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SuaveStar

What are you watching and enjoying?

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Dread   

I have been watching a few of the Max Fleisher Superman cartoons. The animation is beautiful. I did not believe the claim that these cartoons inspired the look of Miyazaki's robot until I saw it now I am convinced. (If you can listen carefully you can hear Miyazaki stomping his feet in protest)

I wonder if Lois had the reputation of being the ultimate damsel in distress when the show came out. In the episodes I have seen her:

- Shoot train thieves with a tommy gun.

- Fight a racist cartoon while her hands were tied.

- Infiltrate a Nazi headquarter in order to give the location of a pending U-boat raid to the R.A.F.

- Tie up terrorists while in a out of control rocket car.

also she totally knows that Superman is Clark.

Lois in the Fleischer cartoons is freaking amazing. And a total babe.

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The Fleischer Lois Lane is perfect: smart, curious, saucy, tough, and headstrong.

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Donomark   

Dunno where else to post this, but four episodes into the new Twin Peaks and I have no clue what in the fuck is going on. Moreso than the last show, at least that had a general narrative to follow.

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This week on Lois & Clark: Our heroes find themselves in quite a pickle when an evil businessman learns to harness the powers of photoshop.

 

I am so happy my laptop decided to play DVDs again. I've missed this.

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Dan   

"Do not trust the Amish. They are NOT your friends."

L&C could be really great when it wanted to be.

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Rjoyadet   
16 hours ago, Dan said:

"Do not trust the Amish. They are NOT your friends."

L&C could be really great when it wanted to be.

 I just have the image of someone making fun of an Amish person and they wake up the next day to find that their house has a house built around it.

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Donomark   
17 hours ago, slothian said:

Old Woman: *GASP* The Caped Crusader!!!

Dean Cain: Er, no, that's Batman.

Hahaha I remember that.

Lois and Clark was 50% of my Superman education in grade school. It's one of those things that the internet now tells me sucks, but I liked it as a kid.

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Dan   
1 hour ago, Donomark said:

Hahaha I remember that.

Lois and Clark was 50% of my Superman education in grade school. It's one of those things that the internet now tells me sucks, but I liked it as a kid.

L&C, when it was on point, was not dissimilar to Batman '66: it had a specific goal in mind (in this case, Superman as a romantic comedy), tended to successfully meet that goal fairly regularly, but took a lot of crap from fandom that wanted it to be something else.

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Dan   

I finished a marathon rewatch of Chuck over the weekend. This was pretty much the prototypical Monday night "my week just started and I can't do anything heavy or substantial right now, hey look, goofy spy guy's pants fell down" kind of show. And at a time when Big Bang Theory was regularly getting mentioned as "finally, nerd culture is being treated respectfully" (a claim that has long since been correctly called out as total bullshit), Chuck as a character is who he is and enjoys the things he enjoys, and the show never judges or mocks him for it. (The same can't be said for most of the peripheral nerd types, many of whom are stereotypical socially clueless creepers with entirely unfounded arrogance, although best friend Morgan improves remarkably over the course of the show.)

The main cast is uniformly strong. Zachary Levi, who really does come across as potentially the nicest guy in the entire world, slots into the main role pretty much perfectly, combining enthusiasm, terror, real growth and the constant feeling that he doesn't entirely know what's happening at any given moment. And to be honest, I had (and still have) a very difficult time reconciling the utter shitbag Adam Baldwin has revealed himself to be in recent years with the unbridled ball of entertainment he is here. The weak link (to a degree) is Yvonne Strahovski; this was her first major acting job, and it kind of shows, although she grew tremendously over the course of the series (to the extent that her recent work on The Handmaid's Tale was a goddamn revelation). However, for the longest time, her job was to get into knife fights in her underwear. (The T&A is pushed to a clearly absurd degree and is obviously meant to be tongue in cheek to an extent, but if the show doesn't push it far enough, it's just kinda weird and gross titillation, and honestly that also happens a lot. Also, some producer on this show is somewhere between Joss Whedon and Quentin Tarantino on the "boy, do I sure like feet" scale.) She's not really allowed to be funny until season four.

A major problem is the very premise: Chuck works at a big box electronics store as a cover for his spy life, and the juxtaposition of the two settings provides a lot of the humor and conflict. However, the show has no goddamn idea what to do with the Buy More, ever, and virtually entire seasons go by where Chuck doesn't even set foot in the store. Rather than scrap it and figure out a different take, the series chose to almost turn this into two shows: Chuck learns how to be a spy, and another show chronicling the adventures of retail employees that virtually never interact with each other. I don't get it. Don't get me wrong, there was some funny stuff at the Buy More (almost none of which involved Jeff and Lester, two thoroughly unlikable characters who never had a point and somehow always seemed to have a C- or even B-plot in every show), but when it stopped having a useful purpose in, like, episode three, it probably should have been written out.

