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What was the last TV show you watched?

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
756
Remember WENN, season 1, episode 1. Finally, after years and years of trying to find the show, it is available on AMC+. I subscribed just for this excellent series. The dialogue rivals the Golden Age movies in snappy chatter, and its delivery by the actors is remarkably smooth. Looking forward to binging...
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,552
Location
London, UK
On FreeVee (formerly "IMDB TV"), I recently chanced across a show called Dead Like Me. First shown in 2003 and appears to have run for two seasons, it picks up with the protagonist Georgina's death at the tender age of eighteen. She is immediately recruited to become a 'reaper', one of a team of undead whose job it is to extricate the soul from a body and see them off to whatever it is they go to (the show does not - at least not a season and a bit in - explore what comes thereafter). It's fun in a way that would doubtless apply to folks who'd seen Buffy and such. Some interesting character growth without it getting too hugging-sharing-learning.
 
Messages
17,800
Location
Funkytown, USA
On FreeVee (formerly "IMDB TV"), I recently chanced across a show called Dead Like Me. First shown in 2003 and appears to have run for two seasons, it picks up with the protagonist Georgina's death at the tender age of eighteen. She is immediately recruited to become a 'reaper', one of a team of undead whose job it is to extricate the soul from a body and see them off to whatever it is they go to (the show does not - at least not a season and a bit in - explore what comes thereafter). It's fun in a way that would doubtless apply to folks who'd seen Buffy and such. Some interesting character growth without it getting too hugging-sharing-learning.

We watched that when it first aired. I think they eventually wrapped things up in a made for TV movie that came out about 2007 or so.

Nicely dark and irreverent, and Mandy Patinken isn't too annoying.

It seemed there were a few off-beat series that came out around this time, including Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, that I really enjoyed.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,720
Location
vancouver, canada
Just finished season 5 of "Grantchester". Rarely has a long running series survived the loss of its lead character.....but Grantchester, in the doing, has found new life and is better for it. A well written show with the usual stellar Brit actors. We take a break between seasons and after a few weeks return to it when we are stuck for something to watch. I really really enjoy it.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,552
Location
London, UK
We watched that when it first aired. I think they eventually wrapped things up in a made for TV movie that came out about 2007 or so.

Nicely dark and irreverent, and Mandy Patinken isn't too annoying.

It seemed there were a few off-beat series that came out around this time, including Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, that I really enjoyed.

JInkies, yes - I'd totally forgotten Pushing Daisies. I think I saw a few episodes and lost track of it as used to happen in the pre-streaming era. (It's amazing how even the BBC iPLayer revolutionised things when it was the first available UK streamer in 2006.) According to Wikipedia, there was indeed a Dead Like Me film in 2009 which (with one exception - Daisy - featured a return for all the main cast bar Rube, who has been replaced with a new team leader). I read somewhere that this had the option for it to be picked up for a show, but that hasn't happened as of yet. Which is a pity... I think there'd be a big place for it in today's TV landscape, though I suspect at this point it would really need to be a 'sequel series' with a new generation of reapers, on the assumption picking up the original cast might not be an option. Would love to see some of those characters back, though - and a ghostly Murray would be a fun reference point. Dolores would make for an interesting reaper, too!
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
756
Remember WENN, episodes 2, 3, and 4. Episode 3, A Rock and a Soft Place, relates how station director Victor Comstock must keep two program sponsors happy. He devises a mash-up of Hamlet and Sam Spade. Writer-creator Rupert Holmes pulls it off superbly.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
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5,020
Location
Troy, New York, USA
Just started watching the "Hornblower" series on Roku. Missed this entirely when it first came out. Didn't know it even existed till I ran into clips on YouTube. Interesting if a bit shy on the misery of service in the Royal Navy. Read some of the books decades ago so I'll be interested to see where this goes.

Worf
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,552
Location
London, UK
We renewed our Netflix subscription for a bit last week. The final series to Better Call Saul is an absolute belter. I enjoyed Stranger Things Series 4 significantly more than the previous season, though it definitely feels right that the next should be the last. Sandman I am enjoying so far, four episodes in - with the usual caveat that I was as ever disappointed when it starts, beautifully, in 1916, before all too quickly returning to the present day with much less interesting wardrobe...
 

