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Messages - radiator

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1
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 28 May, 2020, 09:29:25 PM »
Frasier is one of my favourite US tv shows, and there's certainly no season without highlights, though 10 is definitely the least strong - some of that's down to the death of show co-creator David Angell in the 911 attacks. But it absolutely rallies with the final season, when its best writer, Joe Keenan, returns and pens the Patrick Stewart episode. Even at its weakest, Frasier is pleasant tv, and you still feel you're hanging out with some people you're very fond of. Something simple, like Grammer's amazing enunciation, can be a joy - watch out for any time he says the word 'nude'. But at its best - stuff like The Matchmaker, The Impossible Dream, Out With Dad, Moon Dance, The Ski Lodge or The Candidate - you've got episodes that can go toe to toe with the best any sitcom's ever offered.

Frasier is very good and the central cast is just phenomenally good - and its apparently really popular with the generation who weren't even born when it was on, which I find odd and strangely charming.

I can only imagine how hard it must be to balance the writing of characters like Frasier and Niles, who could so easily come off as obnoxious and unlikable and somehow make them not only bearable but lovable.

Recently watched a bit of Killing Eve. I really enjoyed the initial couple of episodes and it's a really well put together and well cast show, but I immediately wondered how they would be able to keep the central premise going without the show getting very silly and contrived.... and the answer is that it does get very silly and contrived very quickly so I ended up tuning out quite quickly. It reminded me a bit of Ozark in how its a show that seems way more interested in creating shocking watercooler moments than creating a believable, relatable world or interesting characters.

The character of Vilanelle just doesn't work for me either - you can tell she's intended to be this sassy antihero you're apparently supposed to root for, but I just found her exploits quite tiresome and her quips fairly eye-roll inducing after a while. Great antiheroes generally have a bit of complexity and ambiguity to them so that even when they do something abhorrent we can feel conflicted about it - it's much harder to relate to a character that is completely single-minded and cartoonishly amoral.

2
Film & TV / Re: Better Call Saul
« on: 23 April, 2020, 07:56:42 AM »
Better Call Saul is about how he becomes the scumbag he is in Breaking Bad. He's not supposed to be a fully-fledged bastard yet.

And as I say, my reading of the character as seen in BB is that he didn't 'become' Saul. It's just who he is. He's just a one-note scumbag who is utterly devoid of empathy and who would sell his own mother if he thought he could profit out of it. I never figured him for someone who had a tragic backstory, or who at one time moved in pretty illustrious circles. I just don't see it, so I have trouble 'seeing' Jimmy as the same character as Saul in my head canon.

It's totally subjective, and doesn't diminish my enjoyment of BCS, and I understand why they've had to flesh him out and make him more sympathetic to make the show work.. it's just a little wrinkle that I personally have to overlook.

3
Film & TV / Re: Better Call Saul
« on: 21 April, 2020, 09:15:30 PM »
Oh, no doubt. Saul was always a very cartoony figure in BB and exists more as a magical plot device than a rounded character as opposed to Mike, where there was always a hint of humanity that could be explored.

4
Film & TV / Re: Better Call Saul
« on: 21 April, 2020, 06:26:35 PM »
Quote
I watched the first four or five episodes. It's a snooze fest. It might "get better after season blah", but frankly life is too short to watch stuff in the hope it picks up.

I definitely understand where this criticism is coming from. It definitely gets off to a very slow start - we totally bounced off it first time round and only came back to give it a second chance around season 3. It also definitely has lulls from time to time, and lets be honest - we're talking about a show that has an entire, season-long arc about digging a hole...

On the other hand, yeah, you're definitely missing out. BCS is one of the most assured, and (weirdly for such a 'small' show) one of the most cinematic TV shows I've ever seen. The cinematography is off the charts - I constantly find myself marveling out loud at the camerawork, the composition and framing. Even 'nothing' shots like a character sitting in the front seat of a car have an artistry to them, and there are often minutes-long purely visual sequences that are mesmerizing. For me that alone makes it worth watching. It's also one of the best cast shows I've ever seen - every role, from the main cast down to bit part characters are just perfect.

It's amazing, and this season has been one of if not the best so far.