Chuck stayed on the air as long as it did due to fan campaigning, mostly through the show's chief sponsor Subway. Since Subway was footing the bills, the product placement comes at you hard, and to be honest, I almost admire the degree to which they leaned into it. It's almost as if the producers said "You know what, we gotta plug Subway, let's just straight up do commercials and almost look right into the camera while we do it." It's so blatant.

Guest casting is always fun. Any time a major recurring character is introduced, the show will bring in "that actor from that geeky pop culture thing you also like". So of course Chuck's parents are Sarah Connor and Dr. Sam Beckett. It does make the "guess who the bad guy turns out to be from the opening credits" game a little too easy though; when this episode guest stars a familiar character actor, someone you don't know, and Timothy Dalton, you can be pretty sure James Bond turns out to be eeeeeeevil. (Incidentally, Dalton is clearly having the time of his life on this show. He straight up owns all of Season 4 and is enormous fun.)

Overall this is a very fun, super lightweight show that's one of the most bingeable series I've ever seen (it was not unusual for me to look up and not realize four episodes in a row had just zipped by).

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Dan   
12 hours ago, Dread said:

2 episodes into GLOW and I fucking dig it.

We just burned through the first six. It's terrific.

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Dread   

Yeah, 2 more tonight and I'm in love with this series. Already sad there's only 10 episodes.

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Dan   

Alison Brie is amazing. She was always a fearless comedic performer on Community who was game for virtually anything, and her stint on Mad Men showed she could do drama, and here she has the opportunity to go down both those paths and crushes it. And I love that she does something shitty early on, and whereas most shows would show her life falling apart as a result, here it's not quite as pronounced because her life wasn't all that great to begin with, and Ruth is shown to be a not-very-good actress without telegraphing it wildly to the audience. And who the fuck knew Marc Maron could act better here than on the show where he's ostensibly playing himself?

And for Community fans, it's always nice to see Annie's Boobs* put in an appearance.

(*not the monkey)

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Donomark   

Alison Brie was always smoking hot, to the point where virginal Annie Edison was almost playing against type

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Dread   
15 hours ago, Dan said:

Alison Brie is amazing. She was always a fearless comedic performer on Community who was game for virtually anything, and her stint on Mad Men showed she could do drama, and here she has the opportunity to go down both those paths and crushes it. And I love that she does something shitty early on, and whereas most shows would show her life falling apart as a result, here it's not quite as pronounced because her life wasn't all that great to begin with, and Ruth is shown to be a not-very-good actress without telegraphing it wildly to the audience. And who the fuck knew Marc Maron could act better here than on the show where he's ostensibly playing himself?

And for Community fans, it's always nice to see Annie's Boobs* put in an appearance.

(*not the monkey)

I mean, Maron is basically playing himself here too. But yeah, he's great.

The moment in episode 5 with the "it's a soap opera!" revelation is something so beautiful and simple that I wish i wrote it.

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Dread   

^ correction: Maron is playing an era-specific version of himself. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for him to fake smoke and fake snort coke.

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On 6/26/2017 at 4:36 PM, Dan said:

I finished a marathon rewatch of Chuck over the weekend.  .....  Overall this is a very fun, super lightweight show that's one of the most bingeable series I've ever seen.

I really loved Chuck when I first marathoned the show.  And while I still enjoy it, rewatching it a few (okay, more than a few) times has revealed a flawed, but as stated, fun show.  You can really see that production was not really the smoothest.  It really is one of those 'once seen cannot be unseen' things, but the editing is horrible.  And the network ordering additional episodes for seasons 3 and 4 is really noticeable.  Both seasons end with a big moment and then keep on going with no real direction.

The guest stars are a lot of fun.  Timothy Dalton is just so much fun.  And John Larroquette is a great for a laugh.  As for the main cast, I agree with the Buy More staff being kinda pointless after a while.  Chuck 'works' at the Buy More as a cover, but midway thru season 3, Sarah stops having a job.  But Sarah stops doing a lot of things.  Like being a badass.  Can't have that for some reason.

Interested in hearing your thoughts on the finale (or really the last 3-4 episode arch).  It has never sat well with me.  Seemed like a drastic shift in tone for what was a very light, fun show.

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Dan   
6 hours ago, Dread said:

I mean, Maron is basically playing himself here too. But yeah, he's great.

The moment in episode 5 with the "it's a soap opera!" revelation is something so beautiful and simple that I wish i wrote it.

The shift from "generic snarky Marc Maron character" to a real guy with reasons for being the way he is happens so slowly you almost miss it. A lot of that is down to the writing.

And yes; that was a brilliant "come to Jesus" moment.

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Dan   
33 minutes ago, Professor said:

Interested in hearing your thoughts on the finale (or really the last 3-4 episode arch).  It has never sat well with me.  Seemed like a drastic shift in tone for what was a very light, fun show.

