Author Topic: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013  (Read 25812 times)

Crafty_Pat

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The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« on: September 20, 2012, 02:58:29 PM »
Time for a new thread, methinks...

First up, Guillermo del Toro (you know who he is) and Carlton Cuse (Lost) have received a pilot order from FX for The Strain: Give that story a full read. Not only does this show sound like fun - I was already interested in the books, so the series is icing on a very pretty cake for me - but that backstory for how this show wound up with a pilot order is fascinating.

Also, huzzah for planned termination from the get-go! I've said it before and I'll say it again - more shows need to embrace this model. :)
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Mister Andersen

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 04:23:25 PM »
Spoiler: DW: Power of Three • show

Overall not as good as Mercy, about on par with Chibnall's previous effort of a fortnight ago. He hits the emotional stuff with reasonable faculty -- the final scene in the kitchen where Rory's dad sums up why they should keep going is undeniably a knockout, and the return of Kate (Lethbridge-Stewart) from 90s fanon was gorgeously done, and the bit about Amy being so important because she was the first face Eleven ever saw, too -- but the other stuff really not so much.

Rather than the arsepull of a cause we were given -- yet more fucking Time Lord nursery stories made to go away with the wave of the trusty sonic -- I think it would have been far more satisfying if it had all been a plan cooked up by the Doctor at some point in his future -- or hell, even the TARDIS knowing what the guture holds -- to help him say goodbye.

The story contains the trope I think typifies so much of what is wrong with the narrative choices of the new series. Chibnall kills off roughly a 3rd of the global population -- something that anywhere else would by seen as utterly apocalyptic -- and...

...it just doesn't matter.

At the very moment Kate gives us that number, that astronomical deathtoll that should be leading to unmitigated chaos in the streets as cars crash and planes fall out of the sky, you know that there's going to be a big sonic-green reset button being hit in the next few minutes. Oh look, 2 point whatever billion hearts all instantly and effortlessly jumpstarted as people walk away looking only mildly perplexed.

The series keeps threatening moden Earth on a scale and with events that should leave it forever changed. Verified alien contact and invasion and attempted genocide how many times now, taking place out in the open on a global scale, and always explained away or magically undone. It's all just meaningless hyperbole that throws me out of my willing suspension of disbelief and more importantly any sense of emotional connection it's trying to generate.

When you get down to it, there was only 1 person under any genuine threat: Rory's dad. With the Ponds due to leave the Doctor's life next week he's going to be put on a bus anyway, but that bus could always get blown up. I'm really glad the hammer didn't fall, but as it seems most likely he was introduced in DoaS precisely so he could be imperiled in this ep, I don't think there was any need for the pointless 2 billion.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 05:45:47 PM by Mister Andersen »

Crafty_Pat

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 04:26:38 PM »
You don't often see candid, insightful interviews these days. We joke at Comic-Con every year that half the panel questions are stuff we always hear at panels.

"Stock Question 247"
"Stock Answer 12"

...Steve and I quip to each other sometimes. There's awesome in there, but you have to dig, or wait, for it. You have to find it yourself. The bulk of the experience isn't for the penetrating observers like us - the production junkies and the behind-the-scenes content whores.

This is why I perk up and take notice when the odd interview rises up above the chaff and demonstrates not just a thoughtful series of questions at one end but illuminating answers at the other. For example, this gem that debuted over at Nerdist today...

A Lesson from “Hell On Wheels”‘ Anson Mount

The first giveaway that it rises above? Not once does the interviewer limit a question to just "What was it like...?" That's a garbage question in every configuration. There isn't any way to answer it with an iota of substance. Here, Brian Walton incorporates the words into broader and yet more pointed questions with answers that any fan of Hell on Wheels or Anson Mount will actually care about.

If you fall into either of those categories, or you just want to see a skilled interviewer speak with a surprisingly frank actor, go give that a read. It's well worth your valuable time.
Patrick Kapera
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Viperion

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 05:03:17 PM »
He's a Gambit fan. I'm hooked. :)

We don't get Hell on Wheels except on a subscribe-TV channel here (which I don't subscribe to but am thinking about it - it's the channel which runs things like Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Hell on Wheels and Boardwalk Empire). It looks pretty good :)

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 11:42:26 AM »
We don't get Hell on Wheels except on a subscribe-TV channel here (which I don't subscribe to but am thinking about it - it's the channel which runs things like Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Hell on Wheels and Boardwalk Empire). It looks pretty good :)

I do not watch Game of Thrones but I'm not as down on it as I was on first contact (that had to do with how everyone I know pitched the novels, which basically boiled down to "it's about all these terrible people doing terrible things to each other" and the odd "it's a mess, but it's awesome because it's got violence and boobies" once the show started up).

I can attest, however, that Sons of Anarchy is one of the finest pieces of television ever to hit our screens, and that everyone who appreciates TV on any level should be watching that show (except perhaps for those with a sensitivity to adult themes, in which case you should probably stay away).

IMO, this channel of which you speak is probably worth it for SoA and HoW alone. Boardwalk Empire I haven't jumped into yet, but I hear it's stellar, and an awful lot of folks are behind Game of Thrones, so my early estimation must be wrong. Hell, I might even watch an episode... someday... after I'm through my current queue (heh).
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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 11:58:54 AM »
I love SoA even though I'm a full season behind (mainly because I missed the start and am catching up through NetFlix). GoT was good but not great in my opinion but it is an adult fantasy story.

I'll catch Boardwalk Empire later ... gotta finish many things on my NetFlix queue.

