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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    Why? They're allowed to do something different.

    The tone is a bit all over the place, which seems to be the main cause of criticism.

    The scenes with the joint chiefs are straight up satire and funny in the Veep or The Thick of It style and there are other "gags" like that like the first lady's absurd uniform designs or the "Iron Man pants" competition. And Ben Schwartz' PR guy character is pulled right out of those Armando Iannucci shows.

    But then there are some nice moments of real human drama and/or emotion, like the scene between Steve Carrel and Lisa Kudrow talking about their marriage. Both actors are really good at that even though they're most famous for playing idiots in broad comedies. And Diana Silvers does a good job with the daughter and her feelings about moving and her parents and all of that (even though she's obviously about five or six years older than the character.) (typical)).

    Most of the tone is somewhere in between sight gags and real drama. For example, all the stuff between Jimmy Yang's and Tawny Newsome's characters was just traditional romantic comedy stuff.

    But those shifts in tone and concept didn't really bother me after a while. It sort of became its own thing and I liked the characters, especially John Malkovich's character. It suited me in these dark times when my brain is working at about 40% capacity.

    The dynamic they're creating is that Carrel's character knows a lot about military stuff, aviation, leadership while Malkovich's guy knows a lot about science, engineering, clothes and, contrary to the nerd stereotype, human relationships. They need to complement each other. I find I am often drawn to stories about platonic (why do we use that term?) same-gender friendships, so perhaps that's why I like this one.

    I think a lot of people were reading Michael Scott or Brick Tamlin into Carrel's character and assuming he's supposed to be kind of an idiot. He's not an idiot. The idiocy is the whole military industrial complex that he's trying to manage.

    As far as that goes, I feel like it could do a better job making it all feel more chaotic. The imagined Space Force has this huge facility* and billions of dollars and yet it seems like only about 40 people work there. Veep and The Thick of It did a good job of focusing on a few main characters so, you know, they could actually be characters and the shows could have a plot, while also having lots of people come and go and constantly allude to the wider world of chaos they're trying to manage. That makes those shows feel far more real than The West Wing or something like that which makes it seem like the government is run by a dozen people.

    More of that sort of thing would help. Perhaps now that they've established their core half-dozen characters, they can spin it out more widely.

    [spoiler]

    Then end of the first season really ramped up the stakes. The US is about to go to war on the moon with China and Lisa Kudrow's character just broke out of jail (I missed the bit where they explained why she's in jail). Not sure where that could go.

    *I had to look up where it's filmed. It's supposed to be a massive new campus built in rural Colorado - perhaps as a comment on how Space Force is likely to be a massive boondoggle. But it's filmed at Cal State Dominguez Hills, which I guess is getting a lot of money for it. Lots of brutalist architecture. A good choice for the setting, but I saw some comments that pointed out that they could see mountains in the background while the town in Colorado this is supposed to be is in the superflat eastern part of the state. That wouldn't be the first time California's unique geology showed up in something that was supposed to be somewhere completely different.
    Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 22-06-2020, 17:31.

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  • Ginger Yellow
    replied
    Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post

    It helps to not expect it to be Parks & Rec.
    With the cast and creator, it should be.

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post

    It helps to not expect it to be Parks & Rec.
    Well Parks and Rec started shit, but then got great. So that's the hope for this too, though so far my experience suggests that it's not getting out of first gear

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    Originally posted by Ginger Yellow View Post

    Yeah, I'm slowly making my way through the season, in hopes that Season 2 does a Parks & Rec-style turnaround. But I can't say it's getting better yet.
    It helps to not expect it to be Parks & Rec.

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  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Originally posted by S. aureus View Post

    Is this a straight remake of The Bridge or does it branch out in a different direction? A question which applies to all three seasons.
    Seasons two and three are quite different. I didn't see season one so can't compare.

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  • Ginger Yellow
    replied
    Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    I stuck with Space Force for the whole season. It gets better, I think. I hope it continues.
    Yeah, I'm slowly making my way through the season, in hopes that Season 2 does a Parks & Rec-style turnaround. But I can't say it's getting better yet.

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  • S. aureus
    replied
    Originally posted by Felicity, I guess so View Post
    Dug out The Tunnel s3 tonight. Hell of a 1st episode
    Is this a straight remake of The Bridge or does it branch out in a different direction? A question which applies to all three seasons.

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  • hobbes
    replied
    So I mentioned upthread how fucking terrible SyFy's "Pandora" was despite the trails looking really good.
    At about the same time another female-led show started on SyFy which I've only just got around to watching.
    It's called Vagrant Queen and it's gloriously, marvellously, fist-pumpingly great. It looks like it was made on about a fiver an episode, the special effects would have made you cringe in about 1975 and as best I can tell, most of it is filmed either in the desert or in a huge factory complex. But it's properly silly and funny with a load of running jokes that almost always land.
    It's a comic strip adaptation apparently, by Jem Garrard who did a series of You Me Her.

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  • Felicity, I guess so
    replied
    Dug out The Tunnel s3 tonight. Hell of a 1st episode

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    I stuck with Space Force for the whole season. It gets better, I think. I hope it continues.

    I watched Fight Club. I’d never finished it before, but it was in HBO and I figured I should see it because it’s such an influential bit of Gen X pop culture.

    It’s about 30 or 40 minute too long and the u relenting filth everywhere is tough to watch, but I can sort of relate to it’s “fuck it all” approach.

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  • WOM
    replied
    Originally posted by Toby Gymshorts View Post
    Schitt's Creek is very funny.

    Yes, I know, Years behind. We're terrible at television.
    Don't sweat it. We just binged it in April. We were six years late to the party. There's a very lovely 'after show' that you won't want to miss. If it's not on Netflix, look on CBC Gem online.

