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Old 10.04.2023, 11:20 AM   #3741
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it took me some minutes to realise I was watching Kiefer Sutherland. He looks a bit weird, plastic surgery, botox perhaps?
Anyway, this series is pretty good, I'm halfway through the 8 episodes now sort of. If you like conspiracy theories and whodunit flics, this is yours!
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Old 10.05.2023, 11:06 PM   #3742
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I have been slowly working through a rewatch of The Blackadder.
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Old 10.13.2023, 08:54 AM   #3743
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Our Flag Means Death.

I cant stop laughing.
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Old 10.13.2023, 09:16 AM   #3744
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Our Flag Means Death.

I cant stop laughing.


in a good or bad way?
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Old 10.15.2023, 05:09 PM   #3745
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I Am a Virgo. I've watched 2 episodes, and I like it a lot. If you like stuff like Repo Man then you will probably like it a lot too.
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Old 10.16.2023, 09:38 AM   #3746
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in a good or bad way?


in the best way

the show is super funny, super queer, super piraty.
\

I love it. The main guy is the Flight of the Chonchords manager (Murray)
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Old 10.16.2023, 09:38 AM   #3747
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Originally Posted by Toilet & Bowels
I Am a Virgo. I've watched 2 episodes, and I like it a lot. If you like stuff like Repo Man then you will probably like it a lot too.


wife and I really enjoyed I AM VIRGO.

very cool, very funny and on point
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Old 10.16.2023, 10:29 AM   #3748
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in the best way

the show is super funny, super queer, super piraty.
\

I love it. The main guy is the Flight of the Chonchords manager (Murray)


I've only done season 1 so far, need to get on season 2 soon, from the sound of things.
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Old 10.18.2023, 06:38 AM   #3749
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The Wire season 2. I still don’t entirely get the “best-show-of-all-time” praise. Fine show though. I guess.
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Old 10.18.2023, 11:59 AM   #3750
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The Wire season 2. I still don’t entirely get the “best-show-of-all-time” praise. Fine show though. I guess.
it's about realism, not escapism, and about how the world *really* works. it's nearly a documentary, but with characters instead of "real" people, drama, and frequent comedic relief.

maybe that's not your thing, and that's okay. everyone has their preferences.

i'm not normally for psychological realism, which is what american fiction is mostly about: the individual, their petty troubles, their morality, the me me me me me... this is mostly boring (to me, lol) as a premise. not always though. mad men for example was about psychology and morality (lies). and sopranos was bigger, it was about psychology (the mother) and morality (crime) but also more broadly about ethnicity and culture/subculture and assimilation, which gave it a social edge. and breaking bad, again, was mostly about psychology and morality: walt, jesse, skyler, mike, gus, hank, saul, etc... are based purely on psychology and they make moral choices that have clear consequences (too clear, perhaps).

but the wire is the sort of stuff that lukács theorized about, after what balzac wrote. it's about all sectors of society, and about how individuals fit into the larger mechanisms of things.

and yes, there are some great characters in it. in fact, almost too many. jimmy mcnulty and bunk moreland and omar little and stringer bell and prop joe and bunny colvin and lester freamon and bubbles and the fucking creepy marlo stansfield and kima and cedric and ronnie perlman and brother mouzone and bodie and naymond and his exploitative mom and shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitt, so many others, so many othersm burrell, nerese, rawls (lmfao), valchek... mr prezbo! hahaha. avon and d'angelo. cheese. the boxer guy. dukie and his friend what's his name. the banger girls what's her name... snoop? the disappearing homeless guy. the entire newspaper cast. the school principal that makes everyone shut up... the fucking greek! brrrrrr... mcnulty's wife and kids. kima's partner. the stripper. cedric's wife. omar's boricua boyfriend. omar's grandma! omar's blind banker, what's his name... it's an entire world, an entire city. cops, lawyers, judges, councilmembers. children... but these are not isolated characters in their "personality" bubbles. they inhabit a certain medium, and they affect (or fail to affect) each other through it. because here... the medium is the message, lol. it's the fucking medium that this is all about. the "environment". the connections, the institutions that shape them and their relationships.

