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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-13, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
 
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Default Jac's TV reviews

I have a lot of down time and I'm not a huge fan of films, I watch a lot of TV though, I find TV a superior medium, there is more depth for multiple plot lines, more time for character development and greater scope to explore themes in depth.

By my count I've watched something like 130 seasons of tv since the start of 2011. Some I've watched twice but not many. Thought I'd start up a thread where when I've finished a season I'll post up a quick blurb about it just in case any of you Heretics are considering watching something or looking for something good. Below is also a list of the 130 odd, if you want to know about any of them let me know and I will do a quick blurb for it. Also if I haven't seen a certain series and you would like to know my thoughts on it then let me know and I will try and track it down. There are some very well known series that I haven't watched yet, thats for a reason, I'm saving them for when I'm sick of watching complete crap and need my faith restored in decent TV!

2011

1. Skins: Season 4
2. Boardwalk Empire
3. Life: Season 1
4. Life: Season 2
5. Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1
6. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
7. The Devils Whore
8. Occupation
9. Caprica: Season 1 Part 1
10. North and South: Part 1
11. North and South: Part 2 (Love and War)
12. Oz: Season 1
13. The IT Crowd: Season 1
14. The IT Crowd: Season 2
15. The IT Crowd: Season 3
16. Band Of Brothers
17. The Pacific
18. Yes Minister: Season 1
19. Yes Prime Minister: Season 1
20. Life On Mars (UK): Season 1
21. Life On Mars (UK): Season 2
22. Taking Over the Asylum
23. Firefly
24. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps: Season 1
25. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps: Season 2
26. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps: Season 3
27. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps: Season 4
28. Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps: Season 5
29. Mad Men: Season 1
30. Mad Men: Season 2
31. Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby: Season 1
32. Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby: Season 2
33. The Long Way Down
34. Battlestar Galatica: Mini-series
35. Battlestar Galatica: Season 1
36. Battlestar Galatica: Season 2
37. Battlestar Galatica: The Resistance
38. The Walking Dead Season 1
39. Battlestar Galatica: Season 3
40. Robin Hood (BBC): Season 1
41. Black Books: Season 1
42. Skins: Season 1
43. Will and Grace: Season 1
44. Will and Grace: Season 2
45. Will and Grace: Season 3
46. Deadwood: Season 1
47. Deadwood: Season 2
48. Deadwood: Season 3
49. Sons of Anarchy: Season 1
50. Game of Thrones: Season 1
51. Top Gear: Season 15
52. Top Gear: Season 16
53. Top Gear: Season 10
54. Top Gear: Season 11


2012

55. Sons of Anarchy: Season 2
56. Sons of Anarchy: Season 3
57. The IT Crowd: Season 4
58. Top Gear: Season 12
59. Top Gear: Season 14
60. Better Off Ted: Season 1
61. Better Off Ted: Season 2
62. Community: Season 1
63. Community: Season 2
64. Into The West
65. Firefly
66. Soldier Soldier: Season 1
67. Soldier Soldier: Season 2
68. The Black Donnellys
69. Outrageous Fortune: Season 1
70. Spaced: Season 1
71. Spaced: Season 2
72. Outrageous Fortune: Season 2
73. Outrageous Fortune: Season 3
74. Life On Mars: Season 1
75. Life On Mars: Season 2
76. Outrageous Fortune: Season 4
77. Outrageous Fortune: Season 5
78. The Office: Season 1
79. Breaking Bad: Season 3
80. The Office: Season 2
81. How I Met Your Mother: Season 1
82. How I Met Your Mother: Season 2
83. How I Met Your Mother: Season 3
84. How I Met Your Mother: Season 4
85. How I Met Your Mother: Season5
86. Weeds: Season 1
87. Sons of Anarchy: Season 1
88. Sons of Anarchy: Season 2
89. Sons of Anarchy: Season 3
90. Weeds: Season 2
91. Weeds: Season 3
92. Weeds: Season 4
93. Weeds: Season 5
94. Deadwood: Season 1
95. Boardwalk Empire: Season 2
96. Boardwalk Empire: Season 3
97. Sons of Anarchy: Season 4
98. Sons of Anarchy: Season 5
99. Deadwood: Season 2

