What Whedon fans are watching...

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What Whedon fans are watching...

Postby hawkedup » Thu May 27, 2010 10:42 pm

Well, to my surprise, I've found myself starting to like TV again. There are some truly good shows out there and some of them look like they might even be around for a while.

Fringe - At first I couldn't get past the X-Files-ness of it all, but when I finally embraced it and started watching the first season on DVD I was hooked. I did everything I could to catch up so that I could watch the final episodes of season 2 as they aired. I was also skeptical after the debacle that was Lost, but it must be a different production team because these people actually seem to know what the hell they are doing and, more importantly, seem to actually have stuff planned out. I'm anxiously awaiting Season 3.

Stargate Universe - Imagine if Battlestar Galactica was good. Then mix it with the positive aspects of SG-1 and Atlantis. This show is well written, well acted, well directed, and well... Well, well everything. I also like that, unlike the previous Stargates, there is moral ambiguity, flawed characters, a larger ensemble case, ongoing story lines, and it feels believable. One of the major things that I think makes Whedon shows so good is that no matter what impossible supernatural thing is happening, the viewer is able to still feel like the show is real enough to step right into. Neither of the previous shows in the franchise felt that way even at their best. And that worked for those shows and what they were trying to accomplish. Stargate Universe is a completely different monster.

Merlin - Watching Merlin FEELS like watching the high school years of Buffy. What I mean by this is that I personally have the same feeling I did from episode to episode that I did watching Buffy for the first time. It's only just completed it's second 13 episode season, but if it continues the way it has I suspect it could reach Buffy/Angel quality. What's more, it isn't over written, which is something so easy to do when it comes to re-telling the legend of King Arthur. The writers also have the ability to make you like and dislike characters on a whim while never feeling the characters are out of character. Not to mention how they draw heavily on Arthurian legend while still staying fresh and original. Plus, ever since I saw Babylon 5 I have a new respect for any creative team that can tell you what's going to happen ahead of time and still keep you on the edge of your seat (much like Joss did with Epitaph One). Like JMS said, what happens isn't nearly as important as how it happens. And that is true with Merlin. Like I said, they draw heavily on Arthurian legend, but they don't butcher it to fit their own purposes. Which means, you know where all the characters eventually end up (assuming you have a passing knowledge of King Arthur).

How I Met Your Mother - The thing that sets this show apart from other sitcoms is that it's good. There are other sitcoms out there that are enjoyable and totally worth watching but none of them are good television in the way that Buffy and Angel are good television.


Some stuff on DVD that is definitely worth checking out if you haven't already:

Babylon 5 - Collectively Buffy and Angel will always be numbers 1 and 2, but if only one of the two shows existed, I think it would fall to number 2 behind Babylon 5. There is nothing I can say about this show except... Brilliant.

The Wire - See what I said about B5 because the same applies.

Farscape - Another really good show, and while it isn't Buffy/Angel/B5/Wire quality, it's definitely a must watch.

Some stuff to stay away from if you haven't been suckered in already:

Lost and Battlestar Galactica. If I can get one person to not waste their time on either of these shows and watch something good like, say, B5 or the Wire instead, then I will be happy. I, like many, got suckered in by both of these shows amazing first seasons. But I guess it's a lot easier to build mystery than to, you know, actually explain stuff. And when they did explain stuff it just felt like a fizzle effect. By the time either show announced that they were coming to a close I just didn't care enough to even finish them. These shows are, pure and simple, lazily written and plotted.
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Postby DanielW » Thu May 27, 2010 10:51 pm

DOCTOR WHO - there's a lot of "thematic confluence" in the RTD to Buffy according to people who seem to know these things. I love the series 5 (the current one running on BBC America, Ozzy ABC and BBC UK). There's a sense of fun and adventure that I think fans of Buffy/Angel would enjoy.
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Postby hawkedup » Thu May 27, 2010 11:27 pm

I've started to make my way through the classic series of Doctor Who to get ready for the new one. A friend and I watch shows together (we're currently on the last season of Sopranos) and Doctor Who (the new one) is next on the list. :)
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Postby Shade of Pale » Fri May 28, 2010 1:28 am

Dr Who - my number one show !

Merlin - love the Arthur/Merlin relationship, plus ASH !

Dexter - a bit of a guilty pleasure and I usually can't watch Dexter's executions.

Ashes to Ashes - a worthy successor to the much loved Life on Mars

Caprica - this really grew on me, despite a slow start

The Office - the American version. I love all the various characters.

Hustle - not a really good show, but for some reason I never miss it.

