Favorite Television Shows

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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu May 30, 2019 3:56 pm

Watched season of Orville, a cavaet is that due to break there was a few weeks off and episode count on wiki suggested only one more episode so we made other plans for Orville slot. Then there was 2... then tracked down an interview that said three which turned out to be four episodes (they split third into two) so we found a weekend to watch all four which I'm unused to.

Orville took the second season to improve itself, curbing the lead romance to great relief, the McFarlane worship (somewhat), knowing it could use humour as and when it was needed rather then nervously throwing it out as didn't have belief in itself as sci-fi. It had found what it should be and worked with it well, again some good thoughtful episodes (Moclus based ones continue to be thoughtful), willingness to be brave with themes, mixed with nice adventures and humour, balances characters fairly well though felt Malloy and LeMaar slightly to background when not their episode. First two-parters had the traditional two-parter problems of second episode not as good as first as it tries too hard with the second episodes for big impact when build up is better.

It's main romance was divisive and certainly not new idea but I liked it
Doctor Finn and Issac
, was well integrated into the plot, I thought it was well done. There was one episode that was well tribute to/influenced by with new by Star Trek that one expects but blatant rip off that just feel poor form, one popular character left early and is replaced by another of same race, post and ability which means the new character took more time to gel
Alara replaced by Talla (Jessica Szohr)
as does the different style of humour the character brings, still puzzling as to why the change. After the first double episode, it struggles to build momentum to finale as few episodes with little connection to build up to it.

-Pity Alara's goodbye episode wasn't better. Talla's dry lines take awhile to click and I felt they took time to really build her into team. Was nice to see Alara for finale cameo

-Taking the big twist from Discovery season 1 wasn't funny, clever or well done, there was no "here is how to do it differently"

-Felt like the Regorian solution was a bit cheaty in an otherwise intresting episode, hope season 3 has some fall out

-Feels like there should have been a bit more fall out for Issac's behaviour

-Nice little star wars nods for finale


Watched half hour gaming comedy Dead Pixels. Premise: To the puzzlement of Allison (Charlotte Ritchie), her friends including room-mate Megan (Alexa Davies) are obsessed with fantasy MMORPG Kingdom Scrolls. When new person at Megan's work Russell (David Mumeni) wants to join in, Megan's group has mixed reactions...

First two episodes are great thanks to Russel's eager enthusiasm for all the new things he was finding vs the cynicism and seeking to win of the old guard like Megan and Nicky (Will Merrick), finds the sort of silly mistakes and silly little joys that can be found with a sense of humour. After that, it loses a bit of spark as he focuses on Megan and Nicky who can veer towards the little annoying every now and again, it gives glimpses and some sense of why gaming draws people in while acknowledging fans can be toxic. Does play into the social awkwardness with the main two but other members of the group do have a bit more of a life (would say any season 2 probably needs to do a better balance though), a good sense of wider world we are only glimpsing like the relationship between Megan and Allison which has clearly lasted a long time.

Enjoyed throughout the glimpses we got out of Usman's (Sargon Yelda) home life, only glimpses but done in humorous fashion and builds it up well in those moments, often the shining points of episodes. Builds up well to a pretty good finale that uses the way relations have developed to good effect. Would watch second season.


Caught up with Orange is the New Black, made big and much needed changes to shake things up in last season as had felt idea's were running out. Allowed a shake up, new setting, new guards, dynamics changed and it which worked well, the new characters were intresting enough, guards had different relations, good ending to season though felt two key figures were under-explored despite a clever idea
the two cell block leaders with their toxic sister relationship, loved the glimpses in their background

As a show remains strongest when showing the casual inhumanity of prison system and America's flaws (ones we share) via the lives and past lives of the inmates. I find Piper a bit annoying and sometimes show goes odd directions but when it feels realistic, or a form of realism, it works well. Had lost it's way a bit but latest season had recovered things by going for major chances.


Saw BBC comedy Ghosts from Horrible Histories team. Premise: Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) are surprised when Allison inherits grand Button Hall from distant relative. Excited they go to visit and make plans but when Alison has an accident, she finds she can see the ghosts that linger in the old house....

