Discuss and Rate the Last Thing You Watched (non-movies)

hanselthecaretaker

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You try flying that theory over at r/houseofthedragon and see how they receive it. But yes, that was my first thought. It's not like they're dealing with a grand underground kingdom, it's just a bunch of pirates hoveled in the side of a cliff wide open to attack.
Most of the opposing forces were in the open, but the dragon (Seasmoke) did make a broad sweep of fire along the cliff side before being barraged by arrows and retreating.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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Well I finished The Sandman.

I still can't believe this show was actually made. I watched it with my wife- I read the comics, she did not. She was like wtf the whole time and I'm like yeah this makes, Dream is a dude and he as ex-girlfriends and fights with Hell or whatever. Because, yeah, for a post-modern comic that makes sense, but to actually watch it... that is a whole thing.
But it got better after the absolutely absurd rap battle with Lucifer of Tarth. Certainly the introduction of Death and Rose Walker added a much-needed grounding the action and providing an emotional core.
My favorite episode though was the one in the diner- but then I remember really liking that issue of the comics so I don't know how much of my enjoyment of the episode was nostalgie. My wife hated it. *shrugs*

Players (episodes 1 and 2)
By the guys that made American Vandal, this mockumentary is about League of Legends!
What makes this show work so far is that they took heavy influence from The Queens Gambit in how to explain to viewers a complicated game within the context of the story and characters.
I know less about League than I know about chess so I can say they've done a good job so far. The whole show works because it has the rhythm of a sports documentary. So if you've never seen any of American Vandal, sports docs OR League tournaments you might get lost but one or even better two of these will help.

The sports doc/movie comparison is explicit in that there is a rich guy in charge who also owns a basketball team, and the primary conflict is around a veteran player and a new upstart. The first episode has the young guy do something in the game that the other team members didn't know or like, which is the basketball equivalent of the new hotshot not passing the ball.

This show is pretty great but I expected as much.
 

Xprimentyl

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Sam Morril: Same Time Tomorrow: Hilarity / Great

Stand-up comedy special on Netflix. It's been a while since seeing a really good stand-up routine, and this was a really good one. I like routines from lesser-known comedians who don't hang their punchlines on their fame. Dude manages a laugh a minute with his dry, in-your-face irreverence. He crosses the line not to be edgy, but to acknowledge that the "edge" is kind of the point and mostly ridiculous. At one point he quips about calling his routine "9/11 Abortion Holocaust" just to see if critics would try to pan him having higher expectations. Also learned that Morril is the stand-up comic at the open mic scene in 2019's Joker. Clever dude; was a lot of fun.
 

Xprimentyl

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The Patient: Ep1-3 (Hulu Original) Really Good / Great

Steve Carrell plays a therapist who finds himself kidnapped by one of his patients (Domhnall Gleeson) and shackled to a bed in a remote house in the woods. Carrell soon learns this patient of his has been less than honest with him and, in fact, has some very disturbing secrets, and this kidnapping is a desperate-if-twisted cry for help.

So far, it's really good. Lots of tension with every episode this far ending on the kind of cliffhanger that makes the waiting game for the next agonizing. Gleeson plays the kind of psychopath roiling with demons who's constantly teetering on the edge, and you never know what's going to send him over at any given moment. Recommended.
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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The Outlaws (season 2 ep 1 & 2)

I don't remember if I posted about this show but it's so good I just wanna make sure people know about it. Sure, the main reason I like it is the main reason I like anything I like these days- it's not a boring rehash nostalgia franchise Star Game of the Rings Endgame vs Flash or whatever, it's its own thing.
But it's just a good entertaining comedy about a group of misdemeanor Brits doing community service, becoming friends, and getting into shenanigans. Has a lot of heart and a lot of good bits.
The cast is so great too because the main characters are people I don't know who are very good and a couple of veterans. Sure the characters are easily descriped stereotypes but that is the hook, and then you get into it. Characters are:

1- Goody two-shoes. A kid of immigrants, sheltered and raised to be a star student and go to Oxford who rebels.
2- Hood boy with a heart of gold. Black kid from the street got caught up in some bad while taking care of his precocious little sister.
3- Spoiled princess. Social media star with rich daddy learning humility and friendship etc.
4- Conservative twat. Business owner with daddy issues trying to figure out what his life choices actually led up to.
5- Liberal scold. Black lady revolutionary SJW trying to figure what her life choices actually led up to. Obviously #4 & 5 argue a lot.
6- Awkard dork lawyer. Stephen Merchant being the most Stephen Merchant that ever Merchanted.
7- Chistopher Walken. I mean, this one is a con-man trying to reconnect with his family, but more importantly it's Walken being the most Walken and it's constant gold.

