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Finished "The Queen's Gambit" and enjoyed it.  I was actually surprised by the ending, as it was not what I expected.  I thought they'd leave it open for a easy second season.  I've been a fan of Taylor-Joy since I saw "The Witch".   She did a great job in "Gambit" and I expect her to go far.

Started Season 4 of "The Crown" now; enjoyable so far.  The actress who plays Diana is amazing, in my opinion.

The Science of Bubbles

A very good documentary that opened my eyes in many ways.  I'd love to hear some thoughts regarding the segment on Champagne.  I found it fascinating and quite in line with my experience.  Highly recommended.

Would appreciate other opinions on the scientist who narrated and created this film. I like strong, smart and confident women.  This lady checks all the boxes in my world.

PH

Last edited by purplehaze

Valley of Tears about the 1973 Yom Kippur War focusing on four small groups of Israeli soldiers, and some civilians, when Israel was caught off guard by attacks by Syria and Egypt. Though sometimes a little too melodramatic it's still riveting, and distressing, viewing. It's a sober reminder that even after the victory of 1967, less than six years later Israel was almost eradicated as a state. On HBO Max.

@bman posted:

Like many of the Netflix series we've watched, it gets better as it goes along.

Agreed all around. As I said elsewhere, if you are up to international Netflix, “Money Heist” (“Casa de Papel”) is worth a watch. It is the most popular non-English scripted show on Netflix worldwide. (Default is to watch it dubbed, but you can also ho yo settings to watch in Spanish with subtitles.)

@bman posted:

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist was back this week for Season Two.  One of the very few truly original shows on network TV with a great cast.

I haven't watched it, but from what I've seen I don't consider it original. Looks like it completely rips off the premise of Jonny Lee Miller's Eli Stone. Which was a great show, btw, and prematurely canceled.

@mneeley490 posted:

I haven't watched it, but from what I've seen I don't consider it original. Looks like it completely rips off the premise of Jonny Lee Miller's Eli Stone. Which was a great show, btw, and prematurely canceled.

Agree that Eli Stone was a great show and prematurely cancelled.  But I wouldn't say that Zoey is a complete rip-off though there are similarities.  For one, the cast of Zoey sing their own versions of the songs and dance as well.  And while Eli was yet another lawyer show, Zoey is set in a tech company.  But Zoey is still a show we like a lot and I think some others would too - especially if they liked Eli Stone!

Last edited by bman
@bman posted:

Agree that Eli Stone was a great show and prematurely cancelled.  But I wouldn't say that Zoey is a complete rip-off though there are similarities.  For one, the cast of Zoey since their own versions of the songs and dance as well.  And while Eli was yet another lawyer show, Zoey is set in a tech company.  But Zoey is still a show we like a lot and I think some others would too - especially if they liked Eli Stone!

Never watched Eli Stone - but we like Zoey's as well - Mary Steenburgen pretty much rules (in everything)

@winetarelli posted:

Agreed all around. As I said elsewhere, if you are up to international Netflix, “Money Heist” (“Casa de Papel”) is worth a watch. It is the most popular non-English scripted show on Netflix worldwide. (Default is to watch it dubbed, but you can also ho yo settings to watch in Spanish with subtitles.)

Two episodes left to watch in Part (Season?) 1 and we're enjoying this. Not sure how they made 4 parts out of a story like this.

@bates40 posted:

Flight Attendant: Enjoyed it. Trippy.

I kind of enjoyed it, but didn't love it.  I definitely didn't think it was amazing, yet I watched each episode as soon as they came out.  Agreed that it was very trippy.  

I knocked out the two seasons of After Life on Netflix.  Ricky Gervais show about a suicidal widower that was very funny/dark/emotional.  I really liked it.  

@azwiese posted:

I kind of enjoyed it, but didn't love it.  I definitely didn't think it was amazing, yet I watched each episode as soon as they came out.  Agreed that it was very trippy.  

I knocked out the two seasons of After Life on Netflix.  Ricky Gervais show about a suicidal widower that was very funny/dark/emotional.  I really liked it.  

Couldn't make it past 15 minutes and I'm a Kaley Cuoco fanboy.

@sunnylea57 posted:

Staged

With Michael Sheen and David Tennant. Six 22 minute episodes. Tennant and Sheen play themselves. The premise: they were cast in a play prior to COVID, and the director wants to start rehearsing it over Zoom so they have a head start when things start to open up again.

Sheen and Tennant have great chemistry. A few fantastic cameos, too. Here's a short clip:

https://youtu.be/EpdCVAmt5C8

Looks very good.  These guys obviously get along well as they were in Bad Omens together a short time ago.

