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Thread: teevee sucks

  1. #1051
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Working my way through Altered Carbon, in the middle of ep 3. Hmm. So far a reasonable amount of fidelity to the books and the casting is okay but not spot-on. They do an okay job of explaining the world without too much exposition and the flashbacks are so far okay. I have two big beefs so far:

    1. They really screwed up the origin story of the Envoys, and that compromises Kovacs as a character IMO. We'll see how it plays out, but I'm a bit skeptical of their choices on this front.

    2. The world is a bit too gritty, Blade Runner-esque. I'd always viewed it as less cyberpunk, more false utopia, at least on Earth. I get their choice for doing so, but I still think it would be better as a slightly less obvious lesson in class dynamics.
    Just finished episode 2. I didn't even know it was based on a book series.

  2. #1052
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Just finished episode 2. I didn't even know it was based on a book series.
    Yeah, there's three books by Richard K. Morgan set in this world with a focus on Takeshi Kovacs. I actually enjoyed the latter two books a bit more than Altered Carbon; the first book is a bit too much like a detective novel, while the other two delve a bit more into the world he created. They're not particularly good, though - kinda pulp-y IMO. Lots of violence and sex and most of the 'deep' thinking isn't all that deep. He's shooting for a half cyberpunk half noir kind of feel and it doesn't quite make it.

    Very mild spoilers to follow:

    Spoiler:
    I've been watching more over the weekend while I've been doing chores. My complaint about the backstory is a whole lot stronger, now - with the full storyline revealed, they've turned him from a hard-bitten antihero into a more traditional hero. This is not an improvement. The way they did it also seems to have blocked off any chance of including Woken Furies in a future season; I don't see how they can weave it in without some ridiculous retconning. I think my biggest problem was combining Quellcrist and the Envoy trainer (whose name escapes me); it cheapens Quellcrist.
    "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)

  3. #1053
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Yeah, there's three books by Richard K. Morgan set in this world with a focus on Takeshi Kovacs. I actually enjoyed the latter two books a bit more than Altered Carbon; the first book is a bit too much like a detective novel, while the other two delve a bit more into the world he created. They're not particularly good, though - kinda pulp-y IMO. Lots of violence and sex and most of the 'deep' thinking isn't all that deep. He's shooting for a half cyberpunk half noir kind of feel and it doesn't quite make it.
    I thought the books were a lot of fun. I don't believe that the mind is a thing separate from the physical properties of the brain, so I'm not buying the whole sleeve concept all that much. I've only completed episode 1, but I'm not liking the changes they've made at all. Some things I hate:

    Spoiler:
    1. Kovacs as having been in storage for 250 years - totally false. 2. The Envoys as being an extinct terrorist organization - freedom fighters I'm guessing led by Quellcrist. A total fuck up, IMHO. 3. It appears the Martians have been divested from Mars - I only know this by the song-tree bit. In the books I initially did not like the Martians being from Mars, but I grew into it. Now they've changed it...
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  4. #1054
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    Saw Altered Altered Carbon this weekend. Clunky script with the longest and most painfully lame ending ever, main cast kinda rubbish, overdone generic scifi dystopia esthetic, gratuitous and extremely sloppily executed soft-porn everywhere that just makes it feel like a show made by tryhards. Every single scifi dystopia seems to focus on showing tits and strangling women to death, extremely tired of this. Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing a new reasonably well-produced scifi show on Netflix and hope they're keen on making more. Don't expect to see the fantasy sequel anytime soon

    Poe was awesome.
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  5. #1055
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Saw Altered Altered Carbon this weekend. Clunky script with the longest and most painfully lame ending ever, main cast kinda rubbish, overdone generic scifi dystopia esthetic, gratuitous and extremely sloppily executed soft-porn everywhere that just makes it feel like a show made by tryhards. Every single scifi dystopia seems to focus on showing tits and strangling women to death, extremely tired of this. Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing a new reasonably well-produced scifi show on Netflix and hope they're keen on making more. Don't expect to see the fantasy sequel anytime soon

    Poe was awesome.
    Poe was great. I feel like this is one of those shows (like Star Wars) that you can't really think too hard about. Enjoyable action scenes for sure. Swords never get old even with fancy weaponry all over the place.

  6. #1056
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Saw Altered Altered Carbon this weekend. Clunky script with the longest and most painfully lame ending ever, main cast kinda rubbish, overdone generic scifi dystopia esthetic, gratuitous and extremely sloppily executed soft-porn everywhere that just makes it feel like a show made by tryhards. Every single scifi dystopia seems to focus on showing tits and strangling women to death, extremely tired of this. Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing a new reasonably well-produced scifi show on Netflix and hope they're keen on making more. Don't expect to see the fantasy sequel anytime soon

    Poe was awesome.
    Interestingly the hotel wasn't a character in the book. It was the Hendrix hotel with Jimi Hendrix in holo on the facade. Kovacs interacted with it quite a bit, but it did not have a character and no other AIs were involved.

