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    Yes I get that. But that still doesn't explain why they have to be the only game in the historical town. For example the BBC did The Pallisers back in the 70s. Trollope wasn't at all fashionable back then, in fact he reeked of fustiness, but they did it anyway. The comparative lack of courage these days is significant.

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      They still get made now and then, just not as often. As you'd expect. I'm not defending it as an artistic practice, but the business is what it is. I mean, is GK Chesterton fashionable? We've had six seasons of one of his.

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        Originally posted by Ginger Yellow View Post
        Westerns are definitely an appropriate comparison in terms of the political context, but as far as why they keep being made (and you don't really see comparable things being made in the US all that often), I think it's as much about the differing natures of the TV production business on either side of the Atlantic. Historical dramas based on one-off stories (or relatively short series like Sherlock) fit the UK model of a handful of longish episodes per season, without many seasons, which can be monetised through export/co-production if necessary, and they don't fit the US model of 24 episodes every year for a decade, monetised through syndication and maybe merch/licensing deals. You can also put all the money on the screen in the form of sets and costumes rather than increasing actors' pay each year. Interestingly enough, you are starting to see historical or quasi-historical stuff get made on streaming services which don't have to worry about selling ads week in week out, generally with much shorter seasons. And westerns — eg Godless, or for that matter The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which is basically a miniseries.
        The 24-episodes-with-commercials-for-as-long-as-possible model may eventually disappear. It's certainly not where most of the best TV is happening now. The ratings for network TV continue to gradually erode, syndication isn't the end-game/cash-cow that it once was, and the streaming services and HBO (which is increasingly as much a streaming service as a cable channel) are throwing tons of cash at producers with few constraints. There's still a pretty big audience for the endless stream of not-very-original cop/fireman/lawyer, trashy-reality, and fat/nerdy-guy-with-a-hot-wife-sitcom shows the networks crank out, but I don't know if there will be in 10-15 years.

        And even within the Netflix/HBO/Prime world, we're starting to see creators take advantage of the freedom of the format. Homecoming was a drama in half-hour episodes. That's pretty much unprecedented. Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars thing doesn't have a set episode length. I think we'll probably see more shows do eight or ten episodes or maybe just three to six long ones UK-style, instead of 12 or 13 Netflix did with its Marvel shows. Fargo is basically a series of 10-hour movies and it's awesome. Forever is just eight half-hour episodes and it's just enough to be worthy by itself, while leaving more to do in another season.

        I don't know if we'll see more or fewer shows drop a whole season at a time. HBO gets mileage out of being "part of the conversation" over a longer period with stuff like Game of Thrones and Succession. I suppose that might only really matter to critics and real TV nerds. Lots of people don't catch up until the season is over anyway, and this "part of the conversation" thing only works, if it does at all, if people actually care and want to talk about it. Amazon has tried to spread out the The Romanoffs and its just making it harder for people to care.

        I suppose these services might want to stop people from just subscribing for a month, bingeing a lot, unsubscribing for a while as they do the same for another service for a month, and then back and forth. Like I do. Forcing people to subscribe for a few months to see a whole show - or wait until it's all done and thereby miss this vital "conversation" - helps drive in revenue, though I doubt it makes much of a difference really.

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          Speaking of which, I've got a bit bored by Sopranos. In the middle of S3.

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            Don't disagree with any of that HP. Just saying that's why we haven't seen as many of them from the US in the past.

            The only question is whether the current streaming production model is itself sustainable, or is going to be wiped out in a few years by fragmentation and more importantly a generation raised on Twitch and Youtube.

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              That's what they said about the generation raised on MTV and yet, here we are.

              I don't know what, if anything, people will pay to see in theaters, however.

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                Originally posted by Femme Folle View Post
                Bah. I got to the third episode of Killing Eve and discovered that only the first two were free. I'm not paying for it. It will eventually be on Netflix or Amazon Prime. What a despicable thing to do, to let someone watch enough to get hooked and then put up a paywall.
                It ran on BBC America two weekends back: all 6 (?) aired in a row from midnight to 6am. I think they might run again tonight or tomorrow if I was following BBC America's ads correctly. If you get this channel, you might set the DVR. BBC America has historically edited shows to fit in a 60 minute schedule (including commercials), which I find irritating. In this case, I was fine. The show was a little too wacky for me. I prefer my police dramas to be more drama than comedy. This seemed to want to be a drama but to couch weirdness in comedy.

                I binge watched both seasons of Atypical on Netflix during the Christmas break. I can't say it will be a show I think about very often but it was a nice mix of comedy and drama. I assume it was discussed at some point upthread, but it's a story about a nuclear family: son has autism and the daughter is struggling with finding her place in the world (standard high school stuff but also trying to be her own person when she's required to watch out for her older brother). Each episode has a nice pace and the characters are well developed.

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                  Coming to Killing Eve from Fleabag, my main complaint was it was too much drama and not enough comedy.

