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Exiles of the New York Times
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Question: What is the best show of the most anticipated new shows this fall?
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Author Topic: Television  (Read 14226 times)
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obertray
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« Reply #585 on: September 25, 2007, 10:39:23 AM »

1. The Prisoner Finale... Not at all what I had been lead to believe, so far as I understood both what I had been lead and what it was. #6 is not #1, the computer was not specifically significant. and the show was less psychodelic than many of the earlier episodes. Overall, it was a joyous ending. It was like Christmas though, it was only over because the end came. There was nothing in this episode that prevents this from being just another setup by the "them" whomever them are, and he'll wind up in Portmerion tomorrow morning.

If I were to pick nits about this program, I'd be all over the idea that a good spy would be able to figure out where he was by watching the suns angle and it's relative sunrise times etc.
I'd point out that the jet flyover in the Many Happy Returns ep where they show the village off the coast of Iberia couldn't work, given that the vilage was 30 miles out of London.

But I won't. It was a fun show that, as Barton contends, in the wellspring from which many of today's psychodramas flow.

2. Bill Clinton on Jon Stewart... Boy looks thin! Another Democrat doing even better as a former president than he did as a president. It's good to see.

3. The Big Bang Theory... I couldn't place the one guy (the short one), I knew I knew him, and that he was usualy cringing in fear... I cheated... I won't spoil it for others playing the game at home. It turned out pretty funny. I don't know that they'll be able to continue very long, but then I'm not trying to make money on the show, so I'm not willing to do the work that it will take to maintain it.  I'm sorry Stephen Colbert, Mondays at 8:30 go to this show, so far.

4. 2 and a half Men... Very good season starter. A lot of good laughs, nobody seems to be phoning it in, everybody seems to want to be there.

5. Rules of Engagement... Solid.  Funny. The frat boyedness of Puddy is more than a little over the top, but otherwise its still a good "one more for the road" of Monday night.

Tonight is House and Boston Legal. I would like to watch Reaper but it's against House, I'm not betting against the House.

Speaking of whom. It looks like L&O:CI will be against ER. How ironic will that be if CI beats ER?

 
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barton
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« Reply #586 on: September 25, 2007, 10:58:06 AM »

Ah, the Prisoner finale.  Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones!  What is to become of the midget butler (the only other regularly billed actor in the series, besides McGoo)?  Odd, indeed, to discover the village is on the coast of Kent, when the surrounding hills have always looked so very Welsh.  Is the Prisoner an allegorical hero, who is imprisoned only by himself?  Was the Village a drunken paranoid dream, following a resignation bender?  A virtual reality created by foreign spies, mining our man for information?  Too early in the morning here...

2.5 Men -- I don't do sitcoms, generally, but have watched this on occasion and found myself laughing against my better judgement.  It's refreshing to see a tv show where a child, instead of being smarter and better than his elders, can be somewhat dim-witted and oafish.  Cryer and Sheen seem to be putting a new spin on an old duality, perhaps best presented in The Odd Couple.  The housekeeper is priceless. 
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Dzimas
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« Reply #587 on: September 25, 2007, 11:10:34 AM »

There's nothing wrong with a narrower than global perspective, as long as your not passing it off as a comprehensive view, I don't see the validity of such a vapid point.

Burn missed the boat on Jazz, giving a very narrow view of the subject material, so it doesn't surprise me that there is criticism to his take on The War.  The same has been true for all Burn's documentaries.  He presents a great number of compelling pictures, but he oftens misses the big picture, even in his highly acclaimed Civil War, where he chose to write out Reconstruction, even that which had begun in 1864.  Eric Foner, for one, was very upset as he had been consulted on the series.  Foner later pushed for and got PBS to do a two-part special on Reconstruction.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 11:13:06 AM by Dzimas » Logged
Dzimas
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« Reply #588 on: September 25, 2007, 11:13:54 AM »

Barton, I just love it when our two images of Duchovny appear top and bottom.
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MrUtley3
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« Reply #589 on: September 25, 2007, 01:15:15 PM »

There's nothing wrong with a narrower than global perspective, as long as your not passing it off as a comprehensive view, I don't see the validity of such a vapid point.

Burn missed the boat on Jazz, giving a very narrow view of the subject material, so it doesn't surprise me that there is criticism to his take on The War.  The same has been true for all Burn's documentaries.  He presents a great number of compelling pictures, but he oftens misses the big picture, even in his highly acclaimed Civil War, where he chose to write out Reconstruction, even that which had begun in 1864.  Eric Foner, for one, was very upset as he had been consulted on the series.  Foner later pushed for and got PBS to do a two-part special on Reconstruction.




