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Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Jerusalem posted:

From memory the first few episodes of Deadwood also take place within the span of roughly a week? Once they started spacing out the time it felt like the characters had had time to grow into their places in the community, while to begin with only Swearengen really feels like an established presence.

Those who disagree suck cock by choice.


Each season takes place over a couple weeks, IIRC.

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Well then I guess I just grew to know and accept the characters then! :shobon:

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

I started watching Deadwood but had to stop because I was also watching Justified and it was too weird to watch Timothy Olyphant play cowboy lawmen in two different time periods. Not sure why I chose Justified at that time (though I do quite love that show) but in any case it's probably time I gave it another shot.

MrBling
Aug 21, 2003

Oozing machismo

If you don't love Johnny Burns and Dan Dority in Deadwood then there is something broken inside of you.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




comes along bort posted:

Yeah Deadwood benefits from repeat viewing because the dialogue is dense as poo poo.

Charlie Brooker described it pretty well; he said something like "the characters in the show drink so much whiskey that you're going to want to drink along with them, but don't, because you're not going to be able to understand what they're talking about if you're drunk"

He said it in a much funnier way of course, but that was the gist of it.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Deadwood is on my list and all the discussion has bumped it to the top. I've seen a few episodes of Six Feet Under and they held my attention so it's on my list. Unfortunately only S1 of Boardwalk Empire is on Prime so I'll wait a bit on that.

As for Breaking Bad, I loved it and Bryan Cranston deserves a ton of credit but Jesse (Aaron Paul) really balanced Walter White and the show would have been diminished without him. Oddly some of the episodes that most people hated, like Fly, were among my favorites. But I do not feel a need to rewatch it, maybe someday.

Until The Wire, Sopranos would have been top of my list of favorite tv shows. Now, I would have a difficult time choosing because I love both for different reasons.

Colonel Whitey
May 22, 2004

This shit's about to go off.


Wait, people hated Fly? What the gently caress? The Rian Johnson-directed episodes are some of the best TV ever. His Star Wars movies are going to be off the drat chain.

I really liked BB overall but for me the social significance of the Wire makes it far and away the best show. I hate to throw around words like 'important' but uh...yeah, it was. And is.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Colonel Whitey posted:

Wait, people hated Fly? What the gently caress? The Rian Johnson-directed episodes are some of the best TV ever. His Star Wars movies are going to be off the drat chain.

I really liked BB overall but for me the social significance of the Wire makes it far and away the best show. I hate to throw around words like 'important' but uh...yeah, it was. And is.

Well people who hated Fly are probably in it for more superficial reasons, they want to see spectacle. And that's okay, far be it from me to judge others on how they enjoy their visual art but I feel like they are missing the best part of shows like BB, Wire, etc.

And I may be off base but I feel that while The Wire owes something to Sopranos; both owe something to Babylon 5. Now bear with me ... unless I'm forgetting something, B5 was the first serial television that wasn't a soap or mini-series. And while it had problems, I feel like it helped kickstart the idea that serial television could be successful.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

wormil posted:

Well people who hated Fly are probably in it for more superficial reasons, they want to see spectacle. And that's okay, far be it from me to judge others on how they enjoy their visual art but I feel like they are missing the best part of shows like BB, Wire, etc.

And I may be off base but I feel that while The Wire owes something to Sopranos; both owe something to Babylon 5. Now bear with me ... unless I'm forgetting something, B5 was the first serial television that wasn't a soap or mini-series. And while it had problems, I feel like it helped kickstart the idea that serial television could be successful.

Nah, Babylon 5 wasn't really popular enough to have any kind of real effect. 24 and Sopranos both debuted the same year I believe, or maybe a year apart, and the massive success they had combined with the huge hit that Lost became a few years later is what turned all the major networks onto serialized T.V.

Otis Reddit
Nov 14, 2006


Sopranos was nearly 3 years before 24

Finndo
Dec 27, 2005

Title Text goes here.


Gotta give some respect here to X Files, it was one of the first post-internet cult shows and while it had a lot of one-off episodes it also had running "mythology" plotlines continuing through the series run.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

Fly is the single most polarizing episode of Breaking Bad. I haven't looked at the thread basically since the show ended but I'm assuming there's still multipage arguments about it every so often.

Re: this serialized thing, since The Wire (I'd argue more than almost any other show) practically demands you to binge watch it in order to get the optimal experience, someone noted it probably would have done a lot better if it had aired during the Netflix/On Demand era just a few years later. Then again, HBO is still a bit behind the curve there (deliberately) so maybe not.

