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Thread: teevee sucks

  1. #931
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Jackie Chan's fight-scenes may be funny but they're also well-choreographed and pretty intense. Most importantly, punches and kicks actually land on their targets in a way that seems real It would've been a huge improvement.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  2. #932
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    Iron Fist isn't as good as Dare Devil or Jessica Jones. Luke Cage was very interesting early on and knew how to create tension. The main villain though was pathetically terrible and that hurt the show. Not finished yet but it may be the worst of the bunch, we'll see how if it ends on a strong note.

  3. #933
    I don't know what all the hate on Luke Cage is about. I'm about 5 episodes in and I'm really enjoying it. My best measure of quality: for both seasons of Daredevil and the first season of Jessica Jones I lost interest halfway through and had to force myself to get through to the end (this is part of why I'm only watching Luke Cage now); on this show, in contrast, I'm really engaged. I don't have any issues with the pacing at all.

    Perhaps it's because I don't really care if these are shows about superheroes or not. Fundamentally, it doesn't matter if these characters have powers (the Avengers in the movies are very different in this regard; it's all about their powers). Jessica Jones is really a story about PTSD. Daredevil is about, well, being Catholic. And while these are interesting, they're not particularly interesting. Luke Cage is a story about being black in America. It's thoughtful, it's timely, and it's complicated. There are some cliches in there (hard to escape it, after all), but overall I'm enjoying it.

    Also, the music is awesome.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  4. #934
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Luke Cage is the biggest problem with Luke Cage. The supporting cast--DB, MK and Claire excluded--are excellent, friends and foes alike. The story is decent, the plotting is skillful, the production competently executed apart from problems that seem to have arisen from prior restrictions on the script (DB and MK, using Claire to establish continuity, etc). The soundtrack is not only awesome but also seamlessly integrated into the show. Most importantly, the show is not simply "about being black in America"--it is, unapologetically, a black show, one that is extremely engaging in its own right without having to cater to white sensibilities or entertain thoughtful beard-stroking amateur sociologists who've read about what it's like to be black. The characters--esp. Cottonmouth and Mariah--stand on their own.

    No-one expects or wants Netflix's Marvel shows to focus on super-powered antics. Much of Marvel's big-screen and TV success over the past decade can be attributed to the decision to focus on writing good stories featuring complex characters that can transcend their comic-book trappings. For the most part, the depiction of powers--especially in the TV-shows--have left much to be desired and have tended to detract from the overall experience.

    Many reviewers have attempted to reduce each of the Netflix shows to a single well-defined theme that the show is "about", and my impression is that these reductive reviews have generally been not only superficial but also inaccurate. Perhaps they're lazy, or sloppy, or just not very good at grokking the human aspects of a story for various reasons.

    Daredevil is not about "being Catholic". If it's about anything, it's about man's complex relationship with the evil that exists in the world. The show features a lot of Catholic themes and we see much of the story through a Catholic lens, for obvious reasons--and to great effect--but only one of the show's characters is Catholic and his relationship with evil is just one of several very different relationships the show portrays in detail (Fisk's development from sensitive and abused child to the embodiment of corruption; his girlfriend's love for an evil and seemingly irredeemable man; Castle's approach to fighting evil by doing evil, for reasons that are simultaneously good and evil; Karen's struggle; Ellison's weakness and strength; etc). Crucially, the show's creators weren't content with just creating a high-concept show featuring freaks in tights--they delivered a show with a decent script, compelling and fully-realized characters portrayed by competent actors, and a lot of kickass action. The show isn't about "being Catholic". It's a show that views the world through Catholic eyes, to some extent. It is, unfortunately, almost as much about stupid ninjas as it is about Catholic guilt.

