Welcome to the ICM Forum.
Check out our Magazine

If you notice any issues please post in the Q&A thread. Email issue should be fixed. If you encounter this issue, contact PeacefulAnarchy
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 66 released Dec 30th: Is Hype Overhyped?)
Podcast: Talking Images (Special Episode released Jan 8th: The Experiments of Michael Snow)
iCinema Magazine: WE ARE LIVE! (We just need more content)
ICMForum Film Festival 2022 Nov 14 - Dec 12
World Cup - Season 5: Round 1 Schedule, Match 1B (Feb 5th)
Polls: Noir (Results), Spain (Results), Directors (Jan 2nd), 1992 (Jan 28th), Sweden (Jan 31st), China (Feb 7th)
Challenges: 1000<400, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Central Europe
About: Welcome All New Members, Terms of Use, Q&A

The TV Lounge

Post Reply
beasterne
Posts: 1437
Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2281

Post by beasterne »

sacmersault wrote: June 19th, 2022, 12:46 pm I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but maybe someone can help or direct me to where I could post it.\

Are there any trackers for tv stuff?
I use the app TV Time. It does what I need it to do, which is track my progress on shows (it even has checkmarks for episodes and seasons).
User avatar
Good_Will_Harding
Posts: 1856
Joined: February 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2282

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Doing a re-watch through the previous seasons of Stranger Things before the final episodes of season four premiere, and just wanted to highlight a very interesting moment of directing from the third season.



At the 48 second mark, before Nancy & Jonathan are fired, the scene switches to being shot entirely with dutch angles, but the shift isn't hid in a cut or edit, but rather you see the camera tilt mid-sequence and right on cue when the boss kicks the table. Apart from being flashy from a technical standpoint, it really helps to elevate the mood and tension of the moment.

In a series not typically known for such bold, ambitious aesthetic choices, this moment really jumped out to me as an especially "cinematic" (for lack of a better term) piece of visual storytelling. Wish the show had more of these, but then I suppose this scene wouldn't stand out as much if there were. :turned:
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 6552
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2283

Post by Torgo »

Aand it's done!
Torgo wrote: May 31st, 2022, 9:55 pm I was also pleasantly surprised that after a poor first hour or so, which was even goofier than season 3, season 4 of Stranger Things turned out to be their best work since the beginning. Many episodes of 1:15-1:35h length; this puts it even closer to theatrical releases, and the production level is just on par or higher than most of those anyway.
But how stupid is it to break the season up for the final two episodes in July? :mellow:
Netflix present you the final episodes 8 & 9 with a running time of 1:27h & 2:22 (!) hours .. surpassing many theatrical movies.
But does it end there? .. :$

To be honest - this is not really a spoiler - I found the buildup and writing of the whole thing a bit anticlimactic. Sorry. Still a great season and worth the time.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 6552
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2284

Post by Torgo »

by the way, the budget for season 4 is estimated to be around 270 million.
Phew.
User avatar
Good_Will_Harding
Posts: 1856
Joined: February 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2285

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Stranger Things Season Four reaction - NO SPOILERS

With all the episodes from the newest season having finally dropped, I can confidently say that this was a pretty great season overall, easily the best since the first, and probably my favorite run of the whole series so far. This is for a lot of reasons, but mainly due to the very strong characterizations for a number of key players, and also its much more consistent tone, which drew heavy inspiration from the likes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Stephen King's It. Regarding the season finale specifically, the Duffer Brothers weren't kidding when they said this was going to be the most Game of Thrones-lite season so far (I'm paraphrasing), since there were some rather emotionally brutal beats in there. Credit goes to the writing of course, but it's also elevated by some truly excellent acting by the central cast members during some crucial moments.

MVP of the season was Sadie Sink as Max, no contest. She's always been a character/actress I've liked fine in the previous seasons, but beefing up her role this time and essentially making her the protagonist of the whole season really paid off. The Kate Bush scene that was posted in this thread before was a highlight for sure, but the finale really helped tie everything together. I really liked the juxtaposition of the first episode with Max not being able to talk to or open up to the school counselor about her brother's death, and then in the finale she winds up having to reveal her true feelings in order to lure out the big bad. Some pretty great set up & payoff there.

