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    Hill Street Blues was probably my first favorite drama. Prior to that, I watched various shows but that was one where I couldn't wait for the next week to see it again. I think I've watched a few episodes here and there when they've gone into syndication in the US.

    Lately I've been catching up on various futbol matches so my routine has been to start a film one night and then finish it the next. This is something I never would have done in the past unless I was exhausted, but I'm digging this routine. Tonight I'm halfway through a Mexican film on Netflix called "El club de los insomnes." It's about two insomniacs who end up in a mini market every night and hang out with the woman who works the late night shift. It's kind of slow, but I've enjoyed what I have seen so far. The characters are a little quirky and the reasons why they end up in this space/why they have insomnia seems to be unfolding.

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      Yes, Hill Street Blues marked a shift from series like Kojak, Cannon, Starsky & Hutch and Streets of San Francisco. These were often excellent shows but HSB brought something new - or it certainly felt so. There was an earthiness; it just felt more real. I don’t think it’s being shown by anyone here but I imagine it’s held up well.

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        I’ve been watching and loving The Luminaries; I loved the book and the adaptation is pretty good. I went to Hokitika around the time the book came out; just missed the launch, in fact. The scenery is beautiful and Himesh Patel is gorgeous. I fancied him as Tamwar in EastEnders (a character they gave witty deadpan lines) and he is perfect in this.

        It’s slightly distracting that the female baddie sounds to me a little like Ness in Gavin and Stacey.

        I have one episode to go, so will watch that later.

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          Originally posted by Hot Pepsi View Post
          I saw some of the new Twilight Zone. Not worth subscribing to CBS All Access.
          Timely piece by The Quietus here, which also reveals it's available in the UK on Now TV, which I don't subscribe to but may at some point in the future when I get rid of one of the other streaming services I've ended up subscribing to during lockdown.

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            Coming towards the end of a Taskmaster rewatch.
            Funny to see how it's evolved over time and regular length increases.
            The temptation to have "regular" tasks must have pretty powerful so to decide to never repeat anything is pretty brave.

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              Dark is back for its final system. I've totally forgotten who everyone is and who they're related to and, frequently, what period they're in. I'll probably figure it out during the final episode.

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                Now you can add what universe to that.

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                  We're on S3 of Marcella. I remember less than nothing from the previous two seasons, so I'm utterly lost. But the show bores me to tears, so I'm not really sweating it. Everyone, without exception, is from Brit-crime central casting, and the cardboard is fraying at the edges.

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                    I've avoided S3 of Marcella on the grounds that the idea really only works for one series.

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                      The conclusion of s3 suggests that s4 will be significantly different.

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                        Still wondering how one gets three seasons out of a recipe for tomato sauce.

                        Though it is a good recipe.

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                          Originally posted by Walt Flanagans Dog View Post
                          Oh and Hill Street Blues is also on Prime, but only the first two seasons.
                          Really? Excellent news. Thanks WFD.

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                            I started HBO's Perry Mason (don't know who is showing this outside the US). Set after WWI in Los Angeles. Nice noir feel -- little bit of Chinatown vibe to it. I'm only 2 episodes in but so far it's good.

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                              A few pages back there was chat about Penny Dreadful: City of Angels - it is now being shown in the UK but unfortunately (for me at least), only on Sky Atlantic.

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                                Originally posted by Walt Flanagans Dog View Post
                                A few pages back there was chat about Penny Dreadful: City of Angels - it is now being shown in the UK but unfortunately (for me at least), only on Sky Atlantic.
                                Not sure that they managed to finish making that season before the pandemic shut
                                everything down. We’ll see.

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                                  The wife and I finished s4 of How to Get Away With Murder - it's still keeping our attention and I now want to go all the way through to the end (albeit s6 is not on Netflix yet).

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                                    I watched the Will Farrell/Rachel McAdams thing about the Eurovision contest. It’s ok. A bit too long. Not as funny as it could have been, but it has its moments and is sort of a love letter to the Eurovision contest and that kind of OTT cheesy pop in general.