Their first post watershed comedy and they don't really take full advantage but does allow them some more adult jokes. Tendency in first half to focus on the social embrassment for Allison of talking to ghosts and is better when it weans off that onto things like why some of the ghosts died, plots, the wider impact of now being able to see ghosts, the generation gaps. A decent cast of ghosts and likeable enough human leads and at times it really lands the jokes, needs to drop the headless character as that joke wore itself thin within first episodes. Decent enough show


Saw final season of Game of Thrones, had not gone in with particularly high expectations as has been a lesser show since it got past the books but hoping for a last hurrah, left it with a "meh" feeling. It was an... erratic season that fell on the decent side of things but will put rest in spoilers
First episode very GOT back, a bit erratic as pieces fall into place and sets up, second episode was wonderful as characters talked, joked, prepared, planned, looked back on past, playing to show's strengths. It was the high of the season! I was never going to enjoy a big battle episode like 3 as much but that is where the backlash seemed to hit.

I didn't have the same lighting issues as some clearly did, I'm a benevolent forgiving figure when comes to battle tactics but deary me I was questioning the competence of the human generals there. Some great early setplays, there was some really good moments that were dotted (probably too infrequently) amidst the fighting but also some poor ones. All tension was gone by the half way point as all the major characters were clearly going to live, they were put in desperate situations but kept surviving, using the side figures to die led to some good death scenes but didn't build the tension. This was supposed to be a desperate fight to the death last stand, it certainly didn't feel it. I didn't object to the idea of Arya being the one to kill the Night King per se but she had been a tad over powerful during the siege and the death scene wasn't as well executed as one might have hoped. The Night King's forces collapse and one is left with the feeling... was that it? Not a heroic last gasp victory with shattered armies as was probably the intent but "winter has come, gone and look how every major character is still alive."

Episode 4 was good but had some bits that felt off or rushed as it tried to set up the next big battle, squeezing season into six episodes taking it's toll in some scenes, felt Varys death would have been better moved to this episode, he had some great moments with the hand. Episode 5... dragged, felt like some shots were minor variations of each other (tyrion staring at bell, people running during collapse, burning) and it got tiring rather then powerful. There were good moments, Cersei realizing the game was up, the shock as dragon turned up behind the main defences and destroyed them. The utter failure to use Cersei and that despite having seasons to develop Dany's descent it got rushed all took it's toll despite the efforts of the actresses. Key moments (let alone Arya's horse moment) felt like "this is the happy end they want" (having Jamie die just out of reach of Cersei due to wounds would have been better I suspect) that undermined some well done death scenes.

The final episode was.... alright. The "Dany is going to die" was obvious, I liked the dragon mourning moment, some questionable logic around Tyrion (who they have spent too long relying on people remembering he is intelligent then actually any plan of his working). I see a lot of problems with the chosen ending and also a lot of unhappiness, talking to others it is possible I have read more unhappiness into scenes like Jon going north then the show meant (then giving him happiness as he goes across the wall) which weakens the ending a bit. I liked things like Brenne (bar her poor handling of books) writing about Jamie, the "let one imagine what happens afterwards" (I do not forsee a happy future of peace and love). Probably shouldn't have been three Starks ruling, that did feel too happy ending.

There were decisions in the season I disagreed with, others that were good on paper but had not been built up (Dany's descent) to properly due to poor long term planning by writers or how the season only had six episodes so was not time to let a scenario breath (Jamie). I mind that failure to have prepared things properly a lot more then any one off story decision, it was poor craftsmanship.

As a show overall, I think it will be seen as a great show that also changed things and one wonders if this will be the last "everybody watches that week episode extremely weekly" mega hit. Perhaps isn't as ground-breaking quite as much as is being said right now but it has changed studio's and critics attitudes towards fantasy (I remember guardian was having difficulty trying to work out how to persuade people to watch it), apparently it has also brought "not quite hitting" shows more time as GOT only became a mega hit with season three, the ruthlessness. Also felt like a symbol of a shift to where the performances of child stars are a lot better nowadays then in my youth.

