Must see TV

Discussion in 'Chicago, IL' started by JodoKast74, Sep 29, 2006.

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  1. Bobafemme FF Jedi Council Member, Chicago IL RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2000
    star 5
    I seriously disagree with your list of the three most important people to human history. Maybe to history in that time period and region of the world but not human history.

    Ourrggh who first figured out how to make and sustain fire without total destruction was far more important.
  2. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    "three of the most important individuals in human history". Learn 2 read, smartass.

    -Le Penguin
    (it's nice to be able to say what I want to 'femme since I can outrun her this week.)
  3. JodoKast74 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2001
    star 4
    To those with nothing to do tomorrow morning, my sister will be on "Good Morning America". She is animal behaviorist, on of 30 in the world. Though I'm not sure what the story will be about, I'm thinking it's either her research in pet drugs or some kind of incident that happened recently (dog attack). Her name is Dr. Melissa Bain.
  4. Mos_Eisleian_Radio FanForce CR Secretary Chicago IL US

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    This Sunday at 10:00 P.M., Doctor Who returns to WTTW-TV (Channel 11) with "Rose." I know these episodes have been on Sci-Fi Channel and BBC America and have been released on DVD, but having the program on Sunday night on Channel 11 really feels like it's come home.

    Those who are feeling nostalgic may want to check out this guide to Doctor Who in Chicago including a list of broadcast dates.

    Phil
  5. DarthAstuart Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    that's pretty cool. the ONLY time I watched Doctor Who ever was a WTTW broadcast--their last one in that Sunday night timeslot, I believe, if I read that website correctly. "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy."

    Didn't WPWR also show vintage Star Trek late on Sunday nights? I remember staying up in high school and watching it on a five-inch black and white television in my room.
  6. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    Every time the subject of Dr Who comes up, especially in relation to WTTW, I flash back to this odd event from many a Chicago sci-fi nerd's childhood:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_pirating_incident

    A pal of mine set his VCR up to record Dr Who and ended up with something truly unique. The tape was passed around for months before being set aside somewhere and pretty much disregarded.

    I like to think that the guys who pulled that off are still friends, or at least keep in touch. Maybe they get together at some bar every Nov 22, along with the remaining agents from the grassy knoll who also have something to commemorate every 11/22.

    -Le Penguin
    "The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it."
  7. Mos_Eisleian_Radio FanForce CR Secretary Chicago IL US

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    You can find a few copies of that infamous broadcast at YouTube. I think I had already seen The Horror of Fang Rock at the time, so didn't see it live.

    Phil
  8. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    Finally finished receiving the new "Heroes"

    Great stuff overall. Well worth the wait, though I would have preferred to not wait at all (this "mid-season break" BS of recent years is really annoying.) We can officially add "Watchmen" to the list of direct influences for the show's plot and characters, and the encounter between the two superpowers was very well-done (if maddeningly brief.)

    Can't wait for next week.

    -Le Penguin
    "Time is not absolute."
  9. Mos_Eisleian_Radio FanForce CR Secretary Chicago IL US

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    George Lucas will be a guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien this Tuesday night, May 1. It's at 11:35 P.M. on WMAQ-TV (Channel 5).

    Phil
  10. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    Excellent summation of my (and many people's) experience with "Studio 60", courtesy of some guy on the AVClub's forums:
    -----

    Aaron Sorkin, you made me look like an a$$hole to all my friends, because I originally defended the honor of Studio 60. "Hey," I said, "I know it's not great yet, but look at the first season of West Wing, there were a lot of elements that didn't work at first. Hello, does anyone remember Moira Kelly?" And I said, "yes I know that he's still writing like the characters are working in the White House, and not just some silly comedy show, but trust me I work in theater, the creative-types treat every decision they make like it's life or death, so to me it's at least plausible that these people would talk and act how they do."

    Damn you Aaron Sorkin! You had a chance to showcase our diminishing freedoms in the wake of corporate censorship, the FCC, and the Patriot Act. You were someone who could have made it topical, and interesting and funny, and make the issue important to people. And that's what I defended and that's where you abandoned me. Because, as it turns out, you rather write stupid episodes about which guy will Harriet choose, and will the chick from Shaun of the Dead ever forgive Nate Corrdry?