One of the greatest Canadian drama shows I have ever seen is Intelligence. It is similar in base plot to Infernal Affairs and The Departed. However, it is more intricate and tightly constructed than anything I have ever seen. If you like shows this tightly wound, you have to see it.

The base plot: A third generation crime lord (played by Canadian actor Ian Tracey) in Vancouver becomes an informant in exchange for information about his competitors by the ambitious female head of the Organized Crime Unit in Vancouver. He's dealing with people trying to unravel his life from criminals to his ex-wife. The leader of the OCU is dealing with superiors in Ottawa and a second in command (played by Matt Frewer) who is trying to undercut her. ... The show aired for two seasons on CBC (Canada's government run public station) and it was killed because Ottawa did not like the way they depicted the CIA. It was created by Chris Haddock (who I swear is the Canadian version of Kurt Sutter). I highly recommend it.


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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 12:09:03 PM »

I can attest, however, that Sons of Anarchy is one of the finest pieces of television ever to hit our screens, and that everyone who appreciates TV on any level should be watching that show (except perhaps for those with a sensitivity to adult themes, in which case you should probably stay away).


If there was a "Like" button I would be pushing it.  It is an extremely well written show ... and it seems like ALL the characters have grown and developed as the seasons have progressed whereas in many shows on television now the minor characters get stuck in their minor roles with little or now developement so that you wouldn't care (nor even perhaps notice) if they were replaced.  In SoA ... everyone's got their problems and it's made each character interesting and unique while not detracting from the main plot and characters.

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 02:50:09 AM »
For the Red Dwarf fans: www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/08/red-dwarf-air-date/

The new season of Red Dwarf is supposed to air starting October 4th in the UK.  Need to find out if/when they have any U.S. air dates.
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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 05:18:48 AM »
I checked out two of this season's new shows tonight - Revolution and Elementary.

Revolution - Take a DnD campaign, change a few of the names and setting details, and go! Overall it wasn't too bad, and I'm looking forward to where it goes in the next few episodes. Oh, and it looks like girls armed with (cross)bows is the next big thing.

Elementary - Oy vey. I can see what they were trying to do and all I can say is: no sir, I don't like it. Miller's Holmes doesn't feel right, and Liu's Watson needs to develop a lot more before they get anywhere near the Holmes/Watson relationship we see in Sherlock, or even the RDJ movies. Oh, and leaving out Mrs Watson and Inspector Lestrade is really annoying. There's more to a good Sherlock tale than the detective and the doctor, it's the whole world that makes the stories so great. Get the shovels ready. This may last a full season, but I doubt it will get a second.
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Desertpuma

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 05:21:10 AM »
Actually Revolution has had episodes airing on Hulu in the US ahead of the broadcast schedule. It actually looks pretty good so far. There was a show on the History Channel here in the US called Life After People and a lot of the production design seems to be from that TV show.

I cannot speak on Elementary. I'm waiting to see how it lasts.


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Crafty_Pat

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 06:31:26 PM »
Revolution - Take a DnD campaign, change a few of the names and setting details, and go! Overall it wasn't too bad, and I'm looking forward to where it goes in the next few episodes. Oh, and it looks like girls armed with (cross)bows is the next big thing.

I'm still undecided whether I like the show. The pilot and second episode were both meh to me, and though I agree that the production design is strong - I really like the trend toward "naturalistic" post-apoc, with nature reclaiming the land - the story simply isn't engaging. The villain has a huge, sweeping goal that doesn't seem relatable at all, and the heroes seem almost entirely disengaged with him (other than him hunting them down, of course, which makes them a rather passive, reactionary force in the narrative).

And yes, one of the first things I said after viewing the pilot at Comic-Con was, "That show wants to be Hunger Games so badly it hurts."
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Desertpuma

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 06:34:48 PM »
The biggest reason the show has been engaging for me has been Giancarlo Esposito more than anything. He's the big on-camera reason why I'm watching at the moment. Off-camera, JJ Abrams and Favreau are behind this so I guess I'm hoping for it to be much more soon like it is still finding it's legs.


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Crafty_Pat

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 06:39:38 PM »
The biggest reason the show has been engaging for me has been Giancarlo Esposito more than anything. He's the big on-camera reason why I'm watching at the moment. Off-camera, JJ Abrams and Favreau are behind this so I guess I'm hoping for it to be much more soon like it is still finding it's legs.

I believe Favreau's involvement ended with the pilot (which he directed). It's pretty common to get a big name to direct your high-profile pilot and then bring in a regular stable of TV directors for the week-to-week.
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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 06:44:26 PM »
I agree it is ... I thought he was co-producing it. I'd have to check again. Abrams skill on TV is at 50/50.  He's not one of the heavyweights like Cannell, Larson, Spelling, Wolf, Bruckheimer or Bochco when it comes to series design but his track record is better than most.

I'm giving it 2 more episodes at this point. "Randall", whoever he is had better be interesting or he'll be just another diversion to try and keep us interested.


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Crafty_Pat

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Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2012/2013
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 09:30:57 PM »
Honestly, I'd be surprised if Abrahms is more than peripherally involved either. The Producer title is used pretty liberally and doesn't always mean much. Sometimes it's literally little more than the scripts residing on someone's desk for a week.

Hard to tell in this case. I haven't seen any evidence one way or another. Abrahms is known to have been pretty heavily involved in the first couple seasons of Fringe, but I don't think he was very involved in Alcatraz at all (for example).
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