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What was the last TV show you watched?

Doctor Strange

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5,062
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Hudson Valley, NY
I'm most of the way through the Hawkeye series on Disney+. I have to say, this is one of the better ones they've come up with, I like it more than The Falcon and Winter Solider or Loki.

It's refreshingly not about a world-threatening scenario, it's set in NYC at Xmas, and is as much about its characters as cool fight scenes. Jeremy Renner is excellent as Clint, still trying to get over Natasha's sacrifice and everything else he's been through, spending time with his restored family... And just when he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

The first episode includes the funniest thing that Marvel's come up with a while: Clint and his kids attend Rogers: The Musical on Broadway. The sequence shown is probably the first act finale: a re-enactment of the Battle of New York, complete with a Chitauri chorus line! And the anthemic song that "Cap" is leading the Avengers in? "I Can Do This All Day!"

Rogers_the_Musical0.png Rogers_The_Musical2.png RogersTheMusical4.png

Anyway, it's a hoot!
 
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MisterCairo

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6,897
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Gads Hill, Ontario
The Blackadder Christmas special, where Ebenezer Blackadder, the kindest and nicest man in all England, transforms into a greedy selfish sod thanks to the Christmas spirit showing him his evil ancestors getting goodies at Christmas through their meanness, while how pathetic his descendants will be if he continues being good.
 

belfastboy

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8,131
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vancouver, canada
Finishing off the new season of Yellowstone. Totally implausible plot lines but for whatever weird reason I quite enjoy it. AND the drop dead gorgeous scenery makes me long for my days of wandering about Montana. Hats are OK but just ......nothing awe inspiring there.
 

MisterCairo

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Gads Hill, Ontario
Started into the final season of Superstore, loopy fun with no guilt attached.

A wee bit heavy on the social commentary, being shot in 2020, but no where near as horrid as the final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or as I call that, the season that does not exist. The com part of sitcom stands for comedy.

America Ferrera only in first two episodes, as she did a runner for those reasons only tv stars can justify to themselves. Still fun without her so far.
 

Worf

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4,952
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Troy, New York, USA
"Station 11" - This is a strange one and a prescient one. It's based on a book written some time ago wherein the 99% of human race is wiped out by a virulent flu that kills in a matter of hours, not days, not weeks... not months. The story follows a young girl working as a child actor in a stage version of "King Lear" when all hell breaks loose. Her handler disappears on her leaving her standing outside the theatre in a Chicago snowstorm where she's befriended by an young East Indian man who tries to help her get home. Unfortunately there's no one at home to either take care of her nor let her in. Rather than abandon the child he follows his sister's advice (a doctor at a hospital now overwhelmed with the dead and dying) and gathers supplies and takes to girl to his brother's house to "ride out" the crises. At first they believe it'll eventually blow over... it doesn't.

From here the story begins to jump around following several characters who are tied together not only by the pandemic and it's aftermath but also by a science fiction graphic novel entitled "Station 11" of which only 2 copies ever existed. The story not only jumps around between characters but also time frames. You have to REALLY pay attention to where and when you are and follow the breadcrumbs or you'll be lost. I had to re-wind several times in order to catch some dropped threads.

Not for everyone... particularly given our current situation... but it's fascinating.

Worf
 

Edward

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23,006
Location
London, UK
Back in the 70s, there was a big TV show in the UK called Survivors, which covered the breakdown of society occasioned by a deadly, global pandemic. It was written by Terry Nation (one of the big names in Doctor Who; he created the Daleks), and ran for three series across 1975-77, a successful run for that sort of thing in the UK. In 2008, the BBC returned to Survivors and produced a modernised reboot, with most of humanity dying out with flu. This time the ratings bombed and it only ran for a series, which was a shame. It seems that in 2008 all too many people found the premise unconvincing; perhaps there weren't enough of the then-fashionable vampires. I found both versions of the show intriguing, because unlike most apocalyptica they featured a world where it's only the humans. No zombies or predators attacking the humans as a threat, no destruction of infrastructure as with nuclear scenarios: the problem is pure and simple how does humanity cope when its numbers are drastically lower and the idea of the state and its authority is gone. I'll be looking out for the show @Worf mentions; it'll be interesting to see how the premise has been affected by the direct, real-world experience of Covid19.