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  • TonTon
    replied
    Yes thanks, it's excellent.

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    Originally posted by TonTon View Post

    Aha, there you are. Did you recommend this to me recently?

    I'm nearing the end of that first season. I'll come back when it's done.
    Yes I did I think. Hope you're enjoying it.

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  • TonTon
    replied
    Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
    We've started watching Bordertown, a Finnish cop show set on the Russian border. Just reached the end of the first storyline (it appears that one storyline goes over multiple episodes but does not last for a whole series). I liked it, some good characters, and well acted. The main cop is a kind of much much less annoying and much much more human version of Cumberbatch's Sherlock.
    Aha, there you are. Did you recommend this to me recently?

    I'm nearing the end of that first season. I'll come back when it's done.

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  • TonTon
    replied
    Bordertown, anywhere, anyone?

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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Watched The Meg last night. I love a cheesy disaster movie, and this is pretty close to that. Jason Statham is pure ham. The film's really pretty rubbish, and you can tell that it was half funded with Chinese money because they padded it with Chinese locations and a few Chinese actors. I feel that this crossover is happening more and more in high-budget, not very good, films.

    As always with these films, I let all the utterly ludicrous premises of the film slide, and then get upset about one minor technicality in the plot - yesterday it was them flying a helicopter from the Philippine Trench to Thailand (when they only had a few hours to save a sunken submarine). I was totally chilled about the 90m shark that was living in a previous hidden part of the ocean. It was the length of the helicopter flight that bothered me.

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  • Toby Gymshorts
    replied
    Schitt's Creek is very funny.

    Yes, I know, Years behind. We're terrible at television.

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    Originally posted by ad hoc View Post

    Name one in season 1? I can think of perhaps one (the woman who owns the Blue Cat), and after that, not even close.
    Yes, her. Jordana Spiro's character. And Harris Yulin's character, Buddy, was sympathetic, I suppose, if not likeable. And I thought the preacher who had the "church on the lake" and his wife at least started out as sympathetic. Certainly their baby was.

    I like Ruth too. She's done bad things, but she's just trying to play the crappy hand that life has dealt. Same with Wyatt, although his turn in the latest season sort of lost me. It didn't really make a lot of sense. And those poor bobcats. Don't forget about them.

    The kids are just kids trying to make the best of it. One can at least "root" for them to make it out of it ok.


    But mostly, it's about people who think they are good people who have made a series of small moral compromises that add up to a 180 degree turn into outright evil and yet they can still justify it to themselves. At least so far.

    That's different than Walter White. By the time he murders Jane, he knows what he's become and is just going to ride it out.
    Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 19-06-2020, 16:42.

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  • Ray de Galles
    replied
    Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    Watching Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee’s latest joint. It’s about four black veterans of the US was in Vietnam who go back there ~50 years later to find a stash of gold they know about as well as their fallen squad leader.

    But of course, being a Spike Lee film, it’s about a lot more than that.
    I watched it last night. There are good parts of it but gawd does it need a better edit. Not necessarily the overall running time of 154 minutes ( I was perfectly happy with the length of The Irishman and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, after all) but the baggy, rambling nature of much of it and how sections of the movie just didn't fit together that well at all.

    I do wonder if the flashback sequences could have been dropped, good though they were, in favour of making the modern day sections of the film more coherent. of course they then wouldn't have Chadwick Boseman's presence to boost the film's profile.

    I think I was one of the few people disappointed by BlacKkKlansman (which, looking back, I said on here was "slow to the point of being plodding, lacked drama & tension and was just cartoony in places - including a Scooby Do ending") so while I think Spike has made some amazing movies and his presence in the movie business is vital, I'm just not feeling his current renaissance.
    Last edited by Ray de Galles; 19-06-2020, 11:36.

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
    Ozark has likable characters. They never last more than a season.
    Name one in season 1? I can think of perhaps one (the woman who owns the Blue Cat), and after that, not even close.

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    Ozark has likable characters. They never last more than a season.

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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    I vastly prefer Succession. I really like the actors and camerawork in Ozark, but the plots are silly and, as I've said elsewhere, do that really annoying thing of always escalating season upon season. Succession's plots are also silly, but they're meant to be silly, and because the characters have grown up in a ridiculously silly world, the silliness feels more organic.

    All the characters in both are delightfully dislikeable, of course.

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    I vastly prefer Ozark. I find the characters more believable and it’s not trying so hard to create clever memes.

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  • Incandenza
    replied
    2 episodes in to Succession and I enjoyed both, far more than any of Ozark. On the other hand, my wife, who got hooked on Ozark, tells me "I don't really like any of these people" after the second episode. I've found the characters far more entertaining than any on Ozark.

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  • danielmak
    replied
    Originally posted by slackster View Post
    I May Destroy You (bbc, and hbo I think), written by and starring Michaela Coel looks good. Coel is a very talented writer and actor - see Chewing Gum and Black Earth Rising if you can too - and this is shaping up to be both a funny and harrowing account that centres on a young woman who’s had her drink spiked and pieces together what happened.

    I was quite taken aback by the “edgy” (consensual) sexual activities and drugginess of the main hipsterish players, but must be even more of a boring old fuddy-duddy than I realised, as my 22yo daughter said none of that looked ridiculously far-fetched to her.

    This old fart also learnt a new word looking at Coel’s wiki page: Aromantic. Nothing to do with Aroma, I should add...
    I started watching this one on HBO. It's good. I completely stumbled upon it so had no expectations at all, but figured young, multi-cultural London could be interesting. Was a bit shocked by the turn it took with the spiked drink. I think I'm 2 or 3 episodes into the show.

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