Sunday, March 4, 2012

TV Discussion Thread

As I said to Jose in the comments of my last post, this week I will begin putting up these discussion threads where I, he, and anyone else who wishes to can discuss television without worrying about potentially spoiling Cougar Town for someone in the comments of a Revenge review or other things like that. These posts are designed to be a place where people can talk about any shows they want to, as well as to double as a way for me to post something at least once a week (which has been my goal from the start) even in weeks when I don't get the chance to write anything else. So pleased be aware that the comments on this post may contain spoilers for any number of shows in a given week.

A couple of quick rules, in addition to the usual ones about profanity and civility. First of all, please avoid movie or book spoilers, since this is a TV-centered thread. And if you are going to talk in-depth about any current premium cable series, please warn me ahead of time so I (and others) can skip your comment if we wish to. Feel free to discuss them, but out of respect for the fact that some of us haven't had the chance to watch yet, just make sure there's a warning. Thank you. 

Okay, that's about it. So, what shows captured your interest over the past week? Did you think the Awake pilot was as amazing as I did? And are you as worried about Cougar Town's survival as I am right now?


  1. I've yet to see Revenge (had to study for a bunch of stuff so no time to Hulu it, so no one spoil it!)

    anyway, I thought Awake was ok, it has great potential but let's face it, if it weren't for Jason Issacs, I doubt it would have as many people interested as it did.

    also, any theories? Producers have stated that there is INDEED 1 reality and one dream world, so I guess that's them saying there won't be a Shyamalan twist like he's in a coma or dying or something.

    but the previews for next weeks episode (plus how Britten claims he could not have been drinking before the accident) makes it look as if someone set up the car accident.

    Anyway, I've already accepted that Cougar Town will get cancelled this season, like 3 of its major cast members have already signed on to other pilots for other networks. Shame too because if it was on NBC it would live for like 4 for season (and the exec producer promised that in season 4, Tom would be made part of the cul-de-sac crew, and who doesn't want to see that!)

    Anyway, great run so far, and Park & Rec, who plays the rival campaignn manager? she's such a bitch I love her! (Only time I'll cuss, promise, plus it fits her description).

    Oh, and Happy Endings, don't know if anyone else here watched that, but I think its my favorite sitcom on tv. Period. Do yourself a fovor and go to Hulu or Netflix to watch the episodes.

    So jaw-droppingly a-mah-zing.

    I swear if it was back to back with Cougar Town, it'd be the most excellent match ever!

  2. Also, will you be posting a review for The Artist soon?

  3. The rival campaign manager is played by Kathryn Hahn, who I thought was very good in the two episodes of NBC's "Free Agents" that I watched. The show (which was cancelled relatively quickly) wasn't good, but she and co-star Hank Azaria were both quite excellent. She was just brilliant in this episode, wasn't she? Just goes to show what good actors can do when they're given good material to work with as well.

    One of the best "Parks and Rec" episodes of the season in my book. In addition to the campaign storyline, the B plot involving the water fountain project was genius. Terrific stuff.

    "Happy Endings" is a show I've been meaning to start watching for quite some time. I never just start watching shows mid-season or mid-series, though, so I need some time to catch up on earlier episodes. Maybe this summer. Right now my next TV on DVD project is going to be season one of "Game of Thrones", the first disc of which I hope to get from Netflix later this week. But I definitely plan on watching the series at some point. Everyone seems to love it.

    Regarding "The Artist"... I will not be reviewing it here, since I'm writing a review for my student paper. In short, though: absolutely incredible, and almost certain to land in my top five (more likely top three) for the year.

  4. Also, no real theories about "Awake", although I do hope they don't wind up going down the far too obvious "which reality is real?" route. But this pilot's quality was high enough (in my opinion) that I'm interested in finding out where all this leads no matter what. At least for now.

  5. Well, just say when you get Game of Thrones, maybe we can watch it together and compare or something.

    Also, have you been seeing Archer lately?
    I don't have cable so with shows like that I usually go to hulu the day or week after but apperantly Hulu isn't supporting Archer. Archer is on amazon Prime though but for like $3 or $4 an episode so I might do that there but the per episode thing scares me.

    And you'll definitely love Happy Endings, its like the bizarre offspring of Cougar Town and Community, so if one of those gets canceled this season, Happy Endings will be there to replace that hole left in your heart.

    Also, what's so bad about Awake going down that route? Its old fashioned, yes. But there's nothing wrong with old fashioned.

