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

Trunkage

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Carnival Row Season 2


I'm loving the mix of CGI & practical effects for things like the characters wings (yes some of that is costume work with actual physical costume wings having been made).

A bit disappointed they've seemingly leaned more into the gore rather than having a mix of sex and gore like season 1 (though there's still time I'm sure).

Really loving the nuanced plotline and nature of it as a sort of tale about the nature of politics somewhat.

Orlando Bloom seems like he was made to play this role he's shockingly good in it.

Cara Delevingne is probably giving her best performance to date in anything she's been in.

All round surprisingly great and it's a shame so many seems to be sleeping on this show.
I have started watching this based on your recommendation. I like it but am very put off by Orlando and Cara relationship. I hope they dump it by season 2
 
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Ag3ma

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Yeah, so far this is pretty sweet. Hard time remembering those Korean names though, oof.
Yes, that's how I felt, too. I just about got a hang of them partway through Season 2.

My hypothesis is that it's because if you don't understand the language it's very hard to distinguish the names from the rest of the speech, plus unless you know a lot of Korean people they don't have any familiarity from the rest of your life experience. As a result, they don't resonate in your mind the same way, and the subtitles don't make up for it.
 

Trunkage

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Picard S03E05

I think RLM put it best, saying that the writer here is very clearly just pulling the best bits and bobs from all the movies, like literally of them, some scenes and plot threads beat for beat. So to enjoy the show at all you have to forget Star Trek the series and just enjoy this season as a sequel movie split into 8-10 episodes or whatever it's gonna be.

Sadly Episode 5 dips into the "They've infiltrated Star Fleet" trope we've already seen a few times, essentially stating the Changlings have evolved their biology to now be much more different to detect. There's no "Blood test" that really works anymore. To the shows credit it's tempted me to go back and watch a few episodes of the old shows because I'm little rusty on some of the characters and concepts that were introduced here. I think however, the show is doing its job if it manages to spark enough interest in me to go back and watch Star Trek to better understand this series. Regardless of the plot not quite feeling all that original I like the ideas and how they are being plotted. Even if I was on board with the plot of the first season, it was told in such a mindnumbing mystery box fashion that I could not bring myself to sit through more than a couple episodes before I just wanted to go do literally anything else. It's also worth noting as the episodes go on were seeing less and less sappy picard. A former villain turned good guy is introduced into this episode and he's absolute **** about it. So much so it gave me a tiny joy seeing the old dickhead Picard back, shouting posh insults.

It's sort of fascinating that this season is essentially a soft reboot. There's also no mention of anything from the past two seasons. With minor trimming or additions this season works completely in a vacuum. Even the returning characters are in a complete vacuum, for instance 7/9 is just suddenly a Star Trek Commander. Like they vaguely acknowledge she was a "ranger" or whatever the fuck that was and they just move on as if she's been serving in Star Fleet for the last 5-10 years.

I'll this, Picard Season 3 is better than the last two movies and a good deal of Enterprise. It's a solid 7/10 for me at this point. Nothing I'd jump out of bed to watch but fun. Just wished they'd had this show runner from the beginning.
I have been enjoying the building up of factions and then having legitimate turns when new info comes out. In fact, they're doing it better and more naturally than DS9. Which is a feat, for Star Trek.

For once, over 10 seasons and 4 movies, Picard feels like a real character. Also, he principled stance actually mean something in this story and he is being challenged. (No breaking of the Time Prime Directive, as seen on the last episode of season 2.) It is so weird that the conversation actually feel real, considering the first two season was trying to do the same.... but were completely off the mark. I just watched Season 2 this week and at least it's better than the conversation in TNG. Because, generally they were non-existent

It is also wierd, after not seeing Picard in DS9 fighting the Dominion that he somehow knows the Dominion exist. You couldn't do a zoom call during an important war Picard? Anyway, gripes from 30 years ago

Also, much of this is a rehash of Discovery season 2, replacing AI with Changelings. But then, much of TOS is based on books, comics or old movies. Rehashing is standard practice. But I understand if you are tired of it.

I'll note, as I always do, the TNG is the worst series. Now that I have watched Enterprise, I can definitively place it on the bottom. I understand that this makes me not a real Star Trek fan
 

Dwarvenhobble

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I have started watching this based on your recommendation. I like it but am very put off by Orlando and Cara relationship. I hope they dump it by season 2
I'll say it's got far less stabby / holding people and knife point by season 2.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Lower Decks - Season 3

(Prime Video)



So Lower Decks is a show I tried out with season 1 and I thought it was pretty bad, it was only watchable while drinking alcohol really to numb my brain from getting annoyed at the show. It had just enough of a spark of potential though that I felt I'd give season 2 a try.

