Favorite Television Shows

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Dong Zhou
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

Re: Favorite Television Shows

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Saw the K-drama Because This Is My First Life. It went from a fantastic show in the opening set of episodes, to still one of the best K-dramas I had seen then in the end phase collapsed and was glad it ended when it did as wasn't sure how much longer I would give it. Kitty remained the hero throughout, deserves worldwide Emmys.

The set-up episodes are excellent. Fairly amusing, build a sense of friendships for both leads circles, and enjoyable characters and builds the main dynamic well. One can understand why the two leads come to the arranged marriage decision and as two logical but unusual figures, they make for an interesting pairing. It is also grounded in a sense of trying to shine a light on Korea, how women are treated, attitudes and sexual harassment.

It does lose that Me-Too feel but remains a very good show. It is humorous, knows the appeal of the cat, it builds the main group well. I loved watching the main pairing relationship evolve, the hurt they caused each other, the working to understand each other, finding out little things about each other, and building up a potential romance which they hit strongly. They also built other relations, one a new one from some more outgoing figures and the other a long-running relationship starting to run into trouble. The first was the third of the three relationships and mixed Me-Too with trying to get something humorous and sweet from the two contrasts. The second was seeing things falling apart, issues that were being mishandled (in a good way) so an interesting contrast while ensuring one saw why the relationship had lasted so long.

Great romances, cat, humour, well-done storylines, it was going so well. Bar one storyline that seemed to be going one direction then changed midcourse to something far lighter in what I think was meant to be charming but ended up just feeling a bit creepy. Did feel like storylines would get dropped quite often for some time.

The last third would see storylines picked up again after a long time without. They also made big changes entering it, ones that mostly made sense but the follow-through was unbalanced. Major characters got introduced with 3-4 episodes to go, decisions seemed to become increasingly shaky logic, some things needed far more build up and in one case, I turned against one of the main romances because they had done the "why it should end" better than "why it should continue" so much better.

The third season of Umbrella Academy met the challenge of "another end of world disaster" well. You know what your getting, they managed to up the stakes a bit, throw in surprises but the tone and the character dynamics are as you would expect while doing enough to keep it fresh (though a feeling of pulling punches on some twists). If you enjoyed the first two seasons, likely to enjoy this and I am intrigued for the final season.

The sparrows as the curve ball were good in terms of providing a challenge, for the umbrella academy figures to take different views on, for bringing back figures like an alternate Reginald (who was great) and mother. As threats they worked with their own distinct powers and contrasts but as characters, a lot of them felt underdone and only really grew to care for one of the figures from the Sparrows.

This was also the season where Page had transitioned, something the writers had made clear they would support and so the character became transgender. They handled it smoothly (bar a bad wig to reflect Vanya's hairstyle), got it done quickly with easy acceptance from the world.

Don't usually comment on seasons of shows that have finished but I'm watching through but just finished the second season of Good Girls and a thought came to mind. It is a light show in many respects, it leans into its sense of humour and banter, enjoys a dramatic moment or five but it is very good at balancing out with "this is having an impact on the family", the strain it puts partners on, the hurt of others dragged into it, the way it impacts the mundane parts of life.

Tried the new Fantasy Island, gave it two episodes and got in the unusual situation of "it isn't quite good enough to keep going when have other shows in backlog but hope those I'm watching with want to so I can keep watching." Alas with all of us on the same page, we axed it. The first episode was bad but with moments and a set-up episode, the second episode ran well with the concept but flaws hit.

At its best in the two episodes when it focused on the guests and their fantasies. They showed a knack for taking an idea and doing something a bit different with it with a bit of humour, a little bit of charm but also heavy-handed and clumsy with the messaging. They are better at the concept stage than at getting the most out of the scenarios they create.

A major problem is that instead of the island and its hosts being a mystery with little glimpses, it tries to explore the human hosts. Roselyn Sánchez can be funny and charming but her performances here felt stilted, the storylines predictable and a drag when would rather focus on the adventures.
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