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Recent watchings 01 [Jun. 22nd, 2008|10:34 am]
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[mood |chipperchipper]

Been very busy lately, which also tends to leave me knackered, so I've been watching a lot more stuff - as a way to make me stop for a while, drink and eat, it's reasonably effective. It's been a while since I last did one of these updates, so it'll include several months worth of watching.

I'll start with the things that Sharon and I watch together. We try to sit down, cuddle up on the couch and watch an episode of something at least three or four nights a week. Actually we try for every night, but often only manage three or four nights.

Quantum Leap - We're just at the end of the second season. Sure it has stuff within the writing that occasionally shits me, but over all it's yet another entertaining series. And the dynamic between Dean Stockwell and Scott Bakula is fabulous. Even when the episode itself is poor, these two shine in every scene together.

The Avengers - Specifically season 4, which is the first Emma Peel one. Started here because, well, I knew we'd both enjoy it. It really is a delightfully odd show, and even when the occasional episode is poorly written (So why exactly were the bad guys going to all this trouble in Castle De'ath?) the pairing of Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee is a joy to watch.

Jonathan Creek - Fun little series of locked-room style mysteries that's quite enjoyable. Into second season with Verity Lambert producing, and some nice odd non-death related stories are keeping things interesting. Though I am finding the romantic tension they are trying to create between the characters a bit ham-fisted at times.

Danger Man - Very much loving this. Each episode is only a half hour, but they pack a hell of a lot into it. Patrick McGoohan is brilliant, though his faux American accent is rather odd.

Top Gear - We're meandering through the first season. No James May, and it's still finding its footing, but all that we enjoy about the later seasons has started here. Shaz doesn't watch all of them, she more tends to watch some and dip in and out of others, depending on her mood.

And so I move to the things that I've been watching. Usually I use these to make me stop and eat, or just rest. That's not to say they aren't entertaining enough to watch otherwise, kreep that I need a lot more rest and these are a good way to make sure I get it.

Stargate Atlantis - into season 4 now. It's kind of a guilty pleasure. They've never heard of foreshadowing, and the writing and characterisation is variable, but it's always entertaining. I have a hard time shutting off my inner story-teller/script-writer with most things, but with SGA it doesn't even kick in.

Justice League - Just about to start season 3, where it becomes Justice League Unlimited. Prior to this it's been just seven characters - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green lantern, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl - season 3 sees all sorts of guest characters coming in for various stories.

The writing on it has been consistently good from the beginning, not one story I'd call a dud, but towards the end of the second season it suddenly turns a corner and becomes amazing. For me the turning point is the story Hereafter, in which the League have to deal with the death of one of their members. From then on each of the stories is just really well written, with a great mix of good story, characterisation, humour and drama. Hell even the Christams episode is fantastic!

Given that everyone I know sings the praises of the third season, I'm looking forward to starting it. If the live action Justice League movie ever gets made, they have a lot to live up to.

Catweazle - Working my way through the first season. This is one of my favourite TV shows, and it still holds up rather well. It's a fun little series, and Geoffrey Bayldon is wonderfully impatient, joyous, mysterious, and odd in equal measure. The dynamic between him and Robin Davies is lovely, with the balance between who is student and who is mentor constantly shifting back and forth - my favourite example being Catweazle begging Carrot for matches, to which the young boy says, in all seriousness, 'No you shouldn't play with matches, it's dangerous.'

Twilight Zone - In actual fact I haven't watched one in ages, mainly because I knew I was reaching the end of the first season and wanted to make it last. But I have second season now, so I should get going again. The single episode I watched since my last list of viewing was a ripper though.

At Last The 1948 Show - One of the two shows that led to the creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Sadly the small number of existing episodes, though a little rough, were quite good. Shame it got junked. You can see the beginnings of Python here, including the original version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch. And of course you can't talk about 1948 Show without mentioning The Lovely Aimi MacDonald.

