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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:16 am
by Dong Zhou
Watched Star Trek: Short Treks, 4 15 minute episodes with only Saru's one that I would consider "have to see for reason" but even that can arguably be done without.

After seeing season 2, is probably better to watch them before main show's second season as one or two connect into season 2. Looking forward to next set of shorts

Watched Star Trek Discovery season 2, some clear attempts to address criticism, a more optimistic tone for example, they drop Burnham struggling with Vulcan vs humanity, they do more token efforts to have the crew involved but seems like unless they have an episode to themselves (with obligatory making it about Burnham), they don't get fleshed out, more like bits of extra dialogue and maybe a scene or two over the season. They also noted Tilly's popularity and other but willingness to use that led to some forced moments, a feeling of trying way too hard.

Season felt first segment bad, second segment good and showing what the show could be, build up to finale bad, decent finale. First segment was hit by a tendency for over-dramatic melodrama as they tried to use big powerful emotional moments to cover as they knitted pieces together slowly and before said pieces can become intresting, major scenes when subtly might be best it went full blast tears, lengthy statements that seem to show no awareness of when time might be of the essence.

The good section works as plot points knit together, the mystery of the overall plot goes along nicely, the captain
Captain Pike
fitted in excellently and they touched on a few issues with the captain, most of the new characters did suffer from a lack of time though. The adventures on planets went along nicely, they felt like a crew with the well established characters moving well, a Burnham family strand was slowest to get going
Spock's insanity was a drag till they got to Talos, the nods there helped and once Spock was free, his shots at Burnham (and vice versa) were funny
but funny once it got going, some lovely nods to the past.

The end phase suffered from the reveal of the mystery not being that good, the plot lacking tension and playing into some of the bad sides like the melodrama, there is always time for a big speech even as others are dying and just doesn't have the grand pull required. There are good moments on individual level but the overall writing isn't strong enough to make one care for the plot. Finale does have the "there is always time for..." issue but is visually impressive and has some tension even if not having the emotional punch they may have hoped for.

Burnham remains a problem, she isn't a bad character in and in herself (though there are plenty I prefer) but the fanfiction element remains. The "Spock's family" issue they do try to address to... limited success and works better here, they mock her centre of the universe thing but... she remains centre of the universe. Key plots? About her all the time. A planet that is related to another character? Said character is only allowed to share Burnham limelight. Episode about a character? Shared the limelight with Burnham. Even the small moments, Burnham is squeezed in as a key figure even when it doesn't make logical sense and the way some moments are written makes her seem, inadvertently, very self obsessed.

Lack of time is an issue, I would personally take less visual quality in exchange for 22 episodes so things can get explored, that it can explore it's cast be in the bridge crew or new figures added. It hard to have emotional connection about characters that only one really gets to know in a "focus on them episode for time in two seasons", there were great idea's touched on in episodes to have some effect but didn't have time to explore afterwards as focus always on the main plot and the adventure of the day.

Loved Captain Pike, his easy grip on the crew while contrasting well with Lorca, the sense of religion and decency, his glimpses to a horrifying future but seeing it as his duty. Wish things like his faith in such scientific times, the missed the war angles and more had got explored

-When the Red Angel was all about Burnham....Spoofing it shows they knew it was a problem

-The "why didn't Spock ever mention having a sister" they just about pulled off but I can't blame those for whom it was still "nope that is silly." Did love the Spock vs Burnham spats

-How did Burnham not get in trouble for ignoring the dying (though didn't die) security officer Nahn the entire time when facing Airiam? The Airiam was done well in the episode but had little build up till she was infected so her struggles had minimal impact and even then, little build up of her as a person till her episode

-I do enjoy when L'Rell and the Klingon appear

-Georgiou suffers from the Tilly problem, fun but at times oh so forced

-I suspect Dr Culber actually leaving would have been the better storyline, his story better explored then most

-I liked Number 1

-What was the point of Reno? She has a sense of humour but she got so little screen time and I'm not sure where she is going to get more

-I hope season 3 sees them explore a desolate future before the inevitable jumping back to another show's timeline


Fear The Walking Dead season 4 part b was... fine. It was episodes after episodes of 6. The show was a big shift as it moved focus from the main family onto Morgan which... was fine but not particularly intresting and added even more new characters who were... ok. I think they were meant to be funnier then they were about humour didn't click, didn't hate them but didn't warm to them and meant less screen time for the old guard and those who had come in and thrived during part a.

