Thursday, September 21, 2006

Speaking of TV

(At Bryan's request, I've reformatted the quoted email sections for readability.)

CKL:
Speaking of TV, what are you guys watching these days? DeeAnn and I
just got addicted to "House", and are trying to make the last season
of "Deadwood" last for a while...

Bryan:
Well, believe it or not, you two got us totally hooked on another series:
Battlestar Galactica. After you gave us the season 1 DVDs, I went out and
got the mini-series. I'd seen it before and liked it, but hadn't thought
much about it since. I liked the mini-series much more the second time. I
think the first time I saw it I couldn't see past the original show
(embarrassed to say I'm a fan). The second time I judged the mini-series
solely on its own merits. By the end of the first episode of the 1st season,
I was hooked, Karin about half a season later. We've since bought and
watched season 2.0 and 2.5.

Now that we've seen all the episodes of Battlestar, we're casting about for
a new show to watch. What we really want is another drama series like
Battlestar, Lost, Buffy/Angel, or Babylon 5, with long story arcs,
feature-film-like production values, and ideally (but not necessarily) in
the science-fiction genre. Suggestions? We picked up this DVD that has the
pilots for four HBO series. It has Entourage, Deadwood, Big Love, and Rome.
We've watched Entourage and Deadwood, but weren't impressed enough with
either one to buy the 1st season DVDs. We've watched a few of the new series
(Justice, Eureka, Psych), but so far they've all been duds.

CKL:
Deadwood is great, but very particular. You may want to give it a couple more episodes. It's available from Netflix:

http://www.netflix.com/MovieDisplay?movieid=70019088

Rome is absolutely amazing-- like "I, Claudius," but grittier. Season 2 starts in November, and season 1 is on DVD.

Carnivale only lasted 2 seasons on HBO, but it was fantastic in every sense of the word. If you haven't seen it, I think it's exactly what you're looking for. On DVD now.

I really liked "Murder One," the ABC series from the 1990s. It was billed as "a novel for television," and I think that might have put off a lot of people who weren't ready to commit up front. The first season was great, except for the deus-ex-machina ending. The second season wasn't quite as engrossing, but still good.

Of the new shows, "Studio 60" looks pretty good based on the pilot and its pedigree. It's written by Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote "Sports Night" and the first few seasons of "The West Wing." I personally love all his stuff; he and Joss Whedon are probably the only two creators I'd follow anywhere.

I have high hopes and low expectations for "Heroes."

I'm sure "Shark" will be entertaining, if only because of James Woods. "Smith" and "Jericho" both sound interesting, but I'm reserving judgment until I see a few episodes.

We watched a few episodes of "Blade: The Series," which seemed to have an interesting premise and set-up (warring vampire clans), but I think we've pretty much given up on it at this point.

Bryan:
I've even been looking at some British drama serials to see if there's
something we might like. I found this page:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/tv/100/list/genre.php?gid=2 so I'm
considering some of those. Have you ever seen any of the Quatermass stuff?
Is it worth watching? I think I saw 'Five Million Years To Earth'
(Quatermass and the Pit, the movie) once when I was a kid and was terrified
by it.

CKL:
I've never seen the Quatermass series, but I liked the movie too. :)

I've heard good things about "The Sandbaggers," a British spy series from the 1970s.

I've been watching "Hex" on BBC America, and it's not bad-- I haven't seen every episode, and it sometimes takes itself too seriously, but the end of the first season had some spiffy, almost Whedonesque plot twists.

I really like "Life on Mars," also on BBC America-- it's kind of like Quantum Leap meets The Streets of San Francisco, but set in Manchester, England. Unfortunately, they cut down the episodes to fit the 1-hour broadcast time slot, and it's often very obvious. This is especially annoying since they don't trim other shows like "Footballers Wives." I'm probably just going to get the UK DVDs, which are also widescreen. :)

Hope this helps!

~CKL
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