Favorite Television Shows

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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri May 05, 2017 2:07 pm

Watched the entire show of Parks and Rec. Loved it for 2-3 series, noted a downward trend from about season 5 and strong final season. During the early seasons, I enjoyed Leslie, Ron, Ann, Jerry then later on Benn, Donna and Chris. Leslie was a ball of personality tempered by figures around her, I enjoyed it's glimpse that sometimes public servants are an issue but so are the voters, when Leslie would go on a camapign, some great side characters that might not appear for awhile but then turn up and make one laugh (like Tammy), lots of humour, nice romances. Tom annoyed me for awhile while I never found April or Andy to be funny or particularly intresting.

In the latter seasons, it lost sharpness as shows tend to. There were still times it was great, Leslie in camapign mode, the citizens of the city, some fun side characters, Tom got a lot better as he became a real businessman and also benefited from good romances
I'll be honest, when the lady he ends up with turned up again, I had no idea who she was. I was more expecting the nurse
, when they showed the treatment of Jerry reflects bad on the group. However so much didn't quite click like some of the main romances, they struggled to make Ron's shtick worse though he benefited from romance, humour didn't feel as sharp, it got self indulgent with it's characters, lots of "look famous person".

The final season seemed to allow them to focus and the writing felt sharper again, they managed to avoid self-indulgence (for most part) and seemed to be refreshed. Lots of nice goodbyes or nods to old figures in the show, enjoyed some of the romances and sense of lives changing. Endings a bit hit and miss but thought they generally did well.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri May 19, 2017 5:24 pm

Watched the second and final season of Powers. Loved the first half, it added figures like Michael Madsen, Wil Wheaton (not his best performances) and Tricia Helfer. It concentrates on the effects of Powers in the city and deals with consequences of first season, I liked additions like journalist Nicole (Teri Wyble), some good romances and action, a bit of humour. It felt like it had done everything that bit better then the first season, it wasn't great but it was an enjoyable show with some good ideas at that point.

Then it moves onto it's phase 2, moving out some of the enjoyable characters, going into boring flashbacks, moving away from the effects of powers into the city into a wider uninteresting conspiracy for a few episodes. It messes up one big twist
if you want the shock return of a dead character, don't keep actor name in opening credits
, it still has things that work and the end phase idea is excellent. Problem is by time they go into end phase, key parts haven't been built up to and so it lacks the oomph it would have hoped for
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby plunged » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:33 pm

I've been a member of Netflix for a while now and saw some awesome tv shows on there.

One of them was Making a Murderer. They call it a documentary series. It's already quite old now... about 18 months. It's about a Manitowoc man called Steven Avery who spend 18 years for a crime he did not commit (a sexual assault on a woman called Penny Beerntsen). The series indicated he was set up by the sheriff and the prosecutor. Steven had multiple alibis and there was only 1 pubic hair tying him to the case (but the testing of hairs back then was very poor, and there could be like a million other men this hair could belong to). Furthermore, there was a man in the area, Gregory Allen, who had a history of being violent to women. The police, however, did not look into him. Another odd thing was the Chief Deputy also had the allowance to draw sketches based on witness or victim descriptions. The victim described her assailants looks to him, he then left to make a sketch, and when he returned he came back with a sketch that looked just like a mug shot of Steven Avery he had in his possession. Fishy.

Anyway, skipping forward a bit, DNA-testing became available and eventually freed Avery. The hair mentioned earlier did not contain Steven's DNA, but it contained Gregory Allen's DNA.

So Steven was a free man now, in his early forties. However two years after his release, a woman named Teresa Halbach goes missing, and the last man to see her alive was Steven Avery. She had an appointment with him that day. She was a photographer and worked for a magazine called AutoTrader. Steven and his family had a family business; an auto salvage yard. Steven was selling one of the vehicles and asked AT to send Teresa to take some photos of it and place them in the magazine as an ad.

When Teresa was reported missing Steven denied any involvement. He said he saw her leave his property. Later her car key was found in his bed room and her SUV was found on the salvage yard. Inside the SUV Avery's blood was found. Her bones were found in a fire pit near his home (a trailer). Steven started claiming he was again being set up by the police. All of these evidence were found when Steven and his family were removed for a while from their property. The key wasn't found until the seventh search of his (small) trailer, and was found by a cop who was not allowed to be there. Also a bullet was found, and again that same cop had a role in it. The bones found in his fire pit were argued to have been moved there, because a nearby quarry also had some bones of Teresa. The blood in the SUV may also have been planted. "That cop" mentioned earlier, had access to a vial of blood from Avery that was taken from him during his 18 year sentence and the sealed box in which it was stored had torn tape around it.

