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What Are You Watching? Infinite Season


#8292

Did I mention that I was watching the first season of the Netflix comedy show “Friends from College”? I liked it. It’s got a pretty crazy cast - there’s Keegan-Michael Key, Billy Eichner (from Bilyl on the Street), Cobie Smulders and Fred the actual Wonder Years guy Savage.

It’s basically about a group of friends from college who have had a reunion of sorts and are finding it hard to act like grown-ups around each other, and are also finding it hard to keep the various relationships in their group intact, in part because they know each other too well and have too much history. I think that a lot of this resonates with people from my generation and it’s nice to see a sitcom about people who are forty-ish for once.

It’s also pretty smart, and well-written, and while it goes into outrageous/embarrassing comedy territory sometimes, it doesn’t stray too far from what is essentially believable and understandable behaviour of these people. It’s not perfect, it’s not mindbogglingly brilliant, but it’s really well done and fun to watch. The season was over too quickly, really; I could’ve kept watching them for a while.

We had the trailer in the new shows thread a while ago, but I’ll repost it here just because:


#8293

We started watching the fifth season of Veep recently and blazed through it in less than a week. It’s still a very funny show but everything felt a bit broader this season, with more in the way of outrageous/silly developments that you might expect from a more knockabout sitcom, and less in the way of more focused political satire.

Maybe that’s partly because of Iannucci leaving the show and it getting a new showrunner, but I think it’s also due to the situation that Selina was left in at the end of season four, and the way it dominates this fifth season.

The ensemble of characters is still wonderful though, one of the best on TV, with some great performances and some very funny running gags.

The ending of the season leaves me very curious as to where the show goes next - it could be a much-needed change after the last couple of seasons, or it could leave the show a bit adrift and too far from what it needs to be to work. Either way it’s a bold move.


#8294

He’s been working pretty steadily the whole time, oddly. Mostly guest spots on other TV shows and some voice work, though he was a regular in three shows. He’s been directing regularly snce 1999 too.


#8295

I’ve been watching a lot of Jonathan Creek on Netflix the last couple of days. I think beyond maybe the first one with Sheridan Smith a few years ago, I’ve not seen Jonathan Creek since it originally aired in the late 90s. I was in primary school at the time and it was pretty huge (our school played Danse Macabre in an assembly once and everyone knew it as the Jonathan Creek theme).

Going back to it, my first surprise was Tony Head in the pilot as Adam Klaus, who is then absent for the rest of the series (I guess they were banking on Buffy getting cancelled). It’s also a bit less family friendly than I was expecting. I mean there’s all the murders, yeah, but a fair bit of nudity and sex talk which I really don’t remember.

Anyway, the show’s quite cleverly constructed, as it’s really a howdunnit more than a whodunnit. The connection to magic is obvious, with Jonathan being a stage magic producer, but it’s really all about taking familiar tropes from magic tricks, stripping them of the safe context of a stage show (where, even though you don’t know how its done, you know it’s a trick), and presenting them with the full impact they would have if they were a real occurrence. It gels nicely with Magic’s Greatest Secrets Revealed (which I’ve also been watching on Netflix lately), in that you’re presented with a trick and the solution, and watching the latter has made me sharper on the mysteries in the former. I worked out one instantly as it was shown (while another I remembered dead on since it first aired, which is impressive for a 20 year old show), which feels oddly rewarding.

Everything else to the show is really just dressing on the mysteries really, giving you time to work it out, throwing in red herrings and a familiar character to explain it all to you. You can argue that all mystery stories are like that, but Jonathan Creek moreso than most. It’s just a few steps removed from those old Cluedo TV shows really.

I think the problem for me is Jonathan and Maddie themselves. Quentin’s a decent actress, but the relationship between Maddie and Jonathan is more annoying than anything. The “bickering besties” thing would be fine, but they try to mix in too much of a “will they, won’t they?” element, while making the characters too self-aware of that for it to feel real. Best part of two seasons in and I have no emotional investment in whether they get together or not, I just wish they’d pick one or the other. Maybe that’s hindsight playing a part from knowing Maddie isn’t in the later series.

Davies is also a bit limited as an actor. Again, maybe that’s seeing him so much as himself on QI and As Yet Untitled bleeding tainting my impressions. It’s not that I don’t believe his character knowing so much, it’s just that Davies’ performance is best described as “sleepy” for the most part. There are times when he really goes for it, feels like he’s engaged with story and characters, but they’re quite rare. His take on Jonathan is mostly just dour and bored, stuck having to investigate things he seemingly doesn’t care about and giving explanations to people he thinks are impossibly dim. The denouements are often the weakest part of the show, because it’s usually Davies droning with little emotion.


#8296

I watched it all a few years ago. I mostly really liked the mysteries while not caring for most of the comedy stuff, especially the early seasons with Quentin.

The comedy side of the show improves after she leaves, but the mysteries aren’t on the same level either.


