TV's back!!!

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by superstring01, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. superstring01 Moderator

    Yeah. That's right. I admit it. I'm a TV addict and I've been jonesin' for about three months. But all that is nearly in the past. Starting next week, here in the USA (I don't know how it works outside Rome. . . Barbarians!), but what passes for "quality" TV shows pretty much dries up in the warmer months. Then. . . as the leaves turn. . . the good stuff starts again.

    What am I and my DVR looking forward to?
    "The Event" (new)
    "Outsourced" (new)
    "Chase" (new)
    "Family Guy" & "American Dad"
    "House MD"
    "30 Rock"
    "Stargate Universe"

    Considering other shows. . .
    "Hawaii Five-O" (new)
    "Nikita" (new)
    "Undercovers" (new)

    How did I pass the summer?

    I had to make due with:
    "Lie To Me"
    "Covert Affairs" (which I really like)
    "Warehouse 13" (which I couldn't get into last summer, but really enjoyed this time 'round)
    "Futurama" (which, though not nearly as good as the first series, is still better than no Futurama)

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  3. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I downloaded the BBC "India", "Genius of Briton", "History of Science" "Byzantium" which I found pretty good. I have around 2TB of anime I need to sort through. Other than that I want to see the new Caprica

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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    There are only a few channels that I think are very good but they are on either satellite or cable networks. Few of the "normal" TV stations have anything really worthwhile any longer , to me, so I can't say that TV has "improved" at all.
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

  8. Giambattista sssssssssssssssssssssssss sssss Valued Senior Member

    TV's back? TV's crap!
  9. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

    I'm disappointed by what TV has to offer these days. The only currently running shows I give a damn about are True Blood, Sons Of Anarchy, Fringe, Doctor Who and Torchwood. And the crappy part is that most of these shows have short seasons; like 10 or 12 episodes. :shrug:
  10. superstring01 Moderator

    Oh, SNAP! I totally forgot!

  11. superstring01 Moderator

    Generally speaking, TV has always been crap. Name a decade when more than a small fraction of the TV shows were quality?

    See, when using hind-sight, it's easy to be nostalgic. But, whatever period you consider, most of the offerings were of despicably low quality.

    The one major advantage now is that there is so much on, that invariably, there will be a fraction of it that's good, but because of the size of the offerings, there is literally something for everybody.

    I also forgot about "V" and as I mentioned "Dexter".

    Also, one cannot forget all the good Science Channel, History Channel, A&E and other similar offerings.

  12. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

    Sturgeon's Law:

    "Ninety percent of everything is crud."

    Originally made in response to the claim that 90% of SF was crud.

    IOW, SF (or TV in this case) is just following the general standard.
  13. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

    Don't care
    Don't care
    Don't care
    Don't watch
    Don't watch
    Don't watch
    can take or leave
    Don't watch
    Don't watch
    Never watched the original, why start now?
  14. SilentLi89 Registered Senior Member

    I am a huge cartoon watcher and I always have been and I have to say the cartoons in the 90s were kickin'. Now there aren't even that many left on tv, good or bad. But I'm glad the shows I like will be back, like Glee, Modern Family and V. Not very many of the new shows seem all that appealing to me, but I'll give them a try, of course. I wasn't all that interested in Glee at first ad either.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Insert title here)

    I intend to give The Event a chance, but in truth I don't have much faith in the broadcast networks. Then again, I'm hooked on some bad television, too, so there's not much room to complain. I started watching CBS crime dramas during the years of my cable dearth, and while Criminal Minds isn't bad as such, the only excuse I have for watching NCIS is that I'm fascinated by the mix of bad writing and long-term story development. (I don't watch CSI in any form.) So, yeah, if The Event proves out, it will be a nice change.

    I'm always happy to sit through the McFarlane shows, and the Futurama revival is one I can appreciate.

    Right now, though, I'm having a debate with myself; I just finished catching up on season three of HBO's True Blood, after having been introduced to it only a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what to say about that except that I rather enjoy watching them struggle to turn what seems a trashy romance-with-a-twist into something epic and profound. If the season three finale was also the series finale, I could have appreciated that. I have access to the first two seasons, but don't seem in much of a rush to watch them, and I'm not chewing my nails waiting for season four.