I thought this series was very intriguing and interesting to watch. It's not really my kind of thing usually, and the first episode was kinda a long watch for me, but after that I got really hooked. Been reading some books about this case ever since. They do shed a different light on all this than the series does though.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:30 pm

Watched first season of 2001-04 Justice League with Batman (Kevin Conroy), Superman (George Newbern), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg) John Stewart's version of Green Lantern (Phil LaMarr), Wally West's version of Flash (Michael Rosenbaum), Martian Manhunter (Carl Lumbly) and Hawkgirl (Maria Canals-Barrera) as the superhero team

It's system seems to be telling famous superhero stories in double (or in one or two cases) triple half hour episodes, relations sort of carry over but there isn't much in terms of "if I skip an episode, will I miss anything." While a lot of episodes
are on earth, there is a nice variety so one or two in space, an alternate history, magic and so on and had fun with most of the adventures. Some good episodic villains, voicework gets stronger as time goes on. Animation looks dated at first particularly with Superman whose chiselled face instead looks like he is very old and Wonder Woman's cheekbones, Manhunter's invisibility trick is overused and some of the characters are better explored then others, Hawkgirl has a sense of humour and a brawler but not learn much about her yet, Wally West is a joke character in an annoying and sometimes creepy way. Batman is still awesome
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:32 pm

I stopped watching watching The Walking Dead a few seasons ago but I introduced my wife to season 1 last night. I forgot how good it was at the beginning! I think the first 2 seasons were outstanding. It was also fun to remember characters who had long ago crossed in to the void by season 5 or whenever I stopped watching!
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:23 pm

Supergirl: Went along nicely at start with some neat adventures, some good setplays though it's main villains lacked a sense of overall threat, the show gave glimpses of the kind of thing they could have done with the baddies
cadmus spreading fear and distrust among humans
but never fully committed to it. It's big asset remains the characters and their bonds, enhanced by some strong romances with the main one having really good chemistry and lovely moments, the second main one has very strong chemistry and some really good little moments but sometimes felt the show was trying a bit too hard with the big moments, a 3rd romance is very underdone.

The new characters continue to work well, Mon-El is a charismatic figure who grows as a figure goes on while still retaining an amusing ability to misunderstand earth culture, Maggie is a little too "character's romance" rather then a figure in her own right but is likeable, Lena Luthor gets a good phase near end of the show which helps develop her+has good chemistry, is an intresting character so enjoy her scenes but spent too long on the edge, Snapper is awesome but rarely shown. The Guardian storyline has one or two nice moments involving other characters own flaws but remains a big weak point which I wish would be written out.

The end phase is, after a shaky period where they slowly transition from "this is season baddie" to "actually this is season baddie, ignore the past guys", helped by some good villains, well acted who managed to be connected to a few characters and bring something extra out of them, some good twists. However the last episode or two has a strong "I have seen this before" element to it and finale felt they stretched their effects far more then they could go, some "trying a bit too hard" forced moments as they tried to inspire and could be clunky. Yet there was also some lovely moments in there too.

Crossovers remain "Supergirl is barely connected till end of episode which sets up her being in the other shows" but they have promised to fix that as they hadn't had time to build spare days into schedules. They also need to decide what to do with James and Catco, the former they have struggled with and the latter really does get sidelined

-I liked Stargate references in Supergirl lives, was nice being off planet, should have given Dichen Lachman more to play with but I liked the idea of weakening Kara so she had to inspire people, to show that side of her.

-Wasn't hard to guess Mon El was either being chased for old crimes or by Daxans, needs new costume. Enjoyed his ending and hope he comes back, had a great romance and enjoyed his learning about planet errors

-M’gann's time ended quickly which was a pity as she had a good link with J’onn, evolving from hatred to love, a difficult past including his prejudice but end came too quickly after wounds were healed. Her return felt dues ex machina

-Luthor flashbacks were good, gave the sense of a difficult relationship between mother and child

-I liked Metallo's declining body, the all powerful Mxyzptlk was a lot of fun as Peter Gadiot helped give it some flair, Jeremiah's return being bad may have been predictable but they used it well for the wider cast. Livewire was a fun return given her role as a target and victim, white Martian roulette had some tension, nanties allowed decent setplays. Rick Malverne felt a human baddie and enjoyably clever. Terri Hatcher seemed to have fun as Rhea, putting a good bit of charisma and a bit of flair into the role to make it fun to watch while her casting was a nice touch, killing of husband was a great twist, nice stuff with Lena

-They either need to drop Lyra or develop her properly, I like her and there is some fun with Wynn but her twists don't work becuase we haven't had time to care about her

-The fear in aliens as Cadmus targets them was very well done, show tended to do well when it gave little looks into aliens life on earth but rarely did it

-All hail Snapper being willing to sack Supergirl when she breached major journalistic code.