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                                      Originally posted by danielmak View Post
                                      I started HBO's Perry Mason (don't know who is showing this outside the US). Set after WWI in Los Angeles. Nice noir feel -- little bit of Chinatown vibe to it. I'm only 2 episodes in but so far it's good.
                                      Yeah it's decent so far. I wonder if it's a coincidence that Los Angeles in the 1930s/40s is the setting for three current shows at the moment? There's more overlap between Perry Mason and City of Angels than Hollywood — though I've only seen one episode of the latter, but they share a certain vibe, mainly police/civic corruption and racism, but an Aimee Semple MacPherson character occurs in the first two as well.

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                                        Not worth starting a new thread for, nor unearthing any that turned up on the search (of which this thread was one anyway), but I've just watched "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon" on Sky Documentaries. I've always felt National Lampoon was a bit of a blind spot for me - I obviously know the movies and know how it led straight into SNL and everything that span out of that - but I didn't really know the origins and only vaguely knew the magazine. My brother would have had an occasional copy in his pile of Mad magazines and while Mad didn't always make sense to a snotty nosed little kid in late 70s England, National Lampoon was even more adult and baffling, and probably intimidating.

                                        Anyway I'm in my late 40s now and it doesn't look much more appealing on the basis of the documentary, but then I can accept it's just not for me and was never intended to be. The punchline to the documentary started with "Doug had a predilection for sticking his dick in girls' ears...he'd surprise them by doing it in the middle of a cocktail party or something...there would be Doug with his dick in some girl's ear..." I think if that had been the opening gambit I wouldn't have bothered going any further.

                                        It also made me wonder again about why SNL was never a thing in the UK (meaning the real one, not the Channel 4 one) - we were certainly receptive to American TV in the 70s otherwise. In fact I was wondering if it had ever been shown and thought Sky had maybe tried in the past, but apparently until this year only ITV4 had a go at running it, and now Sky themselves are trying on their comedy channel.

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                                          Originally posted by Walt Flanagans Dog View Post
                                          Not worth starting a new thread for, nor unearthing any that turned up on the search (of which this thread was one anyway), but I've just watched "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon" on Sky Documentaries. I've always felt National Lampoon was a bit of a blind spot for me - I obviously know the movies and know how it led straight into SNL and everything that span out of that - but I didn't really know the origins and only vaguely knew the magazine. My brother would have had an occasional copy in his pile of Mad magazines and while Mad didn't always make sense to a snotty nosed little kid in late 70s England, National Lampoon was even more adult and baffling, and probably intimidating.

                                          Anyway I'm in my late 40s now and it doesn't look much more appealing on the basis of the documentary, but then I can accept it's just not for me and was never intended to be. The punchline to the documentary started with "Doug had a predilection for sticking his dick in girls' ears...he'd surprise them by doing it in the middle of a cocktail party or something...there would be Doug with his dick in some girl's ear..." I think if that had been the opening gambit I wouldn't have bothered going any further.

                                          It also made me wonder again about why SNL was never a thing in the UK (meaning the real one, not the Channel 4 one) - we were certainly receptive to American TV in the 70s otherwise. In fact I was wondering if it had ever been shown and thought Sky had maybe tried in the past, but apparently until this year only ITV4 had a go at running it, and now Sky themselves are trying on their comedy channel.
                                          There’s a “narrative” film about the same subject with Will Forte playing Doug Kenny and Martin Mull playing Dead Doug Kenny narrating it directly to the audience. Joel McCale plays Chevy Chase, which is ironic.

                                          National Lampoon was massive for a while and then just sort of fell apart, but the brand name got bought and sold a few times, so it’s reputation has been further tarnished by being attached to some really dumb shit.

                                          I’d heard of it and saw it for sale in the shops, but was too young to buy it.

                                          A lot of the behavior of the 70s comedians was deplorable in retrospect and probably deplorable at the time, but they were all on drugs and, in many cases, they really didn’t known any better. Doug Kenny probably just thought the dick in the ear thing was funny for everyone involved.