And Sheen is apparently in the running to be the next Doctor Who.  I think he'd be wonderful in that role.  But he's terrible in Prodigal Son, as is the whole show.  Gave it up because it just got too silly, if not downright stupid.

@steve8 posted:

I'd never heard of it until you posted that and then I read this review today. However Mangan thinks Killing Eve was/is excellent so there's that.

Give it at least the first couple of episodes before you decide.  And while the first season is good, the second season is even better.  What I liked as much as anything was the TV taboos it broke.  David Kelley usually does a pretty good job with his shows.

Despite mrs bman's general aversion to dubbing and subtitles, we've watched three foreign language police dramas on Netflix recently.  As it happens, each was apparently the first actually initially recorded in its native tongue: 

Valhalla Murders in Icelandic

Hinterland in Welsh

Capitani in Luxembourgeois

We've really enjoyed each of them though we have two episodes of the latter to go. The first and third are dubbed while the second was apparently done originally in both Welsh and English.

The dubbing and the subtitles in Valhalla Murders rarely match and are often quite different from each other, which we found a bit off-putting at first but not a big deal.  The scenery is fantastic.  And there's a cool twist towards the end though we both figured it out earlier.

Hinterland is a series of stand-alone 90 minutes episodes.  We've just watched the first one. 

Capitani is 8 half hour episodes so more manageable time-wise. It did the best job of keeping us guessing as we still don't know who is the murdered.  And who knew southern Luxemburgers considered northern Luxemburgers to be such hicks?

We're hoping they all get a second series.

There's a series on the History Channel that I've been enjoying, The Food That Built America. Standard documentary style of recreations and "experts" giving opinions, it tells of the American food rivalries from the late 1800's until now. Kraft, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Frito's, Coca-Cola, etc. I've learned a few things about the companies and founders that I thought was interesting. So many started out on a shoestring to later became the corporate behemoths that we know now.

Last edited by mneeley490
@mneeley490 posted:

There's a series on the History Channel that I've been enjoying, The Food That Built America. Standard documentary style of recreations and "experts" giving opinions, it tells of the American food rivalries from the late 1800's until now. Kraft, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Frito's, Coca-Cola, etc. I've learned a few things about the companies and founders that I thought was interesting. So many started out on a shoestring to later became the corporate behemoths that we know now.

Agree - I’ve seen a few episodes and they were more interesting than I expected.

This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Theft on Netflix.

Also on Netflix Shtisel returns, after a five year break, with season 3. The incredible Shira Haas continues to show why she's one of the best actresses out there. The show itself digs into the complexity of human life that is totally recognizable through the problems consist mainly as living as an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

It's funny about that Bill Maher pro-Israel rant was how prepared it was.  He obviously wanted to come out swinging as the opposite of his entertainment friends, many of  whom are onboard (whether deserved or not) the anti-Israel train that's building up steam. So when a moment came, after guest comment, he went off on his 5 minute rant that seemed very prepared.  Personally I thought it was a so-what moment.

Last edited by The Old Man
@bman posted:

We just finished the first season of Line of Duty, another first class British cop show, this one about what is called Internal Affairs divisions in North America, on Netflix.  As usual with British cop dramas, well written complete characters, nuanced plot lines, etc.  Highly recommended.

It has remained strong through all five seasons we’ve watched. We’re about to watch season 6.

We finished the second batch of Lupin. Always entertaining, if not exactly plausible.

And recently we finished the fifth and final season of the French series The Bureau. Wow. Fantastic. The first season was decent. Very low key, and mostly took place in the Paris offices of the DGSE. Subsequent seasons branch out to half a dozen other countries. There’s one main story that evolves over all five seasons. Highly recommended.

Trying to watch Manifest, but it looks like I won't be able to due to the inconsistency of the characters' actions and paint by numbers storylines.

I do not recommend watching Bill Maher's fawning performance interviewing Quintin Tarantino. "I've seen every frame of your movies countless times." It must be remembered that without one man Tarantino may not have become a significant filmmaker, and of course that's Harvey Weinstein. After 30 years working together this is the best Quint could come up with (in 2017), “'I knew enough to do more than I did,' he said, citing several episodes involving prominent actresses. 'There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.'”

"A couple of these things." I'm sure, at the least.

Started watching Solos on Amazon Prime.  A seven-part anthology series introduced by Morgan Freeman that features a single actor in each 20-25 minute episode. (Has a little sci-fi thrown in.) First four episodes have been fantastic. Like watching a series of good one-man plays, commenting on the human conditions of pain, loss, fear, etc. Highly recommended.