-Alex nearly being sent out of space was a good scene. I do enjoy her and Maggie's romance but they struggle to get Maggie into the inner circle so can sometimes feel romance is a bit detached and can be hampered by show trying a bit too hard

-Supergirl sometimes having a controlling nature was good as she tried to stop Guardian or was unhappy at Mon El's different motives, that both she and the Martian can both be prejudiced

-James needs to go (maybe simply to another show), he brings little to table with Kara rarely being a journalist and the guardian thing is annoying. As was the "fatherly instincts we had never seen before"

-Really enjoyed the episode Alex with a strong villian, a tense scenario with desperation from the Danvers and Maggie but felt it should have been Maggie making the rescue and restraining Supergirl, not the superhero inspiring Maggie when Kara had been wrong the entire episode. Felt it undermined the general theme of the episode

-Great to see Cat again, her love for Clark Kent, that she actually figured out Kara is Supergirl again, the wit and her kindly speech to Kara but her address to nation felt forced

-Nice seeing their own version of General Zod


=====

Flash It benefits at start from Wally West's sheer excitement giving a nice light balance to the darker side but when that fades away, the show loses a little of the cheer due to the show's atmosphere, there were jokes, there was humour but with Barry and Cisco less smily characters, it lost a little of it's old cheer. There are some good adventures, good romances, some good twists, still got very good chemistry between the group, some good new faces. One character comes very late into the party and seems nice but will need to be developed more next season or dropped as they do feel they are on the edge of too many characters. Actually probably crossed it as certain side characters just end up vanishing for long spells.

The show relies on it's big bad as season draws on and that doesn't work for a long long time, the episodes are good but the baddie issues take it's toll. It is hard to get excited about the baddie or the Flash team's trying to work out a way to victory (though the personal impact on the team is intresting) and it's episodic villains are generally lacking. When the big reveal for who is behind the suits comes, it doesn't have the oomph the show hopes for but it is a turning point for a series that was slightly flagging from a storyline that had got dragged on a bit too long. Suddenly there is a far stronger connection to the baddie, there is stronger connections with characters so there is a strong personal aspect, there is tension and interest. Some very good twists and a strong run up to and including finale, the show really lighting up near the end.

They really need to stop having a speedster as baddie though.

Flash also had the musical crossover and that was, after a bit of bedding in, a lot of fun. With Supergirl and Flash leads both being from Glee and a fair few singers or Broadway stars among the four shows, it made sense to do one and they set up in a way that allowed some fun with mixing up the characters. It did feel the old guard had the best voices and their copies of songs were the best but the one original song really hit the mark. Had enjoyable humour, particularly Supergirl's Oz jokes. No Buffy but still a very fun episode!

-Barry's obsession with keeping secrets will never die but at least he told Iris quickly about his vision of her fate and Joe's anger at not being told was strong. Using Vibe to try to see what can be altered was a good idea and that was decently played on as they tried to prevent future events

-HR's desperation to open the museum was sad and humanizing. Overall though, his shtick stopped working and veered on edge of annoying. Romance was alright but rushed and really prefer the other versions of his character so glad he died so we can get a more tradtional Harry. I fear Tracy is there to replace the eccentric side but she really needs filling in if she is stay and with so many characters, it wouldn't hurt if she didn't

-Gypsy made one hell of a splash, her confidence and ability to dominate, no nonsense attitude and frustration with team flash. Cisco' flirting with her sometimes amusingly bad and sometimes "the attitude feels dated" but generally amusing, has a bit of chemistry though does feel like Golden Glider's time is sadly up.

-In Wally, was nice to see a superhero excited by the glory and the powers again while they used his inexperience well for the enjoyable Yorkin train setpeice. Plus his romance with Jessie is rushed but fun. Then Wally starts to have doubts, plagued by Savatir into well done rage and grief and his own mistakes

-Julian started well, his awkward manner leading to some amusement and there is clearly a role for someone that organized and planning. Then vanished. Then back whenever they needed Killer Frost stuff

-Grodd a rare Flash villain that has a real impact but he always does, helps he had a double episode and the double episodes had a sense of humour about going to fight talking gorilla's. Also Grodd vs Solovar! Three flashes!

