FF:QLD Show Recommendations

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Magnus_Darcrider, Aug 28, 2008.

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  1. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    I was actually going to do this around this time last year, but got a little side tracked.

    So, a lot of shows are starting/restarting in the coming weeks. We've already got our Flagship Shows (Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), but I wanted a thread for shows you may not have heard of, either new or old.

    Many of you will catch these either on DVD or other means, given this group's general and justified dissatisfaction with broadcast television in this country. If you want them and can't find them, this would be a good place to send out a holler for 'em too.

    So, here's a couple I think this group would like:

    The Middleman - arguably this season's funniest show, struggling 20-something artist Wendy Watson gets hired by a temp agency to "fight evil", headed by a square jawed boyscout known as "The Middleman". This one's all about the pop-culture references; for example the Egon Spengler Physics Prize and the Ivor Shanding Medal :p

    Psych - raconteur with Holmes level observation powers pretends to be a psychic to aide the police in solving crimes (and not get arrested on suspicion of knowing too much about said crimes). Low budget fun detective series that doesn't take itself too seriously. Third season's currently screening, first is out on DVD.

    Chuck - A 20-something geek gets the entirety of the NSA Security Database uploaded into his brain> now the CIA and the NSA have sent agents to protect him as he helps out the US Government with random bursts of knowledge he keeps getting. Adam Baldwin plays the NSA agent like Jayne with smarts, but the best character is the jock doctor dating Chuck's sister; his name is Captain Awesome, and he should fight crime :p Second Season starts soon.

    Pushing Daisies - Man has ability to raise the dead with a touch. However if he doesn't touch them again in 60 seconds to kill them permanently, something else dies nearby to keep the balance. Sounds morbid, but this is actually a quirky and sweet comedy by the guys who brought us Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls (which it'll have a crossover with next season).

    That'll do for now.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
  2. General Cargin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    Wasn't this an episode of Torchwood? Or is Hollywood so desperate for ideas that they're pillaging the latest BBC productions for storylines?
  3. Luke_Sparkewalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4

    Love this show! Adam baldwin is as funny as ever :)
  4. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    It's a shame it's only the Muffin Lady, an inconsequential supporting character from a single episode. Happily, Brian Fuller has also expressed interest in bringing back Jaye. Not to make a big thing of it, but I pray to all my dark gods of the deep: please, take whatever you want from this mortal realm. Just make it happen.

    Speaking of which:

    Wonderfalls
    A philosophy graduate, living in a trailer park and with no amitions of leaving her deadbeat job, starts receiving instructions from inanimate objects. Following these messages - always cryptic, often bizarre, sometimes downright cruel - will improve somebody's life in a strange and unpredictable way. Naturally, it received little network exposure and got axed after a handfull of episodes (aired, as per tradition, out of sequence).

    Unlike most of its counterparts in the crowded Quirky Show Axed Before Its Prime genre, the first and only season of Wonderfalls holds up surprisingly well as a standalone, 13-part miniseries. It ends with a satisfying sense of closure; a rare thing for a show in this situation. I was left wanting more, but not needing it.

    It's not available locally, but the Region 1 DVD is both cheap and easy to find. I'm going to repeat an earlier recommendation: watch the first ten minutes. It's so offbeat, so goddamn full of quirk, that one way or another, you'll form an opinion very quickly.
  5. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Yeah, but if Jaye turns up, there's gonna be a lot of confusion between her and The Pie Maker :p

    I second a Wonderfalls recommendation, and only didn't first it because I've just sent my DVDs out into the wide world to go forth and spread it's quirky awesomeness, and I figured those touched by it would do the work for me. Ah well.

    Incidentally General, Pushing Daisies couldn't be further removed from Torchwood without a series of dimensional jumps. Would I recommend a show like that to you?

    Well yes, but it'd be good.

    Incidentally, here's the Chuck Versus The Season 2 Montage in glorious Shaky Comic Con Cam :p

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider

  6. General Cargin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    Ah, Brandon... I know they're two completely different shows, but the plot device for Pushing Daisies just reminded me so much of an episode of Torchwood that I actually prised myself out of the chair, went to the workshop, plugged in the nailgun to the compressor and just about trepanned myself in irritation at recycled and rehashed ideas before I remembered there were no nails in the nail gun.
  7. morgan-aleghieri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2006
    star 4
    I honestly can't tell if you're joking, and that unsettles me a touch.
  8. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    Let me guess: you used up all the nails watching the previous 15 years of televised science fiction? :p Because speaking strictly in terms of basic ideas, I'm not sure there's anything The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, The X-Files and/or Buffy haven't already covered between them. In the immortal words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone: "The Simpsons already did it".

    That's exactly what I'd say if I wanted to make a Thing out of your tongue-in-cheek post. Incidentally, thanks for the huge laugh. It made my morning.

