Television: what shows are you currently watching?

Morbii

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I highly recommend checking out The Expanse. The first season is available on DVD/BD, and it's fantastic. I also am really enjoying Fargo.

Considering checking out:
American Horror Story
Here's my take on this show:
First season: Worth watching, but not amazing.
Second season: Slam dunk amazing. WAY too much going on, but that only actually helped it achieve greatness, IMO.
Third season: Trash, save the first ~10 minutes of the first episode.
Fourth season: Save a handful of scenes during the series, beyond trash and almost totally unwatchable.

I stopped there after two duds in a row. I'm not sure I've ever stopped on a TV show I initially liked before, either.
 

Scott Tortorice

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I highly recommend checking out The Expanse.
Me, too! Just finished the first season. My bloviating thoughts:

I can't believe I am going to do this, but the time has come for me to applaud a SyFy Channel series. Shocking! :) Yeah, yeah, I know some people liked Stargate. I never cared for the movie, so the series was a pass for me. And while lots of people loved Battlestar Galactica, I found the show to have the worst elements of a graphic novel and a soap opera in one annoying package (honestly, I tried three times to watch that series and failed to get beyond the start of season 2 each time). But The Expanse (Season One, anyway) actually was pretty darn good!

Now, to be fair, I did like the first book in the series. Leviathan Awakes reminded me of Old School science fiction that combines spacey adventure with just enough scientific realism to keep things believable (as opposed to most contemporary sci-fi that, to me, is either little more than farcical after-school nonsense, or displays a slavish devotion to scientific realism that ruins any sense of fun or wonder). Much to their credit, SyFy kept most of these elements in place in translating the book to the show, making it a fun romp in a well-realized setting. One thing I *really* liked about the show is how SyFY eschewed the typical "bright and shiny" vision of the future that is often de riqueur in the genre ( I blame Roddenberry :p ) and went with a very noirish dark and dirty "workingman's universe" setting for many of the locales, particularly the Outer Belt, something fitting for their slavish existence to Earth. Likewise, Earth and Mars, the two colonial powers, were shown to be "bright and shiny" in their luxury. Now, at times I do think they might have gotten carried away with the primitiveness of the settings - for example, if I recall correctly, Eros was more like the Atlantic City casino strip than the downtrodden slum it was portrayed as in the show, something I blame on budget - but I still prefer this to just another interpretation of a chrome-covered future.

Story-wise, it is the old maxim of the book always being better than the movie. As usual, I blame the writers adamant assertion that they HAD to change to story...just because. While it is true that no movie/TV treatment can be 100% faithful to the written word, that is different from changing things just because you can. Sadly, that is what season one did, and the show is worse for it. As is usually the case, I found the vast majority of the changes made to the show to be completely unnecessary. They were unnecessary because 1) they disrupt what was a tightly written page turner of a narrative with needless segues and redundant characters, and 2) ultimately accomplish nothing as the main narrative always returned to the plot of the book (thank the Lord) with a "never mind" abandonment of what was injected ham-handedly by the writers. One good example of this is the completely useless character of Chrisjen Avasarala, a person who I understand first appears in the second book of The Expanse. I think this is painfully evident here as despite the writers desperately trying to turn her into a Game of Throne's conniving "Little Finger," she seems totally out of place in the events of season one and accomplishes little besides staring at the night sky from her rooftop, visiting aquariums, and getting into a cat fight with Holden's mother. Not exactly "Little Finger." The character has potential, but because the writers insisted on introducing her too early, she never rises above being a fifth wheel in the narrative of the first season. And don't get me started on "corporate spy" Kenzo Gabriel, a character literally shoehorned into the hull of Rocinante for no purpose that I could ultimately see except to be monster food. If anything hurt the first season of The Expanse, it is the gratuitous changes made by the writers that did little but trip-up a sharply-written story.

I thought casting was very good. Steven Strait's "Jim" Holden nailed that character's Jack Ryan, Boy Scout-like nature. Likewise, Thomas Jane was perfect in capturing the film noir, Phillip Marlowe-inspired nature of "Joe" Aloisus Miller. As with the book, Detective Miller steals the show as soon as he appears. :) One change I DO credit the writers with is making Amos Burton a much more interesting character. In the book, he is little more than a giant bruiser with a heart of gold who does little more than a Mutt and Jeff routine with pilot Alex Kamal. Here, they turned Amos into a guy with a thuggish nature and a very short fuse. I'll give them that as it does make for a more interesting character. The rest of the cast is decent as well.

