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

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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
like
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
SimonxIzzy
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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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:14 pm

Fear the Walking Dead season 4 first half, they decided to rejig the show via time jump and including Walking Dead's Morgan as part of a series of new characters. Format was flashbacks to past to show what happened (and frankly, pretend season 3 finale never ever ever happened which was really weak) and modern day via the new figures with the old guard eased in on the new timeline. I was worried about losing the "from the start of the plague" aspect but in truth they hadn't used that properly for some time, the time jump wasn't an issue bar the weakness about season 3 finale which now feels utterly meaningless and of no consequence.

First episode is good, it is intriguing, builds up the new characters, a bit of mystery, a sense of the area. After that the flashbacks tend to be the strongest, Maddison and Victor are at their best and provide a charismatic driving force with some good adventures, villains are alright but more work for the situation that builds well. The new figures are mixed, Morgan was not one of the best figures of Walking Dead after awhile and doesn't add greatly here, the journalist (Maggie Grace) works really well in first and half-season finale episodes but the "tell the story" shtick can sometimes be ill-used and she doesn't always spark in the other episodes. Naomi (Jenna Elfman) is a very welcome addition with some good focus on her and Elfman giving some very good performances, John (Garret Dillahunt) is already very liked in this household and the episode that is dedicated to showing what he did before we meet him is one of the best episodes of the Walking Dead franchise (that I have seen, gave up on main series awhile back), he is sweet, likeable, makes great and unusual impact in first appearance.

The old guard as they slip into the modern day, it feels like they are made to be unlikeable and they struggle to shine which does not help the modern day. The half season is... fine, it has good parts (John episode, the past) and some less good bits but concerning a lot of that is around the modern day. Manages to juggle it's two strands properly and builds well to mid-season finale but said finale is a bit of let down with some odd decisions, the show also tends to fluff the big emotional moments by trying a bit too hard.

-Nick gone and didn't care as much as I thought I would. Didn't give him the best run in, at his best he could be a driving presence, intelligent but prone to major errors due to his faults but there was also a tendency to the show loving him a bit too much. When in a more laid back move, could be a bit mopey and lack spark and that was too often of late.

-Madison, probably dead but given we didn't see her actually die... Her "death" wasn't unexpected given she hadn't appeared in modern day, she has been the one consistently strong figure (bar a "ignore daughter for troublesome son" strand), a driving ruthless force concerned with her children, charismatic, could be kind, intelligent. Flawed but always driving the story on, always engaging to watch

-Naomi in waterpark worked well as she bounced off Alicia, Naomi on finding the place she had once been, mourning her child, in fell into the worst melodramatic aspects of the show

-Great use of John's loneliness in first episode

-My concern for future is that without Madison, who drive the show? Nick did in early seasons but hadn't for awhile and is dead, Victor can but has tended to be the charismatic, unreliable second as he was in the past. In the modern day, his flair and charisma hasn't come through and he tends to do really when bouncing off someone. None of the old guard or the new figures come across as someone who can be the new leader, the one to provide drive to the show and to the group.


======

Saw half hour sitcom What We Do in the Shadows, based on the fun mockumentry vampire film our thoughts of the film and adapted by it's writers/directors/cast members Jemaine Clement. This time Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry and Natasia Demetriou play the three vampires sharing a house in Staten Island, Harvey Guillén as the human familiar.

You don't need to have seen the movie for this, it isn't connected and it assumes you haven't seen it, for those that have watched the movie you won't find scene for scene repeats, some things (like werewolves or human familiar) they take the concept and try to come at it differently enough to be fresh while they add new things like a female vampire in the house and energy vampire Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch). Either way, worth watching the opening credits as it shows the housemates through history and always seems to be something to spot.

It is a little slow at the start, we almost quit but the end of the second episode came alive and then it really clicked though the sometimes crudity of Laszlo (Berry) and Nadja (Demetriou) means they take the longest to click. They are careful not to overuse the mockumentry angle and they use it well, they build dynamics between the housemates and supporting cast, every now and again a sense of the wider world both unnatural and undead. There is romance, deliberate stupidity, the pains of long life and uses humour for as part of it.

