Author Topic: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.  (Read 21494 times)

ludomastro

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 2212
    • View Profile
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #225 on: November 16, 2016, 05:01:43 AM »
Additionally, I have cut the cord to the cable TV box and removed mine. Went with the Amazon Fire Stick with a Playstation Vue kick and get pretty much everything I want out of it. Also, cut my cable bill by $91 in the process.

Congrats!  Any chance you could talk to my wife and get her onboard?  I've been trying for a while now to get her to let go of the overpriced satellite but I'm not having any luck.

On a related note, does anyone have any recommendations for an off-the-shelf DVR?

Desertpuma

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 4953
  • Highest Level LSpy Agent 16th, almost 17th
    • View Profile
    • Crusaders Citadel
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #226 on: November 16, 2016, 03:27:02 PM »
Additionally, I have cut the cord to the cable TV box and removed mine. Went with the Amazon Fire Stick with a Playstation Vue kick and get pretty much everything I want out of it. Also, cut my cable bill by $91 in the process.

Congrats!  Any chance you could talk to my wife and get her onboard?  I've been trying for a while now to get her to let go of the overpriced satellite but I'm not having any luck.

On a related note, does anyone have any recommendations for an off-the-shelf DVR?

I would start by showing her all that she would get from the combination I have. On the PS Vue, I picked the middle package as opposed to the minimal or largest packages. For $62 bucks in internet fees and another $45 for the PS Vue, it is worth it. If you have a PS4, then Vue should more accessible than through the FireStick.


LSpy Mastermind

Morgenstern

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 6624
    • View Profile
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #227 on: December 17, 2016, 04:59:12 PM »
  Just finished watching Spectral on Netflix. Generally enjoyed it.

Spoiler: show
  So, I've uses Bose-Einstein condensates to hand wave certain alien technologies in my sci-fi settings, allowing me to do some interesting macro-particle tech mostly relating to armor and reflectors, but I have to admit printing working machinery out of the stuff (including biological machinery) was a neat idea new to me. That world is about to undergo a radical shift in technology level with any of the several cutting edge breakthroughs involved in the creation of the specters being reapplied to new ends.

  Though the moment engineer guy said "it can't pass through ceramic" my INSTANTANEOUS reaction was to put my hand up and say "So a shotgun loaded with ceramic buck could reasonably be expected to give these things a high-caliber facial scrub, yes?"  Sometimes your 'silver bullet' exists, it's just not made of silver. Something a wee bit easier to weaponize than the plasma pulses :).


  The strangest thing about Spectral was it kind of felt like a cut scene movie pieced together from a AAA first person shooter. Not necessarily a bad thing, just an interesting glimpse at the convergence of various mediums and genres.
At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse

Morgenstern

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 6624
    • View Profile
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #228 on: January 07, 2017, 11:03:54 AM »
  Just finished season 4 of Arrow, and I think I'm DONE with the "Arrowverse".

  What gets me the most is the women are so unbelievably WEAK, and no one ever calls them on their bullshit. "I want absolute honesty" is saying "I don't trust you at all." It's a narrative well they've dipped the bucket in over and over and it was by far the least watchable thing about Flash Season 1. Iris West, badass journalist, reduced to a 13-year old princess of candyland by garbage writing. Where is a guy not so busy chasing dat ass that they say the OBVIOUS: "You are NEVER going to know all my secrets. You're going to have to trust my judgment, trust that when I do withhold something there's a purpose behind it greater than my mere embarrassment. If you CAN'T do that, then there's the door. Get on out."

  Spoilers ahoy!
Spoiler: show
  I think they managed the triple backflip of hypocracy with Felicity's mom threatening to break off her relationship with Quinton Lance if he told a lie to save his career while simultaneously having lied to her daughter every day for 20 years that her father didn't love her. And No. One. Calls. Her. On. This. Shit. The notion her dad just slinks off after her mom throws a temper tantrum that she isn't once again hording every bloody iota of Felicity's parental love is repulsive.

