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The TV Lounge

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Re: The TV Lounge

#1921

Post by sebby » July 1st, 2020, 7:07 am

funkybusiness wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 7:03 am
yo that's what happens when a tv show makes two billion dollars during its first year. nothing had ever been so successful before. that's enough money to keep it going for like another twenty seasons.


not a single person alive will manage to outlive the Marvel films.
It's astonishing to me that the major voice actors have hung on. I know it's mega cash for easy work, but at a certain point you're set for life and surely you know the work you're doing is just trash. I would take my money and run.

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#1922

Post by AdamH » July 1st, 2020, 7:26 am

sebby wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 7:07 am
funkybusiness wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 7:03 am
yo that's what happens when a tv show makes two billion dollars during its first year. nothing had ever been so successful before. that's enough money to keep it going for like another twenty seasons.


not a single person alive will manage to outlive the Marvel films.
It's astonishing to me that the major voice actors have hung on. I know it's mega cash for easy work, but at a certain point you're set for life and surely you know the work you're doing is just trash. I would take my money and run.
I find that astonishing as well. They are 55, 56, 62, 62, 69 and 76. You would think someone would have quit by now. I think Harry Shearer has threatened to quit a couple of times but that might just have been a bargaining tool.

To be honest, they seem so determined to continue The Simpsons forever that I can imagine the main cast quitting and them simply replacing them with younger people and continuing forever.

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#1923

Post by mightysparks » July 1st, 2020, 8:12 am

I looked up The Simpsons on Youtube and clicked the first new episode and geez it's awful. I only watched a couple of minutes, but it really doesn't have the same feel to it and the jokes are just... not jokes. Marge's voice also sounds crazily different and old, and only Homer's voice sounds exactly the same. Ugh.
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#1924

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 1st, 2020, 10:46 pm

Mike Judge is reviving Beavis & Butt-head for two new seasons. The last time he brought it back for a season in 2011 was surprisingly good, so I’m pretty excited for this (though I don’t expect too many here to be fans of the show).
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#1925

Post by mightysparks » July 2nd, 2020, 1:11 am

Haven’t really watched it since I was a kid, but I was a big fan of it then. I didn’t really fully understand it (I started watching as a toddler), but it’s a show I’ve always wanted to give a revisit and proper look at.
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#1926

Post by mightysparks » July 5th, 2020, 5:08 pm

Spoke too soon about After Life. After my post, we watched what turned out to be the final ep of season 1 and it was total trash. Literally a -14/10 episode. My boyfriend hated it so much he didn’t want to watch the show anymore.

So I suggested Preacher, which I only watched last Oct/Nov but had wanted to revisit. He wasn’t that interested but I finally convinced him and we’re in season 3 and he enjoys it a lot. I just looked up my post about it and my feelings are pretty much the same. It’s not quite as exciting and gripping as the first time watch, but still enjoyable. I’ve warmed up to Tulip’s character and find her much more than just a ‘love triangle’, but often I find that she is the cause for something to happen and slow down the plot. Season 3 is still really boring and I’m not that motivated to watch as much: usually we watch 1/2 eps of a show while we eat our first meal of the day, then another 1/2 when we have dinner, but now I’m not as fussed if we skip it to do our own thing. Herr Starr is still great. And I still need to read the comics...

Also have been in the mood for documentary miniseries after watching The Staircase and OJ Made In America lately. The Staircase was ok but I found it annoying at times and finding out that the editor had a relationship with the subject was not really at all surprising. I found him incredibly unlikable but felt the show was really pushing too hard to make me sympathetic towards him. Not gonna happen bro. OJ was very good, not quite a favourite as I probably wouldn’t want to revisit it, but interesting, entertaining and well made. Today I finished The Jinx, which I found gripping and interesting but very... dramatic. Like with The Staircase, the filmmaking and editing were a little too apparent but the story and people were much more interesting here.
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#1927

Post by AdamH » July 8th, 2020, 8:05 pm

Been watching some of the later episodes of Malcolm in the Middle (haven't seen the later seasons many times). Such an underrated programme. Should appear more often in people's top TV programmes lists. I reckon it's top five material.