The villain is a big flaw, Tonya Pinkins makes a very valiant effort and any success is down to her but the villain is badly underwritten and doesn't get in her head or always make logical decisions. This at least isn't inconsistent a show, it lacks the very best of part A but avoids the fast lows but there isn't much in tension, when they do manage it they undermine the very next episode, or emotional punch. It was fine for this half season but I'm not sure about another half season of 6's.


Watched Killjoys season 3 which went well, very much has that sense of humour and ability to be pleased with jokes, dynamics of the main three but most of the adventures are connected to the big overall plot. The villain is given important support figures which helps provide more threat, more interest, they have their own sense of humour and fun twists. Adds some new characters to the team who take a little time to settle but fit the humorous tone, finale made me think they feared cancellation but was suitably large.


Watched Jurassic short Battle of Big Rock, directed by Colin Trevorrow and sequel to Fallen Kingdom, eight minutes long and released on Youtube. Wasn't fussed but heard really good things and premise of family stumping upon dinosaurs seemed my thing as always liked the human reaction to dinosaurs moments in the film like the shock and wow's.

Visually good but at times one could tell the family was in front of screen rather then dinosaurs, manages to use each of the eight minutes to tell story without feeling short-changed or squeezed, builds up family well with cast doing a good job. The dinosaur scenes have well done tension with good reactions to events and action is effective, the shorter time makes it more effective then the movies as it concentrates fully on those eight minutes to get you on edge of the seat. Hope they do more

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:11 am
by Dong Zhou
Watched some of the Gamers franchise

Watched the original The Gamers, the first of the Gamers trilogy (the rest of which I had watched), only 48 minutes. Premise: University dorms, four players try to rescue the princess, engaging in rule arguments, errors as they hunt the shadow as well. Their loudness annoys nearby female student who occasionally intervenes to complain.

This felt different from the films, only Nathan Rice the usual DM is in this one and this time he is a rule obsessed player, the tone is more towards typical gamers are lonely nerds comedy and shorter time means relations aren't build up. The humour feels dated and stereotypical but there are fun moments in the adventure themselves as plans go awry or they roll badly, there is a fun running gag about a PC whose player isn't there having to be kept in the game. I didn't warm to any of the characters, ending was a decent idea but wasn't quite executed well enough.

They did spin off's about the group trapped in our world The Gamers: The Shadow Menace that sets the game has become legendary but difficult to find but Meghan (Anna Clausen Williams) has found it. With her group she starts a heist game set in modern day, the characters the same one from the fantasy world...

The adventure is nice enough, particularly as the group becomes more self aware, dealing with events forced on them and villain does a decent job. The adventure has humour and some nice nods, builds well to suitable finale, would have liked a bit more on their adjustment to modern world.

The "real life" group is the more intresting, the attempts of the gamers who don't entirely take it seriously at first to find any advantage they can, back-chatting the dm, some good humorous exchanges, why people game worked well. There are touches on some real issues including acknowledging it's "gaming" group were all males was wrong but it's treatment of it's gay characters feels like well meaning but dated campy humour while other half of the group feel underdeveloped despite some good and sweet scenes.

Clearly hoping to have more stories but doesn't seem like it raised enough money, I would have happily watched more of the gamer group and how the adventure was to unfold after a nicely done ending.

Another spin off was Gamers: The Series, a series of vignettes that links up the Gamers TV stuff with the second film. The idea's are fun as to what the adventurers have been doing, some nice nods including cast from other of their shows and to real life (particularly the wizard's one) but the performances don't quite pull it off and it falls flat.


Watched Humans and Households which switched the D&D by having four fantasy figures (the traditional wizard, warrior, cleric and thief) playing the game but theirs was set in our mundane world with their own challenges and roles like activists, athlete, nurse and nerd. The streaming service I was on only had two of the three episodes which left it feeling incomplete but company posted all three on youtube thankfully...

The set up in "real life" is fairly fun but the first episode is hampered by set up in the game and setting up some bad recurring jokes before a decent ending, second episode better as it focuses on the "game" with good cutbacks to "real life". A fair few things don't work, Trin Miller's attempts to play a comedy nerd, the activist use of drugs which are recurring jokes, Thomas Gofton can be a bit too shouty as the warrior but that is rare. Third episode sees the adventure not quite clicking with the humour but the end phase was enjoyable, a nice nod to believable gamer frustrations they have played on before but with a fresh angle.

