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TV (and DVD and download) viewing [Jan. 26th, 2008|11:38 am]
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[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

shazgirl and I have been working our way through various TV shows over the last three or four months, a season at a time, usually 4-7 episodes a week. arcadiagt5 loaned us Heroes Season 1, and lilysea loaned us a bunch of stuff, which we've intermixed with our own bought TV shows. So in recent times we've finished Heroes' first season, watched Wonderfalls, Jonathon Creek season one, Jeeves and Wooster season one (Chrissy prezzie for me from Shaz), and have just started on the first series of Hex.

I've also been catching up on things that Sharon... it isn't that she's not interested in most of them, it's that she's less interested than in the others. I usually know a few episodes in if it's a show Sharon will really enjoy.

So here are some quick thoughts on the stuff I've been working my way through these last few months -

Masters of Horror season two is variable but interesting. Some of the directors know that horror can be horror without gore, which certainly helps.

Smallville is treading water something shocking, though interestingly the changes they've made to Lana Lang have made her a character I can watch without vomiting every time she's onscreen now - they've given her a backbone - and it only took seven years! Smallville is an odd show. It's often mundane with moments that are inspired peppered about. The character work is often clumsy, but then they get some things so absolutely perfect. I'm still watching because I've seen it this far, may as well see how they finish it.

ReGenesis is good enough to keep me watching. It occasionally has the feel of the old Doomwatch series.

Journeyman I've seen two episodes of and... well... Quantum Leap managed to grab me a lot more in the same amount of time. It's not bad, just not quite good enough for me to bother with more without good reason.

Eureka's first season was fun and very entertaining. Some people knock it as being too 'kiddy.' So? Same thing can be said of the Muppets, but it was fun to watch too. What's wrong with family entertainment. It's not a brilliant show, but it is enjoyable.

Avatar - The Last Airbender is continuing to build an interesting universe, while carefully layering its characters, and developing its dark edge. Still occasionally annoys me, but 99% of the time, I love it.

Dexter season 1 is fabulous. Great main character, good story-telling, clever, funny and dark.

The Dresden Files is just barely managing to keep my attention. Entertaining but so far hasn't really sparked for me.

Q.I. (it stands for Quite Interesting) is a show hosted by Stephen Fry that is basically about interesting and/or trivial facts, with Alan Davies and range of comedians and actors on the panel every week. Highly entertaining and educational.

Supernatural I'm still loving. Good characterisation, fun stories that often have some very cool ideas, and consistently good writing. Just watched the Christmas episode and it was absolutely wonderful.

Samurai Champloo loaned to me by another friend, Cami, is just not grabbing me so far. I'm still giving it a chance because if I'd gone by early impressions on Neon Genesis, I would have missed out on some awesome stuff.

Torchwood - First season only had three or four episodes that didn't make me want start torturing small animals, but even then, I still wanted to threaten them. Season 2, first two episodes... They were more than watchable, I actively enjoyed them! They didn't use swearing and sex as a way to make the stories 'adult'. The team worked as a team, and appeared to have more than a single braincell between them. It says a lot that I'm looking forward to next week's episode, though that said, I don't trust them to consistently write a good series yet.

Stargate Atlantis first season is good dumb fun. It's Boy's Own Adventure material, with some enjoyable characters into the mix.

Masters of Science Fiction is, overall, fairly good. The first two episodes especially rock. It got screwed by the network, so only four of the six episodes screened, but apparently the last two have now been shown, so have top track them down.

Most of these I've caught up with while resting from Santa-ing, taking a break from sorting, due to insomnia, or in the cases of things like Eureka, Dresden Files, and Stargate Atlantis, while I've been doing other bits and bobs.

I do need to get back to watching the first season of Twilight Zone again though, that consistently blew my socks off. Main reason I haven't been is that I like to be wide awake to drink in its yumminess. It's not a show to be appreciated properly if one is a little tired or distracted.

So what are you watching, and why?

[User Picture]From: bunnikins
2008-01-26 03:13 am (UTC)
I've been on a bit of a QI binge lately, isn't it fabulous? I wait out the first part of every episode on tenterhooks, waiting to hear what dreadful buzzer-noise they've given Alan this time!

Other than that, I've been re-watching Rome, and my many Vin Diesel movies, which are good background fodder for knitting, because I've seen them all so many times that I can listen while paying attention to the knitting and just look up for the good parts:)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-01-28 04:46 am (UTC)
The buzzers are fun. Been meaning to watch Rome, heard good stuff about it. Actually getting close to rewatching I, Claudius which absolutely blew me away on a first viewing.
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[User Picture]From: purrdence
2008-01-26 03:19 am (UTC)
I'd forgotten that Jonathan Creek was out on DVD now.