    So next week I get to see whether I can tolerate any more NCIS, and whether the NCIS: LA project is worth enduring for another season (I only put up with it because of the Dominic Vail plot, and because I enjoy the ham-handed attempts to make Hetty Lang into some sort of sage character). Numb3rs is gone; I would have liked to see how the writers dug themselves out of that hole. And while I still enjoy Criminal Minds, I can tell they're struggling to keep a format drama fresh.

    But most of this is just holdover from my non-cable days. And my grim outlook on network television is because, despite the disappointing ending, I have yet to see anything new that rivals Battlestar Galactica.

    I've generally lost interest in House MD, though I'll still watch it occasionally.

    But who knows? Stargate Universe might hold its own; I haven't been paying attention to it so far. Meanwhile, I'm hoping Cartoon Network gets its act together and stops foisting all of this Squidbillies and Xavier: Renegade Angel on us. Boondocks is the only good new thing they've brought us in recent years, and I can only put up with Cowboy Bebop and Stand Alone Complex reruns for so much longer.
  16. superstring01 Moderator

    Tough crowd!

    I like "Modern Familiy" too, but it's integrated-ness is a bit to contrived for me. This is not to say it's not good fun, and to be certain EVERY show has stuff you just have to disregard, but some of the plot devices are a bit much.

    Well, "Flash Forward", "Fringe", "Glee" and "Life On Mars" almost won me back. Then "Flash Forward" and "Life On Mars" were canceled and I was a bit salty for a while. But I'm an addict and even one bad score (or dozens for that matter) never truly pushed me away.

    I watched the first three seasons. Religiously. Then I left. I did the same thing to CSI and House, and now I'm sorta back there too. So, I definitely can be wooed. Plus, I fully admit that my standards of television are woefully low. If there are guns, aliens, substantial action, weird dimensions, space ships and explosions, I'll gobble it up like Ritz Crackers slathered in Nutella.

    Which begs the question, why is "The Simpsons" still on? "The Cleveland Show" I sorta get. The first half of the season was wretched, but I caught a few episodes and actually laughed.

    I'm waiting to rent it on DVD. I won't buy anymore premium subscriptions for a single TV series on account of Showtime already having that honor (which. . . shit. . . I have to order before next week).

    I forgot, "Caprica" which is pretty damned good. And I have to hand it to Moore, he's not trying to emulate the original. He's completely departed.

    Oh, and there's another spinoff in the works!!!

    I drifted too.

    You too shall return to the fold.

    I came back last year on account of the superb writing. Can't wait for this season.

    The season finale rocked.

    Now you're speaking Greek to me. My stinkin' boyfriend is obsessed with the Cartoon Network. He watches all that shit (including "Spongebob" and "King of the Hill", which I loath).

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    10 days till Dexter!
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That was a big problem forty years ago. I actually didn't own a TV from 1960 to 1973. When I finally got one, I only found about three or four shows in reruns that I would have regretted missing. But there were only about fifteen channels in those days. Today there are more than a hundred. Yeah, only a small fraction of them are things I want to watch, but that still gives me an average of one show every night, which is a perfectly fine percentage of my time to devote to passive entertainment.
    Indeed. We won't all like the same things because very few of them are great art, but the best of them are still art and no one has to apologize for watching.

    I even understand what people get from talk shows; it's a virtual family for our increasingly estranged population. But what I don't understand is The News For People Who Can't Read, or worse yet, The News For People Who Aren't Bright Enough To Follow Network News (i.e. cable news). I guess life is too easy and people need something to be frightened of. TV news sure keeps 'em scared.

    Still, we are waaay overdue for a new production with Muppets. "Dinosaurs!" was one of the best shows ever on TV, one of only two or three that I feel like spending the time to watch a second time on DVD. Not just amusing, not just entertaining, but thought-provoking. I still get cold chills when I remember the series closer--as if Jim Henson would not have the creativity and the nerve to come up with his own theory about the dinosaurs' extinction.

    "What's wrong, Daddy? Why is it so dark and everybody's so sad?" -- "Well son, they put Daddy in charge of the world, and I guess he just didn't take very good care of it." -- Roll to Credits.
    One of the ones I like.
    You and me both.
    It's much better than "Atlantis." I'm holding out a lot of hope for it. Meanwhile I'm so nostalgic for the days of Star Trek: TNG & DS9, Babylon 5 and Highlander.
    I agree, but isn't it all reruns?