Spooks - can't wait for the next series.

Live at the Apollo - really good show case for stand-up comedians.

I've always loved animation and cartoons. Love Family Guy, American Dad, South Park and Wallace and Gromit. Stewie and Cartman are so evil.
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Postby mmmmike » Fri May 28, 2010 10:19 am

Party Down
Caprica
Warehouse 13
Weeds
Sons of Anarchy
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Happy Town
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Fri May 28, 2010 11:00 am

Smallville
Bones
The Simpsons
Family Guy
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Postby anca » Fri May 28, 2010 11:30 am

Damn you and your multichannel/cable TV shows!

Dr Who (and because now it's out on DVD Red Dwarf)

Torchwood and Caprica by default (James Marsters)

Sons of Anarchy (made me look for the British Queer as Folk)

Completely agree with hawkedup on Babylon 5 and Stargate Universe.

I'd like to add Eureka and Flash Forward.

(Call me shallow) Spartacus Blood and Sand and Diary of a London Call Girl.
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Postby Double Dutchess » Fri May 28, 2010 12:09 pm

Another Doctor Who watcher here.

I have watched the first series of Merlin; I enjoyed it and it was nice seeing ASH. But nowhere near the level of Buffy as far as I'm concerned.

I catch the occasional Bones episode, but don't really follow it.

I've only seen the first episode of Lost and as for Battlestar Galactica, I only watched the original version when I was a kid...

As for non-drama, I love watching QI.

anca wrote:(Call me shallow) Spartacus Blood and Sand and Diary of a London Call Girl.


Call that shallow? My guilty pleasure is America's Next Top Model :oops:
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Postby Jean-Vic » Fri May 28, 2010 2:18 pm

Doctor Who - I was really getting bored with RTD era. Every series was the same. Big build up and the big reveal is either Daleks, Cybermen or The Master. That, and it was camp. How can I really appreciate that the Doctor is dangerous when he is always involved in amazingly camps moments. Being saved by angels on the Titanic? Being empowered by the people of the world? Crap. But now, Matt Smith and SM have rejuvenated my love for the show. Moffat has done an amazing job and the stories he has told and is telling are great. Matt Smith is the greatest Doctor of the modern age and I don't care who knows it.

Flashforward - Really good. Great to see the Brtish showcasing our superior acting abilities once more by leading such a strong cast. Shame Fines had to put on an American accent. Kinda like House. All Americans know that Laurie and Fines are English and yet they have to use American accents? Also glad that the man who plays Simon is using a Northern accent, not the typical American interpretation of British accents which amounts to either posh or cockney.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Any Star Wars I can get I'll take. The first seaason was a bit too Anakin heavy and I would have liked to see other Jedi or Clones explored, like they were in the 2-D series. Season 2 has improved this and it hasn't been so Anakin heavy. I do have my problems with it, though. Firstly, the writers are sloppy in places. When you have Jedi such as Master Plo Koon or Master Luminara Unduli referring to Anakin as Master, I have to question why for the simple reaason that Anakin never was and never has been a Jedi Master. Even when he was put on the Council (by force of Palpatine) he wasn't granted that rank. I also don't like how they have Anakin refer to superior Jedi by their first names. Obi Wan is fair enough because they were best friends, but Anakin calling Master Windu Mace is another eyebrow raiser. Just sloppy I feel. Also, my biggest peeve with the series is that the Republic always win. We are supposed to believe this was the most violent war in centuries and the biggest threat to the Republic possibly since the fall of the Sith Empre 1000 years earlier, and yet the Republic always win. The Jedi and Clones have become invincible and I don't like it. One of the joys of the 2-D series was that the good guys died. In the last episode General Grievous defeated 5 jedi on his own, 3 of which were Masters I believe, two of which were on the Council. Now, Grievous is a laughing stock. He poses no threat because the Republic always win, and he always loses. The droids are incompetent and are there to provide the childish elements for the kids. We need a more menacing threat on the part of the Separatists. It is no surprise that some of the most popular episodes involve the Jedi and the Republic losing. How great was it to see Cad Bane outsmart the entire Jedi Temple and then outsmart Anakin in a later skirmish and win? It was a great thing to watch because it made the war and the struggle more real. My other issue is the shallowness of the series so far. We have here Clones who in a matter of 1-2 years if not less will be betraying their Jedi friends for the Emperor. Why don't we learn more about Palpatine's plot and his machinations to overthrow the Jedi? Why don't we get some perspective on how the people feel about the war, the people who turned on the Jedi and sided with the Emperor? Why don't we see how the war affects the Jedi, and whether it changes their views? It's all too black and white, cut and ddry. These issues need to be focused on more and not so much the action. On the whole though, an enjoyable series.

