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Author Topic: Random TV Thoughts  (Read 37538 times)

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James Edward Smith

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2008, 07:50:06 AM »

I live in Canada and I watch Mad Men on AMC as it airs...
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Fredward

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2008, 05:32:18 PM »

I know not of your "full cable" channels. :sarcasm:
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Arc

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2008, 06:52:43 PM »

With the season finale of LOST outta the way, now ABC can get down to real business for that timeslot with the third season of Harry Potter. Here's the new season opener:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEmjUifFe4Q

Nutz to Oldman only getting a 'Guest' credit. Sirius Black must not appear in many episodes, but I suppose that remains true enough to the book. Thank the stars Disney had the foresight to snatch up the rights and give the books the treatment they deserve. Imagine if some Hollywood studio just tried to pump out movies of the books every other year? Ugh, seems wrong to even think of such a possibility.
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Thad

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2008, 10:47:58 PM »

Back to where I started: finally got around to catching the fifth ep of John Adams.

Most of the characters are pretty well-defined by this point.  John in particular offers no surprises; he's bitter, isolated, obsessive, and increasingly unsympathetic, yet all this makes him all the more human and interesting.

What's interesting about this ep is that, for two terms of the Washington/Adams administration, the narrative is driven by the conflict between Jefferson and Hamilton.  It's interesting watching Adams start out frustrated at being kept out of Washington's confidence, only to find the two of them drawn together as they are caught in-between the rivalry between Federalist and Republican.  Their mutual distaste for political parties is only briefly touched on, but it's there and obviously that's a sentiment close to my own heart.

Hamilton comes across as very unsympathetic, but that's forgivable given that the show is called John Adams.  Jefferson is probably the most intriguing character, especially for how the French Revolution has changed him and how utterly radical his rhetoric has become.

All in all, the show continues to impress; hoping to get around to the last two eps soon.
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Arc

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2008, 11:39:57 PM »

Jefferson's portrayal as a collected anarchist still echoes through to me even weeks after I've watched the series. I'll briefly talk more on him and Adams once you finish.
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Thad

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2008, 11:58:36 PM »

Well, I'm not exactly concerned about spoilers. ::3:

Jefferson's belief in a constant state of revolution is something my dad cites at every possible opportunity.  So is his take on the Democratic Republic and his acknowledgement of inalienable rights that could not be denied by mob rule.  Now, getting those two things to line up, that's the trick, and Adams expresses that well several times in the series.
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Thad

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2008, 08:30:27 PM »

All right, done.

On the last two eps:

The White House imagery was great.  The desolation of the landscape and the emptiness of the rooms made a good metaphor for his isolation as President.

The contrast between Charles's death and Nabby's was well-executed.

Sally Hemmings's presence in this episode does a lot to dispel my complaints that she didn't show up in France.  She still should have been there, but now I can't exactly accuse the miniseries of skirting the issue.

The plot, in episode 6, of Adams giving up his reelection to avoid an unnecessary war, and in episode 7 of his concern for his legacy, both had clear significance to the current administration, without being overbearing about it.  The closing voice-over where he breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience runs dangerously close to overbearing, but given that it's actual text from a letter to Abigail it just misses that mark.  It's preachy and lacking in subtlety, but so was he.

His verbal abuse of Trumbull for the painting's lack of historical accuracy is over-the-top and seems largely unnecessary, but makes for a good bit of metacommentary, not least for the fact that the rant itself is an example of artistic license rather than historical accuracy.  It also serves as a meditation on the fact that history is imprecise and the revolution is now, in many ways, the stuff of legend.  My first reaction to Adams and Jefferson both dying on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration is that that sounds more like legend than fact -- but I'm sure the biographers have the records to back the claim up.

All in all, a very satisfying miniseries and a good, if not wholly accurate, bit of historical dramatization.  Great cast, with few false notes throughout the series.  It's out on DVD now, so I advise anyone who hasn't seen it to give it a rental.
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TA

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2008, 09:17:16 PM »

Anything in there about him and Marshall setting up Marbury v. Madison?
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Thad

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2008, 10:54:26 PM »

No, Marshall's in there as you'd expect, but Marbury doesn't show up and the Madison administration is given only a single-sentence acknowledgement.  The episode dealing with Adams's presidency is concerned primarily with his tightrope-walking to avoid war with either England or France, and the final episode, dealing with his retirement, focuses on his family and his correspondence with Jefferson.
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TA

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2008, 11:12:57 PM »

Ah, that's a shame.  It's one of the more impressive cons I've ever read about.
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Thad

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2008, 12:02:08 AM »

I'd be totally into seeing a Madison docudrama.

