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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 15700 times)
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Donotremove
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« Reply #705 on: October 04, 2007, 11:53:44 AM »

Maddy, I have managed to keep up with Damages by missing the last 30 minutes of The War on Tuesdays.  On my cable, Damages runs again on several different days but I can never remember which days or when.  I have not been as impressed with The War as I was with Burns The Civil War, which was unabashedly stunning film making.  Perhaps it is because, over the years, I have seen lots of WWII "war" series (on PBS), plus Victory At Sea.

Wasn't A Town Called Alice a film that highlighted the travail of the Europeans imprisoned by the Japanese in Malaysia and elswhere?  I have that movie on VHS somewhere here in the house.  First time I saw that Brown fellow and I was impressed by his handling of his role.  He's Australian, of course, but not with a capital A--being an Aussie is only part of who he is.

I sympathize with anyone asked to recall adverse experience to an American audience of a certain age and class, no matter how exotic the locale.  A quick survey will suffice, thank you. Let me come in there, sideways, Gene.  You want to hear about adversity . . . ?

If you can catch a rerun of the first episode of Five Days on HBO, do it.  There will be five episodes, Tuesdays at 8 Eastern/Pacific, 7 Central.  It's about a mother and her two children that disappeared--poof--on their way to visit grandfather (played by Edward Woodward, whom I thought was dead).  BBC.  Good stuff.
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madupont
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« Reply #706 on: October 04, 2007, 12:01:53 PM »

donotremove,
" I have not been as impressed with The War as I was with Burns The Civil War, which was unabashedly stunning film making."

Yes, but could you dance to it?  It started getting to me about the third episode and I could no longer resist. That was the music that we all knew how to dance to in those years. Right after dzimas had remarked that Wynton wasn't going far enough with the scoring, I saw the big band creation they did and had footage on for Ken Burns to use --and there was a man who was seated at the piano and commenced to play stride boogey just like my father used to play for relaxation, with a little barrelhouse on the side.
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harrie
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« Reply #707 on: October 04, 2007, 12:12:10 PM »

Admittedly, I'm shallow -- but Ken Burns ruined The Civil War for me, and it's a subject I'm pretty interested in to begin with.  Burns' The Civil War just droned on (IMO), beating point after point to a bloody, grisly death.  That doc actually killed my interest in the topic for a couple years, to the point where anything Burns does, I tend to avoid.  And yes, I realize I'm in the minority on this one.

By contrast, I'm really enjoying The War (so to speak).  I think the difference for me is, it's real people speaking of their experiences versus a good reading over period music.  The stories are at times so wild, yet told in such a matter-of-fact way that I just hang on every word.  My parents have/had their own stories from that time, but dad was 4-F so they're all stateside stories, though I had uncles who fought.  Even though I'm taking The War in bits and pieces, not watching every night -- still afraid of  overkill -- it's a highly rewarding program.
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madupont
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« Reply #708 on: October 04, 2007, 05:01:38 PM »

donotremove,re:#710

I found it! and, immediately watched it, although it has been awhile since I had my ears quite that attuned to  Britishisms of tonality. I recognized Janet McTeer as the officer with the blonde hank of hair falling over her face which signaled me that she was trying to do it authentically as Helen Mirren had done for her series on tv. And here's what I put together in case you have forgotten what else she does so well. In the first example she was  the big lady dressed appropriately somewhat post-war in what had been Forties fashions who discovers someone is secretly entering the back-door to the barn which she can see while she is washing up, so that Miss Marple can discover that some young lady is posing for the artist who has a painting studio out there.

1.Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage (2004) (TV) .... Anne Protheroe
2.Songcatcher (2000) .... Professor Lily Penleric, PhD
3.Carrington (1995) .... Vanessa Bell
4.Wuthering Heights (1992) .... Ellen Dean
... aka Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (USA: complete title)
5.The Black Velvet Gown (1991) (TV) .... Riah Millican
... aka Catherine Cookson's The Black Velvet Gown (UK: complete title)
6.Portrait of a Marriage (1990) (TV) .... Vita Sackville-West
7.Miss Julie (1987) (TV) .... Miss Julie
8.Half Moon Street (1986) .... Van Arkady's Secretary

She has done much more than this but these are what I have seen of her work starting with,The Black Velvet Gown, on PBS, possibly Masterpiece Theatre.
The last thing that I saw her in was,The Intended, with Olympia Dukakis, which was quite weird, nerve-wracking and probably could out-horrify beyond The Poisonwood Bible but I don't think that I would have recalled the name at the time that reading was  "being conducted" . In any case, the cast of characters for the PB would not know what to make of people like those in,The Intended, for which Mcteer did some of the writing for the adaptation from a Danish writer.

