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

Old_Hunter_77

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Finished Castlevania Nocturne Season 1. The mad ladies and lads outdone themselves!

@Dalisclock, @FakeSympathy, @hanselthecaretaker2, and @Cicada 5, you all need to watch this....

Like right fucking now!

Maybe @Hawki too, if you're interested.
Well I'll go ahead and throw myself on that list then because I've sort of been getting into the animes a bit this past year, including Castlevania. I liked it generally, despite how self-serious and "hardcore for the sake of hardcore" it got at times. But the main characters were delightful, the action great, and, you know, vampires are cool. So, yeah, I dug Castlevania.
I've been seeing this new one get some positive attention and I believe it's not too long so, yeah, I'm definitely gonna watch it. Maybe this weekend depending on what else I got going on.
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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Show was a lot of fun and I'm going to miss the hell out of it. And I say that as someone who didn't know who Magic Johnson was when I started watching. No, not even the HIV thing. Just that he was 1980s Jordan (and I know Jordan from Space Jam). I don't know why my mind went to vehicular manslaughter when the show opened with Magic getting some kind of terrible news and his publicist crying. News to me.

I can tank depressing endings (i.e. Succession). But it's doubly unsatisfying that all these characters went on to achieve so much success in real life, while the show ends on a downer moment. Compared to all the things they'd done and would go on to do it feels arbitrary as hell. But of course that's because of the cancellation. Story is just left incomplete. And I'm going to miss all the characters, especially Pat Riley and Jerry West. I don't care how true to life they really were.
FInished it last night and yeah, that ending was butt. I mean I expected it, you know, but even still. Especially since they covered 3 years in 7 episodes, making the personal relationship development really feel hollow, especially the romantic couples. At least with Cookie she was important from the beginning but I wonder if they knew they weren't going to get another season if they'd even have bothered with Buss' 2nd wife (especially as, from what I gathered after some googling, she's really an amalgamation of various wifes and girlfriends).

All that aside, every moment before the last 10 minutes of the finale was a joy to watch. Every moment with Larry Bird was so impactful because he usually was "Larry Bird" as seen by Magic Johnson.
The show's kind of a mess, honestly, structurally and narratively and tonally, but it's a fun glorious mess. I dunno, I just really like TV like this.
 
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Hawki

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The Office: Season 2 (4/5)

When I reviewed season 1 of The Office, someone (I forget who) told me to (paraphrased) stick with it, that the series soon came into its stride, or words to that effect. Somewhat hesitantly, I gave season 2 a watch. Whoever said person was (and feel free to remind me if you want), I'll give you my thanks, because basically, what you said was validated.

Without a doubt, season 2 is superior to season 1. If I did decimals, it would be more a 4.5/5, but arbitrary rankings aside, season 2 is a lot more confident in itself, it flows better, it has an overall storyline of sorts (even if most episodes are self-contained), and it fleshes out its characters more. Not just in terms of characters that barely had a presence in season 1 (Kelly, Angela, Oscar, etc.), but also does a better job of handling the characters that were already established (e.g. Michael, Jim, Dwight, and Pam all get more depth).

I'm not going to do a summary of the season, since it's not really a plot-driven show, and I'm guessing many of you are already familiar to at least some extent, so this is more general thoughts/observations:

-I mentioned in my season 1 review that there was a sense of sadness throughout the whole thing. People checking in, 9 to 5, caught up in the mundanity of their jobs but just enduring another day, etc. That feeling is mostly, if not entirely gone in season 2, since there's a lot more 'drive' in its characters and overall story. This isn't inherently good or bad in of itself, but it does seem to be a more durable approach for a longer running series.

-So I know that we're meant to laugh at Dwight for his eccentricities (and yes, Dwight is either crazy, or a child caught in a man's body), but even then, I've got to say, Jim's kind of a jerk, and I say that despite Jim being the character I can probably most relate to (at least in the realm of unrequited feelings). It's not quite on the level of Jerry from Parks & Rec (where the amount of bullying Jerry received got uncomfortable at times, not to mention that the show never really resolved it), but it's noticeable all the same. Not just little pranks, but stuff like a desk being moved, or other pranks that would hinder one's ability to operate. This isn't really a new observation, I've noticed that there's no shortage articles/videos that postulate that Jim was "the jerk all along" or whatnot, but even here...well, suffice to say, if I was Dwight, I'd be pissed too. It's not malicious bullying, but it's bullying nonetheless.