Is it funny? Yes. While sometimes it goes a little too far from my taste with some kinds of jokes generally it pulls them off, they use the format of documentary+roommates+vampires in modern world well, they use sense of history and lack of modern awareness to humorous effect, they have fun with stupidity and "helpful" commentary from one of the subjects when stuff is going on tends to add to the scene.

=====

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. I had been hoping it could come here as Netflix initially seemed reluctant and eventually they did, sneaking in the trailers+odds and sods section so had missed it but, as watching season 2 of discovery, casually checked to see if anyone had picked it up. Bit annoying it had slipped in like that (not as annoying as lack of Doom Patrol :wink: )

The format works well enough, half on important side characters (Tilly and Saru), other half on others (Harry Mudd and not in show), the 15 minutes cuts out melodrama and requires them to focus on around 2-3 figures per story while doing it at pace, perhaps one or two tales could have been extended to 30 to flesh out things touched upon. Generally quality was nice enough with one really great tale and felt it was worth watching.

Of the four tales: 1) Runaway. Has Tilly and Tilly opens well with her kindness and humour but the runaway part didn't click so well for me, it had decent ideas but didn't manage to make it click. My sister was more positive, felt the runaway part worked well and touched on good ideas.

2) Calypso. Really good episode, uses every second it has to tell it's tale, strong performances from Aldis Hodge and Annabelle Wallis, unfolding it's early mystery carefully, some moving dynamics. A "something completely different" with no connection and really pulled it off

3) The Brightest Star. A little slow but thoughtful, giving a sense of Saru's background and the culture he was raised in, could have benefited from more time and some odd decisions at the end.

4) The Escape Artist. Fun little Harry Mudd escapade, I found it amusing and had a nice time but my sister felt the humour was more miss then hit.

======

Watched third and final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Makes some changes, Olaf's group is reduced, Jacqueline is replaced by a similar figure
by whom
Kit (Allison Williams)
which takes awhile as to find out why and even then, wonder if they couldn't have merged the figures, attempts to humanize Olaf. Format is two episodes per book till the epilogue/finale episode which is one rather then two.

Always an erratic show bar the opening titles (which are very good this season, rising to the occasion), the first two sets don't quite work. There are things it tries, new baddies that know Olaf that don't quite make the sense of threat they are meant to, themes about Olaf's life are not quite done well or delved into enough (I feel some of these aspects should have been explored before the final season), the allies of the orphans are not intresting, felt Sunny's thing became less effective. There are good scenes, moments of humour, Jaqueline's replacement did well, Olaf and his team still funny at times while they add a change to dynamic
Carmilta joining team Olaf turning it into a dysfunctional family dynamic
, intriguing glimpses of the past, Poe's failings are still amusing, VDF becomes more complex. It isn't bad first four episodes but it just doesn't come alive enough.

The final set of two is arguably the show's best ever episodes and are great to watch, the baddies are highly effective, there are mystery and twists, lots of humour but it taps into themes effectively: a great flashback and some great hints at VDF past, the Olaf theme is pulled off really well but they also bring back something that had been missing. Ordinary people do tremendous damage, something that had been missing since the circus episode. It builds well to the episode finale and it's ending... I actually was thinking it was an awesome ending for the show and was concerned when I discovered there was one more episode, that it might not fit in the same way the ending of the episode had felt so very Series of Unfortunate Events.

The finale? That was disappointing. Less the great episodes, more the former "it's ok but a lot of it isn't working as well as it should have." Things aren't developed well enough, the episode big figure feels rushed for what could have been an intresting idea, the glimpses at the past remain the strong suit and has a nice sense of humour. The tone of the ending feel less "Series of Unfortunate Events" then the penultimate episode's ending so was disappointing.