    I was really looking forward to the Spooks spinoff Code 9. Considering the outstanding quality of the parent show and the strong premise (London, 2013, in the aftermath of a nuclear attack at the Olympic Games), the potential was there with bells on. But looking into it now, it seems pretty dreadful. Instead of bringing the same tense tone to a new setting, they've gone a much lighter route: fun-loving teenage spies enlisted to save the world. The actual, honest-to-god tagline says it all. "For Queen. For Country. For Kicks." You can't judge a show by its network promotions team, but still. Ouch.

    I'm still tempted to check it out, and try to judge it on its own terms. Can anyone tell me if it's worth the effort?
  9. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    I want to wait to see more than just one episode before judging Code 9, but man... The thought drifting through my head as I watched this thing was "The OC meets Torchwood." "Sexy" youthful cast, angsty and overblown drama, good ideas executed badly because the style is a tiny bit schizophrenic, and just the knowledge that any second you're going to be bombarded by an "edgy" portrayal of sexuality that is not even convincing, let alone realistic. I'm going to make myself watch a couple more episodes just in case, but no, the way they seem to be positioning this, bizarrely, as some sort of kids' show just doesn't work for me.

    Makes me want to go back and watch the real thing again.
  10. Kahlan72 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2000
    star 4
    I saw a few episodes of "The Hollowmen" on the ABC, and really enjoyed it. If you didn't like The Games, and the whole Late Show gang annoys you, might not be for you. But it's funny political satire.

    Some I'm watching I know you guys'd love: Project Runway; Homes under the Hammer; and Relocation,Relocation. You'd just ADORE them. ;) Okay, you wouldn't.
  11. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
  12. General Cargin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    As much as I enjoyed the original Spooks, even through the "backstory-to-how- V for Vendetta might-have-happened" jump the shark two parter, I couldn't even force myself to enjoy Code 9. Yeah, slap me with a ljutefisk, it had a scarily brilliant and disturbing central plot point, and we end up with... words fail me. It's like the title to the 2nd X-Files movie - I want to believe, but I just... can't.
  13. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    BBN: The Doctor's Daughter is also one of the cast members. Clearly, the producers have something against you, personally.

    I'm rarely around for ABC's Wednesday night lineup, so The Hollowmen passed me by, but as an old fan of Frontline and The Games, I'm keen to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation, Kahlan.
  14. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    The Middleman season finale, "The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome" aired earlier in the week and pulled out all the stops. it was an excellent "Alternate Universe" Episode, but it gets mad props just for this exchange at the end:

    The Middleman: You know Dubbie, when I saw my Mirror Self through that gateway, a single question ran through my mind...
    Wendy Watson: No, you would not look cooler with an eyepatch.
    The Middleman: Well, a man's gotta wonder.

    Anyway, another recommendation (and probably the first show I should have mentioned)

    The Wire - a police procedural set in modern Baltimore, Maryland, it follows groups of people on both sides of the law as the Major Crimes Unit of the Baltimore Police Department instigates long term investigations into various criminal organisations throughout the city.

    This show is so good, it will ruin you for other police dramas. Brilliantly written, well acted with compelling storylines, it's a crying shame more TV shows aren't half as good.

    It ended this year after five seasons. I think the first three are available on DVD in australia. Check it out if you can.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
  15. morgan-aleghieri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2006
    star 4
    The Middleman: You know Dubbie, when I saw my Mirror Self through that gateway, a single question ran through my mind...
    Wendy Watson: No, you would not look cooler with an eyepatch.
    The Middleman: Well, a man's gotta wonder.


    *snerk* Heh, that's great.

    As soon as I get back to my laptop, I intend on doing some serious show catch-up-ing - I might see if I can push Middleman up the list of things to watch. Or else I'll subject Paul to two boxes worth of Doctor Who Serieses. (On that note, is season three still outrageously expensive? I might just wait til Brisnova again to get it...)
  16. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    BBN: The Doctor's Daughter is also one of the cast members. Clearly, the producers have something against you, personally.

    Bastards.


    She's the red-head chick, right? The one dying from some sort of magical radiation sickness that has no physical effects whatsoever, as opposed to, you know, painfully and horribly killing you of massive organ failure within meer days or weeks of exposure?



    I'm probably being too harsh based on just one episode. The "twist" (which is obviously the hook for the season arc) was a nice surprise, the kind of thing I expect from Spooks, but I just can't see myself enjoying the show as a whole.
  17. Murder_Sandwhich Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    Life on Mars - John Simm (The bloke who plays The Master in Doctor Who) is a detective in 2006 London. While investigating the kidnapping of his girlfriend, he gets hit by a car. He falls into a coma and wakes up in 1974. Excellently written and acted. If you like that check out the sequel series Ashes to Ashes which is set in the 80's.

    Flight of the Conchords - a kiwi folk comedy band struggle to make the big time in New York City.