Alan ???? is quite the geeky hottie.
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[User Picture]From: hespa
2008-01-27 06:34 am (UTC)
Davies. And yes, yes he is.
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[User Picture]From: rachelholkner
2008-01-26 04:30 am (UTC)
Looks like I felt the same way about the first season of Torchwood that you did. I'll take a look at S2 on your recommendation.

I'm currently watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles, mainly because of Summer Glau. It's hard though with Richard sitting next to me throwing his hands in the air and exclaiming every time they break their own canon. Which is often.

Only just got into Top Gear. Very behind the times on this, but it's fun! And also, cars!

Skins, Monday nights 10.00pm SBS, is brilliant. I think there have only been three episodes screened, and I missed the first, but the characters are so beautifully drawn and the dialogue is so perfect I love it.

30 Rock is amusing. I'd be all over it if there wasn't so much other stuff to catch up on - Tina Fey and all - but I'm not a single woman living in New York, so I'm not exactly relating.

I'm rewatching The Goodies, The Muppet Show and Marx Brothers movies with Abbey because a proper education cannot start too young. Also, there is nothing in the world better than watching a four year old fall off a couch with laughter.

QI pissed me off due to utter lack of women panelists.

Twilight Zone - I haven't seen any for years and years, I'd love to see it all from the start.

*sigh* There should be more hours in the day to see all this great stuff.
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From: jblum
2008-01-26 03:16 pm (UTC)
Best news about Torchwood S2? After the premiere, there's a run of nine or ten straight episodes which aren't written by Chris "alien sex gas monster / cyberwoman / cannibals / oh dear god make it stop" Chibnall! Whose triple whammy early on was the main thing which destroyed my confidence in the show...
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-01-28 05:07 am (UTC)
Saw the pilot of Sarah Connor Chronicles, thought it was ok, just haven't gotten around to seeing more, much as I like Summer Glau. That said, the breaking of canon would shit me very quickly.

Top Gear is awesome. Haven't watched Skins but may have to check it out now. Haven't heard of 30 Rock.

I often wish for more women panelists on QI, especially when there's episodes where it's all guys. But given the sort of folks they get tend to mainly come from stand-up backgrounds, and how few women do stand-up, I just accept it as more representative of the sorts of numbers they are dealing with. And as has been shown by many male panelists that I thought would be great, it's not a format every one can do.

That said, I love Jo Brand every time she turns up, and the way she just tells Stephen when he's boring her - "Losing the will to live here." And then there's Ronni Ancona who has only appeared once, but is both gorgeous and very funny.

I have certainly noticed QI starting to re-use the same core group again and again, I suspect because these are the people they know will be good.

You may not have the spare cash, but Twilight Zone season one is around for about $50. With 39 episodes, that's great value.

And yes, Goodies and Muppet Show are both great, and I seem to recall always liking the Marx Brother - I was a big fan of Harpo.
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[User Picture]From: arcadiagt5
2008-01-26 05:23 am (UTC)
I hope you enjoyed Heroes.

As for the anime I'm watching at the moment, I've just started in on Mushi-shi and Le Chevalier D'Eon.

Both of which are very interesting (so far, only two discs in though). The latter title is based on a fairly interesting historical figure... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_d%27Eon

EDIT: Chuckle, I've just been reading that wikipedia page again and came across this bit "Despite the fact that d'Éon wore his dragoon's uniform all the time, there were rumors that he was actually a woman, and a betting pool was eventually started on the London Stock Exchange regarding his sex."


Edited at 2008-01-26 05:27 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-01-28 05:10 am (UTC)
Heroes season one was fabulous. Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: arcadiagt5
2008-01-28 10:45 am (UTC)
You're welcome!
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[User Picture]From: hespa
2008-01-27 07:07 am (UTC)
Season two of 'Heroes' - a good show, with interesting characters and situations and enough twists and turns to keep Cumber and I discussing each episode for hours afterwards. I've been warned that season two suffered a bit from the writers' strike (because they knew they weren't going to get a second half to the season, they chose to tie everything up rather abruptly at the half-way mark instead of leaving it hanging to try to sort out in season three), but I like it enough to hopefully forgive that.

'Scrubs' - a bit of short, light entertainment to eat dinner with. I loved the first season. Feeling a bit bored with it now, though, simply because the episodes are so mind-numbingly formulaic - while the laughs are still there, the characters are very likeable and and the plot can occasionally surprise me, I feel insulted to be asked to watch essentially the same story every week, just with different diseases and character neuroses inserted.

Agree with your assessments of 'Dexter' and 'Dresden Files', both of which I've watched bits of recently. Haven't gotten into Dexter only because it requires watching on laptop, not TV, and when we take the time to set up the laptop & big screen in the living room it's usually to watch Heroes.

