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What is the last Television series you watched?

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47 minutes ago, publicist said:

 

One occasion after how much hours of *music*? The art form has a real problem when even soundtrack fans set the bar at carpet edge height.

 

This has been a widely accepted state of affairs for years now. It's desperate times. I didn't pay too much attention to the music in truth, but I'll appreciate any mildly standout moments where I can get 'em. I'm hardly about to go and track down the official soundtrack album.

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32 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

And who doesn't? ;)

 

Williams is a thing of the past now, but I'm certain if challenged many composers could come up with worthy stuff.

11 minutes ago, Quintus said:

This has been a widely accepted state of affairs for years now. It's desperate times. I didn't pay too much attention to the music in truth, but I'll appreciate any mildly standout moments where I can get 'em. I'm hardly about to go and track down the official soundtrack album.

 

Sure, what bugs me is that many if not all of these fantasy series would actually profit from a score that musically helps to build these things. It's like they are shooting themselves in the foot by denying watchers the pleasure of strong music and waste the money for composers doing atmosphere. 

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What was awful about the scores for the Game of Thrones series was that there were themes and motifs but they were utilised in the most basic/dull ways. Then I don't even know how much that's to do with the placement/mixing/editing etc. 

 

Seems most TV scores are heading the sound design route - flashy atmospheric drivel, eschewing strong thematic, nuanced ideas. 

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The Witcher epi 2.

Okay this was the big exposition instalment then, and it struggled. I mean, you know it's gotten bad when a character literally states that they're delivering exposition. Yet in the end, the unfolding intrigue did remain intact.

 

I need to stop myself from thinking about Game of Thrones' style when I'm watching this, because it's not doing the show any favours. The "grittiness" (sorry) isn't there and the occasionally lighter tone of The Witcher is to me more reminiscent of something the BBC would put out. The lensing in particular could really kid a person into thinking this is something playing in the 9pm prime time slot on BBC1 on a Saturday night. I don't like how it looks.

 

But then again, the Game of Thrones comparisons are relevant yet more - I haven't forgotten how "TV" its own first season looked and felt, before finding its feet (and a bigger budget) in the seasons that followed.

 

It's perhaps unfair to compare the best memories of the world's biggest fantasy show with a new one just starting out, trying to find its own audience. I'll show mercy here.

 

Besides, this one does still come with its own little surprises even at this early stage: I genuinely didn't see it coming when the mysterious man helping burgeoning sorceress Yennefer turned out to be a spy. An effective twist.

 

So, I'm guessing it's around episode 5 where the introductory world building isn't the focus any more and the adventure gets underway proper. Or so I heard.

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Discovery is literally unwatchable to me, it's terrible. And I really wanted it to be a Star Trek I could finally get into. Which I suppose is why The Orville unexpectedly coming along when it did felt like a bit of a godsend.

 

 

The Witcher epi 5.

I'm still undecided about this as it sways quite heavily from one good/bad setting to the next, but there's also something about it which keeps me watching and it's difficult to pin down exactly what that is, because there is quite a lot which I just think is plain bad (the jungle Amazonians, anyone?).

 

My growing suspicion is that Henry Cavill's undeniable screen presence and the way he has embodied this role so perfectly simply makes it intuitively moreish. The witcher himself just raises the quality of the entertainment every time he's on screen, and the drop off is felt whenever he's not.

 

With that said, Yennefer of Vengerberg has finally come into her own, too - at five episodes into it, not before time. I remember thinking the casting for this character was all wrong at the time it was announced, but I was very wrong about that. When the great meeting between her and Geralt was finally depicted in this series, it lived up to the promise of how it always should have been: there were fireworks, and crucially; the chemistry between Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra is very very strong. It needed to be for this show to stand any chance. Which is why I'm expecting this to improve as it goes, and why I reckon there's a good chance of Netflix's The Witcher being the making of these two actors.

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5 minutes ago, Quintus said:

The Witcher epi 3.

I'm still undecided about this as it sways quite heavily from one good/bad setting to the next, but there's also something about it which keeps me watching and it's difficult to pin down exactly what that is, because there is quite a lot which I just think is plain bad (the jungle Amazonians, anyone?).

 

Did you get along with the timelines? 

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I got wind of the unparallel timelines while skimming over Reddit last week, so it probably helped me make sense of goings on. I'm okay with it, and I do think it works. At the least, I appreciate that the writers have tried for something a bit more structurally unorthodox at this early stage. It's ambitious, but whether or not these choices have been successful remains to be seen, and I suppose it's up to the viewer. By most accounts though, general viewership seems satisfied.

 

There are incidental dialogue snippets which have payoff that they otherwise wouldn't have done, had the narrative structure been more conventionally linear. I can provide examples.