-Michael's a lot more bearable in this season. He's still unfunny (and yes, I know he's meant to be unfunny), but there's at least a few more layers to him that come up at various times. Again, probably not a new observation, but Michael seems to be at his best when he's just being himself rather than actively trying to make people like/respect him.

-So, again, not really treading over any new ground with the Jim-Pam-Roy love triangle, but it's good. It's really, REALLY good. As in, without it ever being stated, you (or at least "I") can tell that Jim and Pam are just perfect together because of their similar senses of humour and interests, whereas Roy is just a lughead at best, and an asshole at worst. Again, hardly a new revelation, but how it's executed within its mockumentary style is excellent.

-Dwight quotes Mussolini without knowing it in his salesman speech. Yes, I was outright laughing through the entire sequence.

So, yeah. Like I said, random thoughts rather than a review, but overall, season 2 is a massive step up from its predecessor. Already have season 3 on my "to watch" list.
 

Cicada 5

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Bob_McMillan

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Now that Ahsoka is at it's penultimate episode, I think it's fair to say that this season was pretty underwhelming. There were great individual scenes, great episodes, even great performances, but just as a whole, it was boring. It felt like yet another "this TV show could have been a movie" Disney+ foible.

And it sucks, because this is the best Star Wars has looked since Mando Season 2 (barring Andor of course). They were at least able to make me feel like I was watching prestige television again, with how good the effects and sets can be. But I guess Filoni wants to save all the important shit for his movie, because this show was very much just filler.
 
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Absent

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The boring one
Alucard's appearance in the season 1 finale was excellently done.
Oh.

I'm not very familiar with castlvania so I expected a crossover there.
 

BrawlMan

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Not in this lifetime unfortunately. At the same time though, it wouldn't have fit in this case. Not with the mood they were setting.

The best you're going to get is fan art and fanfiction that's already available. I did hear of rumors that the Netflix Devil May Cry is supposed to cross over with Castlevania, but those were never officially confirmed. Those rumors came around 2020. I wouldn't put too much bank on it.
 

Piscian

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Castlevania Nocturne Season 1

Medias already talked about it. Take all the good stuff from the first series and thats what you have here. Likable cast all around, exceptionally well paced, amazingly animation, good straight forward story. 10/10

Getting more specific, you know I liked the original series. but...and I'm a little foggy on the details, but I recall it meandered a lot and a good deal of the cast lacked any kind of charisma. I think it says something that in the 3-4 seasons I couldn't tell you much about it. It was kinda all over the place. Reviewers have probably put it better than me, but I think Warren ellis had a lot of problems writing it. It went different places and not all off those were compelling. There was a lot of forced edginess.

This series takes a much needed straightforward approach, both in writing and direction. Ragtag group of amateur vampire hunters take on a big vampire threat. Through the eight episodes, which I pretty much watched in one sitting today there's a constant sense of progression in the story. You always know whos on screen and what their roll is in the story. The love affair and sexy stuff is thankfully all but non-existent. They still manage to show quite a lot of depth in the cast and their relationships to one another. Really dug the Lestat inspired villain you can't help but like by the end of the season.

It's interesting in that theres a tremendous amount of backstory to this, some of it linked to the original story, but its smartly written in the story rather than around. It "feeds" the broader narrative.

Anyhoo 10/10 its good stuff don't skip this one.

Trivia: The antagonist is played, the cop from reservation dogs. Zahn McClarnon, he's great.
 
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BrawlMan

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the cast lacked any kind of charisma.
Wrong!

I think it says something that in the 3-4 seasons I couldn't tell you much about it. It was kinda all over the place. Reviewers have probably put it better than me, but I think Warren ellis had a lot of problems writing it. It went different places and not all off those were compelling. There was a lot of forced edginess.
I recall it meandered a lot
That was mainly Season 3. Season 4 picked up pace instantly without feeling rushed. I do admit the first series went slightly overboard with the cursing, but that was mainly Season 1 and parts of Season 2. It's still felt more nature in Castlevania and Castlevania Nocturne, than Dead Space: Downfall. Castlevania got dark, but never went overboard aside from the Season 3. FTR, Warren Ellis actually didn't do Season 4, and it shows. It's clear whoever was in charge for S4 wanted to make things way less bleak after S3. I don't consider that bad thing. He was kicked off the project misconduct allegations.
 

