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

gorfias

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Poker Face - solid first few episodes

It is very close to being literally Columbo. You see the whole murder unfold for the 1st 10 minutes or so, then you have the main character played by Natasha Lyonne (from Russian Doll) figured out how it happened. She has the rather convenient power of being able to always know when people are lying. She plays the character rather like Columbo as well where she's constantly nagging people via questioning. It's also created by Rian Johnson.

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Shrinking - solid first 2 episodes

A show about a shrink, played by Jason Segel, who basically stops giving a fuck and tells his patients straight up what their problems are. His wife recently passed and he's having trouble moving on and connecting with his daughter. Harrison Ford plays a shrink as well (co-worker) and is basically Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino sans the racism. The show is created by Scrubs and Ted Lasso's Bill Lawrence.
Thanks, checked out Poker Face's 1st episode on Peacock + and it was terrific.

Shrinking is on Apple. Will check it out when I get that app again (Likely when Ted Lasso S3 drops).
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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Watched the 30 for 30 on "The Tuck Rule." It's Tom Brady and Charles Woodson (the two players most immediately involved in the infamous, league-changing play) talk through it. For those not in the know:



Easily some of the most entertaining television [for a sports fan] that I've seen in a long time. I love the intimate conversation between competitors where there's no refs, no challenge flags, no coaches, no broadcast guys weighing in; just the two guys who were there, in the fray, giving their take on the situation like two friends sitting on the couch arguing the call. The best moment was when Brady, trying to defend the call, gave a demonstration with Woodson and a football, and "accidentally" admitted it was a fumble trying to prove his point that it wasn't. It's arguably the play that kickstarted Brady's dynasty given had the play gone the other way and they lost, he likely would have been benched for Drew Bledsoe for whom he was playing backup. He went on to become nigh inarguably the greatest QB of all time... because of that singular moment and the fucking tuck rule.

I, like many (maybe most,) am of the opinion it was a fumble, but the history is written and can't be changed, but seeing Woodson be able to finally call Brady out to his face... fucking priceless. I watched it twice.
Are they still making new episodes of this? A lot of good ones I remember from years ago.
I also remember watching that game while living in Boston. It was wild.
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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Slow Horses, season 1

A classic case of a show that, on paper, should be something I liked, but didn't so much really.
It's on Apple TV, which has been really knocking out of the park, and it has Gary Oldman in the cast. It's a British spy show. I mean, I dig all this stuff. Oh, and it's critically acclaimed, something like 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.
But it never came together for me. First of all, the characters are such spy show archetypes. And I don't mind archetypes but they did little to add anything. You got the grumbly boss in charge with a foul mouth, questionable hygiene and love of whiskey. You got the young dude with a chip on his shoulder with something to prove. You got a couple of ladies rolling their eyes at the antics of the boys around them. You got arrogant hacker dude.

What makes this show unique- and the part that made it really hard for me to get into it- is that it's not really about conflicts with other countries or terrorists or whatever, it's mostly just in-fighting between bureaucrats. And like everyone is incompetent. So I guess people like that, maybe, they think it's subversive? Me, I think it's kinda pointless and just not very fun.
 

Xprimentyl

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Are they still making new episodes of this? A lot of good ones I remember from years ago.
I also remember watching that game while living in Boston. It was wild.
I don't know if they're making new episodes today, but they should be; this is some great stuff. A lot better than watching a bunch of talking heads repeating themselves.
 

Piscian

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Poker Face - solid first few episodes

It is very close to being literally Columbo. You see the whole murder unfold for the 1st 10 minutes or so, then you have the main character played by Natasha Lyonne (from Russian Doll) figured out how it happened. She has the rather convenient power of being able to always know when people are lying. She plays the character rather like Columbo as well where she's constantly nagging people via questioning. It's also created by Rian Johnson.
I thought the first episode was amazing, coulda been a movie and even at its length was a far better story than Glass Onion. 3 episodes in and now that its settled into what its about, idk seems kinda derivative. Not just columbo, but we've seen a ton of shows just like this one. That said the writing is holding up so far. My only disappointment in the subsequent episodes is that, outside of Natasha Lyonne, everybody else seems like typical cable TV actors. I'm not sure it's something I would stick with as these procedural crime shows wear on me over time, but the first 3 episodes are good.
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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Continuing the Poker Face and Columbo comparisons, I decided to actually start watching Columbo. I'm just in the mood for this sort of stuff.