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#1928

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 8th, 2020, 10:02 pm

AdamH wrote:
July 8th, 2020, 8:05 pm
Been watching some of the later episodes of Malcolm in the Middle (haven't seen the later seasons many times). Such an underrated programme. Should appear more often in people's top TV programmes lists. I reckon it's top five material.
I should probably give that show another look; I remember watching and liking the first two seasons or so when it was airing (I was around 12 when it started), but then stopped for whatever reason. No surprise that I recall Bryan Cranston as being the best part of the show. I didn’t watch Breaking Bad until after the series ended, so up until that point I most associated Cranston with being the dad in Malcolm.
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#1929

Post by AdamH » July 8th, 2020, 10:41 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
July 8th, 2020, 10:02 pm
AdamH wrote:
July 8th, 2020, 8:05 pm
Been watching some of the later episodes of Malcolm in the Middle (haven't seen the later seasons many times). Such an underrated programme. Should appear more often in people's top TV programmes lists. I reckon it's top five material.
I should probably give that show another look; I remember watching and liking the first two seasons or so when it was airing (I was around 12 when it started), but then stopped for whatever reason. No surprise that I recall Bryan Cranston as being the best part of the show. I didn’t watch Breaking Bad until after the series ended, so up until that point I most associated Cranston with being the dad in Malcolm.
I watched Malcolm in the Middle from when it was first shown in the UK (must have been not too long after it started in the US in 2000) so certainly always associated Bryan Cranston with MitM. Hal (his character) is the best thing in the programme for me. The crazy projects he goes on, his screams and everything about the character really is excellent. He also brings a real warmth to the character and likability as opposed to Lois who is the dictatorial mum. It really shows his talents that he can play Hal and Walt so well. Breaking Bad is my favourite programme ever and Malcolm in the Middle is one of my favourites too.

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#1930

Post by mjf314 » July 9th, 2020, 12:32 pm

I watched Anne of Green Gables (1985). I liked it.

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#1931

Post by mjf314 » July 18th, 2020, 2:33 pm

I watched Odissea (1968). It's a great adaptation of The Odyssey. I highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in Greek mythology or fantasy adventure.

The cinematography, set design, and costume design are good and realistic (I'm not much of an expert on ancient Greece, but according to some reviews, it's an accurate depiction of the time period). The special effects were designed by Mario Bava. Penelope is played by Irene Papas (she was also in Ilektra). Interestingly, Irene Papas is also in the 1997 adaptation of The Odyssey, in which she plays Odysseus's mother. Compared to the 1997 adaptation, this adaptation follows the original story more closely, and I think it's more artistic and has better dialogue.

It's available on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjN_merCA0Q
(this version has better subtitles than the subtitles available on KG)

This version has 4 episodes instead of 8, but the total runtime is about the same, so I don't think anything is missing.

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#1932

Post by OldAle1 » July 18th, 2020, 3:06 pm

Sounds cool thanks - given the participation of Bava and Papas this ought to be better known, probably would be if it weren't a TV mini-series.

One question: the YT link is in French; if I had to guess I'd say that given that it's an international (but mostly Italian) production from that time period it was probably shot silent and then dubbed into several languages? If so I don't really mind watching it in French but it'd be good to know if there are other language versions out there.

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#1933

Post by mjf314 » July 18th, 2020, 3:27 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
July 18th, 2020, 3:06 pm
Sounds cool thanks - given the participation of Bava and Papas this ought to be better known, probably would be if it weren't a TV mini-series.

One question: the YT link is in French; if I had to guess I'd say that given that it's an international (but mostly Italian) production from that time period it was probably shot silent and then dubbed into several languages? If so I don't really mind watching it in French but it'd be good to know if there are other language versions out there.
I don't know how it was originally shot. The KG version is Italian, but the subtitles aren't good, so unless you understand Italian, I recommend watching it on Youtube. I watched the first 30 minutes of the KG version, and then I switched to the Youtube version.

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#1934

Post by brokenface » July 20th, 2020, 8:39 pm

Anyone watch The Plot Against America yet? I read it a year or two back so it was all pretty fresh, and I'd say it's a pretty faithful adaptation with a few tweaks. Wire fans will see David Simon's hand in the structuring and the way it slow burns towards a killer finale that both resolves and doesn't. Very fine production all round, and resonant with current White House occupant and elections this year.

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#1935

Post by Armoreska » July 21st, 2020, 9:59 am

mjf314 wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 12:32 pm
I watched Anne of Green Gables (1985). I liked it.
Why not the animated '79?
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#1936

Post by mjf314 » July 21st, 2020, 12:30 pm

Armoreska wrote:
July 21st, 2020, 9:59 am
mjf314 wrote:
July 9th, 2020, 12:32 pm
I watched Anne of Green Gables (1985). I liked it.
Why not the animated '79?
The 1985 version seems to be more popular. Also the 1979 version is much longer, and I usually prioritize shorter series.