    I agree with your analysis - I finished most of episode 2 last night. I'm re-reading the book right now too so it's painful to see the plot and detail changes. The re-read was a mistake, I guess.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  7. #1057
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Interestingly the hotel wasn't a character in the book. It was the Hendrix hotel with Jimi Hendrix in holo on the facade. Kovacs interacted with it quite a bit, but it did not have a character and no other AIs were involved.

    I agree with your analysis - I finished most of episode 2 last night. I'm re-reading the book right now too so it's painful to see the plot and detail changes. The re-read was a mistake, I guess.
    I assume they couldn't use Hendrix because of some sort of licensing issue, but Poe was fair game. Making him more central to the story was a bit much but I was sorta okay with that. The aforementioned bit where they screwed up the backstory is 100% the biggest problem. Another issue is the pacing of the climax and ending - not quite Return of the King, but they definitely didn't do a good job with that. The last big problem is what they did with Reileen, which exacerbates the problem where they're turning an antihero into something more like a hero.

    Meh. A flawed adaptation of a mediocre book.
    "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)

  8. #1058
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I assume they couldn't use Hendrix because of some sort of licensing issue, but Poe was fair game. Making him more central to the story was a bit much but I was sorta okay with that. The aforementioned bit where they screwed up the backstory is 100% the biggest problem. Another issue is the pacing of the climax and ending - not quite Return of the King, but they definitely didn't do a good job with that. The last big problem is what they did with Reileen, which exacerbates the problem where they're turning an antihero into something more like a hero.

    Meh. A flawed adaptation of a mediocre book.
    Based on what I'm hearing it sounds like a good adaption of mediocre book. Have not read the book, just going off what y'all are saying. Fidelity to the source material isn't necessary unless the source material is near perfect.

  9. #1059
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    Wish I'd read this thread before binging on the show. I didn't read the books, but agreed with Minx that there was too much soft porn, and killing women, that's become a tired trope for dystopian sci-fi movies. They never really explained the off-planet stuff, or the songspire tree, or the 250 yr gap, so maybe the books are better? Can't really complain tho, it was free on Netflix without commercials

  10. #1060
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Wish I'd read this thread before binging on the show. I didn't read the books, but agreed with Minx that there was too much soft porn, and killing women, that's become a tired trope for dystopian sci-fi movies. They never really explained the off-planet stuff, or the songspire tree, or the 250 yr gap, so maybe the books are better? Can't really complain tho, it was free on Netflix without commercials
    Pretty sure more men die on screen than women.

  11. #1061
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post

    Meh. A flawed adaptation of a mediocre book.
    I don't think mediocre is fair. The book didn't try to be anything more than it was, and it did what it was very well. I really enjoyed all three of them. I think this adaptation could have been really good if it remained truer to the books - but who doesn't say that about a film adaptation of a book they liked? (Take the Hobbit film trilogy, for instance. What a fucking nightmare (IMO)). I'm having a very hard time judging this series on its own merits because of having read the books.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  12. #1062
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Wish I'd read this thread before binging on the show. I didn't read the books, but agreed with Minx that there was too much soft porn, and killing women, that's become a tired trope for dystopian sci-fi movies. They never really explained the off-planet stuff, or the songspire tree, or the 250 yr gap, so maybe the books are better? Can't really complain tho, it was free on Netflix without commercials
    The songspire tree wasn't well explained in the book either -- not until you read the second do you get a sense of what the Martians are. Same for all the off-world universe, really. The 250 year gap is not in the books at all - it was only a couple years in the book. IMHO, it was completely unnecessary in the Netflix version - no idea why they did that.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  13. #1063
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I don't think mediocre is fair. The book didn't try to be anything more than it was, and it did what it was very well. I really enjoyed all three of them. I think this adaptation could have been really good if it remained truer to the books - but who doesn't say that about a film adaptation of a book they liked? (Take the Hobbit film trilogy, for instance. What a fucking nightmare (IMO)). I'm having a very hard time judging this series on its own merits because of having read the books.
    I just reread Altered Carbon. I stand by mediocre. This isn't to say I didn't enjoy it - it was good pulpy fun. But I also enjoyed Peter F. Hamilton's books, and those are, objectively, pretty awful. It's okay to like a book because it's fun without thinking it's actually any good. A lot of my childhood was spent reading those kinds of books - stuff like the Stainless Steel Rat series, or some of the lower quality Heinlein. It's okay to enjoy it, but it's less okay to think just because you enjoyed it it must be any good.