    Other shows that round out my week:
    • The Daily Show
    • So You Think You Can Dance
    • South Park (although it hasn't exactly been on a roll lately)
    • Breaking Bad (arguably the best thing on TV)
    • Burn Notice (Jon Stewart calls it "a fashion show for sunglasses" but it strikes my fancy)
    • White Collar
    • Leverage (the quality has been deteriorating so I might 86 it if it doesn't improve)
    • Dancing with the Stars (okay, so I like dancing and these shows have fabulous performances after everybody's had a few weeks to learn more and they've weeded out the losers)
    I mourn "V" and "Flash Forward." I'm patiently waiting for the new Star Trek series with an all-new universe to spin off from the last movie. That was a stroke of genius.
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This and That

    I used to appreciate ABC for carrying Politically Incorrect, but they blew that respectability with sitcoms like Dharma & Greg. If only they had the courage to carry Life On Mars to a more natural conclusion. Really, they could have won me back. (I was an NBC child for years, but attended other networks for certain shows. I even became a FOX fan for a while, when their Sunday night lineup was the best thing since NBC must-see Thursdays. It's been a strange few years that I've found myself watching more CBS shows than anyone else's, but that's the way of the market, I guess.) Yeah, Dharma & Greg, and then Maher's dismissal, made me hostile toward ABC for years. Life on Mars had the potential for greatness, but apparently couldn't get the ratings.

    But that actually brings to mind one of Fraggle's points:

    Network TV has no interest in great art. Cable television has greater potential, but even Weeds has lost its stony charm. Mad Men is pretty good; it just doesn't appeal to me the way it does to some of my friends. But truly great art is a risk for the broadcast networks. Like the Life on Mars debacle. I have naught but fond memories of that one, but great art doesn't get great ratings in its day. Part of the greatness of certain art is its endurance, its power to affect people over the course of years, or even generations. Like the "Little Red Riding Hood" episode of I Love Lucy. Just as an episode of any television series, it's outstanding. But understanding what it represents in the evolution of television entertainment? It should be iconic. But what do most people I know remember about that show? The damn chocolate factory scene. Which isn't bad, by any means. But, really, compared to Desi doing "Little Red Riding Hood"? Pop art versus great art, right there. So says my two cents.

    Two words: Cash cowabunga.

    I've found that McFarlane's humor is an acquired taste. Kind of like some people drink beer and some drink wine. I remember the first time I ever tasted a beer, I couldn't imagine why people liked it. And then, in college, trying to like beer? For a while, I thought Henry Weinhard's Ale (the green label) was the best stuff in the world. And then I discovered real beer.

    Likewise, I had to force myself to like wine. Now there are a few, like real Zinfandel, that I properly adore. And learning to drink whiskey was a process, too. Acquired tastes, all of them.

    Scotch still gives me trouble, though I did encounter a couple in Edinburgh that I actually enjoyed.

    It's better than I expected, but still a romance struggling to be something more. I actually like the way they closed the third season; I haven't seen the first two. But if they ended the series right there, everything would be just fine. I'm not sure if a fourth season will do the show credit or screw its reputation into the ground. And, yes, Anna Paquin has really nice breasts, but that's probably not something you'd appreciate; there is more homoerotica in the series than one might expect, though.

    And it has a great title sequence, of all things.

    Unfortunately, it didn't grab me the way I'd hoped. It certainly has potential; maybe now that I can follow it on a regular basis, I'll settle in and appreciate it properly.

    Always good news. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Probably. Possibly. Something like that. I caught the season finale in rebroadcast the other night, and ... well, I'm not pleased with the love story.

    It's always been a hard sell for me. I'll give it some attention this season.

    I despise Spongebob, largely because I see too much of it. (Even worse is Flapjack; if you haven't seen it, don't ask.)

    King of the Hill had its moments, but I tired of it back during its original run. I will always be grateful, though, that I can now listen to "Wouldn't It Be Nice", the Beach Boys' classic, without weeping. (It was the song playing in the background, in May, 1990, when Andy Lippincott succumbed to AIDS in Doonesbury.)

    Cartoon Network has undertaken the initiative to produce a number of shows under its own brand. Most of it is abysmal. In truth, the best of them is probably Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which you've probably endured before (the talking fast food). Hell, Meatwad even got a Chevrolet advert at one point.

    I take it back: The Boondocks is also under the CN/Adult Swim brand. That is, without any question, their best endeavor. I only read the daily strip occasionally, but the show is just hilarious. It's probably even better on DVD, without certain words bleeped out.

