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UnMod.org • View topic - Recommend me a series...

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Recommend me a series...

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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby leokef on Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:43 pm

Second episode of new Hawaii Five-O tonight. I caught the beginning this time and it still wasn't very comprehensible. Middle-aged white guy CIA super hacker (actually kinda novel, eh) gets kidnapped so he can shut down the Hawaii radar and a plane can land undetected. I must've missed some key dialogue that would have explained why this was so important. I mean, of all the things to do with hacking software that apparently can get into any system, you just shut down the local radar so you can land a plane. Steve and co. bust the guys pretty easily, anyway. Rather undramatic gunfight this time with some really gratuitous propane tanks catching fire and causing a very crummy explosion effect.

Most of it's vague and boring, but I do clearly remember some ridiculous shots of Chin Ho riding a motorcycle, Steve hanging a guy off the roof of a building for no good reason (he doesn't get any info), and the still-ridiculous casual dress of the stars. When they investigate the scene of the kidnapping, they may as well be beach bums. There was a moment where Chin Ho tries to talk to a cop, but otherwise, no contact with the local HPD who were just standing around doing nothing apparently. Hey, I don't blame them for being silently pissed at 5-O. I'd be pissed off if four unproven doofuses were given special privileges for no clear reason and walked all over my crime scene in a baggy t-shirt like they were all that. Danny at least wears a tie, so I'd give him the time of day but the other ones could suck my dick until sundown.

Then there's the CIA hacker's son, who for some hellish reason was given a shitload of terrible dialogue. Reflecting upon his earlier conversation with his father prior to the kidnapping, the kid tragically declares "That may have been the last time I'll ever speak to my father, and I called him a 'dictator!'" O cruel and ironic fate! How you torment me!

I'm trying to be gently sarcastic in my criticism, but if they don't really pick things up in the next episode, I'll be forced to admit that this show fucking sucks donkey balls.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby Ace! on Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:48 pm

Well, they do say it's the best new crime drama since CSI, so there you go.


I saw House tonight, for the first time in at least four years. I think I stopped at the beginning of season 3, when he lost his team. This time, he and the old boss are boning, and two team members are back. I don't know how to feel about it, and will likely not keep watching unless I'm in the room again.


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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby Ace! on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:08 am

Kenny Powers is back and it feels GOOD.


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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby pwb on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:44 am

Welp just finished downloading the first season of Mad Men. Let's see how this goes.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby BaconFat on Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:12 am

Try and stick with it. It's not as brilliant in its first season as people imply. It does eventually become amazing, however.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby Eulogic on Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:14 pm

the concept, character design, and polish are good enough to get you through the first season. after that, it is good enough to stand on its own even after losing the novelty.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby BaconFat on Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:12 pm

Yeah, that's a very good assesment.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby pwb on Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:09 pm

Right on. Haven't started yet but I intend to before the week is out.

I've decided to re-visit The Office, so I downloaded the first season (which I kind of lost, as in my boss was borrowing it when his store went out of business and I haven't seen him since) and the Christmas Special (which I have never owned, but have seen before). Still got my second season DVD, though. Anyway, I just watched the first episode, and it's good to be back. Ricky Gervais is still a joy to watch. I love this show.

I also downloaded The Mighty Boosh seasons 1 - 3, which I have heard many good things about. My prediction is that I will love it, and subsequently wonder why it took me so long to get around to watching it.

Anyway, lots on the TV platter! I also have the complete Monty Python's Flying Circus Box Set, and I've only worked my way through maybe a quarter of those. I should get back into that.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby Martin Penwald on Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:07 am

Watched the final episode of Atami no sôsakan, the Twin Peaks-esque Japanese TV series I've talked about before. And it was glorious.

The whole build-up to the final few moments seems to explain everything. There is no mystery; all of it can be explained rationally. And then, the final scene happens, and BAM, everything is turned upside-down. But it didn't feel forced or like an afterthought; there was never a moment where I thought "what is this bullshit". It was just the precisely right amount of mind-fuck to make the final scene linger in your thoughts for hours and hours after you finished the episode, trying to completely understand what just happened.

I've read some theories about what it all means, and damn, if the most popular theory is true, the producers are fucking brilliant, what with all the little hints and stuff.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby BaconFat on Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:21 pm

So many serieseses!! The Office is doing its thing... it's over the top but still fun. There was a reference to my hometown in the latest episode!! Community is good but I kind of wish I had the self control to wait until the end of the season and binge on the episodes.