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#1937

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 27th, 2020, 6:42 pm

I recently started watching Strangers with Candy, a show that I had recalled seeing an episode or two here and there when I was a young teen around 2000, but had never properly watched until now. God, what a gloriously weird and hilarious show, I'm through most of the first season and really enjoying it. Amy Sedaris is a treasure.
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#1938

Post by mightysparks » July 28th, 2020, 12:21 am

I remember watching that show sometimes as a kid around 2000. I remember it being weird and not really getting it but I’m not sure if I liked it or not.
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#1939

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 28th, 2020, 1:58 am

mightysparks wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 12:21 am
I remember watching that show sometimes as a kid around 2000. I remember it being weird and not really getting it but I’m not sure if I liked it or not.
Yeah I’d say give it a proper go now as an adult. It’s certainly worked out for me at least.
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#1940

Post by outdoorcats » July 28th, 2020, 8:09 pm

Watchmen picked up 26 Emmy nominations (the most of any show or miniseries this year) ! :cheers:
SpoilerShow
Outstanding Limited Series
Actress - Regina King
Actor - Jeremy Irons
Supporting Actress - Jean Smart
Supporting Actor - Yahya Abdul Mateen II
Supporting Actor - Jovan Adepo
Supporting Actor - Louis Gossett Jr.
Best Director: Nicole Kassell, "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
Best Director: Steph Green, "Little Fear of Lightning"
Best Director: Stephen Williams, "This Extraordinary Being"
Writing: Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, "This Extraordinary Being"

Casting (Limited Series)
Music: Nine Inch Nails [Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross], "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
Original Song: Nine Inch Nails, "The Way it Used to Be" [from This Extraordinary Being]
Cinematography: "Little Fear of Lightning"
Cinematography: "This Extraordinary Being"
Editing: "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
Editing: "This Extraordinary Being"
Editing: "A God Walks Into Abar"
Production Design (for Period/Fantasy): "An Almost Religious Awe"
Costumes (Fantasy/Sci-Fi): "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
Music Supervision: "This Extraordinary Being"
Sound Editing: "This Extraordinary Being"
Sound Mixing: "This Extraordinary Being"
Visual Effects: "See How They Fly"
Main Title Design
I'm a little confused on the rules with Jovan Adepo - don't you have to be in a certain number of episodes to be considering a supporting actor and not a guest one? Or is it based on screentime? In any case, much deserved acting nominations all around, but it's too bad Tim Blake Nelson didn't squeeze in there as I thought he was probably the best performance besides King. Or Hong Chau for her scenery-chewing turn as Lady Trieu.

I wonder if this is the first time that two actors have been nominated in the same category at the same time for playing the same character?

Rhea Seehorn was not nominated for Better Call Saul. :mw_confused: :shrug:

Also, The Mandalorian got a surprise Best Drama nomination. (I haven't seen it) Should we have seen that coming?
Last edited by outdoorcats on July 28th, 2020, 8:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#1941

Post by GruesomeTwosome » July 28th, 2020, 8:17 pm

outdoorcats wrote:
July 28th, 2020, 8:09 pm
Rhea Seehorn was not nominated for Better Call Saul. :mw_confused: :shrug:
Yep, the Emmy voters still suck and have shit for taste, as usual.
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#1942

Post by mightysparks » July 31st, 2020, 12:03 pm

Trying to find a new show to get into. Went through the highest rated TV on IMDb and chose a couple of things at random to watch the pilots. I watched Fleabag which i didn’t really get or relate to at all. The lead actress seemed good but I didn’t find it funny. I also watched Avatar The Last Airbender. It was ok but a bit kiddyish. I’ll give both a couple more eps but I’m more keen on the latter. Wasn’t sure what else to go for after that so I decided to catch up on Fargo. I loved the first season but only watched 3 or so eps of the second before just forgetting about it I guess. Not sure what else to try after that.
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#1943

Post by AdamH » July 31st, 2020, 12:06 pm

mightysparks wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 12:03 pm
Trying to find a new show to get into. Went through the highest rated TV on IMDb and chose a couple of things at random to watch the pilots. I watched Fleabag which i didn’t really get or relate to at all. The lead actress seemed good but I didn’t find it funny. I also watched Avatar The Last Airbender. It was ok but a bit kiddyish. I’ll give both a couple more eps but I’m more keen on the latter. Wasn’t sure what else to go for after that so I decided to catch up on Fargo. I loved the first season but only watched 3 or so eps of the second before just forgetting about it I guess. Not sure what else to try after that.
What type of programme are you looking for? I was about to recommend The Smoking Room but remembered that I think you already watched it (maybe even because I recommended it?).

