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What Are You Watching? - Film & Tv Recommendations


Rymdkejsaren
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I was about to hijack the Star Wars thread with further discussions about Idris Elba when I realised it is probably better if I simply start a film and TV thread. Feel free to post about films and TV series that you think we should check out (or stay away from). Be constructive and remember that people like different things, and that is okay.

 

My first recommendation is appropriately one of my absolute favourite TV shows. I do not like saying that something is "the best" because that depends on how you compare and what mood you are in, but if I had a gun to my head, this is what I would say:

 

Watch The Wire. All of it. It is in a class of its own, not your regular "one murder per episode" but a slice of reality with all that comes with it. The writing is fantastic and the acting is wonderful, David Simon (the creator) has a knack for finding talent and he also uses a lot of local people in his productions. You will recognise a lot of actors whose careers started on the streets of Baltimore (including Idris Elba).

 

They recently released it in widescreen, after much debate, as it was filmed for 4:3 and David Simon did not want to change it because many of the scenes were set for those proportions. But, like me, you might find it is hard to watch in 4:3 these days.

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Well, beyond the classics (Sopranos, Firefly, etc)...

 

For those who like politics: The Thick of It. The best definition of the mud that are high politics since Yes, minister. If it's too brit for your taste, the same team is in charge of Veep for the HBO

 

For those who like sci-fi: The Expanse. This one just started but is quite promising. It has bits from Battlestar Galactica, Total Recall and Game of Thrones. It started this week and has already 4 chapters rolling. Mankind has colonized the Solar System and a cold war between Mars and Earth is about to go not so cold, witht those in the mining colonies as second rate citizens.

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Well Breaking Bad was of course awesome, but I imagine most people have seen that, ditto with Game of Thrones and Sherlock.

I also enjoyed the first season of Sense8 and Marco Polo (Netflix originals). Vikings is another great series and I would also recommend The Americans.

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I have seen most of these and enjoyed them (I watch a lot of TV series) but the Expanse is definitely on my "to watch" list now. A series that has not been mentioned so far is Black Sails. I enjoyed the fairly short first season well enough, but it really grows in the second season. Both the story and the characters turn out to have a lot more depth than I first expected. It is slated for another two seasons, so I really look forwards to following that.

 

Oh. And I have started using Rick & Morty to turn off my brain when I need a break from correcting people's grammar. I find it absolutely hilarious and quite charming (despite the main character being a psychopath), although it is a type of comedy that is probably not for everyone.

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Out of the usual series powerhouses (US, UK and to some extend, Denmark) there are two series that are unique in what they explain and at the same time have a very respectable production and acting. 

 

The best portrait of the greed and corruption that teared down Spain and paved the way to get such deep crisis after the subprime burst is a miniseries called "Crematorium", made by Canal+ a few years back. It's in spanish but subtitles are available, and for what TV standards are nowadays, quite above the mediocrity that comes out of the Spanish TVs. 

 

At the same or even above level is the Italian series "1992". It exposes the perfect storm of political crisis with inherent corruption that nuked the political system in Italy in that year.

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...Watch The Wire. All of it...

 

If you're going to open with a sweeping comment like that, then this is going to end up with a whole load of trouble...

 

The Wire dropped off severely towards the end, and I've still not managed to finish watching Breaking Bad, think I made it to about the end of S3.

 

My first recommendation has be South Park, start around S4, after they made their money from the film and started doing what they wanted. Gets a little sloppy around S14, but who could ever hate the creators of Orgazmo and Team America?

 

The Walking Dead needs a mention on the 1st page, despite the 2nd season.

 

My main gripe is that TV shows often get cancelled, so each finale is a 'flipped coin', half expecting to be cut by the studios producers, half hoping to be given more funding? The storey never has an end, at least with a film if the storey doesn't end you can blame the director for not being able to realise his dream with the support he was given from day one, rather than them having their feet cut out from under them?

 

Gotham was good?

 

Daredevil, kinda dull. Jessica Jones doesn't seem to be holding my attention after I found out Dr Who was the villain, he always bored me to tears. Agents of Shield was actually pretty good, not epic, but tied nicely into the rest of Marvels marketing plan. It'll be interesting to see what DC do with their own intellectual property now their main competitor has set the bar?

 

I'm pretty short on curve balls as I only have access to Netflix and Amazon and don't actually own a TV. I only pay my TV license fees in the vain hope that BBC 6 music gets some of the money...

 

Oh, oh, oh, Game of Thrones...

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Netflix series are normally pretty good. House of Cards, Jessica Jones were alredy mentioned - I liked both of them but Narcos and Orange is New Black are much better. Orange is very intresting. Sometimes funny, sometimes makes you think. Narcos can be really bizarre.

 

Friends say Hannibal just rocks, altough I didn't watch it. What I like but a not new show is Heroes (the last season wasn't that good) and now Heroes Reborn. Not everybody likes the new one but I thonk if you liked the 1st season of Heroes you'll like it too.

