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Author Topic: Current TV Boxset Addiction  (Read 242041 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #60 on: 26 February, 2013, 03:57:19 PM »
It's also hard for me to see it as painting a negative nerd stereotype (to a greater degree than that required of the themed paticipants of any sit-com)

My take on this criticism about BBT has always been this: they aren't awful people because they're nerds, they're awful people because they are in a Chuck Lorre sitcom.  You would have to take a pretty narrow reading of it to come away thinking it was anti-nerd, as pretty much anyone in any walk of life who gets screen time comes off pretty badly.
The best example for me is Penny's ex-jock, ex-bully boyfriend, whose low intelligence is mocked by the main characters in a pretty merciless and arseholeish way as the "nerds" close ranks on him - he's moved on from the idiot high school cliche he was and even reaches out to share his love of comic books with the characters, trying to explain why Archie comics have moved on from what they were only to be rebuffed by the cast and ridiculed as they continue to thumb through their DC back issues - it's a surprisingly layered moment of insight to the characters and the show itself that highlights that a lot of it's crowd-pleasing moments come from the kind of thoughtless cruelty that is later used as joke fodder, but could equally be construed as karmic balance, with someone's downfall coming not because the world is an inherently cruel place but because these people deserve it.

sheldipez

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #61 on: 26 February, 2013, 04:47:41 PM »
Through the magic of Lovefilm I've been soaking up Battlestar Galactica for the first time over the past couple of weeks. At the start I remember telling a mate that I wasn't really that into it and then realising I'd watched the whole mini-series and the first half dozen regular episodes in two or three days! After hearing so much about it, I think it took me a while to get past the standard tv scif-fi crappy acting and just let the story carry me forward. It was the episode where Starbuck interrogates the Cylon that finally hooked me. I really like that a large part of the series is the old "What is this thing called love, captain?" taken to extremes and allowed to develop in unexpected ways.

Anyway, finished the second series last night and really looking forward to seeing where it's going next.

PS So far, Boomer is the hottest Cylon.

The wife and I are about to finish up season 2 of Battlestar, I love the show when it focuses on the space politics and military friction but can't get away with a lot of the [OTT] relationship centred episodes, I mean Starbuck knew that freedom fighter bloke on Caprica for all of five minutes yet the show goes on like they were together for a long time, now I don't know if it's me but I need more than a day or two to get that attached to someone (my wife thought the same). Lee Adama seems to fall in love with someone else every half dozen episodes that I fully expect him to be bunked up with the President by series finale. But besides that one aspect the writing has been more consistantly great than any other TV show I care to think of and the SFX are so good that it ages every other sci-fi show a great deal!

Big Bang Theory is the worst sitcom I've ever seen, Coach being the second worst.

Professor Bear

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #62 on: 26 February, 2013, 04:53:44 PM »
You have clearly never seen Rob or Hank.

I envy you.

HdE

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #63 on: 26 February, 2013, 05:05:35 PM »
The wife and I are about to finish up season 2 of Battlestar, I love the show when it focuses on the space politics and military friction but can't get away with a lot of the [OTT] relationship centred episodes, I mean Starbuck knew that freedom fighter bloke on Caprica for all of five minutes yet the show goes on like they were together for a long time, now I don't know if it's me but I need more than a day or two to get that attached to someone (my wife thought the same).

You know, it's SO GREAT to see some deserved criticism of the new BSG.

I sat through the whole thing for the first tiem a few months back, and thought it was great. I really, REALLY had to be persuaded, because I have a deep-seated loathing of the old series. But the lure of that same general premise writ large and treated with some intelligent writing was what finally won me over.

But, I gotta say, there are some points in that series where the writing is REALLY not very good, and some aspects of it come off as being poorly handled, in my opinion. Liek I say, I still think it's a great show, but it isn't perfect by any means.
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TordelBack

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #64 on: 26 February, 2013, 05:06:56 PM »
...someone's downfall coming not because the world is an inherently cruel place but because these people deserve it.

I agree, and I do think that's a lot of the show's appeal.  Pretty much all of the characters are jerks pretending to be nice people, and to give the writers credit their tribulations are usually a direct response to their own arseholery, and they seldom get away with the kind of vileness that Friends folk exhibited for a decade seemingly without consequence.  When the characters do manage to behave with decency, they tend to be rewarded.  It's a simple formula, but pleasant enough to watch played out over the long term.