One of the obvious weaknesses of the story told from Adams's perspective is he and Jefferson are in France when the Constitution is written and ratified.
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Guild

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2008, 02:32:58 AM »

So Burn Notice has started up again and it doesn't quite deserve its own thread, so I made this one.

I'd give Burn Notice a B+. I started watching it for Bruce Campbell but I got hooked by the end of the premiere.
For contrast I give Monk a B- and Psyche a C+. I also give the pilot to the new Knight Rider show a C-, and only that good because of the Hoff's cameo.


Post any random shows you REGULARLY watch. Be sure to give them a grade.
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Niku

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2008, 05:37:15 AM »

Be sure to give them a grade.

Why can't we be big boys and use our words instead?
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Guild

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #53 on: July 12, 2008, 11:22:13 AM »

Arbitrary grading systems are great for post-scanners like me who don't want to necessarily read a description of a show he already watches, but WOULD like to know how the person enjoyed it... that's also why game reviewers are forced to give grades, by the way. A grading system can never accurately pin down how enjoyable a game was, but by following a trend in a person's grading system you can more accurately find shows you might enjoy if the reviewer shares your tastes. Just my initial thoughts when I read that. Nobody HAS to do ANYTHING I say. That's like, the entire premise behind my whole life: Lead by bad example.
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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2008, 12:30:23 PM »

I randomly watch "Guild is a gigantic idiot". While it started out strong and amusing, it's gradually fallen off, as it seems the producers of the show think we'll still be enthralled in Season 2 by the same antics all throughout season 1. The control mechanics are solid, though, if extremely simple.

I give it a 3....out of 5.
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Niku

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2008, 04:11:55 PM »

Arbitrary grading systems are great for post-scanners like me who don't want to necessarily read a description of a show he already watches, but WOULD like to know how the person enjoyed it... that's also why game reviewers are forced to give grades, by the way. A grading system can never accurately pin down how enjoyable a game was, but by following a trend in a person's grading system you can more accurately find shows you might enjoy if the reviewer shares your tastes. Just my initial thoughts when I read that. Nobody HAS to do ANYTHING I say. That's like, the entire premise behind my whole life: Lead by bad example.

video game review scores are basically singlehandedly making a mockery of the entire game review dynasty these days.

even moreso than the game review writers themselves in most cases.
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Fredward

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2008, 04:42:49 PM »

I don't actually read Guild's posts anymore, I just read the reviews.

Oh, incidentally, I downloaded the first episode of Burn Notice just a few days ago because Bruce Campbell. I have yet to watch it.
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Brentai

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2008, 04:32:27 PM »

Now, I don't watch much TV.  In fact I barely watch it at all, ever.  But one of the few shows that I enjoy when it happens to be playing in the same room as me is Monk.  It's just a clever show, complete misrepresentation of psychological abnormalities be damned.

Well, at least it used to be a clever show.  Either the writing took a sharp downhill turn somewhere, or I must have missed it in the beginning, because all the episodes I've seen lately seem to climax with this nailbiter.

MONK: Mr. Murderer, now that I have you alone or sometimes with a number of accomplices without any backup in sight, I would like you to know that I know that you kill people, and can prove it in court.
MURDERER: Why thank you for that courtesy Mr. Monk!  Would you mind walking into this trap of mine?
MONK: Yes, that sounds reasonable to me... OH GOD THE GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE IS TRYING TO KILL ME WHY?????

This of course raises the huge elephant-in-the-room question:

How the fuck does a paranoid supergenius not suspect a goddam trap??????????

Another drop in the torrential river of things I ignore, I suppose.
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Rosencrantz

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2008, 04:41:28 PM »

It's true. One of his biggest strengths - whether or not he or anyone else realizes it - is how he comes off as incompetent and harmless at first glance. Hell, even at a second glance. But as the case goes on, he becomes more and more confident and, as you said, goes right up to the murder suspect and tells them to their face that he's on to their scheme. It's around this time that said suspect wises up to the crazy detective and the trap scenario plays out.
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Lady Duke

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Re: Random TV Thoughts
« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2008, 04:45:52 PM »

Yeah but sometimes he knows about the murderer's traps and sets a trap to trap them while knowingly walking into their traps.

..That sounds like a lot of traps.
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