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01 March 2016 @ 01:41 pm
State of the Shows  
What we've been watching over the last couple months

Dragon Ball Z:

We finished it! After starting on episode 1 of Dragon Ball, near the end of 2014 i believe, we've gotten through all 153 episodes of Dragon Ball and all 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z! That's over 9000 minutes of Dragon Ball in total! (Though maybe not if you discount the episode openings, and endings, and "last time on"s, and "next episode"s, and flashbacks, and...)

I'd actually only seen about 125 episodes of Dragon Ball Z and no Dragon Ball at all when we started this, so it was a pretty epic undertaking for me as well! And now that we're done it seems that Avalyn love-hates it in pretty much the same way as i do :)

(We're probably not going to watch GT. Will probably get around to watching the new series at some point.)

Baccano:

(Anime about 1920s gangs and alchemy)

The next anime we're working on after DBZ. Progress is a little slower, since even though Avalyn says she likes it she doesn't really want to watch it during meals (since it's quite a bit more bloody than DBZ,) which is how we'd often get sucked into multi-episode marathons of DBZ.

New X-Files:

(Come on, you know what X-Files is)

We just finished watching the new X-Files, and it's been very hit or miss. A couple of the episodes have been very good. And some have been not so much. The last episode in particular was pretty annoyingly WTF.

Without going into spoilers too much, i realize the whole point of X-Files has been about conspiracies, but did you really need to throw the anti-vaxers a bone? That kind of left a sour taste in my mouth right from the start of that episode.

(Also similarly with the episode where Mulder trips out on hallucinogens. I spent the whole opening thinking "please tell me you're not going to go where i think you're going to go", but they did. The main plot continued and ended on a hackneyed note. Unfortunately the aforementioned drug trip was probably the second-most amusing bit of the new series. Too bad it was sandwiched in crap.)

And according to my limited understanding of the X-Files (i was only an occasional watcher back in the day) part of the appeal was supposed to be that their world was plausibly our world. That this kind of stuff could really be going on behind the scenes and we just don't hear about it because everything is kept under wraps. Well, again without saying too much, the last episode definitely blows the hell out of that idea.

Castle:

(Firefly, if it was a police procedural, and on earth, and in the present, and didn't have any Firefly actors except Nathan Fillion, okay, so really nothing like Firefly at all actually)

I wasn't in on Castle at the start. However because of how often it gets rerun i've seen a number of episodes, often in no particular order. However thanks to Avalyn i'm not watching it on a more systematic basis.

I'm still enjoying it on a per-episodes basis. The overarching story is... trying too hard i think? It seems like the writers feel compelled to always have Becket involved in some kind of conspiracy, and like almost all writers in all shows, they feel compelled to keep throwing relationship troubles between the primary romantic couple.

Writers, just, please don't. I'm okay with Becket and Castle being happily married. There are plenty of other relationships (both romantic and non) that you can go to for drama if you really need to. But that's not why i keep watching the show.

And i'm really confused about what's up with the big conspiracy of the season. As far as i can tell it's about drug smuggling. But that seems pretty mundane for the size and complexity of the conspiracy they're describing.

But yeah, individual episodes that don't focus on the conspiracy stuff are still good.

Legends of Tomorrow:

This show is fun, but also dumb. It's dumber than dumb. It is probably the most stereotypically comic book-y live action TV show i have ever seen.

(I already talked too much about this one)

The Flash may have one ability that is chronically underused in fiction (super speed), but Legends of Tomorrow has _two_ (ability to shrink to the size of a human cell, and time travel) and uses them even less intelligently. And as my post last week demonstrates they don't have that good a grasp on "mundane" tactics either.

Despite that we're still watching it, so that says something i guess?

The Flash:

(Woosh!)

Speaking of, still watching this, still enjoying it. Even if Barry Allen is sometimes an idiot. At least when they do dumb stuff it's a bit more understandable. (Except maybe for casually hanging out next to a chaotic wormhole in the process of undergoing collapse. Why would you do that? Move away from the unstable portion of the time-space continuum!)