    Plus, any other shows aside from these you're watching?

    Regarding The Artist, I enjoyed it, I personally wouldn't put it on my list of top 10 though.

  6. Unfortunately, FX has stopped putting any of their shows online, aside from Amazon and iTunes, which as you noted do charge a fee. Unless you want it in HD, I believe the episodes are actually only $2. But that's still a pretty high price for a half-hour (or around twenty minutes without commercials) series in my book. (I do use Amazon for "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad", though, since I don't get AMC and that $2 is much more reasonable for an hour-long program). Seems that you agree.

    However, I will say that season three has been just great. So if you don't mind the per-episode charge (depending on how many shows you're watching, it's probably still cheaper than subscribing to cable), you'll get your money's worth.

    I don't know... "Awake's" pilot is just so unique and compelling. I kind of want it to stay that way. But it's true that they're going to need to find some way to make a series out of it. We'll see how everything works out in the coming weeks.

    Have you been watching "Smash"? I loved the first episode, but the three after that have been fairly mediocre, which is unfortunate given my love for the subject matter. I've also been continuing to watch "New Girl" and "Suburgatory", which have both become pretty strong first-year comedies.

  7. Well, some buddies of mine recommended some streaming sites where they watch Archer, so I might give that a shot (I rarely stream online though).

    Personally, I think what amazong should do is either lower the fee or have all their instant streaming stuff for free for their Amazob Prime members like me.

    anyway, I got Breaking Bad on Netflix, and the new episodes will probably go there soon so I doubt I'll have to go there for watching that, and I'm still not interested in Mad Men. Everyone I know is getting me to watch it but it really doesn't catch my attention.

    Regarding Smash, I have been watching it, but I didn't mention it for the same reasons you stated, it turned so forgettable. And i really hate that assistent character, I stopped watching it after the third episode. It got bland really quickly. Shame too because I love most of the cast members.

    New Girl, I haven't been watching it as much as I used too. not because I hate it, but because I'm studying at that time and I keep forgetting to Hulu it. I know that FOX airs reruns the Saturday after but I forget to watch that too. I have been watching Suburgatory though. and I love it.

    By the way, have you been watching Doenton abbey? It got really addicting after the 4th episode of the first season.

  8. If you're talking about illegal streaming... please don't. I don't condone it, and I want everything about this blog to reflect that. I would also advise against it, not just because of the illegality (although that's obviously the biggest thing) but because I've heard that those types of sites can do all sorts of awful things to your computer. Better just to wait for the DVDs.

    Totally agree that Amazon should do what you suggest, but perhaps there's enough of a market for this content that they are making some sort of a profit off it. Or maybe their deal with FX is that they can't offer it as part of their free streaming for Prime members, because to do so would cause a lot of cable subscribers to "cut their cords". I honestly have no idea.

    Wouldn't say I love "Suburgatory" as much as you do, but I definitely like it and could see it becoming one of the top sitcoms on TV. As for "Downton Abbey"... that's another big gap in my TV watching as of late. Haven't had the time, but I've heard it's great. If I have time this summer, it's definitely on my radar along with "Happy Endings" and possibly "The Vampire Diaries".

    So have you started "Breaking Bad" yet? Very eager to hear your thoughts as you go through the show. Easily one of the best dramas in the history of the medium (right now I'd put it second only to "The Wire", or maybe third behind "Deadwood").

  9. Well I don't love it, but its one of the more enjoyable comedies out there.

    Anyway DA is only like 14 episodes (with only like 3 or 4 of them longer than an hour, 2 of those nearly 2 hours) so its not like it'll take a lot of your time.

    And no, I haven't started Breaking Bad yet, and I know I should, all my friends keep talking about it. But I have like almost 80 movies on my Netflix queue that I've been trying to shorten. I'm thinking of devoting myself to watching my shows there during Spring Break (they also include My So Called Life, Dilbert, The Walking Dead, Twin Peaks, Dark Shadows and The X-Files.

    Word on advice on The Vampire Diaries, its soapy. It revels in it. It's aware on how silly the whole thing is yet it embraces it (one reason why its better than Twilight). Don't know if that's up your alley (then again, I thought you wouldn't like Cougar Town and I was wrong on that, so I might be wrong on this.)

    Also, you want to throw me some more suggestions?