All in all, a pretty terrific run for the series, and it's rejuvenated my appreciation for the series as a whole, after the good but inconsistent second and third seasons. I mentioned in a previous post on this thread that I really liked the choice to split the season up and not have everything premiere all at once (helps build anticipation for what comes next and keeps the show in the conversation even longer) and I hope they continue that trend with the fifth/final season.
User avatar
GruesomeTwosome
Donator
Posts: 4086
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Industrial Wasteland, USA
Contact:

#2286

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

It’s only one episode so far, but it seems like Nathan Fielder (of Nathan for You) has done it again. The premiere of his new HBO series The Rehearsal was fantastic.
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

My IMDB profile
ICM
Letterboxd
beasterne
Posts: 1437
Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2287

Post by beasterne »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: July 17th, 2022, 7:48 am It’s only one episode so far, but it seems like Nathan Fielder (of Nathan for You) has done it again. The premiere of his new HBO series The Rehearsal was fantastic.
Thank you for the reminder! I'll be sure to check this one out.

In other (sad) news, with Joe Pera Talks With You officially cancelled at Cartoon Network, I've been watching the rest of the show. It's just so different from anything else on tv. A celebration of communities and beauty in the mundane, and a meditation on the passage of time. Strangely reminds me of a Midwest USA Ozu, but with breaking the 4th wall and flights of fancy.
User avatar
GruesomeTwosome
Donator
Posts: 4086
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Industrial Wasteland, USA
Contact:

#2288

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

beasterne wrote: July 17th, 2022, 4:53 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote: July 17th, 2022, 7:48 am It’s only one episode so far, but it seems like Nathan Fielder (of Nathan for You) has done it again. The premiere of his new HBO series The Rehearsal was fantastic.
Thank you for the reminder! I'll be sure to check this one out.

In other (sad) news, with Joe Pera Talks With You officially cancelled at Cartoon Network, I've been watching the rest of the show. It's just so different from anything else on tv. A celebration of communities and beauty in the mundane, and a meditation on the passage of time. Strangely reminds me of a Midwest USA Ozu, but with breaking the 4th wall and flights of fancy.
Yeah, I was really bummed about the news that Joe Pera’s show won’t be returning for another season. I guess we should be grateful enough that we got 3 seasons of something so different from Adult Swim’s typical fare, and as you say, really just different from anything else on American TV. But I’m sure Pera will have something new in the works soon enough, and I look forward to any new projects from him!
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

My IMDB profile
ICM
Letterboxd
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2289

Post by outdoorcats »

I'm caught up on Better Call Saul. Holy shit, eh?

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 6552
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2290

Post by Torgo »

PSSST for heaven's sake, I'm behind :satstunned:
User avatar
Good_Will_Harding
Posts: 1856
Joined: February 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2291

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Via San Diego Comic Con this week, lots of new promotional material for Amazon's upcoming The Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, is being released, including a final trailer and some tracks from the original score by Bear McCreary (not by Howard Shore, though I believe he is writing the main theme for the show).







Personally, I think a lot of this seems extremely promising. I had very mixed feelings when the series was first announced a whole four years ago, and wasn't too impressed by the early footage that was released. But the closer it gets to the premiere (Labor Day weekend), I have to admit that I'm starting to look forward to it. The effects and overall presentation in this latest preview footage seem very well polished and professional looking, although for the amount Amazon has spent on the series, I would sure hope that'd be the case. :sweat:
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2292

Post by outdoorcats »

Good_Will_Harding wrote: July 23rd, 2022, 8:33 pm although for the amount Amazon has spent on the series, I would sure hope that'd be the case. :sweat:
IIRC, over 200 million was spent just to secure the rights, so I won't be shocked if the show looks pretty cheap at times. Still, Amazon's The Wheel of Time was actually awesome, so maybe this will be good?

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
Good_Will_Harding
Posts: 1856
Joined: February 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2293

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Not seen The Wheel of Time, but I've heard plenty of positive buzz, so I may check it out one day.

I don't know what it is about Amazon's original TV programming, but I can't seem to ever finish any of their original series'. I think part of it is that I just find Prime's user interface to be so utterly frustrating that I just give up on their shows after only a few episodes, despite liking most of what I've seen. That's been the case for Mozart in the Jungle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, Invincible, and maybe even a few others I can't remember. Hopefully this new LOTR can break the cycle!
User avatar
sebby
Posts: 7033
Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2294

Post by sebby »

The Rehearsal is astounding.
User avatar
GruesomeTwosome
Donator
Posts: 4086
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Industrial Wasteland, USA
Contact:

#2295

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

outdoorcats wrote: July 17th, 2022, 8:29 pm I'm caught up on Better Call Saul. Holy shit, eh?
Just caught up to the latest, penultimate episode of BCS…another banger. These last few episodes have been especially great. I’m both anxiously awaiting the series finale and dreading that this amazing series will be over.
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

My IMDB profile
ICM
Letterboxd
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 6552
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2296

Post by Torgo »

I'm with you, cats and Gruesome. And...
I'm without words.
It's series heaven. The closer BCS gets it to its end, the more we realize what a piece of perfection the writers have achieved. For me, the heart of the series always was the antagonism of Jimmy & Chuck but holy shit, this season. :satstunned:

