TV on DVD- What are you watching/wish to watch and how's it working for you?
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Plopper started a fabulous thread in the Film forum that's still going strong.  Since discussion veers off from time to time into TV on DVD, I figured why not start a thread about series we're watching on DVD, whether beloved favorites, on-going favs purchased for special features, "second audience" revivals, or "what the hell, it was on sale" series.

    From my experience, while there are a good many TV shows cancelled way before their time, the DVD market is flush with evidence that not all studio executives are bumbling idiots with no grasp of taste or quality programming.  Herewith, I'll provide a brief commentary on one example of each:

    Andy Richter Controls the Universe.  It barely lasted one season, but it's one of my favorite ensemble sitcoms of the last 10 years.  Andy and his pals work for Pinkering Industries, which has resonance for me because it's a huge firm not unlike the one I work for, but beyond that very specific connection, the show was just plain witty.  Sure, alot of it is silly, too, but it was good fun and played to Richter's strengths as a strong ensemble/supporting character, even though the show is ostensibly centered on him.  It was a crying shame that it was canned by Fox before it really found an audience.  It could have been The Office, but played less straight.

    Andy Barker, P.I.  And so the worm turns.  Here's an example of a righteously cancelled show.  Unlike ARCtU, Andy Barker clearly stars Richter, who is featured in nearly every scene.  While I find him to be affable and amusing, he isn't leading man material.  His whining was cute on ARCtU... on Barker it is insufferable.  The stories aren't well-written, either.  I tried to like this series, thinking it would become like ARCtU, but it never got there.
  • Well, as I said in the other thread, I've just started watching Dollhouse. Many of its themes and motifs are taken directly from The Stepford Wives, and there's all the adventure of the British '60s TV series The Avengers thrown in. The show is created and sometimes written and/or directed by Joss Whedon, and stars Eliza Dushku who also produces.

    Dollhouse is one seriously disturbing show.

    The action centers around Echo, an "Active" under contract with the Dollhouse. Actives have had their personalities erased so that they can be imprinted with other personalities in order to fulfill the wishes of clients who pay the Dollhouse exorbitant amounts of money. Yes, for all intents and purposes, they are hi-tech whores. Though usually the situation depicted in the show is not usually sexual. Echo is used for a variety of action-movie plots, such as negotiate hostage recovery, protecting a pop diva, and other things.

    So on the one hand, the show glamorizes being a hi-tech whore, fulfilling the desires of men against your own will. Misogyny at its worst.

    On the other hand, I feel like the show is trying to depict Echo's situation as extremely sad and unjust, and this sentiment is expressed more and more profoundly by her handler, Boyd, as the series progresses. But still, Boyd keeps following her on her missions.

    I assume that the underlying story arc will eventually see Echo break free of the Dollhouse. I also predict that she'll probably figure out that the Dollhouse has already kept her longer than the original five years stipulated in her contract. Can see that one coming a mile away. I'll post again as I get further along.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    We started to watch Dollhouse during its network run, but it didn't grab us.  We wanted to like it, seeing as it's another Joss Whedon adventure, but it felt surficial, if that means anything.   Perhaps a better analysis is that we were waiting for the real story to go somewhere.  I felt like it was leading up to an Alias-like twist where Echo learns of her situation but keeps playing along to take them down.  It never got to hinting at that before we gave up on it.  Perhaps I'll give it another shot this summer or in the fall.
  • I really wanted Dollhouse to be revealed as the Slayer Academy. Clearly, no such luck.

    As to what I'm watching... my TV on DVD viewing tends to be restricted to either treadmill days (which I've been skipping lately) or pre-sleep viewing (again, I've been skipping that to read instead). That said, currently in play are:

    ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. At this point I'm into the recently-released Season 4. Quality show, anthology format (for those of you who don't know). The highlight of the show is Hitch's intros/conclusions. Nothing really to say about it as far as concept, since there's no linkage between episodes, but it's good stuff.

    SANFORD AND SON. I'm only 1 disc into this box set of the entire series (something like 20+ DVDs). I have to say, as somebody who was passing-familiar with S&S back in the day (and in reruns), I didn't realize just how ballsy this show was. Definitely not something that would make it on the air today, if only because of its warts-and-all look at people. I've had more than a few conversations with a friend of mine about how it doesn't seem like any show like this would be made today with characters who aren't white - at least not in the States, I can't speak to anywhere else - and that's a shame. For all the shortcomings of the 70s, it seemed like this SHOULD have been a cultural first-step. Consistently entertaining. Follows what I guess I'd call a Simpsons-style continuity (not slavishly referential to prior happenings, but not contradictory). More than once I've busted out laughing while in a full-tilt run, and that's saying something, since I rarely laugh out loud at comedy when I'm alone.

    I've been thinking of giving another runthru to BUFFY / ANGEL, but I mainlined both a few years back and I don't know if I have the stones for that at this juncture.
  • So we finished Dollhouse season 1 last night (the only season currently available on Netflix) and here is my verdict:

    I am not watching any more of that shit.

