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July 23rd, 2021, 21:50
Great gravy, you chug through shows in rapid style, danutz. I usually watch two or three an evening, unless someone bothers me on the mobile or if I'm inclined to play a game instead, the telly might stay dark. I'm glad you're getting into Saul, I can only say the best is yet to come. And yes, I'm a huge fan of the Ehrmantraut character (well, the entire family, honestly). For a character that was designed not to have such a presence in either series, he did quite well. Even his grand-daughter I'm tolerant of, and my disdain for children is rather legendary.
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July 23rd, 2021, 21:50
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
It's only 10 episodes per season. So around 20h so far. Not that much.
In 3 days though?
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July 23rd, 2021, 21:56
Hm, yeah, I guess I didn't even realized I was binging them. I guess that shows that for all my complaining about Better Call Saul being slow, it actually got me hooked.

Holy shit, yeah, I averaged 7 episodes per day? I guess working from home has its perks. And I'm already 2 more episodes deeper than my last mention. Just saw Gus for the first time.
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July 23rd, 2021, 22:49
No doubt these show are slow burns. They take their time. There's an entire episode of Breaking Bad that's about a Jesse and Walt trying to catch a fly. Most shows would be afraid to do stuff like that, but BB is replete with such episodes. It makes the action, when it comes, all the more impactful.

Better Call Saul is much the same, and in some ways even slower paced. I love both shows, but there are times during BCS when I feel it's dragging.
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July 23rd, 2021, 23:52
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
No doubt these show are slow burns. They take their time. There's an entire episode of Breaking Bad that's about a Jesse and Walt trying to catch a fly. Most shows would be afraid to do stuff like that, but BB is replete with such episodes. It makes the action, when it comes, all the more impactful.

Better Call Saul is much the same, and in some ways even slower paced. I love both shows, but there are times during BCS when I feel it's dragging.
The Fly episode was one of my favorite. Loved Walt’s drugged monologue about regretting not dying when he was “scheduled to”.
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July 24th, 2021, 03:26
That Fly episode is certainly the highlight of the Breaking Bad series for me. What an amazing forty some odd minutes of telly!
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July 24th, 2021, 07:45
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
That Fly episode is certainly the highlight of the Breaking Bad series for me. What an amazing forty some odd minutes of telly!
Shows how tastes differ.
That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me and made the show unbearable. I stopped after that episode.
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July 24th, 2021, 14:32
I'm watching the first season of The Expanse again, just to check after reading the first book. They've completely modified the story of the book series, changing the relative order of some events, the motives of people and their relationships. They kept the names and a general ideas of some key events but that's it.

It's common to see adaptations, but in this case it's quite heavy.
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July 24th, 2021, 17:47
Nod, I'd almost say that if you've not read the books and prefer to watch telly, view the Expanse that way. I'm not sure why on earth people feel this huge need to change things that actually work well, like in the novels, yet just about every adaptation I see these days seems to do it in some fashion. Years ago there were novels I dreamed about coming alive on the big screen, these days I'm more likely to cringe at the thought of that happening.
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July 24th, 2021, 18:01
so, i get Netflix, and decide to burn thru a couple series. One of them being Roman Empire

I was thrilled when I saw it on Netflix, and I thought I was getting the acclaimed Roman Empire drama (I didnt know it was HBO). Yeah no. It's basically a Netflix docu-drama, and a poorly made one at that. I'm about 3/4 thru, and it's one of those series that I feel I have to finish, just because. But it's pretty bad.

From a historical standpoint, there's irritating inaccuracies and omissions. On top of that, the actors look absolutely nothing like who they are portraying. At the very least get a guy with a beard for Marcus Aurelius, ya know. The actor for Julius Caesar doesnt even have a slight resemblance. It's not like they are using A-list actors here, and need to fit the part. Find a guy with a high forehead and big nose, ya know. There's like 20 guys sitting around that are supposedly the Senate? It's laughable. But is it good television? I'd say no. The acting isnt very good, and it looks like it was cobbled together by college film students.

Every episode has characters rounding corners in slow motion, while Sean Bean rambles on in dulcet tones about them. Talking heads appear, spout a rendundant blurb along the lines of "Caesar assumed ultimate power - that is to say, he was the most powerful man in Rome".

It's so damn formulaic.
Before the end of the episode, there is guaranteed:
- One set of breasts will be displayed. Check!
- The same stock footage of architecture, people, and battles will appear. Check!
- Slow motion shots of main characters rounding corners. Check!

The stock footage is the most lazy, egregious aspect. I feel like I'm playing Dragon Age II again, and entering a new area, just to see that it's a copy/paste of the last area. The identical shots of toga wearing people walking up stairs, cheering, yelling in anger, sitting miserable in a corner, fighting amongst themselves will be displayed over and over. The same shots of nondescript warriors taking an axe to the head, getting hit with arrows, loosing arrows will play again and again, while Sean Bean rambles on. Binge-watching makes this all the more obvious, and hilarious

I gotta finish it tho. I'm on Caligula now, the Boob Squad is in high gear, and they are bound determined to really lay it on thick w/ what an insane, rotten pervert he was. I'm getting a good laugh w/ all the slo motion, so I just have to see how this wraps up.
Last edited by xSamhainx; July 24th, 2021 at 18:19.
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July 24th, 2021, 18:05
LOL yeah xSamhainx, I tried watching that show as well, I barely got through the first episode. After that I decided my sanity was more important and begged off the rest! And yes I'd agree, it's terrible, derivative telly at its' almost very worse.
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July 24th, 2021, 20:47
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
so, i get Netflix, and decide to burn thru a couple series. One of them being Roman Empire

I was thrilled when I saw it on Netflix, and I thought I was getting the acclaimed Roman Empire drama (I didnt know it was HBO). Yeah no. It's basically a Netflix docu-drama, and a poorly made one at that. I'm about 3/4 thru, and it's one of those series that I feel I have to finish, just because. But it's pretty bad.
Right, that one. I watched a few episodes before giving up, another documentary that feels the narrative must be backed up with a sort of movie in the background.