The humour is more hit then miss, little shots at modern society from their gamers perspective
my favourite was white privilege is a broken feat
, the confusion about modern technology, the errors from the gamers. The DM (Christian Doyle) is fun, getting frustrated while being helpful when need be to his players, the real life as the gamers struggle with the new concepts and try to trick their way out is enjoyable, hearing modern life from there perspective. The adventure due to said confusions and the humour about society is fun when it gets going. There is an adorable dog and they use that to amusing effect.


Cyberpunk Natural One, Premise: Monica (Monica Zelak) has found someone she loves in Ryan (Daniel Bradford) and so she summons her brother Gary (Christian Doyle). The siblings have an agreement that any likely partner has to pass a gamer's test and this one will be set in a cyberpunk game. Can Ryan prove himself in the three episodes?

The romance is sweet enough if perhaps a little try too hard, plenty of humour among the group including their reaction to the romance or annoying/favouring the DM. The siblings have a decent bond, the cyber stuff doesn't stand out bar some intresting choices by Ryan, it is better when they pull away to group playing the game. Final episode is a little lacking, the build up is better then the finale with the humour and other things not quite clicking.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:14 pm
by SunXia
Watched the last season of The Big Bang Theory and it made me laugh until the end. It has its problematic issues in certain jokes but I still enjoyed a lot of it!!

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:54 am
by Ranbir
I've just started a tremendous drama/thriller from Amazon Prime called "The Longest Day in Chang'an"

Based on the novel of the same name this is a tremendously high quality production and as the story unravels hour per hour (each episode is part of the same day). I was hooked from episode one.

Sadly I can't find this novel having a western release yet. Sad!

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:11 pm
by Dong Zhou
SunXia wrote:Watched the last season of The Big Bang Theory and it made me laugh until the end. It has its problematic issues in certain jokes but I still enjoyed a lot of it!!

Glad you enjoyed it to the end and the finale landed.

Ranbir wrote:I've just started a tremendous drama/thriller from Amazon Prime called "The Longest Day in Chang'an"

Based on the novel of the same name this is a tremendously high quality production and as the story unravels hour per hour (each episode is part of the same day). I was hooked from episode one.

Sadly I can't find this novel having a western release yet. Sad!

What is it about?


Watched final season of Preacher which was... flat at best for much of the season before a late rally, finale didn't quite click though was decent. I got the sense from others that final season of Preacher was a slog for them as well and that it's dance near the end crossed the line of good taste at least once.

The adventures of the three leads didn't work so well in this one, they get split early and Custer's strand particularly tends to fall flat, he has tended to not be great when left alone and some of the figures he is with (old and new) are underwritten. Tulip tends to have spark but some of the characters she is with don't click, Cassidy's strand works well. The main interest for most of it is when things are in the baddies camp, the humour works there the best, there are some intresting stories that build up but the treatment of Star changes from "entertaining baddie who suffers amusing misfortune" towards the "the show is being an absolute jerk towards him" and it diminishes Star while leaving one uneasy.

It does rally by getting some good combinations going and using it's villains effectively again, a sense of building up the story to good effect, some decent flashbacks and humour about the scenario. It still has issues like some underdeveloped side characters and some big new figures
like Jesus
not clicking but it papers over the flaws, enjoying the humour, the scenario, the nice touches. The finale suffers from trying to do a bit too much so nothing quite comes off despite some decent idea's, might have been better spread out over another episode perhaps.

As a show, it was always a little hit and miss, at it's best it was subversive, willing to take on big themes about religion and a comedy style that could stray close to the line but was often funny for me, well done action scenes that used lack of budget to it's advance. Show had a strong overall baddie (funny as things went wrong, ruthless, clever) though if he was secondry to season baddie then it could lose something, one or two big religious figures were well done but most the performances failed to give a real spark.

I felt it lost something after first season, the small town preacher aspect worked well for it, characters got plenty of time but once they left, several side characters found themselves fighting for time and there was a limit to how they use locations. Custer could be frustrating and his strands tended to be a weak point in the season, show relying on the baddie or the two friends to give spark and humour, managed that more often then not but glad the show is over as felt it had run it's course.


