top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]


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top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby gh » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:32 am

heard a long discussion on the radio yesterday and now this morning the local fishwrap says that Luck is an absolute blockbuster. (Hard to imagine a David Milch/Michael Mann collaboration, with Dustin Hoffman in the starring role would be anything less, but stranger things have happened....)

Sundays on HBO
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:24 am

I'm a little on the fence after viewing the pilot episode before Christmas but will watch again when the series proper starts on Sunday. This was the script David Milch supposedly started three decades ago based on a world on the periphery of his childhood that he later got pulled back into. He claims for a time he'd compulsively type the same twelve pages every day drumming up the nerve to make an alteration. Somehow I expected more. I'm sure it will develop in a satisfying manner. Deadwood was originally supposed to be about Christianity in ancient Rome and the prisoner in the pilot started off as St Paul but he found gold not god when HBO said in the pitch they already had a series set in Rome ready to broadcast.

During production of Luck a few media outlets tried to talk up a clash of personalities between Milch and Michael Mann, both of whom are notoriously headstrong characters. For their part they're too intelligent to take the bait on that but watching the finished product I did wonder about the stories about final cut. If there's a clash it might be between Milch's linguistic sensibility and symbolism (apart from being a TV tough guy and all around eccentric, he's a professor of literature who taught at Yale and the Iowa Writer's Workshop, under the wing of people like Robert Penn Warren, Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Yates) and the highly accomplished visual gloss Michael Mann saturates the execution with. Somehow the colour palettes don't match. There is one scene where Dustin Hoffman rips off his shirt and announces "Hello I'm Dustin Hoffman and I'm ACTING" which I'm sure will get a lot of play when he wins the Emmy award for best performance by Dustin Hoffman. Nick Nolte's co-star in the stable scenes could have the biggest breakout year since Mr Ed. I think there's even some women in it too.

Milch has won the Breeder's Cup on two occasions, so I suppose he is a modern day cowboy as well as a former crook and an artist. He studied the game and is one of the few that beat his addictions and won. Not sure what to make of the fact he signed another deal with HBO and the estate of William Faulkner to adapt some of those stories. If there's a season two of Luck one presumes it's such a personal project he'd have to be involved. Something to know about the writing credits for David Milch shows is he writes every word irrespective of which intern he gives the script credit to for typing them up. He dictates them lying down with the actors and writing staff gathered around, so the story goes. His compositional method is to not think about the story before he begins and to just imagine two voices speaking without any narational annotations.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:38 am

Oh and the theme song sucks.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:38 am

Giant Panda wrote:I'm a little on the fence after viewing the pilot episode before Christmas but will watch again when the series proper starts on Sunday. ....


or..... no you won't!

Fortunately (for those of us who didn't watch it in its first incarnation), tomorrow is the Pilot again.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:14 am

Yeah it starts its full run tomorrow, they sneaked the first episode after the Boardwalk Empire finale. Word is there's only nine episodes in the first season because Milch is not one to be confined by petty things like contracts or deadlines and prefers to write what comes naturally. Pity HBO weren't as sensitive to his needs when he explained his intentions for the fourth season of Deadwood. Those two television movies appear to be receding as a possibility.

The theme music really does suck though. Worse than The Sopranos theme song, which was always a lot shitter song than everybody gives it credit. On which note, the Boardwalk Empire theme is okay once you get past the business of it being an anachronism in a period drama. I've chosen to view it as a commentary on how far we've come since prohibition with our slick liquor commercials. Which is to say not very far, as the series will, in the end, be about men in suits in our own society, and the ocean of booze represents whatever you want it to be. The costume department is always misdirection, it hides the real concerns.

In my head the music for Carnivale, Rome and Deadwood is all the same song. That can't be right but at the time it was like they all had the same theme and then they all got cancelled before their time so it could be the music is important...
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:11 am

Hmm, overwhelmingly negative review from a critic for the New York Times who claims to have seen the whole run of episodes:

http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/01/28/arts/t ... n-hbo.html

Will be very disappointed if the apparent flaws of the first episode hold over until the finale. Hopefully this will be one of those instances where they serve a wider purpose that went over the journalist's head.

I read episode two is being leaked on line by HBO itself for people to watch.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:18 am

Giant Panda wrote:...Hopefully this will be one of those instances where they serve a wider purpose that went over the journalist's head.


Hey, Milch's John From Cincinnati went over EVERYBODY'S head!
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:38 am

This piece in the Hollywood Reporter suggests the inaccessibility of some of the dialogue is part of the design of the show and there are characters intended as surrogates for the audience as they are initiated into the whole hustle of the racetrack and then over time it's revealed how the people and their stories intersect.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-f ... lte-285362

The critics for the LA Times and Salon are kinder than the NY Times review, I think I saw one favourable comparison to The Wire in its ambition to capture a whole ecosystem. I must say though as much as folks say of that show you have to give it a few episodes to gather momentum that first court scene has an immediate economy and majesty and tells an unspoken story with the camera blocking alone, extremely effective before you even know who Jimmy McNulty and Stringer Bell are. It has the whole series right there. So it ought to be possible to recognise a classic for what it is without the need for acquired tastes or refinement with age. Cold opens that truly work tend to teach you how to parse the grammar of their language as you first hear them.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:19 pm

SF Chron reviewer gave it the highest of ratings.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1MUEG8.DTL

Re the language (a Milch specialty):

<<...Writers often speak of the Shakespearean language in "Deadwood," and the Bard makes an implicit appearance in "Luck" as well - not through the dialogue, which owes much more to a 20th century bard, Damon Runyon - but through a quartet of railbirds who have spent most of their lives down on their luck, only to stumble into a period of good fortune.