  But really the piece de resistance in their half-assed moralizing about the role of death and even killing in their adventures would be John Diggle finally putting one of the most well-earned bullets in history in his slimy, treacherous brother. To then try to build lingering drama out of it. For him to say to his wife "aw no, I did a bad thing." When if you said what actually happened, namely "He promised no matter how many years it took he would track down and torture and murder our daughter" there isn't a mother on the planet who wouldn't basically look him in the eye and ask, "You shot him in both eye-sockets, right? You made him EXTRA dead, I trust?" But no. We have to have another round of wringing our hankies that ermagerd, people get killed, and some of them even deserve it. Like 'not one tear was shed' deserve it.

  Though I think maybe what really broke my spirit was the brawl in the streets of Star City between a mob whipped up by Oliver's speechifying vs. a fully kitted squad of HIVE ghosts. ...Who for the first time EVER aren't packing automatic weapons (???) and presumably mowing the civilians down in droves. Like the exact reason Oliver wages his battles from the shadows in the first place just got put on hold for a musical climax.

  The setting literally doesn't know what the hell it wants anymore, other than to splash so-so fisticuffs on the screen. I could watch pro wresting and get better fights AND a more believable plot stringing them together.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 11:13:23 AM by Morgenstern »
At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse

Desertpuma

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 4953
  • Highest Level LSpy Agent 16th, almost 17th
    • View Profile
    • Crusaders Citadel
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #229 on: January 07, 2017, 02:11:20 PM »
  Just finished season 4 of Arrow, and I think I'm DONE with the "Arrowverse".

  What gets me the most is the women are so unbelievably WEAK, and no one ever calls them on their bullshit. "I want absolute honesty" is saying "I don't trust you at all." It's a narrative well they've dipped the bucket in over and over and it was by far the least watchable thing about Flash Season 1. Iris West, badass journalist, reduced to a 13-year old princess of candyland by garbage writing. Where is a guy not so busy chasing dat ass that they say the OBVIOUS: "You are NEVER going to know all my secrets. You're going to have to trust my judgment, trust that when I do withhold something there's a purpose behind it greater than my mere embarrassment. If you CAN'T do that, then there's the door. Get on out."

  Spoilers ahoy!
Spoiler: show
  I think they managed the triple backflip of hypocracy with Felicity's mom threatening to break off her relationship with Quinton Lance if he told a lie to save his career while simultaneously having lied to her daughter every day for 20 years that her father didn't love her. And No. One. Calls. Her. On. This. Shit. The notion her dad just slinks off after her mom throws a temper tantrum that she isn't once again hording every bloody iota of Felicity's parental love is repulsive.

  But really the piece de resistance in their half-assed moralizing about the role of death and even killing in their adventures would be John Diggle finally putting one of the most well-earned bullets in history in his slimy, treacherous brother. To then try to build lingering drama out of it. For him to say to his wife "aw no, I did a bad thing." When if you said what actually happened, namely "He promised no matter how many years it took he would track down and torture and murder our daughter" there isn't a mother on the planet who wouldn't basically look him in the eye and ask, "You shot him in both eye-sockets, right? You made him EXTRA dead, I trust?" But no. We have to have another round of wringing our hankies that ermagerd, people get killed, and some of them even deserve it. Like 'not one tear was shed' deserve it.

  Though I think maybe what really broke my spirit was the brawl in the streets of Star City between a mob whipped up by Oliver's speechifying vs. a fully kitted squad of HIVE ghosts. ...Who for the first time EVER aren't packing automatic weapons (???) and presumably mowing the civilians down in droves. Like the exact reason Oliver wages his battles from the shadows in the first place just got put on hold for a musical climax.

  The setting literally doesn't know what the hell it wants anymore, other than to splash so-so fisticuffs on the screen. I could watch pro wresting and get better fights AND a more believable plot stringing them together.