    Thanks a lot, Aaron Sorkin. You've cost me my pop-culture creditability. I defended you, I believed in you, and you have let me down.
    -----

    On the other hand, "Heroes" continues to roxxor teh big one!!11!!!1!, so to speak. One of the surprises in last night's "days of future past" episode was a little too easy to spot, but it still made for a good payoff. I also wish they'd had the time/budget to expand the last 5 minutes. Hopefully they'll make a little "5 years and a few days later" episode or epilogue or webisode or something...

    -Le Penguin
    "I did it thirty-five minutes ago."
  11. darthgoat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2001
    star 4
    Maybe they don't stop Sylar in time and Peter still blows up.

    I'm glad I gave Heroes another shot. It is turning out to be REALLY good.
  12. Bosh_Talk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    HEROES SPOILERS BELOW
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    We caught up on Heroes last night. Man, could that show possibly get any better? The only complaint heard was my "beard" bitching that "Future Mohinder" wasn't as smokin' hot as "Present Mohinder".

    I'm really glad that they cleared up the whole "Emotionless Future Hiro" vs. "The Hiro that America Knows and Loves"....and it TOTALLY WORKS!

    The guys who write this show obviously CARE about what they're writing. They seem like true geeks who are able to work around the Hollywood formula and are possibly making the best prime-time-but-marketable geek-drama since the original Star Trek.

    Anyway, even if the season ends predictably, I'm sure they'll still make it work awesomely....and if they throw an unpredictable twist, even better. With that said, the "slow down" periods where we get a few episodes that don't move the plot forward are a little disconcerting for the end product, but when the awesome plot-episodes hit, they really land.

    Still they've really got to get rid of Ali Larter...she turns every scene to poopy. BUT, the fact that they killed off Simone....I can almost let Nikki/Whoever live.

    D'
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    HEROES SPOILERS ABOVE
  13. Bosh_Talk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    And then there's the Sopranos.....(Spoilers abound)
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    I think I need someone "smart" like Springer to explain the end of that episode. Did Hesch's wife end up taking a hit that was intended for Hesch himself?

    Sorry, I don't buy it that ALL THE SUDDEN Tony is this reckless gambler that's trashing the family fortune. They seem to be trying to end the series by devoting each episode to Tony somehow burning each individual bridge to humanity he has in his life, but they're turning him into a guy who would have been dead years ago if that was his personality. Like the near-death experience has made him MORE unstable.. As entertaining as this last half-season may be, it's looking pretty cheap on the creative side to me. Once again, maybe Springer can tell me how I'm missing the brilliance of what they're doing.
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    Sopranos spoilers above.

    D'
  14. DarthAstuart Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    That was a bit confusing. As best as I can gather, it was pretty much a coincidence that she died at that point--because if she was bumped off by Tony, why would he then pay his debt to Hesch? Unless there was a poisoning I missed?

    The thing is, Tony isn't "ALL THE SUDDEN" any of these things--this is all part of his nature. Part of Tony's character journey has been, to me, about the essential nature of personal change--can we overcome who we intrinsically are? How we were raised? Can people really change, or are we all doomed to make the same mistakes over and over?

    Maybe it's not a larger question, either--maybe it's just about Tony himself. Can TONY change? Can he soften, overcome his narcissism, deal with the pain brought into his life by his dysfunctional families?

    Why I am enjoying this last set of episodes is that they seem to be answering the question definitively, and that answer is NO--Tony is a man of brutality, of selfish behavior, of large appetites, lacking self-control. In a sense, you're right--he SHOULD have been dead years ago. He almost was, a couple times now. His survival has less to do with anything he's doing for himself and his life than it does with the loyalty of those around him, and the cruel quirks of fate/destiny/God/whatever.