Mad Men is being setup for a great finale in terms of both plot and character development and I can't wait but then there won't be Mad Men for another year.

There's also my guilty pleasures of Survivor and Stargate: Universe. As well as the always entertaining Amazing Race.

Boardwalk Empire didn't blow me away in the first episode. It felt like just another HBO show. I will continue to watch and I imagine it will improve but I don't see it returning HBO's quality crown given AMC has Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby leokef on Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:14 pm

Another Monday, another crappy episode of Hawaii Five-O. Sad thing is that there was promise this week. They had a decent storyline going about a gang war--at least you could understand who the factions were and where their interests lay--but it spiraled out of control. Another crazy scene where McGarrett and Dann-o abuse their authority, this time with a ludicrous shark cage that pops out of nowhere. They even drink while they torture a guy in it. Then another scene where Steve neglects his duties as upholder of the law, letting a young gangbanger with a gun and murderous intent off the hook. At least Danny scolds Steve for doing so. I keep hoping that Danny's going to get fed up and leave the unit. Hopefully testify in court against them.

However, the climax of this episode truly defied belief. Five-O gets the tip on a crime boss entering the island. This is apparently bad news, so they decide they have to get this guy before he has a chance to bloody up the island. So they set up an undercover operation, relying on an already undercover officer to get them in, so they can get the Jersey gangster on tape (presumably expressing his involvement in a criminal conspiracy or some such incriminating thing). The entire operation blows up in their face. Why Steve and Danny had to go to the gathering, I don't know, but it's their fault that the whole damn thing went south and agents' cover and lives were put in danger. Not only that, but in the end, they wind up shooting the crime boss in the snafu that follows their fuckup. Well, solves that problem I guess!

I might have bought this ending if there had been a serious shitstorm in the denouement. If the governor stripped Steve of his privileges, or suspended them all, or there was talk of Internal Affairs investigating the unit. But no. Instead there's some cutesy scene of Danny fighting to make sure his wife doesn't start a custody battle over his daughter (which is so much more interesting than him fighting an actual custody battle). Then there's another cutesy scene between him and Steve, expressing their unspoken love for each other. Then there's another cutesy scene of Kono and Chen looking at video of Steve's old football game, and during this scene Steve relates a story about his family from which they derive the name for the unit, Five-O.

This is hideous. Are we to believe that none of these people had the capacity to understand that they fucked up an operation. That because they fucked up this operation they almost got a cop killed? And this cop was Kono and Chen's fucking family, no less?

And are we to believe that no one gives a shit that they essentially used their fuck-up as an excuse to kill this undesirable crime boss? I thought Five-O was supposed to be a special unit in the police. They're fucking assassins.

The content of this show isn't necessarily bad, but it needs perspective. The show plays 5-O off as if they're the good guys when any objective analysis would show that they're undisciplined, out of control, incompetent, even murderous. I find it hard to understand what this show is trying to say. Is this satire? Are they building up to something serious? Will 5-O fuck up again in the next episode and get the hammer dropped on them?

Or is this just incredibly stupid and ignorant writing. I don't know, but this last seems dangerously likely. I'm still sticking with it to see Wo Fat. They mentioned the triads this time around, and I thought they might've been setting the stage. Didn't happen this week, but hopefully soon.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby Martin Penwald on Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:39 pm

To me, this sounds as if the producers are trying to make 5-O more similar to series like 24 and Fastlane. However, 24 is about terrorists and fighting them on their own terms while Fastlane was a weekly mini-buddy cop movie with gunfights, car chases and one-liners, and it seems like 5-O is trying to marry their style with serious, realisitc storylines. Judging by your write-ups, this does not work particularly well.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby leokef on Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:40 pm

Haven't seen hardly any 24 or Fastlane myself, so I can't make the comparison. But the show's definitely taking cues from modern action shows, straying far away from the police procedural style of the original. It still contains a few elements, like some limited scenes involving forensics, but otherwise it completely disregards actual procedures and realism. Instead of real detective work, the new Steve and Danny get information by threatening and torturing people. Or playing basketball, as was the case tonight--a despicable method to which they resorted only after learning their source was a prisoner convicted of two life sentences, not the usual citizen who is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

