December - TV

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December - TV

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Dec 3, 2019, 3:08am

I've nearly finished Scandi series The Beforeigners. Thousands of people from prehistoric, Viking and the 1800's are appearing in local waters all round the world. Integration is a nightmare. I'm really enjoying this original show. Not too keen on the stark-bollock naked bloke running about when I'm eating my tea, but it's appropriate to the story.

Dec 3, 2019, 10:11am

NYT Dec. 2, 2019: The Best TV Shows of 2019. Includes also: The Best Shows That Ended in 2019 & The Best International Shows.

Edited: Dec 15, 2019, 2:06am

Servant. Produced by M Night Shyamalan. Apple TV is the only legitimate place to watch this 10 (or 11) part series at the moment. Episode 1 seemed predictable. Young nanny takes up a position in a household that has known tragedy. By E05 I don't know what is occuring, to whom, by whom. I've now got to wait weekly to find the next twists. Very watchable.

Dec 14, 2019, 10:11pm

On Amazon Prime as well:

Finished first 2 seasons of the French-British series The Tunnel. The Touchstone link is to the DVD set, since I couldn't find the work as a TV series in the options -- I guess it was broadcast on US PBS, but I missed it then. Creepy, addictive stuff. So far, each season so far focuses on a single criminal or gang of criminals in both cases associated with terrorism. The first season features a terrorist who had ties to one of the British security branches. Said terrorist performs particularly nasty murders to make a political point (but don't they all?). The second series opens with terrorism but then goes on to become a spy thriller. A cover-up in the background of series one comes out from behind the curtains in series two. Climax of S-2 rather reminds me of the Dustin Hoffman pic Marathon Man. Teams of French & British law enforcement generally cooperate. The key representatives are Karl Roebuck, British CID (Stephen Dillane) & Elise Wassermann, French detective who becomes the department's leader in the second series (Clemence Poesy). Roebuck has family problems; Wassermann is a mildly autistic character who has difficulty understanding social interactions. Rather like the recent Sherlock Holmes, she's eccentric but equipped with a photographic memory and a good eye for identifying useful clues. French-British because the first sensational crime involves a French government official cut in half, with half on the British side and half on the French side in the tunnel connecting France and Britain. Lots of the plot points seemed recycled to me, though the crimes were pretty imaginative, but, as in most BBC series, the character interactions are what hold interest. I'd also recommend the US version, The Bridge with an excellent performance by Diane Kruger (German playing a Texas deputy sheriff, no less) and Demien Bichir as the Mexican detective.

Trying to catch up on The Expanse, with the latest season premiering on Prime.

From HBO:

Still watching Watchmen, which seems to be uncataloged on LT, and His Dark Materials. I'd certainly recommend the former. As to the latter, you will probably enjoy it more if you've read the books (so you can grumble about the TV version). What happened to most of the daemons? has been a common complaint. Association item for Watchmen: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War documentary produced and written by Henry Louis Gates, who makes a guest appearance on the Watchmen series.The last episode of the Watchmen series will be tomorrow.

Dec 15, 2019, 2:02am

>4 featherbear: I loved the original Scandi version of The Bridge so much, I couldn't watch the remakes. I'm sticking with Watchmen too, although I just discovered there was a film and that helped with the back story. I'm also still enjoying His Dark Materials. I hadn't noticed the lack of daemon's, but I did ponder the fact that one of the Gyptians had his daemon/dog on a lead.

Dec 15, 2019, 2:04am

>2 featherbear: I checked the lists. I find it hard to fathom how Chernobyl wasn't mentioned.

Dec 15, 2019, 2:20am

Re-watching Orphan Black - got the rest of the household roped into it this time around.

After that we will get back to The Expanse.

Dec 15, 2019, 11:20am

>7 ScoLgo: 100% on Orphan Black, a real showcase for Tatyana Maslany, and for the filmmakers who were able to cram some or all of her characters within the frame. Still available on Amazon Prime, I believe.

Dec 15, 2019, 1:08pm

>8 featherbear: I was really impressed with her ability to play all the different characters the first time I watched this series. A second viewing is not changing that impression. Maslany is excellent. Ari Millen is also good at doing the same for his set of characters. I fully agree that the technical aspects of filming appear almost seamless. And yes, we are watching it on Amazon Prime.

