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  #601  
Old 12 February 2017, 12:09 PM
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As for Legion, I didn't watch it so I'm not sure how closely they're following the powers and abilities of the comic-book counterpart, but if you're curious...

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/David_Haller_(Earth-616)
http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/David_H..._and_Abilities


Obviously, the links may or may not be spoiliery, depending on how much of the X-Men mythos they're using.
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  #602  
Old 12 February 2017, 11:33 PM
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I'm really enjoying Superior Donuts so far. It's pretty much your standard CBS sitcom, but Judd Hirsch carries things very well, and is always funny. Plus, it's always great to see Katey Sagal.
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  #603  
Old 13 February 2017, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
I'm still working my way though the first episode, but I'm not sure about it yet. In general, dream sequences or drug/mental illness induced hallucination sequences tend to be annoying nonsense, and I don't have a lot of patience if the show is going to be 30% whatever random imagery they think looks cool that doesn't necessarily have to mean anything. Or unnecessary jumps between out of sequence scenes to keep the viewer off balance and simulate these altered states. Complex shows are one thing, but I don't like shows that fake that with easy gimmicks to make things harder to understand than they really are.
I'm kind of with you on all of that. I have no problem with mindnfbsks or keeping the viewers off balance, but I still want there to be a solid story core anchoring everything together, not just "Hey this looks really cool and will amaze the viewers."

Or think of it as being like George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords, where while the scenes of brutality are shocking and gruesome, they don't come completely out of nowhere. After the scenes happen, Martin gives you enough clues to show how this was all carefully planned and rereading the book again, makes it clear that Martin had built in clues all along as to what was going to happen, so it wasn't just a "Rocks fall; everyone dies" kind of story.

I'm willing to give Legion a second episode, but it better start showing signs of a solid throughline, or I'll just stop. Visuals don't mean anything if the story behind it, is hollow to the core.

And yes, it was kind of tricky to talk about the events of A Storm of Swords without actually naming them, but I was trying to bend over backwards to be nice and avoid spoilers. Maybe I was too nice, but hey.
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  #604  
Old 13 February 2017, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
Clearly the closest parallel is Better Off Ted, created by the same person, but it's not as good as that show either. It has moments, but overall it's not great. I agree that The Good Place was excellent. One of the few decent network sitcoms in a long time.
I think you might be confusing Powerless with Santa Clarita Diet. Better off Ted's creator Vincent Fresco is behind Santa Clarita. Powerless' creator Ben Queen doesn't seem to have any ties to Ted.

Santa Clarita is IMO (and other people's O's) pretty good. The Veridian Dynamics commercials would fit very well here. "Just like we enjoy varieties of food, we enjoy varieties of people. Even though we can't eat them. Unless you're Drew Barrymore turned into a zombie, then it's OK. Zombies, part of our diversity. Good for us."
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  #605  
Old 13 February 2017, 05:20 AM
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Bah, I meant Victor Fresco, not Vincent . I don't know why I keep conflating those two names.
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  #606  
Old 15 February 2017, 12:39 AM
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I, uh... I'm not seeing a problem with Legion. Looks to me like it has a solid storyline, being revealed in a fashion consistent with the fractured viewpoint of a seriously confused person with some major disconnects from a truth that's been concealed from him. I found it far, far less confusing than Lost or The X-Files.

It does help that I have a passing familiarity with the character from back when I was collecting comics (I was subscribed to X-Men and The New Mutants - yes, delivered via snail-mail to my house); I have the issues of New Mutants where he was introduced. I haven't read them since the 80's, and all I remember was that between Bill Sienkiewicz's bizarre art and the confusing writing, I had no effing idea what was going on. I stopped collecting Marvel's mutant titles not long after, so all I really know is stuff I've read on the internet since then.

I love the high production values, and Aubrey Plaza is always a plus, and the writing... but honestly, they had me at "Happy Jack".
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  #607  
Old 06 March 2017, 02:35 AM
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I'm watching Planet Earth II. Like a lot of us, I grew up listening to Sir David's dulcet tones. The camera work as expected is impressive, but I wish there were some way to identify the non-featured animals. For instance, during the jungle episode there were a lot of fleeting glimpses of insects and I'd really like to know what they were. One of them looked like a weird stick insect but I think it had wings that resembled a butterfly (?). Also, Zootopia was not exaggerating about sloths at all. I used to think that surely during mating season they would pick up the pace. Oh, so little I knew. Even their increased speed is still glacial.

I'm almost caught up on Brooklyn 9-9. In between this and Florida Man from The Good Place, I'm wondering if a Floridian kicked Mike Schur's dog. The Coral Gables episodes are downright scathing.