    Similarly, many reviewers have somewhat inaccurately described JJ as being "about PTSD". JJ isn't simply "about" PTSD. It is specifically about abusive relationships, one of the consequences of which can be a form of PTSD. The show's greatest strength isn't its depiction of PTSD but rather its disturbing and painstakingly detailed depiction of common and recognizable features of many/most abusive relationships: control and manipulation of thoughts and emotions; the reshaping of a victim's reality and identity; conditioning through rewards and punishments; slowly eroding a victim's capacity for independent thought; isolating a victim from friends and family or turning those people against them; making the victim constantly feel as if she's guilty of some undefined crime in addition to being responsible for her predicament; the insidious use of gaslighting; the scars abuse of this sort leaves not only in the form of PTSD but as more subtle changes to a person's behavior and worldview; etc. Crucially, the show portrayed, in a reasonably convincing manner, one victim's struggle against--and ultimate victory over--her abuser. To dismiss the show as simply being "about" PTSD does it a great injustice.

    I'm not saying any of these shows are masterclasses in dramaturgy, but there's more to them than is implied by the simplistic descriptions offered above.

    I haven't yet been able to figure out what Iron Fist is about. There are several candidates for central themes but the show isn't effectively leveraging any of them. I'd be okay with this if other aspects of the production were better. I must say, however, that things are improving, slowly. Looking forward to episode 7.
    Last edited by Aimless; 03-23-2017 at 12:55 AM.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  5. #935
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Legion is getting increasingly weird.
    Ok, more or less redeemed by episode 7. One to go.

    Strongly recommended thus far. Great acting. The chemistry between the characters isn't always there. But you'll never be bored.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  6. #936
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I don't know what all the hate on Luke Cage is about. I'm about 5 episodes in and I'm really enjoying it. My best measure of quality: for both seasons of Daredevil and the first season of Jessica Jones I lost interest halfway through and had to force myself to get through to the end (this is part of why I'm only watching Luke Cage now); on this show, in contrast, I'm really engaged. I don't have any issues with the pacing at all.

    Perhaps it's because I don't really care if these are shows about superheroes or not. Fundamentally, it doesn't matter if these characters have powers (the Avengers in the movies are very different in this regard; it's all about their powers). Jessica Jones is really a story about PTSD. Daredevil is about, well, being Catholic. And while these are interesting, they're not particularly interesting. Luke Cage is a story about being black in America. It's thoughtful, it's timely, and it's complicated. There are some cliches in there (hard to escape it, after all), but overall I'm enjoying it.

    Also, the music is awesome.
    The beginning is good but I'm really curious to see what you think after you watch the entirety of the show.

  7. #937
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post

    Similarly, many reviewers have somewhat inaccurately described JJ as being "about PTSD". JJ isn't simply "about" PTSD. It is specifically about abusive relationships, one of the consequences of which can be a form of PTSD. The show's greatest strength isn't its depiction of PTSD but rather its disturbing and painstakingly detailed depiction of common and recognizable features of many/most abusive relationships: control and manipulation of thoughts and emotions; the reshaping of a victim's reality and identity; conditioning through rewards and punishments; slowly eroding a victim's capacity for independent thought; isolating a victim from friends and family or turning those people against them; making the victim constantly feel as if she's guilty of some undefined crime in addition to being responsible for her predicament; the insidious use of gaslighting; the scars abuse of this sort leaves not only in the form of PTSD but as more subtle changes to a person's behavior and worldview; etc. Crucially, the show portrayed, in a reasonably convincing manner, one victim's struggle against--and ultimate victory over--her abuser. To dismiss the show as simply being "about" PTSD does it a great injustice.
    Shows mean different things to different people. To me, this was a perfect show about the proper way to deal with criminals.

  8. #938
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    The beginning is good but I'm really curious to see what you think after you watch the entirety of the show.
    Just finished it last night. My review is somewhat more mixed, but I still liked it. The music really drew me in (I think it was done really well) and I continue to think the story and themes were more interesting and relevant and timely than in the other shows in the universe (haven't seen Iron Fist yet, so we'll see). I did have a few beefs that I enumerate below:

    1. Diamondback was a bit overacted. Villains can be crazy megalomaniacs if they are, say, alien demigods (a la Loki) but it's a little overdone for someone nursing a childhood grudge. Partly a fault of the writing and partly a fault on the acting.