Third season of Money Heist had the challenge of story seems to have been meant to be done in two seasons but popularity sees revival so how to handle it? It is a bit mixed, it uses the same setting for a different bank target, the Neymar cameo is clumsy (I get wanting to nod towards Brazil but wasn't well handled), it seems slightly too in awe of the the Professor. In many ways the basic reasons they return for another robbery works well, the team forms quickly but one key plot in that feels "trying too hard to justify"
Rio gets tortured
and they are a bit too keen to make the group heroes. Some of the plotting suffers from "I have seen this before", one character struggles to fit for a role
, one new figure feels too similar to another figure (and inferior) while rest of new parts of gang are underwritten.

Yet much of the old charm remains, the plots grow away from the old one to become fresh and provide different challenges, good relations between the main group that have evolved from the past two seasons while still containing the same flaws that hinder them. The more the season goes on, the more it feels like it is standing on one two feet even if a little too in love with likes of Professor still


Watched second and seemingly final season of 3Below: Tales of Arcadia which ironed out a few flows and flowed smoothly, some humans could be a little annoying at their worst but generally a sweet hearted tale, some decent action, humour relied less on things I didn't like. Nicely links into original Arcadia story, the Acaridians are nice figures adjusting to their life and who get hurt by events while generally careful to avoid figures being joke characters, built up well to a decent final with a sweetness to it even if the final boss was a little underwhelming. A likeable enough show once it got it's humour right.


Finished Elementary, the final season quickly extracted themselves from the position they had put themselves in which slowed the start. The final season had plenty of nice nods with some of the more memorable figures making a one off return and storylines being wrapped up amidst building towards the season baddie. The baddie was a decent idea and done nicely enough but when it got to ending phase, it felt a little too early and it lacked a little something special. The finale did it's job in wrapping things up but there was an element that felt like things were trying just that little bit too hard and didn't quite flow as smoothly as it might have hoped.

As a show, it was a nice solid show for me once I got a hang of what it was. With gender changes, this went in with a lot of outrage but I felt they handled it well, there was never the romance people feared, the changes including one guest figure being trans was handled smoothly. There were plenty of nods, they used various aspects of the Sherlock franchise and personality for their adventures and personalities.

As a detective drama it was not about allowing audience to solve the case, it was more about trying to make the cases intresting enough for the 45 minutes, building a sense of team Sherlock and covering issues like his drug use and struggle to keep sober. The dynamics in the team were probably the best part of the show, Sherlock was an intresting figure and though he warmed to his friends, they did keep an element of his stand offish-ness and their frustrations with him. They show did suffer from their Moriaty cast member going onto bigger things, had made such an impact with great performance, dynamics and twists. No season villain (a few impressive one off baddies), though some were good, ever quite lived up to that and their attempts to skirt round the Moriaty issue didn't fill the hole.

It was a fairly consistent show, had a dip during mid-seasons but was usually a nice enough 45 minutes to pass the time, one of those I wouldn't particularly recommend but I liked it well enough.


Watched superhero show Umbrella Academy, adapted from the Dark Horse comic book. Premise: On October 1, 1989, 43 women around the world give birth simultaneously despite not being pregnant before then. Billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) tries to hunt these children down and gets seven of them. These children have powers and form the Umbrella Academy but as adults, they have split away only to be summoned...

First season was fairly good but with the odd patches that need fixing or could be better developed. They balance out the many characters well so each gets sufficient time and a storyline of their own, I would like to see more of the helpers in the Academy like Mother (Jordan Claire Robbins) and Pogo (Adam Godley) as they were very intriguing, a good cast, show loves music but sometimes they pick the wrong song for the moment. Long term plot developed well enough, looks visually good, some good twists, handles the weirdness like number 5 being an adult in a child's body well. Some sweet moments, lovely potential romances, glimpses of pain.

First episode was a bit slow but warmed into it, some characters hit instantly while others like Klaus (Robert Sheehan) take longer and I suspect he is meant to be more humorous then he is, some thought put into the impact of their individual power. Some good humour at the situations characters find themselves in while it builds damaged family dynamics and seven people messed up by Hargreaves, some decent action and a fun season long plot.