 

And almost forgot. Very funny and entertaining in, my opinion much better than the ZOMBIE show, is Z Nation. I can only recommend it. But do not take it seriously. :)

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Well, I disagree Verbal, I think the Wire was good all the way through. But I was not trying to say that everyone should watch and has to like The Wire, more trying to say that it is one of my absolute favourite TV series (and I would say it is the best TV series if I had a gun to my head). The final season was not the strongest, but I still enjoyed the story it told and the new perspective. 

 

I do agree that a lot of TV series get held hostage by possible cancellation, and in other cases, their popularity makes them go on past the point where the story has been told (hello, Lost). Breaking Bad is a culprit, it started out really strong and then died in a slow fizzle as the plot was diluted more and more. Fortunately, there are producers and creators out there who realise this and that structure is being rooted up in some places. Some popular series get signed for more than one season at the time (GoT, Black Sails are examples) which allows for planning ahead. Others use a format that tells one story per season (True Detective, Fargo). In some places, especially newer producers like Netflix, they seem to approach it more openly and let the creators have bigger control.

 

Thanks for all the recommendations, everyone! I would like it if you said a few words when you mention a series, even if it is something short. Personally, I need more than a name to catch my attention!

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The Wire took tv series narrative to a new level. Granted, 5th season was it's lowest and it was basically a requirement to put some closure. But the story arcs for all it's characters were flawless and rarely seen even after. 

 

I admit that Agents of Shield is my guilty pleasure. Goofy, sure, but past the first half of the first season a roller coaster with Joss Whedon brand all over it.

 

I watched Hannibal, first two seasons were incredibly disturbing and exceptionally well made and acted, but the third one they just took it too far and it's like a parody of itself. No wonder they cancelled it.

 

Gotham is a disaster in every level, last time I watched something of it Gordon's wife had become some sort of Harley Quinn and Gordon himself was joining the bad boys ranks. 

 

Just finished watching Jessica Jones. If instead of watching it as a superhero series you understand it as the portrait of a very ill relationship and the villain incarnating the avatar of the abusive male, it kinda nails it.  

 

So far, from 2015 my fav series have been Mr Robot. It's not a perfect series, (quite far from it) and it s not original (won't say what other movie it refers to as that's a major spoiler) but overall is very well armed. 

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I too watch Agents of Shield and I do enjoy it. But my relationship with anything Joss Whedon makes is always ambiguous. He is a master at developing characters and relationships, but very often he just swoops over everything else in favour of that, leaving massive plot holes and issues with basic believability. I think Agents of Shield suffers a bit too much from that at times, and since it is supposed to be a more "serious" plotline than say, Firefly, it hurts all the more.

 

I have things to say about nearly every TV series so far mentioned, but I will try to space it out a bit. :D

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No-one has mentioned the leftovers? This is one if the best shows I have seen in a while especially once you get into the second series. It's slightly weird based around a book if the same name where a substantial amount if people just disappear one day with the implication it's aliens although this is never addressed.

It's character driven, but I like not bring quite sure what's happening or where it is going with the plot which is very unusual in general as mist shows are pretty clearly signposted.

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 I like not bring quite sure what's happening or where it is going with the plot which is very unusual in general as mist shows are pretty clearly signposted

 

So a bit like that sentence you have to work out what the hell is going on but can never be sure? ;)

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Wayward Pines

Because: a kind of cross between Twin Peaks and something else - totally held together despite 'what's going on?' moments.

 

Misfits

Because: I love the idea of idiots misusing superpowers; the show just stuck to what it was good at...zombie cheerleaders, dick and fart jokes and moments of humanity.

 

Peaky Blinders

Because: It was just so good. Gangs of Birmingham basically!

 

Currently: Tripped.

Because: it's like Sliders meets Misfits. Though for me the jury is still out so can't recommend as much as the above!

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from the past I think the series need a mention :

 

Pushing Daisies - a cakemaker with the power to bring back dead people with a touch and to give a real death with a 2nd touch: if anyone rests in life for more than a couple of minutes someone with similar "life essence" will die in the neighborhood. He gangs with a private eye to solve mysterious cases bringing back a corpse and questioning him right before a 2nd touch to make him RIP for good. BUT. In the first episode he meets his first true love and he doesn't want to touch her a second time, she wants to change life now everyone think she's dead and the two start to live together... without touching!

 

Jericho - You didn't watch it? Are you nuts?!?

 

Gravity - a support group to suicidal persons who failed. The opening scene is worthy the season.

 

From France: Les Revenants, but just the first season.

 

From Italy: frankly I was highly disappointed by the mentioned 1992... On the contrary Romanzo Criminale and Gomorra were quite good. Criminal stories about the most famous gang of Rome in the 1st one and about Camorra (Naples Mafia) in the 2nd.

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