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#1944

Post by AdamH » July 31st, 2020, 12:08 pm

Have you watched any Chris Morris stuff? I'm sure you have but I think you'd like it. I've watched Brass Eye, The Day Today and Jam. Jam has some particularly weird sketches that might appeal to you.

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#1945

Post by mightysparks » July 31st, 2020, 12:30 pm

Yeah you recommended me The Smoking Room years ago and it was great. Not a big Chris Morris fan, I thought Jam was ok but not really my thing. The other ones I don’t think I’d get since I don’t follow the news and current events and stuff.

Not looking for anything in particular really. I rarely get into comedies or dramas though. Just something that hooks me in but it seems more and more difficult to find good TV.
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#1946

Post by outdoorcats » July 31st, 2020, 4:03 pm

Fleabag works much better as a drama than a comedy, and is at its best when it's more surreal, IMO. I thought the first season was good enough, but really, really liked the second/final season.

I think I'm going to watch Black Sails next; I've heard some really great things about it.

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#1947

Post by sebby » August 1st, 2020, 2:13 am

You can skip directly to Fargo S3 if S2 didn't do it for you.

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#1948

Post by mjf314 » August 1st, 2020, 4:11 am

mightysparks wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 12:30 pm
Yeah you recommended me The Smoking Room years ago and it was great. Not a big Chris Morris fan, I thought Jam was ok but not really my thing. The other ones I don’t think I’d get since I don’t follow the news and current events and stuff.

Not looking for anything in particular really. I rarely get into comedies or dramas though. Just something that hooks me in but it seems more and more difficult to find good TV.
You might like The Prisoner.

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#1949

Post by outdoorcats » August 9th, 2020, 8:29 pm

Going through the Emmys nominees for Best Miniseries; I watched the 8-hour Unbelievable in 2 days, which is pretty unusual for me (I'm generally not a binge watcher). I strongly recommend it for fans of sociological and/or socially aware true crime, such as Mindhunter.

It's based on the ProPublica/Marshall Project article "An Unbelievable Story of Rape" which was also adapted into podcast format for This American Life, about a foster teen in WA who in the aftermath of a stranger rape was heavily pressured by local police into saying she was lying, after which she was publicly shamed and even charged with making a false rape report. The series alternates between this story in 2008 and another 3 years later in CO where two female detectives (Merritt Wever and Toni Collette) investigate a serial rapist which ties back into the first story. The two storylines make a study of contrast in extremes of of how to handle a rape investigation well (Merritt Wever in the present day) or horrifically (the two detectives who repeatedly interrogate and bully Marie in 2008, obsessing over minor inconsistencies in her story).

It's not an easy watch, but it is an incredibly powerful one with a great conclusion.

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#1950

Post by outdoorcats » August 15th, 2020, 3:07 am

Next up is Little Fires Everywhere, starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. This is the only one of the 5 I've seen people mention in RL, and I'm a fan of both lead actresses. Unfortunately, the writing does them no favors and the mini-series as a whole is not great. It does have one excellent episode in its second half.

Based on a best-selling novel by Celeste Ng, Fires is a suburban mystery/melodrama that mixes racial tensions, class differences, paternal rights and teen angst. Set in 1997, the series begins with Elena (Reese Witherspoon, channeling Annette Bening in American Beauty) standing in front of the wreckage of her burned house, being questioned on the whereabouts of her troubled daughter by the police. From there it jumps back months to the day vagrant bohemian artist Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) moves into their "perfect" suburb (where residents are fined for letting grass grow more than 6 inches) with her teenager daughter, who becomes close with Elena's family despite the fact that Elena and Mia seem to instantly dislike one another. A Chinese coworker of Mia's harboring a secret connected to the town further complicates the story.

If you're just looking for a soapy, plot-twist-laden melodrama in the vein of something Shonda Rhimes would make...you could do worse. The series has one great character, Elena's daughter Izzy (Megan Stott, a bona fide savage here), one aforementioned excellent episode (Episode 6) and intermittent moments of good writing that has real insight into suburban racial tensions seen from both sides. Stott in particular has great chemistry in her scenes with Washington's Mia. But there's also a terrible, comically overwrought score, (mostly) bland direction, annoying teens whose scenes can be a chore to sit through, some cringe-inducing dialogue, plot points that beggar belief (a crowd of TV news reporters outside waiting on an everyday family court verdict is ridiculous) and one of the worst trial scenes ever.