    And that loyalty is ultimately not based on anything resembling true affection, friendship, or human connection--it's almost universally based in greed. His captains, Silvio, Carmela, Hesch--they are loyal to Tony to the extent that he keeps them rich and bloated with a decadent lifestyle. Look at the minor "turf war" Carmela and Tony engaged in over the money she made from selling her spec house--it only took a few stray sentences, a mere few seconds, for whatever "progress" they've made in their "relationship" to disintegrate, because they haven't made any progress; they've just returned to the status quo, their co-dependent relationship based on needs.

    I think the series will probably end with some dangling plot elements, in keeping with David Chase's philosophy on storytelling as a mirror to life--so much in life never wraps up neatly, so why should The Sopranos? But from a thematic and character standpoint, I think we'll know exactly how things "wrap up"--these charming, interesting, entertaining people have not been changed by death, disease, love or anything else. They CAN'T change.
  15. Bosh_Talk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    Soprano Spoilers
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    OK, I agree with everything you're saying up to the point of the reckless gambling. Tony Soprano is a brutish self-serving maniac, but he's also crafty, smart and reserved when it comes to staying afloat. In one episode we learn approximately how much he's worth (thanks to some convenient exposition), and how he's throwing it all away in the course of 3 days?
    Matt, it seems to me that a lot of times you try to figure out why a character is acting the way he's acting....when Tony Soprano isn't a real person, not living in the real world. I'm asking, why is this character being written like this? To me, it's not because it's a function of "Tony Soprano's" personality, but because the writer is trying to push the plot in some direction that wouldn't really happen IF this were a real world and Tony were a real guy. So, yes, I think Tony gets reckless, he makes mistakes, he makes rash decisions, but the Tony that we've witnessed over the arc of the show is acting out-of-character IMHO. And I think it's happening because he/they can't come up with a good end arc for the show. I think it's so, at the end, whatever dominoes are tumbling, we'll be able to say...OH! If only Tony hadn't been so stupid with his gambling in that episode...as opposed to...if only Tony could have changed dynamically from that brutish thug we saw in S1E1.

    Dave
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    Sopranos spoilers above.
  16. DarthAstuart Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    at the end of the day, where we disagree is in whether or not this character turn is appropriate for Tony. I think it's part of a history of behavior; you don't. That's fine.

    It does ALWAYS come back to character for me. If I can't buy the motivations of the character, if I can't understand them, it takes me out of the story. Look at Lost--one of the most frustrating moments for me was when the castaways first met the Others, and didn't ask them a single question about the island, who they were, why they were doing what they were doing, etc. It took me out of the story.

    At the end of the day, I think that is a far better example of character bending to serve the needs of the plot/writers ("Let's keep these mysteries alive as long as possible, even if it makes the characters look like idiots"). On The Sopranos, character is absolutely vital, and the reality of these people is vital.

    I'm not an idiot. I know it's just fiction. But good fiction is about great characters, and Tony Soprano is a great character, because he's complex and unpredictible, and a beautiful monster.

    Plus, this show is notorious for mirroring "real life" in the sense that things happen almost randomly at times, and plotlines fizzle out, and people behave in VERY real ways. what would be FAR less real to me is if they actually did create this false "oh, if only Tony hadn't become a gambling addict in the last few episodes!" I don't think that's what the writers are trying to do--again, I think this is part and parcel of Tony's character, that he is a man of unquenchable appetites, and even can be very reckless in pursuing those appetites. But again, that's more about a disagreement on character between you and I.
  17. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    As much as The Sopranos' vaunted "stand alone episodes" thing sometimes works, it really can't deny that it's a part of a much larger storyline. Discussing each episode as it airs, as much as I enjoy doing so, feels like discussing any other TV show in between commercial breaks (or, if you wanna get more poetic, like taking guesses at a jigsaw puzzle after inserting each piece.) Thoughts and opinions about this season abound, but I think I'm mostly gonna have to keep my mouth shut for now.

    Heroes, on the other hand. Hot damn...

    "Bang bang, he shot me down
    Bang bang, I hit the ground
    Bang bang, that awful sound
    Bang bang, my baby shot me down."

    -Le Penguin
    "And that's all I got to say about that."
  18. Bosh_Talk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    Now that Summer Break is here, we did a marathon to catch up the past two weeks of missed shows (Lost, Heroes, Sopranos & The Shield).