One thing that I absolutely did not see her in was this:102 Boulevard Haussmann (1990) (TV) .... Celeste
because I can't see how I would even imagine Alan Bates as Marcel Proust!

I went down Edward Woodward's list because I've seen him play everything from Sherlock Holmes to Cardinal Wolsey but he's the guy you always call,"You know, what's-his-name".

I shall look for A Town Called Alice, to determine if it is what I have seen  My sisters lived on a street called Alyce; which kept me confused for a bit but they have now moved on to separate head-quarters.
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TrojanHorse
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« Reply #709 on: October 04, 2007, 05:06:20 PM »

ok sorry if I missed it...


Full details on The War :  What network  and you say Wednesdays or Tuesdays?
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harrie
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« Reply #710 on: October 04, 2007, 06:23:50 PM »

The War is running on PBS channels, so check your local listings (though the linked page says Wednesdays at 9, so there you go).  Here's a link, usually you can input your ZIP code and get info -- http://www.pbs.org/thewar/ 
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obertray
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« Reply #711 on: October 05, 2007, 12:15:02 PM »

The new and improved version of L&O:CI premiered on USA last night... Now let me please understand what is going on with USA first of all. Apparently they are going to have a night that is devoted to currently running NBC shows, the run Fox reruns (House) and they have their own shows (CI and Monk being two that jump to mind as full production valued shows, Psyche being anotherish. Ish in this case being based on the star power of the players Dule from Holes and West Wing and Corbin Bernson being the big names.) Television has changed, and I guess I have to say that it is for the better.

So they changed the theme music and successfully made it 1970's futuristic, Hated it.

Bobby is fetal in the opening, ignoring a call from 1 Police Plaza (although why they were calling a guy with two more weeks of disability leave after the death of his mother, and a guy that is considered a lunatic in the first second and third case is a mystery) But he takes the cell phone call from Eames and rejoins the world with only that slightest nod to the cliff he fell off over the summer. All he needed was a shave, what a man!

Ok, so he is reverting to Private Gomer Pyle size (I understood that he put on 50 pounds for that role, but only for the role) in my mind that makes him more relatable to in that..well let's just say that I'd have a hard making it through the USMC obstacle course my first time through these days. This is really a non issue to me but it bears noting, just so that it is not interpreted as ignoring.

The show was good. You'd never know there was a difference.

I'm sorry to see that Noth's partner has changed again, and I don't know that the other one got written out of the part. I thought that when she started that there was going to be an issue around her sexuality, but/and it is a tribute to the show that it never became one and that it was such a nonissue. She was good at her job, that's all that mattered, and because of it she was a likable character. I sorry to not see her go. Noth is swinging for the Jack McCoy record for assistants, then he's looking for the impossible, The Murphy Brown cup!

Mad Men...

Only saw half as it was the twilighter after L&O, but I really didn't feel the need to stay with it. Drapper is a less and less likable guy with each new episode. Now that I think of it, I am curious about the brother, was he successful in his suicide? What was in the package he mailed? Why'd he leave the money stacked behind( not that he coulda taken it with him, but that he coulda shipped it back to Don)? I don't really care why he killed himself... watch that be the important part. I can see where this might be the point of the show (there's a good reason that white males shouldn't be allowed to run the world by themselves) but I guess it's just the idea that I don't like antiheroes. Don't come into my living room and demand that I like you despite you're being a despicible person.

Advertising, I find fascinating. The brains behind advertising I find exciting. Their penii I find much less interesting.
 
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lulu
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« Reply #712 on: October 06, 2007, 10:13:14 AM »

I too watched the new L&O:Criminal Intent.  I really don't want to hear about their private lives.  And if Goren is such a lunatic, how comes he solves a lot of the cases.  I think they threw in too many red herrings and it got more involved than he should have.

And where did Goren learn so much.?
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madupont
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« Reply #713 on: October 06, 2007, 03:50:34 PM »

donotremove,re:#710

This is a bit complicated but bear with me for my heart is pure and it is all for a good cause. Which is what is said about the hero of this story known as: The Town like Alice.  Or, things we probably would not have known otherwise. 