We tried it as we liked fantasy, it had Sean Bean but we hadn't heard of George Martin particularly, first episode was "ok this seems nice, we will give it a second episode" until the ending scene really really really pulled us in, we had to see the next one. It pulled us in for more then the shocks, it had great characters with very few pure and very few outright evil, it explored what made the characters, excellent dialogue, it's willingness to have us sit and just watch conservations really worked becuase it was enthralling. It was a brutal, realistic (with magic) world full of politics and powerplays where one could see Martin's interest in history pay off, various types of romance, friendships and rivalries. The cast nearly did an excellent job and show did a very good job creating a sense of world with costumes and sets.

It also had George Martin's idea of twists, ones which make sense afterwards becuase of dynamics and paths led but one you don't see coming in the moment, usually perfectly executed with atmosphere sometimes and sometimes utter shock in that moment, knowing how long to linger. It never felt like "shock for sake of shock" (which given the huge publicity these moments created, could easily have done so) but it was right and where Martin did better then others is these involved characters who, in most shows, are plot protected. So much so that one of the first such moments
Ned Stark's execution
saw complaints, this sort of thing just wasn't supposed to happen, people had invested in the characters and then had them taken in heart breaking circumstances.

It was far from perfect, the need to juggle the cast led to some characters popping up an odd episode here or there but generally they did well with the juggling, there was however always a strand that didn't click and could slow things down each season. The phrase "boobsition" came into being for a reason and seems to have put off a fair few and was a good thing they faded that out as actresses got my power after the initial "what are you complaining about" attitude to critics. Some were frustrated at lack of battles for awhile, there was one strand for a season that was badly messed up
Dorne, apparently good in books but even leaving that aside, was just really bad
. Yet it was a rare show, for all it's faults, where real excitement when new season started, it's strengths far far far outweighed it's flaws.

When the show got to the point where Martin hadn't written, that was always going to a huge challenge, the handling of that wasn't a disaster but the dip became notable. There were still excellent scenes and stronger then plenty of shows but logic became more questionable, they didn't seem keen on some parts of the universe
the religion
so quietly dropped it. They lacked that ability for the great surprise, they seemed more comfortable in the more traditional ways of who dies and who doesn't, even outside that they lacked Martin's magic that turned a usually well made show into something into one of the greats. Where I am annoyed was their decision to shorten the last two seasons really did not go well in terms of storyline and pacing, that was the worst misjudgement they made.

Still, even if declined, GOT gave me great stories, characters, thrills, sadness, magic and humanity. I'm sad it has gone and I suspect the spin offs won't, unless based on the author's work like the early seasons, bring back the magic. I am so glad we gave it a try and will always be a favourite show.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:16 am

Arrowverse: Not their best collection of seasons for a number of reasons and may be more remembered for being when Arrow ending was announced then for the particular seasons though they weren't bad. What didn't help is they nearly all (Legends did it differently enough they can argue) copied the same twist format
the real villain isn't really so and so but big name that suddenly appears
, done with varying degrees of skill but dilutes the impact. Most of the finale's left me feeling positive in the immediate aftermath for the future though objectively, Flash I have concerns about

Arrow got final full season (next will be a mini season) and it was... alright. It fell into same traps (slightly too large a cast, never quite committing to "yeah our guys have done stuff wrong", Oliver "I promise to listen this time really and not hold secrets" then not, repeating the same variation of plot) but did start to slim down cast slightly which helped, had good dynamics within team, tried to shake things up to a degree. Was given more spark with the big bad but after a very strong initial start and exploring, the baddie fizzled out a bit and writers didn't take full advantage of the premise.

The flashbacks took awhile to work as cast struggled to gel, too many characters but over time, it did click and became a nice enough adventure in own right, some of the figures began to work as a team, some ok twists and humour started to land. They didn't manage to track of linking up the flashbacks to main story without spoiling some of the main story twists. Finale of the season leant into "ok this is a goodbye" more then the big adventure and handled those beats fairly well.