If there's a problem with the show, it's that the portrayal of Jimmy simply doesn't quite square with my conception of him as the character we see in Breaking Bad - it's too sympathetic and nuanced. The Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad is a scuzzy lowlife - a rat through and through and could never get the time of day of a classy, smart woman like Kim, imo.

But I'm more than willing to overlook all of that in order to enjoy the show on its own merits.

Thing is we didn’t see much of Saul in his “off time” in BB, only when he’s dealing with clients so he’s always in work mode.

I hear you, yeah. It's all very subjective, but my take on Saul was always that he was a dyed in the wool sleazeball. A gutter rat. I don't believe there are any hidden depths to his character in the same way I don't believe there are any hidden depths to Trump. Some people are simply born that way and never change. When he mentions his ex wife in Breaking Bad, I have a very specific image of her in my mind, and she is not Kim!

That's not to take anything away from Bob Odenkirk's performance or the character as written. It's - to my mind - kind of revisionist, but it is brilliant on its own terms and it is what it needs to be to make the show work.

5
Film & TV / Re: Better Call Saul
« on: 21 April, 2020, 12:52:46 AM »
It's amazing, and this season has been one of if not the best so far.

If there's a problem with the show, it's that the portrayal of Jimmy simply doesn't quite square with my conception of him as the character we see in Breaking Bad - it's too sympathetic and nuanced. The Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad is a scuzzy lowlife - a rat through and through and could never get the time of day of a classy, smart woman like Kim, imo.

But I'm more than willing to overlook all of that in order to enjoy the show on its own merits.

6
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 20 April, 2020, 08:15:10 PM »
It can be hard to see what the end goal is by tacitly supporting the protests when reopening would lead to huge numbers of dead, but the best analysis I’ve heard is that what Trump is actually doing is basically absolving himself of all responsibility and, in his mind, improving his chances of reelection.

He is egging on the protests (most of which are apparently being orchestrated by shady right wing interest groups, some with connections to his own administration) in the full knowledge that one way or another the lockdown will stay in effect (even if the government ordered everything to reopen tomorrow, the vast majority of people are too scared to go back to their regular lives). That way, when all the dust has settled and the number of lives lost is (hopefully) far lower than initially projected, he can turn around and attack all of the democratic state governors for ‘overreacting’ and damaging the economy, even though it’s only their ‘overreaction’ that avoided the worst case scenario.

To his supporters, he will not be seen as responsible for the deaths or the damage to the economy, and by stirring up controversy and outrage will have distracted everyone from his bungling of the crisis.

Totally cynical, totally disgusting.

7
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 17 April, 2020, 01:41:43 AM »
Been bingeing Netflix's The Crown. Just started on season 3.

It's a bit bombastic in tone at times, almost certainly overly heightened dramatically, and some of the dialogue and staging is a little heavyhanded at times, but so far it's been surprisingly excellent and a really nice slice of  comfort viewing in very stressful times - the televisual equivalent of a really rich mug of hot chocolate.

The cast is pretty much incredible from top to bottom, and I'm actually learning quite a bit about 20th century British history - to my shame I'd never even heard of things like the Aberfan disaster or the crazy killer London fog incident.

It's also kind of astonishing to see what is ostensibly a British TV drama production (not really, but you know what I mean) made on such a lavish, blockbuster-level budget and realised on an almost unimaginably vast scale. There's obviously a lot of greenscreen and digital trickery going on, but it's done in a very restrained way and doesn't look nearly as obnoxious and plasticy as it does in the vast majority of modern movies.

Hugely impressive.

8
Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 14 April, 2020, 08:07:02 PM »
That Trump press conference. Christ.

The CNN headlines alone.

How goes the voting in of a racist moron on a wave of Nationalistic idiocy, during a crisis? No, wait...

Not well. But that's kind of the point of the story: Trump's not in charge of everything (*breathes enormous sigh of relief*) but spits the dummy when people point it out.

Our state governor (Jay Inslee) had WA state on lock-down pretty early, so the outbreak's curve here is flattening now. Our first school district closure happened on March 4th - on the same Day Trump briefed that it wasn't anything to be concerned about and played down the death rate. See: if he was in charge of our state, we'd have a lot more deaths now.

What's really weird (imagine aliens observing Earth from space) is that each day the media cover what Trump says. I know it's not weird in the sense that "media cover President", but if you listen to him speak for more than a minute, it's weird in the sense that "media cover Terrible Narcissist".