Recently I chanced across a show called Manhattan on streaming. I've never studied the Manhattan Project's history beyond its horrific conclusion, so I can't comment on its accuracy of depiction, but it's an interesting watch and consideration of big themes such as people gradually realising what could be the impact of their work, the impact on them and their families of having to uproot and move to where they are, the challenges of inter-personal relationships in a very small, insular community which must remain so by necessity, relationship with landowners and so on. The wardrobe is absolutely wonderful to my eye, men's ties especially. I do wonder whether the ties are all vintage, or if they had a bunch made new. They certainly don't look "old". I always live in hope that we'll see the spread of 40s style mens ties made new, as I've often found originals nowadays have a limited lifespan left.
 

Worf

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4,952
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Troy, New York, USA
"The Gilded Age" - Think "Downton Abbey" with bad New York accents. I lasted 15 minutes before heading upstairs. In that it's produced by the same guy that did DA I guess you can understand why it has a similar feel to it. Despite much of it being filmed in my town (Troy, NY) I couldn't take another historic rehash...

Worf
 

belfastboy

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8,131
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vancouver, canada
"Victoria" a 3 season Masterpiece Theatre series. About the Queen's earliest years with Albert. I really like it but 3 seasons is enough. Plus a goodly reminder to NOT watch TV shows expecting historical accuracy. Yes, there was a Queen Victoria, yes she married a named Albert, yes she spent 10 years being pregnant but after that ....grain of salt.
 

ChazfromCali

One of the Regulars
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105
Location
Tijuana / Rosarito
I am that most unique of lawyers - BLUF (bottom line up front).

To answer some of the questions, the fifteen-year story arc is simultaneously just that, one overarching story arc, along the way with one or multiple-season mini-arcs, along with what my wife and I call the "one offs" which we love, episodes that deal with one "hunt" with no link of importance to the overall story.

Unless it's an anthology series, with each season being its own thing, any series will become repetitive to a point. Friends was ten years of six friends hanging out in a coffee shop, mayhem ensues. MASH was a three-year war spread out over, what was it, twelve seasons and a film, looking at a small mobile hospital unit in Korea. Mayhem ensues.

The Sopranos, which many consider the greatest tv series of all, is about a Mafia don and his family. Mayhem ensues.

I can say that no, not every episode has the two Winchester brothers rescuing the hottie from a monster, but that does happen. Yes, finding out what killed their mother and girlfriend is an arc, for a while. It is part of a much larger story line, that evolves over time.

I, like many fans, have issues with how that played out, over the course of specific seasons (here's looking at you, season seven), and over the course of the last season, which is where AmateisGal, myself and many others have had issues. That is, how the writers and show runners "resolved" the overarching issue at play.

Regardless, what we have loved over the series is the characters, the many relationships established, most if not all of the main story lines, and the many funny and creative one-offs over the years. With over 300 episodes, there will be lesser ones along with the greater ones. Name one show where that is not the case.

But my BLUF is this - something speaks to you, or it does not. I could suggest watching perhaps season one (twenty odd episodes), to get some kind of sense, but that is nearly 20 hours of your life you'll never get back if you don't "get it".

Or, over 300 episodes you'll own on the special edition complete series collectors blu-ray, complete with Dean Winchester standee, and custom-made Dean Winchester photo collage on canvass for your wife's 50th birthday in your walk-in closet.

your call...

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I DL'd a couple seasons of Supernatural. I liked it. But it was too much like Grimm (which I worked on as a regular extra) The "monster of the week" thing. I did realize though that Grimm was just tailgating on Supernatural which was first.

Recently I watched Dexter: New Blood. Only 10 episodes. Apparently the ending of the original has always bothered fans and this was sort of a peace offering ;-) I did see several episodes of the original series and it s a clever idea, (good guy serial killer). And for some reason I always liked James Remar as an actor, lol.

Anyway, I think fans may be even more upset by the ending of this New Blood. I was doing my own "WTF". Severe 180 plot twist.