Obvious spoiler: I liked this interpretation of E11 when I browsed Reddit the evening after:
Spoiler
SPOILER FOR BETTER CALL SAUL SEASON 6

"Every set of 3 episodes this season have felt drastically different from each other. We had the Nacho trilogy, then the setup trilogy, then the Death of Jimmy McGill trilogy, then the black and white/gene trilogy"

The eternal show: https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul ... ne_doesnt/
Frankenstein: https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul ... in_a_very/
I had some more on E12, but not tabbed now for convenience. And, boy, the cinematography. Some of these shots. (l)
Also, one comparison of E12, the penultimate series entry, with BB's Ozymandias, the almost penultimate series finale of its own:
Spoiler
blocho
Donator
Posts: 7160
Joined: July 20th, 2014, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2297

Post by blocho »

I made the mistake of watching Better Call Saul two years ago, breaking my vow to not start watching a series until I can see the whole thing in its entirety. It was magnificent, but when the series does conclude, I'm going to have to rewatch the first four seasons.

When Better Call Saul wraps up, please no spoilers here!
User avatar
Ebbywebby
Posts: 5148
Joined: September 10th, 2012, 6:00 am
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

#2298

Post by Ebbywebby »

I wasn't crazy about the last Better Call Saul using the standard trope where the caper is completed to perfection and then...the guy decides to indulgently dally when he had a clear path to escape and OH NOOOOOOO, all is lost.
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2299

Post by outdoorcats »

Ebbywebby wrote: August 12th, 2022, 7:43 am I wasn't crazy about the last Better Call Saul using the standard trope where
Spoiler
the caper is completed to perfection and then...the guy decides to indulgently dally when he had a clear path to escape and OH NOOOOOOO, all is lost.
Spoiler
It was self sabotage, no? I thought the last episode did a great job of showing that "Gene" was behaving extremely irrationally and recklessly...perhaps because some part of him wants to be caught...or to be nearly caught, for the thrill that he's been missing?...or perhaps to be killed. Either way, he has lost everything that he ever wanted; he's definitely in self-destruct mode.

It reminded me of the job interview at the copier company he had at the beginning of Season 4, where he lost his shit and sabotaged the interview because it was "too easy" to sweet talk himself into a great new job. In that case he had just lost Chuck; in this one, he knows for certain the door is forever closed with Kim. A lot of it has to do with self-loathing IMO.
Torgo wrote: August 12th, 2022, 2:27 am I'm with you, cats and Gruesome. And...
I'm without words.
It's series heaven. The closer BCS gets it to its end, the more we realize what a piece of perfection the writers have achieved. For me, the heart of the series always was the antagonism of Jimmy & Chuck but holy shit, this season. :satstunned:

Obvious spoiler: I liked this interpretation of E11 when I browsed Reddit the evening after:
Spoiler
SPOILER FOR BETTER CALL SAUL SEASON 6

"Every set of 3 episodes this season have felt drastically different from each other. We had the Nacho trilogy, then the setup trilogy, then the Death of Jimmy McGill trilogy, then the black and white/gene trilogy"

The eternal show: https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul ... ne_doesnt/
Frankenstein: https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul ... in_a_very/
I had some more on E12, but not tabbed now for convenience. And, boy, the cinematography. Some of these shots. (l)
Also, one comparison of E12, the penultimate series entry, with BB's Ozymandias, the almost penultimate series finale of its own:
Spoiler
Great reads! I will look for more references/allusions to
Spoiler
Frankenstein
in the series finale.

The show is a work of art. Funny thing is, I was frequently in the "Breaking Bad is overrated" boat back in the day. I just thought it was a show meant to appeal to the people whose favorite movies all belonged to the "men killing people" genre. And it certainly did, hence its mega popularity, but its worth a revisit.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 6552
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2300

Post by Torgo »

Better Call Saul finale
+ + SPOILER + +
Spoiler
broke my heart.
🚬 (l)
It brought everything together, characters, memories, motifs, reasons. What a - I need to reuse that word, excuse me - perfect way to end the series, to finish this TV universe.
Several shots are GORGEOUS and it's unbelievable how many connections are drawn by the camera sometimes.
Only the most obvious thread to look at (of hundreds on Reddit) - the one with visual references:
https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul ... _from_the/

But it's about the last 5 minutes, really. How beautiful.
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2301

Post by outdoorcats »

