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What Shows/Movie Franchises have you "Rage Quit"?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Worf, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. The only one that really springs to mind, rage-wise, is Lost. I lasted two seasons and got sick of the show presenting more questions than it answered week after week. I did come back just for the finale to find out what the whole mess was supposedly about, and what a cop-out!

    The first 2 seasons of Happy Days were the good ones, they actually put some effort in to create a half-decent period look. After that you get overt 1970s hair and clothing in 1958 Milwaukee. And the Fonz, originally a James Dean-type character who only spoke a word or two 'cause he was too cool to bother with the squares, became a parody in season three.
     
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  2. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    I don't rage-quit even if I want to because sometimes I have to be up on some of these shows for work. However, I did have a hard time even getting started with Orphan Black ... then I was mesmerized by the freak show "one actress plays multiple parts and even plays parts where she is one character pretending to be another character and you can tell but believe no one else can"! Sheesh! Great work, incredible logistics, etc. But I was always put off by it and the tail cutting was the end of my caring about it. That said, creativity is not done a favor by people unwilling to "go there." You don't win unless you are willing to take risks. By their very nature, though, they can backfire.

    Lost is the ultimate rage show BUT there was that wonderful aspect of parallel worlds drawing together in the last season, just before they screwed it all up with the-most-predictable-finale-ever-made. I have always suspected that they had a smarter ending in mind, and were working toward it, when the network stepped in and made them go stupid. Just a theory but if you check out another Damon Lindelof show, The Leftovers, on the much more permissive and artistic HBO you might get the feeling he reused, and completed, something like that smarter ending.

    Off the subject but worth mentioning because there's a lot of infuriating things about Lost. It's great redeeming feature goes like this ... In the late 1990s I produced a TV pilot about Irish Gangsters in NYC in the 1870s. The Network refused to allow us to hire real Irish actors, stating "no one can understand them" and "no one wants to see foreigners." Yes, I know. That's idiotic. And they're Irish ... barely foreign. Welcome to the world of anyone who's worked in Network TV. We snuck in one real Irishman but mostly ended up working with Americans doing Lucky Charms impersonations. Not surprisingly, it did not go to series even though a staggering number of talented people worked (ineffectively) behind the scenes.

    Well, a decade goes by and Lost comes out. There is a sub plot about Koreans IN Korean (and one that forcefully criticizes Korean business culture!), there's an Iraqi, and a guy from some place like Niger and, and, and ... amazing. It reclaimed my faith in what could be done on TV. Okay, it's never been done again but it was staggeringly open minded and rewrote the all the possibilities of what was acceptable. Much of the reason for this was that I believe the series was dreamed up "in house" at the network. If an outside producer had brought the show in they have destroyed it just to show who was in charge but since it was one of the club ... Anyway, they fired the guy not long after but they were stuck with the show he'd set up already successfully running. Anyway, a turning point in American TV history. I salaam in it's general direction.
     
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  3. Yet another fascinating glimpse from you Mike into a world most of us have no clue about at all. As always, very interesting. TV (and the movie industry) parallels the music industry (in Australia, anyway) to a very disappointing degree!
     
  4. Ah, "Irish" in American TV..... whole worlds of hilarity, offensiveness, and sometimes both simultaneously for those of us who actually are..... ;)
     
  5. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    I'd love to know more about that. When I lived there I found Australian radio play really refreshing compared to that in the USA. Far too many of our major stations were (this has changed some) "playlisted," meaning they were only allowed to play a limited number of popular songs. I suspect this was because many of our stations were leveraged financially to such an extreme they couldn't take a chance even for a literal minute. And, of course, all of us remember the great Australian artistic invasion that lasted from the late '70s through the early '90s. Such a wealth of great movies and music!

    I can imagine! We had the opportunity to hire a number of the actors from The Commitments ... that's when the network laid down the law. Of course we also had the opportunity to hire Hilary Swank, Simon Baker, Gretchen Mol, and many others, all before anyone knew who they were. Contrary to popular belief, minor to middle league producers do not get to hire above the line talent. That happens at the studio or network executive level (thus we have some of the current controversy). The producers/director just sort out the best selection.
     
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  6. Gretchen Mol.... oh, my..... ;)
     
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  7. She was very good in the very good but short-lived series (the US version of) "Life on Mars." It was an early entry in the "TV is getting much, much better" category, but still, unfortunately, never caught an audience.
     