SckizoBoy

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Maigret took me by surprise when I watched it, and it was so hard to divorce Atkinson from Black Adder. But he is incredible in the role.
Very much so. I knew it was going to be much more a dramatic role for him than was usual, and while I wasn't expecting Inspector Clouseau, I thought it was going to have a measure of dry humour. Despite the lack thereof, it's been excellent thus far.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Gen V - Episodes 1-3
(Prime Video)


Rating: TBD but so far trending towards an 8 / 10

Thoughts tagline: Watchmen's Xmen American Pie

Thoughts (Non spoiler):

So did you like the Season 2 of The Boys? The stuff with Stormfront and it being a commentary on social media manipulation etc? If you answered yes then Gen V is more of that done more and done with university students who haven't yet made it in the world like many of the more established heroes in The Boys with the vices seemingly not fully there yet.

The show seems to be forming a bit of a mystery box style show where new student Marie is trying to make a success of herself after a family disaster when her powers first manifested which seems like an almost Carrie esc reference. Even before classes have started though Marie ends up dragged into series of events that start to spiral towards disaster thanks to Vought industries shady conspiracies leaving Marie and many others at Godolkin U to have to deal with the fallout and a mystery on their hands.

Social commentary:
I can hear it now "Oh we don't need another social commentary bit from Dwarvenhobble" well too bad you getting one because as I keep being told "everything is political" and so very much is Gen V which I'm amazed really does feel like it captures but explains the supposed "apathy" of Gen Z by feeling like this is American Pie but if it were both in the Watchmen universe but also with the kind of fairly cynical world view seen in Watchmen . This is a show that takes a look at modern society and just goes "I hate it, it's all so shit" from a hilarious "Look at our diversity" trailer for Godolkin U while in reality it some characters only seem to care about people for their diversity traits and not them as people to the invisible guy whose powers work the same was as Translucent (thus he has to be naked to be invisible) walking round reminding people they have to go to their seminar on consent.

It's also a show that heavily skewers the idea of social cliques, the pressure to be the best and be number 1 or you won't make it and social media complete with it's own "Down with the patriarchy" poisonous sort of 'Feminist" youtuber (no really). This is a show that really does hate so much of the modern world and the seeming hypocrisy of it all. It's actually refreshing to see played out.

This is in no small part helped majorly with it's use of imagery as I'm pretty sure it's no accident one character ends up looking like Marylin Monroe during a certain Gala event. It's a show that really cuts into the idea of social problems being used as marketing too or at least pretending to care about them.

I will say one of the bits of social commentary I feel is going to fall flat specifically around the character of Jordan who has multiple powers one of which is to switch sexes and depending on if they're male Jordan or female Jorden their powers actually change from Male Jordan's super strength to Female Jordan's shockwave / force blasting powers. So to go full spoilers maybe not the best storyline to have with parents gave their son somewhat experimental drugs which caused biological changes causing Jordan to now want to be a woman......... like Jesus Christ is that giving some series story ammo to certain activist groups including TERFs in the most insane way because it basically is like going "They're only trans because of the drugs" and creative the implicit idea that some of the present trans activist push is doing what their opposition claims and trying to get people to transition or cause them to think they're trans of claims to be trans and get them on the drugs so they then go through with it as again Jordan only got the power to changes sexes or the desires to be the opposite sex after the experimental drugs. Then again this could also be the writer doing a meta commentary middle finger to studios and the media going "Here's your Trans character story you mandated enjoy fuckwads" and writing a story that will be read by many as a trans character story but in reality is both a massive veiled shot at trans activist and the media that pretends to care so much about them. Oh and to be clear at present my favourite character is a toss up at present between Emma and Jordan.

As for where "Xmen" come in, well this goes into the idea of the downsides of many powers that have to be dealt with by people with them. This really does feel like they've taken the formula of some College comedy film / American Pie formula and gone "This is what the world hoped for but look how fucked the world is" in a very fun way.

Honestly I kind of want to go a bit deeper into the ideas and themes and may do once the series is done (or if people really want me to dive more into them now in another post).