Torgo wrote: August 18th, 2022, 12:25 am Better Call Saul finale
+ + SPOILER + +
Spoiler
broke my heart.
🚬 (l)
It brought everything together, characters, memories, motifs, reasons. What a - I need to reuse that word, excuse me - perfect way to end the series, to finish this TV universe.
Several shots are GORGEOUS and it's unbelievable how many connections are drawn by the camera sometimes.
Only the most obvious thread to look at (of hundreds on Reddit) - the one with visual references:
https://www.reddit.com/r/betterCallSaul ... _from_the/

But it's about the last 5 minutes, really. How beautiful.
It was a really satisfying ending. If only for the quietly perfect way it resolved everything, it cracks my top 10 series finales. I'd put it above Parks and Rec on my list, though now I'd bump up Monster and bump Parks and Rec down just outside the top 10.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
beasterne
Posts: 1437
Joined: May 22nd, 2013, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2302

Post by beasterne »

The finale of The Rehearsal premieres tonight, and it’s already been renewed for season 2. It’s such an odd show but very engrossing and full of Nathan’s unique brand of humor.
User avatar
sebby
Posts: 7033
Joined: July 4th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2303

Post by sebby »

I still don't know how much of the rehearsal is acting and how much is real. It would really be something if not of it were genuine at all. In either case it's a truly singular masterpiece already.
User avatar
Good_Will_Harding
Posts: 1856
Joined: February 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2304

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

The Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, had its series premiere this evening. Having only just seen this one episode so far, I think it's extremely promising. Of course the production values are all top notch, but more importantly, the principal characters are all fairly well defined and the cast seems to be doing a good job portraying them all as well. I'm very intrigued to see where it all goes from here.
User avatar
Good_Will_Harding
Posts: 1856
Joined: February 19th, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2305

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Caught a sneak preview of Amazon's upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, on the big screen. For a while I'd been extremely mixed about the prospect of this show happening at all, especially given the apparently massive budget this was meant to have. Yet with each bit of promotional material leading up to its release, I started getting a bit more optimistic, and now having seen two of the eight episodes of this first season, I must say that I was very impressed.

Firstly, the scope and scale of this show alone far surpasses any other television series I've watched before, to the point where I simply cannot imagine having experienced these first two episodes on my laptop screen at home - although I am grateful that the screening I went to was free, since both episodes drop on Amazon Prime tomorrow anyway. :lol: Whatever they did wind up spending on this, all the money is on the screen and it truly rivals the Jackson film trilogy in terms of production value, with the new score by Bear McCreary really standing out as some of the best new film/television music I've heard in years.

Story-wise it's hard to comment, since I've seen so little of the overall show so far, but what they've set up to this point is pretty engaging. The ensemble of actors all seem well suited to their roles, with the younger versions of Galadriel and Elrond (the only two LOTR characters to have shown up thus far) being particularly well cast. Needless to say, I really liked what was shown from this series already and definitely look forward to seeing how it all plays out in the coming weeks.
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 8176
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#2306

Post by OldAle1 »

I haven't watched the show (Tolkien: Fantasy Superheroes Bowling For Billions, Yeah) yet (don't know that I will), but this writer kind of sums up much of my feeling about this kind of re-imagining old dead writers' works in general

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/01/opin ... YY_zsxrCk9
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
Onderhond
Posts: 9277
Joined: December 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2307

Post by Onderhond »

OldAle1 wrote: September 4th, 2022, 4:09 pm I haven't watched the show (Tolkien: Fantasy Superheroes Bowling For Billions, Yeah) yet (don't know that I will), but this writer kind of sums up much of my feeling about this kind of re-imagining old dead writers' works in general

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/01/opin ... lkien.html
Could've been written about the films too ... and you see how successful they were.
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 8176
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#2308

Post by OldAle1 »

Onderhond wrote: September 4th, 2022, 4:17 pm
OldAle1 wrote: September 4th, 2022, 4:09 pm I haven't watched the show (Tolkien: Fantasy Superheroes Bowling For Billions, Yeah) yet (don't know that I will), but this writer kind of sums up much of my feeling about this kind of re-imagining old dead writers' works in general

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/01/opin ... lkien.html
Could've been written about the films too ... and you see how successful they were.
Well sure. Obviously the writer isn't talking about money. Like I said, I tend to agree with him, but I realize that I'm taking an ivory-tower approach, and I also realize that a great percentage of modern audiences don't really care at all about adaptations completely changing from the original material - even when they've read and maybe loved that original material (Harry Potter being the primary example). Which is why the one part of the article I really disagree with is the last paragraph, which seems to me applicable only to the small percentage of people who have both read Tolkien and have at least semi-purist attitudes about him.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2309

Post by outdoorcats »