I didn't love it. In fact, I wasn't super wild about season 5, period. They scrapped pretty much the whole premise of the show in the last year, barely utilized their best supporting players in Ellie and Awesome (and Alex, who I always liked), the big bad was kind of a washout, and they clearly panicked after having Chuck and Sarah get married and pounded the reset button so hard it broke almost everything. Turning Sarah EEEEEEEVIL as they were saying goodbye was a huge mistake, and then leaving the ending a question mark was just wrong. This was a goofy, fun hangout show, and honestly it needed a more clear-cut happily-ever-after.

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Donomark   
On 7/29/2016 at 2:49 PM, You Know Who said:

Penny Dreadful, Season 1 - Not as much as I hoped I would. The Frankenstein, Vanessa, and Ethan story lines are good on their own, but the main plot didn't grab me. The sex and gore just seem gratuitous. Good music and performances, though, especially from Dalton, Green, Kinnear, and Piper. May return for Season 2.

I just finished season 1 last night, and am an episode into season 2. I think I'm right there with you. It's a finely produced show. The costumes and set design are perfect. All the actors are putting on an acting class, especially Eva Green where she just shines. I'm glad the casting directors gave Josh Hartnett a chance in this because he's terrific as well.

But the adult content really feels imbalanced. Have sex and violence, sure, but in the first season comprised of eight eps they were averaging a prolonged sex scene every episode. Most of them drove the plot, but they still really felt like they were going at it for exploitation's sake. Honestly, I would've given it more slack if they didn't shy away from the gay sex scene at the end of episode...4( I think?). 

It's a fine show and my girlfriend adores it so I'll be watching the rest of the series, but this isn't really my go-to thing. It strikes a certain genre feel that evokes a sense of...idk, erotic fan fiction that isn't really my bag. 

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Donomark   

Re-watched Outlaw Star for the first time in fifteen years. It was one of those Toonami classics that every middle-aged kid-turned-millennial fondly remembers.

It's one of the most prototypical anime series of its era. Sci-Fi Space Western with lots of comedy. OTT designed villains. Spaceships galore. The OP and ED music themes are excellent. Some of the episodes have terrific animation. Upon re-watching it, my enjoyment factor was let down by the two main characters (not Jim, he was fun if slightly annoying due to his voice). I never really liked Melfina, even as a kid I thought she was a particularly weak female character with little-to-no agency. Gene Starwind, however, turned me off early on and never recovered. He's a lot like Yusuke Urameshi in that he starts off as a loutish, rebellious guy with a devil-may-care attitude who's really good at stuff. But whereas Yusuke is really a good person, Gene's a jerkass who's fairly unlikable throughout. He's good at shooting and space-fighting, but a legend builds around him that never feels earned. He has the plot working in his favor, and we rarely see him work to get better at anything. Most of the time he's a dick to his much more likable crew, and is really single-minded. Whenever the plot tries to give him development, it feels superficial. The best episode of the series, ep.15, is the most frank with his character and goes the farthest to making him relatable. The rest of the show caters towards his needs as a protagonist whilst almost reveling in him being a douche. Also the main antagonist, Hazanko, is seen only once until the final three episodes, which kills his impact on the show. The McDougal brothers are much more engaging, but they only have a handful of appearances as well. It's a pretty imbalanced show where the first half after the Hilda episodes (she was easily the best character in the anime) can be boring. There's a lot of padding with concerns to bills and techno-babble concerning the XGP. The second half is more character based with the full crew, but Gene still sucks as a protagonist. The show's not bad, but it's not as strong as I remembered. There are three or four episodes that are really great, and the infamous Hot Springs Planet episode that was originally banned is legitimately the series at its funniest. If you ignore the main hero, its main heroine and skip the series once Hilda leave to when Aisha and Suzuka show up, it's a fun enough show to enjoy.

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Pan-dub   

I think that's fair. Melfina is fairly nothing and Gene doesn't really develop at all apart from "I probably shouldn't sleep around if I fancy Melfina" but Hilda's flash-in-the-pan appearance didn't endear me too much to her. I liked her character and the legend she was said to have behind her but I didn't miss her once she was gone. I've mentioned that Fred Lowe on a LAS and I loved Aisha and her batshit insanity. 

The sassy ship is cool too. Man I need to watch it again! 

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Donomark   

Aisha was my favorite when I was a kid, and she's still up there now. Her voice is a bit tough to listen to at times (she's voiced by the same VA as Rogue from the 90s X-Men series, which is awesome), but she's a really fun character with a great personality and neat gimmick. She kinda feels like a Tenchi character. 

I wanted to like Suzuka more, but she had a bad intro episode when Gene beat her by nearly stripping off her robe. That was stunningly bad. She's much better after, but is mostly just muscle. A lot of my admiration for her is due to Wendee Lee doing an excellent VA job.

The two things that held up 100% for me were episode 15 when the first of the seven (?) assassins goes after Gene, and the episode where one of them is a girl that unknowingly starts dating Jim. Both of those are the series at its strongest, and I could go back to watch those any day of the week.

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