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What was the last TV show you watched?

Doctor Strange

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Hudson Valley, NY
My kids were still watching Sunday morning cartoons then, so I saw some of The Batman (which was pretty meh), but I entirely skipped Beware the Batman for the same reason - my devoted love of B:TAS.

Of course, B:TAS was followed by the Superman series, which while not quite as brilliant, was generally quite good and, in some episodes, great. (I suggest watching all the Jack Kirby Fourth World-related episodes as a miniseries sometime, which makes the arc's best eps, "Apokolips... Now!" and "Legacy", really shine.)

So... there's a brand-new Superman series running on Adult Swim that I've been watching on demand, My Adventures with Superman.

MyAdvWithSupe1.jpg

This is a very different take on the story: set in the present, where young Clark, Lois and Jimmy all arrive at the Daily Planet at the same time... as interns. Nobody's a star reporter yet, and Clark and Jimmy are roommates struggling to pay their rent. And even though he's doing the Metropolis hero thing, Superman is quickly targeted as an enemy alien by Task Force X, even as Lois and Clark are falling for one another...

MyAdvWithSupe3.jpg

I'm surprised how much I like it. It's a very charming take on the material, determined (like Tyler Hoechlin on The CW, first in Supergirl, now on his own series) to give us an old-school, optimistic, joyful Superman, not the glowering emo kid with the Christ complex from DC's live action films. Anyway, it's fast and fun, with good voice work and nice designs that include just a touch of anime style.

MyAdvWithSupe2.jpg

I don't want to oversell it: It's no masterpiece, but it's a nicely different approach to the Superman mythos. It just goes to show again that these modern-myth characters are endlessly re-imaginable in each generation. (Or, as some comic book flick actor recently said, "Now Batman is like King Lear. Every great actor wants a shot at the role.")
 
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Unforgotten (Season 5 episode 3) on Masterpiece on PBS. At first, I thought that I was going to be too annoyed by one of the lead characters to enjoy the show but I was wrong. I look forward to it well as Annika; also on PBS.
:D
 

Edward

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London, UK
For a birthday on Friday, the wife and I were looking at films we've not yet been able to see / missed in the cinema for various reasons. Given that it turns out even 'renting' a digital copy of most recent releases is now the cost of a cinema trip and/or more expensive than a DVD, we instead jumped on an ad that offered Disney+ for three months at GBP1.99 a month. We often take up streamers for a couple of months when they're offered cheap, but we never thought to look at Disney before. Turns out there's rather a lot of stuff (thanks to everything they've bought in recent years) that I do actually want to see. If there's time, I might even bother with the Star Wars TV shows. I'm mostly indifferent to the SW brand since Lucas' Special Editions began its ruination, though Disney did some decent stuff with the films (even if they did roll back on making Luke actually interesting, more than two-dimensional, for the first time, and despite making Han Solo rubbish). The first thing I jumped on, however, was the fourth series of vampire-themed, mock-reality show, What we do in the shadows, which continues to be superb. I've now moved on to binge-watching Agent Carter, eleventy million years after the rest of you saw it. It's a very good show indeed - not to mention total clothes-porn.
 

Doctor Strange

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5,232
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Hudson Valley, NY
Oh man, I loved Agent Carter. I bought the first season on DVD. The second season only came out on Blu-Ray... and I bought it too, even though I don't have anything that plays Blu-Rays!

And Hayley Atwell is still playing Peggy Carter in the MCU. Besides her cameo in Avengers: Endgame, one of the episodes of Marvel/Disney's animated What If? series imagined a reality where Steve Rogers is killed before becoming Captain America and Peggy (voiced by Atwell) takes the Super Soldier Serum, becoming Captain Carter.

Captain-Carter-Marvel-What-If-2021.jpg

Then, in one of the alternate realities visited in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Atwell plays Captain Carter in live action!

CaptainCarterDrStrangeMultiMadness.jpg

BTW Edward, now that you have Disney+, I recommend that you give WandaVision a look, it's the best of the Marvel/Disney shows. Loki and Hawkeye are also pretty good.
 

