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What Are You Watching? Infinite Season


Yeah agreed, I don’t see a direct link between tone and subject matter and my mood most of the time. Some of the most depressing viewing can be a cheesy show full of forced jolliness.

You need a mix of stuff but I can definitely derive pleasure from something that goes to very dark places. Although not usually my cup of tea I can see it in the same way people watch horror films, in theory even if they may vanquish the baddie at the end it’s usually after a harrowing loss of friends and PTSD inducing experiences but it’s also fun.


One of the cable channels last night was showing the 2007 adaptation of Stephen King’s THE MIST, which I haven’t seen in 10 years. I was surprised to see how many actors from the first season of THE WALKING DEAD (Carol, Dale, Andrea…) appeared in the film – then I remembered, the director was Frank Darabont.


Well that’s one of the reasons why I don’t think Logan was a good movie despite being a very well made movie… or maybe I should say a good SH movie, to be more precise.


Finished Dirk Gently S2:

It’s a strange, strange show that’s utterly batcrap crazy yet very watchable, as to how it concluded, it only hot Netflix last Friday so spoilers:

Hobbs and Tina were my favourites out of the new additions - their story’s likely done, but they were great.

Bart - Have to admit I was disappointed there was no actual depiction of the chainsaw carnage she inflicted upon the Knights Kellum, nor did it handle where she ends up particularly well

Ken - Well, how can I put it? Ah yes, this bastard needs to die, along with his new, best friend Mr Priest. His scene with Bart was effective at showing how far gone he was too. I can’t say I like this twist though.

Mr Priest - You can tell Tudyk’s having fun in this role.

The Rowdy 3 - This quartet remains a lot of fun.

Todd and Amanda - This resolved their plot well and left the door open in the future.

Friedkin - He started an idiot, stayed an idiot and died almost sorting himself out There could be more going on if it continues.

Suzie - Up yours, you psychopathic feckwit.

Farah - Got a good amount of the story and the bit where the gang go, ‘who could kill a demonic mage?’, then conclude it was Farah was funny.

The Mage - A bit of a different role for John Hannah. It’s notable that the Mage is the way he is because he was created by a kid, so of course he’ll be a psychopathic bastard, with no depth whatsoever, unlike Suzie who has no excuse for what she ends up as.

Couple of things both series did well was avoid a lack of padding, the number of episodes felt right for the story. Second, the S2 finale didn’t do what the S1 finale did - which was to continue on 10 minutes too long in a blatantly obvious ‘set-up-the-cliffhanger-for-the-next-series’ section.


I really enjoyed Ken’s subplot. It felt like a very natural way to go with his character and the greater sorta myth-arc they’re trying to do with the Blackwing Subjects.

Him and Hugo are really why I’m disappointed it was cancelled.


If they hadn’t gone as far as they did in that last ep, I would have been more intrigued as that would set in flow an exploration of what role Blackwing serves as an institution for those very much unsuited to the world, but they went straight ‘mwahahaha! I will control everything by going to the dark side!’ By doing this, there’d be a conflict with Mr Priest, as the hardliner too.

Oh well, it’s dead and it’ll stay dead


I saw it more as the ultimate extension of Ken’s role as the “straight man” in the show. And did you foresee conflict with Priest? I felt that he more or less responded well to Ken’s concision more than anything else.

And yeah, it’s dead. But what a ride it was.


Mr Priest - Yeah, as it is, with Ken going ‘unlimited powah!’, Priest is going to approve of that. Had Ken been less so, he probably wouldn’t.


Yeah, precisely.
This season really felt like an improvement on all rounds. The amount that is shown outright but still not elucidated on is much more balanced and kept the frenzied tone with stable forward momentum. Hope it does well when it hits US Netflix, just so people enjoy it.


Wow. Awful? I can understand not being interested in the story or characters but The Handmaid’s Tale is certainly very well made.

I loved it - some of the best TV I’ve seen in ages - no filler (much like Stranger Things and Big Little Lies and Mindhunter, and unlike Breaking Bad or Hannibal), really tight. Amazing acting, Moss having to convey things so subtly. Even Joseph Fiennes impressed. Lovely use of colour throughout. Great musical choices too.

Is it depressing? It’s a dystopia - I’d imagine it’s harder to watch as a woman than a man. The world they live in is pretty bleak for most people, but we do get hints of the better existence that some have, and the world outside the US.


It’s a heavy handed forced dystopia environment that doesn’t hold up to the slightest scrutiny and doesn’t work at all as a realistic setting. It’s as forced and clumsy as Hunger Games, Divergent and Maze Runner - shite sci-fi for preteens. Low thinking blindingly obvious ham fisted allegory that basically farting directly up your nose so you get the hint things might smell a bit. Starting the meek little girl who’ll turn out to be special and able to overcome because the Heroes Journey in the 21st century has been distilled down to utter drek to jerk off the target audience like Andre the Giant has his hands down your pants.

On top of that it portrays the very worst possible iteration of Christianity ignoring how the actual religion has been practiced and avoiding using Islam like the book was really critizing. But hating on made up Christianity is so satisfying compared to thinking about actual reality.