2013

100. Commando: On The Front Lines
101. The Black Donnelly’s
102. A Little Bit OCD
103. 2 Weeks In Hell
104. Jack’ Story
105. Caprica: Season 1.5
106. The Thick of It: Season 1
107. The Thick of It: Season 2
108. The Thick of It: Season 3
109. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Season 1
110. Misfits: Season 1
111. Misfits: Season 2
112. Misfits: Season 3
113. Hell On Wheels: Season 1
114. Justified: Season 1
115. Justified: Season 2
116. The Pillars Of The Earth
117. Justified: Season 3
118. Southland: Season 1
119. Southland: Season 2
120. Ivanhoe
121. Rome: Season 1
122. Rome: Season 2
123. Father Ted: Season 1
124. Battlestar Galatica: Blood and Chrome
125. Friday Night Lights: Season 1
126. Friday Night Lights: Season 2
127. Friday Night Lights: Season 3
128. Friday Night Lights: Season 4
129. Friday Night Lights: Season 5
130. Falling Skies: Season 1 *
131. Outcasts: Season 1
132. Wilfred: Season 1 *
133. Revolution: Season 1
134. The Wire: Season 1 *
135. Wilfred: Season 2 *

* - Indicates a review of the show, click on the star to be taken to it

You'll see some reaccuring terms and factors in these reviews as well. A couple of explanations of them, this list will probably grow:

Post BSG: This means its come out after the re-imagined series of Battlestar Galatica came out or came out after BSG had finished. I feel that the RDM BSG is a benchmark of modern sci-fi TV in terms of its production values and the quality of the story telling and signified a real coming of age for the sci-fi/fantasy TV genre. It was a long running adult focused series, generally IMHO sci-fi and fanatsy TV tends to aim at the teenage market as kids can watch it as well as adults, thus increasing marketability. RDM BSG proved this needn't be the case.

No soul: The show lacks that spark which draws you into a series, that certain something that makes you want to catch just one more ep even if it means you are losing sleeping time.

Tried to do a Whedon and failed: This can mean one of the two things (I'll tell you which one):

1) Tried to write a strong, likable and most importantly believable female major character and fucked it up. Joss Whedon (Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Avengers) famously replied to a question of "So, why do you write these strong female characters?" with "Because you’re still asking me that question.” Basically he can do it

2) Tried to write quirky dialogue and fucked it up. Again Joss Whedon does this well, yes he has his particular style but god dam it he's good at it!

Any reference to the fights in Season 1 of "Hell on Wheels": In ep 5 of the first season there is a boxing match between two of the main characters. It's beyond terrible both in terms of choreography and the actor's work in it. I’ve seen 5 year old hippie girls throw punch’s with more conviction and pacifist nuns come up with more convincing choreography.

Last edited by Jacobite; 05-23-13 at 06:46 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-13, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
 
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Falling Skys: Season 1 - 2011 - Dreamworks TV

"6 months after and in the wake on an Alien invasion of earth the shattered remnants of humanity try to resist their invaders as best they can and stay alive. Against this backdrop a former history professor and his sons try and find their lost son/brother (who has been taken captive and "harnessed" buy the enemy) while also clashing heads with the leader of their resistance unit about the best way to prosecute the war and keep the attached civilians safe"

Post BSG this series had a great concept, a really simple yet effective premise that offers huge scope for the exploration of themes and character. Sadly it's terrible, the writing both dialogue wise and story wise is laughably bad and infuriating simple respectfully and whats more the performances suffer for it. The main character (Tom Mason played by Noah Wyle - of ER fame) is pathetic excuse for a protagonist, he has no depth what so ever and seems to stand for nothing, he lacks spine and is completely unbelievable as even having survived 6 months of alien occupation let alone rising to become second in command of a milita unit. His co-stars (Moon Bloodgood - Terminator 4, Will Patton - Remember the Titans, Armageddon and a host of other lesser known names) try their best but again their characters are forgettable. The one interesting character "John Pope" played by Colin Cunningham isn't in it nearly enough but apparently has larger role in Season 2.

Production value wise its pretty good for a tv series, you can see the difference between when the aliens are animatronic suits and when they are full CG but I'm willing to forgive this in a TV series. Enviromentally the series looks good, the world looks believable enough as a pysdo post Apoc world ravaged by war. Could be better but it could be a shitload worse! The make up and costume could be a bit dirtier but in comparison to a lot of other shows its pretty good.

Fight scene wise it’s pretty ho-hum, middle of the road, its no Sparty but its not as bad as Hell on Wheels either. If only the same could be said about some of the choices made by the characters.

Sound and camera work: Pretty run of the mill.

