Off topic, but hey, it’s the weekend.
I am staggered at how good American TV is.
Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Homeland, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire…
I’m watching The Killing at the moment. Fabulous. Just finished watching House of Cards and The Americans – both are sensational. And gutsy unconventional storytelling.
Movies are becoming so predictable – big franchise tentpoles that have little engagement for me. Do I really believe that one of The Avengers will ever be in jeopardy? Do I care?
Exhibitors make their money from the candy bar. Distributors make their money from safe-bet comic book films. I hanker for the intelligence of cinema in the 70s. When Scorsese, Coppola, Hal Ashby, Billy Friedkin were in their prime.
TV is now where the smart storytelling lives. It’s so well written, so beautifully cast, stories and characters have the time to develop and become complex.
Breaking Bad has to be amongst the best tv I’ve ever seen. The performances, the writing, the audacity is breathtaking.
We really are in a golden age of TV.
What are your favourites?
Love The Killing. I used to think that British drama was the best on TV, but there is some great American TV now. And you’re right Bill, the movies are pretty lame these days. Peter
My favorite right now is House of Cards. Can’t wait for the next season. I agree with Peter that British drama is also excellent. I have been catching reruns of MI-5 (called Spooks in Europe, I believe) on Netflix.
Hi Julie –
aaaah – MI5. My goodness, what a show!
I bought the entire series – nine seasons I think it was – and jennifer and I sat down and watched the whole thing, back to back.
If you liked that, chase down The Americans. About two Russian spies living in Washington DC as suburban Americans. Great tv. I thought it was better than the 2nd season of Homeland.
And House of Cards? Yep, agree with you. Spacey and Robin Wright were both fantastic, and the writing was so clever too
I’ve stopped watching actual network TV, since the late nineties. So we rented series like West-wing as an option for a while… Now there aren’t as many rental options with streaming being so popular. Nancy won’t watch anything violent. It’s Downton Abby for her and anything Jane Austen. Or in that classical vein… As long as the production values are great and they often are. I like that too.
I loved Alan Ball’s “Six Feet Under”… I bought the entire series on DVD… Which my son Owen, got hold of and said, Dad, this is awesome! He is my guide now and turned me on to “Breaking Bad”… My new guilty pleasure… But it is… Not healthy. I hate to sponsor violence… But I must say it is compelling and must be a blast for the actors involved. The acting and writing is superb. Dexter… I love the actor who played the gay brother so well in six feet under… Can’t watch it. I tried to watch the only film of yours Netflix had to offer… The one where the boy and girl were dropped off on the desert island… Beautifully filmed, but after their nap, when they found foot prints… Sorry, couldn’t watch any more… Too creepy! Which, maybe makes that good. I must be what you call a “pussy”… Oh well… Then I’m a pussy… A shameless pussy!
But, you’re right. There is some good American tv… To bad we don’t have universal health care though. I live in the land of the stupids… Sorry to say… It makes me sick thinking about it… And often very angry. But we make… “They”, make excellent television… Ain’t that somethin’ to be a proud about! Sheesh!
hi Peter –
I believe WEst Wing is very good – Aaron Sorkin can be terrific, and he can also be pedantic and up himself. (i.e. The Newsroom)
Six Feet under I haven’t got into either, although Alan Ball is a spectacular writer.
As for my movie Uninhabited – well, it’s not my best work – but it was a fun movie to make. Three weeks on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef.
Hope the walk is going well Peter.
Six feet under… You must see it… At least the first few… I think you’re right about Sorkin… But the west wing iwas pretty great… About all we watch now, is we stream Yankees baseball! That Ichiro Suzuki!
Am in logrono… The hike from Los Arcos was a doozy . Shoulder nerve issues… Need either massage therapy or better padding for my pack’s shoulder strap. Both would be nice.
Ok, I’ll give it a shot. Ball is a terrific writer. American Beauty was a great script.
That shoulder pain is a bugger, hey? Sometimes it’s just posture – you walk for hours slightly hunched, and it gets into your shoulder.
How much is your pack weighing? That could be a factor too.
Logrono is a nice little place, but the walk out, along a long jogging path, I found difficult. It just seemed to go on and on..,
You’ve got all that to look forward to! But the Cathedral is wonderful.
I actually like Downton Abbey, but that is BBC! π
Hi Julie –
yes, it’s a good show isn’t it.
When the BBC get it right, their shows are terrific.
And someone else mentioned SPOOKS, or MI5 – which I thought was tremendous.
AW, I always feel awkward when talking about watching TV. I’m a very intermittent watcher at the best of times and just don’t have the patience to watch series when they’re on, so often feel a bit lost when people start conversations about ‘did you see …’; and even sometimes feel that I’m being judged as ‘superior’ because I just can’t get excited about TV shows! Even when I’m aware that something is on that I’d actually like and be interested in getting involved with, I often forget to turn on the TV π Being of Danish background also apparently means that I should definitely be an expert on the apparent endless stream of great shows from there … and of course, let’s not get started talking about me as an expert of the Danish Royal family and ‘our’ Mary!!!
I was actually early for my volunteer Cancer Council day this morning and tried posting this, but of course could not remember my PGS WordPress password … this secretary seriously needs a secretary!!! π
hi britta –
I hope my attempts to tighten up the spam control haven’t locked you out.
Some people have complained about that, so I loosened up the spam controls again – hopefully that will be easier.
Looking forward to meeting you!
Hi everyone – the American TV series I really enjoyed watching last year was ‘Smash’ – like ‘Glee’ but for adults, not teenagers. Interesting characters (eg Angelica Huston) and plot, great interiors and the music was fantastic. And my Aussie favourite – ‘Rake’! So, so clever! I think a US version of ‘Rake’ is in the pipeline, so everyone – enjoy! Cheers, Jenny
Hey Jenny –
I’ve never heard of Rake!
I’ll have to check it out.
I’m onto the third season of The Killing right now – very very good crime drama.
Bill – you will LOVE Rake! It’s an ABC drama with a comedy leaning, it’s very sharp and it’s very clever. It’s loosely based on the well-known Sydney barrister Charles Waterstreet and it stars Richard Roxburgh. He’s a very naughty but extremely lovable character and the scrapes he gets himself into are hilarious. It’s a ‘must-watch’! Cheers, Jenny
Cool – I’ll chase it down.
I know Richard. He’s a good actor.
Great Bill! Richard Roxburgh is at his best in this series! I’m going to check out The Killing too – thanks for the thumbs-up on it. Cheers – Jenny
Hi Jenny –
you should know that I have particular tastes – The Killing is very dark and disturbing. But beautifully written, acted, and plotted.
I devoured The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, for instance, and the films after that. I always like reading the books first before I see the films, or the tv shows.
I’ve read all the The Song of Ice and Fire books for instance, by George RR Martin – the books that the tv series Game of Thrones is based on. I still can’t bring myself to watch that show, because the books held such extraordinary imagery for me.
Hi Bill – I’ll look forward to being challenged in the bravery sense when I watch The Killing!
I too loved all the Stieg Larrson books and then the films. I couldn’t put down the books – and the moment of revenge – anyone who’s read the books will know exactly what that moment is – ‘justice’ was certainly done! Stieg Larrson was a genius and the fact that he passed away, way too soon, is such a loss to the literary world and beyond. The films captured so well the imagery he created in his books and they’re a wonderful legacy to an extraordinary author.
Maybe there should be a new thread on the Forum … “Off Camino” Films and Books!
Cheers – Jenny