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What Have You Watched Today? (Volume I)

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  • Daniel Montgomery
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    May 14th, 2011
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    #221753

    I thought I’d start this thread for TV, like we have for film.

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #221755

    Finished watching this today:

     

    Any Human Heart

    http://danielmontgomery.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/any-human-heart/

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    Spenser Davis
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    May 22nd, 2011
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    #221756

    I’m revisiting Twin Peaks. It’s been so long since I’ve seen it. And I have to say, after they say who Laura Palmer’s killer is, the show tries to hold on. I almost wonder if, like The Killing, the show should’ve ended when the case was solved, instead of trying to hang on a little longer with less-than-energetic guest characters.

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    Spenser Davis
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    #221757

    Twin Peaks was a series that I would recommend to anyone, as it is the perfect example of a cult classic show that starts off terrifically, loses its footing, loses its footing some more, and then starts to get good again as soon as it is cancelled. Below, I’ll discuss some of my favorite aspects of the series, as well as a few that I think we could’ve done without.

     

    ** SPOILER ALERT **

     

    Revealing Laura Palmer’s killer was both a great move and a poor one. It was great because the other storylines were beginning to lose steam, and a reveal of this magnitude had the potential to revive the show’s energy. And for me, it did. Finding out that Leland was the killer was both shocking and saddening. The show’s co-creator Mark Frost claims that he and David Lynch knew that Leland had killed Laura back in the pilot episode. I doubt that. But still, looking back at the series, it feels like (potentially) the building blocks were there from the very start. And when he murders Maddie… wow. The slow-motion took me out of the situation for just a moment, but the level of violence in that scene is…. Well, in short, I marvel at what the show was able to get away with considering what most television in the early ’90s was like. And the reveal that Leland was inhabited by Bob (a goofy name for the show’s evil spirit, I must say) did, in fact, bring the show back to life a little. The two episodes that follow, ending with Leland’s death, were heartbreaking and chilling — Ray Wise deserved Emmy attention for his character’s final monologue.

     

    But then, boy oh boy. Cooper rejects Audrey — the two of them would’ve made television’s sexiest couple, I’m not afraid to admit that. I understand why he did it, but sparks flew when they were on the screen together. Audrey’s love interest coming in the form of almost too-handsome Billy Zane? No sparks. Then Nadine gains super-powers and falls for a high school wrestler. Another character goes crazy and relives the Civil War, allowing the Confederacy to win this time around. And a wheel-chair bound ex-villain is alternately creepy and annoying. None of it worked.

     

    And Windhom Earle? Am I the only person who almost wishes that he had stayed un-seen for a little longer? His voice on the tape, or the letters being sent… that was thrilling and sort-of terrifying. But when he shows up in long-johns, playing a piccolo pipe, all interest in his character evaporates. They tried to play him off as an eccentric wild card, like The Joker in The Dark Knight. Instead, he became a one-note character with ridiculous costumes, some of them less-convincing than the idea that a puddle of gasoline was the portal to another dimension.

     

    Twin Peaks stands as a perfect example as to why a showrunner(s) should commit to telling the story they want to tell to the bitter end. Mark Frost and David Lynch both were caught up on other film projects during the middle of the show’s second season, and it shows in the quality of the episodes. It is not surprising that, as soon as they returned to the series with a sense of focus, it became pretty good again. Three episodes before the finale, I dreaded watching the final episode, because I felt like the show was just on its way back to its moments of high creativity.

     

    Speaking of that finale, that Black Lodge sequence was disturbing, and stills stands as unparalleled in the world of television serial dramas. The blanked-out eyes, Laura’s bone-chilling scream, and Coop’s doppelganger all added up to a pretty insane (and insanely improvised) sequence. And the final shot makes you wonder what would’ve been had the show stayed on the air.

     

    Even at its lowest moments, though, Twin Peaks deserves to stand the test of time because of what it did for television. It allowed the medium to flourish with left-field creative decisions. I doubt that shows like Lost, Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy would exist had it not been for this series. And that means a whole heck of a lot.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #221758

    I had been DVRing the episodes every week, but I only just started watching The Killing over the weekend.  I got through the double first episode and then three more.  I have to say, I’m pretty taken with it.  The show comes across to me as an honest portrayal of these characters and their lives but isn’t gritty in a way that makes me feel dirty just watching it.

     

    I’m dying to get to the end of the season and experience this controversial finale I keep hearing people are so worked up about!

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    EmmyLoser
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    #221759

    I just finished The Killing.  I feel like I don’t hate it like I’m supposed to?  I did think it was a crappy finale, but overall I still enjoyed it.  I don’t share the bile most of the Internet seemed to feel a couple of weeks ago after it was over.

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    Spenser Davis
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    #221760

    I am streaming Jericho on Netflix. So far, it is not necessarily excellent, but it is certainly better than I remember it being. Like Flashforward, these writers knew how to end an episode. But unlike Flashforward, they also know how to keep me entertained or, at the very least, intrigued.

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #221761

    I just finished The Killing.  I feel like I don’t hate it like I’m supposed to?  I did think it was a crappy finale, but overall I still enjoyed it.  I don’t share the bile most of the Internet seemed to feel a couple of weeks ago after it was over.

     

    Neither do I. I was less than satisfied with the finale too, but it didn’t completely sour me on the series like it did many other people. I think it’s a very good police drama with some superb elements and some frustrating ones too.

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