The show overall? I will always remember it, the songs before were a lot of fun and the tone stuck to the books which were something different, a warning to youngsters about authority and about adults, dark and humorous with a love of word play. That word play didn't translate (partly Klaus "it means" and Lemony Snickett's role) so well on screen but they adjusted after first season but this was always an erratic show, there were good episodes but also some poor ones and I would not recommend it overall yet I would love a prequel series.

At it's best, the show could be funny, Olaf was played for comedy and was strengthened by additions like Esme (her intro episodes the main rival the penultimate set) and strengthening those around him but Olaf lacked a sense of real threat after first season. There was a great glimpsing at the time before the orphans, of the world they were in with Olaf and others like Jacqueline or the Snickett's came across or little clues stumbled across, those were always intriguing and adult cast gelled. Until about midway through the show, there was a good theme about the failure of adults, about the failure of authorities and how the orphans were let down, once the guardian angle was lost then that theme was sadly lost for awhile.

I struggled to engage with the orphans, there was something intresting in watching their attitudes change as they are constantly let down but it could have been sold better. Generally the child characters struggled to be intresting other then the flamboyant Carmelita, felt the orphans struggled to be more then "orphan, has ability" which is a problem for a group that is a focus point for the show. The show relied on 1) Olaf disguise being entertaining (either by being successful or inept) but if it went wrong like the town of crows, it could drag show down, 2) the guardians. When, like Esme, judge, or the boarding school, they got it right, the episodes tended to be fun and intresting but if the guardian (or close to) was an annoying figure like Josephine or didn't quite work, it meant the show was really relying on Olaf's team to save it. When they moved from guardians, it lost something, only the circus episode (despite issues) and the penultimate episodes was able to overcome the lack of focus on such a figure or the "authority/ordinary well meaning figure lets them down" theme that could be so effective.

I liked it more then I didn't but it was a patchy show that didn't seem to quite make the best of it's material or be willing to shift away from the books perhaps as much as they should have. It was more fun then it was boring, when it clicked it was fun, tragic and mysterious but it needed to knit together it's themes better over the three seasons and for the orphans to be as intresting as the baddies+VFD. I cared more in the glimpses of the past and what had happened then I did about the characters this show is about
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:54 am

Watched second season of Killing Eve with the high profile leaving of rising star Phoebe Waller-Bridge from showrunner with Emerald Fennell coming so was a lot of focus. First episode was bad but it then clicked, it wasn't as good as first season, it missed a bit of the sharpness, some of the humour but it did well. Still strong chemistry between the leads, some good new figures including baddies, cast did well, perhaps some support characters could have used better, story flowed well. It didn't however land the big twists near the end, they made sense but lacked oomph.

=====

Watched the final season of Gotham: Legend of the Dark Knight so there was an element of the last goodbye about it, a lot of nods over the 12 episodes and they tried to thrown in various villains they hadn't had a chance to yet
side baddies
Harley (Francesca Root-Dodson), Scarface, Magpie (Sarah Schenkkan), Jane Doe (Sarah Pidgeon)
to good effect. They did manage to keep the main stories going amidst the nods and that worked well but the mini stories jumped around while big bads came in too late to be as effective as they should have been.

It is a fun season but not quite at it's full blast fun best due to the juggling, humour not quite as sharp at times, the choice of romance
Jim and Lee
lacks a bit of... feisty sizzle. It still has figures like Barbara, Bullock, the great bro-mance of Nygma and Oswald, a sense of humour is still there, the sense of silliness and flair, use of some side villains to good effect. It might have been better to end on penultimate episode which was well done, finale made a casting choice that felt wrong
Camren Bicondova asked that the adult Selina be recast with Lili Simmons coming in, Simmons did a good job but it felt... wrong after all this time
and others things didn't always feel right with what had gone on before or didn't quite work

-The epilogue Joker (who isn't the Joker), creepy look and they did well given the restrictions on what they could do but Cameron Monaghan tends to need a few episodes to get into the feel of it and get delivery right. He had only episode