Well, if you study the Reconstruction Era, you will understand the Republican Party.

As for "The War", so far, I am enjoying it, and teh folksy way of weaving domestic experience with individual combat experience and policy. NOt an easy task, and provocative.

I don't look at documentaries as comprehensive summaries of events, but rather thought provoking forays that create a desire in you to learn more.

Maybe that's why I give Burns the room to be creative and not all-encompassing in his work.
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obertray
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« Reply #590 on: September 25, 2007, 02:06:00 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCUBxgdKZ_Y&mode=related&search=

I pasted this over in Comedy too but... These have to be among the funniest Tv commercials of all time! Big fan as I am of the "Vee Dub representin Deutschland in da houze!" ads, these I can't believe someone actually did. I'm also shocked that I saw these ads on the tube considering that they are for a dealership a full continent away from my home.

These are the Trunk Monkey spots. A set of ads where there is a monkey in the trunk of your Suburban Dealership auto. This money tries to bribe a cop, foils a car theif, chases down some eggers, chaperones a date and a few other monkeyshines. It will brighten up your day (especially if its going good already!) 

I'm a little embarassed by the fact that I didn't recognize these as an ad package which was purchased by any number of auto dealers across the nation. I guess that goes to show the good job that was done by the seller in meshing the local client's name into the package. To contrast, there is a law firm in maine that uses Robert Vaugn in it's ads and it is so clumsily done (the localization) that it makes it look like a spoof of the concept (sort of like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. did to spy shows).
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 10:01:00 AM by obertray » Logged
Dzimas
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« Reply #591 on: September 25, 2007, 02:12:41 PM »


Well, if you study the Reconstruction Era, you will understand the Republican Party.


It is this kind of narrow views which I'm talking about.
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caclark
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« Reply #592 on: September 25, 2007, 03:33:16 PM »

I’ve always found Ken Burns’ history to be sound in its reporting. The flak he took from Eric Foner over The Civil War was not because of what he put into the series but because of what he left out. I find that criticism small and petty.

Admittedly, Eric Foner is one of our most renowned Civil War historians while Burns is a filmmaker. But the series was Burn’s project, not Foner’s. Burns was the creative force that envisioned it and then made it happen, the one whose prerogative it rightly was to decide what the focus would be. Had he bowed to Foner, it would have been Eric Foner’s Civil War instead of Ken Burns’ Civil War.

Every history is limited in its scope. The one whose property it is decides at what point to stop and wrap it up in editing his material. Perhaps Foner should have produced his own film documentary on the Civil War instead of sniping at Burns who trusted his own instincts in keeping creative control over his own work.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 04:23:40 PM by caclark » Logged
Dzimas
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« Reply #593 on: September 25, 2007, 11:42:35 PM »

Documentaries are a little different than dramas, Burn doesn't seem to know the distinction.  He treats history as drama.  Of course, it makes it more compelling, but he chooses to cut what doesn't fit within his dramatic sense of events, and as a result there are a lot of gaping holes in his narrative.  He sought out Foner and others to consult him on Civil War, and then chose to ignore their advice.  In this sense, Burn is little different than a television producer.
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #594 on: September 25, 2007, 11:58:37 PM »

I didn't know til now about the Burns/Foner "issue"--could there have been just a wee bit o' sour grapes involved?

Burns and Novick were interviewed on a local PBS station by Josh Kornbluth (a comic monologuist/tv interviewer in SF) and I was surprised at the passion Burns exhibited about his subject and his "from the bottom up" approach.  He noted that WWII vets are dying at the rate of 1,000 a day, saying one can't know that and not act.  He also said if one didn't fight in that war or wait for someone fighting in it to come home, they would not be in the movie.  Perhaps he was most emotional in his antipathy to calling it a "good war"--obviously considering such a thing impossible, emphasizing instead that it was a "necessary war."  

Co-fiilmaker Novick seemed less emotional about the subject but she described more fully their method of choosing their subjects and the labor of going through archives, calling the 'net great but limited--one needs to dig through card catalogs and boxes of papers, etc.  

The only thing I don't know is if the station I'm watching edited out the swear words
as I read many stations did--for the kiddies, d'ya suppose, those who are likely daily bombarded with worse?  I'm sure not aware of such language, but it hasn't been on my mind as I watch.  