Overall, even if, like me, you enjoy some of TV's soapy guilty pleasures, LFE is a mixed bag.

5/10

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#1951

Post by mightysparks » August 28th, 2020, 2:28 pm

I’ve been watching Making a Murderer. I never got into the true crime stuff much before but it’s really growing on me. I’m about 8 episodes in so far and it is starting to feel like they’re dragging out the content a lot, but I do like seeing a lot of the court Proceedings because I find it really interesting. The case is entertaining and the documentary is pretty convincing so I also want to know what’s been left out. Apparently this is like 20 eps long which I think is probably a bit too much but I guess we’ll see. I’m already starting to want to move on to something new.
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#1952

Post by AdamH » August 28th, 2020, 2:34 pm

mightysparks wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 2:28 pm
I’ve been watching Making a Murderer. I never got into the true crime stuff much before but it’s really growing on me. I’m about 8 episodes in so far and it is starting to feel like they’re dragging out the content a lot, but I do like seeing a lot of the court Proceedings because I find it really interesting. The case is entertaining and the documentary is pretty convincing so I also want to know what’s been left out. Apparently this is like 20 eps long which I think is probably a bit too much but I guess we’ll see. I’m already starting to want to move on to something new.
Haven't watched Making a Murderer although have always wanted to watch it. I think Netflix have a tendency to drag these programmes out. I remember watching the Madeleine McCann Netflix documentary series and I quit after four or five episodes because they somehow managed to drag it out and make it eight episodes long when there was absolutely no need for it to be so long.

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#1953

Post by mightysparks » August 28th, 2020, 3:18 pm

Some of them warrant it. The Ted Bundy one for example had quite a few episodes but was very tight and flowed well. The Staircase was ok but overly edited and felt like it dragged. This one has been interesting and it does cover a lot of different things and gets quite intimate, but the trial is nearly over and there’s still 10 eps? Um...
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#1954

Post by AdamH » August 28th, 2020, 3:47 pm

Sure, the OJ was quite a few episodes long and I thought it warranted it so sometimes they do deserve a few episodes. The Madeleine McCann one IMO was much worse because it got dragged out over so many episodes without enough content to warrant it.

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#1955

Post by brokenface » August 28th, 2020, 4:56 pm

mightysparks wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:18 pm
Some of them warrant it. The Ted Bundy one for example had quite a few episodes but was very tight and flowed well. The Staircase was ok but overly edited and felt like it dragged. This one has been interesting and it does cover a lot of different things and gets quite intimate, but the trial is nearly over and there’s still 10 eps? Um...
There's two seasons, the second 10 were made 2 or 3 years later due to first season being such a success for Netflix. I never got round to watching s2, never really heard much about it.

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#1956

Post by maxwelldeux » August 28th, 2020, 5:30 pm

mightysparks wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:18 pm
Some of them warrant it. The Ted Bundy one for example had quite a few episodes but was very tight and flowed well. The Staircase was ok but overly edited and felt like it dragged. This one has been interesting and it does cover a lot of different things and gets quite intimate, but the trial is nearly over and there’s still 10 eps? Um...
AdamH wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:47 pm
Sure, the OJ was quite a few episodes long and I thought it warranted it so sometimes they do deserve a few episodes. The Madeleine McCann one IMO was much worse because it got dragged out over so many episodes without enough content to warrant it.
I LOVE true crime stuff, and thus far I have been unable to finish Making a Murderer. If you thought The Staircase or Madeleine Mcann dragged, Making a Murderer is going to be an awful experience. I found it to be paced horribly and an utter failure at storytelling. I have four episodes left in season 2 and zero desire to finish them. I just googled the outcome, which I found infinitely more satisfying.

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#1957

Post by Lonewolf2003 » August 28th, 2020, 8:02 pm

maxwelldeux wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 5:30 pm
mightysparks wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:18 pm
Some of them warrant it. The Ted Bundy one for example had quite a few episodes but was very tight and flowed well. The Staircase was ok but overly edited and felt like it dragged. This one has been interesting and it does cover a lot of different things and gets quite intimate, but the trial is nearly over and there’s still 10 eps? Um...
AdamH wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:47 pm
Sure, the OJ was quite a few episodes long and I thought it warranted it so sometimes they do deserve a few episodes. The Madeleine McCann one IMO was much worse because it got dragged out over so many episodes without enough content to warrant it.
I LOVE true crime stuff, and thus far I have been unable to finish Making a Murderer. If you thought The Staircase or Madeleine Mcann dragged, Making a Murderer is going to be an awful experience. I found it to be paced horribly and an utter failure at storytelling. I have four episodes left in season 2 and zero desire to finish them. I just googled the outcome, which I found infinitely more satisfying.
The second season of MaM is extremly stretched out indeed to fill a whole season to cash in on the succes of the first. I didn’t have that feeling with the first.

