Author Topic: Catching up on television...  (Read 754 times)

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Offline Janaru

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Catching up on television...
« on: August 27, 2013, 04:00:51 AM »
I finally have my Netflix back, thanks to my youngest. The Vortex in my house ate the Wii controller so I haven\'t been watching a whole lot. My kid surprised me with a new one last week. Since radio has been kind of dry I\'ve been trying to catch-up on a lot of series this week...

George Gently

Thanks to Ivor for turning me onto this one. I\'ve now watched all the available series and I really liked it. Martin Shaw caught my eye in Apparitions, which scared the livin\' hell out of me. I like his acting style. He manages to be pretty chill by very powerful at the same time.
This one\'s a thumbs up.


Foyle\'s War

I\'d seen most of these already on PBS but caught a few that I\'d missed. This is one of my favorite British series. I love the relationship between Michael Kitchen an Honeysuckle Weeks characters. And the production is just beautiful. I think we are getting a new series of these soon which I\'m really looking forward to. This is a pretty gentle series, but usually has a satisfying mystery.
Definite thumbs up.


Ripper Street

I just caught the first episode of this one yesterday. I like Matthew MacFayden in just about everything I\'ve ever seen him in. This one isn\'t for the squeamish. It can get pretty raw, but the episode I saw was well written and well acted and worth watching if you don\'t mind that sort of thing.
A qualified thumbs up.


Silk

This one just started on PBS last night. It stars the wonderful Maxine Peake. I missed the first ten or fifteen minutes but I got the gist of the thing and it held my interest all the way through. The story was pretty good and it looks like there\'s more character related things in store for Maxine\'s character so, I\'ll stick with it.
Thumbs up...so far.


Breaking Bad

I don\'t know if you guys get this one, but watching this show is like watching a train wreck. You see it happening...you can\'t believe it\'s happening....and you\'re staring in shock and disbelief! This show is definitely not for the squeamish. But the character development of Walter and Jesse are exceptional. It\'s very well written and well acted. Bryan Cranston knocks this thing outta the park.
Definite thumbs up....if you dare.


Mad Men

I adore this show! I finally got to catch up with what was on Netflix (Series 5, I think). It\'s beautiful! I don\'t know who the production designer is on this thing but they do an excellent job of portraying 1960\'s America. It\'s a trip to watch these guys smokin\' and drinkin\' and sexually harassing their female staff and not only have absolutely no guilt about it but it being expected as the norm. Thank GOD it\'s not that bad anymore. If that crap happened now somebody\'d be headin\' to the friggin\' hospital and fitted for prostetics! The sneak-peek into the high-powered advertising world of Madison Avenue is addicting. And then there\'s the eye-candy! John Hamm as Don Draper is just drop-dead gorgeous!....a cad....but gorgeous! And Christina Hendricks as Joanie would probably knock Ivor for six.
Definite thumbs up!


Burn Notice

This is one of my favorite series. Jeffrey Donovan\'s portrayal of burned spy, Michael Westen is so much fun. His ex-IRA girlfriend Fiona, his Mom and best buddy, Sam, are also great characters and the arc of Michaels relationship with his Mom is really good.

My favorite part is Michaels running Spycraft #101 commentary during different situations...like these...

In the intelligence community, the enemy is less likely to hide behind Kevlar and camouflage than offshore accounts and blind trusts. Once you pick up a bad-guy\'s money trail though, finding them is just a matter of doing your homework. If you can find where they spend their cash you know where they are. If you can find where they got their cash you can figure out where they came from.  

International conferences are good cover for run-of-the-mill diplomatic spooks and black-bag operatives alike. One way to tell them apart: their luggage. You don\'t bring a high-speed film camera to an event where nobody wants their picture taken unless you want to bypass the X-ray machines at the airport. Telephoto lenses are a great place to store the illegal silencer you\'re smuggling in.  