-Emiko (Sea Shimooka) had potential, good relations built with Rene but that kind of got dropped, the sibling idea with Oliver started well then petered out, the "is the big villian" was nicely done but came at cost and Shimooka couldn't make a charismatic, holds the thing together baddie. Not helped by "oh look, weapon of mass doom to blow up city" again

-Suicide Squad was a nice strand that lasted five minutes, they had fun with the absurd situation they had been put in by DC about rights. I liked the documentary episode, William's strand was alright, I liked meeting John's stepfather

-Failure to acknowledge the sheer scale of Felicity's crimes was getting hard to ignore, the Archer program again a sttrand not fully explore despite it's strong use in the flashforwards

-Was nice to have Curtis return for finale, Rory's return in preparation for big fight was nice and all but the fall out from his murders (after initial promise of cops interrogation) was another "team arrow get away with a lot", Tommy as inside Oliver's mind was touch

-The goodbye is well done, the promises that we know were never going to be followed, the Felicity tearful and supportive, the toll on Oliver as he knows this is goodbye. The sadness as the Monitor comes to collect on promise made, Felticity going to finally join her beloved


Supergirl had a good but not quite as good as last season run, they had a nice budding romance going on, got Nia more involved, one storyline they brought on had me going "oh no" but they pulled it off
Alex losing memories that her sister is Supergirl
, James actually properly used, a good villain. What hampers them is that the political side of things is clunky, less then subtle and I suspect not always thought through beyond simple messaging, one or two storylines are a little rushed and there is one long running issue that really is annoying
Lena doesn't know Kara is Supergirl and the ridiculous lengths they went to keep that with the inevitable consequences

In the US Supergirl was split in two parts with the big twist before Legends came in (Sky tends to show them at same time) and it was effectively done, it had a wow factor, performers did well. They built well with it in the return but felt ever so slightly underdone by finale and I wonder if, as much as I enjoyed it, they could have focused on the pre-twist storyline
Ben Lockwood vs aliens
on a human level. Finale used some of the show's weak points but was generally a good one and nice tease for next season.

-The Alex forgetting was reasonably well done and not tiresome in way I had feared. Her romance with Kelly (Azie Tesfai) has potential but felt a bit rushed in the end, needed another episode or two more build up which had been done well till the end point

-Brainy reverting to colder self should have lasted more then an episode so idea and damage done could be explored, enjoyed his relationship with Nia

-Not too fussed at losing Manchester Black and co but feel season perhaps could have fully explored the human fears that lead to likes of Lockwood rather then "evil genius was behind it all"

-Otis provides a nice bit of humour, Eve's betrayal was well done but her second betrayal a little underdone, alternative Kara likeable but underdone as an idea that could have been explored more about background and ideology forming one. Lex Luthor was a surprise but if Superman has been added to show then why not the big bad? Jon Cryer did well as the big bad and what scenes they had were good as he manipulated all around him, his plans effective until they need him to lose then he makes some odd choices

-I liked the alien march episode, the politics felt a bit less clumsily done


The Flash was it's strongest when it concentrated on the Allen family, there were a few misteps but the performances, dynamics and strong strands around it pulled one along and had some powerful moments. The show also benefited from Joe West's return eventually, they had missed his counsel as a father figure and I suspect the cop side of things would have had a better run. Their twist format worked well initially
Thawn was Nora's teacher and clearly the real big bad
and played to strength's but some parts of it lacked effective follow through. The main strand had a decent finale but didn't quite land the emotional notes they were aiming for.

The villain was a problem, I was more patient then some but that strand had run out of steam well before the end, not helped by the performance and a tendency for the setplay to repeat the same patterns, attempts to freshen up or add emotional punch only flickered briefly in terms of effectiveness at best. Side strands also remained a problem, Cisco had a potentially good storyline
mutant cure
but they didn't explore it fully and erratic execution before some odd choices in finale, a second side story was never fleshed out, they still can't make Killer Frost work or give Catlin a story without it. Ralph was fun but sidelined, Cecile feels like a one note joke when they remember her. Sherloque grew into the show as he tied more into main storyline and became less of a joke, the tension built well but still wondered if Ralph got squeezed out as didn't need another detective.

