General TV Discussion

Dai

Thousand Master
So with France back in ludicrous level lockdown and being on a bit of a Lynch binge recently, I decided to take my fourth trip to Twin Peaks and do S1-3 back to back for the first time. I can't believe I never registered this before:


Not saying Lynch is Kubrick and everything has to mean something, but names surely have power in the world of Twin Peaks and of all the names they could have chosen for an otherwise insignificant character, in one of her first scenes Audrey is seen (quite forcefully) mocking Julie for being subservient to "Bob" and subsequently ruins her work using... a cup of black coffee, investigative fuel of the righteous. Total coincidence, or intentional painting of Audrey as someone who "Bob" has no hold over?
Funnily enough, I just done the same thing and watched all of Twin Peaks in one go. So much of The Return made more sense by having Fire Walk With Me fresh in my mind.

This was only the second time I've watched The Return, and I enjoyed it a lot more this time, probably because I knew how long I'd have to wait to see the real Cooper back in action. Also, Twin Peaks in general just works better when watched over a shorter timeframe, since having a week between episodes can just exacerbate the more frustrating ones.

The end of The Return still struck me as abrupt and a downer, or at least it did until I read this long, mostly convincing, and completely mind-melting theory that the final two episodes form a symbiotic time loop, and are meant to be viewed simultaneously, with episode 17 being the true (and more positive) ending. If it were any director besides Lynch, I'd say this was ridiculous, but this kind of madness is his bread and butter, which is especially evident when considering the similarities between those final episodes and Lost Highway.

 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
Anyone else watching the new Stranger Things? I was a bit surprised they announced a fifth season; it's still compelling, but I think it's starting to feel like it's run its course now.
Done 4 episodes so far. The Hawkins stuff is great and I think it's the probably the scariest yet, but elsewhere it's a bit dull and proving too much of a distraction sometimes.
 

RadFemHedonist

Pokémon Master

I haven't watched all of the original Quantum Leap because I'm so busy watching anime as far as my typical "viewing diet" but I really enjoyed the episodes I did see and I'm pretty stoked for this reboot :) TBH, while I certainly haven't lost interest in anime or animation more generally, I can't help but feel that diversifying my viewing choices could be really positive for me (I mean that in the sense of more live-action stuff and stuff from other countries than Japan, but I do also think that seeing more of a diversity of people in terms of appearance - size, race etc. than anime typically tends to feature, would be good for me as well.) :)
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Done 4 episodes so far. The Hawkins stuff is great and I think it's the probably the scariest yet, but elsewhere it's a bit dull and proving too much of a distraction sometimes.

Yeah, I would agree with that. The writers are fighting the good fight, but they've got so many characters and groups in play now that it's spreading any meaningful development very thinly and all the chopping and changing is killing the pace of it. Not to suggest they needed to kill someone off necessarily, but I think not everyone needed to come back this time around.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Anyone else watching the new Stranger Things? I was a bit surprised they announced a fifth season; it's still compelling, but I think it's starting to feel like it's run its course now.
The Hawkins stuff is great and I think it's the probably the scariest yet
Watched two episodes and it's definitely feeling a bit hackneyed & overpopulated to me as well but I do like the creepy clock entry scenes to the otherworld this time - I think those are done brilliantly even if the monster seems generic.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Finished S4 Volume 1 a few nights ago. On the whole, I think it was an improvement over season 3 (had its moments, but big chunks of it felt like another show entirely), but it takes a long time to get going.

Unsure how to feel about the repurposing of Brenner from being the obvious villain into something more morally complicated. I can understand why they did it, I think it would have been difficult to create a convincing scenario for 11 to regain her powers otherwise, but I'd have preferred if they'd possibly tried to flesh him out a bit more first, rather than going straight into it off the bat. Especially when there's so much else in the early episodes that feels like unecessary filler.

While I guessed it slightly ahead of the reveal, I did like that 1 turned out to be Victor's son though - his hairstyle in the 1979 segments is relatively similar to how Matthew Modine looked in his younger roles, so I just assumed Brenner would be his biological father.
 
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Dai

Thousand Master
Watched two episodes and it's definitely feeling a bit hackneyed & overpopulated to me as well but I do like the creepy clock entry scenes to the otherworld this time - I think those are done brilliantly even if the monster seems generic.
I'm also two episodes into season 4... and I'm considering dropping it, to be honest. It doesn't help that I've lost interest in horror over the last several years, but supernatural horror is usually enough to at least keep me watching if a story has something else going for it. This time the relentless misery of the whole thing is just wearing me down. I seem to remember the earlier seasons having more sense of adventure and entertaining character bonding scenes, but practically every scene this time is just bullying, misery and death. The movie-length episodes aren't doing the pacing any favours either, and it all just feels like a slog.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Finished S4 Volume 1 a few nights ago. On the whole, I think it was an improvement over season 3 (had its moments, but big chunks of it felt like another show entirely), but it takes a long time to get going.