I will say it loses a point or two though for double standards (I mean it's a Sony show I expect it at this point) but really male nudity being deemed so fine that we get 2 penises in an episode by female nudity being deemed so off limits that we don't even see tits in a sex scene? fucking really?
 
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Piscian

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Now that Ahsoka is at it's penultimate episode, I think it's fair to say that this season was pretty underwhelming. There were great individual scenes, great episodes, even great performances, but just as a whole, it was boring. It felt like yet another "this TV show could have been a movie" Disney+ foible.

And it sucks, because this is the best Star Wars has looked since Mando Season 2 (barring Andor of course). They were at least able to make me feel like I was watching prestige television again, with how good the effects and sets can be. But I guess Filoni wants to save all the important shit for his movie, because this show was very much just filler.
Ive been so underwhelmed by the last two episodes I couldn't bring myself to even talk to about it. So many poor writing choices. Whelp it had one amazing episode at least.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Ive been so underwhelmed by the last two episodes I couldn't bring myself to even talk to about it. So many poor writing choices. Whelp it had one amazing episode at least.
What would you say was a poor writing choice? My quibbles with writing has mostly do with some pretty stiff dialogue.
 

Piscian

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I think my issues are more of the climax for the story being so underwhelming



  1. Who cares if Thrawn comes back? He was not in power long before the end of the war. Would the factions even support his leadership? He appears to barely have one Star Destroyer and a piecemeal batalion of troops? Whats the threat here?
  2. If Thrawn has survived this long why did he never go after Ezra? This could be forgiven, if they didn't find Ezra in about 5 minutes.
  3. Why does it only take about 5 minutes for her to find Ezra? 20 years or whatever and he's just been sitting on this planet about a 5 minute hike from a Sith sister temple? Nobody noticed? This just feels so cheap and lazy.
  4. Why doesn't Thrawn just nuke them from orbit? I'm confident its been established they can just bombard the surface with bombs or lasers. He literally has his exact location, fuck is he gonna run to?
  5. Why dont the troops immediately fire on them?
  6. WTF does Ezra take his light saber? he can smoke this whole squad with ease. "Oh hes a pacifist?" Naw he finally grabbed a gun and shot at them later in the same episode.
  7. WTF is going on with Balon? Is he suddenly a complete wank idiot?

 

Old_Hunter_77

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Gen V - Episodes 1-3
(Prime Video)


Rating: TBD but so far trending towards an 8 / 10

Thoughts tagline: Watchmen's Xmen American Pie

Thoughts (Non spoiler):

So did you like the Season 2 of The Boys? The stuff with Stormfront and it being a commentary on social media manipulation etc? If you answered yes then Gen V is more of that done more and done with university students who haven't yet made it in the world like many of the more established heroes in The Boys with the vices seemingly not fully there yet.

The show seems to be forming a bit of a mystery box style show where new student Marie is trying to make a success of herself after a family disaster when her powers first manifested which seems like an almost Carrie esc reference. Even before classes have started though Marie ends up dragged into series of events that start to spiral towards disaster thanks to Vought industries shady conspiracies leaving Marie and many others at Godolkin U to have to deal with the fallout and a mystery on their hands.

Social commentary:
I can hear it now "Oh we don't need another social commentary bit from Dwarvenhobble" well too bad you getting one because as I keep being told "everything is political" and so very much is Gen V which I'm amazed really does feel like it captures but explains the supposed "apathy" of Gen Z by feeling like this is American Pie but if it were both in the Watchmen universe but also with the kind of fairly cynical world view seen in Watchmen . This is a show that takes a look at modern society and just goes "I hate it, it's all so shit" from a hilarious "Look at our diversity" trailer for Godolkin U while in reality it some characters only seem to care about people for their diversity traits and not them as people to the invisible guy whose powers work the same was as Translucent (thus he has to be naked to be invisible) walking round reminding people they have to go to their seminar on consent.

It's also a show that heavily skewers the idea of social cliques, the pressure to be the best and be number 1 or you won't make it and social media complete with it's own "Down with the patriarchy" poisonous sort of 'Feminist" youtuber (no really). This is a show that really does hate so much of the modern world and the seeming hypocrisy of it all. It's actually refreshing to see played out.

This is in no small part helped majorly with it's use of imagery as I'm pretty sure it's no accident one character ends up looking like Marylin Monroe during a certain Gala event. It's a show that really cuts into the idea of social problems being used as marketing too or at least pretending to care about them.