I did enjoy the one where Leonard's old school bully showed up, and appeared to repent and be forgiven, only to wake up in the morning and continue on his shitty way

JamesC

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #65 on: 26 February, 2013, 05:11:34 PM »
...someone's downfall coming not because the world is an inherently cruel place but because these people deserve it.

I agree, and I do think that's a lot of the show's appeal.  Pretty much all of the characters are jerks pretending to be nice people,

But I don't think they're pretending I think they're just damaged.
Penny is afraid of commitment so she fucks Leonard around a bit. She's not pretending to be nice, she's just a bit crap.
Same with Wolowitz - he's so desperate to be a stud, not because he loves women so much but because he needs to be validated as a man.

TordelBack

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #66 on: 26 February, 2013, 05:19:14 PM »
But I don't think they're pretending I think they're just damaged.

While I suspect we may be over-analysing this just a smidgeon, I'm not sure being damaged actually excludes jerkishness and pretense. It may well be an underlying cause (although find me someone who isn't damaged in some way), but (for example) I'm not sure Leonard's having a psychopathic mother is actually an excuse for his self-centered manipulations.

Professor Bear

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #67 on: 26 February, 2013, 06:22:54 PM »
While I suspect we may be over-analysing this just a smidgeon

You ought to check out Chuck Lorre's other big sitcom Two and a Half Men and then try and say there is no subtext whatsoever to the character played by Charlie Sheen replacement Ashton Kutcher: big-knobbed, so handsome he turns straight men gay, billionaire, smarter than everyone in the room, women can't love him because he's too rich and handsome, and so on.  There's been nearly two seasons of it now, and I'm still waiting for this to pay off as something other than a big name star with a veto on the final script.  I can understand wanting to keep his teen girl/gay men fanbase happy, but it would be nice to see him display some depth.

Watched Our Friends In The North for the first time, and while a pleasingly political take on the usual BBC social drama, I'm not sure if I agree with some of the thematic inferences such as the equivalence drawn between the collapse of the power of the working-class unions and the rise of yob culture, or the bafflingly apolitical finale that offers neither comment on the time nor context for events, looking as it does like any other episode and presenting no resolution or insight to this stage of the characters' lives.  It's oddly stagey in places, too, and heavily reliant upon the viewer taking the idea of Tories as bad people at face value - and while I have no problem with anything that takes a pop at the Tories, I'm not sure I want my political views mirrored back at me, I want them challenged.  There's a storyline where common-as-muck Tosker gets ideas above himself and becomes a musician, a businessman, a freemason, a rich landowner and so on, but there's no real attempt to explore this example of someone taking advantage of a free market as an insight to how the Conservatives appropriated the working class vote, or even to explore the role of red top journalism beyond that it was a hotbed of sneering scum, which again is not something I have bother believing and is exactly why something which presents this point of view should go out of its way to challenge or explore it as the prevailing notion.
It's certainly a very good show and well made and performed - the odd accent aside - but also a frustrating series in not really separating itself as a narrative from the politics of its characters.
« Last Edit: 26 February, 2013, 06:25:40 PM by Professor J Bear »

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #68 on: 26 February, 2013, 06:34:15 PM »
I love [BSG]... but can't get away with a lot of the [OTT] relationship centred episodes, I mean Starbuck knew that freedom fighter bloke on Caprica for all of five minutes yet the show goes on like they were together for a long time, now I don't know if it's me but I need more than a day or two to get that attached to someone (my wife thought the same). Lee Adama seems to fall in love with someone else every half dozen episodes that I fully expect him to be bunked up with the President by series finale.

That can be readily explained in the context of the show if you're so inclined - these people are suffering PTSD, after all. You may take a long time to form attachments, but if 99% of mankind was wiped out at a stroke tomorrow and you'd survived by the skin of your teeth, managing to throw your lot in with the only other survivors of the holocaust; and the killers of humanity were relentlessly pursuing your band of survivors intending to finish the job, and so you knew that literally any day might be your last; would you not throw caution to the wind and jump into any chance of a relationshop going? I know I would.

Professor Bear

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #69 on: 26 February, 2013, 06:40:47 PM »
But then why abandon established relationships as Starbuck does so often?  I long ago decided that the intent was to make the character unlikable by any means necessary, even if it made no sense.