Doctor Strange

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,111
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
I've been watching prequels and remakes...

House of the Dragon on HBO... Meh. This Game of Thrones prequel about Targaryen dynasty infighting 150 years before the start of Thrones looks good, and features an Emmy-nomination-for-sure performance by Paddy Considine. But there is nobody "good" - like the Stark kids in Thrones - to root for: ALL the characters are crazy, destructive nutjobs who'll eventually cause endless death and destruction. We're supposed to CARE about these sociopaths?!?

And the producers made a huge mistake replacing the actresses of two of the lead characters in mid-season. They up-aged the teen princesses a decade to being queen mothers between episodes. The younger actresses could easily have been aged as needed with makeup and digitally (especially since the show does a terrible job aging its adult characters as time passes, apart from Considine), and it would have been much better for continuity and viewer empathy. Anyway, the series has its moments, but mostly squanders its potential.

The Rings of Power
on Amazon Prime... Better, and with fantastic production values... but it still mainly comes off as mediocre fan fiction. While it's vaguely following the Second Age history laid out in the LOTR appendices (but time-compressed so it won't take centuries), it's bogged down in fanservice. Do we need proto-Hobbits to add some warmth? How about bits of familiar dialog from the films? More friendly bickering between Elves and Dwarves?

And some of the plotting is just shockingly bad; e.g., having Isildur missing and presumed dead at the end of the first season generates zero viewer concern, because we KNOW that he'll ultimately cut the Ring from Sauron's hand - we saw that shot like five times across the film trilogy! It's a mixed bag, but quite watchable.

Interview with the Vampire on AMC... The winner! A VERY clever, substantial re-imagining of the story that apparently Anne Rice approved before she died. By moving the start date up from 1790 to 1910 and changing Louis from a slave-owning plantation owner to a creole who runs several Storyville brothels, it provides a good additional reason for Lestat to seduce Louis to vampirism: why live as a hated second-class citizen when you can be a god?

Another major change is to the interview/interviewer: In this telling, Daniel did the original interview decades before but never published it; in the present, he's an aging, famous author (played by Eric Bogosian), and Louis calls on him to redo the interview properly. And as you'd expect, the story's gay subtext that was minimized in 1994 is now main text. Excellent acting, good writing, outstanding sets and costumes... I'm impressed, and I say this as somebody who loved the novel back in the 70s, enjoyed the 1994 film, and eventually read most of Rice's books.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,552
Location
London, UK
I've been watching prequels and remakes...

House of the Dragon on HBO... Meh. This Game of Thrones prequel about Targaryen dynasty infighting 150 years before the start of Thrones looks good, and features an Emmy-nomination-for-sure performance by Paddy Considine. But there is nobody "good" - like the Stark kids in Thrones - to root for: ALL the characters are crazy, destructive nutjobs who'll eventually cause endless death and destruction. We're supposed to CARE about these sociopaths?!?

And the producers made a huge mistake replacing the actresses of two of the lead characters in mid-season. They up-aged the teen princesses a decade to being queen mothers between episodes. The younger actresses could easily have been aged as needed with makeup and digitally (especially since the show does a terrible job aging its adult characters as time passes, apart from Considine), and it would have been much better for continuity and viewer empathy. Anyway, the series has its moments, but mostly squanders its potential.

I'll eventually watch this once we get around to finishing the original. Funny thing though, I always loathed the Starks. The characters I found sympathetic were Tyrion and Varius (sp?).

The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime... Better, and with fantastic production values... but it still mainly comes off as mediocre fan fiction. While it's vaguely following the Second Age history laid out in the LOTR appendices (but time-compressed so it won't take centuries), it's bogged down in fanservice. Do we need proto-Hobbits to add some warmth? How about bits of familiar dialog from the films? More friendly bickering between Elves and Dwarves?

