Author Topic: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?  (Read 164099 times)

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Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1725 on: January 05, 2021, 04:48:34 PM »
I'm pretty sure the protomolecule is introduced, although somewhat indirectly, in the first season.  Mao is locked into a secure room on the Scopulai (sp?) and there was protomolecule on that ship, which is where she got infected.

The others from the Canterbury/ice hauler, who end up on the rescue shuttle in response to a distress call from the Scopulai, are kind of sketchy figures whose characters take seasons to develop.  You have Naomi, former OPA engineer working way below her capabilities on an ice hauler, and the reasons why only become apparently several seasons later. Holden, who has a backstory as well, in part as a product of a strange polygamous family with a rebelious history; Amos, who is some wigged out guy who fought his way out from the chaos of the Baltimore underground on Earth; Alex, former Martian Navy officer whose wife and child on Mars think he's dead, but who has decided to take a civilian job hauling ice as a "glorified bus driver"  so this is a crew of misfits who coalesce as a family, but it takes a while to do this.  There are good supporting actors who make appearances of one or two episodes.

There are two main things I like about this:  one--it mirrors contemporaneous geopolitics; and the other is the way humanity grapples with how to deal with an artefact left by an advanced but unknown civilization.  You have the range of profit hungry Jules-Pierre Mao, mad scientists who are on a misguided mission to save humanity, those who just seek to weaponize it; and there are others who are more humble and think maybe "if you don't know what doo wah diddee means, maybe you shouldn't mess with it..."  I find the nostalgia of a culture that is so advanced that it technologized itself to death both compelling and sad.  It serves as a warning to our present state of affairs.

The UN One World Gov't is a bit of raw meat thrown to the conspiracy nuts who might like that sort of thing. The UN was never intended to be a government.  It's an organization dedicated to collective security and global welfare.  But, there were people in the mid 20th century when it was formed who had aspirations that it would help erase nationalism that had led to wars in the past.  The kind of people who took lessons in Esperanto.  Instead, on Ceres station, you have cops who hire the hooker with heart of gold to teach them Belter patois.  That's more realistic. 

This is a show that was developed by some guys who have thought about stuff in a broad way.  That it was a collaborative effort by two men sort of amazes me.  So I watch it and read the books when they come out.  I find it more interesting than a lot of sci-fi that I've read in recent years.

But I'll certainly look into c's suggestion of an alternative that addresses that same theme.

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1726 on: January 05, 2021, 05:56:49 PM »
Sometimes it felt like they leant too hard into "hard" sci-fi, while ignoring some of the requirements of actual "hard" sci-fi.

Like, most Sci-fi is fantasy with science fiction trappings.

The paintball uniforms were particularly painful. Aliens got space marines much better than The Expanse.

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1727 on: January 07, 2021, 03:19:01 AM »
Have you seen the David Mamet memo from the unit? He shreds 90% of procedural television and explains why common tropes are boring poo.

https://www.slashfilm.com/a-letter-from-david-mamet-to-the-writers-of-the-unit/

Iron Man 2 & 3 were written by the then established Marvel Committee. It was no longer "Let Favreau take a swing for the fences" it was "We really need to work on establishing the game plan going forward".

That's why Tony damn near takes a back seat to Scarlett. I bitched about it back THEN talking about how little of a golly I gave about Thanos. When Infinity War came out and people wanted to work Thanos magic purple crank, I was unhappy, to say the least. If you have the building blocks of the universe, maybe make people less selfish, instead of murdering their friends and family in an arbitrary manner.

Even Endgame works that purple crank, when Steve "War Criminal" Rogers talks about seeing whales in the Hudson. Which honestly seemed really stupid, but I was mostly checked out anyway.

The gift of a long form series is that you get to establish, evolve, and change a cast. They become different people over time, and that can be a treasure to the audience.

Instead, modern series attempt to hurt the viewer for getting attached to a character, turning them into a voodoo doll or pin cushion. Which is even worse, because they're aping Whedon's "The Woobie must suffer".


All that being said, Mamet really bent the pig when it comes to nepotism. He let his wife write an episode of a supposedly "grounded" series where Spec-ops badasses hide under the shade of being file clerks,

And mixed it with religious mysticism. That's right, she brought the spear of Longinus into play.