  8. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    I went through my teens in the 1970s and also spent that time making Super 8 movies. My vocabulary in film was constructed out of the conventions of the time; the films and TV shows. I absolutely loved LOM, (the US version) because of that. Best of all was the casting of Harvey Keitel because his presence connected the two eras, then and now in an incredibly visceral way. I wish it could have lasted longer. That said, I felt they only scratched the surface when it came to dealing with the casual corruption, racism and sexism of the time. I don't mean that in a preachy way, as a writer I LOVE writing those aspects of period stories, they set the time and can be used to define rather than judge the characters. I thought it was wonderful and very funny how the protagonist, with modern standards for exercise and health, could outrun all the smokers of the "Beretta" Era. Great show.

    Another that showed up in that casting session was Australian actress Peta Wilson who at 22 or 24 came across like a piece of unexploded ordinance. Mesmerizing but randomly dangerous. Some film people should be on stage and visa versa
     
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  9. I've yet to see the US version of Life on Mars in full. I think it would be interesting to see for the contrast with the original, which I adored. The seventies must have been, if not the last, very close to it, era in which US and UK popular culture (pre-internet, of coure) was so very divergent as it was. Of necessity, the US one had to be a very different sho, given it was taking off shows like Staskeyand Hutch rather than earthier fayre like The Sweeney. The little I have seen of the U version looked interesting - though I'm very glad I would be gonig into it knowing the ending, as I found that appalling. I would certainly have felt very angry and cheated had I invested in the show only to face such a weak resolution. (Watching that part of it, it has the feel of something that was deliberately awful, a sort of glaring 'eff you' from the writers to the network execs who cancelled the show at short notice.) Not the worst thing I've ever seen on American television in terms of disappointing endings (take a bow, How I met your Stepmother), but still bad.

    Gretschen Moll I believe I first saw in The Notorious Bettie Page. Not a perfect film by any means, but it looked nice and she really was an uncanny likeness when they recreated many of the classic Bettie shots.
     
  10. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    Though I'm quite familiar with BBC programming from the last 20 years I am fairly ignorant of the 1970s. I never saw The Sweeny and never really got the original LOM's allusions to British TV of that time. Of course the US film business was overrun with East Coast immigrant culture in the 1970, mainly Jewish and Italian. Their stories were everywhere because many taste-makers (if you can really call them that) came from those cultures in those days. Those were the final glory years of American organized crime, which was a "partnership" between Italian and Jewish organizations and over in Hollywood many studio heads and executives were Jewish and many of the behind the scenes workers were Catholic and that group included a lot of Italians. In the hay day of Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman it's barely worth mentioning who many of the favorite actors were. All that led to a lot of material that reflected the NYC experience and a style of film making and seeing the world that emerged from that. Growing up on the periphery of Hollywood and with most of my friends being Italian or Jewish Americans I simply accepted that vision as "what the world looks like." As a kid I made amateur films that were exactly in that style. I grew out of it in the 1980s but it had great resonance at the time. I made my film making buddy from childhood watch the pilot to the US LOM and we spent the evening laughing and pointing at the screen and telling stories about those days and how we had made that mean streets vision of America a part of our lives.

    More that Starsky and Hutch we channeled Toma, Beretta, Police Story, Taxi Driver, The French Connection, Serpico, Marathon Man, Dog Day Afternoon, The Conversation and of course Dirty Harry. Those last two brought the East Coast blight west as did Bullit.
     
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  11. Nicely worded.
     
  12. All great stuff.... Taxi Driver is deservedly hailed as a classic, though I always felt Dog Day Afternoon deserves more attention than it gets now.
     
  13. vitanola

    vitanola My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I walked away (in mid disgust) from the serial "The Exploits of Elaine" after the episode where she us resurrected from death. That just went to far. Even so, I still think Pearl White a real pippin!
     
  14. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

    The Walking Dead (too slow, milking it out too much), Boardwalk Empire (pastiche), Lost (they never had any idea how any of those 'mysteries' were meant to work out, they were making it up as they went along), 24 (nothing means anything until the last two hours, watch episodes 1, 23, 24 only and spend the other 21 hours doing something more productive).

    Used to love House of Cards before Frank became president, but then it just lost its way.

    I thought the X-files comeback was pretty good, mercifully short run, and knowingly self-deprecating.

    Westworld was awesome, as was The Man in the High Castle, and although I loved the book, I thought the BBC (?) adaptation of SS GB wasn't dark enough, and what should have been dark and oppressive and foreboding noir was instead reduced to pastiche characatures played by 'beautiful people' (+ hats for instant 'period ambiance'). Twee.
     
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  15. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    Still laughing at this!
     
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