When I described the show to my wife I told her about the Columbo comparisons. Then we put on Poker Face and it starts with that blocky yellow font and we both crack up because it's the Columbo font, lol. So, yeah, it's Columbo :)

Also started watching Shrinking, that Apple TV show with Jason Seagal and Harrison Ford, where they play Jason Seagal and Harrison Ford. So far it's ok- the thing with comedy dramas is that sometimes they don't go all the way into either so it's sort of bleh, and it's kind of feeling like that so far. I heard it being compared to Ted Lasso but TL is freaking hilarious sometimes, like it comes at you with some jokes. This one doesn't so much and one's enjoyment will be directly proportional to how much one enjoys or tolerates Seagal's whole tall sad dude thing.

Since the modern-day TV I been watching is kind of ok, it's making me appreciate The Last of Us even more and I now am anticipating each episode. That hasn't happened for a primetime Sunday night HBO show for a while.
 
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Absent

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The boring one
But the 1st one, and the half of the 3rd one that I've seen so far, are brilliant modern TV.
Except for season 3's last episode which is entirely stupid, completely absurd and solely formatted by the concern of keeping everything in the air for a hypothetical season 4. Which won't even happen (serves them right).
 

Hawki

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House of the Dragon: Season 1 (5/5)

Dragons in stone house shouldn't breathe fire, amirite? No? Anyone?

Alright you peasants, I'll get down to it. Strictly speaking, this is more like a 4.5/5, and arguably it should be a 4. Main issue with this series is that the first half is very slow, while the second half is much more interesting. Another issue is that despite the presence of 10 episodes, each of which are around an hour long, there's a number of plot points that are never fully resolved. For instance, one episode ends with a knight (Criston Cole) killing a man in front of everyone, is about to commit suicide, but doesn't due to Queen Alicent's intervention. Cut to the next episode, ten years later, and he's her protector. How and why he escaped a murder charge is never explained, nor even referenced. There's a number of little niggles like this where things happen between episodes and are never fully explained. Still, these are generally the exceptions.

Anyway, I'm not going to do a point-by-point summary of the season, but I'm going to give general thoughts as a whole. So on that note:

-Compared to GoT, this is much smaller scale, both in terms of location (there's a reason why there's no map sequence), and in stakes. It's also entirely on the political side of things, so while there's obvious forshadowing to the events of GoT, don't expect any supernatural elements.

-By extension, you can watch this without watching GoT and understand it. Honestly, I'd actually recommend watching HotD before GoT at this point in time. It's a prequel in the sense of chronology, but it's very much its own work.

-There's a sense of this being, to borrow a phrase, "the world before." Same locations, different essence. The Seven Kingdoms are at peace, the Crown is functioning, etc. That of course changes by the end of the series, but consider GoT, where at season 1, we're not that far removed from the events of a civil war, and where the winner of that civil war isn't the best king in the world.

-All the cast do a solid job. I'll give standouts to Viserys (a sympathetic if ineffectual king), Daemon (not that in-depth, but gets points for badassery), and Alicent Hightower, who I'd actually call the best character in the series, at least with the second season.

-Something the show really handles well is the moral ambiguity of everything. From an outsider's perspectie, we can of course scoff at issues of line of succession, but within the context itself, it's handled excellently. In case you're wondering, I'm #TeamGreen (for a variety of reasons), but to be clear, this is a series without any real heroes or villains, where characters are complex, where the stakes are real, etc. I've never hated the later seasons of GoT like so many others have, but it's still very much a return to form in a sense. If anything, it arguably does this even better than GoT, in that in the War of the Five Kings, you have someone like Robb Stark (moral paragon) versus someone like Joffrey Lannister (absolute shit). Here, the lines between the Blacks and Greens are far more grey on the morality scale.

