big contribution to the development of Giant, and is very visibly frustrated when her contribution cannot be openly acknowledged.

It makes even less sense to call season 1 Cameron "just adjacent to Joe". You may as well say that Gordon is adjacent to Joe, or Joe is adjacent to Gordon. Their interpersonal dynamics  are all important, but they all have their own arcs and backstories, and Cameron is the one who is always championing the most forward thinking ideas and comes up with things like an innovative and interactive operating system, on the opposite end of Gordon, who tends to be more conservative in that respect. (Season 1 Cameron, that is. I love her character,but I don't think she's the most forward thinking of the main characters when it comes to tech after season 1. It's much more often Joe or Donna. But maybe that's because I'm not all that into gaming. Especially season 2 Cameron is a bit gatekeepy at times and needed a long time to understand the value of a broader online community that's not all about gamers, as opposed to season 1 Cameron who was hoping to build a computer/OS for everyone,  including people previously uninterested in tech ).

Now, it's certainly great to see the women centered even more and their relationship explored, and have them become even more complex, but I find it weird when people try to do that by disparaging their indiviidual character arcs in season 1. It makes me wonder, if one didn't care about Cameron or Donna in season 1, why would they suddenly start caring in season 2? It almost sounds like, well their arcs aren't worth a thing unless they're heading their own company.

Anyway, what really strikes me about seasons 1 and 2 is that they are like mirror images of each other and complement each other. The characters almost swap roles. Gordon becomes season 1 Donna and Donna becomes season 1 Gordon, and while Joe is struggling with who he is and trying not to be Joe MacMillan anymore, Cameron increasingly becomes her own version of Joe MacMillan (and is called out on ir) even while she thinks that's the last thing she wants to be. Then the finale and season 3 reshuffles everyone's roles and interpersonal dynamics again.

 

Edited by Annara Snow
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