-Proposal was romantic and was good twist he did it for wrong reasons which allow Iris to spark back. Iris struggled to really push into being more then a side figure and potential victim, had some good scenes with Barry (and evil Barry) at times, was a little disappointed she didn't get a strong death but was a switcherro, glad she got the big kill.

-Savtiar the voice through Julian works a lot better then Savatiar in the armour. The reveal was slightly too dragged out but Barry being the baddie should have been a good twist. Once future Barry was unarmoured, he made a good villain becuase of the connections and what it meant for everyone else, his rage and hurt, his frustration, his moment with the gang.

-Was nice to go into speed force and see some old friends plus call Barry up on his tendency for selfish stupidity to cost of Jay.

-Snart was trying too hard in speed force but in the penultimate episode, he fitted right in. His good side beneath the shtick he puts on, his clever schemes, King Shark jokes. Had expected a lot of Snart in this show and Legends of Tomorrow and was a pity we only saw glimpses of him overall but it was great to see the anti-hero get a big episode role. King Shark made a good appearance and was a good "yeah I'm not going to trust you Barry after Flashpoint" from Lyla

-Abra Kadabra had flair, a good performer, arrogance and future tech disguised as magic, what not to love? Other then when they finally got a non gorrilla episodic villain that worked strongly, it became secondary to Savaitar.

-Catlin's slow descent into Killer Frost paid off with the fun having to guide her own operation but they did hint towards her collapse a bit too much. Killer Frost being around did help the finale run, she made a good change from another speedster, had personal side to things, conflicting emotions and makes an effective baddie with some fun use of her powers. Could be a very good option to be a season villain

-I hope never again to see Goth Barry (Cause and Effect's oblivious and joyful Barry was lovely though) though nice to see a future Flash world of grief, Joe West standing out as did a broken Wally

-Cause and Effect, partly by bringing back the joy, partly the comedy of errors that led to it and how strange elements of Barry's life would be to an amnesic Barry, the pain for Iris seeing this carefree Barry

-The finale ending did feel a bit detached from rest of episode but leaves intresting questions. I think the show wouldn't be hurt by a few episodes where Wally is the Flash while Barry does his time, I liked the speed force being active as it urged Barry to take his turn


=====

Arrow looked at who worked out of their new roster, dumped some, added one more who came in with a bang and was a welcome addition, I'm happy with the roster they have now and they are gelling as a team though one wonders if it is still a little too large with side characters. Humour from likes of Ollie, Felicity, Curtis and Rene helped give the show a light edge in what could be a very good show, very good action, did enough episodes where Oliver has to deal with a crises that can't be solved by the Arrow to allow some freshness. Does feel like it sometimes did a little too much before narrowing it's focus during it's strong finale run.

Again while I would question if flashbacks have legs long term though the quality of the cast involved meant they generally worked
wasn't a fan of Kovar but realize a lot of people liked him
and some nods to early seasons. Apparently they are being dropped so glad flashbacks went out on a high but will be glad for more time spent in present.

What gave its show a real edge vs their rivals (though I preferred Supergirl this season) was they revealed their big bad (in more time then Flash) with enough time and before it got boring and it was a really good baddie, arguably best since Deathstroke (and when I say arguably, it is 200% that it is Arrow's best baddie since). Was a good if not unforeseen twist who was behind the mask, really allowed some strong character issues, action scenes were really well done, lots of twists and turns for the characters particularly Oliver, the bad cast member did a very good job. Finale was popular and I can really see why with some cool stuff but didn't quite click for me

-The Black Siren was a nice addition, performance initially stiff but that was deliberate, allows a more intresting version of Laurel and her love for her father is still there.

-I kind of forget about Billy which given Arrow killed him and was dating Felicity, wasn't a good thing, that should have troubled the team for awhile more then it did. Once Rory was cut, forget about him.

-Curtis humour is still hit and miss for me but his inventions really began to get play in this, plus the humour about them was funny, would have liked more on his doomed relationship with Paul.

-I do enjoy the new Black Canary, has a sense of humour, good anger and sense, nice backstory. She fits right into the team dynamic as she teases the others and provides a old head to go with Diggle

-Was excited to see Talia al Ghul and Lexa Doig's strong British accent and haughty performance made her a lot of fun, made a good trainer for Oliver and some strong archer action scenes.