Edward

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London, UK
Oh man, I loved Agent Carter. I bought the first season on DVD. The second season only came out on Blu-Ray... and I bought it too, even though I don't have anything that plays Blu-Rays!

And Hayley Atwell is still playing Peggy Carter in the MCU. Besides her cameo in Avengers: Endgame, one of the episodes of Marvel/Disney's animated What If? series imagined a reality where Steve Rogers is killed before becoming Captain America and Peggy (voiced by Atwell) takes the Super Soldier Serum, becoming Captain Carter.

View attachment 546907

Then, in one of the alternate realities visited in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Atwell plays Captain Carter in live action!

View attachment 546906

BTW Edward, now that you have Disney+, I recommend that you give WandaVision a look, it's the best of the Marvel/Disney shows. Loki and Hawkeye are also pretty good.

Will do, thanks! We have three months at the minute, though if it continues to provide what it does in proportion to what we get out of Netflix, I might ditch the latter then and keep D+ on for a while longer.
 

Edward

Bartender
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24,843
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London, UK
Oh man, I loved Agent Carter. I bought the first season on DVD. The second season only came out on Blu-Ray... and I bought it too, even though I don't have anything that plays Blu-Rays!

And Hayley Atwell is still playing Peggy Carter in the MCU. Besides her cameo in Avengers: Endgame, one of the episodes of Marvel/Disney's animated What If? series imagined a reality where Steve Rogers is killed before becoming Captain America and Peggy (voiced by Atwell) takes the Super Soldier Serum, becoming Captain Carter.

View attachment 546907

Then, in one of the alternate realities visited in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Atwell plays Captain Carter in live action!

View attachment 546906

BTW Edward, now that you have Disney+, I recommend that you give WandaVision a look, it's the best of the Marvel/Disney shows. Loki and Hawkeye are also pretty good.



I continue to be impressed with Disney plus - though I don't think I've watched any, strictly speaking, actual Disney content yet! Working my way through the final season of The Walking Dead. I had a couple of unexpected days in hospital last week, having been admitted when I turned up at A&E with chest pain (I've been diagnosed with a rarer form of angina that's genetic rather than lifestyle induced, though triggered by stress. I've got to stop doing silly hours at work and cut it back to just the 50 of the 35 hours a week the University pays us for, as per normal for the job these days). Heaven be praised for smartphones - I used the time to watch the end of Agent Carter, and Wandavision among other bits. Carter was wonderful to the end (and that animated spin-off certainly has the potential for a series). Disappointed they ended it - there was so much road left. I'm glad they kept Atwell on, she's great in the role, and the character is wonderful. I very much enjoyed how it became more of a dieselpunk detective show, absent superhero content. I liked that as a point of difference for Marvel. The only downside really is that it makes the ending of that Avengers cycle where Cap went back in time and she never lost him all the more annoying - not only is it terribly twee, but it bumps off so much more interesting a timeline for her... I particularly enjoyed the subtle touch that the guy she ultimately fell for next had his physical limitations, but it clearly in her eyes didn't make him any less of a man than the Captain.

Wandavision was so much more than I'd expected. A highly intelligent, engaging meditation on death, grief and loss. I enjoyed that they let it play out at its own speed too - letting it get several episodes in before we began to get an explanation. The pastiches of the sitcoms of the various periods was beautifully done too. By comparison - Loki.... oh dear. Watched the first series last weekend. I'll probably give the second a go out of curiosity to see if it improves, but if ever there was a show that was written because Popular Character but they didn't have much of a story worth telling...

Meanwhile, over on Netflix, the final season of Sex Education has played out. It's not one for anyone who didn't care for the show, but for those who do it is beautifully written. My absolute favourite thing about it is that it was not explicitly written as a final season. It's just that when the writers went into the writing room and worked through it, they realised that this series naturally wound up all of the loose ends and gave all the key characters a resolution to their stories naturally, and was the right place to stop. I'm hoping this is a sign of things to come with streaming. I've seen one too many great tv shows over the years either tread water for a season or two while the networks are non-committal about renewals before they can bring about a proper resolution to the story arc, or end up dragging on for years while still popular, even though they ran out of story about six seasons ago.... Of course, there's still the problem with Netflix's determination in particular to cancel all sorts of great shows after a single season, but....