I will say one of the bits of social commentary I feel is going to fall flat specifically around the character of Jordan who has multiple powers one of which is to switch sexes and depending on if they're male Jordan or female Jorden their powers actually change from Male Jordan's super strength to Female Jordan's shockwave / force blasting powers. So to go full spoilers maybe not the best storyline to have with parents gave their son somewhat experimental drugs which caused biological changes causing Jordan to now want to be a woman......... like Jesus Christ is that giving some series story ammo to certain activist groups including TERFs in the most insane way because it basically is like going "They're only trans because of the drugs" and creative the implicit idea that some of the present trans activist push is doing what their opposition claims and trying to get people to transition or cause them to think they're trans of claims to be trans and get them on the drugs so they then go through with it as again Jordan only got the power to changes sexes or the desires to be the opposite sex after the experimental drugs. Then again this could also be the writer doing a meta commentary middle finger to studios and the media going "Here's your Trans character story you mandated enjoy fuckwads" and writing a story that will be read by many as a trans character story but in reality is both a massive veiled shot at trans activist and the media that pretends to care so much about them. Oh and to be clear at present my favourite character is a toss up at present between Emma and Jordan.

As for where "Xmen" come in, well this goes into the idea of the downsides of many powers that have to be dealt with by people with them. This really does feel like they've taken the formula of some College comedy film / American Pie formula and gone "This is what the world hoped for but look how fucked the world is" in a very fun way.

Honestly I kind of want to go a bit deeper into the ideas and themes and may do once the series is done (or if people really want me to dive more into them now in another post).

I will say it loses a point or two though for double standards (I mean it's a Sony show I expect it at this point) but really male nudity being deemed so fine that we get 2 penises in an episode by female nudity being deemed so off limits that we don't even see tits in a sex scene? fucking really?
Man... that's a lot lol. I mean, thanks for fleshing it out.
I'm on the fence about this one because I love The Boys but a little goes a long way with this kind of stuff. I may check it out if/when I run out of other stuff to watch and I remember this is still a thing. My personal bias is I tend not to be interested in shows where the cast is very young, I just find adults more interesting.
 
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Old_Hunter_77

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The Changeling, episodes 1-6 (all that have aired thus far, on AppleTV+.

I read the book and from what I remember of it, the show is adheres religiously to it which is not surprising as the author is also the narrator of the show (just does brief intro and/or outro for each episode).

This is the latest entry in this sub-genre that has cropped up in recent years- black sci-fi, for lack of a better word. Spear-headed by Jordan Peele but now also Boots Riley, Lovecraft Country, etc. The Changeling is a reminder that while TV/movies might have finally caught on, this has been a thing for decades as black authors have contributed crucially to sci-fi, as we were painfully reminded of with the recent middling and confusing TV adaptation of Octavia's classic and brilliant Kindred novel.

Anydoodles, The Changeling is about a young couple that has a baby but the mother starts to freak out and go seemingly nuts that the baby isn't their baby and then all shit goes down. But there's a whole lot of other stuff- witches, social media, meditations on the value of literature and fatherhood, race of course, and a story about women's "power" and the need to be believed but it's all written by a man so... yeah, there's that.

The show is like the book in that there's some cool ideas and a compelling set-up and then, like, lots of stuff happens and the author has a lot to say about the world but either none of it coalesces in any coherent way or I'm too unsophisticated to get it.
What the show does have going for it is the cast which stars Lakeith Stanfield (the quirky dude in Atlanta) and I have not seen the woman that plays his wife but she has to carry the burden of all the mysterious sci-fi/fantasy stuff and she does a decent job.

This show also is another sub-genre I invented while discussing with my wife (with whom I'm watching) last night- the "Raised By Wolves" genre. That was a show that I loved but seemingly only I did because, like the Changeling, it's a collection of cool stuff, dumb stuff, and weird stuff, and proudly leans into its dorky sci-fi trappings. Foundation and See are in this genre. When I'm asked "would you recommend to watch this show" I cannot say yes or no, I have to know the person and ask them some preliminary questions. Like recommending medication or something. These shows are not.. well, good, per se, but they're fun to watch, especially with somebody. They're a good bonkers time and they're short (The Changeling is only going to be 8 episodes I believe).