I could say more, but overall, if you can get past the slow start, the season's extremely solid. If you like GoT, you should like this. If you haven't seen GoT, you can dive into this without issue. Since people made it a competition, I'll say that Rings of Power is better, mainly because it doesn't have the same pacing issues, but it's a moot point. I can enjoy both. I guess what sucks is that because of the books I know how things end, but for now, solid stuff.
 

gorfias

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Poker Face - solid first few episodes
It is very close to being literally Columbo. You see the whole murder unfold for the 1st 10 minutes or so, then you have the main character played by Natasha Lyonne (from Russian Doll) figured out how it happened. She has the rather convenient power of being able to always know when people are lying. She plays the character rather like Columbo as well where she's constantly nagging people via questioning. It's also created by Rian Johnson.
Watching on Peacock +, so far, solid 8.5/10. I am loving this Columbo type detective. So far, 6 episodes of 10 released.
It has huge challenges that it is meeting.
She is not a cop. How does she find herself investigating murders? She can tell if someone lies or not. Isn't this dull? Ask prospective killer did they do it and know the truth without investigation? But they, so far, are largely skirting these problems and getting it to all work.
Sadly, my wife will not watch it with me as she finds the protaganist annoying. That's Columbo's schtick. My sister used to say if Columbo was after her, she would confess rather than deal with this human itch.
 

Absent

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The boring one
Only watched 2 eps of Poker Face so far and I'm mildly disappointed. To be honest I had insanely high expectations just because of Russian Doll.

So, it's indeed Columbo (we even hear This Old Man in the background, in the 1st episode), both in structure and in mannerism. With a hint of The Fugitive (or Heat Vision and Jack). It could have been great. My issue is with the premise itself. The main protagonist's super power feels cheap, easy, inconsistent, convenient and drags the whole show down. I also feel that Lyonne occasionally mimicks Falk a bit too much. I expected something more grounded (requiring more cunning in the whodunnit writing) and with more personality (again, Russian Doll expectation). Magical sleuthing feels a bit lazy, that's all.

But, expectations adjusted, I expect to enjoy that show. If only for the style.
 
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Phoenixmgs

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Im 3 episodes in Vox Machina season 2 and I gotta say its a significant step up from the first season. The writing and animation budget seems much higher.

Where as the first season was as much comedy as serious fantasy this one is pretty much all business. Theres still puns, but theyre sharper and more contextual.

The season weirdly kicks off like 5 minutes after the first with an invasion of dragons that have for reasons unknown, though questioned aloud, joined together in an enclave to rule. Their first act of business is to literally destroy the capital. Its pretty extreme like 100k people die on screen in the first 10 minutes, so already the tone if this season is pretty somber. The team barely escape with a few refugees. I dont want to spoil too much but this seasons writing feels much more intune with the old DND TSR books with the Godwars stuff.

I mostly enjoyed the first season but it felt kinda all over the place both in tone and stories. This one feels much more like it has a direction its going rather than being stories piecemeal. Definitely recommend.
That's good to know because I watched the first few episodes of the first season and just kinda stopped watching, just wasn't feeling it. A few friends are pretty into it so it was something gonna get back to eventually and get a full chance.

I thought the first episode was amazing, coulda been a movie and even at its length was a far better story than Glass Onion. 3 episodes in and now that its settled into what its about, idk seems kinda derivative. Not just columbo, but we've seen a ton of shows just like this one. That said the writing is holding up so far. My only disappointment in the subsequent episodes is that, outside of Natasha Lyonne, everybody else seems like typical cable TV actors. I'm not sure it's something I would stick with as these procedural crime shows wear on me over time, but the first 3 episodes are good.
Yeah, it definitely a bit episode-of-the-week-y. It's been awhile since I've watched something in this vein though. I'm guessing it'll be only like 8-12 episodes a season and run a few seasons vs like CSI that's like 20+ episodes a season and ran for like 20 years or whatever.


Continuing the Poker Face and Columbo comparisons, I decided to actually start watching Columbo. I'm just in the mood for this sort of stuff.

When I described the show to my wife I told her about the Columbo comparisons. Then we put on Poker Face and it starts with that blocky yellow font and we both crack up because it's the Columbo font, lol. So, yeah, it's Columbo :)

Also started watching Shrinking, that Apple TV show with Jason Seagal and Harrison Ford, where they play Jason Seagal and Harrison Ford. So far it's ok- the thing with comedy dramas is that sometimes they don't go all the way into either so it's sort of bleh, and it's kind of feeling like that so far. I heard it being compared to Ted Lasso but TL is freaking hilarious sometimes, like it comes at you with some jokes. This one doesn't so much and one's enjoyment will be directly proportional to how much one enjoys or tolerates Seagal's whole tall sad dude thing.