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#1958

Post by maxwelldeux » August 28th, 2020, 8:12 pm

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 8:02 pm
maxwelldeux wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 5:30 pm
mightysparks wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:18 pm
Some of them warrant it. The Ted Bundy one for example had quite a few episodes but was very tight and flowed well. The Staircase was ok but overly edited and felt like it dragged. This one has been interesting and it does cover a lot of different things and gets quite intimate, but the trial is nearly over and there’s still 10 eps? Um...
AdamH wrote:
August 28th, 2020, 3:47 pm
Sure, the OJ was quite a few episodes long and I thought it warranted it so sometimes they do deserve a few episodes. The Madeleine McCann one IMO was much worse because it got dragged out over so many episodes without enough content to warrant it.
I LOVE true crime stuff, and thus far I have been unable to finish Making a Murderer. If you thought The Staircase or Madeleine Mcann dragged, Making a Murderer is going to be an awful experience. I found it to be paced horribly and an utter failure at storytelling. I have four episodes left in season 2 and zero desire to finish them. I just googled the outcome, which I found infinitely more satisfying.
The second season of MaM is extremly stretched out indeed to fill a whole season to cash in on the succes of the first. I didn’t have that feeling with the first.
I certainly agree about season 2, but still felt that about season 1. The miniseries that get all the buzz on Netflix are... an odd sort.

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#1959

Post by outdoorcats » August 30th, 2020, 1:28 am

Continuing my 2020 Emmys Miniseries Quest, I have discovered another superb miniseries from Dahvi Waller, the spellbinding Mrs. America.

Remember when saying "looks like it was made for TV" was associated with bright fixed lighting, cheap sets, hackneyed stories, poor acting and corny music? It's weird to think of that now. Watchmen, Mrs. America, and Unbelievable aren't just three of the best miniseries I've ever seen, but in every facet they are far superior to the vast majority of movies being made today.

Mrs. America flips the traditional Hollywood approach to historical filmmaking on its head, then turns it inside out. It charts the struggle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s through the eyes of famous second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman) and others, but also through the eyes of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), whose crusade against the ERA and feminism in general gave rise to the "religious right" movement that to this day still has the United States in a chokehold. The show is feminist, but it's portrait of Schlafly isn't a broad satire as it could have been. Nor is it uncritical of the feminists who frustratingly didn't take Schlafly seriously until it was too late, and often failed to unite when unity was needed most.

Where most Hollywood history lessons frame everything as the struggles of determined underdogs who eventually attain victory in the name of progression, Mrs. America starts at the apex of the feminist movement and shows its decline through the struggle of someone they underestimated, fighting in the name of stagnation and regression. Hence: flipped on its head. And where most Hollywood history lessons frame everything as the struggle of one iconic individual, 8 of Mrs. America's 9 episodes each focus on a different protagonist, often revealing radically different perspectives showing a fantastic diversity of three-dimensional female characters. Hence: turned inside out.

For each of those stories Waller has assembled an amazing cast. Besides the above mentioned actresses, the series is rounded out with great turns by Sarah Paulson, Margo Martindale, Elizabeth Banks, John Slattery, and Niecy Nash. The writing has piercing insight into the complexities of all of them, and the direction (from Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, Amma Assante, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, and Janicza Bravo) does as good a job with small, intimate scenes as it does with large and chaotic setpieces, for example the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

Every episode is essential, but among them the penultimate episode "Houston" (set at the 1977 National Women's Conference) is the biggest surprise and arguably one of the all-time best hours of TV. I don't dare spoil it other than to say it was a truly unexpected but perfect climax to the series.

There's also a delicious homage for cinephiles in the final shot which I also won't spoil except to say it is thematically perfect.

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A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.

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#1960

Post by sebby » August 30th, 2020, 2:58 am

I've had that on my watchlist since it was announced. Maybe I'll finally get around to it. Seems it kind of got lost in the shuffle. The price of having so much prestige tv i guess.

That gloria steinem wig is fucking hilarious, though.

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