Currently working my way through American Horror Story series 9 on Disney+. I've enjoyed all of the previous series, Freakshow being my absolute favourite, it was just so beautiful. I've got a firm level of familiarity with the source material of this series, firmly in the early eighties video nasty era, and they really have evoked that very well indeed (much more so than Stranger Things imo, which seems to want to be 'eighties-accurate', but then can never quite commit to how it really was rather than so much retconned nostalgia).
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
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9,440
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New Forest
I had a couple of unexpected days in hospital last week, having been admitted when I turned up at A&E with chest pain (I've been diagnosed with a rarer form of angina that's genetic rather than lifestyle induced, though triggered by stress. I've got to stop doing silly hours at work and cut it back to just the 50 of the 35 hours a week the University pays us for, as per normal for the job these days).
When you have a half hour or so Edward, have a look at this: https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/352.pdf The long hours culture is endemic within the management system, if the demands upon your time means that a twelve hour day is inevitable, it also means that the company, or in your case, the university, are not employing sufficient staff, probably because those staff are of a higher grade which would add significantly to the payroll costs. Best just load it all onto the shoulders of a willing workhorse. But there comes a time when they learn that no matter how hard they try, it's pointless flogging a dead horse. Stand up for yourself Edward, don't just kick the arse of the minion, kick the senior manager's too. It takes some bottle I know, but you will be better thought of, I know that from experience.
 

Doctor Strange

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Hudson Valley, NY
I was underwhelmed with Loki (apart from Richard E. Grant as "Old Loki" in the original 1962 costume) and I can't say I'm too upset that I'm going to miss the second season. (I lost Disney+ access when my daughter moved out.)

Edward, I could go on gushing about Agent Carter, but I'd like to cross over to one of our other common interests, Batman: The Animated Series and the following animated series of the next decade that were in the same continuity.

I just noticed that Netflix (at least here) recently added a boatload of Warners/DC material - all the Batman and Superman films, and animation too. While I own the DVD sets for Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, I haven't seen any of the Batman Beyond or Justice League (both series I liked but didn't love) episodes in years. Twenty years later, the strengths (character detail, voice work, storytelling) and weaknesses (way too many, too long slam-bang fights) of both Justice League series remain.

Last night I watched my favorite episode of Justice League Unlimited, "Epilogue". The last episode of the first season of Unlimited, the producers didn't expect the series to be renewed, so they set up this episode as the capstone to the entire B:TAS and Batman Beyond saga. Set 15 years after Batman Beyond, it's really interesting overall with some great surprises, and it includes one of my very favorite moments of the Kevin Conroy Batman, still the surest adaptation of the character.

Flashback: in a battle with (yet another different iteration of) the Royal Flush Gang, young girl villain Ace, who can manifest fantasies in reality, is going to die of an aneurism, but the "psychic blowback" of the huge fantasy world she's created in the heart of Gotham when it collapses on her death will cause enormous damage. The decision is that she should be killed before that can happen, and surprisingly, Batman (despite his no-kill rule) volunteers to go into her fantasy realm.

A subdued, really touching scene follows, as Batman and Ace bond over their painful childhoods, and terrified Ace, who knows she's about to die, asks Batman to stay with her. They sit on the swings and hold hands. When the fantasy world fades, he brings her out:

ace&bat2.jpg


All too often, Batman stories focus on the world's greatest detective aspect, the supreme martial arts aspect, the tortured avenger of the night, etc. But a more subtle defining quality of the character is that despite usually coming off as cold and remote (if not downright misanthropic), Bruce Wayne doesn't want to see anyone suffer. That hidden compassion and grace is beautifully deployed in this unique sequence.

Alas, live action Batman films will never come up with something like this...
 
Last edited:

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
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1,639
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St John's Wood, London UK
When you have a half hour or so Edward, have a look at this: https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/352.pdf The long hours culture is endemic within the management system, if the demands upon your time means that a twelve hour day is inevitable, it also means that the company, or in your case, the university, are not employing sufficient staff, probably because those staff are of a higher grade which would add significantly to the payroll costs. Best just load it all onto the shoulders of a willing workhorse. But there comes a time when they learn that no matter how hard they try, it's pointless flogging a dead horse. Stand up for yourself Edward, don't just kick the arse of the minion, kick the senior manager's too. It takes some bottle I know, but you will be better thought of, I know that from experience.
''Jobber inflationary'' we City denizens call it, and it's a cooker morale killer.
 