Since the modern-day TV I been watching is kind of ok, it's making me appreciate The Last of Us even more and I now am anticipating each episode. That hasn't happened for a primetime Sunday night HBO show for a while.
Yeah, Shrinking is definitely much more straight and leans into the drama vs Ted Lasso or Scrubs where the drama would more so blindside you unexpectedly. I'm liking it well enough, I'm most interested on how his style with his patients actually pans out and whether it ends up working or not, and the shows overall commentary on that.


Watching on Peacock +, so far, solid 8.5/10. I am loving this Columbo type detective. So far, 6 episodes of 10 released.
It has huge challenges that it is meeting.
She is not a cop. How does she find herself investigating murders? She can tell if someone lies or not. Isn't this dull? Ask prospective killer did they do it and know the truth without investigation? But they, so far, are largely skirting these problems and getting it to all work.
Sadly, my wife will not watch it with me as she finds the protaganist annoying. That's Columbo's schtick. My sister used to say if Columbo was after her, she would confess rather than deal with this human itch.
Only watched 2 eps of Poker Face so far and I'm mildly disappointed. To be honest I had insanely high expectations just because of Russian Doll.

So, it's indeed Columbo (we even hear This Old Man in the background, in the 1st episode), both in structure and in mannerism. With a hint of The Fugitive (or Heat Vision and Jack). It could have been great. My issue is with the premise itself. The main protagonist's super power feels cheap, easy, inconsistent, convenient and drags the whole show down. I also feel that Lyonne occasionally mimicks Falk a bit too much. I expected something more grounded (requiring more cunning in the whodunnit writing) and with more personality (again, Russian Doll expectation). Magical sleuthing feels a bit lazy, that's all.

But, expectations adjusted, I expect to enjoy that show. If only for the style.
I do find the power of being able to tell when someone is lying too convenient. Maybe if she knew a few tells that happen on matter-of-fact little lies that help her figure it out (which I feel like the show so far mostly kinda does) vs being a perfect lie detector would definitely be more believable. In essence, she doesn't really have to do much investigation work if she doesn't want to figure out the killer. Though, she does have to prove it to a degree to get any kind of closure/justice in the episode or it's just like "I know you did it... bye!!!"

I totally need to watch the 2nd season of Russian Doll but always delay continuing shows I need to watch a recap of the previous season to remember the main stuff that happened and where it left off.
 
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Absent

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The boring one
she doesn't really have to do much investigation work if she doesn't want to figure out the killer. Though, she does have to prove it to a degree
Grab a cop. Guess five cards. Bring the suspects. Ask "have you murdered the victim".

Find a stable, high-pay job in a courtroom.

Also, get dissected by very interested scientists.
 
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Phoenixmgs

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Grab a cop. Guess five cards. Bring the suspects. Ask "have you murdered the victim".

Find a stable, high-pay job in a courtroom.

Also, get dissected by very interested scientists.
Yeah, that would work in a sense but I doubt any court would allow a human lie detector to be the only evidence as they can lie about their detection at any time really. Lie to Me with Tim Roth I recall being a pretty interesting show based squarely on that concept of deciphering the truth based on micro expressions.
 
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Bartholen

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I've developed something of a minor obsession with this song, and especially the video. It honestly baffles me. It feels like a greatest hits compilation of every cringy "I'm such a badass villain" fantasy scenario I had as a 14-year old. It registers like 100% parody, I cannot for the life of me take any of it in any way seriously or see anything cool in it. If I didn't know better, I'd be inclined to say it's purposely over the top, melodramatic and theatrical in a way that's supposed to be ridiculous. That the singer is embodying a character who's meant to be immature, self-absorbed and juvenile. But knowing a bit about the singer, Ronnie Radke (who's almost 10 years my senior) makes me lean more towards the conclusion that the video is meant entirely sincerely. He genuinely thinks he is some beleaguered, badass underdog anti-villain, and all these anime wish fulfillment masturbation fantasy visuals are meant to be cool and awesome. It's the musical equivalent of a 14-year old going "hold me back, hold me back" when getting into a fight. Incredibly r/iamverybadass, peak cringe, massively embarrassing to watch in a way where you can't take your eyes off it either.