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I read a bit on reddit and it seems there wouldn't be quite enough goodness to distract me from the visuals which I'm not at all keen on based on the trailers (I love the Polish fairytale aesthetics of the games and, the books invite it very much), the parts that fall flat compared to the book (apparently elves are just tragic mehs instead of proud, aggressive dying bastards? Butcher of Blaviken moment loses all its punch and looks like he just murders some randos? Vilgefortz defeated by a nobody? Calanthe is not a scheming, feisty leader?) or the things left out (Geralt not meeting Ciri in Brokilon and the final meeting not being a reunion and grand tearjerking Geralt moment sounds nigh unforgiveable). Maybe if S2 will be somehow great, I'll catch up. I'll just reread the books until then.

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Game of Thrones, when it was good, was fabulous. Obviously The Witcher cannot hope to compare to that at the moment, in its competitively crude maiden season, and likely never will do. 

 

But it'd take an astounding degree of idiocy to make it turn out any more disappointing than GoT by the end of its run. I doubt anybody could ever replicate such an impressive level of utter failure.

 

Btw, I see Alex has the Witcher bug too. He's burned through it even faster than I have. Oh that's right - the kid made him watch it. His handy clause he cooked up a while back!

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The Witcher epi 6.

Geralt and Yennefer join a band of dragon hunters, a green one to be exact. There was another nice twist in this, and I like how I'm completely unable to predict anything at all about where this season will end up. Probably one of the most well rounded episodes of the series so far, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I bet this instalment is a bit of a fan favourite.

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Drac-to-the-Future-14a5124.jpg?quality=9

 

Dracula - E1

 

All the strengths of 'Sherlock' are in evidence in the Steven Moffat-Mark Gatiss penned take on this indeed flogged-to-death classic, though they turn out to be somewhat detrimental in a setting that requires atmosphere and a certain theatrical flair for lore and legend.

 

The whole things zips along with gusto, has the expected production values and some nice framing surprises i'm not going to spoil here. But the premise is that this Dracula is hip jokester, much more so than Cumberbatch's Holmes, and while this facilitates a great deal of writerly banter and casual wit (you would've wished on lame outings like Eddie Murphy's 'Vampire in Brooklyn') it also destroys pretty much any of the tale's mythic qualities.

 

The makers might have assumed quite rightly that it would have been hardly worth their while to just repeat what legions of other movies already did, though why they didn't just give the whole thing a modern overhaul á la Sherlock is anyone's guess. Dracula cracking very british Bond villain one-liners at his medieval castle in remote Romania just doesn't feel right and it somehow betrays the source material. 

 

Let's see what the rest of this has to offer on this dreary grey january weekend...

 

 

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On 1/3/2020 at 1:11 AM, Quintus said:

because there is quite a lot which I just think is plain bad (the jungle Amazonians, anyone?).

 

 

Wait till later when their stupidity comes full circle

 

Spoilers:

 

Spoiler

They tell Ciri and the Elf kid that everyone who enters the forest must drink this magic tree sap which reveals if their intentions are pure or evil. A few eps later, the Doppleganger disguised as the mage who swore to protect Ciri, enters the forest and leaves with the children without having to drink the sap. C'mon, it's like they forgot what they were writing.

 

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4 hours ago, Quintus said:

Wait - it's a light-hearted Dracula?

 

Urrrrgh.

 

Not really, too much bloodshed and gore for that, but Drac as played by Claes Bang (never heard of him) is so above the fray here - an anachronism, with all around him more or less in their accurate timeframe - that he turns the whole thing into camp. Enjoyable camp, but nevertheless (and who doesn't like the George Hamilton version). 

 

PS: the transition to present day happens in episode 3, btw.

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:59 PM, Koray Savas said:

Wrapped up Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 
 

@Disco Stu Have you watched yet?

 

Hey sorry for the late response here.  Honestly, we got three episodes in and the show fell by the wayside.  It felt like a pretty big step down from season 2.  It brought back some of Sherman-Palladino's most irritating weaknesses from the days of Gilmore: introducing conflict to the characters that feels unnaturally forced and only there to provide "drama."

 

Do you agree?  If so, do you think it gets better?

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I agree overall. I found Season 2 much more engaging on a character and dramatic level, but I still enjoyed it very much. Like I mentioned a little earlier, the production design, costume design, art direction, and the fantastic camerawork keep it interesting. I found the last 3 episodes or so to start picking up in the right direction, but then it ended. 

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Dracula - somewhere inside this meandering 4-and-a-half-hour Moffat and Gatiss BBC production a tighter, more focused and just plain BETTER 3-hour version was struggling to get out.  

It had some interesting ideas, good performances and some very pleasing shots. But it also had an indulgent runtime, muddled and inconsistent writing and some big-ass plot holes. 

