What was the last TV show you watched?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Lady Day, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    My apologies - not intentional as the shows been off the air awhile I didn't think about it in terms of spoilers.
     
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  2. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    . I only now have started on it, eight episodes into season one! It is "new to me", though I had forgotten how long ago it debuted (2007).
     
  3. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Finished Season 3 of Mrs Maisal. Wonderful, can't wait for 4.

    Watching 'Gunpowder' currently on Prime, a bbc production about the gunpowder plot of 1605. Refreshing to see it told from pov of the plotters, and recognising the persecution that motivated it.
     
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  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    That's certainly the interpretation I got from the little I saw. Not necessarily a surprising angle. It takes a nefarious phoney to make it in the nefarious, phoney realm of weaponised salesmanship. I was friends with an old advertising director from that period and there is no doubt that drifters, wannabes and lost souls entered advertising after the war and some made a bundle out of manipulating our insecurities and vanities. The most cynical copywriters sometimes had greatest impact precisely because marketing was largely built on our worst instincts.
     
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  5. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton Practically Family

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    From what I've experienced, salesmanship is founded in manipulation. Sales people can be many positive things, like hard-working, ambitious, creative, and so on, but at the core, when boiled down to the base goo, we're really talking manipulation. I can see why damaged people would be drawn towards the field. When damaged, you're often skilled in survival, and when you can frame your actions as surviving, it basically creates a moral existence without boundaries. Survivalists also aren't very encouraged to self-reflect. There's really little need for self-awareness when the perception is that you're always engaged in battle. It can be from very aggressive to passive-aggressive, the latter case being Don. As despicable as many (possibly, all) of the characters in Mad Men are, the show was an incredible exercise in character study, psychology, sociology, and the human experience. In that way, I didn't feel the show was dark at all. Through the darkness, a lot of light is spotlit.
     
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  6. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    SPEW!!!!!! Mwa ha ha ha ha! Hilarious! I'm dyin' here! And you owe me a cuppa Joe... my coffee now staining my computer room carpet! LOL!

    Worf
     
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  7. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    "Watchmen" - Just finished the season finale.... Wow and double wow. I'd given up on Lindleloff (sp) after "Lost". I swore that man would never again suck me into a show that leaves you with more questions in the end than you had in the beginning. I was furious. Still I enjoyed "The Leftovers" and he gave me enough answers with that one that I removed the price I had on his noggin'. After seeing his masterful sequel to the original graphic novel all I can say is "thank you". I was/am VERY familiar with the original work and the 9 episodes of this show was like Christmas! The Easter eggs, the podcasts, the "Petey Pedia" pages everything was perfect and provided a fictional world so real I could almost smell the squid rain! It didn't get great numbers and I doubt it'll be back but that's alright with me. How many shows, movies or books kill it and have the good sense to leave while on top.

    Rumor has it HBO is willing to pay for more but Lindleloff doesn't have another story in him and is not interested in pulling a GoT like pratfall with a halfbaked effort. Bravo to him! Take a chance, read the graphic novels and dive in, you'll be glad you did!

    Worf
     
  8. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The sad end to the saga is my free month has now expired......alas I shall have to delay the gratification of Amazon TV.
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Somebody connected with that show had to have read Ernest Dichter -- an Austrian-born psychologist who was hailed in the 1950s the "father of motivational research." It was Dichter's theories, and the adoption of those theories by his disciples at, especially, the big automakers in the years after the war, that turned the Boys From Marketing from ham-fisted clodhoppers whose efforts were as risible as they were effective into a genuinely sinister, evil force in American life.
     
  10. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Yep. And now we live in an era where marketing has infiltrated every avenue of human activity. From toothpaste to charities, nothing is untouched by branding.
     
  11. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    See, not being British, I have (very) limited knowledge of the show's history. ;)

    The version I am thinking of begins around 2002-ish, with Clarkson, Hammond, and another bloke who mainly did 'best value for the money' segments. James May came a season later than that.