And boy, I didn't even mention the lyrics, which are a whole chapter on their own: self-aggrandizing while also self-victimizing, incredibly self-centered, egotistical and whiny, and also personal and specific to a degree where it's basically impossible to separate Radke from the song to try to glean any personal meaning or interpretation from it.
 
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Absent

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Hah. Wrote on this very forum about Baxter, an old french canine psychological thriller which parallels a dog's instinct, obedience and fascism. A few hours later, I watch Poker Face ep.3 which is largely about another fascist white little dog. How isn't that a SIGN ? How isn't that a sign that... it... that the... how is it not a sign ?
 

Piscian

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I've developed something of a minor obsession with this song, and especially the video. It honestly baffles me. It feels like a greatest hits compilation of every cringy "I'm such a badass villain" fantasy scenario I had as a 14-year old. It registers like 100% parody, I cannot for the life of me take any of it in any way seriously or see anything cool in it. If I didn't know better, I'd be inclined to say it's purposely over the top, melodramatic and theatrical in a way that's supposed to be ridiculous. That the singer is embodying a character who's meant to be immature, self-absorbed and juvenile. But knowing a bit about the singer, Ronnie Radke (who's almost 10 years my senior) makes me lean more towards the conclusion that the video is meant entirely sincerely. He genuinely thinks he is some beleaguered, badass underdog anti-villain, and all these anime wish fulfillment masturbation fantasy visuals are meant to be cool and awesome. It's the musical equivalent of a 14-year old going "hold me back, hold me back" when getting into a fight. Incredibly r/iamverybadass, peak cringe, massively embarrassing to watch in a way where you can't take your eyes off it either.

And boy, I didn't even mention the lyrics, which are a whole chapter on their own: self-aggrandizing while also self-victimizing, incredibly self-centered, egotistical and whiny, and also personal and specific to a degree where it's basically impossible to separate Radke from the song to try to glean any personal meaning or interpretation from it.
Oh thank god, I clicked it before reading your comment thinking you were recommending it. I listened to 15 seconds of it before tearing off my headphones and throwing them out a window while rapping angrily about girls and my rage being on fire and my ballcap turned around backwards.
 

Bartholen

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Oh thank god, I clicked it before reading your comment thinking you were recommending it. I listened to 15 seconds of it before tearing off my headphones and throwing them out a window while rapping angrily about girls and my rage being on fire and my ballcap turned around backwards.
It's fascinating isn't it? I think I might actually be turning into an anti-fan. I don't think I've ever seen a human being past the age of 18 make art of such cringe caliber so confidently and self-assuredly. It's literally the "I'm da jokah baby" meme without any irony.
 

Thaluikhain

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By coincidence, over at Forgotten Weapons the latest video is about the Fenk pistol, designed by an Australian who made trailers and wanted to try making handguns. He subcontracted the precision parts of it to a once renowned Spanish company that had fallen on hard times, it was a commercial failure, novel design ideas included a terrible idea for a manual safety, and the gun disappeared into obscurity.

Put the effort in, living the dream, seemingly genuinely believed in what they were doing, and was a dismal failure because they really weren't good enough. I get some of the same vibes from that as from the above video clip. Though the latter also fills me with contempt as well.
 

gorfias

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I do find the power of being able to tell when someone is lying too convenient. Maybe if she knew a few tells that happen on matter-of-fact little lies that help her figure it out (which I feel like the show so far mostly kinda does) vs being a perfect lie detector would definitely be more believable. In essence, she doesn't really have to do much investigation work if she doesn't want to figure out the killer. Though, she does have to prove it to a degree to get any kind of closure/justice in the episode or it's just like "I know you did it... bye!!!"

I totally need to watch the 2nd season of Russian Doll but always delay continuing shows I need to watch a recap of the previous season to remember the main stuff that happened and where it left off.
The show does have some challenges to keep it entertaining. She does have to do more than just ask, "did you do it?" That would be dull. She also needs to have some reason to be snooping around at all: she isn't a cop. So far they seem to be facing these challenges well.
 
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