Edward

Bartender
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24,843
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London, UK
When you have a half hour or so Edward, have a look at this: https://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/352.pdf The long hours culture is endemic within the management system, if the demands upon your time means that a twelve hour day is inevitable, it also means that the company, or in your case, the university, are not employing sufficient staff, probably because those staff are of a higher grade which would add significantly to the payroll costs. Best just load it all onto the shoulders of a willing workhorse. But there comes a time when they learn that no matter how hard they try, it's pointless flogging a dead horse. Stand up for yourself Edward, don't just kick the arse of the minion, kick the senior manager's too. It takes some bottle I know, but you will be better thought of, I know that from experience.

Thanks, yes - the office has been really supportive. Our current head of department has introduced a new workload model which has given a much clearer picture of how much we're doing, and been very supportive. I've (mostly!) managed to stop working weekends, and cutting thing back now, so fingers crossed I can one day only do the hours they pay me for! (Ha...).

There's no doubt we're understaffed; we're a university cashcow, with three times the students we had ten years ago, and 15% more staff. There's a fightback beginning, though, so... The irony is we can readily afford the staff we need, but the central authority has control over whether we hire, and they need our profits to spend elsewhere (50% of our income goes straight into central services, with very little to show for it given we're on another site entirely, in a building leased by our department rather than university owned....). Way the sector's going, sadly, but I'm slowly learning not to get wound up by it.... ;)
 

Worf

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5,180
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Troy, New York, USA
"The Fall of the House of Usher" - With Halloween fast approaching we decided to take a gander at some of the multitudinous offering of mayhem on the various streaming channels. This 8 episode offering is loosely based on the works of Poe. It follows the trials and tribulations of the Usher twins and their offspring. Think of it as "Succession" meets "Devils Advocate". A deal was made, and the bill comes due in the most horrific of ways. Some of the deaths are quite imaginative and some are just gory. Interwoven into all the shenanigans are allusions to Poe's more famous works. The director was responsible for one of my fave horror genre pieces "Midnight Mass" so we went into this with open eyes. On the whole the series works and works well. and though a few episodes could've been tightened up, we were never bored. We were so impressed we've now started "The Haunting of Hill House" from 2018 and it's turning out to be a corker as well.

Worf
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
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St John's Wood, London UK
"The Fall of the House of Usher" - With Halloween fast approaching we decided to take a gander at some of the multitudinous offering of mayhem on the various streaming channels. This 8 episode offering is loosely based on the works of Poe.

Worf
Speak of Poe, if haven't The Pale Blue Eye captures Poe at West Point assisting a homicide investigation
concern a felled cadet circa 1830s. Excellent Halloween precursor with Christian Bale, Gillian Andersen, and Robert Duvall. Absolutely classic film. A Netflix find.
 

Worf

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5,180
Location
Troy, New York, USA
Speak of Poe, if haven't The Pale Blue Eye captures Poe at West Point assisting a homicide investigation
concern a felled cadet circa 1830s. Excellent Halloween precursor with Christian Bale, Gillian Andersen, and Robert Duvall. Absolutely classic film. A Netflix find.
Saw it last year. Surprised that Poe was ex-Army and a Cadidiot to boot. I enjoyed it.

Worf
 

Edward

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London, UK
Binged the new take on Interview with the Vampire on BBC iPlayer last weekend. I enjoyed it very much. It takes some liberties with re-setting the time period in which much of the story takes place, and relocating it to early 20th century New Orleans. Louis is recast as a Creole African American, and it works wonderfully. The first series - with the main events narrated in flashback from a 2022 perspective - begins in about 1910, with events retold taking place up to about the tail end of the thirties. It all looks beautiful - I adored the wardrobe in it. For all the changes it makes, much truer to the spirit of the book than the 1994 film - particularly in regards to the nature of Louis and Lestat's relationship. Claudia is a much more nuanced and interesting character in this incarnation also.
 