-Helix showed promise and Felicity's new friend was fun but it did feel a little underdone, did allow Felicity to play gangster which was fun+Arrow concern over her going down a dark path (while she points out their own record) and a good Argue vs Helix battle. Clearly Helix will come back in future, hopefully with more time. As much as I like Oliver and Felicity as a pairing, feels like that has already been done and needed more time off

-Diggle vs army general was fun but faded out early and Diggle's rage tends to be over the top. Also pray to heavens he isn't going to end up with Black canary. I liked when they showed divide between Diggle and Lyla ao how far Argus should go

-I liked Susan, that she was getting closer and closer to the truth till Thea destroyed her career to protect her brother but why did they drop the Susan/Oliver romance?

-One thing I did like about flashbacks, other then Talia, is that it allowed compare and contrast with Antoly's cheer and reformist belief in the past and man who has been hardened by time

-Did an issue episodes (gun control) which wasn't a bad idea given Arrow in comics is a political figure, the show itself also lends itself to that debate, they clearly gave it a lot of thought. It clearly tried to be balanced but perhaps lacked runtime to do it properly, also suffers from the "this may have divided society and been impossible for politicians for decades to solve but with good heart we can come together"

-Vilianess team up but didn't manage to overcome that they are weak villians, Cupid has her moments but it was just a weak selection.

-Adrian was an awesome choice, had been built up enough so that his (not unpredictable but well done) reveal had impact, his political gameplaying was entertaining as the team can't touch him but have to work with him in mayoral office, his mastery of Oliver, his clear damage while Josh Segarra impressed. Arrow responding to kidnap by bringing in Chase's wife only for Chase to kill her was well done as was the torture of Oliver (Evelyn's Madison McLaughlin really hit it out of the park, I assume she is going to get a bigger role in future as only got two or three moments in season). When Chase is exposed, that moment in the safehouse as he realizes and kills his way out so calmly. The stairway battle and Oliver's means to victory

It helps I guess when the show has every reason to believe in both Amell and Segarra to hit the big moments

-I like Rene, he has good teams up with Curtis, Quintin and Black Canary, a bit of humour but his flashbacks didn't work

-Vigilante got sidelined once it was revealed Chase wasn't him, probably wise to save him for next season

-Yay Deathstroke back! Was also fun seeing Malcom Merlyn get his moment in the sun, two very different relationships with Oliver. I assume Malcom is dead, was a good way for him to bow out as a father. Moira phone call was lovely

-They need to kill at least one major character with that island explosion ending.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:33 pm

I got the complete Castle boxset when it came out in November and have been watching it ever since. I finished it last night! The first few seasons were as great as I recalled but at the point when Beckett and Castle actually got together it went down hill. Season 7 was bad, Season 8 was worse. I was so invested in the characters |I kept watching it but I think they kept going too long. To give them credit they did try shacking it up for Season 8 with new characters and stuff but it just didn't click. All of that said I'm already missing the characters, they were a major part of my life for the last few months :lol:

Next on my list is the BBC's Three Musketeers . I watched and enjoyed E1 but then went to uni and never found time to watch it. So once the show finished I ordered the complete box set for that and am now looking forward to it. Having read DZ's reviews I am slightly worried. If he got annoyed by the arrogance of imposing modern liberal values on the characters I think it'll really annoy me as well!
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:13 am

I was a little sad when I pulled out of Castle but I couldn't finish it, felt it lost that spark of fun it used to have. 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:
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:02 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Watched first-half season of Netflix/Guillermo del Toro half hour fantasy Trollhunters. Premise: In the town of Arcadia, student Jim (the late Anton Yelchin) finds a magical amulet that gives him armour and sword. He also finds out trolls exist, some friendly and others rather less friendly and the amulet means as the Trollhunter, he must fight the bad ones to protect the good ones and humanity.

A season that always feels on the urge of something really good, that it really should excel yet can be a bit patchy as if something doesn't quite click for awhile though finishes strongly. Voice cast like Kelsey Grammer, Charlie Saxton (as the amusing best friend Toby) and Amy Landecker do a good job, has a sense of humour and adventure, good action, some good villains but romance is only alright. Show very good at knowing when to unveil something new and always have something to add


Continued on nicely as it took the strong finish and pushed on. Do feel the trolls provide the emotional heart, good villains, nice adventures and humour. My one complaint is Toby at times feels like a jerk

Look forward to season 2
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:36 am

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.
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