Sometimes the pacing is a bit off, the villains have some fun moments but performances are a bit flat so there scenes end up dragging, Vanya's (Ellen Page) is impacted by an uninteresting dynamic and that a big twist is really obvious from the moment go but have to wait a long time to watch it unfold but she shines when with the family she has such a conflicted relationship with.


Watched the third and final season of Daredevil which really enjoyed. The return of Kingpin to prominence helped as he provided a great central villain once more, they kept the story focused (one flashback episode) on their main strand and the impact it was having on others. More use of Foggy helped give heart and balance out Matt Murdoch's self introspection, new characters like Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley), Agents Nadeem (Jay Ali) and Dex (Wilson Bethel) integrated well with good impact.

What had always worked with Daredevil remained, strong characters, some excellent action scenes but it had worked on what had gone wrong with season two, a more cohesive story, that return of Kingpin, better use of Daredevil support, better writing. Matt can be mopy but this was balanced off by those around him and nice use of religion as part of that, mostly avoided Netflix bloat with the 13 episodes though a slight slow down before ending phase, strong villains who were given a lot of screen time and built up. I did feel sometimes frustrated with Matt and his internal issues when he didn't have a figure to bounce off like the religious figures or his friends, the use of the FBI is well done and helps provide a grounded element to the plot.

I did feel the end phase suddenly moved a bit too quickly, an element came in late on and was brilliant but had been kept (which expected) back for too long
Vanessa's return
, final was good but not excellent, things knitted together well enough, good action and lead on nicely to a season 4 that alas will not be. It was a very good season when Marvel/Netflix had some wobbles, sorry the show has been cancelled as has been two excellent (out of three) seasons and enjoyed the characters.

=The chemistry between Vanessa and Kingpin, after waiting so long I thought they had lost Ayelet Zurer and would be a twist to explain it away, was immediately strong and reminded me how good the romance was in first season. Wish they had more then two episodes

-Ray was useful in providing an ordinary figure on the ground, family helped warm me to him and his plot linked up well with the others

-Good sense of deep Fisk's control of the city is as it unfolded over season

-The fickleness and lack of responsibility of the media is not a compliment

-Sister Maggie's hard but not unsympathetic handling of Matt was intresting to watch in first few episodes and sorry there wasn't more of that

-Didn't care for Matt's internal discussions with imaginary Kingpin or his father

-The build up for Dex as bullseye was good, with the tapes and Julie, the way he is switched was nicely done, his skill led to some impressive scenes, the closing scene but his final descent (particularly having just sought to gain Vanessa's support) felt rushed

-More role for Marci, I think they would have needed to integrate her more into Foggy's girlfriend who is nice, has a different attitude but doesn't integrate with the rest of the team

-Karen vs Fisk was a great scene

Daredevil was the first of the Marvel/Netflix when neither were, if I remember correctly, quite the all conquering (well Netflix seems on verge of major wobble) giants they are now. Show was expected to do well but there were bad memories of the film Daredevil while Agents of Shield had done nicely, other marvel shows hadn't worked. Could Daredevil get the costume right? What would the tone be? Would this be nice but not great?

It was a critical hit, it looked fantastic (was the first show I was in 4k), a good opening theme, the show developed strong and intresting characters like Mathew, Karen and Foggy who made a strong trio, Nurse Temple was introduced, a mixture between action (including some excellent setpeices) and lawyers. Tone was darker and more adult then Agents of Shield which helped it stand out, there was a sense of humour and hope of the underdog lawyers. The flaws like Netflix bloat wasn't known or noticed in the excitement, at the time the nods felt a lovely touch rather then "stop trying to pretend your part of the MCU" frustrations.

As well as the quality of it's action scenes, one master stroke was Kingpin whoch (from what I have seen) has been the best Marvel villain in the film and TV universe. The first season devoted a lot of time to build up the baddie, it shows his intelligence and the brutal scary power that could be unleashed but it also gave a romance. It wasn't just building the character, showing the ability and personality but also that chemistry, the love, the uncertainty and humanity of a heart beating. Marvel films often neglect the baddie, their TV shows are better but didn't tend to have real romances, let alone a glorious one like Kingpin's.