Last bit of vaguely good news: the military don't like him. Man, if he had those guys on side...

Whereabouts are you in Washington, Funt?

9
Games / Re: Last game played...
« on: 09 April, 2020, 06:50:22 PM »
Just finished Doom Eternal and I know others have said they like it but despite loving the first game and going into this pretty excited I thought it was absolutely dreadful. Really bummed me out how much I wasn't feeling it, given how great and focused the last game was. Doom 2016 was such a pure simple thrill of a game, I really didn't think you could go wrong iterating on that.

This has none of that focus though and just feels really bloated and messy, they've expanded it out in ways it didn't need, added in layers and layers of complexity that weren't needed, thrown in some truly awful platforming, and the level design in the latter half and the later new enemy additions are so detrimental to the flow of the combat that it feels almost like self-sabotage.

I can't imagine anyone seeing an Arch Vile or a Marauder spawn in during a fight and thinking 'oh great, this is what will make this fight more fun!'. A fellow dev once nailed what was great about 2016 when he called each room a combat puzzle needing solved, and the areas and spawns really felt like puzzle challenges that you had to figure out strategies for, and felt smart and satisfied when you cracked them. Here the crafting of encounters doesn't appear to have extended beyond just putting you in an overly cramped space that's fiddly to get around, and throwing every enemy you've met up to that point into the mix to see what happens. I never felt like I'd solved a puzzle or beaten a tough fight, I always just felt like I'd persevered until the fight stopped. It's endurance more than anything.

It also felt truly eternal, like a never-ending slog that overstayed its welcome by several hours.

I know I'm mad for soldiering through it when I wasn't having a good time, but there were moments (almost entirely in the first half) where it clicked like the first game and felt great so I kept thinking it might turn a corner, plus I kept thinking I was near the end so if I just pushed on for another hour then I could draw a line under it (this went on for another hour, and another, and another etc.)

Obviously just my opinion, I'm glad others are enjoying it, I just wish I had!

Haven't played it yet - waiting for the eventual Switch port - but tbh this is what I've been fearing from everything I've seen and heard about Eternal since it came out. It looks very bloated with all the added mechanics and lore/story stuff that seems so at odds with the first game - where the story never distracted from the gameplay and the game as a whole had this nice meta-commentary on how the player character didn't care about the story and just wanted to break stuff (which I thought was delightful as someone who thinks videogames are a terrible medium for traditional linear storytelling and generally couldn't care less about videogame narrative).

10
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 31 March, 2020, 11:26:22 PM »
....and if - like me - you go insane trying to figure out who plays the unfortunate limbless dude in the Liam Neeson segment, I'll save you some googling time; it's Dudley from the Harry Potter movies.

11
Creative Common / Re: Does my Art look big in this?
« on: 10 March, 2020, 10:50:40 PM »
Thanks.

....and this is one I started for the Dredd competition. Same story - finished it to 80%, then suddenly lost all enthusiasm for it. Came back to it now, 18ish months later to finally finish it. One of those where the final inks and colours seemed to destroy all of the energy of the original sketch and I had to restart it from scratch multiple times. For some reason I like it much better in just black and white - might go back and take another stab at adding colours later.


12
Help! / Re: Posting Images
« on: 10 March, 2020, 08:30:14 PM »
Thanks guys. Man, I really haven't posted anything on here for aaaaaages....

13
Creative Common / Re: Does my Art look big in this?
« on: 10 March, 2020, 08:29:34 PM »


This was originally started as an entry for the Judge Death competition back before Christmas, but I ended up losing all confidence in it and abandoning it (which happens with basically every drawing I start nowadays), only to come back to it over the weekend (with enough distance from it to be able to see why it wasn't working) and finish it up. Missed the deadline, but thought I'd share here anyway.

Aside from the tiny thumbnail pencil sketch, this was drawn start to finish on my iPad in Procreate.

14
Help! / Re: Posting Images
« on: 10 March, 2020, 05:34:32 PM »
Still having a bit of trouble - when i hit 'preview' it won't display the linked image and I'm not sure why?

15
Help! / Re: Posting Images
« on: 10 March, 2020, 05:32:11 PM »
thanks

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