    Having watched Firefly I felt like Alpha's return to the Dollhouse was completely ruined for me; I was aware that the quirky nerd guy was really Alpha playing possum all along. The reason why is that there's just no way that Joss Whedon would cast THAT CERTAIN ACTOR in a one-shot roll, not after their long and mutually beneficial working relationship. So I knew, the moment he answered the door when the FBI-guy showed up at his apartment, that he was certainly more important than his role in the show, at that point.

    Still, I enjoyed the way Alpha re-took the Dollhouse, terrified Saunders and stole Echo. But then his Dr. Frankenstein shenanigans in his "lair" as he turned Echo into Omega just went a little comic-book-over-the-top for me. Not that I mind comic books, but this scene was somewhat out of the blue compared to the rest of the episodes, and felt a little patched in and uneven. I was able to follow the fact that Alpha later escaped, but barely. Even Laura was asking me questions about how the episode ended, because frankly it was a mess.

    Then the FBI-guy who's spent the entire season searching for the Dollhouse and finding himself ensnared in one trap after another… goes to work for them? I realize the show is a fantasy of sorts, but this just tore the envelope of believability and good storytelling, in my opinion.

    Then there was the jarring, left-field season finale set ten years in the future, where (from what I understand) the entire world has been attacked by some kind of signal. Anyone who picked up a certain phone call at a certain time was turned into a murderous "butcher," and everyone else became their prey. Hello Fox Network? Stephen King's lawyer wants to talk to you about a little bestselling novel he wrote called Cell. The flashbacks throughout the episode basically killed watching the rest of the series for me; even if I watched season two, all that's left is to connect the dots between the present and what we saw in the flashbacks: scar-healing technology arises, then Dollhouse decides to sell their dolls permanently, allowing clients to live forever; then the signal; then everyone in the Dollhouse gets their personalities back; Topher goes insane; Victor and Sierra, or whatever their real names are, fall in love; Caroline becomes some kind of freedom fighter who finds a safe haven outside the Dollhouse, then returns to take everyone there; Whiskey stays behind, the last doll in the dollhouse, to provide vague clues about the whereabouts of the safe haven, lead others there, and occasionally fill the Dollhouse with poison gas.

    What else is there to watch? No wonder they barely made it through season two after alienating their loyal audience in the season one finale. confused

    EDIT: Okay, so let me amend what I said above so that I don't get shouted off the Internet for not being a Dollhouse expert: I just read online that what I perceived to be the season finale, "Epitaph One", was not. The season finale was Omega, and Epitaph One was not aired. For damn good reason, as you can tell by my description. It's not possible to tell that it's an unaired episode when you're streaming these on Netflix. I'm also reading that there's an unaired pilot episode called "Echo," which would explain why the first episode that Netflix streams, "Ghost," kinda leaps right into the middle of the story. Also, I expect that the unaired pilot probably sets up the nature of the Dollhouse and also explains how the FBI-guy knows about the Dollhouse when no one else does. I'll have to try to find it online somewhere, hopefully legally and hopefully for free.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    I implore you to give Burn Notice a try. I know Jeffrey Donovan sets the missus's teeth on edge, but he's part of a larger cast and really isn't the douche one may think he could be, really. The show is solid fun-- one part MacGyver and one part Magnum PI. As the series goes on, the characters really develop their complicated little relationships, too, so it's not a bunch of 2D dimwits.

    Extra bonus is that the show never asks us to suspend our disbelief over the sex appeal of Fiona, Michael, and Sam. With the exception of the few obligatory pool scenes and wound management, everyone keeps their shirts on. Plots are resolved with clever cons and high explosives.

    I really can't say enough about what great entertainment this show is.
  • Oh Jayne, you just have no idea how lazy I am. wink Unfortunately Burn Notice isn't available for instant streaming, which means I'd have to put it in my regular cue. And since we're on the 2 DVD at a time plan, it would take me about 2-3 weeks to watch season 1. And by now there like, what, three seasons or more?

    Yeah, I'm too lazy for that. lol

    When's it come back on TV? Is it the kind of show where I can just start watching in the middle and catch up? Is there like some online synopsis I could read and basically get the gist of everything that's happened?

    Laura started watching Dexter at the beginning of season four. I thought there was no way she'd be able to catch up. But before the season four premiere Showtime was nice enough to air a little "story-thus-far" preview. After that, she only had like one or two more questions I had to answer. So we're pretty swift on the uptake.

    Speaking of instant cue, the entire first season of Spartacus: Blood and Sand is now available on Netflix. If you're any kind of Sam Raimi fan and the term "gladiator porn" intrigues you, then you basically owe it to yourself to watch. The season finale will leave you breathless and disturbed for days afterward. twisted
  • Dan Birlew said:
    "gladiator porn"



     

    First it was "nazi porn", now there's "gladiator porn"... is there something you're not telling us Dan? wink
  • lol Yes, obviously I've stopped watching Internet porn. Some time ago, actually. Now I'm looking for "porn" in other media. But seriously, there's a trend with calling everything "porn." Such as "spaceporn" over at Io9. Before you start thinking of Buck Rogers naked, a quick check of their posts shows that they actually pertain to astronomy discoveries and new observations. Thus if something is too geeky or niche for the masses to enjoy, it's being labeled "___porn."

