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Posts Tagged ‘television’

Quote of the Moment: On Not Belonging

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Isaak

“We’re outsiders, you and I, on the periphery. Watching everybody else, pretending we’re just like them but knowing we’re not. The best we can hope for is to find a place where we don’t have to pretend.”

Isaak Sirko (Dexter, 2012)

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TV: January 2011’s Television

March 2, 2011 5 comments

I’ve decided to resurrect the old monthly review posts that I tried briefly last year (the earliest three entries with the monthly review tag), but doing them more in the style of the 2010 in review posts. Having only just decided to do it means I’m going to have to sort out January’s now then almost immediately jump into February’s, but going forward there should actually be a month between them. This first post covers television viewing, and there will also be posts for film, books and gaming.

 

Spike, Buffy, Raylan, Simon and Jack.

Making a top image out of every watched show may prove awkward in months when I watch more.

Image sources: Raylan, Simon and Jack (Spike and Buffy are DVD captures)

Being the first post in this style I’ll talk about when I watch TV in addition to what I watched. As I’ve mentioned previously on work days I only have about three hours of free time, and on those days I wake at 3pm, sit at my computer and watch an episode of something I have downloaded or on DVD, and while doing so I check into Twitter then scan Google Reader to whittle the hundreds of entries down into just the ones I want to properly read. On my days off I do the same (keeping to the same hours as a work day), but also have time to watch something on an online video service during the evening, then a couple of things at about midnight that have queued up on the Sky+ DVR.

With that in mind, here’s what I watched (with summaries that will include some spoilers), after which I’ll give my overall verdict on the month:

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TV: I wish the Simpsons aged

August 1, 2010 1 comment

Lisa's Wedding

Wikipedia quote: ""Lisa's Wedding" is the 19th episode of The Simpsons' sixth season, which originally aired March 19, 1995. The plot focuses around Lisa visiting a carnival fortune teller and learning about her future love."

As should be clear from the image above, the 1st of August 2010 was the date of Lisa’s wedding in the episode of the same name, which back in 1995 was still fifteen years away. Lisa was twenty-three and met Hugh at university, where they fell in love and planned to marry. That kind of flashforward is a common way for a programme to explore a future the show itself won’t reach, but the great (and sad) thing about The Simpsons is that it’s turned out to have a longevity few shows ever do, especially cartoons, to the point that it’s reaching the dates it used as a far off future.

But of course, the Simpsons don’t age. They’re forever trapped at the ages they were when the series started, stuck permanently in the same roles, regardless of how many times they celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. That’s pretty standard for a cartoon but if the show’s creators had decided to age the characters with each passing year things would have been so very different now.

Caution: The rest of this post almost becomes fanfiction in its speculation.

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TV: Damages – I was wrong

July 20, 2010 1 comment

In my recent post about the season finale of Damages I said (with added emphasis):

By the end season three had resolved a lot of the hanging threads from season one and gave us an episode that serves as a strong conclusion for the series as a whole (unless it gets revived in a rumoured deal with DirecTV, but at this point I don’t think that’s likely).

Well I was wrong. Digital Spy is reporting that a deal with Sony Pictures means that DirecTV has purchased the rights to broadcast Damages and will produce an additional two seasons of ten episodes. They’ll start next year, and hopefully the BBC’s existing deal will remain in place and the UK will continue to get the episodes not long after the US.

While it’s nice that the show will continue I did like the finale we were given, which brought things to a fitting end and tied up a lot of the existing storylines. I guess it will be nice to see more of Patty and Ellen though, and considering how close it came to ending these two extra seasons (or more) will be a nice bonus.

Categories: News (TV), TV Tags: , , ,

Television: The end of Damages

June 30, 2010 1 comment
Damages Logo

Wikipedia quote: "Damages has received critical acclaim and numerous television awards, including a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards for its first season. The show is noted for its nonlinear narrative, frequent use of plot twists, technical merit, season-long storylines and the acting ability of its cast."

The first season of Damages really impressed me. It had excellent performances from a great cast (especially the central pair of Glenn Close and Rose Byrne), lots of twists and turns and used flashforwards well to show bad things that were going to happen to the cast, and right up until they occurred left you guessing how the characters would end up in those situations. Season two didn’t use the flashforward idea quite so well, often showing things happening that turned out to be false, and it was generally an unsatisfying season overall, despite the presence of several cast members of The Wire (which has earned its place as one of the best shows of all time).

Spoilers follow

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Categories: Opinions (TV), TV Tags: , ,

Television: The end of Heroes

Heroes Logo

Wikipedia fact: "The series tells the stories of ordinary people who discover superhuman abilities, and how these abilities take effect in the characters' lives. The series emulates the aesthetic style and storytelling of American comic books, using short, multi-episode story arcs that build upon a larger, more encompassing arc."

Ah, Heroes. It had an excellent first season, focusing on a varied group of people who developed supernatural abilities related to their personalities – the empathic carer could absorb other abilities, the mother juggling multiple lives developing the ultimate split personality – and steadily bringing them all together to stop a disastrous explosion in New York. It told good, personal stories with plenty of surprises and was genuine highlight to watch each week. Then everything went wrong.

With the explosion plot wrapped up nicely at the end of the first season the challenge for season two was to present a new threat and find a way to bring the heroes back into it, and it failed miserably. The main threat took a long time to be properly established (and felt less significant despite being much more serious than season one’s explosion), some of the characters were stuck in dull scenarios, others were killed off for seemingly no reason, and all in all there were essentially no traces of what made the first season so enjoyable. Season three picked up a little, especially once Bryan Fuller returned just a few episodes from the end (having been absent since the end of season one to work on Pushing Daisies), but by that point Heroes was too set on its current course to completely turn itself around.

Spoilers follow

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Categories: Opinions (TV), TV Tags: , ,

Television: The end of 24

24 Logo

Wikipedia quote: "{Jack} Bauer is the only character to have appeared in all eight seasons, as well as appearing in every episode of the series."

The idea behind 24 was a great one. The US TV system encourages programmes of about twenty-three episodes per season and there are twenty-four hours in a standard Earth day, so having each season take place over a single day, with one episode per hour, seems obvious. However, even in the first season it was clear that the writers struggled with the concept, with the two storylines that kicked off the season – the plot to assassinate David Palmer and the kidnapping of Kim Bauer – both wrapped up by the halfway point. By the end of the season they has used an amnesia plot to fill time, had Kim held captive by five different groups, and generally just gave the impression that they were desperately trying to stretch things out (which is supported by comments from Kiefer Sutherland that the real time concept ‘plagued‘ the writers).

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Categories: Opinions (TV), TV Tags: , ,