There were a few laughable scenes in this night's episode, like Steve and Danny asking a prison guard about his involvement in a crime. He feigns ignorance until they toss him an orange jumpsuit and threaten to throw him among the inmates. So the guard confesses to his part in helping a prisoner (the villain of this ep) escape, thus incriminating himself in a serious batch of crimes for which I would assume he was arrested, what with him at least being an accessory to murder. This is a throwaway scene, sure, but either it doesn't make sense or Steve and Danny let him go. Either way, it's unbelievable shit. Then there's the scene where the villain directs his old partner to withdraw several million dollars in cash from the bank in a matter of minutes. Despite his former partner's (very real) protests that this would be impossible, he somehow gets his money anyway and he lugs it around in a duffel bag through the ending. I kept waiting for a scene where he found that the bag was full of paper or something, but it never came. Did it contain the money or didn't it? Never find out, I guess.

However, a picture emerges tonight as to the true creative focus of the show. In a pinch, Steve has to resort to calling a friend in the navy who uses a spy satellite to track a suspect of his. Not long thereafter, Steve flies a helicopter in pursuit of this escaped con. Then in the forest he uses his telepathic nature skills to determine a flock of birds had been scared by the villain. I guess I'm looking at things the wrong way, assuming all this time that Steve and his unit were just part of the police. They're actually just generic action heroes, doing whatever it takes to get (usually kill) the bad guys. Steve can be anything the writers want him to be, so long as it's interesting and exciting. Last week he's driving a yacht and rigging shark cages while giving lessons about Hawaiian culture. This week he's commanding military spy satellites, flying a helicopter, and playing basketball. Next week he'll be disarming a bomb, freediving, and giving a guest lecture on horticulture at the University of Hawaii.

Ah, but what's the point. As far as action goes, this episode wasn't too bad actually. As goofy as it was with Steve calling on a spy satellite to do his policework for him, it was at least a nice in-character touch. Plus it highlights the dangers of letting women serve in the military, what with them misusing military satellites on the word of any handsome guy who calls them on the phone. Still, I enjoyed the helicopter sequences and the nature trek, although the helicopter crash was the second poorest visual effect in the series so far. They really must have blown their budget for the pilot, because the VFX have really dropped in quality since then.

The actors did better tonight. There was less annoying banter between Steve and Danny, and for once, Alex O'Loughlin started to actually develop an approachable personality, joking with Danny, displaying a little charisma, and expressing frustration instead of the usual bark, bark, bark.

It's ironic, though, that this otherwise successful episode had the least interesting villain yet: a robber who escapes from prison to rob an old partner of his, who just so happens to be in town after winning a million dollars for some hugely coincidental, unrelated reason. Goodness but this show hardly even tries to make sense. I was amused to see a black actor with a speaking role at long last: the great D. L. Hughley of all people. Naturally, Five-O had to go to prison to find him, and even then he would only talk if they played basketball with him. Although typically assholish of the new Steve, he wins the game by resorting to knocking his opponent down.

This show mystifies me. I don't like to believe that the writers are deliberately dumbing it down, but I somehow get the feeling that is the case. At first, I appreciated the fact that even though the show began with the premise of an overall story arc involving the murder of Steve's dad, it has told self-contained stories each week. I now wonder if the creators simply think people would be incapable of following two storylines at once, so they're saving up Steve's Dad eps for throughout the season.

In any case, tonight's episode was better than last week's, albeit still prone to bouts of stupidity.
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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby pwb on Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:05 am

Man, I've been watching just heck of episodes of Kids in the Hall lately and as ginormous a fan of Monty Python as I am, I'm beginning to think that KitH was and still is the best sketch comedy show/troupe of all time. I was a big fan of the show in high school when they showed it on Comedy Central everyday, but it's even funnier now. I've seen like 15 - 20 half hour (read: 22 minute) episodes in the last couple weeks, and I can't think of a single sketch that fell flat. Personal favorites include Darill, the cops, Gavin and of course Buddy Cole.

Man I need to get the DVDs.

e: oh! and Cabbage Head!



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Re: Recommend me a series...

Postby mulligan on Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:12 pm

Finally caught up on Boardwalk Empire and Eastbound and Down. Both series had less than stellar, but not terrible, first episodes but have really turned me around after a few episodes. B E is cool because it is fun to watch a story loosely based on actual events and people, plus New Jersey. EBD is just fucking great because stupid racist Kenny Powers in Mexico can't be any funnier.

Also I have been re-watching BSG because it is on Netflix instant now, seriously if you haven't watched it yet you really should correct that if you like Sci-Fi even a little.
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