I would still argue that while serialization is obviously now the norm, the intensity of it in The Wire (as in, it's basically impossible
for someone who has never seen an episode to watch a random one and really know what's going on) is still the exception rather than the norm.

In terms of discussion re: which shows made The Wire possible - I think if you look at the actual history it's clear that while Sopranos was pivotal to HBO green lighting a lot of shows (mostly trying to find its successor) it was primarily David Simon's earlier work in Homicide and especially The Corner that laid the groundwork. There are quotes from HBO executives where they say they didn't quite understand the first two episodes (the pilot was, and remains, so unconventional and confusing that I think they ordered him to send more scripts before going to series) but they had faith in Simon and could see there was SOMETHING there so they took a shot.

In other words I'm not sure you can point to any specific show except Simon's own work and reputation, whereas with, say, Breaking Bad one can very clearly see how Sopranos laid the groundwork for shows with antihero/villain protagonists.

grading essays nude fucked around with this message at 20:07 on Aug 22, 2014

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

juche mane posted:

Sopranos was nearly 3 years before 24

I thought Sopranos debuted in 1998-1999, and 24 in 2000, but either way both of those shows were infinitely more influential than Babylon 5.

DeepQantas
Jan 13, 2008

Ah, to be a Hero... Keeping such company...


drunken officeparty posted:

And the intro song. I can say for sure that S2 intro is the best.
Bit late, but just wanted to say that the extended version is even better:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw2MjRcVO4g

Schenck v. U.S.
Sep 8, 2010


Hedera Helix posted:

Ah, ok. I didn't actually make it that far- I dropped it midway through the fifth episode- but the way you describe it makes it sound like there's a lot more going on than appeared on the surface.

It's actually really interesting that you mention dropping it midway through the fifth episode. The end of that episode (Wild Bill's funeral) is one of the best scenes in the series, and it's when the show best gets across what it is really talking about.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Basebf555 posted:

Nah, Babylon 5 wasn't really popular enough to have any kind of real effect. 24 and Sopranos both debuted the same year I believe, or maybe a year apart, and the massive success they had combined with the huge hit that Lost became a few years later is what turned all the major networks onto serialized T.V.

Sopranos didn't start until the end of B5 and 24 was years later.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Basebf555 posted:

I thought Sopranos debuted in 1998-1999, and 24 in 2000, but either way both of those shows were infinitely more influential than Babylon 5.

From memory, 24 was delayed significantly because of concerns with (very loose) parallels with September 11?

Stairmaster
Jun 8, 2012

nope just me lain


Jerusalem posted:

From memory, 24 was delayed significantly because of concerns with (very loose) parallels with September 11?

Well a plane exploded in the first episode so thats like half of one fourth of the thing right there.

gingerberger
Jun 20, 2014

Gotta love my Squirtle Swag


While it's impossible to isolate everything that made great shows like the Wire possible, I do think that B5 was groundbreaking (especially because it was PTEN/TNT). I think if B5 had been made 15 years later with a good budget, good actors, and on HBO so they could say/do whatever they wanted, it could be clearly the 2nd best scifi/space show ever. I'm saying clear 2nd behind Star Trek (all iterations) just because it's really hard to compare a 5 year show to 20+ years of multiple shows but I think you have to give Star Trek the edge.

But really while B5 had awful graphics, at times very bad writing/acting, and was on wholesome network TV, it has some great tension and character development.

-Inu-
Nov 11, 2008

TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY CUBIC CENTIMETERS


Colonel Whitey posted:

Wait, people hated Fly? What the gently caress? The Rian Johnson-directed episodes are some of the best TV ever. His Star Wars movies are going to be off the drat chain.
Well, it's the only bottle episode BB ever did so it confuses a lot of people because "nothing happens". Personally I love Rian Johnson and totally respect/appreciate that episode, but from an entertainment standpoint, in the context of the show, it didn't do much for me. Maybe I'm just an uncultured shitlord though.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


It also aired the same week Family Guy did a bottle episode which had a more overt Norman Lear reference, which isn't fair to the show but did make the "it's a tv show" aspect all the more obvious.

Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3359 days!


Hair Elf

-Inu- posted:

Well, it's the only bottle episode BB ever did so it confuses a lot of people because "nothing happens". Personally I love Rian Johnson and totally respect/appreciate that episode, but from an entertainment standpoint, in the context of the show, it didn't do much for me. Maybe I'm just an uncultured shitlord though.

I don't think you're an uneducated shitlord, and this is coming from a dude who studied a whole lotta literature for his master's. There's a lot of stuff that's easy to respect but sometimes hard to like, and Fly, at least for me, falls into that category.