-Nice touch with Barbara's red hair and with other costume changes for likes of Penguin but having Penguin and Riddler so hapless and inept felt wrong

-Jamie Murray tends to take an episode or two (particularly with her attempts at American accent) to work so having him come in as big bad so late was a mistake, she was just starting to show what she could do in the penultimate episode. Bane (Shane West) was better done and he was fairly effective when he turned as a secondry big bad

-Enjoyed Nygma trying to rebuild his memory, Penguin's staffing problems and the two of them drawn together like a moth to flames

-They didn't stick with Selina being changed by Ivy's seed, powerful moment when she realizes Bruce has ditched her

-Echo made a decent Harley

-Glad they found a way to use Strange and Zzasz

-Barbara and Lee's escape from Bane was fun


The show overall? Fun and had a fun time, particularly once the show (which had started about Gordon pre-Batman then turned into prequel started) worked out what it was good at and what it should be. It could always be erratic, Gordon by himself needed a balancing figure like Bullock or De Lee to provide the humour and sometimes the police scenes were not intresting, it took time for Bruce and Selina to click but Selina and Alfred acted as the humour around Bruce over time. If the big villain didn't click then it could hamper the show, the pace (particularly in early seasons) could be a little too quick and rush through storylines that needed time and rush through figures it wanted to show off from Batman.

On the good side, that tended to overcome any off patches and became increasingly stronger, it had a strong sense of humour even against itself and it's characters without undermining itself. It had some strong villains be they season villains, a shorter run or figures like Barbara, Penguin and Nygma, their twisted relationship with the city and with each other, their battles for power, they were fun and intresting figure. As not a comic book reader, some of the adaptation like Robin Lord Taylor's Penguin, Donal Logue's Bullock, BD Wong's Dr Strange will take some unseating as my version of those figures and others gave good versions that stood out. We enjoyed the adventures, the schemes, the humour, a bit of a romance and the flawed beings that populated Gotham

=====

Watched second season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which had a more consistent feeling, balanced well it's supporting case including family, academy and mortal friends (though I had worried about that at one point, the show makes up for it) and they are better fleshed out, pace is better and more consistency. There is less setting up of the world or the feel of "hail Satan" as they had done the hard work in first season but they add a little bit here and there, Salem is used sparingly but without the awkwardness.

It develops the plot well, Sabrina is still the centre but shows life outside her and keeps the characters juggled, still that sense of humour (particularly from the aunties), touching on issues, magic. A slight "why won't Sabrina learn from her mistakes" feeling but not enough to be distracting yet, good season adventure with an effective season baddie. I do feel one more episode on a key theme should have been added
major spoiler
exploring Lillth and Satan's descent from lovers to a relationship of abuse and how that took a toll on Lillith. Sabrina, being young, dismisses it as weak but I feel it could have addressed a serious issue there
, looking forward to season 3.

=======

Watched third season of 3%, was worried about if they could find a fresh angle and they did, manage to segue in a selection process which was fun to watch. Fleshed out characters like Gloria who were getting a bigger role to good effect, added a few new support figures and set them up well, there was tension and plots aplenty. The offshore figures were badly underdone which, along with a bad twist, undermined the otherwise enjoyable finale.

Two big twists thoughts
-Fernando: Forced to do something as Michel Gomes did, the quiet way he was killed off between seasons was disappointing but they handled how it impacted others well and keeping the chair and memories around helped

-Rafael mind controlled thus sabotaging the Shell, that twist fell flat and even felt rather cheating. Sure I can imagine Offshore having such technology but it didn't sit right at all



============

Watched second season of Cloak and Dagger which was better paced, had a season villain that worked well, continued to touch on issues and on voodoo, used Tyrone's powers and their weird world to good effect. I liked the use of music, the sometimes doing something different while the lead duo combined well and provided a driving force+sense of humour.