-Some nice off episodes like King Shark or Nora's team evil, I liked Nora's time looping episode

-Was there a point to having Cisco and Sherloque romances given lack of time spent on them?

-Cisco choosing to lose his powers was done badly and generally they didn't explore the ethics of the cure despite teasing about the dangers of such an idea

-The niece becoming Cicada wasn't a bad idea and she was a bit more intresting then the old one but couldn't revive that storyline for long.

-Nora was a well done character, her choices, her motivations, her dynamics with the family, the moment Sherloque showboated to show he knew her secret, the hurt it caused, the teasingly developed relationship with Thawne. The flashfoward didn't work as felt like characters tried a bit too hard to be cool. Her sacrifice lacked a bit of oomph but she was the highlight of the season

-Enjoyed Thawne scenes with the Allen family, the hint of care and the manipulations, the nasty prison, the reaction it got from Barry. Finale parts didn't work due to lack of time spent on it


Legends of Tomorrow move onto their new story felt clumsy including one character briefly going into a disturbing direction simply to set up story and which didn't suit character
Ava=pro torture for one episode was weird
. The show had a system of three teams and while team A's tended to get the limelight, it did balance them out and Charlie clicked (it does seem like it takes half a season before the show quiet knows what it wants to do with new figures). The clunkiness of the changing story reflected that this season, the writing wasn't quite it's usual sharp self, it was still amusing, sweet, willingness to enjoy the ride that allows it to pull off whatever it wants,
becuase why not go for a Bollywood song?
but it wasn't quite as engaging, as amusing as it's usual high standards

Constantine needs better integrating into the team, it felt a little like they were using him so they could do a his adventure via the show and that led to a rushed story that could have been intresting. Legends can argue (probably fairly) their thing was different enough to not count as the twist pattern
more demon moved into another body
, the main baddie didn't quite work but the supporting villain was glorious. Nice finale, the best ideas didn't quite get fully used to best of their potential but the bits that could have fallen flat were sweet, slightly worry team is becoming a big large

Also Legends producers, please do researches in places your setting an adventure in. It is rather frustrating when the place looks nothing like it supposed to and I mean nothing.

-Hank's dream was sweet and build up was well done, bar Ava's support for horrible policies

-Gary descent into evil was done with humour and again initially when he is the big boss but second episode of that, they try too hard with humour and don't do enough of the sadness to balance it out.

-Desmond wasn't a notable villain, Ray was a twist but Brandon Routh lacks a little edge as a villain actor, it shone far more when Jane Carr turned up. The app was fun, didn't feel they managed to sell the message they were going for about fearing the other

-Kamadeva led to a fun if slightly try too hard episode, they pulled off the Bollywood song and was nice to have something from a different culture

-Zara and Nate works as a pairing, they do need to find something more for Mick at moment and would have liked a proper "last of the old guard" episode with Sarah rather then a brief moment trapped under ice.

Will be intresting to see how the Zari swapped for brother thing plays out
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:07 pm

Riverdale was Riverdale, it has forgotten the joys of the four working as friends, splitting them into two romances (or potential romances that know will happen), going for flair, falling into same traps and apparently really keen on Mark Consuelos getting his shirt off in last few episodes. It has it's charms and it's failings, but a big one is that the Farm really got going in intresting ways a few episodes too late, the finale and the run in was dealing with stuff around that and other things that should have been in play or deal with at least a few episodes ago. Maybe if it had spent less time on some less intresting stuff like the Lodge's and gone full in with Gargoyle King stuff earlier+the Farm, it may have paid off. Finale was fun episode full of twists, only some of which worked.