But that's how it goes, sometimes. The authors behind texts, whatever they are (books, movies, shows), often have something they want to say or something they want to tell. The telling is the story; the saying is the theme (or the insight, the "truth") behind the story. Fly encapsulates the theme of Breaking Bad (Walt's obsessions, his buried guilt, his relationship with Jesse), but doesn't tell you anything that advances the story.* I didn't like Fly the first time I saw it because I was impatient for the story to go on--and holy poo poo did it, with Half Measures--but I admired it because it deftly handled character and theme and insight.

But to tie this back into The Wire: I felt that admiration for most of the show--I knew it had good qualities, and I respected what it was doing, but I was never exactly entertained by it, at least not the way I was entertained by Breaking Bad or Deadwood or Rome. But that's because Simon had a lot he wanted to say and cared more about that than what he wanted to tell. Or to put it more accurately, the stories he told, he told because of the themes they'd carry, eg the death of the working class or the failure of the inner-city school system. This was most noticeable in season five, when he had the characters do some uncharacteristic things to help make his point.


*You can skip the episode on a rewatch and not really miss anything related to the plot, but you will miss some depth to the characters and some thematic connections later (like the pest tent lab).

Asbury fucked around with this message at 22:15 on Aug 23, 2014

stev
Jan 22, 2013

Please be excited.





Returning to the Boardwalk Empire discussion (it doesn't seem to have a thread, sue me), I'm just getting into series 3 now and I'm having the same problem with it that I had with Dexter.

Both shows have incredibly strong opening seasons, then move into an arguably better second season that completely solves the show's main internal conflict (Dexter's crime's coming to light and the entire Darmody clusterfuck). After that it just feels like 'The Continuing Adventures of...', and it deflates.

I couldn't get past Dexter series 3 for this reason, and I really hope the same doesn't happen with Boardwalk Empire, because it's a far better show overall.

hhhmmm
Jan 1, 2006
...?

Another small detail: When Kima and McNulty are staking out Omar's van, a girl from school walks past. She walks up to a house and knocks (so it is probably not her house) and is dressed up in all new bling. Each shot is just a second or two. But that's how Omar knew police was sitting on the van, he paid off some of the locals.

ChikoDemono
Jul 10, 2007

He said that he would stay forever.

Forever wasn't very long...




Dexter sucks but season 4 is amazing. I recommend watching that season alone. John Lithgow is amazing.

Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3359 days!


Hair Elf

Re: Boardwalk Empire

Season three is worth it just for Bobby Cannavale, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Narcisse really helps carry season four. But you're right: the show has a lot of excellent parts--acting, costuming, cinematography (or whatever it's called for television)--but they never quite gel together into a cohesive whole. I hate to lay blame for that feeling, but it's an issue with the writing: while main characters change and die, it never feels like there's much progression for the story. Nucky always ends up back on top.

In the interest of full disclosure: I watched seasons one and two, lost some interest in three, and didn't finish four until well after its air date (but then blew through the back half of the season in a single sitting). The characters and the production values still make it worth watching, even if the plot meanders.

edit: Cannavale was in three, not four

Asbury fucked around with this message at 01:55 on Aug 25, 2014

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




ChikoDemono posted:

Dexter sucks but season 4 is amazing. I recommend watching that season alone. John Lithgow is amazing.

Seconding this. If you liked the first two seasons of Dexter, the fourth is well worth a watch. Three was a slump for sure, but four was good.

Do not continue watching Dexter after season four, though. Don't do it. The last episode of season four is the series finale of Dexter and everything that happened after that must have been some weird dream that I had.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



3Romeo posted:

Season four is worth it just for Bobby Cannavale, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor

Seriously people. At one point the guy goes to Church and tries to prayer-threaten Jesus Christ.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


This "is The Wire or Breaking Bad better" conversation is happening again, and so to reiterate:

The shows are both really good, and complaints people have about one or the other that arise when they try to rate them against each other are all based on flawed expectations - The Wire deals with character arcs of a very well-researched and experienced look into real systems, Breaking Bad is a morality fable. They're both absolutely fantastic, but they're apples and oranges - when ranking the two you all need to remember that "Breaking Bad is unrealistic" is not really valid, because you're judging it on a metric that doesn't apply. It's like listening to Mozart and saying "Jesus Christ this sucks, this isn't Jazz at all! Holy poo poo this is the worst Jazz I've ever heard! Why is this not like Jazz!"

If you don't like too much realism or not enough realism, that's your personal preference and you may just not like the show for that reason, and that's fine, but it is a personal opinion, not an objective critique.