OldAle1 wrote: September 4th, 2022, 4:09 pm I haven't watched the show (Tolkien: Fantasy Superheroes Bowling For Billions, Yeah) yet (don't know that I will), but this writer kind of sums up much of my feeling about this kind of re-imagining old dead writers' works in general

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/01/opin ... YY_zsxrCk9
It's an interesting article! I disagreed with this point, in theory (have not seen the show, so it could bear out to be true):
Can a company as intent upon domination as Amazon really understand this perspective — and adapt that morality to the screen?
What the author kind of ignores is that Bezos isn't writing the show, a team of writers who may or may not share his beliefs are. If we can get so many fiercely anti-establishment films from Iran, surely we can get deeply moral, humanist, even stridently anti-capitalist and/or anti-imperialist narratives out of the Amazon machine (in fact, at least once, we already did - see The Expanse). It's possible, but I at least doubt that Amazon is micromanaging the subtler political/moral content of their TV series to align with Bezos' politics, as long as characters aren't turning to the camera and saying "UNIONIZE AMAZON WORKERS," anyway (not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because profitably speaking it would be counterproductive).

Otherwise, I understand Tolkien may not have liked the slightest changes to his work, but we rarely feel the same protectiveness towards the works of Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, no?

Unrelated, but this weird, provably false bit of revisionist history annoyed the heck out of me, if only because I expected better from The New York Times:
The “Game of Thrones” series, for example, was widely panned after it left George R.R. Martin’s books behind.
The sixth season was the first to fully leave the books behind, and it was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. I point to RottenTomatoes, Metacritic, and the IMDb scores, where the final two episodes are still 9.9 out of 10. :shrug:

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
AdamH
Site Admin
Posts: 13219
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2310

Post by AdamH »

I have been on a re-watch binge over the past few months. Watched all of Six Feet Under again. Still holds up very well and remains my favourite finale.

Now, rewatching Dexter. I'm on season 3 at the moment. I remember the incredible decline (worst I've ever seen) and the terrible finale so it'll be intersting to see what I think about it this time. Also very curious about the reboot. Have really enjoyed it so far. I remember S1-4 being some of the best seasons on TV. I remember a particularly horrendous plot involve Debra...
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 8176
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#2311

Post by OldAle1 »

Ah but Bezos is, apparently, quite personally involved in this - no he isn't writing or directing or anything, but from what I've read the show exists in large part because of his personal insistence on getting the property; apparently he's a big fan. Does that mean they're micromanaging it? No, but I certainly do question what the politics or ethical underpinnings of the show will be in comparison with Tolkien's.

As far as protectiveness over Tolkien, well, the other authors you name have all been dead at least 150 years, and nobody alive remembers them, in fact nobody's grandparents were around to buy their books new. On the other hand if I recall correctly Christopher Lee read The Lord of the Rings when it was brand new, and there are many living people who did - and far more who read The Silmarillion or some of the other works published shortly after his death new (including me). There have also been innumerable adaptations of the works of those other writers, to the point where they are all rather passé - oh, another Austen? Another Christmas Carol? The first Jane Austen film adaptation came out 82 years ago - all the others were being filmed by 1910. Whereas I saw the first Tolkien adaptation on TV when it was new in 1977, and many people in this forum saw many or most of the adaptations from then on as they came out. They haven't really been done to death yet. So I don't think he is in quite the same category as centuries-dead writers, though I will admit that deciding when something becomes part of the larger culture and can be fucked around with by whoever wants to (and I'm not speaking legally here though I think nearly all of Tolkien's work is probably still under copywrite) is not an easy thing to decide.

I talked for a while with my brother about this earlier; one of the things we got into was the difference between an individual writer like Tolkien and corporate entities like DC or Marvel comics; the comics keep changing their characters around all the time and it's pretty much the haters ignoring the last 50 years of comic book history in favor of the very early years when it comes to their slamming of any superhero movie or show that doesn't promote white male hegemony; that boat sailed really the moment Black Panther first appeared in the late 1960s. Corporate-owned properties - and we could add James Bond to this I suppose, and Dr. Who - have change built into them, and in these cases also the identities of the characters are often not tied up in any kind of meaningful historical-racial-ethnic backgrounds. They can and should change to fit the times.

Tolkien is something different. His writings are all reflective of his interest in Northern European mythologies, and they all have that feel to them. And it's just him; he never intended to become part of a massive ever-changing corporate-franchise-world. So I can understand the criticism of it not being Tolkien, not feeling like Tolkien, not being what he would have wanted, much more than I do with any of the stuff in my previous paragraph. Add to that the fact that he simply wasn't comfortable with the modern world and would have probably abhorred the idea of a global audience seeing his work as mostly epic battles and lavish special effects. I feel much that way myself and still have very mixed feelings about Jackson's first trilogy, and positive hate the Hobbit films. So to me there are plenty of reasons to have extremely low expectations of the new show; I don't expect it to feel very much like Tolkien at all. And even if Bezos does really love the original works, it still feels more like a big ol cash grab than anything else, and frankly I'm having a lot of moments lately when I want to stop watching ALL big budget commercial American films and TV. I guess I'm becoming the hey-kids-get-off-my-lawn guy.