The Farm meant side characters were better used but still prone to "personalities change to suit scene", musical episode was decent with a lesser known musical and some ok songs with singers chosen for song rather then trying to force it. The Lodge stuff does feel tired and questionable logic, characters make same mistakes as usual with Jughead and Betty strands (or Cherly) still better once they get going rather then spin wheels over the Archie+Lodge ones. Excellent tease for next season


Watched second and last season of super hero comedy The Tick, felt more consistent this time and helped that "ok this is not a laughable comedy, more a sweet superhero show with a bit of comedy." A decent adventure with the Tick talk about destiny more sparing but his belief in goodness still a sweet heart, uses it's core four (Tick, Arthur, Dot and Overkill) to good effect, integrates the existing side characters like the parents more, decent villain. Comedy comes from Joan's actions and Superions struggle with his new status and his... misguided efforts. AEGIS works well but feels like it could have done with a bit of fleshing out in season 3 and I'm sorry we won't get a chance to see that, was a likeable goodhearted half an hour show.


Iron Fist second and last season came in under pressure, the first Marvel/Netflix flop after some really bad decisions, the show which stripped away the magic. They had Colleen and Danny turn up in other shows (Defenders and Luke Cage particularly) to show the new Danny and get another chance while brought in a few popular guest stars from other shows
Misty who made sense within comic book world and used effectively
. Did it work? Yes. Seemed to get decent reviews, I found it a nice solid show that left me wanting a third season and cancellation probably more due to Disney/Marvel takeover.

What went right? Actually having time for the cast to prepare for action scenes certainly helped, slimming down to ten episodes stopped the Netflix flab, they changed Dany's personality so he felt less like an idiot hippy (though I found him a bit bland), they cut the business angle completely and concentrated on triad street level+human Iron Fist issues. While they were occasionally prone to "trying too hard" dialogue, it had worked to fix weaknesses while it did segue well from the teases at end of first season.

Good action, a story that knitted together nicely after a slightly slow set up, some good duo's form though initially found Colleen slightly less of a strong presence initially, the villain worked well on several levels which always helps. The replacement for nurse temple as the guest star did work bar a few "trying too hard to be cool" lines, I enjoyed Jo's strand and Ward's grew well. Alive Eve came in a difficult role and performed it well, I really enjoyed the character
Mary Walker
with the mystery unfolding well on that front and they did well with the concept. Did keep with the mystic Iron Fist with Davos and Danny shaped by it, the odd flashback, the history gently introduced and a good tease for a season 3 that will never come.

-I liked the flasbacks to Davos mother. I wonder if a slightly more nuanced Davos might have worked but his sense of righteousness and anger shone through

-Alice Eve does well with the gentle Mary and the ruthless Walker, the switch of hair style a nice little signal but the attitude was down to Alice Eve

-Joy's tendency for humour, the errors and intelligence, being linked up with all sorts of characters (anger with Danny and Ward, the experienced ally to Davos who provides him with worldly advice, learning about Mary) made her fun. Ward was a little cut off and his humour rarely works but his storyline worked well enough

-I suspect Colleen getting the fist will be popular, just she and Danny as a pairing didn't pull me in (whereas Colleen was a saving spark in first season). Joy, Davos, Misty+Colleen (bar trying too hard at bants) were more intresting

When show was coming out, Marvel and Netflix were on a roll and in the sort of position where 1) flaws got overlooked (though 13 episode flab was noted), 2) a show about breadsticks would get excitement and hype. There were concerns about white guy doing kungfu but Asian martial arts, a bit of the mystic, coming at this from business angle gave chance to differ from the others but Iron Fist seems to have been rushed. They were still training their cast into action scenes and that kind of rush led to all sorts of problems including weak action scenes.