    2. There was a bit of a lull of wasted space in the middle; not as bad as the doldrums I suffered through with Daredevil and JJ, but still a bit slow. I think the 9th episode was a waste of time in particular IIRC.

    3. Mercedes made some piss-poor decisions that were just unbelievably bad for someone who's supposed to be a great detective. I have trouble suspending disbelief for poorly thought-out character development.

    4. To an extent this suffers from Superman syndrome: it's hard to write a storyline about someone who is more or less invincible, so there's only two stories you can tell: threaten people close to them or find their Kryptonite. It's a bit mitigated by the implication that Cage is susceptible to dying through other means, but it's never really employed here.

    That being said, I really like the end - I loved that they didn't tie things up neatly and left some ambiguity. I would have liked there to be a bit more consequences for Cage (especially re: the cops) but overall I liked it.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  9. #939
    If you have Netflix, you must watch Netflix Live. It is truly astonishing.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  10. #940
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    One consequence of splitting up is I lost access to the exes high school friend's Netflix. Not the kind of thing one can ask for, and damned if I'm going to spend money on more content

    This season of The Americans is performing well, and I'm excited for Better Call Saul and even Archer season 8.

  11. #941
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    Defenders is out Aug. 18.


  12. #942
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Just finished it last night. My review is somewhat more mixed, but I still liked it. The music really drew me in (I think it was done really well) and I continue to think the story and themes were more interesting and relevant and timely than in the other shows in the universe (haven't seen Iron Fist yet, so we'll see). I did have a few beefs that I enumerate below:

    1. Diamondback was a bit overacted. Villains can be crazy megalomaniacs if they are, say, alien demigods (a la Loki) but it's a little overdone for someone nursing a childhood grudge. Partly a fault of the writing and partly a fault on the acting.

    2. There was a bit of a lull of wasted space in the middle; not as bad as the doldrums I suffered through with Daredevil and JJ, but still a bit slow. I think the 9th episode was a waste of time in particular IIRC.
    1. "a bit" puts it mildly. I don't know if it is the actor's fault or the writer's fault but this was like watching some 70's bam/pow batman show in terms of cheese factor.

    2. How dare you. Daredevil had no wasted space and was perfect. (Maybe a bit biased )

  13. #943
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Okay, American Gods is weird. And bloody.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  14. #944
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    First two seasons of Twelve Monkeys on Hulu now. I'm liking the second season more than the first, so far.

  15. #945
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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  16. #946
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khendraja'aro View Post
    Okay, American Gods is weird. And bloody.
    I can't wait to see it But I must. Just as I must wait for the second half of season 2 of the Expanse.

    Having finished Iron Fist I will concede that the show improves greatly towards the end, mostly thanks to Ward. The protagonist and lead actor, however... irredeemable and possibly impossible to salvage. Both the actor and the character embody the essence of lameness. The sullen looks, the sneering, the one-dimensional acting, every line (both content and delivery), every training and fight sequence--just extraordinarily lame. This lameness becomes nearly impossible to ignore because the writers constantly try to impress upon the viewer his martial prowess, wisdom, wit, etc, all of which is unearned and underwhelming when he's compared--as he must be--to those around him. This man is unworthy.

    After seeing Iron Fist I checked out Into the Badlands. That show's dystopian post-apocalyptic setting doesn't really mesh with my preferences but the fight choreography is stellar. Unsurprising, given the pedigree the story's decent, too, if you like that kind of story.

    We also binged on Legends of Tomorrow, which I'd been avoiding because I expected it to be a cheesy poorly-produced mess featuring DC's B-team of characters who couldn't hack it in their home series. To my surprise we enjoyed it a lot. It is certainly a little cheesy, and, for the most part, light viewing. Despite this, the first season is very focused on the overarching story and the main antagonist of that story, slightly cartoonish though he may be, is excellent. Casting was superb and there was a lot of chemistry between most of the main characters, Kendra and what'shisface excluded. Standout performance by Dominic Purcell as Rory but all the actors did their roles justice, flaws and all. I didn't much like Ray in Arrow but he really shines in LoT.