But at least the original work is still there.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2312

Post by outdoorcats »

The other week, I finished my, I think fourth, rewatch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first since a whole lot of ugly shit about Joss Whedon came out. Did it change anything about how I experienced the show? Not really. If anything, it provided another interesting meta layer to analyze the show with.

It's also my first time seeing the widely panned "HD remaster." For the later seasons, it's not as big a deal, as they were seemingly filmed with the expectation they would also appear in 16:9 on DVD (In fact, in the original DVDs, I seem to remember the show appearing in 16:9 from Season 4 or 5 on out; or maybe that was Angel?). For the earlier seasons though, woof, the cropping and re-colorizing is a serious hack job.
this guy does a better job of explaining it than I could
some more side by side comparisons
Sadly, as you can see, these videos are nearly 10 years old, so the fan outcry hasn't motivated Fox to do a proper remaster. Though, on Hulu, you can still stream the original standard definition version of the show in its boxy 4:3 frame.

It's also my first time seeing the show in, well, a while, and I've gotten older, so what else has changed? Mainly, I don't mind Season 1 at all now (even if it's a little one-note campy, at least until the season finale), and I'm back on board the Season 6 train, albeit with some minor reservations.

If I were to make a list of the best TV characters of all time, I believe Buffy Anne Summers goes right to #1. :worship:
buffy being an icon for 30 minutes
An overall spoiler-free summary of my thoughts on each season...

Season 1 - Short, snappy, funny satire. It was cheap, goofy, and the core writing team hadn't formed yet (just Whedon and Greenwalt), but still fun.

Season 2 - Immediately one of the best seasons. Even if it still looked cheap, the quality of the writing, the introductions of Oz, Spike and Drusilla (and the big bad who shall not be named, one of the series' best), the mastery of tonal variety (something Season 1 lacked), great story arcs, and great performances elevate it to 'classic TV' level stuff. Marti Noxon and David Fury join the writing team. Noxon immediately makes the friendship between Buffy and Willow feel so much more believable and real. The "monster of the week" episodes range from solid to great; nothing bad or boring here.

Season 3 - Yeah, I have to crown this the best season, and one of the best seasons of television ever. Jane Espenson and Douglas Petrie join the writing staff, and essentially the core writing staff is complete (Greenwalt would leave at the end of this season to become the showrunner of Angel). Over 22 episodes, there are no non-great episodes. Yes, even episode 2. Episode 2 gets a lot of hate; the haters are wrong. Even the "monster of the week" episodes are great TV - Homecoming, The Zeppo and Earshot remain 3 of the series' best. The Mayor is the best big bad of the series, Faith is awesome, the show got a big budget upgrade and they used it well (for example, upgrading the film stock to 35mm), and each character ends the season the best, most likable versions of themselves.

Season 4 - There are two seasons here. Once is about Buffy's first year in college, another takes on the government. They do not sync up, and at a certain point, they both shortchange each other towards disappointing climaxes (it did not help that they had to write out both a main cast member and a major guest star so abruptly). A transitional roller coaster of a season, with some of the series' best episodes and some of its worst. Tara is awesome. On this rewatch, I like Riley.

Season 5 - Where the show starts becoming more serialized and there's a bit of a loss with that. But it's done so well I hardly care. In a tough competition with Season 2 for the second-best season. Glory completes the show's holy trinity of Big Bads and she is awesome. The new main cast addition, who shall not be named, is perfectly cast and immediately fits. This season contains one episode that is without a doubt one of the best, as well as one of the most harrowing, episodes of TV ever. If you know, you know. Steven S. DeKnight joins the writing team.

Season 6 - The dark, depressing season about being in your early 20s (and economically downwardly-mobile, a bit prescient to the Millennial Experience). Conceptually this season is brilliant, and all of the episodes, save for the pretty forgettable "All the Way," are solid. My only reservations are that, like Season 1, it's missing just a bit more tonal variety (except where Season 1 was campy, this one was just depressing). Whedon is somewhat missing, due to his involvement with Firefly, sharing showrunning duties with Marti Noxon. Fans immediately blamed her for the direction the show took, even though it wasn't her call. She ends up co-writing only one episode of Season 7. :shrug: Drew Z. Greenberg joins the writing team.