    Watched the pilot of Haven last night. This is supposed to be a show inspired by Stephen King's novel (more like a novella), The Colorado Kid. The female lead is a bland and monotone actress who says her lines all the same. The script doesn't help, since her FBI agent character is following a mystery where all the clues and suspects basically fall in her lap. At the end she decides to stay in Haven because she sees an old local newspaper photo depicting a woman who looks so like her (the actress in a wig) that it could be her unknown mother. She phones her boss at the FBI to let him know she's taking her vacation and staying in Haven. Only her boss isn't at the FBI, he's parked on a nearby cliff (within eyesight distance, so how could she miss him?) and he's been watching her the entire time. Afterward, her boss calls someone else and tells them that "she's decided to stay." While I wouldn't mind another X-Files type show, I find the whole storyline copycat and cliche. Why does she have to be an FBI agent? Would have been much more convincing to have her remain a freelance writer/reporter following up on a story, and she decides to stay. I'll give this one another 1-2 episodes to get better, but like I said the underlying story arc has been done before, and better. neutral

    I've been watching Eureka ever since it came on TV, despite the fact that the show has tried to turn me off in every way possible. As I told Laura, I just didn't think I could stick with it for another season. However, this one has started off with some promise. While the town is getting ready to celebrate Founder's Day, the day Eureka was established, Carter is out for a jog when his cell goes off. While on the phone, he suddenly loses power and gets sent back to 1947. The rest of the mains also wind up in the past, because they were on their cellphones and also because Carter is too dumb to get back to the future on his own.razz After the cast figures out a way to get back to the present, they reunite and notice some small changes in the decor. They realize the future is not what they left it. Each of them goes home and gets a kind of shock, to find their personal lives are completely changed. And the reason is that the scientist who established Eureka followed them into the future. Hopefully this bodes for a good season!
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Sorry.. had massive house painting and a graduate-level childcare class this weekend. 5 hours with a plastic baby.  Jim and I were the only ones playing Attack of the Big Baby. I think we were the most well-adjusted and capable ones in the class. If you can't laugh about this stuff, insanity soon follows...

     

    Anyway...

    Each season of Burn Notice is a self-contained arc.  There's a bigger over-arching series story, and each of the season-arcs play into it, but it's not deep with the mythology.  You can jump in at any point and pretty much get what's going on.   This season is four episodes in, already.  

    Basically, if you want to give it a shot...

    Big story is that Michael Weston was a CIA deep cover spy.  One day he gets jumped, beat up, and dumped in Miami, where he discovers he's been "burned." Basically, someone reported that he was being a bad spy and doing something very naughty, so he got fired.  All his assets were frozen, he can't get a passport, and no one at the CIA will talk to him because he doesn't exist to them.  His ongoing mission is to find out what was said about him and who said it, and get his job back (although as the seasons go on, he's given to wonder whether he wants that life back).

    In the meantime, he uses his spy knowledge and his friends' skills to help random crisis-of-the-week folks who are in trouble in a way the law can't help... kidnappings, drug dealers harassing them, etc.  His friends are Fiona, a former IRA gun runner/explosives fan (and his ex-gf) and Sam Axe, a former Navy SEAL and FBI informant who used to spy on Michael and report his activities to the FBI.  His mother, a sassy Florida retiree, also gets involved by letting them use her house as a safehouse for their clients.  She knows what Michael did for a living and knows what he does know, and kicks him in the ass when she thinks he's being a tool. Her character really comes into her own in the 2nd season, so bear with the evolution.

    This season, Michael made a contact within a shadow group of the CIA who promised to help him find some more intel on what went down.  To get the info, he uses some credentials the contact (Vaughn) gives Michael.  Turns out, the credentials belong to another spy named Jesse.  Michael gets his info, but in the process, Jesse gets burned, and not knowing Michael was the one who burned him, seeks Michael, a burned brother-in-arms, out for help in discovering what happened to him and why.  Everyone (Fiona, Sam, Mom) knows Jesse's problem is Michael's fault, but it turns out that the guy whose info Michael got was also a quarry of Jesse's.  Both men want to catch him, so they're working together, although Michael's getting more conflicted about it, and Mom is really giving him a hard time about how do unto others doesn't cover what's going on. 

    Older episodes from this season are shown during the week.  Monday is usually the previous episode, Tuesday is another episode from the season.

    Oh, and I totally feel your pain about the non-streaming stuff--

    We're watching True Blood Season 2 that way.  It turns out that while we (I) really, really, really like the show, we (Jim) didn't want to spend $40 on the DVDs for it, and decided that getting it via Netflix by mail just going to be just fine.  Turns out that after Episode 2 (Sooki takes Jessica(?) home), we (I) might not be able to wait so long for the next disk and might have to stop in Target on the way home this week to buy the set.  The kicker is that if we (Jim) just put on our little shoes and drove the 2 miles to the new Best Buy when it opened (after hearing from someone who got there right at 6pm (me) that they had a STACK OF $20 VOUCHERS left!), we could have had the DVD set for $25. But that's ok. Really. lol
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Okie then!  Just finished True Blood Season 2 on DVDs that I finally broke down and bought. YAY!!!