@mneeley490 posted:

Watched the final season of Goliath. Went out with a bang! My wife commented on how great it would be to have a Bosch/Goliath crossover.

I wanted to love Goliath right from the start. And there is much to like about it; Billy Bob Thornton is excellent as is the entire cast. From the so hot Tania Raymonde (who I actually thought was really a man a first in Lost), to the fantastic Nina Arianda, to the equivalent of the similar Mandy relationship to Bosch in Bosch role of Billy McBride's daughter played by Diana Hopper everyone is great.

As an LA fan I love the locations particularly his home base around south of Santa Monica pier. Here the love of LA and its places are just as well done in Bosch.

However, there was just something too over the top when it came to the bad guys. Some of them, like William Hurt in the first season, were like the supervillains in a comic book movie. The bad guy in the second season had a evil act he liked to perform. Finally ending with a truly bizarre scene that you would only find in a twisted manga book or perhaps in torture porn movies like Saw or Hostel. It was with trepidation that I approached the third season and soon found indeed, that it was going toward some supercharged bad guy in a story that seemed to be partly Chinatown on steroids'.

So I did not make it to the fourth season. After reading my critique do you think I still should? There was a lot to like.

The Korean filmmakers certainly has a certain point of view and they often incorporate horror to make points about their society. Certainly the epitome of this movement was the great film Parasite of 2019 (the last time I was in a movie theatre.) Now there is equivalent of this riveting movie in the streaming series on Netflix, Squid Game. I'm not going to say anything about the plot except to say the less you know the better. Watch it soon because someone you know is anxious to spoil the plot-point for you.

@The Old Man posted:

The Korean filmmakers certainly has a certain point of view and they often incorporate horror to make points about their society. Certainly the epitome of this movement was the great film Parasite of 2019 (the last time I was in a movie theatre.) Now there is equivalent of this riveting movie in the streaming series on Netflix, Squid Game. I'm not going to say anything about the plot except to say the less you know the better. Watch it soon because someone you know is anxious to spoil the plot-point for you.

did you like the squid game?

I was hoping more for more twists and turns but ended up finding an enjoyable quick thrill ride through the series.

@g-man posted:

did you like the squid game?

I was hoping more for more twists and turns but ended up finding an enjoyable quick thrill ride through the series.

I've only seen the first 2 episodes. Perhaps it collapses under its own weight or cleverness? I'll see. I do like the M. C. Escher reference.

Third tonight. One thing you can say about the Koreans is the Koreans are very talented at blending naturalism with the most off the wall science fiction, horror and amped up crime stories.

Last edited by The Old Man
@Rothko posted:

HBO had a Sopranos marathon so I dvr'd them all and am watching the first season.  So good.  I'm not sure I'll be able to get through the entire series; I did think it went down after the second or third season when it was first out.

Interesting - you may have a different perspective with some time gone by. The only part of the whole series I didn’t care for was his dream sequence about being a traveling businessman.

@billhike posted:

Interesting - you may have a different perspective with some time gone by. The only part of the whole series I didn’t care for was his dream sequence about being a traveling businessman.

That traveling businessman stretch was rough.  I rewatched the first season and they were more caricatures than characters;  I think as the series went on the acting became more nuanced and natural, and the layers of the characters were peeled back.  I still have it ranked as my favorite television series.

@patespo1 posted:

That traveling businessman stretch was rough.  I rewatched the first season and they were more caricatures than characters;  I think as the series went on the acting became more nuanced and natural, and the layers of the characters were peeled back.  I still have it ranked as my favorite television series.

I loved when some of the crew went to Italy, and Paulie got clowned for being a classless mook. 🤣

@Rothko posted:

HBO had a Sopranos marathon so I dvr'd them all and am watching the first season.  So good.  I'm not sure I'll be able to get through the entire series; I did think it went down after the second or third season when it was first out.

I curated (that's the new word for "chose") a viewing recently. It decided not to watch the first season and I stopped when FBI agent started working on Adriana, just all too depressing.  They I jumped again, not watching the shooting or aftermath of Tony.

There certainly are a number of not good episodes and I am in the hating the finale camp (and did not watch it nor the last few episodes of the series), but I was again impressed with so much. Great writing, great ensemble acting and great production. It triggered the second golden age of television--of which we're still in--and it should be esteemed for it.

@winetarelli posted:

Going to have to watch “Squid Game”. If for no other reason than to know what everyone is talking about.