Oh yes, and I saw one episode of 'Life on Mars' on ABC and was absolutely hooked - except that, being on TV, I then repeatedly forgot to/was unable to catch it at the right time, so have now given up on keeping up and will just have to look for it on DVD. But the episode I saw (the second) was gritty, intriguing, darkly funny and very entertaining (admittedly, I'm always a sucker for a "stranger in a strange land" story). And looking at the BBC website, it seems they wrapped the whole thing up (with a proper conclusion) in two seasons, which is very good news to me.

But on to the important questions: Why haven't you reviewed 'Wonderfalls' (or haven't you watched it yet)?

And where did you get it?? I've been desperate to own it since I first saw it (an American DVD that almost certainly wouldn't work with our Australian region DVD player even if I did want to order it in from the US). Just a lovely show that had all the right things for me: quirky but enjoyable characters, a strange - but logically consistent - plot, a dry sense of humour and - a rarity - an ending that actually concluded enough of the story to satisfy me, despite being premature (it was axed, of course).
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-01-28 05:16 am (UTC)
Will get around to season two of Heroes at some point. Have them all, but have other things to watch.

The little I saw of Scrubs I liked. Haven't watched season two of Life on Mars yet. I keep ordering in season one and selling it, so I haven't had a copy to show Sharon yet. But sooner or later it won't sell, and then it's mine! :)

I didn't review Wonderfalls because I forgot. And what you say about it pretty much everything I could say, and you've said it better, so your review can be my review.

It's a loaner, and the US version, but I will be buying a copy at some point. Most modern Aussie DVD players can actually play most US DVDs now, so you may want to try one and see.
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[User Picture]From: hespa
2008-01-29 09:46 am (UTC)
Our current (pretty old) player doesn't, but coincidentally I'm potentially going to be shopping for a new one in short order (not because I have any problems with the current DVD player, but because my video machine in beyond deaded; if it turns out not much more expensive to buy a combo than just a video machine, I might as well go the combo).

Then I just have to overcome my inherent laziness when it comes to ordering anything from overseas...

Just found out a friend has Life on Mars (both seasons) and can lend it to me, so huzzah! for that.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-02-06 02:25 am (UTC)
A bit late I know but heres what I think.

Sal and I are working our way through the series at the rate of about a season a month if not quicker. The overall feel of the show suffers for it as the plots are so similar it's quite frustrating. We are nearly finished season 5 and I must say this season was coughing up blood for a while but has seemed to pick up a little.
I used to stick up for the actress playing Lana Lang but as the series went on the more I realised she just isn't that good. I think it was the introduction of Louis that made me realise, she was so good it made Cloe drop down an acting peg which again dropped Lana.
The show is full of so many great moments, unfortuantely you have to sit through a lot of lazy plotting to get to them.
Being a hopeless Superman fan I do love it looking for all the references, some are a little forced, some cheap but most are inspired, it realy adds to the mythos of the history of the man of Steel.
It also provides plenty of fun for drinking games if you are interested, Sally and I joke about how many times the red pick-up gets blown up or crashed and how many times Lex, Jonathan and Lana get knocked out, there was one episode we watched the other day that would have had us pissed within the first 15 minutes, it was hilarious.

As far as what else I am watching.

Corner Gas
Quirky Canadian SitCom that I am really enjoying

Burn notice
First season is hokey fun starring a chick from Press gang and Bruce Campbell, whats not to like.
The fact channel 10 arn't pushing the fact that Ash in in the show boggles me, they will probably increase there I assume small vieweership by advertising this fact.

30 Rock
Is probably my fave SitCom at the moment. Alec Baldwin is amazing and throughoughly deserved his golden golbe award, brilliantly funny and clever.

The Office (US)
An amazing show that took the UK version and ran with it. I wasn't sure how much further thay could go with this show but I think they improved on the 2nd season with the third, great work by all involved.

Battlestar Galactica
Just can't wait for it to come back.

Am very excited about its return.
Only 3 short seasons to go and hopefully it will all be worth it.

Is a lot of fun.
But being a comic fan there are some things I have seen plenty of times before and better but great to see them on the small screen and done well so I am not complaining.

My guilty pleasure. The plots are pretty basic but the characters I love and the little asides and pop culture jokes appear to be written just for me. It feels like my own personal show.

Great show with jeremy Piven and Johnny Drama stealing every scene.
Interested to see where the next season is going.

Flight of the conchords
Will have to be my find of 2007. I can't say how much I loved and rewatched, and re-listened to the music.
If I recoemnd anything it will have to this.
I love it.

And this one is just for Danny as he will be the only one who understands

Space Rngers
I just last night downloaded and watched the first episode of Space Rangers. It was as much fun as I remember. The effects do not hold up to 15 years of technical evolution.

Thats quite a bit of TV I have been watching, and thats not everything. The ironic part of all that is that I havn't watched any of that on a television, all of it has been watched on my PC.

So if any of you have been wondering what Mitch has been up, I guess the above wall of words will tell you, abusing his broadband.



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