Doctor Strange

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I liked it a lot, I loved it... but I must take issue with it being "better" than the Neil Jordan film.

The 1994 version was and remains a good adaptation of the book. What the new series does is frankly admit that the 1994 film is a good, straight take on the book... but it's now decades later, the world is in a different place, and other aspects of the story and its setting are ripe for exploration and updating.

It's a brilliant adaptation... as opposed to its sister series Mayfair Witches, which is a huge misfire: every single decision the writers/producers made in handling that story for the series is wrong!

interview-with-the-vampire-2022a.jpg

Bad news: They've recast Claudia in the upcoming second season of Interview. Not sure why.
 

Edward

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I liked it a lot, I loved it... but I must take issue with it being "better" than the Neil Jordan film.

The 1994 version was and remains a good adaptation of the book. What the new series does is frankly admit that the 1994 film is a good, straight take on the book... but it's now decades later, the world is in a different place, and other aspects of the story and its setting are ripe for exploration and updating.

It's a brilliant adaptation... as opposed to its sister series Mayfair Witches, which is a huge misfire: every single decision the writers/producers made in handling that story for the series is wrong!

View attachment 560483

Bad news: They've recast Claudia in the upcoming second season of Interview. Not sure why.

Either an actress availability thing, I imagine - or has the young lady they cast originally aged out of the role? Not sure when it was shot, but if she's playing a vamp who has to look fifteen forever, that must put a tight window on how long any actor is able to maintain the role? Shame she's gone whatever the reason - I thought she was very good indeed.

The film, well... it had its good points, but I just couldn't quite accept Tom Cruise as Lestat, the watering down of Louis & Lestat's relationship taking a significant edge off the story, and - to be frank - that %^&*ing awful Guns'n'Roses caterwauling of Sympathy for the Devil - a wonderful song that deserved s much better a quality of performance. Watchable, certainly, but flawed nonetheless... Either way, I'm glad the TV show did something new and different - retreading the old all gets a bit..... George Lucas after a while. ;)

I've also on Disney plus now discovered Only Murders in the Building. Quirky and charming, I'm really enjoying it so far, about five episodes into series 1.
 

Doctor Strange

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Hudson Valley, NY
Edward, I totally agree that the ending of the 1994 film, with Lestat popping up in Daniel's car, is godawful. It was and remains a big disappointment after all the things the film does right. I can't imagine why Anne Rice - who got solo credit for the screenplay - agreed to it.

Of course, the other change in that film that really rankled fans at the time was having the "15-year-old angel out of Caravaggio" Armand played by 35-ish Antonio Banderas. I mean, he's a fine actor, but as with Claudia, the central interesting thing about that character is that he's a 500-year-old monster hiding in an innocent youth's body.

(OTOH, my then-wife's teenage sister, who had zero interest in horror films, loved it. When I asked her why, her response was, "Come on, it's got Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Antonio Banderas!")

But let's recall that when the film came out, it was unusual for material like this to get first-class treatment, not to mention typically maintain real fealty to the original story. Star-making performances by Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst, sensitive direction by Neil Jordan. Outstanding production design, sets/costumes, and cinematography (by the great Philippe Rousselot). A surprising amount of what made Rice's vampires interesting in the book actually made it onto the screen intact.

interview-vampire2.jpg

And if Tom Cruise went too big as Lestat and couldn't quite manage the character's cruel, feral nature - Rice had wanted someone like Julian Sands or Rutger Hauer - it was still a really gutsy performance from an actor of limited range who rarely strayed beyond his usual hotshot characters. Let's recall that back in 1993, playing a flamboyant, gay-ish vampire was not exactly a safe career move for a movie star.

Anyway, despite its faults, I still love the 1994 film. Which is also why I like the new, very cleverly reimagined series.

(And as already noted when I first reviewed the series, this time we're seeing The Vampire Lestat and later books' version of Lestat, who's a much more nuanced character than the psycho nutjob of Louis' first-person narration in Interview with the Vampire. There's a huge tonal difference between Louis' view of Lestat and Lestat's own POV, which he narrates in the next book, which was/is a great surprise when reading the novels.)
 

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