That being said, people who don't like "Fly," jesus. I'm not even going to get into the incredible direction, cinematography, and exploration of character motivation in that episode, but you Fly-haters constantly talk about how amazing Bryan Cranston is and yet completely overlook the absolutely astounding slapstick work he did in that episode? Imagine anybody else trying to do that poo poo. Go back and watch it with a physical comedy lens and tell me I'm wrong.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 01:01 on Aug 25, 2014

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


3Romeo posted:

Season four is worth it just for Bobby Cannavale, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Narcisse really helps carry season four. But you're right: the show has a lot of excellent parts--acting, costuming, cinematography (or whatever it's called for television)--but they never quite gel together into a cohesive whole. I hate to lay blame for that feeling, but it's an issue with the writing: while main characters change and die, it never feels like there's much progression for the story. Nucky always ends up back on top.

A lot of the blame seems to be placed on Steve Buscemi being more of an ensemble actor as opposed to a traditional leading man. I think it's a good show, but they kinda blew their potential dragging the big stuff out and focusing on the period immediately before when the mafia begins to coalesce. And now they're gonna skip a lot of the interesting stuff like the Atlantic City Conference and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Hopefully since the last season's supposed to take place in '31 they'll get to the Castellammarese War.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 01:44 on Aug 25, 2014

Handsome Ralph
Sep 3, 2004

oh boy, modding! That's where I'm a Viking!



In case you needed another reason to re-watch this series for the umpteenth time, HBO will be marathoning the series, remastered and in HD, next week.

No idea if this means the perspective will change or what, but still, pretty cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpC3JtED-Po

LloydDobler
Oct 15, 2005

You shared it with a dick.



Oh god dammit if they release it on Blu Ray I'm going to be pissed. I went ahead and bought it on DVD believing that there would never be an HD release.

Lugaloco
Jun 29, 2011


If there is a Blu Ray release, will it still be in 4:3? I might be showing my ignorance here because I'm not well-versed on stuff like the filming process.

Okonner
Dec 11, 2008

by exmarx


Lugaloco posted:

If there is a Blu Ray release, will it still be in 4:3? I might be showing my ignorance here because I'm not well-versed on stuff like the filming process.

If it is then HBO would be lying to call it "HD".

Lugaloco
Jun 29, 2011


I remember reading that 4:3 was very important in the filming in the show though, that anything else would make it look "too flashy" and like a movie.

empty baggie
Oct 22, 2003



It was intentionally shot with a 4:3 aspect ratio, so there won't ever be a version in 16:9.

IIRC, they even considered switching formats when 16:9 became the standard around maybe season 3 but it was thought that the change would take away from the feel of the show.

stev
Jan 22, 2013

Please be excited.





I always got the impression that it was filmed with the sort of budget and technology that you'd expect from such a poor city, hense 4:3 of variable quality.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


It's probably just an HD transfer from the original VTR tapes.



e: wait, they shot it on 35mm didn't they? Never mind.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 06:10 on Aug 29, 2014

MrSlam
Apr 25, 2014

And there you sat, eating hamburgers while the world cried.

So I'm up to the Season 4 Finale of my rewatch.

The only scene that bugs me is when they cut to that goofy white guy laughing about Al Swearengen saying "Cocksucker!" on the hospital TV.

Is it gentle ribbing from one show to another or is it the producers boasting their superiority? They did it later on with Dexter as I recall and that show can definitely be love-it or hate-it, but Deadwood's good television.

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Asbury
Mar 23, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3359 days!


Hair Elf

I always wondered that myself. The Dexter scene ties--if only incidentally--into the theme and plot of season five, but that absurd white guy in the hospital bed stuck out like an Obama sticker on the back of a flatbed farm truck.

My best guess is that it's a veiled jab at the audience, which isn't entirely unprecedented in the show (Bunny, for instance, leaving the academic lecture in the montage at the end of season four). The guy in the bed is the stereotype of the fat white dumb Homer-Simpson American male, the kind of fellow who bumbles though life not quite understanding the implications of anything: he's in a hospital, sure, but he knows that his insurance will take care of him, and he's watching a show that's got some beautifully complex dialogue but he only notices the word cocksucker.

The writing in The Wire is often fantastic, but sometimes it's too clever for its own good, and when that happens those scenes tend to come off as atonal, no matter what point they're making or how well they stand alone, eg the chess scene with Bodie and D'Angelo and Wallace or the "gently caress" scene with McNulty and Bunk back in season one. They're great, don't get me wrong, but they're a little too on-the-nose.

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