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Random TV Show Thoughts

Totenkindly

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as much as i love classic horror, i just can't get into AHS. i have tried several times. the creators certainly know their horror, so you would think i'd love that show. i can't explain it. maybe it's just the format which i find tedious.
It does have a problem. I love that stuff too (tonally) but after the first 2-3 seasons, I have found watching it to be a chore and not nearly as much fun. I haven't even watched the last two seasons and never watched Season 5. THe epiodes are too long and too many for the story content, and haven't really been worth the payoff. It's basically a great idea with questionable execution. The opening credits sequences are typically stellar.

If you get a chance to check out the AH Stories (Season 1 has been out, I think), you might like it better because all the stories are self-contained in one or two episodes. Some are stand-alone, a few seemed to tie-in to particular seasons of AHS.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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It does have a problem. I love that stuff too (tonally) but after the first 2-3 seasons, I have found watching it to be a chore and not nearly as much fun. I haven't even watched the last two seasons and never watched Season 5. THe epiodes are too long and too many for the story content, and haven't really been worth the payoff. It's basically a great idea with questionable execution. The opening credits sequences are typically stellar.

If you get a chance to check out the AH Stories (Season 1 has been out, I think), you might like it better because all the stories are self-contained in one or two episodes. Some are stand-alone, a few seemed to tie-in to particular seasons of AHS.
Yeah, like they just draw each season out too long. The last one I watched was the 1984 one. That whole thing was too long, too much filler.

plus the whole 80s revival thing is really old and played out
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Yeah, like they just draw each season out too long. The last one I watched was the 1984 one. That whole thing was too long, too much filler.

plus the whole 80s revival thing is really old and played out
Only season 1 and 2 are worth watching in my opinion.
 

Stigmata

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i got the sense they were critiquing communism and capitalism simultaneously. or perhaps it's just a broader critique on power and class

what a nail biter show. good luck when you get to the later episodes, as it only gets more nerve wracking
Against my better judgement, I allowed myself to get sucked in again and stayed up until almost 2am watching -- made it from episode 2 to episode 5.

Man, what a crazy turn of events! Now that in the last few episodes we've had the POV from one of the faceless soldiers, I can definitely see what you mean in regards to communism.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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Against my better judgement, I allowed myself to get sucked in again and stayed up until almost 2am watching -- made it from episode 2 to episode 5.

Man, what a crazy turn of events! Now that in the last few episodes we've had the POV from one of the faceless soldiers, I can definitely see what you mean in regards to communism.
yeah, I think it's a pretty good critique on the faceless nature of things like military institutions, how individual identity is rejected, how we dehumanize people in our minds to make death and atrocities more palatable or even entertaining. Capitalism and extreme forms of state Communism are certainly responsible for a lot of dehumanization and commodification of people as objects of entertainment (in the case of capitalism) and faceless cogs (in the case of communism and capitalism)
 

Totenkindly

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Was bored, watched the first episode of Squid Game on Netflix.

In the accidental competition between this and Alice in Borderland, the latter is more complex and cerebral, with more complicated/intersecting plot lines. Squid Game seems to be more straight-forward and brutal in its challenges.

The plusses of Squid Game -- it's actually kind of funny, is the most obvious one. I laughed at a number of things throughout the hour-long pilot, mostly character-driven moments. The hero is kind of a lovable doofus, one that we've seen before (divorced dad clumsily interacting with his only child, kind of a deadbeat loser who can't get his life together, but generally well-intentioned and partly a victim of poor luck), so it doesn't break ground in that way, but it's still amusing. The other strength is that in the episode there's 2-3 sequences of decent editing (video and sound) that remind me a bit of unexpected choices from Breaking Bad montages, for example, though not QUITE as polished. Still, it elevates the show a bit, it was a delightful surprise.

The negative is that it's still somewhat throwaway TV so far; once you're done, not sure how long the story will linger.

There's a positive takeaway from both shows, however -- it's encouraging to see Netflix running shows in Korean with subtitles as default (not sure if there is an English dub, I didn't check) and that they both did so well on this particular platform, which seems to have the lowest common denominator American audience. There's been more prominence of shows and films with subtitles in the last year or two.