In order to determine if I had seen this, I looked it up and there were at least three different offerings(although it seems to me that the idea was so recurrently popular that a number of variations were made suitable to each era).  The original, however, is a novel by Nevil Shute whose name you surely recognize as did I; but that was the one of three versions where I was lucky to find that out right from the start. It was written in 1950, made into a film in 1956 which was followed by the film of: On the Beach, in 1959, from the book published in 1957.

Shute had begun to write way back in the 1920s but was actually an aeronautical engineer. "By the outbreak of World War II, Shute was already a rising novelist. Even as war seemed imminent he was working on military projects with his former Vickers boss Sir Dennistoun Burney. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a sub-lieutenant and soon ended up in what would become the Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development. There he was a department head, working on secret weapons such as Panjandrum, a job that appealed to the engineer in him. His celebrity as a writer caused the Ministry of Information to send him to the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944 and later to Burma as a correspondent.

In 1948, after World War II, he flew his own plane to Australia. On his return home, concerned about the general decline in his home country, he decided that he and his family would emigrate and so, in 1950, he settled with his wife and two daughters, on farmland at Langwarrin, south-east of Melbourne.[1]Australia features in many of his later novels, including the well-known A Town Like Alice (1950). He had a brief career as a racing driver in Australia between 1956 and 1958, driving a white XK140 Jaguar. Some of this experience found its way into his book On the Beach." [wikipedia]

Nevil Shute Norway(his birth name) died in 1960.  The miniseries of--
A Town like Alice,appeared on tv in 1980.  By 2001,the documentary appeared; A Profile of a Town like Alice.

As you can see, the format of how the story is presented changed to suit each era, so I guess it depends which version you have?

But here are the ideas that went into the work, straight from his life.

"The framing story of A Town Like Alice (U.S. title: The Legacy) concerns business development as a moral imperative. Jean Paget, who has inherited money, explains to her solicitor that she wants to return to Malaya, where she was a prisoner of war under the Japanese, and dig a well for the villagers who helped save her life. By the end of the book, for equally highminded (and economically hardheaded) reasons, she is operating a small shoe factory in an Australian outback town, then an ice cream parlor where the factory staff can spend their wages, then a cinema and other ventures. and the development Jean has begun is putting the previously dingy Willstown on track to become "a town like Alice Springs". "[wikipedia]

"Shute's novels frequently present private enterprise (along with self-reliance and individual responsibility) as a source of moral good. In this respect, he advocates a theme found in some examples of American 1950s literature, such as that of Ayn Rand or Cameron Hawley.

The roots of this belief can be clearly traced back to his involvement as a young engineer in the drama of the two competing airships R100 (private) and R101 (state). To him, the catastrophic failure of the R101 deeply symbolised the unsoundness of socialist teaching and planning. [citation needed]

A Town Like Alice is a characteristic example. Jean Paget, who has been working as a secretary in a pleasant but uninspiring job, has received a substantial legacy from her uncle. She ponders what she should do, now that she no longer needs to work. The following exchange, as described by her solicitor, Noel Strachan, flashes by almost as an aside, but is key to Jean's character and the story:

I knew of several charitable appeals who would have found a first-class shorthand-typist, unpaid, a perfect godsend and I told her so. She was inclined to be critical about those; "Surely, if a thing is really worth while, it'll pay," she said. She evidently had quite a strong business instinct latent in her. "It wouldn't need to have an unpaid secretary."
"Charitable organizations like to keep the overheads down," I remarked.
"I shouldn't have thought organizations that haven't got enough margin to pay a secretary can possibly do very much good," she said. "If I'm going to work at anything, I want it to be something really worthwhile."
[wikipedia]

"His prescience about how British Socialism, after WWII, would tend to destroy what he conceived as the British way of life, and his own views on this, were espoused in works such as In the Wet and The Far Country."...Shute lived a comfortable middle class English life, during a period, from the turn of the nineteenth century to past the middle of the twentieth, where class was a predominant factor in life. His heroes often tended to be middle class: solicitors, doctors, accountants, bank managers. Invariably, like himself, they had enjoyed the privilege of university, not then the purview of the lower classes."[wikipedia]


I count at least 24-25 works of what were referred to as "popular literature" or popular fiction but heavy on the technical details of science and engineering;the nuts and bolts of things. Speaking of "nuts", he has also a  supernatural element  about one (nut) who develops a new religion centered about himself, which Shute considered to be his best writing : Round the Bend.