I can't say I "enjoy" it at this point but it is fascinating and impossible to stop watching after four episodes. Certainly some of the most disturbing scenes of any movie or TV show ever (No, I refuse to watch The Human Catapiller, and this is not in the simple mode of a sick thriller.) And yet, so far, each episode at some point redeems itself and soars to new heights. Do not watch it with someone sensitive.

Last edited by The Old Man
@irwin posted:

Been watching Squid game.  I find it disturbing.  I think we’re half way through, and I suppose we’ll watch the rest but I am not sure I understand why it is so popular.
I am also watching “Guilt” which is a masterpiece theater thing on pbs.   I like that a lot.  

it's a more visual commentary about today's society, individualism and getting ahead. 

"Hey as long as I survive"  or "hey there's someone who gets killed everyday" kind of crowd.  The ending of the series is directly finger pointed at today's societal ideals.

@irwin posted:

I get it.  But, and this won’t spoil anything, why the repetitive use of The Blue Danube waltz music and the Haydn trumpet concerto?  

the blue danube is kubrick influence.  think beethoven's 9th in clockwork orange for instance.

The other pieces of bravado classical pieces were thrown in  to show a more classy affair vs say, K pop music.  Only rich people listen to classical music =)

@g-man posted:

the blue danube is kubrick influence.  think beethoven's 9th in clockwork orange for instance.

The other pieces of bravado classical pieces were thrown in  to show a more classy affair vs say, K pop music.  Only rich people listen to classical music =)

I figured it was because (I think) one needs not pay royalties for the music.

@irwin posted:

I get it.  But, and this won’t spoil anything, why the repetitive use of The Blue Danube waltz music...

I saw its use as a tip of the hat to "2001:  A Space Odyssey."   Much of 2001 takes place in a sterile environment which eventually becomes a killing field. In the same way the Escher-like stairway in Squid Game (I believe the only place that piece is played) also turns nto a place soiled by blood.

As for the series itself there has been for some time a movement in Korean cinema that mixes horror with social commentary. The height of that was of course "Parasite." Now this streamer tends to go further. I do warn certain people away from it. I definitely find it superior in its intention to American torture porn.

@The Old Man posted:

I saw its use as a tip of the hat to "2001:  A Space Odyssey."   Much of 2001 takes place in a sterile environment which eventually becomes a killing field. In the same way the Escher-like stairway in Squid Game (I believe the only place that piece is played) also turns nto a place soiled by blood.



interesting that you went with 2001, i def see kubrick but i figured it was more clockwork orange.  Take a game that is known, then adulterate it, and for what?  for the enjoyment of someone else.

For anyone who remembers and liked Connections with James Burke, there is a similar show on Discovery+.  It's called Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. While not quite as polished as Connections, it still creates interest thru humor and re-enactments, and of course you have Mike Rowe, who probably rivals Tom Hanks for most-likeable personality in entertainment.

Last edited by mneeley490
@mneeley490 posted:

For anyone who remembers and liked Connections with James Burke, there is a similar show on Discovery+.  It's called Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. While not quite as polished as Connections, it still creates interest thru humor and re-enactments, and of course you have Mike Rowe, who probably rivals Tom Hanks for most-likeable personality in entertainment.

We used to have Connections viewing parties in the seventies.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been shocked at how good a series is.

I have never once in my life liked feel-good “chicken soup for the soul” dramatic comedies. At no point had it ever happened — in fact I actively detest them, both in concept and in execution.

“Ted Lasso” is absolutely brilliant. One of the best things I’ve seen on television in many years. It is joyful and necessary in these times, and anyone who hasn’t watched it would be doing himself an extraordinary service to.

@winetarelli posted:

It’s been a long time since I’ve been shocked at how good a series is.

I have never once in my life liked feel-good “chicken soup for the soul” dramatic comedies. At no point had it ever happened — in fact I actively detest them, both in concept and in execution.

“Ted Lasso” is absolutely brilliant. One of the best things I’ve seen on television in many years. It is joyful and necessary in these times, and anyone who hasn’t watched it would be doing himself an extraordinary service to.

I guess I have to figure out how to watch it.  I don't think I've used Apple TV before.

The thing is the 37+ minute episode, which started in season 9, is finally getting to Larry David. That, and the yearly release schedule he's maintained for a number of years now, is very grueling. He often is playing a caricature of his caricature of himself. Season's 11 second episode, Angel Muffin, is perhaps the worst episode in Curb's history. A big problem is the "everything Larry does is rude" schtick is often forced. I found it actually got tedious in this episode. However, there are always a few laughs and it's great to see places in Brentwood like the Brentwood Country Mart and other westside "landmarks."