An effective booby trap not only needs to look like a good hiding spot, it also needs to leave your enemy incapacitated. A well placed 50-gallon oil drum should pique your targets curiosity and a portable defibrillator packs enough punch to make their heart skip a beat without stopping it entirely. Wire the defibrillator to a convincing decoy and whoever comes looking will be in for a shock. Connect the camera wirelessly through an internet phone provider and you\'ll be able to keep an eye on your trap from anywhere in the world without having to pay long distance.  

When bugging a watch it\'s better to use a good looking knock off than its authentic counterpart, and not just because it\'s easier on your wallet. The insides of a fake time-piece are usually smaller and simpler leaving more room for hiding a listening device. As long as your target isn\'t a watch connoisseur zinc alloy and cubic zirconium are a great way of saying: \"let\'s be friends.\"  

Ideally, a bug should never be seen by anyone. But when there\'s a possibility it may be, it\'s best to make it look like something people won\'t want to touch. A wad of gum stuck to a balled-up piece of tissue and a sprinkling of whatever is in your lint trap will usually do the trick.  

If you\'ve spent time working for the government, you understand that it\'s a game with its own rules. If you wanna make the government work for you, you have to understand how the game is played. An FBI agent might hate you, but if working with you gets him out of an assignment he hates even more, you\'ve got yourself a partner.

In medieval Europe, spies used to pose as lepers and plague victims so they could snoop around without being bothered. In today\'s corporate office, posing as IT works the same way. It\'s the perfect cover if you need to linger without being bothered, and it gives you a pretext for talking to almost anyone.  

An explosion can kill you in four different ways. There\'s the shock wave, the shrapnel, the fire and the oxygen depletion. The best way to survive that deadly combination of factors is to run like hell. If running isn\'t an option, your best bet is to create a small, air-tight space from the most flame retardant material you can find. When an explosion is headed your way, it\'s hard to argue with an overturned, porcelain bath tub.  

The Native American practice of \"counting coux\" involves touching enemies on the battle field. The object wasn\'t to do damage but to establish your superiority as a warrior. Infiltrating someone\'s security can serve a similar function. It\'s a not-so-subtle way of saying \"Hi, I\'m not here to hurt you; but I could hurt you very badly if I chose to.\"

When you\'re concerned you might be walking into a police stakeout, there are a number of things to look out for: Parked cars or vans, workers that seem unusually preoccupied, and curious kids. No matter where you go in the world, little boys like candy, puppies and cops.

Spray insulation is handy for more than keeping your house cool in the summer. Use it to fill the diaphragm of a siren and it\'ll be about as noisy as a lawn gnome.


Definitely a thumbs up!
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline Matamore!

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 09:10:33 AM »
Janaru Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 
> Breaking Bad
>
> I don\'t know if you guys get this one, but
> watching this show is like watching a train wreck.
> You see it happening...you can\'t believe it\'s
> happening....and you\'re staring in shock and
> disbelief! This show is definitely not for the
> squeamish. But the character development of Walter
> and Jesse are exceptional. It\'s very well written
> and well acted. Bryan Cranston knocks this thing
> outta the park.
> Definite thumbs up....if you dare.

I\'m squeamish, and I already felt this way about Malcolm in the Middle (I think in the first episode I watched, someone\'s arm got cut off with a sword), but it was so good, and Bryan Cranston in particular was so good in it, that I\'ve been meaning to get the DVDs for Season One of this, as well as those for MitM (recently also become available in Region 2, but prices still high).

Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 09:35:52 PM »
Breaking Bad is definitely worth the down and dirty portrayal of the thug life, in my opinion. Watching Walter go from a straight laced high-school chemistry teacher to an elite meth cook, and what it took to get him there, is a study on human behavior and absolutely fascinating to me.

I\'ve tried a couple of episodes of Walking Dead recently. I\'m not a big zombie fan, but I\'d heard the stories and characters were really good. There is a lot of very graphic violence in that one and I\'m having a hard time deciding whether or not enduring that is worth it. The stories are pretty compelling but...jeeeez! It\'s pretty rough.

I may try a \"fast forward\" approach and see if that helps. If not...I may have to cut that one loose.

We have another one, a Netflix original I think, called Orange is the New Black, about a women\'s prison. I know I\'m not watchin\' that one. I hate prison shows.