    Oddly, I'm way less forgiving when it comes to fantasy novels. While I really don't mind pulpy SF even if it's derivative and poorly written, I have always been allergic to the same in fantasy: I couldn't stand Brooks, Modesitt Jr., Goodkind (ugh), Donaldson, or Feist. I'm not sure while I'm more tolerant of iffy quality SF, but there it is.
    "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)

  14. #1064
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    . It's okay to enjoy it, but it's less okay to think just because you enjoyed it it must be any good.
    I understand what you mean and I used to make the distinctions you are talking about. But somewhere in the last 5 years I've decided with more and more things that what I like is good. And that's it. If you ask my opinion of something, and I like it, my opinion is it's good (more or less - I'll use a star system if I'm feeling up to it). I know there are virtually infinite measures of quality of a virtually infinite number of things, and the pleasure I get from something is a measure used literally only by me (as far as I know), but.... I don't care anymore what the experts in the field say. I'm tired of saying Jazz and Mozart and Picasso are awesome because, you know what, I've never really liked them. I've tried to get whatever it is that the pros get, but I don't, and I'm mostly done trying to work it out. Life is too big, complicated, and short for that.

    Which is not to say I'm not influenced by others' opinions on things or that I don't recognize when something I like really is shit. Or something I don't like isn't shit. I know Jazz is this really great thing, and I've enjoyed some of it in the past, but 97% of the time when I hear real American Jazz on the radio I turn it off. It just doesn't do anything for me. However, with books like this one I don't try to make any real fine adjustment in my head like "...yes, Altered Carbon is a good read, but the main character or story is derivative and relies too heavily on that tired old blah blah blah trope...." Nah. The plot is complex and consistent and the characters and their decisions believable, the writing is pretty tight, it took me along for a fun ride... it's good. (Except that I'm certain consciousness can't be transferred from brain to brain unless you physically rewire the destination brain to exactly match the origin, which HAS to be impossible.)

    It didn't blow my mind. If it blew my mind, I'd say so. That's different.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  15. #1065
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    I finished End of the F**king World a few days ago and it was good. I almost threw it away after episode 2, but I'm glad I didn't. I could tell you why, but it would probably spoil something or other. Let's just say that in the early plot development, a key point I had thought was an error, I learned with later events was not.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  16. #1066
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    It's okay to enjoy it, but it's less okay to think just because you enjoyed it it must be any good.
    Ugh. This statement is so offensive. The purpose of fiction is enjoyment, if you enjoyed it, it was good. It is inherently subjective, now you can say a book was 'good' because most readers who read it will have enjoyed themselves or not, or even further sub divide it by groups (sci-fi fans, mystery fans etc) but ultimately the value of a book is in weather it was enjoyed or not.

  17. #1067
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Pretty sure more men die on screen than women.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Ugh. This statement is so offensive. The purpose of fiction is enjoyment, if you enjoyed it, it was good. It is inherently subjective, now you can say a book was 'good' because most readers who read it will have enjoyed themselves or not, or even further sub divide it by groups (sci-fi fans, mystery fans etc) but ultimately the value of a book is in weather it was enjoyed or not.

  18. #1068
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Ugh. This statement is so offensive. The purpose of fiction is enjoyment, if you enjoyed it, it was good. It is inherently subjective, now you can say a book was 'good' because most readers who read it will have enjoyed themselves or not, or even further sub divide it by groups (sci-fi fans, mystery fans etc) but ultimately the value of a book is in weather it was enjoyed or not.
    I don't know. Though I get what you're saying, there is mileage to wig's statement.

    My other half watches utter crap on tv sometimes - it's her switch-off from a very busy work-schedule, she wants to disengage her brain and crap tv is her way of doing it. Think the most awful of soap operas and badly-acted cheap dramas. Now she enjoys these, but she will readily admit that it is complete tripe. There are elements of subjectivity to what is 'crap', yes, but there are boundaries too. Things like quality of acting, quality of writing, quality of direction and production; these are much more objective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  19. #1069
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    I don't know. Though I get what you're saying, there is mileage to wig's statement.