And yeah hey, that's a good note, gets the stew a brewing!

Nope, it's really real, it's the spear of Longinus. They use it to bring a mortally wounded main cast member back from the edge of death.

Like, even if you call cowpoo on mysticism, that's a good note. "We have to keep the fanatics away from the counterfeit religious sacrament to avoid them being able to claim legitimacy" is a spicy bless'ed story.

Nope, it's for realzies.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1728 on: January 07, 2021, 05:44:32 AM »
I have to say that I am a long-form storyteller's worst nightmare. I would likely enjoy the books, as book writers are generally better at engaging me than TV writers; I'll give them a try.  The books are really quite good.

I don't have the time or the patience to discover that a TV series is brilliant after 15 hours of scene-setting and introduction.
I guess that's where we differ, as I have a high capacity for boredom.

I really struggled with an emergency call from a random guy being broadcast live to the whole station, for example, and that was an important plot point - or appeared to be.
I guess he had access to the space equivalent of Twitter?

... and I don't think that space stations would be dirty, grubby places where rags are worn, either: dirt has to be made/ imported, and I can't see that happening in space even though showmakers use it to add verisimilitude to the "downtrodden underclass".

These are miners, for the most part, busy hauling out rocks and other minerals and the water supply is short.  In fact, there's one scene in which Miller takes advantage of Julie Mao's apartment's lavish water accessibility to take a shower.

Firefly/Serenity is Whedon, so don't watch it if you have issues with him!  I think I'm basically unfamiliar enough not to have issues.  Toy Story was cute.  He might look better if he shaved.  That's my take on him to date.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1729 on: January 07, 2021, 02:12:52 PM »
These are miners, for the most part, busy hauling out rocks and other minerals and the water supply is short.  In fact, there's one scene in which Miller takes advantage of Julie Mao's apartment's lavish water accessibility to take a shower.

True, but they are miners in space: getting stuff from "space" into "habitation" involves rigorous cleaning and safety paranoia: no matter how blasé space miners get, they still have to be manically careful or they die. Lack of water doesn't make people dirty, dirt does.

My only experience with mining has been on this planet, so I'm not particularly well acquainted with the hygiene protocols of asteroid mining.  But even on this show, things tend to get discolored and break down with use.  I think there is also some rudimentary agriculture in these places where some plants and fungi are grown for food purposes.  I'd expect some dirt to have accumulated somewhere on a station that was over a century old.

Lack of water to me equals inability to bathe regularly.  I expect you could put somebody in a clean room for 2 weeks, and even without dirt, they'd start smelling bad and need a shampoo.  But I'm a big fan of baths, so I'm prejudiced.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1730 on: January 07, 2021, 08:26:01 PM »
Bathing is OK, once a year; over-washing is unhealthy.

You sound like Napoleon Bonaparte.

I'm watching Season 2 episode 10 in which Bobbie, Martian Marine, desires to see the ocean.  She's at UN Headquarters in Manhattan. And she's advised that all she needs to do is walk though a drainage tunnel and she'll be there.  Fact:  this complex is on the East River, a tidal estuary.  The Atlantic is miles to the east.  Somehow, Queens and Brooklyn are gone in the future.  How to explain this?  Global warning?  Beach erosion?  Unscrupulous real estate developers?  From the gently lapping waves, I'd say it looks like the East River.  The Pepsi Cola sign -- visible on the east side of the river in Queens, seems to have disappeared, though.

Offline smokester

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1731 on: January 10, 2021, 06:40:39 AM »
You sound like Napoleon Bonaparte.

I'm tempted to say "same era", but I wont.
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Offline christ

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Re: What's your favourite TV program of the moment?
« Reply #1732 on: Yesterday at 03:54:08 PM »
Got a free year of Apple+ with my 12Pro, so I watched For All Mankind. Cracking show.

... also watching Ted Lasso, and thoroughly enjoying that.

But I have developed a soft spot for Murdoch Mysteries on regular cable. Absolute tripe, but really entertaining in a dumb brainless way.
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