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Gregg MacPherson

Best TV shows you are watching

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KH, I made a start with The Hour. I thought it was stunning work. Great idea development. And I'm really enjoying the crisp, hardish, high contrast look.

 

There are a few wanky cross the line moments. I forgave them.

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Goliath is next on my list. Billy Bob on the Fargo series was surreal.

 

The Crown on Netflix is a really exceptional story with a budget that appears endless. Casting was really smart and costumes/props just seem impossible to reproduce.

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In the middle of Rectify 4/5 (so4 e05). I feel like a writer suddenly dominated the room who was into the notion that relationships are simple quantifiable events or transactions. This show normally oozed the exquizite sense that each moment of experience was unique but fused within some elusive whole. So even great shows are vulnerable to a bum steer frome some persuasive bufoon...?

 

Any one else watching that one?

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Just begining with s01 e01 of the China Between Clouds And Dreams documentary series. The photography is an absolute delight. And the commitment to observation is great. Shows like this remind us of what documentary can be, without even trying too hard, by just having e deeper sympathy for the potential of the form.

 

I assume that you guys in the states and Europe have lots of quasi docs where someone famous or semi famous is always yabbering to camera about how amazing the place is, how amazing they feel etc. If I could just flush all that, life would be better.

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I binge watched the 3 seasons of "The 100" a TV show that aired on the CW network. There were any number of references to other Sci-Fi shows and films, but I did like the season's plot lines, and will see if I can watch the next season in more 'real time' than the first 3. IMDB gives it a 7.8 and Rotten Tomatoes 90%, so it seems others like the series as well.

 

From a factual scientific point of view there are a number of 'holes'... but heck... fiction is fiction for a reason...

 

Occasionally the dialog gets tedious, but then one has to pay the Gods of TV.

 

The basic premise is that Earth has been destroyed by a nuclear holocaust, and a survivor group remains on space stations that came together, and formed a habitable structure. But that structure and its processes are decaying to the point were the group has to return to earth, or they will die.

 

A group of minor offenders (think dirty dozen...) is sent back to Earth to test whether it is survivable.

 

The first half of season one of the series has a 'lord of the flies' feel. In any case, Earth has not been completely denuded of humans, and the 100 encounter 'barbarian' humans and learn to organize and defend themselves.

 

I like post apocalyptic dystopia themed films and shows, and I think the show did pretty well.

 

Apropos this forum, IMDB doesn't list the camera used, and looking on a couple of fan sites, in a BTS shot of the camera crew is visible, I can't identify the camera. It doesn't look like a 'big' ALEXA rig, perhaps more like a Sony. But I could be completely off.

 

There are a few 'goobers' here and there, where background lights case some strange artifacts, but the lighting is pretty good and more in keeping with modern capabilities that TV shows are now taking advantage of to have more dramatic light.

Edited by John E Clark

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Goliath is next on my list. Billy Bob on the Fargo series was surreal.

 

The Crown on Netflix is a really exceptional story with a budget that appears endless. Casting was really smart and costumes/props just seem impossible to reproduce.

We just blew through THE CROWN, which I was sure was not going to be my cup of tea, but boy, it was always interesting! Never heard about this London Smog thing before in my life, you'd think it would be as well known as Arnheim with it being such a fatality-ridden disaster.

 

I'm going to have to look up about the VFX, because I keep thinking there are a lot more than you'd believe at first glance.

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Hey John, I watched The 100 a while ago. A lot good ideas in there, but I felt like I needed to be in my 20s again to really let go and enjoy it...

 

I stopped watching broadcast TV in my teens. Don't know if something like this show would have pulled me back in but, with "The Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour" gone, and "Star Trek, the Geriatric Generation" gone, nothing that I've seen in the intervening years until the 'binge/demand' option has arrived, and I've started to watch some broadcast TV shows.

 

I have been impressed with some of the Netflix and Amazon shows as well.

 

Then there's Game of Thrones...

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I've been watching "Veep" lately, mainly because I loved "The Thick of It". Don't watch a lot of scripted stuff simply because of the time commitment. Have been watching "Westworld" (and catching the occasional scene or shot that I did) and am watching that Nat Geo "Mars" show. Watched some of "Good Girls Revolt". Finally subscribed to Netflix so now I can watch a ton of stuff when I have the time eventually.

 

I've been watching old movies more lately.

 

Truth is that when I turn on the TV, I'm more likely to watch a home improvement show or a travel show or a cooking show...

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I've been watching 'Westworld' and enjoying it, despite being convinced that the writers don't have a clue where it's all going (Lost, anyone...?) Also been bingeing on "The West Wing", which I'd managed to never see before. I love the dialogue, but not a fan of the hard light, nets on the lens, and the underlit translites. I gave up on Luke Cage because it's just so slow. 13 episodes, but it could easily have been done in 10.