Season 2 was actually leaps and bounds better, still not great but hitting about average and waving a bit above or below average per episode.

Season 3 feels like both a step forward in terms of dealing with the shows initial issues but also a step back in terms of other aspects as this season fells less like a season in it's own right and more like a holding pattern / set up for future seasons. Don't get me wrong I'd say it's hitting above average now per episode and the gloves have really been coming off (finally) but I wouldn't say it was must see. It's not reaching the highs of some of the best Star Trek but with 30 minute episodes of what is a comedy show, it's doing fairly good.

So onto my deeper thoughts which kind of requires me to talk about the previous seasons and the issues I had with them and what worked and what didn't.

Season 1 - Was a really rough intro to the show and the only way I could really describe the show initially and the initial impression it gives off would be "Woke template show the cartoon show" which sounds stupid but to elaborate (and if you know the tune sing along) the lead character is a strong black woman, the white male sidekick is mostly a useless idiot and the butt of most of the jokes for how useless / cowardly / incompetent he is, even if he does get a win in a moment it was actually all set up to make him feel better by the strong black woman they're joined by a black guy engineer whose super competent at most things and a super science loving nerdy female character who multiple times talks about how she rejects certain social standards............ no really that is kind of how template the show feel initially. Most of the humour felt like it lacked teeth and most of the sci-fi stuff felt like it was lifted from entirely different shows and stuff Star Trek had not really touched on much but other shows had. To me Season 1 felt like a Star Trek show where Poe's law comes into play and I still can't tell you if the show was meant to be a parody of what modern Star Trek has become so much or if it was sincere and the comedy was the other often more puerile stuff going on.

Season 2 - So this was the course correction season and they actually went in and put in some series work. They actually better balanced out the characters mostly Mariner is no longer a perfect Mary Sue with her ego and bravado now sometimes getting her into trouble and showing she's not ultimately capable and unstoppable. Boimler isn't a constant coward / idiot / useless and actually gets to be shown as a decent guy and has moments where he gets to shine and be the hero. The show also develops some teeth and took some pretty on point shots at modern Star Trek and then basically went "this is how all that should be done" by doing a complex season long story arc interwoven with mostly stand alone episode stories to turn the kind of joke aliens the Pakled into a legitimate thread of a kind in their own right (rather than them being a threat being just the surprise joke of Season 1).

Season 3 - So after the course correction and the stuff from the previous seasons the show feels like it's improved but now in a holding pattern. The Pakled story unfortunately ends, which is a shame as I think they could have done a bit more with it and the show feels like it's just running in place looking for what to set up next with a few possibilities. Some characters first seen in season 2 seem to be migrating from guest character to regular cast, the show is tying up loose ends from Season 1 and the season long arc is kind of interesting as a filler season explaining where and how Rutherford got his cybernetic implants with the season long arc only being put all together in the last episode so the seemingly random bits all form into one story. I will say possibly one of the best episodes of the show to date happened in this season with "A mathematically perfect redemption" which is a full on parody and them subversion of the standard "Star Fleet officer becomes stranded on another world" sort of plot formula episode with beat for beat moments you'd expect to happen in an actual episode only for subversion that really hit and didn't feel mean spirited and actually felt like it fit with established characters as was set up. Season 3 really took some kind of heavier shots at modern Star Trek too with a far more cutting commentary on it in "Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus" which basically ripped into the the Kelvin-verse idea.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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Yellowstone

This is the popular with boomers rural-set soap opera where Kevin Kostner patriarchs over a bunch of land and emotionally damaged adult children while competing other equally terrible men constantly waving their dicks around to own land and pride. It's really good if you like schlock and beautiful shots of mountains and horses. The show treats the setting with a lot more love and attention than the female characters, both of which are extremely ridiculous archetypes. The men are simple archetypes too but some of them at least get some charm.

Every episodes will have at least one dialogue exchange or dramatic sequence that is gripping or funny, and a plot point that is so absurd, so it's a real rollercoaster. Production is wonderful so the whole thing is really "watchable." This is just something I'm really in the mood for and I'm loving it, though I'm certainly not saying it's like good or anything.

I'm wrapping up season 2 now and almost certainly will just go through seasons 3 and 4 next. I think season 5 is happening now and there are prequels/spinoffs if I still want more.