Another good one though is United States of Tara, about a woman (an artist, a wife and mother of two) who has Disassociative Identity Disorder. She, along with her family, make the decision for her to try and live without her meds. Watching how she and her family deal with her, and her alters (sometimes very funny), and getting to the bottom of why she fractured in the first place (not even a little funny) is really interesting.

Who\'s going to show up at the parent/teacher conference? Buck, the foul mouthed redneck? Maybe T, the out of control teenager? Perhaps it will be Alice the straight-laced 1950\'s housewife? Or Tara herself?

It addresses the practicality of living with DID.

What do you do when your wife hasn\'t been \"in the mood\" for awhile, and her promiscuous teenaged alter....in your wife\'s body....tries to seduce you? Do you abide by the agreement you have with your wife not to sleep with the alters? Or do you give in?

How would a gay teenage son deal with a redneck alter in the form of his normally accepting mother?

How would you feel if you discovered you wrote obscenities across the mural you\'d been painting at your client\'s house?

Toni Collette\'s portrayal of Tara, and her alters is brilliant. John Corbett as her loving, infinitely patient and sometimes totally frustrated husband is very well done. This one is well worth watching, too.
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline Matamore!

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 12:22:11 PM »
Only hours left in which to catch this, I\'m afraid:

ARTS: Front Row
On: BBC Radio 4 (74)    
Date: Wednesday 21st August 2013 (Already shown)
Time: 19:15 to 19:45 (30 minutes long)

Arts news, interviews and reviews with Mark Lawson, including an interview with Vince Gilligan, creator of the acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Marked By: \'Favourite: Front Row\' and \'Category: Arts\' markers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt taken from DigiGuide - the world\'s best TV guide available from http://www.getdigiguide.tv/?p=1&r=9877

Copyright (c) GipsyMedia Limited.

Offline Matamore!

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 02:26:17 PM »
Talking of US TV, I\'d be interested in any opinions on:

Arrested Development
Dollhouse
The 4400
Caprica
CSI [various series]
Generation Kill
Married With Children
Modern Family
Parenthood
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
Treme

none of which I\'ve seen. (I\'ve got a lot of catching up to do.)

Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 09:18:27 PM »
I missed it. :(


As for the list....

Arrested Development
Never watched this one. What I have seen didn\'t look like my cuppa.

Dollhouse
Loved this one! I was really disappointed when they canceled it.
 
The 4400
Never heard of this one.

Caprica
This one is in my Netflix queue. I\'ll let you know when I get to it.
 
CSI [various series]
Loved the original with William Petersen. It kinda of lost a lot when they lost him. Watched CSI: New York for a long time, but I got tired of the hokey lines. Hate CSI: Miami with a passion.

Generation Kill
Not heard of this one, either.
 
Married With Children
Never liked this one.

Modern Family
Never watch it.

Parenthood
Never watch it.

Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
Don\'t know this one.

Treme
Don\'t know this one, either.
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline baycruiser

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 03:04:57 AM »
The 4400 used to be on the USA network, it\'s sort of like Close Encounters of the Third Kind if SS had continued the stories of the abducted. The quality of the writing is about the same par as X-Files.

here\'s the synopsis from wikipedia;

In the pilot episode, a comet deposits a group of exactly 4400 people at Highland Beach, in the Cascade Range foothills near Mount Rainier, Washington. Each of the 4400 had disappeared at various times starting from 1946[4] in a beam of white light. None of the 4400 have aged from the time of their disappearance. Confused and disoriented, they remember nothing between the time of their disappearance and their return.

The SciFi series Taken is one I can recommend tangentially with The 4400. Both star Joel Gretsch and Taken was produced by Steven Spielberg. Taken predates 4400. And for you trivia fans out there, guess who Joel Gretsch\'s father in law is?? Why it\'s noneother than William Shatner.

Jan, if you like comedy/spoofs, I can recommend Spy. I am trying to remember what other shows I\'ve seen online which I can recommend. I can sort of recommend Vicious if you are a fan of Sirs Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi. Reminds me of Frasier if Niles and Frasier were an elderly gay couple. The writing is very similar.

