Favorite Television Shows

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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:57 am

Sun Fin wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:Hopefully you will enjoy the Three Musketeers for most of the three seasons, it has a lot of good stuff, but it just took it's toll. Don't know, maybe bodyguards and playboys of an absolutist monarch where well known democrats, lovers of the poor and feminists and I'm doing the writers a disservice :wink:


I've not read the original book but i'd always presumed they were Robin Hood figures who did look out for the poor despite other failings? No comment on democracy, feminism etc. I've watched the first few episodes, it's not the best TV I've ever seen but I'm enjoying it. I particularly like Athos' character.


Sorry, keep forgetting to reply to this. Read the first book awhile back and from what I recall, they are (adjusting a bit for it being ancient and that their attitude towards the awesome Milady is misogynistic nowadays) sort of good hearted playboys and adventurers, they aren't Robin Hood but they aren't mean to the poor and if I recall rightly, would help them if they saw something.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:17 pm

That's cool, I'm actually thinking of putting the book on my to read list. It's fairly long at the moment though! Finished season one. Personally I really enjoyed it. Found their attitude towards the educated women pretty out of character (or out of period?) but otherwise didn't feel it jarred to badly. Looking forward to season 2!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:59 am

Watched Marvel/Netflix superhero show Iron Fist. Premise: The Rand family were killed in plane crash in Himalaya mountains, their bodies never found. So when, 15 years later, a man (Finn Jones) turns up at the Rand company HQ declaring to be the dead child Danny, brought up in a monastery, fair to say it is met with scepticism. Why yes, this does have similarities to Batman Begins...

Hints that a show you plan to watch might not be very good, 1) bad reviews, 2) "was made for the fans, not the critics", 3) "bad reviews are due to Trump making rich white guys unpopular". It could just be this is a bad show and in truth, it starts really badly and at best recovers to a "sometimes decent but often with major dips". It did have to tackle two issues early on: 1) That beginning has been used by likes of Arrow and Batman, it is a superhero trope. I felt they managed to ensure their version was different enough (closer to Batman then Arrow) but writing was poor. 2) The "let's do kungfu and eastern fighting styles with a white superhero" issue. Danny Rand avoids being the white saviour thankfully but it is hard to say it would have been hurt by having an Asian lead or that it wouldn't have been potentially enhanced. It didn't help that it took a long time till Jones didn't look like a white poser doing kungfu, he had a good sense of speed but it took awhile till he felt like a warrior and he is not always able to maintain that sense of warrior. Which was further exposed by Jessica Henwick pulling it of considerably better as Colleen Wing, her action scenes tended to have oomph.

Problem is, almost everything that makes Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage work is absent. Strong lead? Danny Rand is an idiot that even his friends start to pick up on it, they perhaps meant for innocence of a child taken away into a monastery (there are a few nice nods to his being unused to modern world but surprisingly few) but it more felt like idiot. Interesting characters and strong cast? Um.... Henwick is a strong performer but even the usually reliable Rosario Dawson feels subdued at times, Tom Pelphrey struggles to find his tone as business owner Ward for awhile, Jones is the worst of the four lead actors in the netflix shows. Romance? Works better a pairing as friends. Humour? Some but performances, humour, just about everything is hit by bad dialogue which does nobody any favours. Nods to other shows? There are some which are nice for those who watch the other shows but won't ruin your enjoyment if you don't.

Action? Hit and miss. Wing has some of the best and there is one episode with some excellent fights but generally your not guaranteed strong fights, early ones could be flat then grew fine over time but when compared to the constant action excellence of Daredevil, it is hard not to be disappointed. Big baddie? It has a intriguing one at start then switch to one whose motives feel cartoony without quite having the charisma to make up for it. What it also made realize is how each hero has been so embedded in their location, Daredevil is Hell Kitchen's through and through, Jessica Jones her apartment of misfits, Luke Cage and Harlem. With Danny Rand it is... who knows. One one hand you have the Eastern part with the dojo and so on but bar one beautiful Chinese New Year's scene, it fails to touch upon Asian American life or the east in a meaningful way. Or the rich Rand business, that could have been an interesting look at corporate America but it doesn't dig into that either.