Definitely worth watching but the wrap up was a bit too tidy for me.
 
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MisterCairo

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Gads Hill, Ontario
"The Gilded Age" - Think "Downton Abbey" with bad New York accents. I lasted 15 minutes before heading upstairs. In that it's produced by the same guy that did DA I guess you can understand why it has a similar feel to it. Despite much of it being filmed in my town (Troy, NY) I couldn't take another historic rehash...

Worf

Being fans of Downton, we were curious about this, but have heard little positive said about it.

Julian Fellowes milking the cash cow likely.

He has also acted over the years. It is amazing to see him in small parts for example in the Sharpe's Rifles series. He is Prince George (later the Prince Regent) in a couple of episodes. That he goes on to create the smash hit DA later is incredible.
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
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706
The Duchess of Duke Street, from 1976 on the BBC. Louisa Trotter, Cockney cook, rises to celebrity chef status in 1900ish London. Based on a true story, they say.
Some of the David Suchet Poirot mysteries, along with our perennial go-to Murdoch Mysteries, and an occasional Miss Marple show. From Brit Box and Hulu.
...and the final season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Good stuff.
 

Doctor Strange

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Hudson Valley, NY
I just want to mention that I was relatively pleased with the first episode of The Gilded Age. If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, by all means, give it a try.

Sure, it's got all of Julian Fellowes' weaknesses as a writer on display. Some of the dialog is painful, many/most of the characters' attitudes are wrong for the time, the actions of characters on either side of the old money/new money divide are simplistic and schematic, and of course, there are all those servants downstairs with plotlines of their own.

However, the production is outrageously opulent. I mean, approaching The Crown-level opulent. The costumes (*) and sets are stunning. The cast is a feast of great actresses (the male characters didn't make much of an impression). And speaking personally, anything set in NYC in 1882 with this level of re-creation is too fascinating to me to ignore.

(* One of the men in the Newport scenes has a STRAW version of an early fedora that's awesome!)

And also, much of it is filmed in New York State places that I know - Troy for exteriors (of course), the Tarrytown Lyndhurst and Yonkers Glenview mansions for interiors. Mrs. Astor's mansion is Glenview, a central part of the Hudson River Museum: I know that staircase and those rooms intimately. I grew up in Yonkers and visited that museum for decades.

I'm sure that as the series progresses - like Downton - the plotlines will get increasingly silly and convoluted, and much of the early promise won't be fulfilled. But I'm gonna keep watching to see.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,006
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London, UK
The BBC's latest take on Around the World in Eighty Days with David Tennant as Phileas Fogg is a great, fun watch. Nicely put together, looks beautiful. A large section of the media demographic which are always looking out for reasons to criticise the BBC and announce they never watch it had a canary over some new introductions to the plotline from the original book. Gone is the Indian Princess / Fogg as White Saviour strand, in is a long-pined for lost love of Fogg's who inspired him to make the big trip he'd run away from as a young man. There's a nod to the French colonisation of Algeria, history of slavery, all sorts of things. A female lead has been created - a would-be journalist who seeks to prove herself on merit rather than family connections by travelling with Fogg and updating him. The man against whom Fogg has bet is rather more of a cad in this version, and has his comeuppance. There are a few more minor tweaks here and there. It could be considered in spirit a bit of a steampunk take on the whole thing. Which of course is very much in the spirit of Verne anyhow. Those who can't or won't countenance anything not in the 1870s original text won't care for this version; anyone open to a creative interpretation of the story should enjoy it. I guess much depends on whether you're a Bombadilist.

Netflix's Archive 81 was fairly entertaining. A bit of fluff and not quite up to much of the hype, but fun enough for those who like a touch of pagan occultist horror-thriller. I don't think it has enough to it to support a second season, though it's success may well dictate one anyhow. Better is the Korean, high-school zombie drama, All of Us Are Dead. Nothing especially new here for genre fans, but all the same it feels fresh and brings a version of zombies which are genuinely frightening, dangerous, and unsettling. The sequence in episode three or four with a whole gaggle of kindergarden age zombies is superb.
 