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Stuart, I kind of agree, that the Lost writers did not have the depth of philosophy or physics to actually write that show, to know where they were headed, but they came close, and deserve honour for trying. Westworld is more than it originally seemed to me, but yes it may have the same over-reach of real understanding that Lost had. At least it's more directly entertaining and engaging. Lost was a very slow burn. Then again, that was one of the things I liked about Lost. Westworld vis a vis is a bit of an overworked quasi porno western with aspirations to philosophy, considerations on the issues about existence, purpose, identity...

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John, you often refer to broadcast TV, but I don't know how many people are watching these shows on broadcast.

 

The most recent review of the stats for the 18-24 viewer group is that between 2011 and the present, that group has declined about 9 hours worth per week.

 

This group is important, as it is the 'future' old people who will watch broadcast TV aka Traditional TV, and frequently Over The Air (OTA).

 

For this is also seen in the under 35 group in general... less broadcast TV viewing.

 

On the other hand, for viewers over 35, the numbers have been pretty stable for the same period... so, yeah, older people... other than few visionaries... are watching about the same amount of traditional TV.

 

This decline among the under 35 also correspond to the rise in Over The Top (OTT) access to content, notably via Netflix and Hulu, but now the broadcast networks, in the US that would be ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX, and a new comer to the broadcast world CW, which is a combo of CBS and Werner Bros. are also providing access to their content. (when I stopped watching OTA broadcasts there were only ABC/CBS/NBC...).

 

There are a large number of cable only 'broadcasters', but they have followed the model of OTA.

 

Another phenomenon is that with the OTT services, many people are 'cutting the cord', and putting up antennas to receive the local OTA stations, while getting more content via the their internet connection and the OTT services.

 

Now all they have to do is start writing TV shows with less dialog... and so be less like Traditional TV...

 

Here's a graph.

 

Nielsen-Traditional-TV-Viewing-Trends-by

Edited by John E Clark

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Rewatching a boyhood favorite; "Buck Rogers in the 24th Century" with Gil Gerard and Erin Gray. It's not reat drama, but seeing it in hid-def gives it new life. The props and technology are a bit dated, but it's a site better than the old DVD transfer. Truly, it looks incredibly sharp.

 

*EDIT* John E Clark; games have also gotten much better than they were in the 90s or even early 2000s. They're replaced films and TV as the #1 entertainment venue for the young age demographics.

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Vikings s04 is continuing. The Man in the High Castle is just starting a new season....

 

The transformation in Ragnar is quite remarkable. The best moments in Vikings are great, high points...

 

....High Castle had so many interesting things. I can't not watch it. Want to see what they have achieved...

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I mostly watch old movies ... when I can. Some contemporary films but usually things like Star Wars 7 etc. Also watching the Columbo series on DVD. What a wonderful character Det. Columbo is. "Oh, there's just one more thing", as he shuffles back into the room with his cheap cigar and daggy raincoat, looking like one of the more idiotic policemen in town. And yet he's the best they've got, and his boss knows it.

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I'm cautiously starting a rewatch of The Killing, the American remake of the European show. I love the compositions, the tonal contrast and the sense of the characters, the wonderfull offering of character that these actors allow, etched in their moment. I much like the sound quality. Holder, a quasi failed ex anti drugs operative now working homicide, has an equisite phrasology and sound quality. I can't nail why this is so interesting to the mind, and I have tried and invited comment before...it's like the sound is slightly dirty...the words are sort of intimate, as in offering more direct connection to the other person....

 

Did anyone else ever watch this....

 

Or are you all watching someting else...I sometimes wonder why one would watch a piece like Stranger Things, for example, when so many shows are on offer, with such more sophisticated precepts, forms.....

 

Then again, we should all watch moving pictires according to our nature, unapologetically...so, I apologize to the Stranger Things devotes...but to be fair, I do not understand...

 

EDIT: spelling!

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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English 1/2 hour, insightfull comedy show Fleabag is very good. Do the English understand comedy better than the Americans? I'm sure Americans undestand how to put comedy to Americans better than the English, butt hat's not the question......

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Just started rewatching TWIN PEAKS in anticipation of the upcoming third season. Still a damn fine show!

 

We recently watched both seasons of FARGO (dvd, not blu-ray, got em for less than 7 buck together used) and loved' 'em both. Also the last half season of HELL ON WHEELS just started streaming and we went through that in one day! Not the greatest wrapup, but the good far outweighs the less than good, and the visuals got better and better IMO.

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