Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
RIPPA

[OCT 2016] TV DISCUSSION THREAD

Recommended Posts

Westworld ep 2 was good stuff, nothing spectacular but very solid. They turned up the dial for the last 10 minutes again.

I find Hopkins' character a bit annoying so far.

I dont know what to make of "Man in Black", he's like a guy who has finished Metal Gear Solid 27 times and now plays it on the highest difficulty level but still breezes through situations while killing the guards with ease in search of an "easter egg" like mini game. 

There's no character to grip onto yet and i think thats what could hurt it the most but its only 2 episodes in and im enjoying the ride.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, supremebve said:

That makes sense, but I was talking about how CBS has 157455 shows that are essentially all the same, hour long, formulaic, dramas that aren't necessarily good, but you could watch .  I didn't really notice, that all of those shows are based around an absurdly competent "leader," who can solve damn near any problem in 43 minutes of screen time.  When will the opposite become cliche?  If you look at the most critically acclaimed TV shows of the last 15-20 years, you could probably describe them as "flaw porn."  Tony Soprano, Walter White, and basically everyone on The Wire, seem to be a change of pace, because of how many super competent characters we see everywhere else.  Could there be a really well done, critically acclaimed, competency porn show at this point?  Is our affection for the flawed television heroes of the last few years been a direct result of our distaste for the uber-competent characters we've been bombarded with for the majority of our television watching lives?  

Breaking Bad is a great example of he opposite of competency porn, and it's especially telling that it's a cable show, not broadcast TV.  He is a man in over his head who, at his very best, might get a nostril out of the water for a few seconds.  Walter White is good at chemistry but we are never led to believe that he's ever the master manipulator in complete control of the situation.  He acts like he is, but he's really always two steps behind, all bluster, and actually panicking on the inside.  We are supposed to understand that he's trying to play the part of the hyper-competent master of everything and is failing miserably.  The show slyly subverts the trope, perhaps a little too slyly for some:

It's funny hearing someone who has watched too much CBS talk about Breaking Bad.  They absolutely don't get it and root for Walter White all the way.  They think they're supposed to because, after all,l he's the protagonist of the show, right?  They absolutely miss how bad White is at everything, how he is slowly turning completely evil over the course of the show, and instead cling to the few "badass" moments and the schemes that somehow do work out in spite of White's fuckups.

To generalize perhaps a bit too much, broadcast networks skew toward the old and the unimaginative.  This audience wants characters they can like, who never evolve.  I can watch CSI five years ago and not watch it again until yesterday and I'll be able to fall right back into it.  This audience doesn't want to be challenged. They essentially want the programming equivalent of a TV dinner every night.  On cable networks, you'll see more flawed characters who actually do evolve and the audience has to be somewhat engaged and think about what they're watching instead of letting the latest incarnation of CSI or Law & Order wash over them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

It's funny hearing someone who has watched too much CBS talk about Breaking Bad.  They absolutely don't get it and root for Walter White all the way.  They think they're supposed to because, after all,l he's the protagonist of the show, right?  They absolutely miss how bad White is at everything, how he is slowly turning completely evil over the course of the show, and instead cling to the few "badass" moments and the schemes that somehow do work out in spite of White's fuckups.

The two characters that I hate that everyone else seems to love are Walter White and Stringer Bell.  I honestly don't understand why anyone has any affinity towards either of those dudes.  Walter White went from a guy who was trying to make some extra money to leave his family, which could be considered admirable, but quickly became a huge villain.  He's just a reprehensible human being.  Stringer Bell is the most morally despicable person on The Wire.  Avon, Marlo, and just about everyone else is playing by the rules of the game they were playing.  Stringer thought he was the smartest man who ever sold dope.  He had people as unsophisticated as Poot looking at him like he was an idiot.  Somehow people still believe he was some sort of brilliant person.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, supremebve said:

Walter White went from a guy who was trying to make some extra money to leave his family, which could be considered admirable, but quickly became a huge villain.

Exactly!  The point people seem to miss is that there were several times where White had made enough money and could get out, but his hubris wouldn't let him.  There's an entire subplot with his former business partners that in no uncertain terms underscores the fact that White is a petty man who severely underachieved in life, made bad choices based on pride, blames others for where he ended up, and has finally found in the meth business something to feed his wounded ego.  "Stay out of my territory" and "say my name!" are not iconic moments of heroic badassery; they're sad reminders of a man too far gone and too into his own bullshit to see he's speeding toward the wall.   

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, peterien said:

Westworld ep 2 was good stuff, nothing spectacular but very solid. They turned up the dial for the last 10 minutes again.