I felt the first half didn't entirely click as it should have, Emma Lahana was erratic
didn't feel she was strong as the violent Mayhem when it came to delivery, better as Bridget though her posture and facial work to indicate the changed minds was good
, some key scenes were underpowered becuase side figures like the families or Evita were barely touched upon before they were suddenly needed. Finale perhaps lacked a little end of season omph.
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Re: Favorite Television Shows

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:58 am

Watched the 5th and final season of Jane The Virgin which allowed it (though 99th being interviews feels a tad cheating) to reach 100 episodes. Falls into a few final season traps, the attempt to give everyone who isn't a baddy a happy ending can feel forced, can be a little too sweet but they do well with a feeling of characters preparing to move onto new stages, they don't till last two episodes allow it to dominate the show.

It was a good final season, it had fun, touched on issues that mattered to show runners, did hold Jane to a limited extent to account, gave some good final goodbyes, some fun twists. Narrator was irritating and has long struggled to fit in but landed the finale
though the big twist about who narrator is didn't work
, the baddie suffered from long being underwritten. However episodes were generally a hit, a sense of fun and romance, willing to go big with twists while having a big heart.

As a show overall, it has been fun. It attracts the eye with it's premise of poor virgin Jane getting impregnated by artificial insemination mistake, the humour, the big personalities and romances. One stays for the heart, the sweetness, the issues it touches on like immigration, different generations, religion, seeing the characters grow. Rogelio summed it up, one loves him at first for the flamboyance, the self-obsession and arrogance but what keeps one interested long term is the intelligence, the passion, the love he has to give and the care he can give to others in his own way.

It's focus is always on Jane, her three generations (4 once kids come in) of Villanueva's and Jane's great loves, generally the show has them as flawed but likeable human beings (though can let Jane get away with things it might not with others), they provide the entertainment and, amidst the escapades and grand stories, the grounding. The show knows what it stands for and it advertises telenovela with love, it's romances are well done, sweet and fun with some good heart-break, humour works more then it doesn't.

The narrator worked well in initial seasons but felt increasingly forced and sometimes got in the way as show went on, sometimes issues dialogue could be clunky but main problem was lack of focus and depth for those outside Jane's immediate circle. Even Petra, early baddie then on the edge of Jane's circle suffered from lack of depth, relying on Yael Grobglas's performances to get away with it and the tendency to change depending on plot's needs. It is worse for characters like Jane's best friend Lina, Rafael's sister Luisa and Rose all could be dropped for ages even before their cast members went to other shows and made cameo returns. It could undermine plot related moments becuase one hadn't seen that character for quite some time to say the least.

=======

Watched third and final season of Legion and... it was a little unsatisfying. I felt like it's main themes didn't quite knit together, some of it's emotional punches were undermined by a lack of time with characters, decent finale but issues with the ending. It still had that sense of weird, some great conversations between characters, some great one off episodes where it focused on something different (though that could disrupt momentum), did some fun strange stuff with lovely use of visuals and music.

One of the concerns I had in season 2 was made worse here, that the characters were not anchoring the show, not even David, Farouk and Syd. New characters came on and were decent enough with new cast Lauren Tsai, Harry Lloyd and Stephanie Corneliussen doing decently. It meant a lack of grounding for the weird and magic, meant when the big punches came even for some of the long serving characters
major spoiler
Lenny suicide should have been more powerful as was the time vanish of her girlfriend who we barely knew
, the emotional power wasn't quite enough.

As a show, it was something different and one wonders now X-Men back with Disney if we will see the like again with the X-Men, it was willing to go dark with David struggles but also uses songs, dance, visual and sound weirdness and embrace the something different that David's situation and powers could bring. The weirdness didn't always work but mostly did, it had a good cast, used Bill Irwin's clown training well for the odd moment, some very good twists.

Sometimes it got the balance wrong with the surreal but more problematic was it's decreasing use of characters. The first season concentrated strongly on David, Sid, Lenny and the group, providing a human centre amidst the uncertainty, the twists and the strange. Second season still strongly had David and Sid providing emotional power while Farouk grew but a lot of others like Cary and Kerry became sidelined, the third season even David and Sid felt pushed further more to the margins.
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