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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 June 2017 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Are you enjoying this season, JB?

Very much!

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 09 June 2017 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

We're really enjoying SILICON VALLEY. 
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 22 June 2017 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Finished off STRANGER THINGS.

Starting on RENO 911. Complete series is pretty cheap at Best Buy.
This a sure thing for me. The laughs will be inevitable.
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Marc Cheek
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Posted: 23 June 2017 at 4:48am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Just finished (over the course of a couple of weeks) the complete WKRP IN CINCINNATI. I had not seen most of these episodes in 20 years or more, and it was quite fun revisiting this fantastic show. It had been so long that I didn't recall the stories tackling so many serious issues.

On another note, I had initially been disappointed that all the songs rights had not been secured by Shout Factory,especially the rights to Pink Floyd's Dogs, since it was so integral to the scene in the studio. But Shout managed to provide a similar sounding song (or digitally altered the actual track), including the barking dogs. Props for that effort!

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

JB, are you caught up on VEEP?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

JB, are you caught up on VEEP?

Yup. Now the Long Wait begins!!

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Very interesting personnel change Selina made, I thought.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

An interesting arc for that character. And perfectly logical.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 10:12am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Can you imagine being a student in that class? My god...
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2017 at 9:41pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

BROADCHURCH (2014)

Has anyone described this as the Brit TWIN PEAKS? That was definitely the vibe I was getting as I watched the first two episodes this evening.

In a nutshell, won't be back for the third.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 03 July 2017 at 11:38pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

GAME OF THRONES.

Late to the party on this. I now have 50-plus hours of it on my DVR. Watched the pilot, enjoying it so far.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 July 2017 at 6:32am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

GAME OF THRONES remains impenetrable to me.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 04 July 2017 at 8:04am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

We watched the first episode the other night. The wife fell asleep. I'll have to give it a few more episodes. I predicted too many things that already happened in the first one. 


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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 July 2017 at 4:52am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Revisiting the most recent series of VEEP, not it's over for the season.

The first episode has a scene where one of the characters uses the term "Chinaman", and is told it is inappropriate. I wondered about this, as I have before. Frenchman is okay. Englishman is okay. Dutchman is okay. What is the stigma on "Chinaman"? I grant it's an archaic word, and one I would not use myself, but it doesn't seem like one that should raise any ire.*

Ah, well! The world remains a mystery!

___________________

* I return to an oft-made point: if we take offense at words, we grant others power over us.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 06 July 2017 at 6:11am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

"The first episode has a scene where one of the characters uses the term "Chinaman", and is told it is inappropriate. I wondered about this, as I have before. Frenchman is okay. Englishman is okay. Dutchman is okay. What is the stigma on "Chinaman"? I grant it's an archaic word, and one I would not use myself, but it doesn't seem like one that should raise any ire.*"

...

You raise a good point. 
When I hear Chinaman* though I do associate that word with 19th century America, and how they were used as a cheap labor force with great racial discrimination.


*my spellcheck doesn't like that word either.


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 July 2017 at 12:03am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Blew through the first season of GAME OF THRONES within 48 hours. Started season 2. It's an incredibly well-made series, and juggles its many characters and plotlines well. One must pay close attention to pick up all of the connections and nuances. It's like a medieval soap opera with insanely good production values. I'd also argue that it's a triumph of style over substance, but the writing is still rather good, overall.

LORD OF THE RINGS (the second book of which I recently finished reading) is still way better, though. GoT seems at times almost like a soap opera/porno parody version of LOTR. 

And, of the modern darlings of dramatic TV series, my beloved BREAKING BAD is also still better, particularly in terms of writing. Apples and oranges, though. GoT is an epic soap opera (complete with wild plot twists and numerous cast turnovers), whereas BB is an intimate character study. I tend to prefer the latter type of storytelling.


I don't see GoT becoming an all-time favorite/must own show, but it's still rather addictive and entertaining. Swords and sorcery has never really been my thing, though.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 12:14am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

It's one of my all-time favorites.  Yes it's a soap opera, but I think you do the series a disservice by discounting the characters.  There's some deep storytelling in service of character rather than plot that helps to keep me engaged far beyond the soap elements.  If it was a simple soap filmed on a large scale, I think I might be bored.  It's the characters that keep me coming back much in the same way BREAKING BAD did.  If that series was simply about selling drugs, I would have tuned out Season 1.  With GoT we get home lives, we get the mundane drudgery of living in this world, we get the struggle to succeed despite overwhelming odds.  And we get dragons.  Personally?  I find it much more engaging and entertaining than LOTR, a series of novels I couldn't get through and four films that increasingly bored me to tears.  YMMV.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 12:44am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Re: "Chinaman": When the San Francisco 49ers played the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl a number of years ago, the Broncos' owner, Pat Bowlen, decided to have some fun with the name of the 49ers' star receiver, Jerry Rice, by saying that 'That Chinaman they've got is pretty good."(because 'rice' is Chinese, get it?) Bowlen, who passed away ayear or so ago, was derided as an out of touch clown, and this has been cited among other high-profile uses of the term(such as by Ted Turner in a speech in San Francisco, with many Asians in the audience, and a 'Seinfeld' episode that called opium 'the Chinaman's nightcap', sparking a protest organized by author Maxine Hong Kingston) marking the term as an outdated relic, along with other racial
terms that stopped being funny even before Archie Bunker stopped using them.
 terms ed using it.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