I did hear a pilot talking about number of missions to get a medal--naturally Catch-22  sprang to mind.  I suppose I should be ashamed, but that's the only WWII lit. I've read and I never developed a liking for war movies.  Though a large contingent of my relatives were from Bedford VA, which supplied a number of young men disproportionate to its population, I still have never seen Saving Private Ryan that was based on those.  Indeed, I only recently learned about a monument to them there.  

On the subject, a WWII movie I've never heard talked about is The Americanization of Emily--anyone here seen it and care to comment?  
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Dzimas
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« Reply #595 on: September 26, 2007, 12:44:26 AM »

Interesting that criticism turns into "sour grapes."  I suppose it is hard to argue with the success of Burn's documentaries, but I think there is always room for criticism.  He oftens knows very little about his subject matter heading into these documentaries.  He treats them as learning experiences, relying on historians to provide him with the necessary information.  Naturally, he is attracted to the more charismatic historians like Shelby Foote, who became the central authority figure in Civil War.  In Jazz, for whatever reason he chose to go with Wynton Marsalis as one of his main sources of information, and since Marsalis doesn't like fusion and avant-garde jazz there was little or no mention of it in the series.  The series pretty much cut jazz off at 1961 with the last 40+ years treated as an afterward.  There was a lot of criticism of his Baseball series.  Now, he does The War. Burn sticks to pretty much the same formula from one of these massive documentaries to the next, so I imagine the same criticisms apply.
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barton
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« Reply #596 on: September 26, 2007, 10:23:18 AM »

Dzimas, your Duchovny image needs a shave.
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« Reply #597 on: September 26, 2007, 10:42:38 AM »

CANE.




Simply........................





sizzling.
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caclark
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« Reply #598 on: September 26, 2007, 10:45:20 AM »

"....could there have been just a wee bit o' sour grapes involved?"

I’ve wondered about that myself. I don’t wish to accuse Foner who is a historian for whom I have great respect. But I will say that it can be hard for a professional historian not to resent nonprofessionals who popularize history and in return receive far wider acclaim than they and have the greater impact in shaping public perceptions. I say nonprofessional in the sense that Ken Burns is not a professional historian. But he is a professional filmmaker whose choice of subject matter shows a passion for history. From what I’ve seen of his work, he handles it responsibly and evenly. So when he occasionally steps on the toes of someone like Foner, keep in mind that every interpretation of history is subjective and subject to challenge.

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obertray
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« Reply #599 on: September 26, 2007, 10:47:03 AM »

The House of Legal Ill Repute...

Well, Boston won this time Yankee fans!

Boston Legal's 90 minute season opener stepped on House's "footprint" and so I don't know what happened in the second half of House as a result, I have only a passing knowledge of what happened in the first half, because I knew I wouldn't see the end.

John Larroquette as the new Rene Auberjonois... Very special guest star Mark Valley... Wha? HUH!?! I guess I should have saved that final episode from last year to catch up after all (or before all as the perception may be). Bad news for John though, sleeping with Schmitt has a deleterious effect on one's life span on this show. If I were him I'd make sure that I was ALWAYS the second or third person to get on the elevator! I'm very happy to see JL here and if I remember correctly, many of The Practice's fans were hoping that he would reappear (although I am not sure if he was a guy who showed up as a criminal in the other show, if so then this would be a different character.) Poole was a criminal in the Law & Order series, killing multiple wives and lovers over the years. Its always fun to see him back once in a while (he'd be good late season to pull Denny's bacon from the fire in a "two against one, named partner" showdown... just after all our other hopes are dashed).

I guess the annoying Italian girlfriend of Clarence is gone. I'm not sure that America was ready for an "Inter weight class" romance of such diametrically opposed personality types.

It's nice to see that Hermione got over that whole Hogwarts thing and brought her talents and charms to bear on another misfit genius. And then she showed her stuff by taming a bear... Brilliant Hermione!

With all the people who are no longer with the firm, its surprising that she has to share an office with (I can't think of his name...Hands) almost as surprising as JL handing his first case off to the newest new girl in the whole fricken office. But then "we all have our quirks, some of us just hide them better than others".

As to Shirley's case... Sometimes this show gets too depressing by half! It is nice to see though the good fight for sanity by the trial lawyers bar (if that's the right term) even if/as we contrast that against Hermione defending "the obvious killer" and Alan's admission that he doesn't care if the guy is guilty or not, he only cares about the application of law. (so i guess, it really is contrasted, seeing as its Alan on both issues).

Overall, enough new blood to make it fun and enough of the old blood to keep it that way.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 10:57:58 AM by obertray » Logged
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