I Hate Television

Not the stuff on your shower tiles.

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dialectics of shit
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Re: I Hate Television

Post by dialectics of shit »

Couple episodes into Wormwood and enjoying so far. Anyone else watch?

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jon abbey
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Re: I Hate Television

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dialectics of shit wrote:Couple episodes into Wormwood and enjoying so far. Anyone else watch?
yeah, it's good and it gets better as it goes too, enjoy!

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walto
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Re: I Hate Television

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I wasn't expecting much from "I Love Dick" (which I haven't read but which my daughter liked a lot), but I've liked the first few episodes quite a bit--in spite of my above-mentioned prudish tendencies. All the sex, and there's a ton of it, is absolutely called for.

It's basically a study of obsession, but the last episode I saw reminded me of Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage." Hahn is terrific--the role must have been a real stretch for her.

Also enjoyed "Catastrophe," and feel so bad for (co-creator and actor) Rob Delaney, who just lost his (real-life) two-year-old son to cancer.

Finally, we've caught a few episodes of "Schitt's Creek" (with Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and Chris Elliot). It's basically an update of "Green Acres" and is just as silly and predictable, but it's kind of comfort food here. Levy's got two of his kids in it. His son Daniel, a co-creator and the showrunner, is the best thing about it, I think. He's really funny.
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Mo Noyz
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Re: I Hate Television

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Started the 4th season of The Ranch last night. No question one of best comedies of the last couple of decades. One of the best ensembles since at least Seinfeld. Elisha Cuthbert is fantastic, as is Danny Masterson. And who knew Ashton Kutcher was actually funny? Although he is a great humanitarian.

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walto
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Re: I Hate Television

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Mo Noyz wrote:Started the 4th season of The Ranch last night. No question one of best comedies of the last couple of decades. One of the best ensembles since at least Seinfeld. Elisha Cuthbert is fantastic, as is Danny Masterson. And who knew Ashton Kutcher was actually funny? Although he is a great humanitarian.
Masterson is gone because of sexual assault charges, I understand.

Based on your rec as well as the cast, I watched the pilot last night. But I found the (really loud) laugh track distracting. Do they lose that at some point during the series, or do watchers just have to get used to it? It seemed like the most intrusive use that I've ever encountered, but it may just be that the last few comedies I've watched have dispensed with them, so it would require a readjustment on my part.
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

Mo Noyz
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Re: I Hate Television

Post by Mo Noyz »

It’s actually a live audience, IIRC. It doesn’t bother me, to be honest.

It takes a few shows for it to really kick in. It’s one of those rare series that seems to consistently get a little better through the seasons. I didn’t think the pilot was all that great, but by mid season it kicks into high gear.

benjamin
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Re: I Hate Television

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Mo Noyz wrote:It’s actually a live audience, IIRC. It doesn’t bother me, to be honest.

It takes a few shows for it to really kick in. It’s one of those rare series that seems to consistently get a little better through the seasons. I didn’t think the pilot was all that great, but by mid season it kicks into high gear.
I looked it up and it does appear to be a live audience.

I started watching after seeing such high praise for the show and the laughter on the pilot episode did seem both acoustically unnatural and comedically ill-timed. As soon as I made it to the second episode, the laughter became much more natural. I'd bet that they used canned for the pilot and switched over to a real audience once it was green lit.

Mo Noyz
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Re: I Hate Television

Post by Mo Noyz »

I’m sure you’re probably right. I didn’t really notice the difference, but that makes sense.

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walto
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Re: I Hate Television

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Very much taken with Flea Bag, on Amazon.
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

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jon abbey
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Re: I Hate Television

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walto wrote:Very much taken with Flea Bag, on Amazon.
it's really good, it was on my 2016 list when it first came out in the UK, and another example of why you should be on FB because I talked about it a lot on there in 2016.

she made another short show shortly before that, also just six episodes, called 'Crashing'. it's not as good as Fleabag but it's worth checking out if you are jonesing for more of her after that.