#8297

I watched it all as it aired but have never really revisited it.

Some of the ideas have really stayed with me though, Renwick is a fun writer with a good imagination for how to push plots in odd directions (and Creek uses it for drama where OFITG used it for comedy) - the bunker/brick wall/toilet one and the locked room/samurai sword/ape one have really lived in my memory. Both were from an early series I think, but I recall them very clearly.

Also, I love his black humour, which the show often deploys quite well (although I haven’t found the more recent episodes as funny as the show used to me - partly that’s because of the lack of Quentin I think, she was a good comedy actress and helped that side of the show along better than her replacements, so I guess I feel the opposite to Paul!).


#8298

Exactly the one I remembered vividly!

The one I worked out was the episode with Peter Davison, where a murderer in a skeleton costume takes a hostage into a garage, closes the door and then only the hostage is there when the door is opened again - really it was the hostage in the skeleton costume and carrying a small dummy in her own clothes, which she then changes into and disposes of the skeleton costume in old paint tins


#8299

As people have been talking about it a lot lately, and because I loved Stargate SG-1, I got the first episode of Dark Matter off Sky On Demand the other day. They had all of seasons 1 and 2, plus all that’s been broadcast of 3 on there. Watched the first episode today and I really enjoyed it. Super keen to carry on with the series. Except… all but the most recent handful of episodes have disappeared off Sky On Demand. I’ve been trying to look around online to see if they’ve been intentionally removed, are airing some other time or what-have-you, but it’s quite hard to do that while avoiding spoilers for the whole thing. As it is, they seem to be gone completely, which is pretty annoying. :expressionless:


#8300

And then apparently went to a party where one of them came this close to decking John Lennon (not having a clue who he was!).

You really need to seek out the documentary, I think you’d enjoy it.


#8301

Bands of that era were mixed up in some crazy stuff. Charles Manson lived with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys for a time.


#8302

@BenObiwomble and @MartinSmith, Both Killjoys and Dark Matter have currently not been renewed for next season. #RenewDarkMatter is something i’ve been pushing along with the Cast and Creators as well as all the other fans. There is a rumor that, if they both get renewed, there may be a crossover between the two. following is a spoiler about how it may happen and if you haven’t got far enough in Dark Matter this will be a surprise (the Raza has a blink drive that can and has sent them to different universes and times .

So if you have twitter, could you please help support the effort?

Martin, can you access Syfy.com or Space.ca(canadian site). they are the broadcast networks who televise the show in North America. They have the episodes on there.


#8303

He also wrote a couple songs for them, which they ripped him off and never paid him for.


#8304

Possibly, but I don’t really want to watch them on my PC.


#8305

If you have a smart TV or a wifi device like a play station 4 or roku, etc. you could try and access it on your TV. Back in the day, I used to hook the pc directly into the tv. Those are some options but I understand if you think they are too much hassle.


#8306

It’ll most likely be geo-blocked anyway. Almost all TV streaming content is.


#8307

thats why I asked . I know there is a lot of geoblocking. I can’t access Space.ca myself.


#8308

Watched the first season of The Mist on Netflix. I love the Frank Darabont movie, and this was never going to measure up too that, but I think it does an alright job of taking the core idea and expanding it for telly.

The biggest change they make is the actual nature of The Mist. Instead of being filled with giant monsters, it acts more like the Scarecrows fear gas, and manifests peoples fears and other creatures to kill them.

It does fall into The Walking Dead trap of downplaying The Mist/Zombies in order to show the evil of man. But I was never bored, and generally enjoyed the different story threads.

It’s got good set up for a second season so I’m hoping it gets renewed by whatever network actually makes it.


#8309

The Founder - Wow. Michael Keaton is really having this renaissance in his career. He does familiar and kind of bubbly with this creepy off center kind of maniacal feel so well. I think it’s what made him work as Batman despite lacking the physicality for a character like that. The story really doesn’t pull any punches in telling Ray Kroc’s story but shows how his vision along with the McDonald brothers’ genius built such a juggernaut. To put things in perspective, Toyota studied what the system created for the restaurant when they were envisioning their Toyota Production System which almost every modern production system traces its roots. It was a great watch.

Hip Hop Evolution - This Netflix documentary series traces a similar path to Hip Hop Family tree and shows the development of hip hop from its earliest roots to gangster rap. It was really cool to see some of the fathers of the genre tell stories in their own words and a bit humbling to see how little financial gain they seem to have acquired from it. If you’re a fan of hip hop, it’s unlikely that this series will offer any new information but it is a great concise timeline with some of the legends of that music.


#8310

I’m not on Twitter, but am far enough in DM that that spoiler wasn’t for me.

Believe Dark Matter has been planned out as a 5-series run?


#8311

I watched it a few months back and enjoyed it immensely I have to say what struck me most was how fucking terrible the Bronx was in the 1970s. It looks like Beirut after a serious bombing and I am not being funny.