                                          Feminists and various other justice movements have done a lot to reach us that they didn’t really think a lot of that shit was funny. They were just pretending to be in on the joke because that was easier than objecting. A lot of assholes complain about this as political correctness etc, but really they’re just revealing what was really happening all along and that benefits everyone.



                                          The selected highlights of SNL are excellent. Not sure the real shows would work. It’s an hour and a half with lots more commercial breaks than you all are used to. And if they showed it actually live, it would be on a 4:30 am.

                                          Everyone thinks that it was better when they were in high school, but really they’re just remembering the highlights and the cast that was on when one first started watching it is one’s favorite. That’s just how our brains work. Same with music or James Bond.

                                          To be sure, some SNL seasons are better than others and some cast members are far more useful than others, but it’s always been hit or miss and always will be. That’s just how hard it is to make funny sketch comedy.

                                          Usually there are five to 10 really good sketches a season and three or four really great musical performances. I think that ratio has held fairly constant over the years.

                                          Part of the problem is the live audience seems to always be a bit boring and conservative (not politically) in its taste. So some of the more esoteric or weirder stuff doesn’t make it to air because it doesn’t do well in the dress rehearsals. Seth Myers tries to revive some of that stuff when he gets ex-castmates on his show.

                                          But the best stuff is often the dumbest. Like the whole “you like the juice, eh?” Greek restaurant thing or David Pumpkins. It doesn’t make any sense. It has no point.

                                          In recent years, the best stuff by far is the non-live film bits, like all the Lonely Island videos. And they’re increasingly relying on movie stars like Alec Baldwin or Melissa McCarthy, who aren’t in the regular cast, to play the big topical characters in the cold open. That’s kind of controversial.
                                          Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 29-06-2020, 17:54.

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                                            Originally posted by Amor de Cosmos View Post

                                            Yeah it's decent so far. I wonder if it's a coincidence that Los Angeles in the 1930s/40s is the setting for three current shows at the moment? There's more overlap between Perry Mason and City of Angels than Hollywood — though I've only seen one episode of the latter, but they share a certain vibe, mainly police/civic corruption and racism, but an Aimee Semple MacPherson character occurs in the first two as well.
                                            I gave up on City of Angels, since the paranormal angle isn't one that interests me and the Nazi infiltration of local government seemed like a less sophisticated plotline but the issues about housing, neighborhood, family, and race were all interesting. Given that combination, this one seems like a better fit for me. But it is interesting that similar timeframes would appear across production companies that are basically competing for the same audience. I would think that there would be some awareness of what is in production elsewhere, although I guess that in the case of City of Angels and Perry Mason both channels were working from established brands, so to speak.

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                                              I'm guessing the paranormal angle in City of Angels has been reduced somewhat.The Good Angel is not only draped in a tablecloth with an antimacassar on her head, but her part has been cut to the bone too apparently. In favour, perhaps, of more contemporary analogies, like the Trumpian councilman's egomaniacal fantasies. It's a decent watch, and it'll be interesting to see where it goes in the second season, assuming there is one.

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                                                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 think I'm 4 episodes into this one and it's a depressing watch. By my count, 2/4 of the episodes have featured a rape and the other 2 featured seriously unsafe levels of drug use and alcohol consumption that certainly could have led to other assaults. I'm having a hard time getting any sense of the characters beyond people who make bad choices that put them in the presence of various types of predators. I don't think I'll be sticking around for this show much longer. It seems to be getting a fair amount of hype in the US which might say more about the lack of multi-cultural programming on major networks than about the quality of this show.

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                                                  Dark seems to have jumped the shark a bit. Not sure what the point of this new season is.

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                                                    Peak Wil Farrell really does seem to be fading rapidly in the rear view mirror, doesn't it?

                                                    I'm baffled by the whole inclusion of the paranormal angle in City of Angels as anything more than a lazy plot-resolution device.

                                                    Marcella is finally over. Ugh...

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