I noticed that too. I will say that Season 5 is very much back to basics where Oliver is now training a new crop of fighters. I'm still watching for certain characters. Plus the 4 show crossover is kind of sweet to watch between Arrow, Flash, Legends and Supergirl with all of them being on the screen at the same time. Best interaction is Supergirl vs Rory (the flamer using anti-hero/villain of Legends)


LSpy Mastermind

Mister Andersen

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 12345
  • I'm leaving for a destination I still don't know
    • View Profile
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #230 on: January 07, 2017, 10:42:56 PM »
Plus the 4 show crossover is kind of sweet to watch between Arrow, Flash, Legends and Supergirl with all of them being on the screen at the same time. Best interaction is Supergirl vs Rory (the flamer using anti-hero/villain of Legends)

The “event” was a complete waste of Kara, who does little except look amused at how adorable all the little costumed crime fighters are planting some goddamn bugs, and was itself a prime example of how to fuck up a crossover.

I mean, seriously, the supercheesey superhero fightclub ad for the crossover was better than what we got.

This story should have been so much more. In following the tradition of the company-wide crossover (back from when they meant something instead of the torturous yearly experience it is now), they should have used all 4 episodes to tell a single cohesive narrative rather than what felt like nailing three different things together into a single one.

Spoiler: show


A big part of the problem was that the Supergirl part of the crossover was about 2 minutes of playing with portals, Flash spent its first third getting the plot back to that entry point before spending the rest of the episode on the fallout of noone having even the most rudimentary of basic tactical training, and most of Arrow consisted of a pointless dream sequence, thus leaving Legends to carry most of the weight which it doesn’t quite manage.

I don’t have any particular interest in the Arrowverse, but if there isn’t some sort of play given to the fact that their Earth has just had the existence of extraterrestial life confirmed in a less than benign manner, the people who do care should feel disappointed.

Some ways to make the incomprehensibly pointless inclusion of Supergirl in the CW crossover into a meaningful story choice:

1. Include at least some of the Supergirl supporting cast

Given the stakes, Kara should have brought at least Alex to Earth 1. Because Kara, enthusiastic puppy that she is, would still realise what her being stuck or killed there would have done to her sister, while Alex would never let Kara face that sort of danger alone. Given Legends as I understand it has basically made Canary banging someone every time the Waverider pulls over a running gag, giving her and Alex some scenes together where they can be queer and not in the story mutual love/lust interests would have been a brilliant thing. Or if Alex needs to stay because of Cadmus and her human dad, send Wynn along to be part of team tech support.

2. Kara dealing with her Zor-El angst

Instead of Felicity bugging Cisco about being nicer to the idiot who got his brother killed, picture it being Kara "I’ll always trust you Barry" Danvers who does it. Imagine if Cisco asked her "well how would you take it if someone you loved and looked up to did something stupid that threatened your entire world" and Kara draws a parallel between Flashpoint and her aunt's mind control or her father's genocide bug. Have the takeaway for Cisco and Kara be "we forgive because we have hope that our friends will do better next time, and because it's part of our own healing process". Instead of the whole "well I can't be angry because I fucked up the time lines like a complete boob too" stupidity jammed into the last episode of the crossover.

3. Making the climax even slightly heroic

Kara is familiar with the Dominators. Her universe’s version of them came to her Krypton and behaved exactly the same there as the Earth-1 Dominators are doing in the crossover.

It would have worked a hell of a lot better to have her be like "well we could give them Barry but in my universe at least they’re not known for upholding deals and very much are known for over reacting and invading places". Then it becomes an actual decision: "Do we risk Barry on the chance that they’ll go away" versus "Even though he's 100% willing we put the world at risk by refusing to extradite the actual person who fucked things up for everyone, just because we like him"?

Where did Kid Flash and the other speedster chick end up? If your resolution relies on superspeed delivery of macguffins across the globe, it's utterly criminal for the writers to elect to have the rookie no one wants in the field and the objector denying her powers not to be involved when the only alternative is oblivion.