Also really looking forward to American Gods. Bryan Fuller in charge + fantastic casting = me picking up a Starz subscription on April 30. The trailer looks great, so my anticipation is thoroughly whetted. The book has been in my TBR list for a dog's age, so the only question is whether I should try to read it before the show.
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  #608  
Old 06 March 2017, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cure the Blues View Post
The book has been in my TBR list for a dog's age, so the only question is whether I should try to read it before the show.
I would; most of the viewers probably read the book, what, 15 years ago? and are eager to watch the show, so it's not like it's all SPOILERZZ!!!! and such; it's more like I read the book and now I oh so very much want to see the show. YMMV, of course, but I'd read the book first. Well worth it.
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  #609  
Old 07 March 2017, 11:48 PM
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This Big Little Lies show on HBO is pretty great so far. I'm blown away by the performances Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are giving.
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  #610  
Old 08 March 2017, 06:42 PM
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Also watching Planet Earth II and buh-LOWN away by it. So incredibly gorgeous and Sir David Attenborough is an international treasure.

Also watching Big Little Lies and being surprised by it. This is the exactly the kind of show I should detest - a bunch of spoiled, rich, malicious narcissists running around wreaking havoc. But the writing is so good and the characters are surprisingly fleshed out. Yes, at first blush they come off as vapid but then they all have these very complex inner lives. And the viewer, at least this one, ends up feeling sympathy for them. Pretty great so far. And oh, yeah, Alexander Skarsgard.
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  #611  
Old 12 March 2017, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crius of CoH View Post
I would; most of the viewers probably read the book, what, 15 years ago? and are eager to watch the show, so it's not like it's all SPOILERZZ!!!! and such; it's more like I read the book and now I oh so very much want to see the show. YMMV, of course, but I'd read the book first. Well worth it.
It looks like season 1 comprises the first third of the book, so a readthrough is easily doable and will immunize me to TV cliffhanger syndrome. Moving the book up in my queue. Besides, I'm not sure that I want to be put in the same position as with The Expanse, where it turns out one of my favorite characters Avasarala doesn't even show up until the second book, meaning I have to go through one whole book with no Chrisjen viewpoint. Fuller might do something similar and move characters around so some appear earlier than they do in the book. At least this way I'll avoid the "What, I have to read X number of chapters before I reach *Favorite POV person*!" I'll finish American Gods and then catch up on Anansi Boys when season 1 is done, since apparently some Anansi bits are going to get folded into the series. I guess three seasons is the new Bryan Fuller season limit now? He's improved from his 2 maximum and it chafes me that Wonderfalls didn't even get that long. I still can't quite believe he managed to make it 3 full seasons with Hannibal on network TV, especially given how expensive it looked to make.
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  #612  
Old 20 March 2017, 01:34 AM
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Iron Fist, the next Netflix series set in the Marvel superhero universe, came out Friday. Yesterday and today I managed to clear enough time to watch the first 6 episodes.

I'm enjoying it so far, but it's not up to the level of Daredevil or Jessica Jones. It's a lot more like Power Ma- uh, Luke Cage, with a low simmer start and lots of backstory. This series likely points out where the team show Defenders will be going, given the plot points and common factors with the other shows. Of course, I'm not quite halfway through, so who knows how things will wind up? OK, obviously the binge watchers. But not me.


In other news, Legion is confusing as hell but massively engaging. I'm fairly sure that a lot of what's going on throughout has really been inside David's head - most or all of the characters are various personality/power facets. Could easily be very wrong about that. Regardless, it's the single show I most look forward to watching right now, followed closely by The Expanse and The Magicians over on SyFy.
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  #613  
Old 20 March 2017, 01:44 AM
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I'm only halfway through Iron Fist myself, but everybody I know who's seen the whole thing says that the second half is much better than the first.

It's still damned awkward watching a white guy lecturing an Asian woman about Asian philosophy. Also watching him try to adopt a martial arts stance during fight scenes: he looks like he's shooting for Jet Li and landed on Chris Tucker instead.
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  #614  
Old 20 March 2017, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
I'm only halfway through Iron Fist myself, but everybody I know who's seen the whole thing says that the second half is much better than the first.

It's still damned awkward watching a white guy lecturing an Asian woman about Asian philosophy. Also watching him try to adopt a martial arts stance during fight scenes: he looks like he's shooting for Jet Li and landed on Chris Tucker instead.
Good; I don't necessarily mind a slow start so long as it has a decent finish.

One of my... not complaints, but sort of bemused observations: the show about the super martial artist has a LOT less martial arts action than the show about the blind boxer (at least in the first half). Also, pretty much saw the important father-son interaction coming from episode 1.
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  #615  
Old 20 March 2017, 11:11 AM
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I finished Iron Fist and I didn't notice that much of an improvement in the second half of the series. It's thoroughly mediocre the whole way through.

I just couldn't invest in the main character in the slightest which is a BIG problem. The secondary plot set in the business world with the Meachum family was well acted and would have been compelling in a different show but it really felt like filler here which is a shame because Jessica Stroup was one of the better actors in the ensemble. I really didn't care about business wheeling and dealing unless Danny was in the scene and that didn't happen a whole lot.