None of the characters acts remotely like a real person, they’re all just playing a shell of a role with no personal flavor to make them interesting. You could cast a line of Speak and Spells in their place and you’d have the same level of humanity.

And on top of all that it’s boring a fuck with overlong scenes that add nothing and lingering cameras because there’s no meat in the script. 15 minutes worth of obvious events dragged over a painful hour.

Putting it in the same sentence as Breaking Bad is like serving a $100 steak with a side of ketchup mixed with piss.

But if you like it then fair play to you Andrew. I’d rather watch the wee TV logo bounce around on the screen when I pause the show.


Counterpart’s first episode was really good. Hit a great PKD tone in the vein of some of his more dressed down works and JK Simmons is giving it his all.


That’s a lot to gather from just the first episode. Maybe the religion angle was too much for you, but I never saw it as being critical of all Christianity; it’s an extreme interpretation practiced by a weird sect that happened to be in a position to take power.

Incredibly tense throughout (I’ve not read the book, had no idea what was coming), and at only 10 episodes didn’t outstay its welcome (unlike Breaking Bad where whole episodes pass with nothing happening).

There’s a case to be made that the political environment contributed to the show resonating as much as it did but the book is old and the show was in the works from back when everyone assumed a female President was around the corner.


With Seinfeld’s Netflix deal, we’ve been watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - just random episodes based on the guests but I could probably watch all of them (will watch the Fallon ones eventually). They’re all short and make for easy sort of dinnertime viewing (we’re savages, rarely using the dining room) - Norm MacDonald was a highlight in terms of laughs, but some are more interesting or touching than funny, but still worth it.


I haven’t seen the TV series so can’t comment on that. This description doesn’t really line up with my read of the boo though, albeit from a while ago. I’ve never heard anyone describe Margaret Atwood as writing shite pre teen sci-fi :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


The TV show is fairly faithful to the book.

The series is very novelistic in structure, so some of the elements that seem shocking and/or difficult to understand in early episodes get expanded upon in a lot more depth later in the series.


Donald Trump

Mike Pence


‘Darkest Hour’, the latest Churchill movie, and the other Dunkirk movie.

For the first hour and then some it’s good, often really good. Oldman doesn’t really do Churchill’s voice, but he gets the mannerisms down perfectly and the make-up is amazing.

The supporting cast are all excellent (especially Kristin Scott-Thomas, who steals all her scenes and you do wish she had more of them) and it looks very good, if a little over done with the whole business of light in the darkness as a metaphor.

However, the last third doesn’t really bring it all together. We know (or should know) where this is going, so it’s not about suspense, but about the journey, and that journey takes some really strange paths.

The worst offender is the scene on the London Underground. It’s the most ham-fisted thing I’ve seen in years! How anyone involved thought it was even a good idea, let alone something that should be in the final movie is just unbelievable?! I’m not exaggerating. I kept expecting Churchill to wake up, and that it was just some kind of inspiring dream.

So we’re left with some very good bits, but a lacklustre resolution, which is a real shame since it’s a genuinely important part of global history and worth revisiting, not just now, but in the future too.


Atwood is hamfisted for the literary set. I read the book in college, and at the time it was easy to digest for what it was, a cautionary tale. But it’s been coopted by people with a delusional sense of reality, and the metaphor is now interpreted as more or less true of now. And I have since begun to view Atwood herself as totally lacking reasonable perspective. I’m a Homer nut. I spent one year reading various interpretations of The Iliad. And I love The Odyssey. Atwood wrote a book “from the perspective of” Odysseus’s wife Penelope. And she spent the whole book explaining how awful Odysseus is. It reads like exactly the opposite of what literature is supposed to be, an enlightening look at life as we might otherwise not see reflected in the real world. It was instead an idiotic version of a feminist rant. Which is the kind of ranting that dominates public discourse today. So of course an Atwood book is getting all kinds of publicity.


This part I have to disagree with. Some of the choices work, but I kind of hated some of the musical choices. Really pulled me out of the scenes at times. There’s a very pivotal scene with Alexis Bledel’s character that should have be super powerful, but then some jarring punk song starts blasting and it killed the entire moment for me.

I think Handmaid’s Tale is a well produced and acted show, but I also kind of get some of Jim’s points. While it’s certainly a timely show, the dystopian premise was pretty hard for me to buy into. I kept wondering how it all happened, and the glimpses we do get didn’t really convince me. But it is kind of a “right place, right time” show.


Sounds like a fun exercise. I think you may be taking this more seriously than Atwood herself. This kind of perspective shift hasn’t been all that unusal at the very least since Jean Rhys’ “Wide Sargasso Sea” in the sixties, and that one didn’t anger fans of Charlotte Brontë, either.

I haven’t read all that much of hers, but “Oryx and Crake” is another dystopia that’s written very cleverly and has a lot of fun with its vision of the future. I think painting Atwood as a dour feminist with an agenda is doing her an injustice.