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                    Originally posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
                    As this appears to have turned into the Agatha Chrisite thread can I recommend this essay in the London Review of Books
                    Thanks for this Nef, that was a very interesting read.

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                      Originally posted by danielmak View Post
                      It ran on BBC America two weekends back: all 6 (?) aired in a row from midnight to 6am. I think they might run again tonight or tomorrow if I was following BBC America's ads correctly. If you get this channel, you might set the DVR. BBC America has historically edited shows to fit in a 60 minute schedule (including commercials), which I find irritating. In this case, I was fine. The show was a little too wacky for me. I prefer my police dramas to be more drama than comedy. This seemed to want to be a drama but to couch weirdness in comedy.
                      I checked--nothing but back to back Doctor Who. I'm all set though--I have a way to watch it now. Thanks.

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                        @danielmak

                        I really liked Atypical and have said so upthread. There are so many bits that really stuck with me. The awful parent support group. The assumption that kids with autism will want to be friends with each other. The way parents focus on the kid with a medical condition.

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                          I have a spoilery question about Bird Box for anyone who has seen it.

                          [spoiler]How are those birds not drowned, never mind that they aren't even wet, after going under water in those rapids? I don't mind suspending disbelief for a film, but that is asking a bit much, IMO. [/spoiler]

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                            Watched German gritty crime thing Parfum/Perfume on Netflix. Which was very gripping and diverting Suskind referencing nonsense until last episode just became ridiculous and obviously leaving itself open for a sequel.

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                              Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                              Started 'The Man In The High Castle' last night. Not quite hooked yet. The dialogue is somewhat formulaic and there are some cliches such as the Japanese diplomat reading a page then removing his glasses to signify significance.

                              I'm also not sure (as per Episode 1) that Himmler and Goebbels would be the main contenders to replace Hitler. Goering was the official No. 2 in the Third Reich.
                              The conclusion of the second season was quite good, and in season three the pace increases, which is a good thing.

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                                Re: Agatha Christie, I quite enjoyed the recent Crooked House film. I think it came out in 2017, but only caught it on Netflix a week or so ago.

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                                  Originally posted by Femme Folle View Post
                                  I have a spoilery question about Bird Box for anyone who has seen it.

                                  [spoiler]How are those birds not drowned, never mind that they aren't even wet, after going under water in those rapids? I don't mind suspending disbelief for a film, but that is asking a bit much, IMO. [/spoiler]
                                  [spoiler] Ah, go on. That can't be the biggest WTF moment in that film. My answer is that the little girl got off light in the rapids; remember how she was standing on shore while SB had to pluck boy out of the water? Also, we never saw the dirtbag couple again after they stole the car. I assume they were killed shortly thereafter. [/spoiler]

                                  In other questions, is anyone up-to-date on Ray Donovan, because I have something troubling me?

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                                    Yeah, but [spoiler]they were in a freaking cardboard box. There's no way they don't at least get a little wet. I think you're probably right about the dirtbag couple.[/spoiler]

                                    I'm a season behind on Ray Donovan. I keep saying I'm going to catch up. One of these days...

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                                      [spoiler] It was very, very good cardboard. Like you get at those Japanese paper stores. [/spoiler]

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                                        Haha. OK, I'll buy that.

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                                          Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
                                          Watched German gritty crime thing Parfum/Perfume on Netflix. Which was very gripping and diverting Suskind referencing nonsense until last episode just became ridiculous and obviously leaving itself open for a sequel.
                                          I started that and then realized I donít need to see yet another series about murder and violent psychosis.

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                                            Luther frightened the life out of me last night. It's largely filmed around here. I was scared to open the front door for the cat and had to take a tablet for my racing heart.

                                            It's witty and well-acted, and Idris is a dreamboat, but I don't like grisly.

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                                              I don't think we'll be following the rest of this run of Luther; it's a very strong cast but the serial killer stuff is tired and unpleasant at the same time. Also the lighting, or rather lack of, got a bit much with most of yesterday's episode taking place in near darkness.

                                              The Revenant didn't really work as light relief afterwards, despite the stunning scenery.

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                                                The Haunting of Hill House.
                                                I give it a 9 out of ten for its portrait about the siblings.
                                                It's horror, but so much very good drama at the same time.
                                                So well told.

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                                                  Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
                                                  @danielmak

                                                  I really liked Atypical and have said so upthread. There are so many bits that really stuck with me. The awful parent support group. The assumption that kids with autism will want to be friends with each other. The way parents focus on the kid with a medical condition.
                                                  I agree that one of the interesting features of this show is the ways that it deals with the spectrum and the support that exists or doesn't exist for people. Similarly, I think that one of the strengths is the three-dimensional character development; we see how quickly things change for the central character based on seemingly reasonable or unreasonable encounters.

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                                                    Roma (on Netflix) but will go to the cinema to see it again.

                                                    masterpiece.

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