I find Hopkins' character a bit annoying so far.

I dont know what to make of "Man in Black", he's like a guy who has finished Metal Gear Solid 27 times and now plays it on the highest difficulty level but still breezes through situations while killing the guards with ease in search of an "easter egg" like mini game. 

There's no character to grip onto yet and i think thats what could hurt it the most but its only 2 episodes in and im enjoying the ride.

I think William is the character they want you to catch on to, someone who's new to the world, and isn't acting like a monster just because he can and there are no consequences in the park.  Going by the set up, and the damn annoying "in the coming weeks" multi week preview instead of just a teaser for next week, it looks like we might be getting a "woke hosts and non-monster humans vs, hosts that go batshit insane like the original" plot.  I don't have a fucking clue about The Gunslinger, since he's apparently allowed to do what he wants, is looking for the final boss, but could possibly he a host programmed to think he's real and doesn't reset like the others.

 

Neat bit with Mauve's nightmare remedy being the standard restart voice command so it starts her up while in maintence.  Although I'm wondering if the Phrase that wokes Hosts was put there by the Chairman and  Bernard just hasn't figured it out yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2016 at 7:47 AM, TimWresPowr said:

I had zero knowledge of Stranger Things.  My wife was at least aware that it was based on a real thing but seems like such a niche thing that anyone would have been aware of for the sketch to have much affect.

 

Yea - Stranger Things was massively main stream, just for a short period of time because of the way the Netflix release-all-at-once binge cycle works.  I mean...I had my Mom (who I'm pretty sure had never even heard of Netflix) calling me asking how she could watch it a week after it came out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2016 at 2:36 PM, Technico Support said:

Sorry, man, I should have clarified.  In the sense of Scorpion, House, Backstrom, Elementary, and many, many other shows of that stripe, "competence porn" refers to the lead(s)'s hyper competence.  Middle America seemingly LOVES any show where the protagonist is some sort of genius and is the absolute best, most amazing at something.  He or she is always the smartest person in the room.  They love it doubly so if he/she is also socially awkward.  Triply so if the show is brimming with slick, too clever by half quip-filled dialog that nobody in real life is ever smooth enough to pull off.  It's the most lazy writing but hey, on million Mentalist fans can't be wrong, I guess.

Are you Vince Mancini? He's brings up this exact point, in regards to action movie protagonists, in his review of The Accountant that was posted today. Even uses the term competence porn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The producers of The Wire should have filmed a scene where Stringer kidnaps a blonde haired, blue-eyed white girl and forces her to smoke a crack pipe to show audiences that he was evil.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stringer was a fantastic heel, and Idris was so damn good. I remember I was glad when he finally go t what was coming to him. . . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, elizium said:

Are you Vince Mancini? He's brings up this exact point, in regards to action movie protagonists, in his review of The Accountant that was posted today. Even uses the term competence porn.

ha!  Nope thanks for the heads-up.  I'll go read that review.  Holy shit..."Asploitation!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atlanta was amazing last night. In a perfect world Donald Glover will win all the Emmy's next year.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lethal Weapon got picked up for the full season (which really only means 5 more episodes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Kuetsar said:

Stringer was a fantastic heel, and Idris was so damn good. I remember I was glad when he finally go t what was coming to him. . . 

Talking about Stringer Bell: today on work I had to write minutes for meeting where I was highly reminded of this classic:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, (BP) said:

Atlanta was amazing last night. In a perfect world Donald Glover will win all the Emmy's next year.

 

I love that I sat through a whole real commercial because I didn't realize to the end that it was a real commercial.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the first episode of Channel Zero: Candle Cove on SyFy. It's an interesting premise, but jesus the acting is about as bland and emotionless as you can get. Hoping it picks up performance wise. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BrianS81177 said:

I watched the first episode of Channel Zero: Candle Cove on SyFy. It's an interesting premise, but jesus the acting is about as bland and emotionless as you can get. Hoping it picks up performance wise. 

Agreed on both counts. Creepypasta has always seemed silly to me, but the one this was based on got me good. Everything in Channel Zero just seems so cold and calculated, hopefully that's just setting the scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Breaking Bad

I still hate the finishing stretch.  I don't have a huge problem with Walter being presented somewhat sympathetically during the course of the show because that's the nature of television.  If the audience can't relate to the viewpoint character and empathize with him at least a bit, the show lasts one or two years.  From a writing standpoint, I liked that they managed to flesh out Walt enough not to make him completely awful even while he did heinous things.  Credit good writing and Bryan Cranston's performance.  Personally, I never "liked" Walt because he tossed away his morality pretty quickly once the money started rolling in and resorted to doing evil things with barely a flimsy rationalization, but, as the lead character in a television drama, I thought what the writers did worked to a large degree.