    We blew through all 12 episodes in four days.  Season 2 really redlines the sexual content, but that's not a criticism. It was alternately hilarious and sexy (depending on who was naked under what context.) Of course, it had to end on a cliffhanger, so we're debating getting HBO and catching up on In Demand... probably won't, though.  Next year there will be no debating about buying it. In the meantime, I'll just watch Seasons 1 and 2 over and over.

    In streaming news, we started to watch Dead Like Me, but we got distracted with other stuff and even when there's nothing on, we're not inclined to go back to it.  Can't say why, exactly.  It's not a bad series, but it just didn't grab me.  I found the lead actress hard to watch-- her character, IMO, can be pretty unlikeable, but the rest of the cast is good.    Eh.. if I get bored at some point in the future, I may go back to it, but it's not Must See TV by any stretch.  Not for me, at least.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    And triple posting! This is what happens when I'm locked out for so long...

    We've been watching Rescue Me on Netflix.  We started it about a year ago but got distracted.  This time, for some reason, we're not distracted.   It's probably one of the best, least mawkish entries into pop culture dealing with the aftermath of 9/11.  The show doesn't dwell on the issue, but it's always there in the background, having had profound effects on all of the firemen of 62 Ladder Company.

    I've got to hand it to Dennis Leary.  He writes/ co-writes most of the episodes, and damn if they aren't well-written.  I always thought he was smarter than the average bear, but I never really appreciated his skills so much as I do after watching all of Season 1.  There's a tight balance he achieves between the humor and drama on the show, and the dialogue is fantastic. It's definitely worth a watch.
  • Rubicon on AMC is starting to look like a winner. Episode 2 aired this past Sunday. Very heavy dialog, very heavy mood, highly intelligent writing inspired by 70's spy films like All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View. So far we have what appear to be two separate story lines converging:

    1. Miranda Richardson plays the second wife of a wealthy industrialist who suddenly and inexplicably kills himself after a four-leaf clover drops out of his morning paper. At the end of the first episode a cabal of other wealthy men meet in a countryside location. The meeting is headed up by a man named James Wheeler. The subject of the meeting is to confirm that the wealthy industrialist, Tom, killed himself as planned. In the second episode Richardson attends the will reading where she figures out that Tom altered his Will just days before his suicide, leaving her a company he owns plus a townhouse that she didn't know existed. She goes to the townhouse and finds a small meeting room, and determines that Tom often slept there as evidenced by a monogrammed bathrobe lain out on the bed and novels by Graham Greene; an author Tom supposedly disliked. Believing her husband was cheating she confronts his friend, James Wheeler, who denies Tom was having an affair. Searching through Tom's things at home, she finds the four leaf clover on his desk.

    2. Will Travers is a code breaker in a clandestine intelligence agency, operating under his father-in-law, David. On his way into the office, just after Tom is seen killing himself, Will's fellow employee who is working on the NYT crossword puzzle asks him for the latin word for four-leaf clover, which he knows and tells her. Later that day, he sets aside some work to solve some crosswords puzzles for himself. He then goes to David and shows him what he found: identical references to the three branches of government in the crosswords of several international newspapers. Will thinks the clover entry is somehow related. "What or who does that fourth leaf represent?" he asks. David at first dismisses the coincidence as a joke, but then takes the information to his boss, Kale. Kale asks if anyone else has seen this, and David lies and says no. Later that day when David is on the train home, another train accidentally switches rails and collides with David's train, killing him and everyone on board. Will reluctantly takes up David's position and starts leading his division, serving under Kale and an odd man named Spangler, but secretly continues looking into David's death. He believes David was murdered because before boarding the train, David parked his car in slot number 13, a number that David superstitiously avoided like the plague. David also left a code typed on a sheet of paper left in an old typewriter, which David takes to an old retired codebreaker named Ed. Ed is a bit on the OCD side, and was a brilliant code breaker until the codes broke him. Showing the crosswords to Ed causes him to send David away immediately. He goes back to him with the code in the typewriter, and Ed reluctantly tells him that the code refers to a page number in a shared book, and certain letters on that page. Ed then admits that he came up with the code used in the crossword puzzle back in 1982; it's a kind of go-code used to activate agents who are then to take assigned actions. Will applies the code to the last thing David gave him, a food on the road guidebook. When decoded, the message from David says, "THEY HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT." Meanwhile Wheeler calls up a man named R.C. and expresses concern about Will's boss, Spangler, being overzealous. R.C. says Spangler knows what he's doing, but Wheeler claims that Spangler is getting older, as they all are. The final scenes of last episode showed us that Will is being watched by two men, and a third is following him around town. The men report back to an unknown source that Will is "still looking into it."

    I LOVE shit like this. Old school spy stories where the objective is not to shoot someone in the head, but to solve a puzzle within a puzzle. Like X-Files without all the supernatural stuff, just pure government conspiracy paranoia. Episode 3 this Sunday!
  • Just this past couple of nights started to watch Twin Peaks again from the Gold Edition DVD boxed set.

    I haven't seen ANYTHING of this great series since about 3/4 years after it first aired.  Man am I STILL so impressed with this!  It's by far one of the most barkingly mad, brilliant series I've watched.