By season 2, some of the flaws of Marvel/Netflix was becoming clear and Daredevil was hit by that along with the attempt to act as build up to Defenders (which flopped) while setting up the Punisher (who I disliked in Daredevil but fantastic in his show show) and made some mistakes. There were welcome additions like Electra and Frank Castle but it was an erratic season that helped increase the sense of a franchise that was making mistakes and trapped in a circle. Season 3 really rebounded so overall I have greatly enjoyed Daredevil as a superhero TV show (particularly when Matt is balanced out) and I regret that Disney's own streaming service has ended a show that still felt like it had a lot further to go and to explore. I'll miss Kingpin

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:11 pm
by Dong Zhou
Watched first season of fantasy comedy JourneyQuest which comes in ten minute segments. Premise: Bard (Emilie Rommel Shimkus) is following her party through orc lands. Meanwhile the party led by the violent Glorian (Kevin Pitman) are on the quest, his group contains reluctant and inept wizard Perf (Gamers regular Christian Doyle) who serves as the main character, friendly cleric Carrow (Gamers regular Brian S. Lewis) and quiet ranger Nera (Anne K. Brady). Things do not go to plan...

Juggles it's cast effectively, it knows Glorian could become an annoying joke so uses him sparingly while giving enough time for the main dynamics and the orcs. A decent sense of humour be it ineptitude, figuring out puzzles (wish they had done more of this with Glorian), some nice stuff with the bard (though her big episode fell a bit flat), wiling to change up situation for humour, though some jokes do fall flat it tends to be fine as only ten minutes and nice enough atmosphere. Cast do a good job, some likeable enough figures and a good chemistry for a potential romance

I'm watching a BBC 10 minute thing at the moment and in comparison (I don't expect same quality and different type of comedy) and one thing I think JourneyQuest show gets wrong in first season is that the ten minutes feel over too soon. Not in the good way, it feels like momentum is really building and then cut off at times or that things haven't built up that episode, that it is a little too light a snack.

Second season: Some of the companies regulars like Jen Page turn up in side roles while they also get figures like Whedon favourite Fran Kranz (as bard Silver Tom) and former athlete Bob Sapp (as conquering ruler Karn, consort of Page's character Starling). It adds new strands like the bard's or the discomfort of the nobles with Karn's rule and his refusal to conform to stereotype of barbarian ruler as well as new threats to the adventure and a longer term mystery.

They did better making the ten minutes feel full, spark with villains, humour, good use of Glorion's carefully paced strand for humour, romance simmers without coming to boil yet. I feel that the main strand ie Perf and his group felt slightly underdone though fun particularly Rodrick though some intresting choices being made, some nice jokes about the stereotypes the nobles expert of Karn and his gentle, wise rule.


American Gods season 2 was a troubled production, the loss of show-runners Fuller and Michael Green half way through the scripts with actresses Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth walked, then replacement show runners Jesse Alexander was axed over budget, delays and finale issues with episode order cuts with rumours of script difficulties and cast unhappiness.

Surprisingly for such a chaotic season, it was... alright. The loss of their little tales of the Gods is much missed and overall this is a season that played for time, it was able to avoid being slow paced and it did move story on but I'm not sure the story was greatly advanced as they hope for a more stable third season production to really push on. It took out, bar one or two episodes, it's willingness to tackle issues and did play it somewhat safe overall.

A somewhat slow start to three season, some dialogue falling flat particularly as they adjust the rival team to deal with the changes, but after third episode it kicks into gear as much as it ever does, going along nicely. Some good duo's while Wednesday and Shadow as a duo stops dragging the show down, it is happy wandering off to try something different for an episode, a few moments where it touches on racism though sometimes clumsy and sometimes effective. Some decently done twists, some effective romances. Not everything works
the Baron strand was weird and flat
, the villains are slightly underwhelming compared to the figures around Wednesday/Shadow but season is more consistent then first season, less highs but also less pace issues and less boredom.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:41 am
by Ranbir
It is about a single day (and night) of Chang'an where a commander on death row is tasked with investigating criminal activity going on in the City. It's a beautiful snapshot in to Tang-era city life. The production value and detail put in makes it one of the best historical period pieces I've seen in years. It is a police procedural, political drama and captures all that can go on in a single day.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:40 pm
by Dong Zhou
Ranbir wrote:It is about a single day (and night) of Chang'an where a commander on death row is tasked with investigating criminal activity going on in the City. It's a beautiful snapshot in to Tang-era city life. The production value and detail put in makes it one of the best historical period pieces I've seen in years. It is a police procedural, political drama and captures all that can go on in a single day.