Overall this show is a bad fucking joke, the "cliff hanger" is pathetic but its not really a surprise as by about 3 eps in you don't give two shits about who lives or dies. This show is PG’d to the extreme, it’s not dark, its not grim its boring as hell. The poor quality of the writing is made worse by just how much potential the premise has. Season 2 is “leaner and meaner” apparently, frankly the only way I’m going to watch it is if Tom Mason is brutally murdered in the first minute and John Pope takes over as main man, otherwise the only way I’ll watch it is if the alternative is Jeresy Shore.

Overall 3/10 and that’s being generous.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-13, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Wilfred: Season 1 (US Version) – 2011 – FX

“Ryan (Elijah Wood) has a mental breakdown, quits his job as a lawyer specialising in winning cases through less than honorable means and nearly deliberately OD’s on drugs. Ryan’s neighbor Jenna ask’s him the next day to look after her dog. Ryan agrees and for some reason instead of it being a dog what Ryan actually sees is an Australian man wearing a dog costume who think’s he’s a dog. Everybody else however sees “Wilfred” as a regular four legged kind. Hilarity ensues.”

Now I haven’t seen the original Australian series and normally I wouldn’t do it this way round but the actor (Jason Gann)who plays Wilfred is one of the original creators of the Aussie version so I felt confident that the show would retain some of its soul from the previous version. I don’t really like it when US studios remake “foreign” shows, it reeks of stupid Americans who can’t read or hear well.

Simply put this series is great, it’s well written and it’s decent black humor with some edgy stuff provided by the dog, and I mean edgy in American terms rather than European.

Elijah Wood does a credible job, I didn’t have much of a problem adjusting to him not being all wide eyed and Frodoish but the real star of the show is Jason Gann. Essentially the show is just their relationship with the supporting cast really just facilitating it.

Production values, sound and camera are all pretty good, you don’t notice them which is exactly what you want in this kinda series, its modern day and current there is no need to get all fancy on it.

Overall 8/10. I’m keen for season 2 once I’ve worked through some other stuff.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-18-13, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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The Wire: Season 1 - HBO - 2002

"The Baltimore PD faces off against gangsters dealing drugs in "the towers", seen through the eyes of both Police Officers and the dealers alike the series shows a side of the Police that isn't often covered in TV: wire tapping and survalince"

This is one of those TV series you always hear about. It has an almost bullet proof reputation as a well written, character driven drama that you'd be crazy to miss. I've left it until now to watch for this reason and I must say, while its good, I do seem to be missing something.

Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the series, I'll be watching the second but to me it lacked pace, that may have been a choice by the creators of the show to get the audience more into the "world" of the show, nothing happens quickly and while there is an under current of tension running through the show it's not, IMHO, high enough. I didn't "really" care what happened to the case overall if I'm quite honest. The writing is good, it's got its own language which takes a while to get used to, full of number combinations that takes the viewer almost as long to work out as it does the cops to figure out the gangster's codes.

What I did like was that none of the characters were "good" or "evil", they were "real", McNalty's a prick, Barksdale is the head of a crime syndicate but not a bad person, he's simply doing what he has to to survive. The actors all do a good job, all are believable in their roles, as a cast I rate them right up there. Having two homosexual characters right outa the gate was a brave move I felt especially seeing as one of them is gangster. A black male gangster. Think about that for a moment, how many other series have that? They could have made him straight and him being gay doesn't really change much story wise but it could have had ramifications rating wise and I applaud HBO for doing that.

Production wise its dark and gritty, completely believable.

Like I saw, its good but I don't think its outstanding. I'll be watching season 2 though.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-23-13, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Wilfred: Season 2 (US Version) - 2012 - FX

“Ryan (Elijah Wood) has a mental breakdown, quits his job as a lawyer specialising in winning cases through less than honorable means and nearly deliberately OD’s on drugs. Ryan’s neighbor Jenna ask’s him the next day to look after her dog. Ryan agrees and for some reason instead of it being a dog what Ryan actually sees is an Australian man wearing a dog costume who think’s he’s a dog. Everybody else however sees “Wilfred” as a regular four legged kind. Hilarity ensues.”

The second season continues on in the saem vein as the first really although it does push the poor taste a bit more which is great. There are a few moments of "Really? You are going there?" which I love. There is the odd episode that falls flat or is simply a bit of a rehash of the season 1's and generally they are attempts at trying to flesh out who Wilfred exactly is. These eps don't seem to actually go anywhere or give any hints as to the answer so I'm unsure of what their purpose is.

Still the series is funny and edgy. Certainly worth a watch.
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