CGI-wise, it is typical, if slightly better than normal, SyFy FX. I don't know why, but I always have a problem with their FX as I find the angles, the camera drift and the lighting they use make for confusing scenes where I am never sure about what I am supposed to be looking at. I think this is how SyFy makes a little go a longer way. :) Having said that, I think they did a good job bringing our solar system, particularly the Outer Belt, to life.

Overall, I give the series a rare (for SyFy) B+ from me. The story is as engaging as the book, the heavily noir-inspired presentation is well done, the actors all hit their mark, and as with the best aspects of the genre, the story of tension between the "haves and have-nots" of the future, not to mention some sleazy corporate and government conspiracies, is a very timely message. If you haven't given the show a watch, I recommend it!

 
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Martin Mayers

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Fargo Season 2

Holy **** - I'll be damned if they didn't pull it off again. Can't stop thinking about it.

I never really thought Kirsten Dunst was all that sexy before - but something about her in this......
I really didn't fancy Fargo at all for some reason...

Then I watched series one...WOW...amazing TV I thought.

Caught up with season 2...just as good.

Even downloaded the original film and thought it amazing.

Total revelation to me.
 

Brian W

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Stan vs. Evil. Has some laughs, but don't see it going all 172 demons long.
 

bendizoid

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I really didn't fancy Fargo at all for some reason...

Then I watched series one...WOW...amazing TV I thought.

Caught up with season 2...just as good.

Even downloaded the original film and thought it amazing.

Total revelation to me.
I hope they put me in there as a kid 5th grader because I lived in Fargo when all that went down. I remember my parents telling me not to hang around that parking garage. Fargo was a great place for us kids, lots to do and lots of fun. Our principal, Mrs. Stone was a friend of Berl Ives so one year he came and did a show for the whole school around Christmas time. We were in awe that the star singer of Rudolf was coming. Good times.
 

RevJJ

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Watching Star Wars Rebels season 1. It is primarily a kids show but it's very good.
 

mooreshawnm

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Cancelled cable a decade ago. Now when the next season of GoT comes out on DVD...
 

Brian W

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People of Earth (mid?) season finale tonight. I've liked it quite a bit so far, although I think the casting could have been better.
 

Morbii

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Finished these recently"ish":
Mr Robot season 1 - I enjoyed it, but felt it was far too much of a Fight Club ripoff. I recognized that within the first episode, too...
Hannibal seasons 1-3 - I have sort of a love/hate relationship with this show. I think season 2 was the best. Season 3 was clearly the worst, but story-wise it was also how the show should have played out from the start (if that makes sense).
Game of Thrones season 6 - good
Outlander season 2 - love this show. RDM has another winner, IMO, but I think it's going to have a more limited audience
Lillyhammer season 1 - good, but not good enough for me to go out of my way to get the non-R1 seasons
Detectorists season 1 + 2 - fantastic show
Daredevil season 1 - good
Shannara Chronicles season 1 - bought for the chance at guilty pleasure status as I enjoyed the books as a youngster - it was mostly pretty bad
Fear the Walking Dead season 2 - good, but still not as good as TWD

Just started:
The Killing season 4 - a short season and the last. I'm enjoying it 2 episodes in
Frozen Planet - one episode in, and quite good like PE
 

KhandidGamera

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Hear, hear on the Expanse. For me right up there with BSG or better.

Enjoying last bit of Grimm.

Been watching a lot of nordic stuff on netflix, my cheap way of going back there without travelling.

Liked Nobel a good deal, and just finished Swedish Wallender, seasons 2 and 3. Hope they put the first season on. Interesting look at social problems in Sweden.
 
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Third season of _Better Call Saul_ for me. Hadn't watched it or _Breaking Bad_ until now, but know the gist of the stories from my spouse.

Very cool to see locations in one's home town (e.g., Los Pollos Hermanos, which is in real life a Hurricanes).
 

Brian W

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Brockmire on IFC. It may devolve into a fairly strightforward sitcom, but there is a lot of very funny dialogue. Must see if you are a baseball fan.
 

Proff3RTR

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I'm talking about series that are currently running on TV, not old stuff from way back. I'm looking for some new stuff to watch, so what's good?

Right now I'm watching Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Spartacus.
Just started after all these years watching Game of Thrones, series one done and two into series two, bloody love it
 
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