I don't feel like I've gotten far enough to discuss class concerns yet (as per the earlier posts), right now it's just been about all the folks with money/gambling issues, without really driving home what is causing that. (the protagonist seems to have had some bad occupational luck, followed by two failed business, which then slowly spiraled into shady/risky economic practices to try and dig himself out.)

I did have fun figuring out the conversion of currency on the fly -- first figuring out what language was spoken to determine country, then common currency, then the currency exchange rate. So basically his winnings at the track in this episode were a month's cost of living minus rent. But his other debt (added together) is probably in the range of $400-500K USD. I think 100 million won is only about 85K USD, so that makes the final jackpot (minus death money) worth about 39 million USD; the money per death will obviously jack this up, considering the number playing.

On that first episode game:
 
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Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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There are a few MST3k movies that are just old Japanese tv series chopped up and re-assembled into "movies". I wonder if there is any way to get subbed versions of the original TV series. I'm curious if they make any more sense.
 

fatgurl

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I've finally started watching YOU. I'm at episode 3 and it's good so far. Apparently, there's some propaganda in it but I haven't reached whatever episode that is yet.
Joe and love still don't trust each other, lol.
Put this in spoilers cause idk if anyone hasn't watched it yet but wants to.
 

Totenkindly

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I am three episodes into Squid Game now -- actually, I find the relational drama and interactions more interesting than the games themselves. The backstories contribute to why these people are bothering to participate, and I like how the groups are dividing up into their own mini-teams and alliances... but even those alliances are not necessarily safe. There's also been a few twists I did not expect. I appreciate stories where I think I know where something will go, yet the story veers in unexpected directions. It's deeper than the first episode let on.
 

Stigmata

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I am three episodes into Squid Game now -- actually, I find the relational drama and interactions more interesting than the games themselves. The backstories contribute to why these people are bothering to participate, and I like how the groups are dividing up into their own mini-teams and alliances... but even those alliances are not necessarily safe. There's also been a few twists I did not expect. I appreciate stories where I think I know where something will go, yet the story veers in unexpected directions. It's deeper than the first episode let on.
It gets much, much deeper. Just hang in there. I just finished the series a few days ago -- I won't give any spoilers but it definitely takes on more serious themes as the series progresses.
 

Totenkindly

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I just saw episode 1 of Arcane (on Netflix) last night.

I never played League of Legends and don't know any of the characters. However, I'm aware it's just a team-shooter game, not an RPG per se. Which left me kind of impressed with this animated show.

  • The animation is really great, kind of a computer painting-style form, and they didn't really skimp on anything. I grew up with the cheapest of cheap (Hanna-Barbera) and this is like the opposite. The details are pretty lavish and everything is thought out. They even take time to render stuff that would normally be throwaway. (For example, there's about a sec of animation involving a guard's face as he falls through the gap in the bridge, and they bothered to actually create a rather unique dynamic expression on his face -- the features all change appropriately -- whereas cheaper shows would have just skimped on it / done something flat and generic.) The chase and fight sequences actually make sense and use various elements of the environment. I was just really impressed.
  • Even the scripting/dialogue is decent. Occasional dud lines but overall the cast and the dialogue writing feels pretty real. I'm used to crappy cut scenes in computer games where the dialogue and acting is middling at best, especially games like this. But the show actually invested in decent actors and scripts.
  • The world-building, both conceptually and visual-design wise. Yet another area that surprised me, because the game itself is not an RPG style game that naturally would have already done a lot of that work. Someone actually sat down and developed the look and feel of the world, the technology, the social structures, and then the art supports all of it.

No idea how it will pan out over time, but I'm kind of impressed so far with the show considering it could have been one more crappy throwaway property that i've seen countless times before, but this is not that right now.
 

Totenkindly

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It gets much, much deeper. Just hang in there. I just finished the series a few days ago -- I won't give any spoilers but it definitely takes on more serious themes as the series progresses.
Partway through Episode 4. Geez Lou-freakin'-ise.