    I've watched the US pilot and the first three episodes so far, I'm going to leave the UK pilot to last as it's suppose to conclued the story in one conveniunt 90 show, and I didn't want to spoil anything by being reminded of things that I'd forgotten about the plot which hopefully I can still re-descover.
  • Man I'd forgotten just how QUERKY this thing was, they must have invented modern TV quirk with this series.  I'm well into the second series now and Lynch's directing is really starting to kick in!
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    5th of September until now to watch it all and the International pilot AND the film.  But boy was it worth it.  Still hate the ending though, well not so much the ending, but the fact that none of the ending of series 2 was ever able to be resolved as they never got the 3rd series.

    Also as I said I watched the International pilot, what the HELL was that all about?  After about an hour and 15 minutes the original US pilot cuts off and this MAD AS A BARREL FULL OF MONKEYS thing takes over and solves the case with a couple of quirky clues and bam, case closed.  I won't mention any spoilers as I know at least one other person is also watching this (or have you already finished Vince?)

    Once the first "case" was solved there is about 3 episodes at around 16/17/18 that are just SOAP-opera trash, and then the second "case" kicks in and the goodness just keeps ramping back up, but never quite makes it back up to the hights of the first series.

    I now know that there are several reasons for this, lead amongst them the fact that ABC wanted the LP murder solved, there was the writer's strike AND Lynch and Frost were off making films, but they could have at LEAST left somebody with a bit more sense in control.  But by the time they got back, ABC was moving the thing all around the schedules and it had run it's course I think.

    BUT it still would have been nice to have at least 1 more episode to tie things up!
  • I haven't finished the series, but I've seen the International Pilot before anything else.  It just didn't make sense in the slightest.  But not in a Lynch way.

    I'd rather sit through a whole song by Celine Dion than have to watch that again eek  (-edit- actually, I might only survive half of the song!)

     

    I can't even remember where I've got up to in the series, but it's probably only half way.  I've been making my way slowly through some Nasties, X-Files and Stephen King things lately instead and never really got back into the TP mood.  I'll have to buy myself some donuts, that might solve it big-grin
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    OH!  YEH!  The donuts'll do it, but make sure you get a cup of Joe to got with it, hot and strong.
  • I can't wait until you UK people get Deadly Premonition on the 29th. With you having just watched Twin Peaks and being Silent Hill and/or Fatal Frame fans, I would like to hear what you think. It's budget priced, too. How does that make you feel, Zack?cool
  • I'm actually going to be late with our gas and electric bill this month as I won't have quite enough money.  £10 less I think.

    But then, I've had Deadly Premonition on pre-order for a few months now so I making damn sure the money will be there when it does arrive mr-green

    And it means that I won't get £3 off our next bill.  Well, that's 2 bus journeys or a pizza less for me lol

     

    -edit-

    I haven't heard it in months (possibly since I last posted in the DP thread) but I've now started whistling that tune. Can't wait to get the game.
  • I spent a Xmas-haul BestBuy gift card on The Venture Bros - Season 4 Vol. 1 DVD set... and thanks to the marvellous advancments in package tracking technology, I've been able to watch BestBuy mail it back and forth to themselves for about a week now.
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    Forgot this at the time, but over the Xmas break I watched two Liverpool based series from the early 80s, namely One Summer and Scully.

    I doubt that anybody will have even heard of these, but for me at the time of watching them originally they left a lasting impression, and especally in the case of One Summer, I still remembered almost all of the plot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ax5pi3MQEA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    I've been watching "House M.D." as I run on the treadmill. It's amazingly slavish to it's formula, such that if the patient is recovering before I hit 4 miles, I know it's just because the steroids are masking the problem or something like that. The medical issues also smack of something like MacGyver's solutions, but that's ok. It's not so much a medical show as a character show about a cranky genius who just happens to be a doctor. Plus, it's set in NJ, and the characters speak well and have yet to go "down the shore." I'm obligated to support it.
  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    I've successfully started Battlestar Galactica after a few false starts. Got through the 2-part miniseries as well as about half of the first episode, "33." I quite enjoy it, especially all the nods to the old series in the form of the Galactica museum, featuring Cylons, raiders, vipers and base stars from the original series. It's quite a bit more character-driven than the SyFy channel commercials ever led me to believe, they all managed to have a more sensationalist slant as if they were trying to get people to watch a Sci-fi sex show. Though the characters start off a bit cookie-cutter, they start peeling the layers quite nicely by the end of the mini-series. However, this really isn't the kind of thing Laura will sit down and watch, so I'll have to view this in my spare time, meaning it'll take quite a while to get through.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    If she doesn't have it, please give Laura my email address so she can join my Widows of Galactica support group.  I love me some good sci-fi TV, but I couldn't get into it.  Jim, on the other hand, mainlined the entire series for the last month or so (this is the curse of the iPad with Netflix).  He talks about it non-stop.  Since I feel like I've seen it, I can say that it is character driven in a way that the original series could only dream to be, although some of the stuff sounded pretty hamfisted.  Enjoy, and my sympathies to the missus.
  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    Yeah, not to sound sexist (I know a couple of femme BSG groupies on Twitter) but watching the show I can definitely see it having more guy appeal. The plot is very military and tech driven, with lots of nods to the old series, including the old Apollo, Richard Hatch, in a new role.