Unsure how to feel about the repurposing of Brenner from being the obvious villain into something more morally complicated. I can understand why they did it, I think it would have been difficult to create a convincing scenario for 11 to regain her powers otherwise, but I'd have preferred if they'd possibly tried to flesh him out a bit more first, rather than going straight into it off the bat. Especially when there's so much else in the early episodes that feels like unecessary filler.

While I guessed it slightly ahead of the reveal, I did like that 1 turned out to be Victor's son though - his hairstyle in the 1979 segments is relatively similar to how Matthew Modine looked in his younger roles, so I just assumed Brenner would be his biological father.
I'm also two episodes into season 4... and I'm considering dropping it, to be honest. It doesn't help that I've lost interest in horror over the last several years, but supernatural horror is usually enough to at least keep me watching if a story has something else going for it. This time the relentless misery of the whole thing is just wearing me down. I seem to remember the earlier seasons having more sense of adventure and entertaining character bonding scenes, but practically every scene this time is just bullying, misery and death. The movie-length episodes aren't doing the pacing any favours either, and it all just feels like a slog.
Just finished it and agree with @Professor Irony that it does get better, though taking a while to get going, and is an improvement on season 3. I quite enjoyed the final episode with the nods to the first season and also felt like it captured some of it's charm again.

I too found the longer episodes a bit of a slog in the middle, which is a shame given how it has always been such a binge-able show for which longer episodes should absolutely work. Probably a reflection of it not being as captivating for me due to repetition and a large but not particularly interesting cast overall. Still glad it ends on a high and not too long a wait for the next half.
 

Dai

Thousand Master
I'm currently doing my annual catchup of new shows on Disney+. Once again it looks like I'll only need to be subscribed for a month to get through everything I want to see.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett
I've always been a bit baffled at the way Boba Fett has been handled in Star Wars. I think all people ever wanted was to see him jetting around the galaxy hunting down bounties, and yet that's the one thing we never see him doing. After being unceremoniously eaten as a cheap gag in RotJ, his only appearances were as a kid in AotC and the Clone Wars series. When Disney decided to make a series about a Mandalorian hunting bounties, it wasn't Boba, and then when Boba showed up he wasn't hunting bounties.

So it should come as no surprise that The Book of Boba Fett isn't about bounty-hunting either. This is the tale of the Sarlaac lunch-meat that became a slave. The slave who became a warrior. The warrior who became a (strangely polite) king(pin). Yep, this is Conan the Bobarian. Get ready to see Boba unceremoniously Samused by Jawas, who strip him of his armour and weapons, leaving him to learn how to fight with a stick among a bunch of sand people. This cuts back and forth with him taking over Jabba's territory and becoming a crime boss/feudal lord.

That's right, we're back on Tatooine again. In 1977, Luke Skywalker said of that planet, "If there's a bright centre to the galaxy, you're on the planet that it's farthest from" and he was right; Tatooine is a tedious dust bowl. Yet, for reasons unknown, it's the well that Star Wars goes back to more often than any other planet, and the galaxy feels a bit smaller and less interesting every time they do. This time Tatooine is played as the stage for a straight-up space western, right down to the town marshall getting into a quickdraw duel with a blackhat.

The first few episodes are okay, but the show only really picks up from episode 5 when it gives up on Boba and turns into The Mandalorian season 2.5. It's worth sticking around for the final episode in particular, which is a good action pay-off for everything that has been built up.
 

Dai

Thousand Master
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
We're back on Tatooine again. In 1977, Luke Skywalker said of that planet, "If there's a bright centre to the galaxy, you're on the planet that it's farthest from" and he was right; Tatooine is a tedious dust bowl. Yet, for reasons unknown, it's the well that Star Wars goes back to more often than any other planet, and the galaxy feels a bit smaller and less interesting every time they do. This time Tatooine is just a jumping off point at least, but the plot doesn't improve much once Obi-Wan heads off-world.

Making a young Leia a part of the story could have been great, but there are two major problems. First, she's been damselled and needs rescuing again. Second, they should have set this story a few years later. The girl playing 10-year-old Leia acts her socks off, but it's the kind of performace we always get from American child actors of that age, where they're desperately trying to sound mature and it's just doesn't work.

In the end, this series is only worth watching for the fan service. It's great to see Ewan McGregor back in person after two decades of his chiselled CG doppelganger filling the role in the Clone Wars. I was also glad to 'see' Hayden Christensen back as Vader, though it's a little hilarious the tricks they have to pull for us to get a few glimpses of him outside the suit. The precision mask slice must be a standard part of jedi training. The highlight is the duel between those two, which is more dynamic than their final confrontation in ANH, but nowhere near as good as this fan reimagining of that scene. It's also nice that the climax smooths over one of Lucas's most infamous retcons, and makes Obi-Wan's "point of view" speech from RotJ feel more believable.