Season 7 - The season begins with a series of one-off episodes which are great, and then from Episode 7 on turns into a more or less completely serialized story, essentially one long movie. This is the source of a lot of criticism. I think what a lot of criticism misses is how consistently well written that long movie is, or what a good job the first six episodes do paying homage to the show's more episodic past. But that one scene in "Empty Places." What in the world? :shrug: The show closes with a great, great finale. Drew Goddard, the future director of The Cabin in the Woods and Bad Times at the El Royale and writer of The Martian, joins the writing staff.

The show's best episodes?

1. The Body (5.16)
2. Restless (4.22)
3. The Prom (3.20)
4. Once More, With Feeling (6.07)
5. Chosen (7.22)
6. The Gift (5.22)
7. Passion (2.17)
8. Who Are You? (4.16)
9. Fool For Love (5.07)
10. Hush (4.10)
11. Earshot (3.18)
12. Anne (3.01)
13. The Zeppo (3.13)
14. Checkpoint (5.12)
15. Conversations With Dead People (7.07)
16. Homecoming (3.05)
17. The Wish (3.09)
18. Helpless (3.12)
19. Innocence (2.14)
20. Graduation Day (3.21-22)

The show's only really mediocre or subpar episodes?

1. Living Conditions (4.02)
2. Beer Bad (4.05)
3. Empty Places (7.19) (it's really just the one scene that kind of sinks it)
4. Where the Wild Things Are (4.18)
Last edited by outdoorcats on September 5th, 2022, 12:47 am, edited 4 times in total.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 8176
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#2313

Post by OldAle1 »

outdoorcats wrote: September 4th, 2022, 8:05 pm
long Buffy-centric post
Awesome write-up! I'm not exactly sure when I last watched the show in full - might have been 2013-4 or so. I actually started watching it again in 2020 but got distracted or something around the beginning of 2021 and decided to stop at the end of Season 4; I also wanted to watch it from then on in tandem with Angel, which I've never watched in full (just seen a bit over half of season 1 I think). But I didn't get around to it; maybe I will get onto that soon after I finish some other TV stuff - I find it hard to do more than a couple of series at a time, particularly if they are new to me.

I had some lists that I made years ago but surprisingly I never did a ranking of episodes; I will do one now, just a top 10 - it's remarkably close to yours, except I guess that I like the climactic episodes of season 6 a bit more than you

1. Once More With Feeling (6.07) - this is my favorite single episode of any TV series
2. Storyteller (7.16)
3-6. Seeing Red/Villains/Two to Go/Grave (6.19-22)
7. The Gift (5.22)
8. The Body (5.16)
9. Passion (2.17)
10. Chosen (7.22)

And ranking the seasons:

6
5
7
3
4
2
1

Pretty much agree on your negative episodes too - "Where the Wild Things Are" is the one that really stands out as bad to me.

Also agree with your placement of Buffy Anne Summers among TV characters - she is definitely #1 for me with her only real competition (at least among leads) being Special Agent Dale Cooper, Number Six, and Dr. Frasier Crane. But then I don't watch as much TV as you or many so my list would be pretty small.

Finally I'm goin to rank all the main characters - I will define "main" as being in at least 20 episodes; some of these were never featured in the opening credits but I think all were absolutely integral during their time on the show. I really love all of them so being at the bottom isn't any shame of course, it really boils down to just how much I think about them I guess, though my bottom pick is probably most people's, because she WAS pretty damn annoying - at first.

1. Buffy
2. Willow

3. Spike
4. Giles
5. Xander

honestly 3-5 are basically a tie

6. Joyce
7. Cordelia
8. Angel - probably the character that has grown on me the most over the years/viewings
9. Anya
10. Faith
11. Jonathan
12. Andrew
13. Tara
14. Oz
15. Riley
16. Dawn
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 8176
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#2314

Post by OldAle1 »

Oh and re: the HD remaster. Yeah I've heard nightmares about that for years. Honestly I'm worried about what happens if my DVDs fail or something, because I don't want that to be the only option. I WOULD like to see a proper remaster to higher standards - as long as it's still 4x3 - but I don't hold out much hope for that. I'm pretty sure the last two seasons were actually broadcast 4x3 also in the USA, though apparently they were 16x9 in the UK and Whedon objected to that. But I haven't really looked into the technical stuff, not really my interest.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2315

Post by outdoorcats »

OldAle1 wrote: September 4th, 2022, 8:40 pm Oh and re: the HD remaster. Yeah I've heard nightmares about that for years. Honestly I'm worried about what happens if my DVDs fail or something, because I don't want that to be the only option. I WOULD like to see a proper remaster to higher standards - as long as it's still 4x3 - but I don't hold out much hope for that. I'm pretty sure the last two seasons were actually broadcast 4x3 also in the USA, though apparently they were 16x9 in the UK and Whedon objected to that. But I haven't really looked into the technical stuff, not really my interest.
As the video essay points out, Star Trek: TNG got a full HD remaster that kept the original aspect ratio and it looks beautiful. I guess Fox feels that Buffy doesn't warrant the same. :folded: Honestly, I think a proper remaster, well promoted, would get many new fans into the show and justify whatever it costs.