The writing is poor. Some awful dialogue and "I'm saying what you can clearly see is happening", contrivances to get story going, characters making contradictory and sometimes downright stupid decisions to move story along. Even when they get it right, one can still ways other shows would have done it so much better, not helped by the times it borrows from it's sister shows for some big momenta and does it worse. Oh and big business is bad is not original or intresting, business politics can be very intresting but not when written so flat.

It has been so bad a show, reviewers have found their looking forward to the big Defenders team up to have gone down.

- I liked Joy and Ward's dynamic though it wasn't popular, Joy is a likeable figure who is coming into her own, building her confidence but reflecting a more innocent past. Ward, not always helped by an initially erratic performance from Pelphrey, his care for sister, the stress he is under, the ruthlessness, the drug issue (though it was a simple handling of it rather then interesting exploration). There is something among the siblings or Ward's relationship with his father that crackles at times. Harold's death did bring to mind the Luke Cage midseason killing but far worse done and as baddie, only really works becuase of his connection to others and his ruthless (and in one case, utter stupid) kill

-Danny and Ward need lessons in "how not to seem insane" (I really liked the guy who pretended to be a doctor and nearly killed Danny while doctor was pretty good).

-I liked the scene where Wing is looking like she is being stalked, set to be attacked and then turns out to be a training exercise, with amusing rebukes, for her pupils. Wing did have some good moments with them. Also enjoyed Wing in the fighting pits, was the only action scenes in early episodes that worked well

-Jeri Hogarth's few moments were fun as provided a sense of humour, nice nod to Karen Page being a journalist

-It took about four episodes for Danny as a fighter to begin to work, a good hallway fight and some very good fights in episode 5. Episode 6 had a good battle arena with Scythe, the Bride of Nine Spiders and the Veznikov twins while later Zhou Cheng had flashes of personality and an unusual but fun fight

-Temple is certainly a good thinker on her feet when comes to healing and she had some nice lines (but also some really really bad ones) but Dawson did feel tired at times. Her charisma still saved some scenes that a lesser actress couldn't have done

-Wouldn't it have been nice if the Rand plant was innocent of causing cancer rather then clearly meant for us to think they are guilty? Or that the businessmen aren't moustache twirling evil doers who don't care and that Danny's naivete is a nice change rather then irresponsible stupidity

-Glowing fist looks nice, hand print on window was a great symbol for the Hand, Lawerence's murder was well done, I liked the old footage of a past Iron Fist

-Gao was an effective villain though better in Daredevil as a clever, manipulative opponent, she clearly scorns the stupidity of Danny. Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez) was fairly good , has decent charisma, can see how he gathered people to him but his sense of morality and against the system felt like a teenage revolt and he didn't quite have the force of personality to overcome that.

-Davos was certainly petulant but felt far less annoying then Danny and the scorned friend angle was a nice one. He, Gao and Temple pointing out some of the show's/Danny's stupidity was fun

-I'm tempted to ask that series 2 be about Wing rather then Rand. Or Davos rather then Rand.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:28 pm

Enjoying Marc Warren in season 2. He was one of my favourite things about Hustle! Loving his character here!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:03 am

My sister and I loved Hustle, was such a fun show.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:06 am

Dong Zhou wrote:My sister and I loved Hustle, was such a fun show.


Up there with Friends as one of my all time favourite shows!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:14 am

Never really got into Friends, didn't catch it at the time and seems nice enough when I see an episode since
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:03 pm

Completely random observation DZ - can you see a resemblance between the Queen from the Musketeers and Wang Yuanji's character from DW? I mean I know one is Asian and the other Caucasian but... You know?
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ― Nelson Mandela
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:06 pm

First thoughts were "Sun Fin has clearly begun imagining things" and when I looked... yeah I can actually see that.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:00 pm

Watched a Netflix CYOA (choose your own adventure) Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale with the the TV show's version of Puss from the Shrek movies (Eric Bauza) trapped in a book controlled by the narrator (Jeff Bennett), the viewers selecting options during adventures. In terms of basic quality, it is well animated and voiced, more leans towards the cartoon then the Shrek films but those like myself who never seen show aren't left out, plenty of humour with the situations he is in and Puss/Narrator either arguing or trying to woo viewer to their side, nice adventures. The quality scene by scene will vary a tad but none are boring and some are brilliant (particularly "the wrong choices")

As a CYAO, it was fun, made so easy to go back and see the other paths one could have taken, I would have made clearer "if you let time run out, we pick one your on" rather then suggest it would choose randomly. I'm not sure this will be more then a niche thing for Netflix, seems like a lot of work by everyone involved for a one off 30-45 worth thing that people will play once.