The first season was hammered and suddenly the spell was broken, not helped by a flawed Defenders that followed, people started to notice things that had otherwise gone unnoticed about the past shows and the next round has (though been some good seasons) struggled to capture that same glory of the first. The rush led to errors, it also made botched the business side of things badly so didn't provide the fresh perspective, Kang-Lun had interest but was small part, it had a decent villain but another that felt cartoony, the Meacham family were unpopular (though I liked Joy and grew to like Ward), a lot of really bad writing. Unlike it's fellow shows, Iron Fist never had a sense of location within the city (didn't really fix that in season 2 but less of an issue)

Also Danny was meant to be likeable naive but was clearly just a complete idiot in that first scene, prone to tantrums and the like. It could have been an intresting as someone whose development was stunted but just come across as a complete idiot with a tendency of being a poster. Was hit by Jessica Henwick showing superior skill as martial artist with Colleen who was the far more popular character then the lead

Mostly though, season 1 was badly written. There were attempts to repair damage, Danny turned up as a less stupid and more serious figure for cameo's (though was a trying too hard to be cool), ditto Colleen and second season has done a lot of work on things like action, writing is (though dialogue can still clunk) is better. This might have allowed it, if not for Disney takeover, a revival of sorts given time though it would have taken years of success to overcome the bad image created by first season. I suspect, bar Defenders and awful final seasons from others, be the worst of the Marvel/Netflix shows
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:52 am

Watched final season of Shadowhunters: The Final Hunt, their part B started badly, possibly as badly as the first half of first season. It played into the show's worst traits, the attempting to be serious when it is a show that only does things by going big so when it tries to do that, it feels clumsy, self-important dragged out and not fun at all without the flair and humour. Attempts to create a new romance
was an ok idea on paper but struggled compared to past romance involving one of the characters and it wasn't well done. The season villain was badly miscast with Luke Baines have one or two good strands where performance clicked but generally he struggled, lacking charisma, flat performances, lacking a sense of menace and failing to make the most of his lines. Not helped that there was a better alternative villain they didn't choose in Heidi and frankly, if it hadn't been the final season+watching with someone else, I would have left.

It starts to click when it remembers the humour via figures like Simon and Jase, embraces the flamboyance of the warlocks, plays into a villain strand that works for Baines
Clary allies with her brother but with intresting tension between two separate desires
, brings in the Seelie's for some time. Kimberly-Sue Murray as the Seelie Queen was a miscast, not as bad as Baines but she didn't quite land a lot of the flirting humour, she could be good but it lacked that bit of spark too many times. Went for appropriate big finale runs which went decently, kept with go big, have heart and have flair which worked for it but led to some odd pacing and some "really, your going to have a conversation at this time? Right now is really appropriate?" Final battle is a damp squib due to pacing, the show's "this is our final goodbye" finale was nice and sweet

-Simon and Izzy would have worked after first season when she liked the sweet, innocent Simon but they had become good friends. Maia however had created such a strong romance with Simon and when they ended the romance, though that was well done and with logical reasons, the "bringing back SimmonxIzzy" was hanging over it. Some flickers but also some really bad written stuff for the new romance

-I feel the shadow hunters should have arrested the group for having romantic talks while city was under demon attack

-Liked seeing Simon's sister again

-Lorenzo was best lizard ever

-I wish the Queen and Jason's relationship had better build up

-Jace being forced to tell truth due to being tied to Seelie was funny (as was the guard describing the real power of their kind)

-I feel they undercut their epilogue by having Clary remember having done decent lingering tragedy about her losing her runes.

As a show overall, it was very erratic. Started with a first half of first season that I only kept watching for another, it tended to be good for opening half hour and then painfully slow and bad for rest of it. The major salvation was Simon's confused normality in this shadow world and Izzy's amusement with Simon, Magnus had his moments as the ancient warlord but was over the top a little too much. Clary felt a bit too "centre of the universe/special one", cast initially struggled to find their tone and writing that was poor in terms of clunky dialogue, insensitivity during big moments and bad plotting.

It did get better, the sense of humour came into play more, the cast found their feet, it tended to go big which worked for it's flair and humour, Simon provided amusing grounding then when he became a special one (which left a gap it never quite filled and "look how awesome singer simon is" was annoying) the addition of Maia provided that sensible head while the Seelie queen was humour gold. At it's best, it's flair and humour carried it along, the characters were likeable and it provided a light fantasy bit of fun. However it's main villains were rarely intresting and romances struggled to click consistently with a more a sense of "I want so and so to be happy", Isabel became sidelined and it didn't always juggle resources well. When it veered towards the serious or going for big drama, it tended to be clunky and was best when it just relaxed, had a bit of fun. All in all, had more of a nice time then a bad one but wouldn't recommend it
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:53 am

Watched first season of dark comedy Barry, premise: Hitman Barry Berkman (Bill Hader) stumbles upon an acting less led by the demanding Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) and is lured by the companionship, the acting so he tries to live a double life, a wannabe actor and hitman. Naturally this is not easy....