    I am now reading a wiki history about the show from its 1977 origins.

    Thanks for the info!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  12. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    A Charlie Brown Christmas with the wife and girls.
     
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  13. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Netflix offering from Poland..."The Crime". Formulaic police/crime drama with all the requisite characters. Not that great but a nice change of scenery and very Slavic looking actors. A nice change of pace.
     
  14. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    People with traumatic histories often develop uncanny skills in distraction, deescalation and persuasion in order to manage an environment full of threats and attacks. Hence their ability to understand and use what motivates people to buy things. But on the whole the world of sales is rather less interesting, it generally attracts people with no other skills than a superficial charm and an ability to turn patter into purchase power. But like any trade, it's as full of semi-useless incompetents as any business.

    As a show I thought Mad Men was just an elegant soap opera and nothing much more. But I'd have to force myself to sit through the entire series to really know this.
     
  15. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton Practically Family

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    To this, my questions would be: what story, show, or whatever can't be distilled down to a label of soap opera? What's your definition? And to help me further understand that definition, give me a couple three TV series examples of what you deem not a soap opera at its core?
     
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  16. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I think it is largely a matter of semantics. In my view Soapers are melodramatic, poorly written with acting to match the writing, thrown together TV needed to fill a space 5 days a week in order to sell soap. Akin I think to what James Patterson is as checkout stand writing compared to say Melville or Tolstoy? Yes, they all write novels, all put the written word to a page but hard to equate. TV in the modern era now has multiple levels of dramas to watch....thank goodness.
     
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  17. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Nearing the end of season two of Mad Men, loving every minute of it!
     
  18. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Good question. Key elements are: melodramatic stories, with plots focusing on family dynamics, marital discord, infidelity and tensions brought on by the kind of "will they or won't they?" variety. Three shows that are not predominantly soap operas would include Deadwood, Dr Who, Better Call Saul.

    Most shows use elements of soap opera and melodrama to hook us in. Some get away with it. For me it's a question of how deep this runs. And that is a subjective decision you can only make as an individual viewer. For me, when a show become overly reliant on the interpersonal relationships of characters, with themes like guilt or revenge or success done in a melodramatic fashion, it often becomes too soapie for me. Better Call Saul, just scrapes through.

    In relation to Mad Men I did say "elegant soap opera" not "piss poor soap opera".
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  19. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I think a lot of people would agree with this. But I would say (and this is simply one man's view) soapies, like almost all art forms, have evolved and, thanks to long form TV, are now more complex and nuanced. Ray Donovan or Billions, as I see it, are good examples of a multi-layered soap. Remember soapies started on radio and were very simple. They have now made it to streaming services. Orson Welles, who was in a lot of the early radio soaps, once described them as a perfectly legitimate art form. And like any art form there are crude and refined versions.
     
  20. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Radio soaps ran the gamut. Those produced by the Hummert factory -- "Ma Perkins," "Our Gal Sunday," "The Romance of Helen Trent," "Young Widder Brown," ad infinitum -- were generally bland, predictable pulp, turned out by anonymous writers on an assembly line. Those produced by such careful creators as Elaine Carrington and Sandra Michael were often thoughtful depictions of everyday life, albeit strained thru a filter of melodrama, that could often touch on deeper issues than their detractors were willing to admit. And some of the "nighttime" family serials -- notably Carlton E. Morse's long-running "One Man's Family" -- could have stood on the same plane as fine literature had they been presented in a more permanent format.

    Television ran the "soap opera" format into the ground, but serialized relationship-driven drama is still a worthwhile form. The main reason it has so many detractors, both in the radio days and now, is because it's coded "female" -- and god forbid the predominantly-male world of media criticism should get girl cooties.

    Two of the finest TV series of the 1990s -- "Homicide: Life On The Streets" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" dealt heavily in interpersonal relationship drama within a serialized format, and both were disdained by genre fans who thought they were too "soapy" and not "shooty" enough. But such shows laid the groundwork for the current boom in serialized television.
     
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