So why isn't this the #1 show in the world, it's so good!

All this DISCOURSE over boring Rings of Thrones, where they're like blah blah light and dark and incest blah blah blah when you could be watching actually fun TV!
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Most of the opposing forces were in the open, but the dragon (Seasmoke) did make a broad sweep of fire along the cliff side before being barraged by arrows and retreating.
Can you even kill a dragon with a "barrage" of arrows? I got the impression the dragon was doing fine.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Can you even kill a dragon with a "barrage" of arrows? I got the impression the dragon was doing fine.
Which usually should be the case as when it shielded a lot with its wing, but IIRC the rider also got hit later and couldn’t sustain the excessive pummeling, so they hi-tailed it out.

Which kinda leads into something else I’ve wondered, being how these dragons “know” what to do. Like, there’s someone riding them, but it would seem to require something akin to an ESP connection with the massive creatures to be so on point with instructions. Furthermore, how is this affected when someone not intrinsically bonded with the thing hops on?

Eh…it’s fantasy and I try not to think about “logic” too much.
 

Phoenixmgs

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By the end of the episode you have a single grown man slowly zig-zagging around sand in 60 pounds of heavy plate armor and a hundred archers aiming from above can't land a single fatal hit on the dude even though there're dozens if not hundreds of them and have been doing this for 3 years.
I'm guessing that's probably in reference (and a dumb joke) to the main show where a character gets shot with an arrow by running straight down an empty field instead of zig-zagging...
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I'm guessing that's probably in reference (and a dumb joke) to the main show where a character gets shot with an arrow by running straight down an empty field instead of zig-zagging...
To tell you the truth if he'd been actually zig-zagging it would've looked less dumb. In reality he runs in a more or less straight line while dozens if not a hundred archers all shoot around him. There didn't seem to be any tactic to avoid the arrows, just plot armor and dumb luck.

But the memes write themselves apparently.

yn5fcvt1t1m91.jpg
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Rings of Power

What an insanely boring start. I joke about Dragon House because of its dumber moments but at least it has interesting characters with clear motivations and engaging interpersonal conflicts. Rings of Power doesn't have any of that. It's a mystery box show made of several unconnected mystery box plotlines (What's going on here? What's going on over there? Who's this mystery man? What's in the - literal - box?) that are as unengaging as made-up trivia.

They're trying to turn an epic high fantasy saga into Stranger Things or something like that. But the central mystery is a no-brainer, nobody is likeable or trying to do anything really except keep pulling from the threads assigned to them.
 

thebobmaster

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Watched She-Hulk episode 4. Remember when superhero shows were more about being "fun" than having a complex plot interwoven throughout the entire MCU to make sure you watched everything for fear of missing out on some plot element that would be brought up in something later?

Because it seems whoever made She-Hulk remembers and loves those days, because this show has been pretty consistently episodic, and hasn't really bothered bringing in any plot elements other than the main character and her job/department that I can see being a plot point later on. Characters, maybe, but actual plot points? Nah. It seems to finally be getting its own steady plot, with something from the first episode finally boomeranging around in Episode 4's cliffhanger, but I honestly kind of hope they just have each episode be its own lawyer action-comedy like they've been doing, because for me, it's working.
 
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Xprimentyl

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The Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much: Good / Great

Documentary about Ted Slauson, a guy who spent decades watching "The Price Is Right" and building a database of the prizes and memorizing their prices. Over the course of the 34 tapings of the show he attended, he became notorious for helping those on contestants row by yelling out the exact prices. He eventually found himself embroiled in a suspected cheating scandal with the show's producers and even some fans. He uses this documentary to clear his name and set the record straight.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Rings of Powers ep3

Three episodes in and I'm still pausing every 40 minutes to walk around the house and find something to do. This is duller than dull. It doesn't help that every episode gets a little longer (66, 68, 70 minutes) and introduces even more plotlines yet somehow even less plot happens. Galadriel is arguably the most motivated character in the show yet for the past 200 minutes has been stuck in what feels like a detour (and it doesn't help she's not very likable). As for the other characters, they end the episode more or less in the same situation as when it started. Throw in more mystery box bullshit: who is Adar? On top of who is Halbrand, and who is Meteor Man, and what was in that freaking box?

This was also the worst directed of the three episodes so far. Lots of weird slow-mo scenes that are presented as ecstatic or dramatic but fail to deliver on emotion because you're not sure what's their point (look up a gif of Galadriel riding a horse) or who is this person whose death is meant to eat at my soul? What, the dude that had a couple of lines in the pilot? We hardly knew thee. They try it twice in a row with different characters and it only gets funnier.