MisterCairo

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6,897
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Gads Hill, Ontario
A BBC and Netflix show called Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame) on Netflix Canada.

A moody drama set between Tokyo and London, great cast and interesting story lines with some reliance on traditional criminal organization tropes. Not without its critics but with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, so naturally it was cancelled after one season.

Gotta make room for more "adult" oriented cartoons and such.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giri/Haji
 

Worf

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4,952
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Troy, New York, USA
"Reacher" - This new series on Amazon Prime is like a cross between "The Hulk", "The Punisher" and Sherlock Holmes. Forget those two turd films starring Tom Cruise. In this one you get the man perfectly cast as a 6' 4" behemoth with "the strength of 3 men" (according to his mom) and muscles in places I didn't know were on the human body. Of course the series (based on the first of the Jack Reacher books) gives us a fair amount of backstory on our protagonist and along the way we see him assemble his "team" which is also a familiar trope. It's nothing new but it is noteworthy that he leaves a trail of broken and bruised corpses that would make "The Hound" or Arya Stark blush. It ain't Shakespere but it's fun. If you want a mindless kill fest to while away the winter hours.. this is it.

Worf
 

MisterCairo

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6,897
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Gads Hill, Ontario
More episodes of Community, we are now into season 2. Some really good episodes, the most recent one had the study group organize a Pulp Fiction themed birthday party for Abed, who in turn invites Jeff out for what turns out to be a My Dinner With Andre themed evening. Really funny yet deep in a way.
 

Edward

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23,006
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London, UK
The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is *finally* back for Season 4! Been far too long (in part because of Covid delays to filming, I believe). My sole complaint so far is that Amazon are insisting on only releasing two episodes per week. Don't tell me how to watch, durnit!
 

MisterCairo

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6,897
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Gads Hill, Ontario
Midnight Mass. Netflix limited series.

Creepy series we had hoped to see around Hallowe'en last fall, just got to it now.

Coastal Island community faces a crisis as their priest disappears, to be replaced by a young newcomer.

Biblical mayhem ensues.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,006
Location
London, UK
Midnight Mass. Netflix limited series.

Creepy series we had hoped to see around Hallowe'en last fall, just got to it now.

Coastal Island community faces a crisis as their priest disappears, to be replaced by a young newcomer.

Biblical mayhem ensues.

Watched that back when it came out, liked it a lot. I liked that it kept so many open questions. There's room for a sequel at the end, though as with so many things I hope if they do make it's because they have a good story to tell. Too many things these days get an inferior sequel as a matter of course simply because they made a lot of money.

I'm watching the second and final series of Manhattan currently. It's very much fictionalised, looking into it, rather than trying for historical record, but nonetheless an interesting muse on what it must have been like to work on something like the Manhattan project. I believe this series ends with the early tests. I've read that, had it not been cancelled, they intended to deal in particular with the psychological an emotional impact on the development team of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima drops, which would have been interesting. Shame that won't get done after all. I expect Christopher Nolan's forthcoming biopic on Oppenheimer will tread some of that ground.
 

Harp

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Chicago, IL US
Too many things these days get an inferior sequel as a matter of course simply because they made a lot of money.

I'm watching the second and final series of Manhattan currently. It's very much fictionalised, looking into it, rather than trying for historical record, but nonetheless an interesting muse on what it must have been like to work on something like the Manhattan project. I believe this series ends with the early tests. I've read that, had it not been cancelled, they intended to deal in particular with the psychological an emotional impact on the development team of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima drops, which would have been interesting. Shame that won't get done after all. I expect Christopher Nolan's forthcoming biopic on Oppenheimer will tread some of that ground.prequel=to=

A 'prequel-to-sequel' can be discerned when the end isn't but the beginning. And classic remakes
often are old hat inferior product; adding nothing to the core but contrived second-rate antics.

I was taking the train home one evening and sitting with a federal judge whom had flown
helicopters in Vietnam when the subject of Hiroshima and the Manhattan Project came to fore.
I mentioned to my friend that the copilot for Nagasaki had recently passed and had been a neighbor
of his, living in the same suburb for nearly half a century.
 
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