  10. I'm not sure if I'd like it either, although based on what I've heard about how brilliant and fast-paced its storytelling is I'm guessing I would.

    So... are you looking for shows on Netflix instant or just shows in general? If it's the latter, there's tons I can recommend, starting with "The Wire", "Deadwood", "The Shield", and "The Sopranos" (in that order). Don't know if you've seen any of them yet, but all four are among the best things I've ever seen.

    Haven't been on Netflix instant in a while. I've been alternating back and forth, and have been DVD only for the last couple of months (mainly due to having exhausted much of their good streaming content, though not all of it). However, I know they have "Battlestar Galactica", which is a fantastic show. Don't know if you've seen it, but if you haven't... definitely worth watching.

    I would also recommend you give "Mad Men" a shot at some point. It's really a great series, although perhaps not quite as great as "Breaking Bad". What's holding you back?

    One final recommendation (and forgive me if I've said this before, because I might have): there's a wonderful series called "Slings and Arrows" that I'm assuming is still on there. It's about a Shakespearean theatre group, and it's only 18 episodes long (perfect for watching over break). Just a brilliant show that's both hysterically funny and profound at the same time.

  11. What's holding me back on Mad Men or Breaking Bad?

    Mad Men because it doesn't look like my cup of tea, and BB because I'm trying to go through a buch of stuff before going to that.

    And yes, as a matter of fact I have seen Battlestar Galactica, i didn't see the whole series (maybe that's why I don't find it as amazing as others do) but yes it was enjoyable.

    As for the shows you mentioned, I gave The Wire a shot during high school, but I didn't like it, maybe I should start over since that was like 5 years ago.

    Deadwood? Well I have heard some great stuff about it.

    The Shield? Hmmm, not sure about that one, not a fan of the lead actor. Big Maybe.

    Sopranos? Not sure, I've heard a lot of great stuff about it though.

    And this is the first I've heard of Slings and Arrows, sounds doable though.


    Also, Cougar Town reactions?

  12. Thought it was another incredible and hilarious episode. Maybe my favorite of the season so far, although all of them have been great. Such a terrific show.

  13. The bycicle gang couldn't compare to last season's Chalk Children, but they weren't the point of the episode so yeah, it was great.

    Also, Best Buy is currently selling Game of Thrones season 1 for $30, usually HBO DVDs are like $60 and despite never seeing the series, I'm thinking of buying it, it might be worth it.

    Plus their cover designs are pretty cool, thoughts?

    Also, did you see Awake?

  14. I don't usually buy DVDs, and certainly not before I've watched the show or movie in question. However, $30 is certainly a bargain for a full season of an HBO show. I'm currently watching disc by disc from Netflix, and am through the first 2 episodes.

    Don't know if you've read the books, which are tremendous. If you have, I'm pretty confident you'll enjoy the series immensely. If not, I still think you will. But there's a lot to keep track of and a fairly large amount of set-up in the early episodes, like with pretty much any HBO show.

    Liked the second episode of "Awake" a lot. Almost as much as the pilot, actually. Ratings dropped some, but not as much as I was worried they might. Beginning to think we might get a full season out of it. Not daring to hope for more.

  15. I think its interesting that we learned of a conspiracy going on in one of the realities instead of both realities, does that mean the one where the wife is alive (which I'll refer too as the "golden" reality since its lighting is super bright whereas the other one is dark and blue ("blue" reality).

    Does that mean that reality is real or something?

    Anyway, here's another series idea, and its only 3 episodes, good enough for when series 2 airs on PBS in May,


  16. I don't know. I guess I'm interested to find out, but to me the emotional depth of the series (as well as the brilliant visual look) has thus far been far more compelling than any plot-related questions. Sort of like "Lost".

    Heard great things about "Sherlock". It's definitely something I want to see at some point. Unfortunately, right now most of my free time over the next few weeks is going to be spent on "Game of Thrones". And season two of "Treme" comes out pretty soon, so I'm not sure when I'll get the chance to watch much else (including movies, although I plan on making time for "Melancholia" and maybe one or two others, if possible).

  17. Melancholia is awesome, it was my favorite movie of last year, it'd be interested to see what you think of it (currently on Redbox, or you could just Netflix or watch it instantly at Amazon, I bought a copy and am currently watching it).

    Anyway, I had no idea how Treme was still on, HBO has done a bad job promoting it IMO).

    Anyway, enjoy. And don't forget about Cougar Town tonight and the return of Community this Thursday!