Hawkeye
I always seem to end up watching Christmas stories in summer, but this one was entertaining anyway. Hawkeye is fully back in his too-old-for-this-$#!` mode, which works fine now that he's teaming up with a new archer. The confrontation with Yelena could have done with being amped up a bit more, but otherwise this was a pretty solid series.

Ms Marvel
I dropped this after a couple of episodes. It's a pretty good teen drama bolted onto a mediocre superhero story. I wasn't in the mood for a teen drama though.

Moon Knight
I dropped this halfway. The main character was irritating in both of his dual personalities. He spends most of his time being useless and speaking in a well-unconvincing Landon accent innit. The rest of the time he's a generic Hollywood action hero.
 

Dai

Thousand Master
@Dai man I feel for you, nothing seems to be taking your fancy at the moment eh?
Hawkeye was pretty good and those two Star Wars shows certainly had their moments. I think the problem with the other Marvel shows was that they were paced like one long movie, so the first act felt like it dragged on forever.

I'm currently rewatching The Mandalorian, which is still great. The only downside to that series is that it can't resist the gravitational pull of Tatooine at times. In 1977, Luke Skywalker said of that planet, "If there's a bright centre to the galaxy, you're on the planet that it's farthest from" and he was right; Tatooine is a tedious dust bowl. Yet, for reasons unknown, it's the well that Star Wars goes back to more often than any other planet, and the galaxy feels a bit smaller and less interesting every time they do. Thankfully Mando doesn't spend too much time there.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
So I finished Thinger Strangs 4. Gee whiz, that last episode was a slog.

On the whole, I think this season feels a bit like the writers are trying to cater for too many audiences, so they’re practically bending over backwards to make sure that everyone feels important and relevant right up to the very end. Unfortunately, this just results in the whole thing becoming ever more convoluted and the finale being an absolutely bum numbing experience as they try to make sure that no-one is short changed on screen time. There are parts that do work, but they’re so spread out that I think it undermines any emotional heft the conclusions could have delivered. I don’t know what would even fix this - make it two episodes? Cut about an hour of stuff because it wasn’t that interesting anyway? Admit that this should have been an anthology and have a different cast for each season? Answers on a postcard.

I’m going to stick to my guns and say I still think it’s a slight improvement on 3 by virtue of being more consistent with its tone, but I don’t think it hits as hard emotionally, and it’s difficult to see another full season being a good idea at this point.
 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
I think the parts away from Hawkins had good finales to them even if most of the lead up was to them in part 1 were over long. The stuff in Hawkins was mostly good this time with a few odd choices and it's obviously setting up the final season which, now their all in Hawkins and the big bad is right in front of them instead of needing a set up it should be tighter and the Duffers have said as much.
 

Eternal chibi

Brigade Leader
I think when you watch a lot of stuff you start to see much more what is good and what isn't. When you've already seen some of the best tv has to offer, a mediocre show just won't cut it.

Obi-wan was alright. One thing I thought was that it was really obvious when the writer had changed between different segments. I would be watching a really good moment, and then suddenly it would cut to some silliness. The action and comedy wasn't very good, and those are two pillar-stones of Star Wars. There were some really nice emotional moments though, which was almost the same in the films wasn't it? But Obi-wan was better still. I think Disney really need to look at what made it initially popular. I don't think it is that difficult. We had decades of good quality star wars media beforehand.

I loved previous seasons of Stranger Things. I have not yet even attempted the new one. I am put off by the runtime to be honest.

I watched two 2022 documentary one about Bill Cosby and one about George Carlin and they were both quite interesting for different reasons of course.
 
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RadFemHedonist

Pokémon Master
I've really been enjoying Extraordinary Attorney Woo (a Kdrama about an autistic lawyer). It's good and it's on Netflix and yeah.

As an autistic person I enjoy feeling represented and also that the first two words of the English title for this kinda rhyme (I've never actually seen the show but I'm curious about it now XP ) :) 👍
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
As an autistic person I enjoy feeling represented and also that the first two words of the English title for this kinda rhyme (I've never actually seen the show but I'm curious about it now XP ) :) 👍
It's a nice show!

I don't really watch legal shows because I expect them to be really serious and complicated, but this one is pretty relaxed. There have been a few kinda intense moments, but also a lot of funny parts too and the main group of characters (especially Woo) are nice.

The only problem is that the episodes are about 1 hour 15 minutes long (which is about standard for Kdramas), so it's hard for me to watch a whole episode in one go 😅
 
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