And some of the plotting is just shockingly bad; e.g., having Isildur missing and presumed dead at the end of the first season generates zero viewer concern, because we KNOW that he'll ultimately cut the Ring from Sauron's hand - we saw that shot like five times across the film trilogy! It's a mixed bag, but quite watchable.

It's certainly drawn the ire of the Bombadilists, but then anything would. I like it myself. I suspect much of what they are doing is driven by a mix of needing to find a common narrative to tie the various bits together. I'm also not sure what the limits of the IP they have are.... I know they have a licence only to set portions of the Tolkien IP; I don't know enough to know whether that will of necessity mean they'll have to make changes to certain elements.

I hear you on the Isildur plot issue; that, of course, is a problem common to all prequels, really. It's one of the big reasons (the others being the utterly appalling writing and realisation of said plots) that made the Star Wars prequels untenable for me.


Interview with the Vampire on AMC... The winner! A VERY clever, substantial re-imagining of the story that apparently Anne Rice approved before she died. By moving the start date up from 1790 to 1910 and changing Louis from a slave-owning plantation owner to a creole who runs several Storyville brothels, it provides a good additional reason for Lestat to seduce Louis to vampirism: why live as a hated second-class citizen when you can be a god?

Another major change is to the interview/interviewer: In this telling, Daniel did the original interview decades before but never published it; in the present, he's an aging, famous author (played by Eric Bogosian), and Louis calls on him to redo the interview properly. And as you'd expect, the story's gay subtext that was minimized in 1994 is now main text. Excellent acting, good writing, outstanding sets and costumes... I'm impressed, and I say this as somebody who loved the novel back in the 70s, enjoyed the 1994 film, and eventually read most of Rice's books.


I'm excited to see this. I gather it has Rice's blessing in a way the film never did? Hopefully we'll get it in the UK soon, probably either Prime or Netflix is most likely now.
 

Doctor Strange

I'll Lock Up
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5,111
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
The 1994 film definitely had Rice's blessing - she wrote the screenplay. And (I thought) it was an excellent adaptation at the time, and it still looks great and plays well. Neil Jordan is a visionary director, and it was important film in terms of bringing the story to a broader public and inspiring later complex vampire stories. (Like Jordan's more recent film Byzantium.)

Sure, Cruise goes too big as Lestat and Pitt underplays too much as Louis. And there were things that rankled, like Armand - who's turned into a vampire at 15 in the book and described as "an angel out of Caravaggio" - played by 30-ish Antonio Banderas; he's good in the part, but he isn't the monster in the body of an innocent. (Well, Kirsten Dunst manages that aspect of the story very well.) And the cheap-shot jump scare ending where Lestat pops up in the back seat of Daniel's car on the Golden Gate Bridge always bothered me.

(Hey, let's just pretend that awful later film of Queen of the Damned doesn't exist, okay?)

I think the earlier film is so good as a straight adaptation (pun intended!) of the book that it opened the door for further afield imaginings like the AMC series.

And re Isildur, sure, all prequels have this kind of problem. But with the vast fortune and huge effort expended on this series, making THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE LOTR BACKSTORY presumed dead is the kind of Screenwriting 101 error that you think they would have carefully avoided!
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,552
Location
London, UK
The 1994 film definitely had Rice's blessing - she wrote the screenplay. And (I thought) it was an excellent adaptation at the time, and it still looks great and plays well. Neil Jordan is a visionary director, and it was important film in terms of bringing the story to a broader public and inspiring later complex vampire stories. (Like Jordan's more recent film Byzantium.)

Sure, Cruise goes too big as Lestat and Pitt underplays too much as Louis. And there were things that rankled, like Armand - who's turned into a vampire at 15 in the book and described as "an angel out of Caravaggio" - played by 30-ish Antonio Banderas; he's good in the part, but he isn't the monster in the body of an innocent. (Well, Kirsten Dunst manages that aspect of the story very well.) And the cheap-shot jump scare ending where Lestat pops up in the back seat of Daniel's car on the Golden Gate Bridge always bothered me.