    Plus there was the two part Starbuck story where she was trapped on a planet with a damaged Cylon raider, which is very similar to the final Starbuck story from the old series, Galactica 80, titled "The Return of Starbuck." Galactica 80 was of course the terrible send-off that the original series never needed, and this was the last episode they ever showed. In it, the original Starbuck is shot down and forced to crash-land on a planet, alongside the last Cylon raider he shot down. Like the modern series, Starbuck is forced to take apart and reconstruct the Cylon raider, but for shelter, and eventually he decides to reactivate the Cylon pilot for company. Meanwhile Adama and the fleet had to move off and leave Starbuck there, whereas in the new series kickass female Starbuck managed to carve her way through the inner membranes of the cyborg raider and figure out how to fly it manually off the planet, and rejoin the fleet just before they jumped. Only some nerd like me who watched both series would spot the correlation.

    I bet you're tired of hearing about those little details by now, eh? geek-chic

    Anyway, I'm now through 7 episodes of season 1. Honestly, the tempo's going to have to pick up a bit if I'm going to stick with it for 3.5 more entire seasons.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    I watched the 70's series with my dad.  It was the bane of my mother's existence.  Actually, there were twin banes: Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  I vaguely remember both, but for what it's worth, we met Gil Gerard at a con a few years ago, and he was the nicest guy, almost as awesome-nice as Michael Gross, who told me his wife likes rootbeer floats. Long story. Actually, Adam West was the most awesome, but I digress...

    (What?! Jayne goes to cons?  yeah... I get my geek on, but I don't play dress-up. This may change if Jim has his way after he saw this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XdP6.....rster.jpg)

    I'm still watching House, by the way, not that anyone cares.  Just watched the episode with the deformed kid who couldn't have reconstructive surgery because of heart failure of indeterminate origin. Turns out he had Lyme disease, and nobody saw the rash because people didn't want to look at him for too long. roll-eyes Only after Beauty (Olivia Wilde) gets close to the Beast, is the rash seen and the boy saved. Not to nitpick or anything, but Lyme disease is as common as the flu here, and having worked outdoors in tick country, I can tell you-- by the time you have heart failure, the rash is long gone. And yet I keep watching...
  • I recently went back to Bloody Kids after seeing it in my younger days and thinking it was SO adult and hard hitting, going back to it now, it's really not how I remember it!

    Probably another one nobody else has ever heard of!

    http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0078881/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....O0rjBlnST8
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    OK back this time with something I think most people would have at least heard of.

    The Sweeney. In fact there is no COMPLETE complete boxed set so I have had to buy three different sets, the original pilot called "Regan", the boxed set of all the episodes from all four series and the two disc set of the two spin off films.

    Watched the pilot and first episode tonight. It's dated, but in a good way, it's not quite hit the sweet spot yet, but as I know it does, I'm in no hurry as it's nice to see the characters and relationships build.

    It's odd after watching Life On Mars (the UK version) first and never really seeing The Sweeney in it's prime as even I was too young, I can really see now where Life On Mars was going, it's not a fantasy carbon copy of The Sweeney, but it sure owes it a GREAT deal.

    So, yeah, really looking forward to the rest, and I'll keep posting my thoughts on it too.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Well, I finished season 5 of House last week, which left me in a lurch. Can't watch 'Supernatural' in the basement (it taunts the basement monsters), so I'm back to watching 'Arrested Development' for the 4th time. If anyone hasn't seen this series, it's a must. I read an interview with series creator Mitchell Hurwitz about why it failed (can't find it now), and basically it came down to the fact that it was a comedy for British sensibilities, aired in the US and on FOX of all places. Such a good show. It's available for live streaming on Netflix.

    In other TV news, in what is one of the best birthday presents ever from in-laws, mine gifted me with the newly re-released 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe' volume 1. 65 episodes of nostalgia. Fabulous.
  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    LOVE Arrested Development. I've watched the entire series once, and Laura's watched it twice. Plus she catches re-showings on IFC late some nights.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Watching 'Arrested Development' while running is a challenge. It doesn't matter that I can recite the dialogue, I still crack up with some of it and it messes up my pace, which regularly threatens to send me off the treadmill and into the water heater in the corner of the workout room. Bob Loblaw's Law Blog. Hahaha hahaha Even the worst arc, the Mr. F one with Charlize Theron, had some brilliant moments, like the Japanese investors and the unintentional kaiju fight on the train set. I just ordered House s6, but despite the potential for grevious bodily injury, I think I need to watch AD all the way through again. I hope the movie doesn't suck.

    Jim and I watched the extra knowledge on He-Man volume 1. Yes, by today's standards, the animation quality and voice acting and hamfisted moral lessons are laughable, but Filmation broke completely new ground with the series and it was really interesting to hear about the back room discussions and negotiations that went into getting it on the air. Parts of the censorship stuff reminded me of some things Rod Serling dealt with on The Twilight Zone, but on a level for kids. I've come to believe that Lou Scheimer is either the most moral and socially responsible children's animated tv producer, or he's an incredible bastard whose name still strikes fear into the minds and hearts of former employees such that they feel compelled to say only the nicest things about him and his intentions for He-Man's message to kids.
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    OK so The Sweeney HAS now hit the ground running and it's well in to it's stride. A couple of the episodes have been a bit on the lite side with the scripts bordering on the comedic, but anything that is meant to be hard hitting IS very gritty!