I'm kind of impressed with all the personal and social interactive exploration. There's a lot of interwoven themes about what happens with people under pressure, directly applicable on a cultural / economic level. To get hung up on the games themes is kind of a red herring, it's a show really more about the social and economic dynamics of a pressure cooker (which society emulates on a broader level) and those with power/privilege vs those without. There is even a pecking order among all the faceless staff -- those with higher rank can essentially dismiss any concerns of those under them, and the anonymity of it all means there is no personal accountability, you can do whatever your rank permits.

EDIT: Finished e5 now. Everything just keeps getting more layered. Hard to believe it's barely past the middle of the story.

EDIT 2: There was a reason why The Platform was one of my favorite films last year (it made my top list). Another foreign film, but it's about people randomly awakened on a particular floor of a very tall/deep shaft, and a platform starts daily at the top laden with all types of food and stops for one minute on each floor. (You cannot take the food, you can only eat when it is on your floor.) Technically there was supposed to be food for every floor if everyone ate little/modestly, but that's not really how it would play out -- especially since you were assigned randomly and I think everyone was reassigned randomly on a weekly basis. So if you survived your time of famine and then got a higher floor? Well....

it was really interesting to see how it all played out.

EDIT3: Finished e6 of Squid Game. It was devastating. I cried through a lot of the last twenty minutes, partially over a few character's actions but also how beautifully it was done. It's worth the price of admission.

 
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chickpea

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my favorite show of last year is coming back i’m so happy. can’t recommend it more, it’s very funny, sad, beautiful, gross & fascinating and i love it.
 

Totenkindly

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Finished Squid Game. I think the finale wasn't the best episode of the series (maybe episode 6 was) and I'm not sure about the open-ended resolution. However, I appreciate the complexity and depth of the series as it moved along and the kinds of questions it raised.

I also started watching Inside Job on Netflix, kind of Rick & Morty spliced with MIB show. Has some decent cast and it's kind of funny, especially the Brett character. I'm impressed they are actually exploring how an ITJ and EFP can make a go of things and actually accomplish a lot together, overcoming their separate weaknesses.
 

Tellenbach

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Finished the first season of The Boys. It's meh. The problem with the show is the lack of likeable characters. The actors are great, the plot is fine, but there is very little camaraderie and reason to care about the characters. It's hard to become invested in a show where everyone is unlikeable or vanilla. Kudos to the actor who plays Homelander. He does the quiet, menacing character very well. He might be one of the best
ever.
 

Totenkindly

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It's worlds better than the comic, which seems focused only on the shock value of the depravity.
 

Totenkindly

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I generally agree with this. It was underwhelming. There was not much to see on Disney + honestly, and leaks broke the news of new series early. Some of the "cool footage" was just lame -- like, we got a She-Hulk trailer but only got about 3 seconds of part of She-Hulk's back (whee).

The Baymax trailer was enjoyable at least. Not sure how long they were doing the Olaf shorts, where he spoofs some of the Disney films (acting them out in about 60 second or so) -- they were actually kind of funny, although I've never quite been an Olaf fan.

The most terrible part was the Simpsons Plusaversary cartoon. They have done a few Simpsons spoof cartoons in the past for the MCU (where Lisa becomes Thor) and some Maggie / Star Wars spoofs which are somewhat amusing, but the Plusaversary cartoon was absolutely embarrassing. It was not funny and was literally just an advertisement for Disney itself. I was shocked at how blatantly a sell-out it was, it might be the worst Simpsons thing I have ever seen. I kept waiting for the punchline that never really came.

One thing that has been mildly nice has been the increase in picture size for eight of the most recent Marvel films (including Infinity War and Endgame). Basically while they are not increased into an IMAX format (which would end up looking like ZSJL on a regular home TV, with black sidebars), there is extra image through much of the films now. I actually compared it to my 4K copy of Infinity War for a few scenes; the 4K is letterboxed, while the image off Disney + definitely includes some extra image at top and/or bottom of screen. Not that it's crucial material, but it helps make the world and action feel a bit bigger. For example, in Thanos' ship, it's more clear that his throne is actually surrounded by water or at least watery areas, for some reason.
 
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Jonathanlim24

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Arcane by Riot is beautiful
 
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