Eastenders - I'm really sorry!!

Futurama - Loved the original series. Disappointed it was cancelled. The TV movies were OK, not great, but looking forward to Series 5 and I hope they sell it to a british company soon so I can see them.

TNA iMPACT! - Again, I'm sorry, but I've loved Pro Wrestling since I was 10 and its still in my veins.

Big Bang Theory - Best sitcom in years, IMO. Sheldon is one of the best chaaracters ever.

I think that's everything for me.
I'm so glad I'm an Asshole!
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Postby hawkedup » Fri May 28, 2010 5:15 pm

Futurama! How could I forget? I'm so happy they are bringing it back. Last I heard it was supposed to start airing again in June. Anyone else heard an update about it?

As for Merlin being better than Buffy, the first season is by far better than the first season of Buffy. I'm on episode 9 or so of Season 2 and depending on how the final episodes play out, I'd say it's as good as Buffy Season 2. Not only that but the show is building and only getting better. I also like that not only is the integrated comedy getting funnier, but that they do episodes that are at least 80% comedies. I just saw an episode where Uther marries a troll (I had to pause it from laughing at one point and I don't know if I've ever had to do that before). I don't think I've laughed so much since I watched one of the funny Buffy episodes. Is it better than the collected 7 season of Buffy? Of course not, but does it have the same potential that Buffy had early in its run? Yes, I believe it does. Especially this second season which feels much tighter.

I made it about 3 seasons into Weeds and stopped. It wasn't that I found the show bad or anything, but it just didn't offer that same freshness and comedy that the first season did. I don't know, I just stopped caring what happened and once that happens I tend not to go on. I do remember that certain characters started doing things that felt very out of character for the sake of the plot, and that is something I can't forgive. It's one of the major reasons I despise Lost and BSG so much now.

I'm going to throw a 2nd in for Warehouse 13. It's fairly shaky, but it started to find its groove toward the end of the first season. I also like that it's sort of goofy and funny rather than taking itself too seriously like a show like that could have done.

Here are some I didn't list because they were either canceled early or eventually ruined by the network (and then canceled):

Firefly
Dollhouse
Veronica Mars
Wonderfalls
Crusade (Babylon 5 spin-off)
Dead Like Me
Rome
The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Drive

By the way, has anyone gone back and watched Dollhouse a second time having seen to the end of Season 2? I liked Dollhouse the first time through, but I'm only now starting to see just how good it is and could have been had it gone all 5 seasons.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Fri May 28, 2010 9:53 pm

By the way, has anyone gone back and watched Dollhouse a second time having seen to the end of Season 2? I liked Dollhouse the first time through, but I'm only now starting to see just how good it is and could have been had it gone all 5 seasons.


I'll re-watch the whole series once the season 2 DVD's come out and I have them.
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Postby hawkedup » Sat May 29, 2010 9:00 am

Yeah. I've only technically re-watched season 1 and am about halfway through Season 2. Any word on when Season 2 DVD comes out?
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Postby Double Dutchess » Sat May 29, 2010 1:40 pm

hawkedup wrote:As for Merlin being better than Buffy, the first season is by far better than the first season of Buffy. I'm on episode 9 or so of Season 2 and depending on how the final episodes play out, I'd say it's as good as Buffy Season 2.


Yes, I was comparing it to BtVS as a whole, not just the first season, and that probably wasn't fair. And now I'm starting to feel bad about not having watched the second series of Merlin!
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Sat May 29, 2010 4:55 pm

hawkedup wrote:Yeah. I've only technically re-watched season 1 and am about halfway through Season 2. Any word on when Season 2 DVD comes out?


I haven't heard anything about the season 2 release.Probably will be in the Fall sometime.
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Postby DanielW » Sat May 29, 2010 5:13 pm

Double Dutchess wrote:
hawkedup wrote:As for Merlin being better than Buffy, the first season is by far better than the first season of Buffy. I'm on episode 9 or so of Season 2 and depending on how the final episodes play out, I'd say it's as good as Buffy Season 2.


Yes, I was comparing it to BtVS as a whole, not just the first season, and that probably wasn't fair. And now I'm starting to feel bad about not having watched the second series of Merlin!

It's good, Arthur finally starts to be put in his place for being an arrogant twat, Merlin gets some respect (sort of), and Morgaine realises that she's a magic user.
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