    I'm glad that Lost is taking the Joss Whedon philosophy on the extendability of characters we know and love to keep some suspense. Finally we got some decent secrets revealed. Apparently we're going to lose 3 more main characters in the next 2 episodes. There's two that I'd put money on, first, because they've become such tertiary characters this season, and second, because they will probably be centerpoint in the impending baby/fertility raid.


    Sopranos- A great character driven episode that reminded me of the better earlier seasons. I like that they actually used the psyche sessions to get into Tony's mind. I thought this episode handled family connections (or disconnections) way better than the birthday episode.

    Heroes- I thought it was one of the weaker episodes. First, I'm starting to think that Hiro's ability to instantly escape any sticky situation is a little "too powerful". We almost don't have to worry about him, though it's obvious that he has to work in conjunction with Ando for things to work right. My biggest problem with the episode was the Sylar & mom plot. I like the plot, and it was a great idea to give Sylar some depth, but let's face it, Zachary Quinto isn't a very good actor (though he can pull off "creepy & brooding", and whoever they got to play his mother was TERRIBLE. Giving those two a script full of meaningful, emotive dialogue became tedious.
  19. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    The Sopranos:

    "And that makes me feel like a hypocrite. And that makes me mad at them."

    I don't think there's a better example of what a sh!t Tony Soprano is.

    -Le Penguin
    "I was sayin' somethin' positive 'cause she's your friend."
  20. DarthAstuart Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    I'm not even really sure what to say about last night's Sopranos. It honestly haunted me--I dreamed about it.

    It might be my favorite episode of the show ever, from the chilling opening to the strange finale.

    "I did it"--did what? That's a question Sopranos fans will be debating for years.
  21. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    NBC can suck my yinyang. This is the stupidest idea for a creatively driven series since "should Robin live or die?" back in the 80s. From cnn.com:

    "To stretch the normal 22-episode season of "Heroes," which faltered after its long hiatus this year, NBC will add "Heroes: Origins." The spinoff will introduce a new character each week, and viewers will select which one stays for the following season. The two series will have 30 new episodes combined."
  22. darthgoat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2001
    star 4
    What?

    That is 'tarded.
  23. DarthAstuart Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    what's possibly intriguing about it is that maybe it will work so that the writers introduce all these characters, and the viewers vote, but the rest aren't just tossed down the toilet. so at the end of the day, i'm sure this is just a clever stunt to give the episodes some kind of "relevance," and a way of producing more of the show that doesn't require the same budget/time as using the more highly-paid main cast for an extra couple months.
  24. Bosh_Talk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2000
    star 4
    Debate what? Yeah, I suppose you could over-analyze "I did it!" to the nth degree about how many levels it could mean something, but that'd be retarded exercise in academics. I'm just going to go with what the entire episode was pointing too. Tony wanted to get rid of Christopher for quite a while. He finally did it, it was killing him to be able to admit it to someone...and he finally could...and did. Besides the line before "I did it!" tells you where Tony's drugged out mind was.

    That's definitely in my top 10 Sopranos episodes, but I'd have to put a little distance behind before putting it against classics like Employee of the Month or The Pine Barrens.


    Heroes...they can only screw it up. Who's the genius who came up with splitting prime time network shows into two seasons? Pay TV can get away with that...but that's because it's paid for.

    D

  25. Le_Penguin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 4
    I dunno, but for a such a bad idea, it sure took off fast. Nearly every network show goes on a "winter hiatus" for a few weeks (sometimes longer) right around the new year. Strangely enough, I don't recall reading about any shows that get significant ratings boosts after such breaks. At the same time, every spring we see stories of "producers of such and such program have seen a lull in the ratings since coming back for the second half of their season blah blah blah".

    It's not rocket science: 22 episodes over 26 weeks, allowing some breaks for holiday programming and special events. But hey, if an idea worked for DECADES, that must mean it's old and tired. It's time to form a totally new paradigm, and by the way is there any more cocaine around?

    Bah. Humbug.

    -Le Penguin
    "I'm fired, aren't I?"
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