A League of Their Own

Amazon Prime adaptation of the movie about women baseball players in the 40's. It's got Abby from Broad City and Janet from the Good Place, both performers I really really liked and that was the hook. Two episodes in and, like Yellowstone, it delivers exactly what it promises. It's just a joy to watch funny dynamic actors do their thing.
 
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Xprimentyl

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A League of Their Own

Amazon Prime adaptation of the movie about women baseball players in the 40's. It's got Abby from Broad City and Janet from the Good Place, both performers I really really liked and that was the hook. Two episodes in and, like Yellowstone, it delivers exactly what it promises. It's just a joy to watch funny dynamic actors do their thing.
If you're harboring any wholesome nostalgia for the 1992 film, well, this "reboot" goes in a... different direction.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Daisy Jones and The Six, closing episodes

Didn’t think it’d end on the note it did, which was a pleasant surprise after the roller coaster of drama that preceded. Kinda shines a light on the usual circumstances of why some bands just can’t hold things together, but I wonder how amicable many of the real examples ever manage to wind up after enough time passes.
 
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gorfias

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Daisy Jones and The Six, closing episodes

Didn’t think it’d end on the note it did, which was a pleasant surprise after the roller coaster of drama that preceded. Kinda shines a light on the usual circumstances of why some bands just can’t hold things together, but I wonder how amicable many of the real examples ever manage to wind up after enough time passes.
My daughter made me watch after loving the book and even she had to concede, these were some damaged, f'd up people. The drummer was cool though. He doesn't seem to have f'd up.
Really? A, "How I Met Your Mother" type ending!?!?!
I liked and enjoyed it. But man I wanted to slap these people. It is the drummer who makes the most sense by the end!
Reminds me of a teacher's dismay at my Shakespeare class. She complained that we all seemed to fail to understand unreasoning passion. That Cleopatra and Anthony would have been fine if they just fricken got their @$# together and kept their togas zipped up.
We also watched Shrinking on Apple TV. Very cute. Too cute. And uneven. And had a shocking revelation in the last episode.
Jason Segel's therapist who appears to be killing it with non-traditional methods, in the very last episode, may have encouraged his patient to murder her asshole, but not criminally so, spouse.
Harrison Ford is quite good and entertaining, playing a mentor sort who at 73 (Ford is 80) is suffering from Parkinsons.

To me, the most interesting character? His eternally cheerful neighbor, no matter how much abuse he suffers at the hands of his wife. His retirement POV is, from my personal standpoint? LEGEND... say it! ARY!
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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If you're harboring any wholesome nostalgia for the 1992 film, well, this "reboot" goes in a... different direction.
Hahah, yeah the gay direction. I didn't realize that was the whole hook of the show but it's all the better for it. It's the rare case of taking a movie idea and extending it to a series length, and having a unique angle gives it legs.
We finished the season and really enjoyed it. But I am just on whatever comedic vibe Abbi Jacobson is on since episode 1 of Broad City and League is all about that vibe.

Also watched the finale of Shrinking and loved it. I guess "comedy drama" is my favorite TV genre. And we saw that last scene coming a mile away which made it even better.
 
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Hawki

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Fire Emblem OVA (2/5)

Really don't have much to say about this - it's a loose adaptation of FE1, lasting two episodes, and just ending without anything being resolved. Animation is basic, writing is basic, voice acting is passable (at best), really, there's no reason to recommend this, even if you're familiar with the series.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Finally finished The Peripheral season 1

I really enjoyed it right up until the final bit of the final episode where suddenly I felt like I missed half an episode as the show just jumped to the idea of characters doing something kind of insane that has never been shown to be a thing in the show or even said to be possible also the longer I think about it the less it makes sense.

So here's what my issue is and I'm putting it in spoilers because it's bizarre as hell

So Flynne has the stolen data in the form of bacteria in her head (don't ask) with people on both sides wanting her dead for various reason and hunting the data. Flynne decides the only way to fight back is to make it so the villains (who BTW are from a future alternative timeline) stop meddling in her timeline is by being dead in it. So she sets things up to have herself killed but also using the tech also transfers her consciousness into another "stub" timeline so she can still use the peripheral to enter the future timeline and fight back but without people being able to find which timeline she's actually from anymore. The issue is while it's been shown the future timeline can interfere with the past to create "Stubs" it's never been shown people can move between the timelines it's only been suggested to be basically data they can send over not actual consciousness.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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Rocky 4 Director's Cut: Rocky vs Drago

Seems like Sly Stallone's Covid project was to re-edit the most infamous cornball film in the Rocky franchise, the one with the Russian.
Full disclosure while I have 80s kid nostalgia for this movie, I've never actually liked it on its own merits both because of the incredibly stupid plot and the whole music-video style. Especially as the first film is one of my genuine favorites.
The re-edit does a couple good things: most importantly, it makes Apollo Creed's death a little more honorable. The key conversation with Rocky explaining his motivation focuses on the theme of change vs change which ties into Rocky's victory speech (yes, the hilarious one where he like explains the Cold War to Russians and omg this movie is dumb lol). More importantly, Apollo's fight against Drago is edited to show Creed actually starting off with some moves and strategy instead of him just getting slaughtered, hinting that if Apollo had been in his prime and taken the fight more seriously he could have actually won. Gives him more respect, and that's especially resonant with the Creed franchise out there.