If that's the one you were thinking about, I watched the 2005 HBO's Rome series, really loved it. It's apparently quite accurate in its representation and with the events. Some fiction/drama that was added to flesh out the story of course, but that doesn't get in the way. They also released an informative podcast series on the show by Jonathan Stamp, the historian who was consultant on this.

Unfortunately it was cancelled after 2 seasons, but it's still definitely worth watching if you can get hold of it. Some scenes can be quite raw and explicit.

Netflix offers a few documentaries and docuseries but many are below average. I watched a bit of Spycraft, recently, and I was baffled at how bad it was. It's pure visual, no reference, no comparing points of view, very superficial, no credibility.
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July 24th, 2021, 21:35
HBO had some great sleeper hits in the past, like their Rome series, and one of my absolute favourites, Carnivale. I re-watch that one religiously every two to three years, it's so damn good!
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July 25th, 2021, 18:04
I'm on episode 2 of season 5 for Better Call Saul. It keeps on being a solid series, but I still maintain that Breaking Bad was quite a bit better. The stakes were just a lot higher, it felt a lot more personal and intimate, the chemistry between Walter and Jesse great.

BCS still has solid moments, and is written and acted beautifully. But for me it still doesn't come close to Breaking Bad. So far I'd rate BB at a 9.5/10 and BCS at a 8/8.5. And for me, most of the great things about BCS have a direct emotional attachment to BB.

Anyway, I still have season 5 to finish. And from what I hear season 67 only comes out early 2022? That's a shame. For reason I thought I'd have a more continuous experience. Anyway, it should be good.

@Carnifex: Loved Carnivale. I think that one was the first early cancelled series on HBO that I really felt sorry for.
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July 26th, 2021, 00:01
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Nod, I'd almost say that if you've not read the books and prefer to watch telly, view the Expanse that way. I'm not sure why on earth people feel this huge need to change things that actually work well, like in the novels, yet just about every adaptation I see these days seems to do it in some fashion. Years ago there were novels I dreamed about coming alive on the big screen, these days I'm more likely to cringe at the thought of that happening.
On the other hand, I rarely see any point to reading what I've watched, or watching what I've read. If you make some significant changes for the medium of TV/film that might actually make it worthwhile even if you've read the source material, especially if they have the active involvement of the original creators in the adaptation.

For example, A Handmaid's Tale. If it was simply a retelling of the same story of the novel, there's imo no point. But the TV show took that as a starting point.
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July 26th, 2021, 00:10
Sometimes I read the novel after I've seen something, and get a lot out of it. Silence of the Lambs was one were I really enjoyed the film, and then got a lot more from the book, too. The Road is one where I think you could see the film, but reading the novel is whole different ballgame.
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July 26th, 2021, 00:28
When I watch a movie or a series and enjoy it enough, and if it's adapted from a book, I'm tempted to read it because the experience is usually richer, deeper. The video has acted as a summary or a big trailer.

Sometimes it's the other way round. After reading a book, it's nice to see it materialized, but chances are it's more frustrating because we see all the simplifications, and the modifications to make it more appealing on screen at the expense of the story.

The only few examples off the top of my head of better video adaptations than the original novels are The Man in the High Castle (the book is very short and they expanded it quite well), and Da Vinci Code (bad grammar and factual errors in the novel ruined it).
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July 26th, 2021, 01:06
One TV series which I thought was slightly better than the books was 'A Discovery of Witches'. I enjoyed both and am eagerly awaiting the TV version of the third book and hoping they make one for the fourth.
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July 26th, 2021, 03:28
Nod, you really cannot go wrong with either medium for Silence of the Lambs, though I do prefer the book. I'd agree that it's one of the few adaptations that actually equaled the written version. The Man in the High Castle is a damn fine show, and yeah those telly folks truly boosted the content and took the tale in some awesome directions, I've still not watched it all but I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far.

I did watch the first series of Discovery of Witches, I thought it was ok yet didn't want anything beyond that. And I've not read the books, I might have to correct that at some point.
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July 26th, 2021, 14:08
Finished season 5 of Better Call Saul. It was ok, but nothing to write home about. I think I still maintain the whole series at an 8/10, but this was kind of a meandering season. Especially the final 2 episodes. The season finale was also kind of a big letdown.

If Season 6 is fantastic and ends in a significant way, it could jump to a 9. But it would still be below Breaking Bad. I realized that while Jimmy is a fun character overall, he's got nothing close to the dynamic between Walt and Jesse. And while Mike is also great, most of his plotline still relies heavily on the emotional connection to Breaking Bad.

EDIT: Anyway, I realize I might be coming off a bit too negative, considering my grade is 8/10, which is actually a pretty good score. But I still consider it below Breaking Bad. The tension and stakes in BB was just beyond anything BCS provided. But even so, it's a solid series. And if season 6 ends it on a high, it'll be great! I'm really curious how they plan on finishing it. It's gonna be a long wait.
Last edited by danutz_plusplus; July 26th, 2021 at 17:42.
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