=====

Watched Canadian adaptation of Van Helsing. Premise: The sky has gone dark and vampires now roam the earth, hunting down humans. The army orders Axel (Jonathan Scarfe) to guard a sleeping lady (Kelly Overton) who they see as potentially the key to the war.

Full credits for making their six second credit sequence intresting and quite haunting with quite a simple idea
noise from the opening scene continues while black screen with red Van Helsing on. Usually not the laughter of puppies, more like screams...
. Ha a bad first episode but second episode explores the background of the situation and that helps get it on track, the leads Overton and Scarfe can sometimes fail to click in a scene but the scenario is nicely done, decent if slightly underexplored baddies grow as season goes on, good twists and turns, knows when to change the pace or situation to keep things fresh, and a good set of side characters like Sam (Christopher Heyerdahl), Doc (Rukiya Bernard), Mohammed (Trezzo Mahoro) and one later character
Susan (Hilary Jardine)
. It isn't a great show but it is a nice enjoyable one where I can't predict where they are going

=====

Saw second half of season 6 of Once Upon A Time which did pick up after one or two slow episodes. It's remembering Ginnifer Goodwin is a good comic actress and that Snow White was actually funny in first seasons was nice, some decent short term storylines, a lot of the characters remain fun remains fun, some nice nods to past, Tiger Lilly (Sara Tomko) shows promise. Zelina remains sidelined
when even your big "this casts time is ending" barely puts her in...
, one character who should be font and centre in this season is amazingly sidelined
Bell. In a season about her son
, there is a musical episode with good "take a tune and create our own song" and done with a sense of humour rather then played straight.

The big bad is fun and very strong near the end but somewhat hampers itself
Gideon (Giles Matthey) is a fine but not much more figure then it reveals that the big bad is in fact Black Fairy (Jaime Murray). This would have been fine over a full season but it left her story being a bit rushed. I'm a fan of Jaime Murray but it took her a few episodes to find the right tone, it took a few episodes to build her story and once they had the pieces in place, the Black Fairy become a very good villain but that was quite close to the end.


The nature of the season also works against it though worked for the finale.
it is the big farewell to most of the cast and so it went for nods, little rushed storylines to do nods to the past and everything gets a little unfocused and squeezed. Returning to "everybody forgetting about magic" worked surprisingly well for finale, bar Henry has clearly not learnt way not to appear insane is "magic is real". Does go for a big happy ending which means finale loses something near the end.


next season thoughts
Emma, Zelina, Snow White, Charming, Henry, Belle are confirmed going. I can see Rumepltskin staying as the image of the dark one but as a main figure, can't see how he, Hook and Regina can stay bar ageing up the cast but don't think they have been confirmed gone. I'll miss Zelina though the Wicked Witch was wasted potential, a very fun baddie but too many seasons they didn't know what to do with her, even in finale (bar her song). Snow White and Charming were a sweet couple but felt their humour kind of got neutered from the early seasons when they were some of the funnier characters with a sparky romance that got turned a bit safe. Emma and Henry I was not often too fond of but provided straight figures for others to bounce off, I like Belle and her opening romance with Rumple, the way his heart began to crack upon for her but she got trapped in a repating storyline over the years.

Am I sad they are going? Yes. I enjoyed Once Upon A Time and was delighted when I discovered it again on Netflix, it had fun adventures, a fun sense of humour, willing to go for flair, enjoyable villains and romance. Better however they go while show is still fun rather then sour memories. My concern with the "soft reboot" is it seems like the same writers so if the cast might run out of steam then what about writers? I worry they have used up so much fairy tales and Disney adventures, where do they go now? Only glimpses we have seen are a child, older Henry repeating the same story we saw in season 1 and Tiger Lilly


====

Saw part 3 of season 2 of Lucifer. They moved rather quickly to get past what they did at end of part 2 which was a shame and moved onto other storylines. It does feel they are slightly struggling to juggle the cast though Mazikeen is a lot of fun when she comes into play, slightly moved away from it's usual formula towards one more centred on Lucifer's family but it worked well as they made a strong core. Still retains humour, nice chemistry and even had Lucifer sing which was enjoyable moment. I am hoping it goes back to being a bit more Lucifer/Decker centred though in season 3.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
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