For me, the remake loses points for not having a creepy monkey-dog thing, and an ending that just makes you think "Ron Moore should have put off writing that until he worked out his issues with his mates on Star Trek: Voyager."

sheldipez

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #70 on: 26 February, 2013, 06:42:23 PM »
I love [BSG]... but can't get away with a lot of the [OTT] relationship centred episodes, I mean Starbuck knew that freedom fighter bloke on Caprica for all of five minutes yet the show goes on like they were together for a long time, now I don't know if it's me but I need more than a day or two to get that attached to someone (my wife thought the same). Lee Adama seems to fall in love with someone else every half dozen episodes that I fully expect him to be bunked up with the President by series finale.

That can be readily explained in the context of the show if you're so inclined - these people are suffering PTSD, after all. You may take a long time to form attachments, but if 99% of mankind was wiped out at a stroke tomorrow and you'd survived by the skin of your teeth, managing to throw your lot in with the only other survivors of the holocaust; and the killers of humanity were relentlessly pursuing your band of survivors intending to finish the job, and so you knew that literally any day might be your last; would you not throw caution to the wind and jump into any chance of a relationshop going? I know I would.

Nope, after realising that the cylons now looked like humans I wouldn't trust anyone , the early episodes had a real "The Thing" vibe with emphasis on the doctor doing testing through hundreds of sample vials, that plot line has since been forgotton with neither Adama or the President ever mentioning how that was going and every body seems to have pretty much reverted to screwing each other.

I, Cosh

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #71 on: 27 February, 2013, 12:31:36 AM »
But then why abandon established relationships as Starbuck does so often?  I long ago decided that the intent was to make the character unlikable by any means necessary, even if it made no sense.
NB Probably unnecessary spoiler tags as at least two other people are currently watching the series.

Maybe just to show that she's as unstable and unreliable emotionally as she is assured and clinical in combat? The idea of someone brilliant in their specialist field but intent on driving people away is hardly novel. Then there's the historical abuse which was briefly alluded to but which hasn't yet been revisited. I have a theory about Starbuck's new-found need for love anyway. One which I could easily validate through Google or which anyone who's seen the whole thing could easily prove or disprove but I'm happy to wait and see.

Viewers of BSG through Lovefilm should be aware that the final episode of the second series appears to be a heavily edited version of the original, which was an extended finale: based on the length quoted on iTunes there's about 25 minutes missing.
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I, Cosh

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #72 on: 27 February, 2013, 12:43:15 AM »
Viewers of BSG through Lovefilm should be aware that the final episode of the second series appears to be a heavily edited version of the original, which was an extended finale: based on the length quoted on iTunes there's about 25 minutes missing.
In fact: http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Lay_Down_Your_Burdens,_Part_II

"According to Ron Moore's podcast, although the SciFi Channel was willing to air this episode as a 90-minute special, there also exists an 60-minute version for international distribution. In some markets outside of the United States, viewers might only see the 1 hour version of the episode, which Moore regards as "almost incomprehensible". Many plot threads, such as the entire Cally/Tyrol subplot, were completely removed for the one hour version. However, it appears that most non-American television stations also show the full version."
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Tiplodocus

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #73 on: 27 February, 2013, 01:12:46 PM »
Not sure which version I'll have on my DVD box sets but if it's the loner one, I'm happy to let you borrow it.


Just finished DOLLHOUSE which was very good and had the added benefit of only running to 25 or so episodes.  (It gets too much like doing homework when you know you have 100 episodes of something to watch before getting to the finale).

Dushku is a pleasantly hot but suprisingly blank lead - even when she's not meant to be blank. I put this down to the hotness part of her brain overpowering the acting part.  And the improbably named Tamhoh Penniket is nothing short of abysmal throughout - almost unwatcheable. The supporting cast are equally cute and clunky. But by golly it's dense stuff with enjoyable individual epiosdes, a couple of great season arcs and the sort of smart savvy writing you expect from a Joss Whedon production.

The penultimate and last episode each looked like a season squashed down to one hour (and within that there are sub plots that looked like they might also have spawned half a dozen episodes).  I know this was probably as a result of it being cancelled (and thank goodness they tied up most of the loose ends) but I'd have been tempted to just rewrite the last 5 episodes entirely rather than condensing a seven year plan.



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Dr Feeley Good

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Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« Reply #74 on: 27 February, 2013, 01:23:45 PM »
I've only recently started watching the shield, just started the second series. ..I know there were seven series and I was wondering if it runs out of steam !! Really enjoying it at the moment