Other shows I look forward to;
Death in Paradise
The Hour
Underbelly (Australia)
East of Everything (Australia)
Silk
Whitechaple
Who Do You Think You Are (UK and Australia)
World\'s Most Dangerous Roads
Top Gear (mostly their special episodes like the one they did in India and the North Pole)
Fake or Fortune (or any BBC documentary about art and culture)
and anything by Stephen Polliakoff but definitely recommend The Lost Prince, Gideon\'s Daughter and Friends and Crocodiles

Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 09:52:43 AM »
Thanks for that, Bay, I\'ll keep my eye out for them

I\'ve just started Silk on PBS and I\'m liking it. I LOVE Who Do You Think You Are? but I can\'t find the UK version on Netflix, which I much preferred to the American one. It was interesting, but they spent so much time recapping after commercials you lost a lot of program time.
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Offline Parsival

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 03:31:57 PM »
Ditto on Burn Notice
Add to that with Justified, interesting ideas throughout.

Love history tales, Michael Wood\'s tales of the medieval are always fascinating.

Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 01:00:41 PM »
I think I saw the one about Arthur, Parsival, and it was fascinating.


My Sister has been preaching Justified to me since it first began! I\'m cable-y challenged and it\'s not on Netflix yet, so I haven\'t seen it, but I\'m dying to!



Finally found The 4400 on Netflix, Mat. I started it the weekend before last. It\'s kind of a slow burn story, but before I knew it I was two Seasons in! I watched Season 3 this last weekend as well. It\'s pretty good!  I recommend it.
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Offline Matamore!

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 03:39:36 PM »
baycruiser Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The 4400 used to be on the USA network, it\'s sort
> of like Close Encounters of the Third Kind if SS
> had continued the stories of the abducted. The
> quality of the writing is about the same par as
> X-Files.

That means it\'s as good as it could be! Must see this. :)

> here\'s the synopsis from wikipedia;
>
> In the pilot episode, a comet deposits a group
> of exactly 4400 people at Highland Beach, in the
> Cascade Range foothills near Mount Rainier,
> Washington. Each of the 4400 had disappeared at
> various times starting from 1946[4] in a beam of
> white light. None of the 4400 have aged from the
> time of their disappearance. Confused and
> disoriented, they remember nothing between the
> time of their disappearance and their return.


For God\'s sake, please let nobody else make the mistake I just made, of looking this up on Wikipedia - MASSIVE spoiler! :X

(It\'s not in the bit quoted above, of course - but there\'s a lot more in the Wikipedia article - too much.)

> The SciFi series Taken is one I can recommend
> tangentially with The 4400. Both star Joel Gretsch
> and Taken was produced by Steven Spielberg. Taken
> predates 4400. And for you trivia fans out there,
> guess who Joel Gretsch\'s father in law is?? Why
> it\'s noneother than William Shatner.

(Taken is one of my all-time favourite TV series. I\'m still putting off watching the last couple of films in the series - I can\'t bear for it to end!)

Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 09:10:35 PM »
For God\'s sake, please let nobody else make the mistake I just made, of looking this up on Wikipedia - MASSIVE spoiler!  


I learned this the hard way, too. :(
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2014, 02:24:40 PM »
Somehow my husband talked to Comcast and got us free basic cable for a year (do not ask me how that man does this kind of thing...but he\'s kinda famous for it).

Last week they did their Watchathon promo thingy where you can see programs from the other pay channels in hopes you\'ll upgrade.

Anyhoo, I got absolutely hooked on Orphan Black and DaVinci\'s Demons! Anyone else watching these?
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Offline Truthyness

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2014, 05:18:13 PM »
Some Wizard! I\'m still a Downton Abbey virgin8-) Though I note a belgian channel is now airing the series. Not sure I can work up as much interest as Michelle O did. So I can\'t help!

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Offline Janaru

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Re: Catching up on television...
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 08:54:39 PM »
My brother even got hooked on Downton Abbey. :)
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....