I should not leave out what the estimation of his, On the Beach, was in that two year period from when it was read by the public until they had seen the movie.  "...set in a world slowly dying from the effects of an atomic war. Its popularity is owed in part to its adaptation as a film, which Shute despised because of the liberties taken with his characters."

On the Beach
"Shute's most famous novel, On the Beach, was published in 1957 and is one of his least characteristic: dark in tone and devoid of his usual optimism. It is set in Australia after a nuclear war has devastated the northern hemisphere, with air circulation patterns slowly bringing the fallout to the southern hemisphere. Ostensibly about nuclear war, it is really an examination of how people choose to live and prepare for death when they have knowledge of imminent death.

Shute's optimism is still present in a veiled form. The tone of the book is melancholic but not at all angry. He does not envision a violent breakdown in society, his characters do not whine, rail or riot but try their best to cope with the inevitable and to "muddle through" -- though their "stiff upper lip" demeanour (very typical of Shute) may be seen as implausible and can be difficult for readers to accept. Published in 1957, the book played a role in influencing U.S. public opinion towards support of the atmospheric test ban treaty.

In 2007, Gideon Haigh wrote an article in The Monthly arguing that On the Beach is Australia's most important novel. He writes that "it was the first book of its kind and still among the most shocking. Most novels of apocalypse posit at least a group of survivors and the semblance of hope. On The Beach allows nothing of the kind."[2] He explains that within months it had been serialised in more than 40 newspapers, some of which had never serialised novels before. The rights to adapt it to the screen were acquired by Stanley Kramer. It was filmed on location in Melbourne, starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner, and released in 1959. It became the first American film shown in the Soviet Union."








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madupont
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« Reply #714 on: October 07, 2007, 11:36:50 AM »

donotremove,

I tracked down that essay mentioned in the last paragraph.
re: Gideon Haigh

http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2007/07/writers-choic-2.html
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Donotremove
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« Reply #715 on: October 07, 2007, 12:47:48 PM »

Thank you, Maddy.
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kidcarter8
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« Reply #716 on: October 07, 2007, 04:28:24 PM »

RAH

YAY
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obertray
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« Reply #717 on: October 08, 2007, 12:03:37 PM »

I too watched the new L&O:Criminal Intent.  I really don't want to hear about their private lives.  And if Goren is such a lunatic, how comes he solves a lot of the cases.  I think they threw in too many red herrings and it got more involved than he should have.

And where did Goren learn so much.?

Where did Goren learn so much? We'', he DID play Professor Moriarty in a very credible Sherlock movie just before he joind the L&O family http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337593/.

But seriously folk... I always was under the impression that police work  (and his mother) were all that occupied his mind and time and that this added to his training as a profiler equaled an encylopedic knowledege of everything.

On second viewing of the L&O:CI ep a second change became apparent. Product placement!

When the swat team comes motoring down the street and the breaks squeel them to a stop, the camera shot is of the Chevy symbol in hub of the hub cap. It ended up facing right side up.

Then there was the Twister twist. The new skateboard configuration with two inline wheels on a double platform doohickey (they sell them in Sharper Image IIRC) Not only did it figure into the case but a little kid actually gave us a demonstration of how it works. It blended into the story just fine, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that it is happening (crusader against product placement that I have been).

A video store in the area is shutting down and so I vultured in to pick its bones... I got only two of the six discs of L&O the first season. I'm sorry to report that this show was terrible! The acting was stiff, the writing had an extra H (writhing) and the sets were downright depressing. We were all asleep at 8:30 when we sat down to watch it. It could use some commercials to break up the monochromatic, monotonal monotony!   

We also got the Sherlock TV pic mentioned.
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madupont
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« Reply #718 on: October 08, 2007, 12:24:47 PM »

lulu,

After catching up a bit on Criminal Intent last night in between other things, I'm definitely signed on for the Thursday episodes as there is no escaping the inuendo presented to us in the new CI promo. In other words, it was like saying: "Carrie is gone for good, now that I'm here!" (with a little aura reflecting Noth was once Mr. Big before he joined Criminal Intent.)  Can't help it, I like watching his work, it is very nuanced despite his photogenic presence.

I have other reasons for watching this show as well but if I mention it, the hate patrol will add another name to that list of  people I know which is their reason to carp about me.  Is it a jealousy thing do you think? pardon the Jersey vernacular.
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madupont
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« Reply #719 on: October 08, 2007, 12:25:21 PM »

Donotremove, 

You are welcome.
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