(i do see a problem with the writers basically glamorizing Walter's lifestyle by presenting him positively, but, viewed in a vacuum, I don't have a problem with the show.)

That said, the show lost me when it brought the Nazis in for the stretch run and turned Walter de facto babyface.  I feel like the only reasonable ending was Walter finally getting his what he deserved.  Jesse ratting out Walt to Hank felt like a natural way to go.  They went sentimental at the end, and let Walt and let him go out as some sort of noble, semi-hero.  Ugh.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a weirdo, but I'm someone who is totally OK with reprehensible people being main characters without feeling like I have to root for them.  Walter White was a terrible person, and I didn't really empathize with him outside of the first season or so.  That dude ruined the lives of everyone he encountered, he didn't have a single positive influence on anyone on the show.  I think the point of no return was when Jane died.  He could have started turning water into wine, and I would have still found him irredeemable.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like a lot more people would have found Walter White to be a despicable person and not thought about it beyond that if Cranston hadn't poured so much into the role and made Walter a more nuanced character than he probably should have been.  For me, anti-hero shows live and die by the actor.  I wouldn't have stuck with Breaking Bad if Cranston hadn't been so great in the role.  Most of the characters were unlikeable or unsympathetic in one way or another (even the good guys and Walt's victims).

My wife pointed out - correctly - that, while I may never have drank the Walter White kool-aid, I was all in on Gregory House.  She's not wrong.  If Gregory House were a real person and moved into our neighborhood, I'd definitely be Wilson.  Granted, Greg House was just an unpleasant narcissist with maybe a touch of sociopathic tendencies - and Walter White was a drug kingpin who became a drug kingpin because he didn't want to be a nobody - but House was every bit as manipulative and destructive as Walter.  I kinda wonder if I cut House some slack because I'm a huge Hugh Laurie fan and Cranston is a very good actor who I don't have an opinion about either way (other than being incredulous that the guy who played Malcolm's nebbish dad made it big).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly the most annoying trend to come out of modern TV to me is the obnoxious internet backlash/moralist/ iconoclast crowd that has to always chime in on some, "How dare you root for Walter White (Vic Mackey/Tony Soprano/any Wire character that's "in the game"/etc.)?!?!" shit.

I mean, Walter White is the classic tragic hero who falls due to a fatal flaw. To paint him as being incompetent is incredibly biased. Sure he's out of his depth at first, but he absolutely becomes the master manipulator he thinks he is, to the point where he can kill a drug lord that even the Mexican Cartel can't touch and can pull off ridiculously intricate prison murders. His pride does lead to him repeatedly doing foolish things that ultimately lead to his downfall, but without the pride he'd have made millions and retired comfortably with no one the wiser.

What I really don't get is all these cats not understanding rooting for the bad guy on what's primarily a wrestling board. I mean, shit, Bad News Brown was my favorite wrestler as a kid...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as anti-hero shows living and dying by the actor, where would you stand on The Shield? Because whilst their subsequent projects have proved Walton Goggins is an all-time great, Michael Chiklis hasn't done anything that came near touching his Vic Mackey performance since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not above rooting for the bad guy.  I'm a guy who generally has no issue with Avon Barksdale, but absolutely hates Stringer Bell.  The difference between characters like  Avon and characters like Stringer and/or Walter White are the "In the game" parts.  Avon chose a business where being a reprehensible human being was part of the job.  He was willing to do anything to defend his place in the game.  All of the horrible things he did were "in the game."  If you go out and tackle people walking down the sidewalk, you are a terrible person, but if you choose to play football you can tackle all of the people you want.  Stringer was doing things that weren't within the rules of the game.  If your favorite football team had Avon and Stringer on the team, you'd love Avon and hate Stringer.  Avon is going to knock the other team's quarterback out of the game with a good clean hit.  Stringer is going helmet to helmet, get thrown out, and cost your team the game.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Stringer is Vontaze Burfict? That's....not bad, actually. 

 

Another show like that is OZ. There are reasons to like and dislike all the main characters in OZ. Even Verne Schillinger, who I find the least likeable, is simply playing within the rules of his situation. Some men, like Kareem Said, are trying to elevate the men around him to something better. Schillinger just wants his piece of the pie he's been served. O'Reilly, too, except O'Reilly doesn't have the muscle at his disposal that Schillinger does, so he uses his off-the-charts manipulation skills and survival instincts to better his situation. Even the staff is only semi-likable (except Murphy, who I think is introduced to give the viewer a POV they like). I love shows like that...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...