    Well enjoying it now and I'm only 5 episodes in!
  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    Since the forums are now back in order I thought I'd take a moment to say that I'm through the first four episodes of Battlestar Galactica season 4 and... Holy Frak!!!! First, let me admit the nicknames I've started using for this show. I call it either "Blade Runner Galactica," "Republican Star Trek" or "Ship of Fools" around the house. B-) But don't let that inspire any arguments, I really do like the show. The season 3 finale got pretty esoteric, what with four of the final five Cylons all realizing they were Cylons by singing the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." Which has me still asking, "how the hell do they know that song if no one's been to Earth?!?!?!" Not much point in speculating too much, however, since I'm only 18 episodes away from the ending. But I do believe the appearance of the Dylan song definitely dates the story to some point between now and the distant future. I also worry that the scriptures are pulling a whammy on the entire human race, since as the Cylons keep saying "This has all happened before, and will all happen again." I wonder privately if the scriptures are merely a failsafe to keep bringing the humans "back" to Earth whenever they destroy themselves, as they've done so this time by creating the Cylons who in turn spelled out their doom.

    Anyway, it's all very clever and very heavy, and my kind of stuff. Been streaming the last two seasons almost non-stop through my iPhone.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Get an iPad, Dan. You won't regret it.

    Thanks for forum-of-the-week-ing this one! I'm having a Sally Field moment.

    Still watching AD. House arrived on Friday, but Jim reminded me that I have the entire run of Pinky and The Brain unopened. So that, then House season s6.
  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    Unfortunately the most forum activity this week was in an admin only topic so I might just skip it this week.

    Finished all 76 or so hours of Battlestar Galactica. And It was a series well worth watching. Sure, it left some questions unanswered just like Lost. Sure, the ending bordered on religious affirmation, just like Lost. But somehow it was nicer that this series was less demanding, less intentionally misdirecting, less red herring in my viewing diet. I also appreciate how the series focused on the characters and their relations rather than on pew pew and space battles, which was the empty meat and potatoes of the original series, which tried too hard to be nothing better tha Star Wars on TV. And as far as sci-fi goes this is one of the best ever put on film. I strongly recommend it.
  • MarcoMarco
    Member
    I thought Galactica was good for the first couple seasons, but season 4 I thought was terrible. Part of the problem was that they rushed through everything -- Galactica was originally planned to be a 5 season show but they were worried that they wouldn't be renewed for a 5th season, so they condensed 2 seasons into 1. I don't know why they were so worried; from what I gathered, the show was extremely successful. At any rate, if they had taken their time, I think I would have continued to enjoy the show as much as I did for the earlier seasons.

    Marco.
  • WOW look at all the dust around here, it's been a while!!!

    I'm currently about 2/3s of the way through Devil May Cry the Anime on UK BD.



    Very entertaining!
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    I've now finished all 12 episodes of DMC, and it got better at the end, there was a 3 part story to finish it off which could have quite easily been made into a full length feature!

    Next I'm going to watch Sherlock Hound which I got for Christmas.
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    OK so I'm about 10 episodes in and I've really taken to the characterisation of the main players. At first I was rather disappointed at the English dub, but it's grown on me. I'm now looking forward to the rest of the 24 episode series.

  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    So, anyone watch the Alcatraz 2-ep premiere on Fox? I found it mildly amusing. Nice to see Jorge Garcia return to screen, even if he is just playing another giant teddy bear comic book geek. Sam Neil brings a necessary intensity to his role, and the lead actress does pretty well. Some nice little reveals about the characters at the end of each episode, that both clarify and deepen the mystery about where 323 men disappeared to in 1963. The jumping back and forth in time and always having to monitor the date is getting a bit old already, but hopefully they'll start to count on a smarter audience before long. I'll keep watching a couple more episodes, but it's probably not going to turn into the same obsession I had for Lost.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    I've been trying to watch it. We're in the peak of cold season here, and everyone is sick, so trying to find 2 hours to watch with the attention required by this type of show is hard to come by. I planned to watch it On Demand when I ran, but my lungs had a better idea for my mornings this week (mainly hacking like I smoke two packs a day). New plan is to watch it Sunday. I have folks at work hounding me for a discussion of some story elements, so I need to get the first two eps in before Monday night.

    However, it is a JJ Abrams show and he is working on the next Star Trek movie, so expect Alcatraz to suffer the same quality decline that all of his other shows exhibited when his creative ADD kicked in and he jumped to a new project. Plus, it's on Fox, and they already have Fringe and are debating what to do with that dinosaur show. I'm not getting attached, but I'll watch it for as long as it warrants my time.
  • PlopperPlopper
    Moderator
    Still watching Sherlock Hound me, I'm glad it's only one series as it's all getting a little big same-y now. Still fun though.
  • I suppose this is a tv series, but it never made it to UK screens and I do have the DVD box set so... Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig.