    In the second season, graduates of the same class that produced the writing team on Iron Fist shat out a giant metallic turd on the show in the form of Nate, and then they insisted on trying to make us like him. Instead of one antagonist, they had to scrape together three idiots. There wasn't really enough material for a whole season, and the Stupid Stick saw a lot more action than it had in the first season, but despite this we mostly liked the second season and will happily see the third season when it arrives.
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  17. #947
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    Defenders looks amazing.

  18. #948
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    Finished Game of Thrones Season I and started on SII

    I get the hype. Loving it.

    yes i'm late to the party
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    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

  19. #949
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    American Gods keeps improving with every episode Shadow remains the weakest and most poorly acted part. Laura & co. are the most fun. The newbies, esp. Media, are delightfully creepy. Impeccable style that flows smoothly from restrained to insanely over-the-top and back again without ever feeling confused. Nice production values with great visuals and a very nice soundtrack. We love
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  20. #950
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Finished Game of Thrones Season I and started on SII

    I get the hype. Loving it.

    yes i'm late to the party
    lol I envy you though... so many more seasons to watch!

  21. #951
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Just finished SII It's still awesome.

    Saw Season III Ep 1 last night.

    Have already purchased SIV.

    Although since everybody has seen it, spoilers get dropped from time to time. Watching an interview on tv and somebody casually mentioned that Jon Snow died

    Dammit! He's only just found the wild tribes north of the wall and states that he wants to join them at the start of SIII where I'm at.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

  22. #952
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    "What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger."
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  23. #953
    Started watching Lost Girl a few weeks back. Eh, typical mid-budget Canadian fare. Decent but nothing special. One of these days I'd like to see an ugly succubus; no reason for them to be real lookers when they can make people do their bidding without conventional wiles. I'm giving it a few more episodes to see if the broader story arc or characterization starts to build up.

    Tried out Zoo, based on a James Patterson novel. I like nature shows, so I figured why wouldn't I like a nature drama? Blech, waste of time. Typical conspiracy theory BS mixed with nonscientific babble and largely uninteresting performances. Dropped after two episodes.

    Watched the first season of Into the Badlands. Hmm, not as strong as some other AMC showpieces but still I liked it. I'm a sucker for the postapocalyptic thing as well as killer martial arts, so they had a solid hook to get me interested. The good: pretty well executed and original fight scenes - they really went full on for the kung fu movie feel and damn the physics. Also I liked their choice of setting it in the Mississippi Delta, it's an interesting backdrop that meshes well with the pseudoplantation style governance seen here - you can also see the development of some local culture stuff e.g. voodoo et al in the context of a postapocalyptic reality. The not so good: Given its location the race makeup is all wrong, as is the language and (I think?) accents. The story is just okay, though maybe it gets better in later seasons - I don't really care about the petty bickering between some local warlords when there's ostensibly much bigger things afoot. Overall I'd give it a solid B with an option for a bump up as I watch further seasons.

    Finished Iron Fist recently. Hmm, well obviously the lead was not the best choice and the writing could have used some serious work on both plotting and dialogue. Most of the fight scenes were somewhere on the 'meh' scale. The bigger issue IMO was with the plotting and character development, though - they spend way too much time on corporate and Meachum family politics that are (a) irrelevant and (b) boring. More broadly, I don't know why we should care that this guy has some pseudoreligious vendetta against some shadowy criminal group. At least with the other three Defenders they were fundamentally doing things that I could root for instinctively - cleaning up corruption/violence in Hell's Kitchen or the Harlem or taking down a psychotic bastard who ruins lives for fun. Danny's crusades in the corporate world are actively idiotic and counterproductive, and he doesn't do a whole lot of helping the little guy in his role as Iron Fist. I just don't really care whether K'un L'un makes it or not; so far everyone I've met from there seems to be some combination of stupid and messed up.

    On the character level, they continually do things that don't make any sense and are poorly supported by their previous positions - notably the 'surprise' at the end with two characters acting substantially, well, out of character, along with all of the Ward daddy issues (not to mention Colleen's changes of heart and Danny's wandering focus). I hate it when characters don't make sense.