It's one of my all-time favorites.  Yes it's a soap opera, but I think you do the series a disservice by discounting the characters.  There's some deep storytelling in service of character rather than plot that helps to keep me engaged far beyond the soap elements.  If it was a simple soap filmed on a large scale, I think I might be bored.  It's the characters that keep me coming back much in the same way BREAKING BAD did.  If that series was simply about selling drugs, I would have tuned out Season 1.  With GoT we get home lives, we get the mundane drudgery of living in this world, we get the struggle to succeed despite overwhelming odds.  And we get dragons.  Personally?  I find it much more engaging and entertaining than LOTR, a series of novels I couldn't get through and four films that increasingly bored me to tears.  YMMV.
+++++++++++

Mind you, I use "soap opera" in regards to its structure, not as a pejorative. And, yes, the characters are well-drawn, with a lot of interesting nuances which aren't always spelled out for the viewers. Careful attention is required suss out all of the interesting subtleties.

Probably the most interesting thing, for me, is how no one character or faction is wholly "good" or "bad". Each of the different storylines and characters is given equal time and equal weight, and we see the different points of view of the characters. They all make valid points regarding their individual agendas. Certain characters are not as black-and-white as they first might seem.


I can't speak for the LOTR films (which I have yet to see, but will check out after I finish the books), but the books are a masterpiece of world-building, with lots and lots of slow and careful buildup which eventually begins paying off. Like a fine meal that takes a long time to fully enjoy and appreciate. George R.R. Martin is definitely walking in Tolkien's shadow, which gives Tolkien the edge, for me. Heck, GoT's Sam is very blatantly based on LOTR's...uh...Sam!

Still chugging along. Nearly done with the second season. Who knows? Perhaps by the end of it all, it'll fall into all-time favorite/must-own territory. Enjoying the heck out of it, so far. The episodes are like potato chips--can't stop with just one. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I can't speak for the LOTR films (which I have yet to see, but will check out after I finish the books)

DOOONNNNN'TT!!!!!!!!!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 4:51pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

STAR TREK: VOYAGER (S4)

Coincidentally, the season that introduces Seven of Nine. I thought she'd come in sooner. Also, the departure of Kes, which will make the episodes less painful to watch.

Already a huge improvement over the episodes I watched from S1. The second, "The Gift", actually managed to coax a tear. ("Her favorite color was red.")

This is definitely more like the VOYAGER I remember.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 7:04pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Season 4 is very strong.

I'm about to start the 70s PLANET OF THE APES series. No idea how it ties into the continuity of the films (if it does at all), but am looking forward to some weekly ape action. I might pace myself and watch an episode a week as there are only 14 episodes. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 9:39pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I can't speak for the LOTR films (which I have yet to see, but will check out after I finish the books)

DOOONNNNN'TT!!!!!!!!!

+++++++


Yes, yes, I know. But...


A) My whole LOTR adventure began when a friend kept nagging me to watch the films, and I relented, but on the condition that I read the books, first, and that he watch TOS STAR TREK. 

B) Another friend bought me the six-film LOTR/HOBBIT DVD set as a gift, after I mentioned that I hadn't seen the films. Not watching them would be rude!



Anyway, I'm almost done with season 2 of GoT. Still excellent. 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 July 2017 at 9:42pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

STAR TREK: VOYAGER (S4)

Coincidentally, the season that introduces Seven of Nine. I thought she'd come in sooner. Also, the departure of Kes, which will make the episodes less painful to watch.

Already a huge improvement over the episodes I watched from S1. The second, "The Gift", actually managed to coax a tear. ("Her favorite color was red.")

This is definitely more like the VOYAGER I remember.

++++++


As with the bearded Riker/new uniforms era of TNG and the Bald Sisko era of DS9, the point where Janeway changed her hair and Seven came aboard marks the period when VOYAGER got a lot better.

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 09 July 2017 at 12:02am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
George R.R. Martin is definitely walking in Tolkien's shadow, which gives Tolkien the edge, for me.

Absolutely.  I get it.  It's just that, like DUNE, I've tried and failed to read LOTR on numerous occasions.  It's just not my cup o' tea. I've learned I'm neither a fan of fantasy nor one of hard sci-fi.  I can take "fantasy light" like GoT and HARRY POTTER and love light sci-fi like STAR TREK, but dig too deep or get too crazy into obscure world-building minutia and I'm out.  That said, I totally get the road LOTR paved and, as such, have respect for it even though I don't enjoy it.  
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