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walto
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Re: I Hate Television

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jon abbey wrote:
walto wrote:Very much taken with Flea Bag, on Amazon.
it's really good, it was on my 2016 list when it first came out in the UK, and another example of why you should be on FB because I talked about it a lot on there in 2016.

she made another short show shortly before that, also just six episodes, called 'Crashing'. it's not as good as Fleabag but it's worth checking out if you are jonesing for more of her after that.
Am def jonesing for more! Just amped up my FB presence, but I don't even know how to join a group there!

Incidentally, my older daughter, who recommened Fleabag to me also pushed the movie Funny Ha Ha, which is NOT a comedy but a low budget, fairly dreary examination of a 23-year old woman with nothing much going on in her life. I didn't care for it too much myself, in spite of the lead actress being very good.
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

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walto
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Re: I Hate Television

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I know it didn't get fabulous reviews and was limited to one season, but I enjoyed the Christopher Guest-created "Family Tree."
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

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walto
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Re: I Hate Television

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Silicon Valley is so shitty this season that I'm kind of embarrassed that I ever enjoyed it. It's just phenomenally awful now.

I'm liking Barry, though. Hader is so subdued. Also quite taken with the Apatow doc on Shandling.
"Freedom of thought and speech without available means of gaining information and methods of sound analysis, are empty. Protection and security are meaningless until there is something positive worth protecting." E.W. Hall

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jon abbey
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Re: I Hate Television

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walto wrote:Silicon Valley is so shitty this season that I'm kind of embarrassed that I ever enjoyed it. It's just phenomenally awful now.

I'm liking Barry, though. Hader is so subdued. Also quite taken with the Apatow doc on Shandling.
agreed on Silicon Valley, Yuko already quit on it and I maybe should too but I won't.

Barry I have been thinking about, maybe sometime.

and we got maybe 90 minutes into the Shandling documentary so far (good but a bit long maybe) and it inspired me to start It's Garry Shandling's Show, which I never saw and which is impressively transgressive for the time (only 3 episodes in).

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negative potential
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Re: I Hate Television

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Some salutary contrarianism on the era of "prestige television." As someone who loved The Wire as a masterpiece, thought The Sopranos was great albeit inconsistent, and then went on to be disappointed that Breaking Bad was mere boilerplate genre fare and Mad Men a lushly produced soap opera, the viewpoint of this piece resonates with me:

How TV Became Respectable Without Getting Better

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jon abbey
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Re: I Hate Television

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that was written before the brilliant Twin Peaks revival last fall, meaning I'm not even bothering to read it.

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negative potential
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Re: I Hate Television

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Bringing up Twin Peaks (I haven't see the revival, BTW) incidentally points out a shortcoming of both this article _and_ the discourse of "prestige television" that it purports to criticize: namely, taking at face value the assumption that the concept of "prestige television" is a new thing.

I think the original Twin Peaks was definitely considered something analogous to "prestige television" in its own time; a prime time television drama by a major film director with an ensemble cast. It was David Lynch on network television, which was rather amazing at the time. And I suspect people can come up with examples from earlier eras.

So the notion of "prestige television" starting with The Sopranos should be problematized; but the thing is, I _do_ think The Sopranos does represent a break of some sort; maybe a more subtle one, not so much in terms of content or characterization, but maybe in purely formal terms: not being bound to the strictures of the format like commercial breaks, being able to move back and forth between self-contained vignettes _and_ season-long plot developments, being given some formal room to "breath" and find its footing without having to satisfy the ratings machine right off the bat, etc.

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jon abbey
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Re: I Hate Television

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there were a few earlier ones, The Prisoner in the sixties is another, but The Sopranos (and the also superb and overlapping The Shield) definitely ushered in something new. since The Sopranos was on HBO, it didn't have to worry about commercial breaks or cursing when needed, both of those things definitely helped.

I've never used the phrase 'prestige television' in my life and don't plan to start now, but I do think that well over half of the best TV shows ever produced have come in the last 15 years, although things are a bit thin currently, post-Twin Peaks.

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Steve Minkin
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Re: I Hate Television

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The Prisoner (started three months after I landed in California! I was riveted to it.)
Roots
and from my childhood Playhouse 90 (Requiem For A Heavyweight, Days Of Wine And Roses, The Miracle Worker, etc.)

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jon abbey
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Re: I Hate Television

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Roots was a mini-series, 8 episodes and 9 1/2 hours. Playhouse 90 was all individual episodes, right?