I remember Cruise's casting was a matter of controversy, though he was.... well, for all its limitations, he was ok.
(Hey, let's just pretend that awful later film of Queen of the Damned doesn't exist, okay?)

Weirdly, I kinda like that one better. That said, I've not as of yet gotten around to the books, so I'm not commenting from that pov.

I think the earlier film is so good as a straight adaptation (pun intended!) of the book that it opened the door for further afield imaginings like the AMC series.

I'm looking forward to seeing this new one. While they clearly have taken some creative liberties with some of the settings (in a good way), I suspect the passage of time, and the longer format of a series, makes a lot more possible that is truer to the themes in the books as written.
And re Isildur, sure, all prequels have this kind of problem. But with the vast fortune and huge effort expended on this series, making THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE LOTR BACKSTORY presumed dead is the kind of Screenwriting 101 error that you think they would have carefully avoided!

Yes, it would seem an odd cliffhanger. It'd be interesting to see if anyone is watching this without having first seen rings, and what they'll make of it. I spent my lunch hour todays doing a little bit more reading around on this. They don't have the rights to anything in the Silmarillion (I wonder if that will be hived off for a separate series or a film?), so they have to be creative to work around that, given how interconnected Tolkien's lore was.
 

MisterCairo

I'll Lock Up
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6,966
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Gads Hill, Ontario
Just started watching the "Hornblower" series on Roku. Missed this entirely when it first came out. Didn't know it even existed till I ran into clips on YouTube. Interesting if a bit shy on the misery of service in the Royal Navy. Read some of the books decades ago so I'll be interested to see where this goes.

Worf
I own the series on dvd and have read 80% of the books. Love them both! As for the misery part, there are snippets, but recall the author wrote a swashbuckler series, rather than a gritty realism- type of story.
 

MisterCairo

I'll Lock Up
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6,966
Location
Gads Hill, Ontario
GoT Dragons, which the wife and I love so far (though I too have lamented the fact the really great young actors were aged out). The last group of Walking Dead episodes, we will miss this, though we will have Fear the WD and the sequels to look forwatd to.

Cairo household Hallowe'en Cavalcade of Horror is in, I have re-started Penny Dreadful on the tv side of things, along with some Munsters last night
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,552
Location
London, UK
GoT Dragons, which the wife and I love so far (though I too have lamented the fact the really great young actors were aged out). The last group of Walking Dead episodes, we will miss this, though we will have Fear the WD and the sequels to look forwatd to.

Cairo household Hallowe'en Cavalcade of Horror is in, I have re-started Penny Dreadful on the tv side of things, along with some Munsters last night
Only seen the first series of Penny Dreadful so far, but enjoyed that very much. Billie Piper was very good in it; her Belfast accent was remarkably better than I'd have expected - and it's a notoriously tricky one to fake well. I'm hoping eventually the series streams fully (we caught the first season as Mrs Marlowe saw it on sale as a Prime download). It does make me think, though, just how well Kim Newman's Anno Dracula book series would transfer to screen; he did a film treatment for part of it years ago that never came to fruition, but it would be perfect for a streaming series across several seasons.
 
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Location
Southern California
Somewhat recently a good friend introduced me to Bones (2005-2017), starring Emily Deschanel as Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and David Boreanaz as FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, working together to solve murders. I don't know how accurate the science is, but it and the chemistry between the characters make the show's premise plausible, so until it insults my intelligence I'll keep watching.
 

MisterCairo

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,966
Location
Gads Hill, Ontario
Only seen the first series of Penny Dreadful so far, but enjoyed that very much. Billie Piper was very good in it; her Belfast accent was remarkably better than I'd have expected - and it's a notoriously tricky one to fake well. I'm hoping eventually the series streams fully (we caught the first season as Mrs Marlowe saw it on sale as a Prime download). It does make me think, though, just how well Kim Newman's Anno Dracula book series would transfer to screen; he did a film treatment for part of it years ago that never came to fruition, but it would be perfect for a streaming series across several seasons.
Getting near the end of my umpteenth rewatch of series 1 ( I have the collection on bluray).

Mashups can be hit or miss, this is a big hit in my opinion.
 

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