Dec 15, 2019, 3:14pm

Locked into "Lord Of The Rings" I have just just finished disc two of "The Two Towers", "The Return Of The King" is waiting.

Dec 16, 2019, 7:46am

Just finished the 9 part series Watchmen. I broke off in the middle to catch the film (2009). The back story helped, but it still wasn't that easy to follow. I should have waited and binged. Stonking soundtrack and a pleasure to see Louis Gossett Jr. again.
Not sure if this post should be in Film or TV?

Dec 16, 2019, 7:10pm

Re the HBO Watchmen final episode: well-played, in the game sense -- most of the threads seemed to have been worked out appropriately. My only objection was having the final scene with Angela's sole (or soul) hovering over the waters. Do we really need the suggestion that we would now have an all-powerful god figure who tortures people out of love? (Would that be the Yahweh of the Old Testament?)

I would have ended it on a pratfall, with the erstwhile masked superhero going straight down to the bottom of the pool, and emerging laughing her head off.

Dr. Manhattan didn't say that it was certain that he would be able to transfer his powers into an egg. But why wouldn't he know? If I understand the rules correctly, he wouldn't be able to see beyond, outside the frame of, his death, so the safest thing to do would be to lead Angela astray posthumously with his guarded hints to her, and leave the eggs to omelettes or waffles and nothing beyond that. Lest she get an Eve complex after his death. You may wonder, what if Angela had only partaken of those egg-enriched waffles Dr. Manhattan was preparing just before the shootout with 7K? Recall the scene in an earlier episode when, at breakfast, one of the Abar daughters asks daddy whether you go to heaven after you die. He replies that you are nothing before you are born, and you will be nothing after you die. Leaving the kids to consider this, he goes on: "So, who wants waffles?"

Dec 16, 2019, 11:39pm

Last Series of "Vikings" second episode coming up, so far very good.

Dec 21, 2019, 1:53pm

NYT, Dec. 20, 2019. Mike Hale. The 30 Best International TV Shows of the Decade.

Not the same as >2 featherbear:, which was just for 2019, but bound to be overlaps. Appears to be in order of goodness. The best thing about access to Netflix & Amazon Prime for me is discovering popular culture in other countries. I believe Netflix offers the option of dubbing, but I do think you get a better feel for the atmosphere when the characters speak in their own languages.

The ones I've viewed so far: just started watching Sacred Games (seems to go back and forth between English and Hindi) -- Broadchurch (Netflix, though I viewed the seasons on BBC America) -- Season 1 of The Returned (I followed S1 on BBC America, not sure if S2 was shown on that channel but I believe it is on Netflix) -- Kingdom (the Netflix South Korean historical drama -- with zombies! My only objection is that S1 ends on a cliffhanger & S2 is where?) --Killing Eve S1-S2 (also viewed on BBC America), now streaming on Hulu) -- and of course all the Sherlocks with Cumberbatch & Freeman (saw some of these on PBS, and the rest on Netflix).

There's a Japanese cartoon series (non-anime) on Netflix called Aggretsuko which can be watched in discreet episodes. Always cheers me up when I need to get energized. You must listen to this in Japanese; the office girls sound like sparrows. My guilty Pleasure is Possessed on Netflix, a Korean soap opera, serial killer, reincarnation thing. Many episodes, but the end doesn't leave you dangling. It's funny, horrifying, tear-jerking, all sorts of nonsense. The acting can be operatic rather than realistic.

I see that the Scandinavian version of The Bridge is on Hulu. I don't subscribe to Hulu -- curses! -- since the French one (The Tunnel) on Amazon and the American one (also called The Bridge) on FX cable if I recall, were super.

Anyway, there were many titles that sound intriguing: Strong Girl Bon Soon, Gomorrah (Italian mafia, so if you're burned out by The Irishman, don't go here), Norsemen, Babylon Berlin, Money Heist (all on Netflix;sorry Amazon, though Prime has 60 episode Chinese TV series if you got the time). Maybe you'll discover a hidden gem on the list!

Dec 21, 2019, 2:39pm

>14 featherbear: I was surprised Icelandic series Trapped was left off the list and still no Chernobyl? I loved Gomorrah. Laughed like a drain at Norsemen. I was a little unsure of the dancing policeman in Babylon Berlin, but it had an original plot. I can't deal with Bollywood. There are very few Indian films on my like/love list, but dubbing in any film is a definite no-no!

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