And holy bejesus the CG is godawful. A warg shows up and somehow looks worse than the Two Towers wargs from 20 years ago. The skyboxes and vistas all look very pretty if not convincingly, you know, there.

I'll just say it. I think this show is a money laundering scam. How is it that the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy, stretching a combined 668 minutes, cost 281 million dollars; yet 554 minutes of Rings of Power S1 cost 462 million (on top of rights and publicity, which added to a billion total) while also starring a bunch of union-rate unknowns and featuring bargain bin special effects (that pale against 20 year old effects)? LOTR won a combined 17 Oscars. I can't imagine Rings of Bezos winning prize pumpkin at the county fair.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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Yesterday I work I was working on a doc with a colleague and I made some joke about how no one reads Appendices except for Jeff Bezos who made a billion dollar show from one. A neighboring colleague overheard me and couldn't help herself from mocking Rings of Power- about how she loved the Rings movies and everything but couldn't keep her eyes open through one episode of this show.

I admit I'm kind of rooting for this show to crash and burn, lol. Simply because it's annoying that Amazon is just throwing money at a known property that's already been done to death.

Tonight I may actually check out the Thrones show, at least it looks campy.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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The first episode of that new Lord of the Rings television program.

Not a whole lot happened in it, but what happened all looked very pretty. I haven't seen remotely enough of this yet to throw descriptors as clear as "good" or "bad" at it. I'm also clearly not the target audience for it, on account of being one of those people who read about a quarter into the Silmarillion until I was like "Nah, I'm good."

I greatly admire Jackson's adaptations of Lord of the Rings and I consider it one of those few miraculous cases of large scale productions where everything that could have gone right somehow actually did go right but when it comes to Lord of the Rings as a property it's just not really my cup of tea. Which I'm not proud of, on principle I greatly admire J.R.R. Tolkien. There's just not enough writers like him in genre fiction. Well travelled, well educated, a war veteran, a scholar of language, a deeply religious man... he was one hell of a guy, and in a time where most fantasy writers are baby boomers whose main qualification is having played DnD with their college buddies in the 70's I reckon the genre needs more people like him.

It's just, I find his greater universe and its history beyond the straight forward adventure stories of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings just a tad stiff and stuffy. The pilot of RoP certainly carries that over. A whole lot of history, and maps and stuff about how and where people live, but much less concern for who people are.

That said, I don't dislike it or anything. Mind, i really like slow and boring things, I'm fine with one hour of settling into things and introducing places and people. The places are all very cool, the people... well. There are Elves who talk almost entirely in fortune cookie truisms and they're insufferable. I do, however, like young Galadriel as the main viewpoint character. There's just this slight edge to her performance that I enjoy. Next to them are some nomadic halflings and human villagers whom I'm sure are gonna do things, eventually.

I dunno, man. I would like this entire slow, immersive approach to pay off because it's what I miss in a lot of more recent Fantasy and SciFi stuff but I'm not sure the potential is there. It's commitment to Immersion there that is nice to see, but so far it's impossible to say whether it's good, or just very exepensive fanfiction.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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House of Dragons ep4

Finally some of that famous GoT sex sleaze! Don't get what the fuzz was all about. It's "steamy" sex (we get a shot of a mirror covered in humidity) but the tastefully, carefully choreographed-with-measuring-tape kind that reminds me of Austin Powers walking behind bowls of fruit while naked. To make up for the sleight there's a bunch of naked extras rubbing each other in the background. Fine, I'll take it.

Other than that, it's the same incestuous telenovela as always. Daughter gets over her friend marrying dad, tries to get it on with uncle, rebounds with a lackey instead. Meanwhile dad fires his in-law and threatens daughter with political marriage. It's Telemundo but with decent acting and the occasional CGI watermark of a dragon.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Finally finished The Sandman.

Yeah not gonna lie, what a wet fucking fart of a finale. I found myself laughing out loud at how ridiculous and lazy things were. Rose Walker and her storyline were ridiculously boring, I felt like I was watching a completely different show. Meh.

I still want to see a sequel but good lord keep it fucking consistent next time.
 
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gorfias

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American Horror Stories on Hulu: Season 2 Ep. 8: LAKE.

Reminds me of a 1980s Swampthing Comic by Alan Moore:

1663034124173.png

In my home state, we had something similar, where, for reasons, an entire town was allowed to be flooded and become nothing but water.

A real hoot seeing Alicia Silverstone acting. Greatly enjoyed her in this. Solid B.
 
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