In Shakespeare, Marcus (Kevin Dunn), Renzo (Ritchie Coster), Jerry (Jason Gedrick) and Lonnie (Ian Hart) would play secondary roles - Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and their paddock pals, orbiting just outside the central action...>>
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby jeremyp » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:03 am

I see Deadwood's language and characters more similar to Dickens than Shakespeare.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:40 am

I believe he's a big fan of Bleak House whereas his pet dogs prefer Little Dorrit.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby jeremyp » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:12 am

And of course neither Dickens or William used the word: Ckskr!
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Giant Panda » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:37 pm

Luck has been renewed for a second season.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:18 am

gh wrote:SF Chron reviewer gave it the highest of ratings.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1MUEG8.DTL

Re the language (a Milch specialty):

<<...Writers often speak of the Shakespearean language in "Deadwood,"


Are we talking iambic pentameter or what? First I have heard of this connection.

If there is a connection between the two it is that the most interesting characters are the most devious. Ian McShane would be a fine Richard III.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:42 pm

Tonite a fabulous one!

2-hour premiere of Season 2 of The Killing (preceded by the last 2 hours of last year if you want to brush up)

1-hour premiere of Season 2 of Game Of Thrones (I may have to switch to HBO's East Coast feed just so I can get to it tonite instead of tomorrow). Rambled through the whole first season over the last 10 days in preparation. Will be nice to have all but 4322 of the main characters now in their proper place in the universe :shock:
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:24 pm

a fabulous bit of homage here for Bullitt fans!

http://www.fox.com/alcatraz/ford/

(video on the left)

From the season-ender of Alcatraz last week.

Hero(ine) in turtleneck with shoulder holster, driving Mustang. Bad guy in Charger. Bad guy sees her in mirror, buckles seat belt and peels out. Leaping-over-the-hills chase through the streets of San Francisco ensues, replete with slow-moving green Volkswagen Beetle passed twice! (in case you've never noticed, McQueen goes by it 4 times as I recall)
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby jeremyp » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:49 pm

Watching "The Killing" reminded me (again) that waiting a year to watch a series that is in continuation of the plot is best preceeded by watching the last episode of 2011. It took my wife and I dozens of questions to get back into the plot. "Was Holder dirty?" "Who is Oaks?" "That's the wife's sister right?" etc, etc. It's a slow, rather laborious start for a slow laborious show, but it's enjoyment is in that very same slow pacing.

AS to "Game Of Thrones," as I got a 3 month freebie of HBO I got to skip Netflix and see the entire first season (as my wife likes to do it) back to back over three days. Love it! It's deeper than "Lord of the Rings," not as brutal as "Spartacus" and it's got Peter Dinklage in a role to die for: A cynical, horny, self caricaturising dwarf. Plus it gives work to half the UK actors. Wonder if Sean Bean got killed off so he can reappear from the dead on "Missing?"
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Vault-emort » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:00 pm

Game of Thrones is as good as ever. Am loving the new lands like Dragonstone and Pyke coming up in the opening titles too. The scenery looks just beautiful, especially now that there are more coasts and islands on the screen (particularly episode two).

Hoping that a confirmation of Season 3/4 comes very soon.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:34 am

jeremyp wrote:.....
AS to "Game Of Thrones," as I got a 3 month freebie of HBO I got to skip Netflix and see the entire first season (as my wife likes to do it) back to back over three days. Love it! It's deeper than "Lord of the Rings," not as brutal as "Spartacus" and it's got Peter Dinklage in a role to die for: A cynical, horny, self caricaturising dwarf. Plus it gives work to half the UK actors. Wonder if Sean Bean got killed off so he can reappear from the dead on "Missing?"


We just spent a few days watching all of season 2, plus an hour or so of back-material features that come when you download the whole thing from iTunes. Wow!

Actually, I lied. We didn't watch the final-final one yet. We're saving that for Sunday night (yoo-hoo!) and will segue it into the season opener for a 2-hour blockbuster.

Dinklage was on Jon Stewart earlier in the week, by the way, and i couldn't tell if he was just terminally bored to be there or had been out backing herbing up. First guest Stewart has ever had he could look down to?
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby jeremyp » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:42 am

gh wrote:
jeremyp wrote:.....
AS to "Game Of Thrones," as I got a 3 month freebie of HBO I got to skip Netflix and see the entire first season (as my wife likes to do it) back to back over three days. Love it! It's deeper than "Lord of the Rings," not as brutal as "Spartacus" and it's got Peter Dinklage in a role to die for: A cynical, horny, self caricaturising dwarf. Plus it gives work to half the UK actors. Wonder if Sean Bean got killed off so he can reappear from the dead on "Missing?"


