The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Summer Media Blues

Let’s see:

  • Sue me, I like Wilfred. Wilfred’s freak out at the vet is classic.
  • Falling Skies is quickly fading. Like Walking Dead, but that had a solid start. (I can’t believe it’s already been picked up for a second season). I’m giving it another few weeks, but unless something good happens, I’m done. (More writing my Michael Yost may qualify as something good…)
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day … very poor start. It’s only a 10 episode season (with a single arc) and it already feels bloated. Seriously, I love the new Dr. Who, but Torchwood’s only good point has been Children of Earth (which is available on Netflix … the episodes are called “Day One” through “Day Five”).
  • I finally watched (out of boredom) a Classic Dr. Who. It’s supposedly one of the good ones. Ne’er again. Ye Gods.
  • Current Series — Warehouse 13 (amusing X-Files style comedy) and Leverage (caper vengeance). Leverage’s formula is already wearing thin after 6 episodes, but the family likes it.
  • Movies — I’ve seen almost all the Coen Brother’s work, and I like Jeff Bridges, but True Grit didn’t grab me. I did kind of like The Stunt Man (with Peter O’Toole, the only actor whose name doubles as his porn name). Haven’t been to a theater in a while (obviously), but the kids have been eagerly anticipating the final potter, so we’ll do that.
  • I  gave up on Deadwood. Another proof that constraints improve creativity.
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Written by taogaming

July 9, 2011 at 10:28 am

Posted in TV & Media

12 Responses

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  1. I am becoming a Whovian, but I had to start at Season 5 of the new series when Matt Smith took over (and, probably more importantly, Steven Moffat took over as head writer at the time, I believe). Now that I’m caught up and engrossed in the lore, I was able to go back and appreciate David Tennant too. Still on season 2, but enjoying it immensely.

    Tim

    July 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    • I’m a big fan of the Smith/Moffat who. I’ve seen enough of Moffat’s stuff to see his weaknesses, but his strengths are impressive.

      taogaming

      July 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm

  2. White Collar has the caper-y feel of Leverage w/much more likeable characters.

    Classic Who is, well, British. And that’s pretty much all it has going for it.

    Mark Jackson

    July 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    • I don’t actually dislike the characters in Leverage (although they are basically cliches), but after 2 discs (7episodes) every plot feels the same, and there’s not enough “Burn Notice” style cleverness. (Burn Notice I liked well enough to last ~3 seasons before it felt stale).

      taogaming

      July 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      • I love Leverage (partially because of John Rogers blog, which has massive behind the scenes Q&A for each episode). That said, the 2nd and 3rd seasons are much stronger than the first. But yeah, the basic 5 act structure – 1) Introduce bad guy, 2) Clever con to take out BG, 3) Plot disrupted, 4) Scramble, 5) Win – would get stale if I didn’t love the characters so much. But we do. Leverage is the only scripted show on TV that we actually watch when it airs first run (Sunday nights). Everything else just goes into the DVR queue to be watched whenever.

        Burn notice, BTW, peaked in season 2 and then coasted in 3-5. That said, the first few episodes of this season have been the biggest change to the formula since season 2, and have been very enjoyable.

        Lou W

        July 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm

  3. How many episodes of Deadwood did you get through?

    Greg Aleknevicus

    July 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  4. I ask because the first thing everyone notices about Deadwood is the excessive profanity. But once you get past that (which may take several episodes), the language really starts to soar. It has a Shakespearean fascination for me, in that I must pay very close attention to what is being said to have much hope of knowing what the characters are *really* saying. Whenever I try to discuss the brilliance of the writing with neophyte viewers, the response is usually “it’s just an avalanche of swearing”. But really, it’s merely distracting flavour, in the same way that “ere” may be used in place of “before” in a period-piece.

    Furthermore, the profanity, through its over-use, becomes almost entirely neutered. “****-sucker” simply becomes another word for “person”. (In fact, for one character, this is literally true.)

    I suspect that David Milch (Deadwood’s main writer) made a mistake going so over-board with the foul language as it turns many people away before they get a chance to appreciate the more-interesting aspects of the show.

    I also ask because my girlfriend and I were both ambivalent after the first four episodes. We continued to watch mostly due to inertia but by episode eight, we were hooked. If it’s not the best TV show I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly top five.

    Greg Aleknevicus

    July 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    • Perhaps because I’ve watched Justified, which has the standard Elmore style of writing, minus most of the profanity, that Deadwood seemed inferior by comparison. I thought the writing was good, but nothing great.

      taogaming

      July 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    • I was going to ask the same question Greg asked for the same reason. It is stylistic, but after awhile it has its own beauty. I think the show takes a little while to get going, and a couple of story arcs don’t really work, and can drag. I think it’s the second season where even more of the heavy lifting is done by McShane and Olyphant, and there’s more emphasis on who is doing what for whom that the series really peaks.

      alexsim

      July 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm

  5. One word: Dexter. If you can make it through the excessive gruesome images of the first few episodes, it’s so worth it. Such an interesting character. Such a good cast. I think my wife likes it better than I do.

    matt sears

    July 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    • I’ve been sticking Dexter out, but it’s gotten very repetitive by the end of Season 4 (which did shake things up). I’ll watch season 5 when it comes out on DVD, but I don’t have high hopes, and I’m tempted to abandon it.

      taogaming

      July 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm


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