    My other half watches utter crap on tv sometimes - it's her switch-off from a very busy work-schedule, she wants to disengage her brain and crap tv is her way of doing it. Think the most awful of soap operas and badly-acted cheap dramas. Now she enjoys these, but she will readily admit that it is complete tripe. There are elements of subjectivity to what is 'crap', yes, but there are boundaries too. Things like quality of acting, quality of writing, quality of direction and production; these are much more objective.
    Sooo, you're saying that people have simple needs for their entertainment, and can distinguish fact from fantasy, because your girlfriend does? Sorry but that doesn't wash. The women I know that watch soap operas or reality tv or crap tv aren't looking to switch-off from reality, as an escape; they're looking to validate their existing challenges. Even if it means petty things like manicured nails or certain hairstyles or waist size or ways of dressing, they can be convinced that a persona is more important than their person. These women will wear a girdle to their job interview, and this is why Spanx became a global phenomenon.

  20. #1070
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    My other half watches utter crap on tv sometimes - it's her switch-off from a very busy work-schedule, she wants to disengage her brain and crap tv is her way of doing it. Think the most awful of soap operas and badly-acted cheap dramas. Now she enjoys these, but she will readily admit that it is complete tripe. There are elements of subjectivity to what is 'crap', yes, but there are boundaries too. Things like quality of acting, quality of writing, quality of direction and production; these are much more objective.
    There is really no excuse for watching poorly written, poorly acted, and/or poorly directed television these days. There is SO much excellent television out there you could literally not watch it all - there isn't enough time. Rewind to 35 years ago and the exact opposite, in every way, was the rule. We live in a television Platinum Age.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  21. #1071
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    There is really no excuse for watching poorly written, poorly acted, and/or poorly directed television these days. There is SO much excellent television out there you could literally not watch it all - there isn't enough time. Rewind to 35 years ago and the exact opposite, in every way, was the rule. We live in a television Platinum Age.
    You missed the point. It's not to watch good television. It's to switch off. She will actively avoid 'good television' at these times because that requires mental investment, concentration, exactly the things she wants to switch off from after a hard day's work. Crap tv provides that switch off precisely because it is crap - it requires zero mental thought. Some people work out. Others go for a drink to unwind or find some other way to switch off the brain and relax after the stresses of a work day.

    Agreed that this is currently an excellent time for TV. And when it's time for 'good tv' we normally sit together and watch something quality that we both enjoy, and we will both invest the mental energy said tv requires.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  22. #1072
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Bones is the first show I've enjoyed as an adult where I didn't feel a need to focus the whole time.
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    — Bill Gates

  23. #1073
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    I did like Altered Carbon quite a bit, but I liked Damnation a lot better. I'm a bit upset that it won't be back for a second season. At least not unless Netflix saves it from the lack of love at USA.
    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.

  24. #1074
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    I don't know. Though I get what you're saying, there is mileage to wig's statement.

    My other half watches utter crap on tv sometimes - it's her switch-off from a very busy work-schedule, she wants to disengage her brain and crap tv is her way of doing it. Think the most awful of soap operas and badly-acted cheap dramas. Now she enjoys these, but she will readily admit that it is complete tripe. There are elements of subjectivity to what is 'crap', yes, but there are boundaries too. Things like quality of acting, quality of writing, quality of direction and production; these are much more objective.
    That's fair. There are different genres sometimes you are in the mood to laugh and sometimes you want to see shit blow up and sometime you want to cry. What is 'good' at the moment may be different depending on your actual state.

  25. #1075
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    Everything sucks really is kind of cute. I really went on an all out binge and watched the entire season tonight.
    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.

  26. #1076
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    You missed the point. It's not to watch good television. It's to switch off. She will actively avoid 'good television' at these times because that requires mental investment, concentration, exactly the things she wants to switch off from after a hard day's work. Crap tv provides that switch off precisely because it is crap - it requires zero mental thought. Some people work out. Others go for a drink to unwind or find some other way to switch off the brain and relax after the stresses of a work day.

    Agreed that this is currently an excellent time for TV. And when it's time for 'good tv' we normally sit together and watch something quality that we both enjoy, and we will both invest the mental energy said tv requires.
    Not to belabor the point (or sound like a jerk) but I don't get why watching crap tv is your girl friend's switch off. If she's watching the most awful soap operas, those are serials that DO require some mental thought, just to keep up with the plot line and character changes. Even crappy reality tv shows operate on the serial concept (just ask the Kardashians).

    My hunch is that she tells you that because it's easier than explaining how/why women use crap tv as a social device, something to talk about with co-workers or friends in the periphery of life that connects people. Rather like how men sometimes watch sports, just so they can banter about team X or the big play-offs or whatever around the water cooler, to feel part of the gang.

    I'm asking why we *think* of tv (or movies) as entertainment or escapism, when there are so many other underlying cultural reasons that are neither.

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