Do Not Adjust Your Set - Made for kids, I'm still working my way through the few existing episodes. I don't find it as entertaining as 1948 Show, though those were compliations, whereas DNAYS is the actual 'live' episodes. Still it's amazing to see what they could get away with for kid's TV in those days that you'd never be able to do today. And of course, it's another precursor to Python.

The Adventures of Superman - Second season. I've yet to watch first because I hadn't been able to find it cheap, though picked it up the other day for $16! Yay!

George Reeves rocks as Superman. The writing quality is variable, with almost any episode that concentrates on Jimmy Olsen making me want to gouge my eyes out. But it's fun. One particular episode, Clark Kent and Perry White are getting increasingly annoyed at the way Jimmy and Lois are getting themselves into trouble due to their inability to simply keep their mouths shut around the bad guys. It's nice when the other characters can recognise the stupidity of their cohorts, rather than just mindlessly ignoring it all the time.

Smallville - What the hell do you mean season 7 isn't the last?! But I was looking forward to it ending! Wait, Kristin 'whiney annoying fucking cow' Kreuk is leaving? Yay! Wait, Michael Rosenbaum is leaving? No! It's a guilty pleasure this one, and I'm only still watching because I've already seen so much. Most of the time, Smallville is pretty bloody ordinary, but when it gets it right, and is firing on all cylinders, it's astounding. Of course, it's not astounding terribly often.

Having heard that one of the plans for the eighth season is to bring in Doomsday, I'm really not looking forward to it. But will probably watch.

Battlestar Galactica is on the other end of the scale. Just watched the mid-season finale which had a corker ending. There are times when this series has struggled a bit, but over all it's been a ripper. These guys understand that science fiction is about the setting, it's not a story unto itself. Looking foward to the spin-off.

Doctor Who - I didn't realise how much I disliked third season until I'd seen fourth. Donna is a great companion, a good foil for the Doctor, and well-played by Catherine Tate. In general I've found the stories to be of a higher overall quality and better written, though some still have magic science and things that seriously needed to either be better explained or just changed to something that made sense or was more workable. But overall good. Especially episodes 8, 9, and 10, which all fabulous pieces of TV. Any word yet on when the ABC is going to show the bloody thing?

Dexter - Series 1 was terrific, and series 2 just built on that quite wonderfully. Well worth the look.

Sarah Connor Chronicles - I rather enjoyed it. Sure it totally screws with the continuity established in the first and second films, but it wisely ignores the third film altogether. It was good enough I went back and rewatched all three movies, and didn't come away annoyed with the series at all.

Will do another update shortly talking about some of the flicks I've watched. In the last week or two, my dislike of Van Helsing has shifted my recent viewing.

So what shows are you watching?

[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2008-06-22 04:23 am (UTC)
They've started advertising so soon (re Dr Who) I seem to vaguely remember that it's while I'm overseas. Must actually watch more of season 4/whatever. Was watching with friends but they got onto a firefly kick so still way back. May watch some today if I get my housework/packing done.

My list of things to watch is rather large... Oh for free time to do so. (I have been watching old things for nostalgia reasons and because I can do cooking/washing up while it's on because I don't need to look at screen all the time... Press Gang mostly)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-22 10:03 am (UTC)
Yay! I know a lot of people who will be very happy about that. Plus I'll be able to sell stuff again :)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-23 02:15 am (UTC)
Cool! Thanks for that!
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[User Picture]From: possbert
2008-06-22 06:15 am (UTC)
Each Saturday we watch Danger Man (the 30 minute b and w episodes), Mission:Impossible (we're about half way through series 2) and SG Atlantis.