    Dexter - A serial killer, who only kills people he sees as "evil" who works for the metro miami police. Season 2 gets a bit meh, but it gets quite good at the end.
  18. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I second all of the above as essential viewing. The Conchords album is dominating the car music rotation right now, and it makes me want to rewatch the whole series. Who would have thought deadpan New Zealand comedy would go down so well in the states?

    Every now and then my mind will drift back to the Life on Mars finale - just a perfect ending. I still haven't finished series one of Ashes to Ashes, having stalled three episodes in, but so far, so good. It's a worthy follow-up, even if Alex Drake's time in the 80s don't seem quite as... important as Sam Tyler's adventures the previous decade.

    Jekyll - This Steven Moffat miniseries, written by Steven Moffat, is Steven Moffat's modern day version to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Rather than a simple remake, this is a sequel that uses the original novella as factual backstory, and the basis of a 100 year conspiracy. This makes for a very intriguing sci-fi mystery/thriller.

    Most of Moffat's Doctor Who episodes are heavy on the suspense, and here it's really in full swing. Hyde is such a terrifying character; every second he's on screen, you know something horrible could happen, if he so chooses.
    James Nesbitt is outstanding in the title role/s. It's a great cast all round, in fact. Gina "Jane from Coupling" Bellman and Dennis "Wedge Antilles" Lawson both give solid dramatic performances.

    In conclusion, Jekyll is a show by Steven Moffat.

    Lost - You might remember another popular show by the same name. While usually very compelling, it sometimes fell victim to its own design. After a brief drop in quality half way through (not brief enough to stop many viewers losing interest), it quickly regained its footing and ended with a very strong third year. Yet there was still that niggling little frustration at the show's core; the sense that the Big Picture wasn't as cohesive as we'd been led to believe.

    This show, which shares many of the same cast, crew, writers and storylines, confusingly starts with "season four", and will also last three years. The new Lost fixes nearly every fault that threatened its predecessor. Where filler material once got in the way of the season arc, every episode now feels tight and relevant. There's a real sense that things are mapped out from here to the very end. The flashbacks, which had long outstayed their welcome, became flash-forwards. Even time travel has gradually worked its way into the story, in an interesting yet unobtrusive way. And while the bizarre mysteries are still plentiful, they're balanced out with something relatively new to Lost: genuine payoff.

    If you lost interest in the series, you're probably sick by now of everybody telling you to get back into it. I'm sorry to add to the nuisance, but give Lost another chance. It really is That Good.
  19. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Life On Mars, Dexter and Jekyll are all excellent. I will say that Jekyll does fall apart in the last scene though. James Nesbitt would be my pick for the Joker in an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns based on his performance here. And Michelle Ryan is smokin' hot.

    Ashes To Ashes is interesting, but it suffers from the protaganist being somewhat unlikeable. Alex Drake goes back in time and acts like a tool, whilst what did Sam Tyler do? Fight crime.

    I squirmed through two episodes of Flight of the Conchords. Not my thing, though I hear they changed the approach somewhat in later episodes, so maybe I should give it another chance.

    Two new shows that may be worth a look in; True Blood and Fringe. The first is a vampire show, which I have a taste for. The twist here is that vampires have gone public and the world is adjusting to the new reality.

    The latter is JJ Abrams new show; something about an investigation of the deaths on a passenger aircraft. Since I never watched Felicity (I don't care how cute Keri Russell is or was), the magical shifting timeslot of Alias threw me off kilter with that show and I gave up on Lost 'til it's over, I'm gonna try and stick with this one.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
  20. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    Abrams has gone on record as saying you can miss episodes this time around without being left behind in the dust, so it looks like you're committing to the right show. Assuming it's good, of course.

    The pilot suggests it will be. I look forward to seeing how this plays out as a series.
  21. Kahlan72 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 2000
    star 4
    I think I realised with Lost that I just can't commit to a show where the pay off is too far away to see, and missing an episode really does hurt you so much. I WANTED to keep watching it, bit missed 2 or 3, found the ads for the next episode silly without the story I'd missed and frankly stopped caring about who lived and died.

    If Season 4 is that good, and I tend to believe much of anything HB promotes, I should give it a shot. I do however refuse to watch waht I've missed...so I'll need to find an episode summary somewhere.

    Going on record to say that Felicity was a well written, cute show for it's day..even though I entirely started watching it because the premise of moving across country and changing unis for a guy that doesn't know you're alive was just SO romantic at the time. Now it seems pathetic and stupid. Age, cynism. I doubt I'll ever re-watch it.

    Gave wonderfalls a go..okay only the first episode and I don't think it's for me.

    I have no new shows to add. So I should exit the thread. Why am I up at 5am??

  22. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Given recent events with Hell filling up and all, I figured I'd recommend the mini-series Dead Set.

    The premise? On the night of an Eviction in the UK Big Brother House, a zombie outbreak occurs in the UK.

    Trailer's here.

    I'm watching the first episode, and it rightly first sends up reality TV tropes before diving into to the zombie action.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
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