ultimately the wire's greatest epiphanies are about the way that things all come together to make the world as it is-- like we're solving a big case trying to find the culprit. no dragons, no wizards, no capes, no superanyone, no spaceships, no talismans or potions, no god, no miracles or deus ex-machina, no science fictions, no dazzing forensic technologies or bones or numbers, and most importantly, no goodies and baddies. only ordinary people in their ordinary places, coming together ordinarily to make the ordinary world we have, because of the systems we have, and the incentives and punishments we offer. and from this ordinary world, a genocidal horror emerges.

this sort of presentation is *extremely* unusual in american culture, because we are habitually brainwashed into focusing on our own individual lives, via the indoctrination of romantic comedies and hero tales. "me" culture. but the wire is something else. it's about the big "it", or the big "what", or the big "how". extremely groundbreaking for television. nothing else like it, before or since.

so "best of all time" in the sense of providing something unheard of in american culture, absolutely yes. it's in a category of its own. and we have enough--more than enough--of the rest. perhaps there are other more entertaining things out there: flashier, sexier, more thrilling, funnier, more addictive, with more tits and ass, more besutifully filmed... sure. but none are as good in showing what this one shows, and in such entertaining fashion.

i mean, few even dare try. social examination leads to marxism, lol, or so the big donors believe. big donors don't believe that society exists, they want "achievers", not "systems." 'merica! we have only individuals. be moral, and all will be good! hence the focus of television on "crime". crime is about morality, yes? and criminals will be caught! special units, crime scene investigators, genius detectives... all is well in the world when morality prevails. and so we are appeased with the illusion that immorality is under control. a little world is easy to control. catch the criminal, all is well again, order a pizza.

but the wire does a beautiful bait and switch! it says hey come here and look at this "crime" and be thrilled! drug people bad! let's catch them! but then it gives you police corruption, impunity, sociology, bureaucracy, "stats", perverse incentives, window dressing, political jockeying, epiphanies about the world, broad perspectives... and suddenly... who is the criminal? who is the bad one? how much moral choice do we have in our lives? what do you mean you aren't sure who are the goodies and who are the baddies anymore? what do you mean maybe the individual moral choice doesn't matter for society because always someone will fill that immoral role? what if the moral person gets punished and the immorals get the prizes? what??!!

so much better than the saccharine "lessons" and platitudes of the usual prime time "me" dramas.

now, this is not to say there's a lack of suspicion in american culture. we have plenty of paranoia, and conspiracy theories, and stoner logic about all sorts of things from antivaxx to morgellons to chemtrails. we live next to the x files cultural bubble.

but the xfiles and the conspiracy world always externalize the threat! it's always "them"--the aliens, the rich, the corrupt, the psychopaths. "they live" (funny movie). the body snatchers. not human!

nah nah nah... the wire reminds us that it's us collectively who are doing all the damage. and yes, immoral choices at the levers of power are responsible for much of that. but at the same time, those aren't reptile aliens: they are just us, occupying those positions, being sorted by the systems we have set up for ourselves. we demand that they do those things, or we fire them. we reward psychopaths and put them in power.

btw second season is my least favorite. otoh i believe it was demonrail's favorite. i get that "descent of the white working class" thing, and the outrageous bullshit of the replacement of productive industry with hipster gentrification as "economic development". but i just could not stand frank fucking sobotka and his perma-angry face hahahhahaha. he had just one damn facial expression.

 



the man is a good actor btw, i believe this was on purpose/by design. there really are people like that, lol. but whatever reasons they may have to be that way, i don't like them, haha.

anyway, on rewatch, his was a very good story. maybe the least sexy one of all the stories, but a very good one, and a key component of the larger whole. and on the ethnic/cultural aspect, to bring back to sopranos, slavo once said here something to the effect that the dispute between valchek and sobotka was true to the character of the slavic people, and he recognized them, hahahaha.

anyway, patience, this is just one of the many layers of the onion. much is yet to unfold and connect and make sense. all will be revealed. hang in there, if you can. if not, then it's just not for you, just move on guilt-free to something you like more ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

or, you know, just enjoy it, but if not as much, that is okay too.
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Old 10.19.2023, 07:06 AM   #3751
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SYMBOLS YOU WROTE SO MUCH AND I’M ON MY PHONE SO I CAN’T REALLY GO THROUGH IT ALL BUT I’M GONNA REPLY TO THIS AT LEAST. LOVE YOU! (OK IT WAS WEIRD TO SAY “LOVE YOU,” BUT WE’RE MATES SO JUST ACCEPT IT.)