A bit slow at the start, comedy isn't particularly funny though has moments with Checnyan leaders (played by Glenn Fleshler and Anthony Carrigan), by Cousineau's flair and arrogant, the self absorption at times of Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg) and some of the best comedy is with police. The comedy is fairly rare but the story is decent, watching the two strands of Barry's life hamper with each other, some good action scenes when Barry is being a hitman and a willingness to go dark. I liked seeing Sally developed as a character, I liked seeing the secondary romance (more then the first), well done ending.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby PeanutButterToast » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:06 pm

I just discovered a show made in Hong Kong years ago called "Three Kingdoms RPG" (At least that's what the wiki said), about a modern day gaming addict who accidentally gets teleported to the Three Kingdoms period and runs into some of the historical characters. Idk if it's any good or not, but the premise sounds hilarious.

The official link to it is here (Has English subs, but the Chinese sounds a bit different.): https://www.encoretvb.com/english/video ... 9411611001

Edit: Got the title wrong. Oops.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby PeanutButterToast » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:49 am

Okay, so far, I'm like 5 episodes in. I don't know why all of the historical people's names are different, please pardon my ignorance. For example, Liu Bei is Lau Bei, Zhuge Liang is Chugot Leung, etc. It's not too hard for me to figure out who is who (especially since Guan Yu is SUPER red), but I still wonder why.

The concept is silly. Fun, but super silly. The main character is from modern day Hong Kong, and gets sent back in time through a typhoon (because why not I guess). He is a well known online gamer for a Three Kingdoms online game, and idolizes Zhuge Liang, even choosing him as his main character in the video games. After being sent back in time and actually meeting him, the two don't really see eye to eye. Especially since at first, the main character is a real jerk, and even insults his wife to his face at their wedding. But some fun moments happen, like him teaching the characters some modern day vernacular, under the guise of being from "Jizhou Hong Kong".

Definitely a low budget looking show, with battle scenes only having a few people at a time as opposed to Three Kingdoms 2010. Just saying. If you like battle scenes, this isn't the show for that. It focused more on the internal stuff, and personal relationships between both historical and fictional characters. Lots of talking, not so much fighting. I love that Yue Ying is very much a part of the show, and it depicts her as being just as intelligent as her husband. She spends most of the time being sick though, and translates military strategies from all over the world (including India and Parthia) for Zhuge Liang to read. Is this show historically inaccurate? Oh heck yes, but I found it fun and entertaining. Plus I love shows that throw history upside down for fun.

A moment that made me laugh is when he's trying to explain Disneyland to someone. He ends up just saying that in Jizhou there are people who go to a special park with rides, and pet a giant mouse and a tall duck.

Some other moments that made me laugh (despite probably being completely inaccurate) were:

Zhuge Liang learning about, and applying, the Macedonian Phalanx formation (sorta) in the Battle of Bowang Slope after Yue Ying translated some Western military documents.

The main character "inventing" the ham sandwich and feeding it to the troops, which helped increase their strength and morale.

The main character talking to Zhuge Liang about the search engine Google. It doesn't go well. :lol:

Yue Ying and Zhuge Liang trying curry for the first time...and hating it.

I don't want to spoil everything, but I am easily amused and found it funny. Silly, but funny. Another big point I really appreciated was that Zhuge Liang is still a genius WITHOUT the main character's help. It's not one of those "I'm from the future! This is what you should do!". It's more of a "Wow, he figured this out without technology!" kind of a thing.

I should also add that although I find it okay so far, the acting is....not so good in my opinion. Especially the main character. I might get through the rest of it though, just out of curiosity. I wonder if there are other shows like this.
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