    Nowhere near as good as the first series. Quite a challenge to actually get through the whole arc as it was pretty boring and predictable. The first series had the Laughing Man story arc which was phenomenal. 2nd Gig has Individual Eleven which I suppose was meant to be mythology and historical - lone guy befriends people, moves along, causes an uprising with the hopes of evolution. It took so long to get to the main story and finished it so fast that you're left wondering why it took so long.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Finally watched Alcatraz. Fox took it off On-Demand, so I had to buy it on iTunes, but wow... the HD image when jacked into our big TV beat the pants off the "HD" image from On-Demand.

    I don't know @DanBirlew. I find it kinda slow, and the central mystery isn't really grabbing me. I have issues with wardrobe (the pants they keep putting the lead actress in are not flattering at all and make her look chunkier than the 105 lbs she probably is in real life). I also cannot wrap my brain around what must be a drought of blue-eyed actors under 25. What was with the horrendously fake "blue" contacts worn by young Hauser? I thought at first, prior to the big reveal, that the young corrections officer was supposed to be an alien or something because of his tiny pupils and obviously fake irises. Nope.. He's just "young Sam Neil" even though Sam Neil has blue eyes, not aqua. I don't get it.

    I kept thinking of "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo" through the whole premiere event. If you're unfamiliar, you can google it. Basically, Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, and Scrappy (sigh), along with another kid meant to broaden the ethnic demographic have to chase down and find 13 ghosts that were released from a magic chest. Vincent Price is some magician-sorcerer who helps them. Here we have Scooby/Shaggy = De Soto; Daphne = Rebecka; Kid whose name I forget = Lucy; Vincent Price = Sam Neil.
  • DanBirlewDanBirlew
    Administrator
    @Jayne Hilarious. Kinda like the way Inception was a ripoff of a Scrooge McDuck comic strip from Disney Magazine?: http://videogum.com/208132/caught-inception-ripped-off-scrooge-mcduck/remakes-and-spinoffs/
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    Still watching Alcatraz? I tried to watch it and care about it, but the most recent episode was just more of the same whateverness and leaden plotting that failed to suck me in during the prior outings. As much as I like the cast, I'd rather watch DVR'd episodes of Brad Meltzer's Decoded on the History Channel.

    Next week things are going to change, anyway, with the premiere of "The River" featuring Captain Pike/Nowhere Man/Voice of Batman Bruce Greenwood. Even if its silly, I'm betting it will be more engaging than Alcatraz. At this stage in my life, TV watching is a zero-sum game (also known as entertainment precipitation-- something new comes in, something old must go out...)
  • Got to the end of Sherlock Hound, glad I watched them all as there were a couple of good ones at the end, but it was basically the same story 26 times over. Same formula anyway.

    Professor Moriarty would come up with a hair-brained scam to make loads of money, would be implementing said plan when Sherlock would stumble across the goings on and thwart the Professor in the nick of time for the end of the show. Oh! And there was ALWAYS a comedy chase involving the Professor, his henchmen, Lestrade of the yard, Sherlock and Watson. Still fun though as the character of Sherlock STILL managed to shine through!

    So now I've moved on to something completely different, the complete boxed set of Alan Partridge, all three series. Which for those that don't know started off with a mock chat show that was SO cringe worthy in places it's painful followed up with a two series sit com / mock documentary about what he gets up to after being sacked as host of the chat show. Very funny stuff in a very dark and bitter kind of way.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    On the topic of the topic, I'm working my way through the previous season of Bones on Netflix when I run. It is not a "good" show in any real sense--the stories are silly, the science is sketchy, and the acting is pretty bad in many cases, plus, I'd like to make a drinking game for Toyota product placement with a double shot every time someone remarks about the awesomeness of the Toyota vehicle they're driving "that beep is the Prius' driver alert system!" -- but it's entertaining enough to keep me going for the length of my morning run. And I can't rag too much on the Toyota thing because they pay for the closed captions which save me from having to turn up the volume to hear over the treadmill. I don't recommend it unless you need some background noise/mindless entertainment, but at least it's providing jobs for writers (albeit not the best writers, but writers nonetheless...)
  • We've managed to watch all 4 seasons of The Big Bang Theory in the past few weeks. Brilliant stuff.

    We've only seen the first 4 episodes of season 5 so far, but I can't wait to see 10 or 11 as there's apparently a Red Dwarf comment. I love Red Dwarf (well, 1-6 anyways, 7-9 aren't that great)

    Also in either S5E1 it looked like Leonard was drinking a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. Can anyone confirm that? I don't know if it's in HD over there, but we've only seen the SD transmission of S5 so far. The label on the bottle does seem to be the proper Newkie label and it's the right colour of drink, although the bottle does seem to be a bit smaller than I remember.
  • JayneJayne
    Moderator
    As I recall, it was. Newcastle is everywhere here in the states. It's sold in the typical 12 fl oz bottle six-packs. Is it sold in larger bottles on your side of the pond?

    I admit to having a little smile about non-commercial product placement. They could have had Leonard drinking a Bud (yeck) or a Heineken or something, but they go for a beer that doesn't have that type of commercial representation. That's quality.

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