I do remember some shots where crew members or equipment are noticeable on the sides of the 16:9 frame, even in the later seasons, so Whedon being against it makes sense. I believe the only episode "meant" to be shown in 16:9 is 'Once More, With Feeling.'

my characters?

1. Buffy
2. Giles
3. Willow
4. Cordelia
5. Oz
6. Anya
7. Angel
8. Faith
9. Joyce
10. Andrew

Also, this is somehow the first rewatch (to my memory) where I picked up that Andrew was coded to be gay.
Last edited by outdoorcats on September 5th, 2022, 12:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
Torgo
Posts: 6552
Joined: June 30th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

#2316

Post by Torgo »

FWIW, The Wire also was only released in remastered HD 16:9 instead of native 4:3, and that's maybe the best-reviewed series of all time. Nothing came up within the last 8 years. :mellow:
https://www.techhive.com/article/599415 ... think.html

But these days, seeing what gets (re-)discovered and done in 4K and with more faithfulness to original AR and colors (!), there's always hope - for everything.
User avatar
outdoorcats
Posts: 2114
Joined: February 3rd, 2017, 7:00 am
Contact:

#2317

Post by outdoorcats »

Torgo wrote: September 4th, 2022, 9:16 pm FWIW, The Wire also was only released in remastered HD 16:9 instead of native 4:3, and that's maybe the best-reviewed series of all time. Nothing came up within the last 8 years. :mellow:
https://www.techhive.com/article/599415 ... think.html

But these days, seeing what gets (re-)discovered and done in 4K and with more faithfulness to original AR and colors (!), there's always hope - for everything.
The Wire had a unique case where the HD Remaster and reframing in 16:9 was supervised by the showrunners and directors of photography. Shot by shot, everything was painstakingly reframed. Subsequently, it looks great and no one really had any problem with it (plus, you can still get the original 4:3 versions on the DVDs).

A lie ain't a 'side of the story.' It's just a lie.
User avatar
OldAle1
Donator
Posts: 8176
Joined: February 9th, 2017, 7:00 am
Location: Dairyland, USA
Contact:

#2318

Post by OldAle1 »

outdoorcats wrote: September 4th, 2022, 9:24 pm
Torgo wrote: September 4th, 2022, 9:16 pm FWIW, The Wire also was only released in remastered HD 16:9 instead of native 4:3, and that's maybe the best-reviewed series of all time. Nothing came up within the last 8 years. :mellow:
https://www.techhive.com/article/599415 ... think.html

But these days, seeing what gets (re-)discovered and done in 4K and with more faithfulness to original AR and colors (!), there's always hope - for everything.
The Wire had a unique case where the HD Remaster and reframing in 16:9 was supervised by the showrunners and directors of photography. Shot by shot, everything was painstakingly reframed. Subsequently, it looks great and no one really had any problem with it (plus, you can still get the original 4:3 versions on the DVDs).
That show also started in the 16x9 era and I'm sure they were aware of future possibilities when they were producing it - and TV was already starting to show up on DVD regularly in 2002; in VHS days very little TV made it to tape. And I suspect The Wire had higher budgets than Buffy - and it didn't need a lot of fancy special effects, which is something that did in Babylon 5 and made it very, very difficult if not impossible to transfer to HD supposedly. And the first two seasons of Buffy were shot in 16mm, so they are never going to look as good as the later seasons regardless of the work that (theoretically) could be done.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
blocho
Donator
Posts: 7160
Joined: July 20th, 2014, 6:00 am
Contact:

#2319

Post by blocho »

outdoorcats wrote: September 4th, 2022, 6:50 pm if only because I expected better from The New York Times:
I know this is a random digression on my part and what you wrote above wasn't your main point, and furthermore I haven't even read the article you're examining, but I just want to pipe in to say that at this point, I don't think anyone should expect better from the Times. It's a shell of its former self.
User avatar
3eyes
Donator
Posts: 8005
Joined: May 17th, 2011, 6:00 am
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

#2320

Post by 3eyes »

Not sure this is the right place to post this, but what's going on with youtube? All my saved links have disappeared (including family videos), and signing in with google doesn't help.
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
Post Reply