If you're going to have Cisco vibe to the mother ship, have him port in the flatscans. Because if you're going to have the tech support faff around, it should have a meaningful result.

4. Everyone dealing more coherently with Meta angst

The repeating theme of the whole crossover was"what if metas do more harm than good", yeah? It was the entire reason the Dominators came to Earth, it was the message of everyone being pissed at Barry, it was the underlying purpose of the scene with the evil lady cyborg so Supergirl and Flash can prove they're the Good Ones and overcome that guy's senseless prejudice, it was the reason why Oliver was such a dick to Kara. So they chose to wasted almost an entire episode on completely ignoring that theme in favour of a navel gazing Black Mercy scenario.

The mind-control stuff however is very relevant. Everyone's angsting over metas being their own WMDs but nothing is said of the ramifications of someone else seizing control of them: As I understand it, Grod exists in the Arrowverse, and this is the second time Kara has almost killed people she cared about while under an external influence. But the writers never actually use it that way, it’s just a cheap excuse for a fight scene and then nobody even addresses it again. Instead of having Barry win the day, they could have used Red!Kara’s experience with J'onn, or with humans overcoming Myriad and working together to defeat kryptonians, to help show how metas aren’t an unbeatable trump card even when they go wrong. They could have had Barry and Kara talk about Flashpoint and Cat’s advice about learning as you go and regaining trust and how being more powerful means making bigger mistakes, but it also means the ability to do more to try to repair the damage afterward. What could be a better mirror for just how much damage Barry can cause, than a kryptonian under a yellow sun? How did they just completely ignore that? Imagine a scene for instance where Kara tries to talk to the Dominators on Earth’s behalf only to discover that although the Dominators exist in her reality, the Rao star system never gave rise to intelligent life in this one – or that they were responsible for the kryptonian genocide in both after discovering the whole yellow sun thing was actually the result of a metagene.




Mister Andersen

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 12345
  • I'm leaving for a destination I still don't know
    • View Profile

Gatac

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 1012
  • The power of Stark compels you!
    • View Profile
    • Robert's Place
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #232 on: January 14, 2017, 05:23:51 AM »
I didn't much care for Arrow Season 4 as a whole, either, but I'm actually glad I stuck around for 5. It's not that it's a super-different show, but I think Damien Darkh was just a bad match for Arrow as a villain. (And with no offense to Neal McDonough, but the character is so much more bearable in small doses over in Legends of Tomorrow.) The whole "save the world" plot felt out of step with Arrow's generally pretty street-level approach, and being that it still mostly involved running around Star City beating up mooks, it just didn't jive. Plus, the flashbacks are just...nooooope. Even worse than Season 3. However! I like them closing the circle this season by calling back to the beginning, the whole Bratva connection finally being explored, and the stakes revolving around Oliver and his team again rather than a warmed-over Batman plot. (...he says, basking in the hypocrisy of enjoying the League of Assassins plot in Season 3.) In general, it feels like the show is going back to being itself rather than the central spoke of the CW DCverse with all its superpowers, which now have their own shows successfully launched. (And can I just say that, after a bit of a rough start, Legends of Tomorrow is a hoot?)

Semi-related because of the CW, is anyone watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? I was drawn in by the musical numbers and Rachel Bloom in general, but hey, it turns out there's actually a lot of really thoughtful plotting and character work going on underneath the surface. Definitely recommend checking out.

Mister Andersen

  • Control
  • ******
  • Posts: 12345
  • I'm leaving for a destination I still don't know
    • View Profile
Re: The Idiot Box 2016: Yadda yadda yadda.
« Reply #233 on: January 14, 2017, 10:16:30 PM »
Spoiler: Westworld season finale question • show

Was anyone else expecting events to segue into Futureworld, with the board of Delios being replaced by replicants, rather than the simple workers revolt we ended up with??