Stallone clearly is proud of the Drago character as evidenced with his friendship with Dolph Lundgren (helped no doubt by Lundgren's reputation as a good dude) and his prominence in the 2nd Creed film. So the re-edit lets you sympathize with Drago just a bit more.

Unfortunately, the character of his wife played by Stallone's ex-wife Bridgette Nielson is given short shrift. Well, shorter shrift. One of my problems with the Rocky sequels is the already drastic lack of women's presence is continually reduced as the series goes on.

So the fight scenes are better now- one of the things the Drago/Rocky fights are often mocked for is how you can see punches not connecting, so Stallone switched those out. However my biggest problem with the fight could not be edited- the disparity in height makes the whole thing look too clownish at times. And the whole thing where's the opponent is beating the ever living crap out of our hero but still loses- that is STILL in the Drago fight, despite some better editing.

All the stupid montages are there- this was something Stallone is still proud of and I hate it lol.
Lately I've been on a real tear about film lengths and appreciating shorter movies but Rocky 4 challenges that sentiment. The original is a little over 90 minutes and amazingly the DC is the same length. But still there is time for a whole music video in the middle of the movie summarizing the events of the whole series up until that point. This means there is no time to see Rocky processing Creed's death, deciding to fight Drago, that logistics of it happening in Russia- it all blows by so fast it's comical.

As you might think, this one is for the fans. Worth a look if you've seen this on cable a million times and you get a kick out of it.
Oh yeah- Paulie's robot is gone. *shrug*
 

gorfias

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Rocky 4 Director's Cut: Rocky vs Drago

Seems like Sly Stallone's Covid project was to re-edit the most infamous cornball film in the Rocky franchise, the one with the Russian.
Full disclosure while I have 80s kid nostalgia for this movie, I've never actually liked it on its own merits both because of the incredibly stupid plot and the whole music-video style. Especially as the first film is one of my genuine favorites.
The re-edit does a couple good things: most importantly, it makes Apollo Creed's death a little more honorable. The key conversation with Rocky explaining his motivation focuses on the theme of change vs change which ties into Rocky's victory speech (yes, the hilarious one where he like explains the Cold War to Russians and omg this movie is dumb lol). More importantly, Apollo's fight against Drago is edited to show Creed actually starting off with some moves and strategy instead of him just getting slaughtered, hinting that if Apollo had been in his prime and taken the fight more seriously he could have actually won. Gives him more respect, and that's especially resonant with the Creed franchise out there.

Stallone clearly is proud of the Drago character as evidenced with his friendship with Dolph Lundgren (helped no doubt by Lundgren's reputation as a good dude) and his prominence in the 2nd Creed film. So the re-edit lets you sympathize with Drago just a bit more.

Unfortunately, the character of his wife played by Stallone's ex-wife Bridgette Nielson is given short shrift. Well, shorter shrift. One of my problems with the Rocky sequels is the already drastic lack of women's presence is continually reduced as the series goes on.

So the fight scenes are better now- one of the things the Drago/Rocky fights are often mocked for is how you can see punches not connecting, so Stallone switched those out. However my biggest problem with the fight could not be edited- the disparity in height makes the whole thing look too clownish at times. And the whole thing where's the opponent is beating the ever living crap out of our hero but still loses- that is STILL in the Drago fight, despite some better editing.

All the stupid montages are there- this was something Stallone is still proud of and I hate it lol.
Lately I've been on a real tear about film lengths and appreciating shorter movies but Rocky 4 challenges that sentiment. The original is a little over 90 minutes and amazingly the DC is the same length. But still there is time for a whole music video in the middle of the movie summarizing the events of the whole series up until that point. This means there is no time to see Rocky processing Creed's death, deciding to fight Drago, that logistics of it happening in Russia- it all blows by so fast it's comical.