Sounds wonderful

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:44 pm
by Dong Zhou
Third season of Journeyquest, plenty of changes, it cuts out Karn strand and mostly focuses it one area as characters gather, Nara's actress is changed from Anne Kennedy Brad to Alyssa Kay, the episodes gradually grow beyond ten minutes towards fifteen minutes, new looks for the orc's. Of the changes, Karn strand isn't particularly missed as only realized at the end of the season, focusing on one area works well enough, episode lengths are filled properly so doesn't feel like it is padded, I preferred the old look for the orcs. Actress changed due to pregnancy and sadly that had an impact, Kay didn't connect so well with Perf's actor Christian Doyle in terms of romantic tension (difficult when coming in), took an episode or two to adjust to her different style though she did a nice job.

Mixed old with new well, explored Carrow's problems far better by integrating his story a bit more and the role of the Gods being pushed more, Glorion more to sidelines but when used it was to good impact. Tavern provided a good focal point for escapades, flirting but also moments of sweetness, sadness one or two songs with some enjoyable bar staff like Wonder Russell's Daggie that bounced well off main cast. I feel some of the sword's insults should be modernized in terms of attitudes, story builds well to finale, some good twists in the latter episodes that leave me curious as to how this will unfold.


Watched second and final season of Krypton, started slowly as some of the mother roles didn't click particularly Nyssa's and Lobo (Emmett J. Scanlan) was a bit hit and miss but it soon clicked. Good use of villain's once more and Colin Salmon strong as General Zod, they used the likes of Adam and Kem far better including getting them more in the story while doing less humour which meant the jokes felt less forced when they came. Some nice touches with Superman nods, built it's season adventure fairly well, used characters nicely.

I did feel the show did less well at building a sense of Krypton and the city, this was more focused on the fights between the characters, did some nice "now to do something a bit different" within the episode. It built nicely, had some decent twists yet when we got to the finale, the finale felt rushed and that they were building onto other things or doing things that it hadn't quite earnt the emotional right to do so finished on a bit of a squib but was intrigued as to what they would do next.

As a show overall, it was nice, fun little thing but bar some good villains like the General or anti-heroes like the Vex villains, not sure it stood out among other TV shows. It was clearly made with a lot of love for the Superman mythos and in first season I enjoyed the way it built into the city (something they badly missed in the second), the heroes were likeable enough but it lacked something special to match up with the Arrowverse or the now defunct Marvel/Netflix shows.


Watched BBC ten minute series State of the Union by Nick Hornby. Premise: Louise (Rosamund Pike) and Tom (Chris O'Dowd) have gone to a pub before their first marriage therapy session to try to rescue their marriage. Each of the ten episodes sees the two of them sit down as they wait for their appointment, talking about the marriage, what happened in the last session and the people they witness.

Each minute feels packed as they really explore their two characters in ways plenty of hour long episodes fail, exploring the marriage, their personalities for good and for ill, we see how each time their relationship has evolved (for better or worse) since the last session, their fears and hopes. The two leads give excellent performances, the dialogue and the characters are intresting, we were fully pulled in to their world. Captures the shared history and humour in a marriage but also the frustrations that can occur.

Excellent series, would highly recommend (bar unless it might touch nerves)


War of the Worlds, BBC 3 parter, critics don't seem to have liked it but possibly as I came in with really low expectations, I liked it well enough. Needed something to pass the time and it did that well enough, lead duo aren't particularly engaging but some nice side characters, some decent action (well I say action, aliens vs inferior humans), nicely set up and then the invasion has some good tension moments. The secondary storyline only works for episode 2 and in final episode, it is too clunky in the preachiness

Watched DC's The Swamp Thing, Premise: Doctor Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) returns to her Louisianan home of Marais to help try to fight a mysterious epidemic, possibly from the swamp that dominates the town. She isn't entirely welcomed back and soon in the swamp there are rumours of a monster (Derek Mears)...

This had a troubled time, seems to have been a split among DC higher ups about tone and various things, it was cut from 13 episodes to ten part way through and cancelled an episode in to it's showing. Usually this means a disaster but reviews were fairly good and though the cutting of episodes led to some rushed moments near end and incomplete strands, I thought it was a good season with a lot of potential for the future.