    But at least half of my obsession with CN's anime pickups has to do with writing construction over the course of the series. Stand Alone Complex is in toto far greater than the sum of its parts. Same thing with Inuyasha. And Cowboy Bebop, but it's even more depressing than SAC.

    I really need to break out of the CN mold and pick up some other anime.

    • • •​

    Actually, season three arrived after a hiatus. The first two seasons ran 2005-2008. Season three ran from May to August of this year. And word is that there will, in fact, be a season four, including "Huey's Wet Dream" (rumored episode nine).

    So, yeah ... we'll see what they bring us in the future. I have high hopes.
  20. Janus58 Valued Senior Member


    • Two shows I do watch, though I must admit, a part of the draw of "Leverage" is that it is filmed here in Portland, OR. I have a great deal of fun looking for familiar landmarks.( For instance, in a recent episode our convention center stood in for the concourse of an airport, and my wife noticed in another episode that the part of a street coffee vendor was played by the real vendor.)
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I love Spongebob and I insist that my band learns the theme song because we often play family-friendly venues and someone's going to need it. But sure, it's a kids' show and you only have a certain number of hours in the day/week/whatever during which you want to be in a kids' world. I probably don't see it more than once a month. The first feature-length movie was stupendous!
    I thought the strip was one of the better ones, but the animated show is even better. The classic line, "Nothing worth reading was ever written by a man who was typing with his thumbs," is one I repeat rather frequently.
    I can't believe what you said earlier about being a network loyalist. In some years I do notice that one network produces more shows that I like and another produces fewer, but not to the extreme that I would expect to watch primarily one of them. It's not like 1981 when our cable company finally got MTV, and we watched it all night every night for a month. And we're certainly glad that we did! They don't make very many videos like that any more and even if they did, they'd be hard to find amid all the misnamed "reality" shows.
    Oh, thanks for the info. I had no idea. I'm sure they'll all be rerun frequently. Now my problem is that they're listed under "Adult Swim" so I can't just set my DVR to record "Boondocks."
    You could say that in just about any context.

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  22. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    The only things I have been watching on a regular basis are....

    The Young and the Restless of course

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    Masterchef ( Season Finale was Wed )

    America's Got Talent ( Season Finale was Wed )

    Hell's Kitchen ( Starting up again next week )

    If I must watch cartoons, I like South Park and Spongebob.

    IMO there is more crap on, then anything good.

    I mean how many times can someone watch Big Brother or the Bachelor or Bachelorette. I can't stand these shows, it is such fake bullshit.
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It's well produced and with their budget they can hire top talent, but they recycle their plot lines just a little too quickly. Has Victor Newman disappeared in another "fatal" car accident lately?

    We used to watch "Guiding Light" and although we drifted away from it I was sad to see it go: the end of an era, the longest-running soap opera, from the days of 15-minute radio shows that really were sponsored by detergent companies. I had to catch the series finale and it was sweet to see Josh and Reva finally drive off into the sunset in that 1948 pickup truck.

    We've been watching "General Hospital" for more than twenty years, and my wife still does, but I got pissed off when they started killing off important characters just for the sake of bringing in a young cast to try to appeal to a younger audience. They don't get it, the core audience for network TV is the over-50 crowd; that's why NCIS and Dancing with the Stars are always the top shows. Kids don't have the attention span to watch an entire episode of anything.

    We caught "Santa Barbara" a couple years after its debut and stuck with it till the bitter end. We knew it was too erudite to last. The doctors and lawyers actually spoke like college graduates, none of this "You need to lay down " crap. That was one of the finest shows ever on TV in any time slot. But it gave Nancy Lee Grahn her debut and she was able to switch over to GH.
    You have impeccable taste. I miss "Daria" and "Duckman."
    I think we have all agreed on that point. I think we also need to agree that one person's crap is another's magic moment in a dreary day. We used to watch a lot of the Saturday morning stuff: "Pee-Wee's Playhouse," "Hey Vern It's Ernest" (R.I.P. Jim Varney

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    ), "Ren and Stimpy," "Doug," "Rugrats" . . . .
    At some level people understand that it's fake bullshit. It's just the kind of entertainment they enjoy. How many professional "wrestling" fans do you think actually believe that it's an honest sport? It's the same thing. The "rivalry" is just as phony as the political "rivalry" between the two Conferences of the Republocrat League, but the "competition" is just as slickly produced.

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