I was a fan of Quantum Leap - a couple of the episodes made me quite weepy, including the one in which Sam had to have ECT and the final ep.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-23 01:54 am (UTC)
Mission: Impossible is wonderful, especially the episodes when their carefully thought-out plan goes hideously wrong and they need to improvise.
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[User Picture]From: possbert
2008-06-23 08:41 am (UTC)
I was watching one of the season 4 eps the other day in which a very vital person in Jim's plan was killed and he had to come up with plan B. Not your typical pat scenarios in Mission.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-23 01:57 am (UTC)
I love that the actress was totally her own person. There were restaurants that wouldn't let her in because she was wearing pants, she was very public about not wanting to get married, and then of course she 'lived in sin' for some time.
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[User Picture]From: mondyboy
2008-06-22 10:00 am (UTC)
For me, Season 4 of BSG was starting to tread water, but the last 3 eps were class, with last of these being the best thing ever!

I'm watching Season 10 and Season 3 of StarGate SG / Atlantis simultaneously. SG1 should have ended at the end of its 7th or 8th season. The episodes are mostly OK, but all the dynamism is gone. Ben Browder tries, but he's not Dean Anderson. As for Atlantis. It's rubbish TV... and yet I can't help but watch it. So many of the episodes are so predictable and too many of them focus on McKay, on the view that he's a great character when for the most part he's just fucking annoying. The best character in it, for me, is the Scots Doctor. And the Russian scientist isn't too bad either. It's a bit embarrasing to see Mitch Pileggi appear in the show... X-Files, so many year ago... And for all that, I keep watching.

And hasn't Season 4 of Who just got good. Turn Left continues the run of good form!

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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-23 02:06 am (UTC)
I still need to get around to watching Stargate. I know I'll enjoy it because all the episodes I've seen I liked, I just need to get a run at the episodes.

Good summation of SGA. Love the doctor, certainly one of the more realistic characters on the show by a country mile. McKay has, by this point, been through several events that should have started to make his character a more subtle, and therefore interesting, one. Instead the writers use him as easy comic relief.

I first saw Mitch Pileggi in the Wes Craven film Shocker, where he played Horace Pinker, a serial killer who becomes living electrical energy... It was an attempt by Craven to create a new Elm St style franchise. Pileggi even did rap on the closing song for the film. So SGA is far from the most embarrassing thing he's done.

Turn Left was rather good, wasn't it?
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[User Picture]From: kattilz
2008-06-22 10:13 am (UTC)


Hi honey,
we went and saw Indiana Jones, Glen thought there were enough plot holes to drive a train through. Me on the other hand thought it was good except at the end the 'special effects' spaceship was a bit lame.

Jess and her friend went and saw Narnia and loved it.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-23 02:11 am (UTC)

Re: movies

G'day gorgeous! I liked Indy 4, and for all it's flaws, it could have been so much worse.

I've been watching the Universal monsters of an evening with mum, just finished all I have and am about to start on the Hammer Horror fims. Not sure mum'll like those so much *grin*

Haven't seen the new Narnia. I barely remember the previous one, even though it had Tilda Swinton, who wants me bad.
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[User Picture]From: rendragon
2008-06-22 10:41 pm (UTC)
Saw Iron Man. Fantastic movie. Didn't know anything about it, didn't even know it came from a comic (oops!) and really enjoyed it. Finally, a superhero movie that doesn't take itself too seriously ;)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-06-23 02:15 am (UTC)
Wasn't it fun? And having seen Incredible Hulk, the hints are there that they are building towards something over a few films. Let's hope they pull it off.

Menwhile, I'm hanging out for the next Batman film.
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[User Picture]From: thinarthur
2008-06-23 12:41 pm (UTC)
Was very impressed by Iron Man, hard to believe the only other adaption has been the 60's Marvel Superhero cartoon series (of which a few bars of the theme made it in). Surprised you disliked the 3rd season of the new millenium DW series, general consensus was that it beat the originals 14th which I concur with, which coming from me is no mean statement. I even sent Paul Cornell a groveling fanboy email & reminded him about the XL5 dance (don't ask me to explain that).
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[User Picture]From: thinarthur
2008-06-23 12:43 pm (UTC)
also watched "Evil Roy Slade", one of the greatest comedies ever!!
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