Last edited by The Old Man
@The Old Man posted:

The thing is the 37+ minute episode, which started in season 9, is finally getting to Larry David. That, and the yearly release schedule he's maintained for a number of years now, is very grueling. He often is playing a caricature of his caricature of himself. Season's 11 second episode, Angel Muffin, is perhaps the worst episode in Curb's history. A big problem is the "everything Larry does is rude" schtick is often forced. I found it actually got tedious in this episode. However, there are always a few laughs and it's great to see places in Brentwood like the Brentwood Country Mart and other westside "landmarks."

I found several moments in the episode cringe inducing. But the last scene very funny.

@winetarelli posted:

This past Sunday’s “Curb” was a full return to form. It dragged on a bit too long in the last 40%, but it was also hilarious.

Well...yes, it was a great improvement. What Larry David has pulled over for 11 seasons is very difficult. For those in the know, it was Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House that stood in for the exterior of the synagogue. It's been used in many films including Blade Runner and the original House Haunted Hill.

I am torn on wheel of time having grown up a better part of my middle/high school and college years reading the epic story.

There are certainly moments that story feels like it's weaved together better, but the first episode is terrible.  It pays homage to every non sensical teenage drama angst required of any show that belongs on CW and none of the maturity in topics that robert jordan tried conveying

The backstories and alot of the characteristics of alot of the main characters have been shifted around with some characters having unnecessary storylines added and thrown away on a whim.

One of the main things missed with the start of the series is the world building.  Yes, the series is beautifully shot, unfortunately it doesnt really show case the grandness of things that Robert Jordan tried to portray.  One is that 2 rivers is suppose to be a town t hat is able to field 3000 archers later on in the story, yet the series makes 2 rivers look like a small tribe or village at best.  This wasn't meant to be the shire.

Few things that the series did definitely get right, the pace was definitely great.  The books spent alot of time world building visuals and feel.  Something that can be achieved much more quickly with visuals, and there are flashes of moments where the series nails it.  Movements of shadows, the motions behind weaving, all work well.

This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books, it's a bit of a let down if you're looking for something that follows the storylines due to the fact one may have spent alot of time reading hte books and reflecting on how the characters developed through the 2 decades the books took to finish and for me to read.

I was always a science fiction nerd over fantasy. Though of course I'd read Lord of  the Rings, and think its film adaptation is great. It wasn't until both the books and TV series of Game of Thrones that I found myself interested in a fantasy. And of course there's something about Martin's books (at least the first three) and the series that transcends the genre.

"This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books." Well...as a non-reader of Wheel of Time I watched the first episode with no real pre-conceived notions. I could not finish it. Just compare the first episode of GoT to WoT and there just isn't the depth of characters, and even story, in the latter. And certainly the actors can't compare.

However, my ex-wife, who is a mild fan of the genre, is continuing to watch. She also finished the first season of Foundation which I thought was dreadful. She did say it picks up in the final three episodes but I just can't bring myself to watch more of it.

Last edited by The Old Man
@The Old Man posted:

I was always a science fiction nerd over fantasy. Though of course I'd read Lord of  the Rings, and think its film adaptation is great. It wasn't until both the books and TV series of Game of Thrones that I found myself interested in a fantasy. And of course there's something about Martin's books (at least the first three) and the series that transcends the genre.

"This series is exciting to watch if one goes in without the background of reading the books." Well...as a non-reader of Wheel of Time I watched the first episode with no real pre-conceived notions. I could not finish it. Just compare the first episode of GoT to WoT and there just isn't the depth of characters, and even story, in the latter. And certainly the actors can't compare.

However, my ex-wife, who is a mild fan of the genre, is continuing to watch. She also finished the first season of Foundation which I thought was dreadful. She did say it picks up in the final three episodes but I just can't bring myself to watch more of it.

yea i agree, the first episode is absolutely terrible.  the 2nd episode is where it starts picking up a little better, 3 and 4, they at least start relaying the ground work for the WoT storyline.

The just rush too much through all the character development just to hit a few "talking points"

@The Old Man posted:

I'm afraid Curb Your Enthusiasm may have stayed too long at the fair. This week's episode was a mirthless affair except perhaps for a few chuckles near the end. At this point I'm only watching it for some views of my favorite places in LA and Brentwood in particular.

There have definitely been some LOL moments this season, and we won't stop watching, but it has been a little forced at times.  I think the addition of Vince Vaughn has been great.