(But seriously Barry, that big thing last episode that you were saying was all your fault, and your dad tries to console you by saying it wasn't? He's just trying to make you feel better. It really was all your fault. Sorry.)

Sleepy Hollow:

(He's a magical time traveler, she's a kick-ass cop/federal agent, together they fight the Bible!)

And speaking of people who occasionally fall down at basic tactics (https://twitter.com/Donaithnen/status/703773057840590850) we're still mostly current with Sleepy Hollow too. I can't adequately explain why season two sucked (though i'm mostly blaming it on Hawley, even though i can't clearly elucidate why i hate him so much either) but season three is a lot better so far. (It felt kind of like Corbin came out of the blue, but he's turned out to be a _much_ better character that Hawley.)

Galavant:

(Fourth-wall breaking musical fantasy comedy, with Weird Al cameos)

We're three-ish episodes into the second season. It seems just fine so far, though i've been told that it remains "just fine" throughout the entire season, never quite reaching the same level it did in the first season. Still, "just fine" is good enough for me to keep watching it. And maybe they'll get a season three and kick it back into gear in the same manner as Sleepy Hollow.

The Expanse:

Last and very far from least, i insisted we jump on this one right away, since i'm a fan of the books by "James SA Corey" (not a real person, actually the pseudonym for two co-authors.)

It's set in the moderately near future, a couple hundred years off. Humanity has discovered an efficient fusion drive that has allowed them to settle throughout the solar system (mainly Mars, the asteroid belt, and the outer moons) but no significant progress has been made in regards to interstellar exploration/settlement.

I'm tempted to say it's like a dark and gritty Firefly, but that seems too... markety? The overall tone is more serious, though there's certainly plenty of humor mixed in as well. It definitely is literally darker, and also noisier. On more than one occasion we've had to turn off the other lights in the room in order to see what was going on in the dark nooks of wherever they happened to be at the moment, and we're turning on the subtitles as matter of course now. They're not _always_ necessary, but there's defintiely parts where there's too much other audio stuff going on for us to understand what's being said clearly, or people mumbling, or people speaking in strong accents, or people speaking in unknown dialects. (Not that you're supposed to understand the later, but the fact that there's stuff you're not supposed to understand mixed in makes it difficult to tell between that and when you're just not understanding because your ears are sucking.)

Hmm, if i had to sum up the series (since a lot of people probably haven't seen it, and they ought to) i guess i'd say it has a setting similar to Firefly (just set in our own system instead of an alien one) crossed with the characterization and socio-political scale of Babylon 5. (And the moral ambiguity of both.) Plus a little bit of horror tossed in for good measure. But i'm bad at describing things so take that with a grain of salt.
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Chaos Never Blinkssithjawa on March 1st, 2016 09:55 pm (UTC)
I watched a bit of Baccano and was left with the impression that it was objectively good but I just couldn't get into it.
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on March 2nd, 2016 02:18 pm (UTC)
I couldn't get into Baccano! either. I couldn't follow the achronology and cast of thousands. I'm having similar issues with Durarara! but that's at least told mostly in order.
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on March 2nd, 2016 07:32 am (UTC)
We've been watching Agents of Shield, and the currently interposed Agent Carter. Basically all of the Marvel universe shows really. I've been enjoying them. That's the only TV we watch though. If you see something you recommend, be sure to recommend it. When we are waiting for the next Marvel movies we have been re-watching B5. Remember when seeing fleets of starships was new and cool?

--Beth
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on March 2nd, 2016 07:33 am (UTC)
Maybe we'll check out "The Expanse" based on your descriptions of things above.
--Beth
DonAithnendonaithnen on March 2nd, 2016 09:04 pm (UTC)
I definitely recommend it! But just to be safe it should be pointed out that it does have sex and violence. Certainly nothing near Game of Thrones levels or anything like that, but presumably not something the kids should be watching with you :)