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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
it's about realism, not escapism, and about how the world *really* works. it's nearly a documentary, but with characters instead of "real" people, drama, and frequent comedic relief.

I totally get this, I do. And I respect it. And you’re right: the show doesn’t seem to be into the cops-as-heroes narrative, nor does it seem to endorse or even subtly suggest that the American judicial system is anything other than completely broken in ways that affect everyone involved.

In fact, so far (to me), it seems as though the show’s central philosophical stance is that American social systems in general are irrevocably tainted by those in power, and that crime, civil unrest, apathy, amorality, etc. are functions of this. Which is true.

I’m not saying I don’t like it, I’m just saying it hasn’t me or floored me. Yet. But the death of you-know-who in Season 2 was definitely a heartbreaking gut-punch that felt true to life.



You mentioned Mad Men, which is definitely realistic, but also more stylized and heavily flourished, almost bordering on magical realism at times. But I think that might be why it jumps out more as a “Best of All Time” contender. It has all that atmosphere to lean on while characters develop. The atmosphere in The Wire just looks like, y’know, life. So it has a handicap stylistically.

Anyway, you EVENTUALLY watched The Leftovers, so, partly because this is a show you’re passionate about, I will continue to watch. Also, again, I don’t dislike it. It’s just not hitting me like, say, Succession.


BTW did you ever finish Succession?

More later maybe
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Old 10.19.2023, 01:17 PM   #3752
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Fuck Mad Men and it's revisionist pipe-dreams
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Old 10.19.2023, 04:05 PM   #3753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian
SYMBOLS YOU WROTE SO MUCH AND I’M ON MY PHONE SO I CAN’T REALLY GO THROUGH IT ALL BUT I’M GONNA REPLY TO THIS AT LEAST. LOVE YOU! (OK IT WAS WEIRD TO SAY “LOVE YOU,” BUT WE’RE MATES SO JUST ACCEPT IT.)
haha, accepted of course, but only really if you read it complete

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Originally Posted by Severian

In fact, so far (to me), it seems as though the show’s central philosophical stance is that American social systems in general are irrevocably tainted by those in power, and that crime, civil unrest, apathy, amorality, etc. are functions of this. Which is true.

well yes and no. the wire has that but is about more than that, way more. you'll see.

and sure, mad men has more sex appeal. and frankly, i could just watch joan walking up and down her office corridors on an infinite loop all day, being her glorious self, and i'd proclaim heartily: "best show on tv, better than the original mad men!"

https://youtu.be/b93d782eOMQ

that truly would be a tv apotheosis for me, i'm serious, but even that would not be the best in the way i mean that the wire is the best.

the wire is incredibly well made, has great craft, the camera is genius, first rate storytelling, etc, but also yes it looks just like the ordinary world. because this is not a show about pleasure, or for pleasure. the jokes are there so that you don't kill yourself in despair while you absorb things. and the show is not even really about emotion either. it has emotion, but it's not made just to tug at your heartstrings for an hour or whatever.

so if the wire is not meant to floor you with deliciousness, or with sweet scenes, or with fear and pity like a tragedy, what is it about? well, ultimately it is meant to floor you with a more comprehensive and actionable understanding of how the world in which we live actually works. no gimmicks, no extraordinary coincidences, no whitewashing or sweeping under the carpet or glossing over.

the wire is really made for your intellect and your understanding of some very real subjects. its ultimate appeal is epistemic. like avant garde poetry wants to do, it teaches you a new mode of perception, a new mode of knowledge. it seems ordinary, but it's not.