    There's a broader issue that bothers me a lot with superhero origin stories. In the case of Danny, he watches his parents (presumably) die in front of him as a child, he gets systematically abused during his subsequent adolescence, and he comes out as this odd Zen dude with mad kung fu skillz. And in fact most superheroes have some vaguely similar story that is seriously messed up. Yet we're told to accept that even though those experiences have shaped them into these inhumanly driven crime fighters, they haven't dramatically impaired their judgment on things that matter. Rarely do these stories really address the fact that these people are dressing up in costumes (or taking on ridiculous identities) and violently imposing their will on the world. How fucked up must these people be? And yet we're supposed to trust their judgment and believe they can somehow function even remotely like a normal person? In reality I doubt there would be all that much difference between a Batman and a Joker; it's just not possible to be that messed up and still have a fully functioning moral compass.

    Most treatments of superheroes at least pay lip service to this issue (including Iron Fist), but they just gloss over the problem and the audience is supposed to believe that because they have acknowledged the elephant in the room, it has been addressed. But it really hasn't been. I guess there are a few things I've seen that deal with it more honestly - Watchmen comes to mind, where every one of the ostensible heroes is seriously messed up and makes awful decisions regularly - but those are the exceptions that prove the rule. Someone should show these superheroes getting years of counseling, not just magically finding a burning passion for morally pure justice.
    Last edited by wiggin; 06-09-2017 at 03:28 AM.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  24. #954
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    I have no idea why I am binge watching Man to Man (ManxMan) a Korean drama but something about it makes me giggle.

  25. #955
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    Just finished SII It's still awesome.

    Saw Season III Ep 1 last night.

    Have already purchased SIV.

    Although since everybody has seen it, spoilers get dropped from time to time. Watching an interview on tv and somebody casually mentioned that Jon Snow died

    Dammit! He's only just found the wild tribes north of the wall and states that he wants to join them at the start of SIII where I'm at.
    Yeah spoilers are everywhere. Be careful out there.

  26. #956
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    The internet is dark and full of spoilers

    I managed to avoid most when I started watching (after s3 had aired) except for the
    Spoiler:
    red wedding
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  27. #957
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    Wentworth... holy shit so much better than Orange is the New Black. I couldn't get into OISTNB at all but Wentworth, damn that is good TV.

  28. #958
    Given the buzz from the relaunch, I'm watching the original Twin Peaks. I am super depressed that I'd never discovered this gem in the past; it is truly phenomenal. Some weird, campy combination of murder mystery, high school drama, and absurdist comedy, I can't get enough of it. And Kyle MacLachlan's performance is superlative.

    I also love the over-the-top 80s vibe, most of which was probably not intentional. Can't wait to catch up on the whole thing, and the new season is also getting good reviews, so here's hoping!

    A bit odd given that I haven't loved other stuff I've seen from Lynch - Dune was meh, Mulholland Drive was only all right - but this is just so fresh and engaging that I'm really impressed.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  29. #959
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Can second that. I, too, discovered it fairly recently, but I'm glad I saved myself because I'm pretty sure I appreciate it a lot more now than I would've when it first aired. It's the only thing by Lynch I've ever truly enjoyed, and the feeling of immersing yourself in that incredible atmosphere and that slowly unfolding story is indescribable. Warmly recommended to anyone else who may have missed it
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  30. #960
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Given the buzz from the relaunch, I'm watching the original Twin Peaks. I am super depressed that I'd never discovered this gem in the past; it is truly phenomenal. Some weird, campy combination of murder mystery, high school drama, and absurdist comedy, I can't get enough of it. And Kyle MacLachlan's performance is superlative.

    I also love the over-the-top 80s vibe, most of which was probably not intentional. Can't wait to catch up on the whole thing, and the new season is also getting good reviews, so here's hoping!

    A bit odd given that I haven't loved other stuff I've seen from Lynch - Dune was meh, Mulholland Drive was only all right - but this is just so fresh and engaging that I'm really impressed.
    I'm pretty certain that over the top vibe was intentional. I remember watching it back then and it was totally not your standard TV show.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

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