We just spent a few days watching all of season 2, plus an hour or so of back-material features that come when you download the whole thing from iTunes. Wow!

Actually, I lied. We didn't watch the final-final one yet. We're saving that for Sunday night (yoo-hoo!) and will segue it into the season opener for a 2-hour blockbuster.

Dinklage was on Jon Stewart earlier in the week, by the way, and i couldn't tell if he was just terminally bored to be there or had been out backing herbing up. First guest Stewart has ever had he could look down to?

My wife thought he was "doped." I thought he was quite droll. In retrospect I thought they added too many characters in season 2 and had to little of "Kaleesi"(?)
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:31 pm

I was somewhat disappointed in the debut last night, except for the nifty news that we now have Ciarán Hinds (great Caesar in Rome, good roll in Munich) as a regular.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby Vault-emort » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:07 am

jeremyp wrote:In retrospect I thought they added too many characters in season 2 and had to little of "Kaleesi"(?)

There are even more added in season 3 (and beyond).

gh wrote:I was somewhat disappointed in the debut last night, except for the nifty news that we now have Ciarán Hinds (great Caesar in Rome, good roll in Munich) as a regular.
I wasn't expecting much other than a 'catch-up' for Episode 1 but, as I've read all the books, I know what's coming (and not just winter!). This series is the one I've been waiting for.

I advise viewers not to have heavy objects near them during the last few episodes as you may destroy your plasma throwing something at the screen! :)

Oh and Diana Rigg - yes!
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:34 am

enough spoilers!
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:03 am

must see/hear for Thrones fans

http://www.wimp.com/celloscovered/
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Re: top TV shows for 2012

Postby gh » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:29 pm

After being away from the tube for a week and a half, finally caught up with last week's Thrones episode, which led me to post this on Facebook

<<YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! (excuse me while I yell). Just caught up with last week's episode of "Game Of Thrones." What's the next word in the scale that comes above flabbergasted and dumbfounded? Omigod!>>

A brilliant friend responded with this

<<Why doesn't George Martin do Twitter? Because he killed all 140 characters...or something like that. I feel tonughts episode will be a few cameras trained on a castle exterior, an ice wall, and a river.>>
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby jhc68 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:10 pm

Khaleesi !!!
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby jamal00005 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:21 am

Ive just finished season 2 of Game Of Thrones and i am well hooked!!!. Ive also just finished the american version of shameless (LOL) I love it. In searching my way over the internet i came across a British show called the inbetweeners and that my friends was Brilliant. Im on vacation so this is why i need more shows any recommendations would be fine thank you very much
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby gh » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:21 pm

3 hours until GOT 4 cranks up!
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby gh » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:18 am

great blog on the Thrones season opener (thanks br)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/0 ... 91331.html

(needless to say, multiple spoiler alerts!)
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:44 pm

"Fargo" with Billy Bob Thornton looks like it will replace "True Detective", now on hiatus.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby KDFINE » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:09 pm

I came away disappointed with Fargo. Billy Bob's character is too over the top. Not a very discreet hitman. I wanted to like it, as I love Martin Freeman, but doubt that I'll go back for a second viewing.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby gh » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:53 pm

The first two episodes of Silicon Valley have been absolute howlers for me, but I have this sneaky suspicion that if I didn't live there it might be only mildly amusing at best. Anybody not in this part of the world that has tried it? What think?
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby KevinM » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:26 am

gh wrote:The first two episodes of Silicon Valley have been absolute howlers for me, but I have this sneaky suspicion that if I didn't live there it might be only mildly amusing at best. Anybody not in this part of the world that has tried it? What think?


I'm also enjoying it, but possibly a coastal/metro bias at play for me also?
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby KDFINE » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:19 am

I too have enjoyed Silicon Valley. I wish that they had sub-titles to translate some of what they say into non-Geek speak. I suspect that some of it might be nonsense that the uninitiated assume is for real. Seriously, my daughter now lies in San Francisco so I'm a bit more tuned into what's been going on there than those in the hinterlands.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby gh » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:55 am

I'm not fluent in geek, but my take is that everything they say is pretty much spot-on.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby jeremyp » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:21 am

Caught the new "Fargo," a series aptly called "No country for old Fargo" by the NYT. It's not only channeling those 2 movies but has a dollop of "Nebraska" and "Osage County" as well. By that I mean there seem to be few civil and intelligent folk in the Coen bro's version of the Mid West. Why is it that having a Canadian accent seems to lower IQ's? gh? So far there are hardly any characters with any definition, they're either bad, stupid, or rude. I assume the central woman (Sheriff deputy) will be the saving grace of the show. I will persevere for now.
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Re: top TV shows for 2012 [now 2013]

Postby gh » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:55 pm

sorry, jp… I found the new Fargo to be an absolute knee-pounder. The Coen Bros. (credited as executive producers as I recall) have to be proud of this spinoff.

eh?!
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