there are only 2 shows i know that do that. one is "the wire," the other is an 80s british sitcom called "yes minister".

those two shows basically explain the world, hahaha.

i don't mean they explain "persons," like a psychologist would. i don't mean the world as cosmos or biology or the domain of the sciences. i don't mean interpersonal social relationships like in jane austen (and thank you, jane austen, for opening my mind to my own youthful fuckups and other things i used to be blind to).

i mean that it explains the larger (transpersonal? suprapersonal?) world that transcends the individual, but at the same time controls the individual with an iron fist, beyond laws of nature, beyond mores and manners. it explains the enormous machinery that we have built and now inhabit, a machine that rolls on, blind to the individual.

the show does that in the context of a city, but the city stands for the world. and a city size is maybe the minimum necessary to just begin to comprehend-- any smaller, and it's easy to miss the point and fall into the usual mental habits of tv tropes about individuals, their character traits, their moral choices, and glossy presentations.

nothing like it before, and nothing like it since. so, lacking prior cultural referents, it takes an extra effort for the public to fully understand it. its clearest ancestors are in literature. this actually is a realist novel of the 19th century, written at the outset of the 21st, a time (20 years ago already!) when we no longer read such novels (and of course we still don't).

see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honoré_de_Balzac
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Old 11.24.2023, 05:42 PM   #3754
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this show is fucking ancient. i recently discovered it and i fucking love it.
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Old 01.22.2024, 12:40 PM   #3755
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I started watching Season 2 of The Tourist, it's aired on the BBC. And I am all confused, because I was certain I had watched season 1 whenever it was aired two years ago. But now I don't remember anything of it anymore, not even some of the returning characters.
Which is topical for a series about a guy who suffers from amnesia, so I'll just continue watching this season. It's good enough to see how it will unfold
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Old 01.22.2024, 02:08 PM   #3756
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I've been binging a lot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine lately
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Old 01.22.2024, 04:00 PM   #3757
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True Detective: Night Country.

Dude, that Eilish chick (or her creepy brother) totally ripped off "People Are Strange"...
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Old 01.28.2024, 08:44 PM   #3758
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just finished rewatching the great bbc classic, i claudius

 


fucking cheaply made, but with such great writing and cast you can ignore the limited sets and the bad makeup. it really is fucking excellent


picard is in it (as a villain), john hurt plays a *hilaaaaaaarious* caligula, brian blessed irrecognizable without his beard ( for me anyway) as augustus, livilla is the bene gesserit mother superior from david lynch's dune, she is so fucking excellent... pderek jacobi is the central character and he plays it so well...

posting pictures here would not do it justice, it's a 1976 tv production, but goddamn, so watchable and addictive. robert graves wrote the original novel of course... i want to read robert graves again, i used to have "the greek myths" but the poor book literally fell apart, all that cheap acidic paper disintegrated horribly. anyway this is great stuff for anyone who can appreciate the source material, the great dialogue, the amazing cast, and the extraordinary plot of the thing. some aspects of the production need to be forgiven but really who the fuck cares! i claudius!

here the opening + closing credits: https://youtu.be/9tvoGy3lslw i am like pavlov's dog now listening to it
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Old 01.31.2024, 03:46 AM   #3759
The Soup Nazi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
picard is in it (as a villain), john hurt plays a *hilaaaaaaarious* caligula, brian blessed irrecognizable without his beard ( for me anyway) as augustus, livilla is the bene gesserit mother superior from david lynch's dune, she is so fucking excellent... pderek jacobi is the central character and he plays it so well...

Also, Simon MacCorkindale was Lucius Caesar. He would later be Manimal in Manimal.
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Old 01.31.2024, 06:28 AM   #3760
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Originally Posted by The Soup Nazi
True Detective: Night Country.

Dude, that Eilish chick (or her creepy brother) totally ripped off "People Are Strange"...

I never once have thought this but I can see it.

Also the song came out in 2019 and True Detective was my first time hearing it despite it winning all the Grammys and stuff. Guess I’m out of touch.
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