Colleen Wing was probably the most engaging character and I probably would have enjoyed the series a lot more if it had been about her and Claire Temple. Weirdly enough for a series that was supposed to introduce the character of Iron Fist they really lowballed his origin story, showing very little from that time (except for the plane crash which they showed many many times) and instead having the character tell people about it over and over and over. There was a particular event from Danny's story which was incredibly significant in his character development and they show him walking up to the cave to start the Trial of the Iron Fist but don't actually show it which I can only assume was due to budget restraints which is really disappointing. Imagine telling the story about Superman's origin but leaving out Krypton exploding and Jor-El sending him to Earth (but it's the first time most of the audience have been introduced to the character) and that's pretty much what they did to Iron Fist.


I should note that I've never read any of the Iron Fist comics and I wasn't invested in the character before this. My expectations were based on how much I enjoyed the other Marvel Netflix series so I really wanted this series to invest me in the character but it just didn't work for me.



Edit: one minor highlight for me was that Danny's teacher in K'un L'un is played by Hoon Lee who also does the voice of Hamato Yoshi (Master Splinter) in the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. That's pretty bad ass. Sadly he only ever appears as a poorly seen memory/vision and we don't get any actual scenes with him.
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  #616  
Old 20 March 2017, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
I finished Iron Fist and I didn't notice that much of an improvement in the second half of the series. It's thoroughly mediocre the whole way through.

I just couldn't invest in the main character in the slightest which is a BIG problem.
I'm with you. He's the only one of the main 4 Defenders who wasn't given any compelling background baggage.
  • Daredevil: Strong Catholic faith/guilt, struggling with the concept of justice and the conflict between his roles as lawyer and vigilante.
  • Jessica Jones: PTSD, rape survivor, alcoholic...struggling with identity, responsibility, power, guilt.
  • Luke Cage: Black Lives Matter, role as African American male with prison record. Power and responsibility.
But with Iron Fist...They could have dealt with his integration back into society most especially his cultural identity....11 years Western, 15 years Asian. But aside from showing up barefoot (which makes no sense), and one scene where he can't sleep in the bed, there's nothing. His conflict between duty to K'un Lun and his desire to be Danny Rand is stressed, but the fact that the Hand overlap both so that he can be Danny Rand and fight the Hand, fulfilling his role as the Iron Fist undercuts the tension.

What I want to see in the Defenders: Trish Walker becomes Hellcat. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing become the Daughters of the Dragon. Explicit references to Doctor Strange (who founded the Defenders in the comics), Spider-Man, or any of the multiple other members of the Defenders from the comics. (I'd really love a cameo from anyone in the movies but I don't see it happening).
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  #617  
Old 20 March 2017, 06:12 PM
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It's like what they tried to examine with Danny is the fact that he's got white privilege and the ability to be condescending to minorities.
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  #618  
Old 20 March 2017, 07:44 PM
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It's Pilot Season for Amazon now. I've only seen one of the new shows, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maziel," and it's marvelous.

The blurb says it takes place in 1958, but they reference an album that wasn't released until 1960, so minor flaw there somewhere.

But in any case the story is of an Upper West Side Jewish housewife who has always done exactly what was expected of her, though she comments on everything with extreme wit. She supports her husband's open mike stand up in Greenwich Village but then she makes some disturbing discoveries, and the rest would be spoilers except for the obvious that she's the one with the real comedic ability.

The show does one thing that's really really hard...and that's getting comedy right. Too often on TV a comedy routine or sketch by a character is only funny in that we've been told it's funny, not because it's actually funny. But here the stuff that's supposed to be funny is, and the stuff that isn't, isn't, and we can tell the difference ourselves.

And Tony Shaloub as the ultra-Jewish father really helps, though he hasn't even done much yet.
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  #619  
Old 21 March 2017, 02:26 AM
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I wouldn't have objected so much to Danny Rand lecturing other characters on eastern philosophies if he himself had been more assiduous in following them. Yeah, of course he's got issues -- but he also has spent 15 years being trained by an order that talks about focusing your energy and calming your emotions, so seeing him lose it so completely so often was jarring.

Also I thought the fight choreography was pretty mediocre for a series centered on a martial arts master. (It got somewhat better as the series went on, or else I lowered my expectations to where it wasn't so jarring.)

That said, while I would certainly consider the weakest of the four "Defenders prequel" series (or five, if you count both seasons of Daredevil), it held my interest all the way through; I am less likely to re-watch it than any of the others, but I don't feel it was by any means a waste of time. The reviews going around seeming to portray it as a the "worst series evar" seem over-the-top.
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  #620  
Old 21 March 2017, 02:00 PM
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Watched the first episode of Anne (the CBC/Netflix adaptation of Anne of Green Gables) last night. I was skeptical going in, but Amybeth McNulty as Anne is delightful. I'm a crier, and she had me in tears a few times. And laughing a lot during her 'apology' to Mrs. Lynde.

I also really liked RH Thomson as Matthew. Still not sold on Marilla. I kept thinking of Colleen Dewhurst.

Anne's flashbacks to her life before Green Gables are gritty and heartbreaking.
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