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The first episode was decent enough; I particularly appreciated that they went with a largely unknown cast in the main roles. Much less distractingly meta that way.

 

However, I still couldn't shake the feeling that this guy they have playing Dracula looks and feels like a villain straight out of Albert Square. I can imagine him plotting to murder Phil Mitchell in the Queen Vic, for the explosive Christmas Day special.

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His Dark Materials 1x08 Betrayal

 

A decent end to a decent season of television.  I kind of liked that things slowed down a bit and we got some nice conversations between Lyra and Asriel, and between Lyra and Roger, plus some more discussion about what the heck Dust is all about.  When Lyra realized what Asriel was up to and she went outside and called for Iorek and he was basically right there for her, that was so sweet.  Unfortunately what should have been an exciting battle between the bears and the Magisterium's forces was so short and uneventful, it really felt like they just didn't have the budget to make it be what it should have been.

 

At the mountaintop, we are finally presented with the most gorgeous special effects I've seen all year.  The gateway opening, the  Aurora Borealis, everything just looked jawdroppingly incredible.  I thought it was interesting that Asriel and Coulter had a litlte conversation before he went through, and seemed to actually (?) still love her and want her to go with him, but she she decided to stay and not challenge The Authority/God (?).  Lyra saying goodbye to Roger was heartfelt, and then the sequence stepping through the gateway looked amazing.  I didn't really get what was up with Will and how he found the gateway in his world or why he went in to it, or really what he's thinking at all since he had no dialogue, but hopefully next season gives us a reason why we followed him at all this year.  I didn't really follow the whole bit with the prophecy or why him being the son of John Parry was important

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36 minutes ago, Sweeping Strings said:

Dracula - somewhere inside this meandering 4-and-a-half-hour Moffat and Gatiss BBC production a tighter, more focused and just plain BETTER 3-hour version was struggling to get out.  

It had some interesting ideas, good performances and some very pleasing shots. But it also had an indulgent runtime, muddled and inconsistent writing and some big-ass plot holes. 

 

I rather liked how they split the whole thing into lenghtier, somewhat self-contained parts. It certainly wasn't a big new thing like Sherlock at its time, but once I got into the spirit (i.e. after the first part, which at first felt a bit too uneven), I enjoyed its mix of "original" Dracula, Moffat twists, Gatiss mayhem, and meta humour. Claes Bang was fine in the title role, and I really liked Dolly Wells, both of whom I'd never heard of before. The score was utterly unremarkable though.

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43 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

We’re watching the big Jeopardy tournament tonight!   It’s in primetime with the cool kids.


Holy cannoli, Ken beat Holzhauer by only 200 after the two game totals!  It’s always so fun to watch Jeopardy with players at this level.

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Got one more Witcher left and then I'll possibly move onto The Night Manager, which I noticed appeared on Prime. This is in between The Office and Dracula. I'm really not a fan of the 90min per instalment format though, so the latter may take me some time to finish. The former however, at 25mins per episode, is pretty much my light entertainment ideal. We're closing in on season 6, it's just so good.

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Just watched Dracula and have the impression that the tone was completely offset by the usual Moffatt quirkiness that (usually) worked in something like Doctor Who. There were nice little homages to others who have taken the mantle, but their sort of ruined by the 'hip' Sherlockian take on the character which kind of makes a mockery of the whole premise and mythos of Dracula @Quintus quite rightly mentioned. Something that Moffatt kind of deflated in Who was throwing historicity out the window which made some of his stories set in the past feel like forced comedy, altering customs and traditions to get a quick laugh. When you have someone who isn't taking the world they inhabit seriously, the immersion begins to fall away around them and affects everything else. Dracula is meant to be from another time, yes, but instead of picking up on the idea of him being an ancient evil, they've replaced that with a more modern approach which takes the bite out of the character. He's more terrifying in the beginning as the drained and withered old man, before he turns into Superman.

 

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5 hours ago, Arpy said:

but their sort of ruined by the 'hip' Sherlockian take on the character which kind of makes a mockery of the whole premise and mythos of Dracula @Quintus quite rightly mentioned.

 

Dracula is meant to be from another time, yes, but instead of picking up on the idea of him being an ancient evil, they've replaced that with a more modern approach which takes the bite out of the character. He's more terrifying in the beginning as the drained and withered old man, before he turns into Superman.

 

 

Argh :pukeface:

 

I was considering watching because I liked the first seasons of Sherlock back in the day, but I'm in really no mood for a hip Dracula that becomes Superman. Hard pass.

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I think it works much better in the second and third installments, which are not so directly bound to the book plot (although each part is based on a different segment of the book). In fact, it probably starts making sense at the end of part 1, when it departs from what at first seems to be a reasonably faithful take on the book and goes full Moffat for the episode finale.

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