The leads Reed, Mears and Andy Bean as Alec Holland did a very good job, there was good chemistry, the main relation was done well, there was a sense of the mystic about the swamp, mystery unfolds nicely. The effects going into the Swamp Thing and his powers work really well, there was oomph behind the creature. Some nice characters like the police figures or Jason Woodrow (Kevin Durand) and his wife Caroline (Selena Anduze), a sense of place was being built around Marias, the main strand of the film moved along well and it integrated the teasing magical and nature well.

There were things to improve on, sometimes the swamp looked like a set, Arcane's work got a little dropped near end, the Daniel Cassidy strand (Ian Ziering) was one of those that felt hampered by the episode cuts. The Sunderland's as the big rich family didn't quite work, some good stuff around Maria (Virginia Madsen) but didn't quite think Will Patton as Avery ever quite landed the role, felt Maria Sten was off as Arcane's best friend Liz Tremayne. As a horror, it had a few good moments but overall, it didn't work for me, tension was often lacking and scare moments fell flat.

I wanted to see how the characters and story unfolded in season, I felt it had been left in an intresting place with teases about possible routes for the future, sadly we will never get to see that happen.

Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:47 am
by Dong Zhou
Latest DC/CW superheroes. Alas Batwoman has not been picked up here (they had to move one crises scene to an after-credit flash scene due to this), all building up to a greater or lesser extent to Infinite Crises, their big setplay and it does have an impact on the nine or so episodes of each show. In Sky's infinite wisdom, we will get 3 our of four of Infinite Crises but months after US get it.

Supergirl mostly avoided the Crises and focused very much on it's core characters for the first two third which paid off really well, the seasonal baddie was a well established character with well established and understandable motives
Lena Luthor, her heart broken by the betrayal of her friend
, there were some nice enough romances (though they all dropped off before the end), one or two characters were written out in appropriate way. The themes of trust and bonds were well done through it all though the Martian Manhunter's strand was hampered by Phil LaMarr's poor performances but had some good emotional punches as it explored the Manhunter's mind and past, felt Nia got underdone after bright start.

The new ownership of Catco was fine in times of performances and characters but the messagy bits about journalism and tech didn't help, the show still tends to clunk and come across as a bit... idealistic in unhelpful ways on certain issues then Catco pretty much got dropped. The big problem for the show is that it made a big reveal
on a long running mystery and it was poor, the reveal was uninteresting, the cast involved struggled and it took away from what should have been the main focus of the season, also led to some rushed moments near the end as they prepared to get their pieces into line.

The Flash had the Crises at it's heart and used it very well in a good season, the warnings Barry had was going to impact all those around him and mostly they did it well
Cisco the new leader stuff didn't quite work out
. They also benefited from finding a balance with tone and working out what to do with characters like Killer Frost, Cecile and others while the return of Jesse L Martin was welcomed, some nice alt-earth stuff.

The only real complaint is that it still feels a little too packed, one has Ralph's quest, Iris journalism which is being built up after being ignored, Cisco's relationship, Barry's quest, things just a little too squeezed and there are still too many characters around the core. The half-season villain was also impacted by the need to concentrate on Crises, there were good setplay moments
Barry's mental fight for example
, it linked well at times to the Crises and the actor involved did a very good job
Sendhil Ramamurthy
but the big baddie's strand felt underwritten.

Arrow goes deep into the crises, knowing it is the final season it uses that and alt-earths for a final goodbye as Arrow prepares for the crises. Memorable figures (and some not so memorable figures) return for a one off appearance and generally it avoids doing so in a way that feels distracting though when a big figure or two from the past don't turn up for the related episode, there is some disappointment
Slade and Nyssa both failing to appear

The crises though always provides the reason to go back to old lands and meet old friends/foes, it also provides the drive, the Arrow and co have to keep moving and striving with time running out, wounds emerge and heal, some decent twists, nicely knits together two very separate strands that had made the second one
the future team arrow
worth it. While cast is slightly too large (Black Canary and Rene get slightly sidelined), it is well balanced, writers Oliver and others well to explore how things have changed, how events to come are altering mindsets and attitudes, the dilemma's it brings, keeping the tension going and having some moving scenes.

While I won't do a "overall arrow" till the post-crises two episodes are done, this season started strongly and kept going well, a fine way to end a show that had lost it's way at times by showing focus and clarity.