As you might think, this one is for the fans. Worth a look if you've seen this on cable a million times and you get a kick out of it.
Oh yeah- Paulie's robot is gone. *shrug*
I recall the 1985 release being short. IMDB writes that it is 91 min. I think the cut I saw in theaters was more like 85 and I was thinking, this is like an overlong TV episode! When he goes for his drive and the music is blaring like a music video, I was asking myself what the heck I was watching. And Rocky, from the USA is training old school while Drago, from the USSR, is the pinnacle of modern science working with athletics? I mean, the USSR reportedly pumped their athletes with crazy amounts of steroids. Hardly rocket science. Still, IMDB gives it a 6.8/10. That's actually a high score for a really bad movie, even if it has some so bad it is good scenes.
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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I recall the 1985 release being short. IMDB writes that it is 91 min. I think the cut I saw in theaters was more like 85 and I was thinking, this is like an overlong TV episode! When he goes for his drive and the music is blaring like a music video, I was asking myself what the heck I was watching. And Rocky, from the USA is training old school while Drago, from the USSR, is the pinnacle of modern science working with athletics? I mean, the USSR reportedly pumped their athletes with crazy amounts of steroids. Hardly rocket science. Still, IMDB gives it a 6.8/10. That's actually a high score for a really bad movie, even if it has some so bad it is good scenes.
Russia had earned this reputation of performance excellence, with chess and classical music and hockey etc, and you connect that with Cold War propaganda and the idea that they had super-training techniques for their boxer star while starving their common people totally made sense to us at the time.
And yeah, Ivan Drago represented a scary robot future, just like communism was gonna turn us into robots for the state, etc.
Man I can write a whole dissertation around the politics here. And don't even get me started on Creed wanting to patriotically stop the Soviet propaganda machine or whatever.

But I'll let Eddie Murphy handle some of that:

WARNING: incredibly foul language and gestures and racial stereotypes and the n-word

 

gorfias

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Russia had earned this reputation of performance excellence, with chess and classical music and hockey etc, and you connect that with Cold War propaganda and the idea that they had super-training techniques for their boxer star while starving their common people totally made sense to us at the time.
And yeah, Ivan Drago represented a scary robot future, just like communism was gonna turn us into robots for the state, etc.
Man I can write a whole dissertation around the politics here. And don't even get me started on Creed wanting to patriotically stop the Soviet propaganda machine or whatever.

But I'll let Eddie Murphy handle some of that:

WARNING: incredibly foul language and gestures and racial stereotypes and the n-word

LOL, bet that pre-dates Chris Rock saying something to the effect, "Rocky 4: two white men fighting to be undisputed heavy weight boxing champion of the world! Oh boy that Spielberg is something!!!"
 
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Xprimentyl

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The Mandalorian, S1:Ep1-3

I have no idea why I picked this. I don't particularly like or dislike Star Wars stuff except for Darth Vader and lightsabers (which I like,) so I never had any intention of watching this series, but I opened Disney+ (again, no idea why; I subscribed so my girlfriend could watch Hamilton a while ago and have been paying for it ever since,) and it was at the top, so I said fuck it.

So far, I like it. It's in contention to be the best Star Wars "thing" I've ever watched behind the hallway scene in Rogue One; that shit was incredible seeing The Force used for pure violence. Fuck all the space wizardry stuff; the Mandalorians are fucking awesome. I like their culture, their style, the fact they never remove their helmets, and have strict codes by which they live their lives, etc. I like to think a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I might have been a Mandalorian. If course, I'd probably have been killed on my first mission, but still, to be counted amongst a culture of solitary badass bounty hunters and warriors with cool armor and weapons that don't require closing your eyes and waggling your fingers would have been worth it.
 

Baffle

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Severance, and thinking about how I'd deal with my outie, who I hate. Initial plan is to hide in the office for days at a time so they lose days of life while I'm spinning round in wheelie chairs all night. Then cramming laxatives in my gullet at 4:45 or maybe just shitting my pants as the doors shut (performance under pressure). I'm only on episode 4, these things may cone to pass.
 

Trunkage

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I'll say it's got far less stabby / holding people and knife point by season 2.
Almost finished season 2. I'd agree. Lot less flimsy excuses for drama and actual real (possible) situations that these people could get into

Getting a bit sick of the bigot stuff from the humans. If you've read some of the confederates speak about slaves, there is a huge variety of opinions that are counted as bigot. Yes, there was some that hated slaves. But Lashing can be seen as 'helpful' and Robert E Lee talked about just keeping slavery until they were civilised. The show is very one note with its verbal attacks and I would like different opinions that are still bigoted (yes I know it's finished)