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Darrel Manson

Current binges

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Whereas binge watching is becoming so common (and my wife and I find it much better for following the story of we binge), and whereas we have a film thread on what we're watching this weekend, it therefore seems appropriate to share what we are bingeing at any particular time.

Our current binges are Money Heist (Spanish series La Casa del Papel) and Dark(German series). For Dark my wife printed out episode summaries and character bios, which are helpful because it is very involved with multiple time lines.

We're also watching about one a day of 100 Humans.

I think all 3 of these are Netflix shows.

Edited by Darrel Manson

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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We just finished re-watching Six Feet Under earlier this week - second viewing for me, third for my wife.  Without the element of surprise, it felt a little more soap-operatic this time, but it's still perhaps the best long-form depiction of two people with personality disorders trying to achieve stability in a relationship.  And its conclusion is perhaps the best of any TV series.

Now we're partway into S3 of Ozark; and when my kid is with us, we're watching Moone Boy (Chris O'Dowd is an underappreciated comedic treasure; we also loved his Family Tree).


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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We don't watch much TV, and when we do it's all four of us. We just finished our second run through all 119 episodes of How to Train Your Dragon, which, if my kids were going to become obsessed with a TV show, I'm really glad it's that one. I genuinely enjoy it. (I'll take the HtTYD movies over every Pixar movie.) We've moved on to the new season of Nailed It!.

I don't know if it's my attention span these days or my tastes, but I've started and quit on so many acclaimed shows this year -- Fleabag, Succession, Barry, Silicon Valley, and most recently, The Plot Against America, which I'd been looking forward to since it was announced a few years ago. I think focusing on art-house films for so many years has rewired my brain. I'm looking for a particular voice behind the camera that gets crushed by the committee-like machinery of television.

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I mostly watch films, and with Criterion Channel and MUBI it's rare I don't have something queued up that I really want to watch. So, when I do watch TV it's usually something less serious, or sports. But there are no sports now, so I'm interested in finding other things. For instance, I just binged the most recent season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. My wife and I have been looking for something that would appeal to us both and were thinking maybe The Americans or The Leftovers. I'm also interested in checking out Devs, since a close friend of ours who is a sci-fi writer recommended it.

Edited by Anders

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

Twitter.
Letterboxd.

Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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I just finished re-watching all three seasons of In Treatment. 

It is a flawed, pessimistic show, but it is 1/2 hour and it has moments of blazing insight that have genuinely helped me to understand myself and other people. It was the first place I ever heard the joke that Paul tells (I think) April: "Why doesn't a cigarette smoker believe a cigarette will kill him?....Because a cigarette has never killed him before."

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3 minutes ago, Andrew said:

I need to watch this; I've shied away from it because I thought it might feel too much like my job.

I would be curious to your thoughts. To me it doesn't feel at all like therapy/counseling, though I recognize my own experiences of that are limited and there are huge swaths between, say, counseling and psychotherapy. It is overly dramatic and sometimes feels to me that characters are obtuse or have insight around the needs of the script than around results of therapy. And Paul's incessant questioning of whether therapy has any value gets tedious in a binge. 

My biggest fear in revisiting it was that it would play too much like a mystery -- what's the one childhood incident/trauma/problem that is at the root of all problems. To quote Disney's The Rookie, "it's never just one thing." Fortunately, I think the show realizes that. Also, while I'm not typically about that in film, I just find this to be an actor's showcase. Byrne is terrific even though I pretty much don't like Paul. Josh Charles, Blair Underwood, Dianne Weist, and Debra Winger all do their best work. I'm a huge Amy Ryan fan. This show was the first place I ever remember seeing Mia Wasichowski or Allison Pill. 

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4 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I would be curious to your thoughts. To me it doesn't feel at all like therapy/counseling, though I recognize my own experiences of that are limited and there are huge swaths between, say, counseling and psychotherapy. It is overly dramatic and sometimes feels to me that characters are obtuse or have insight around the needs of the script than around results of therapy. And Paul's incessant questioning of whether therapy has any value gets tedious in a binge. 

My biggest fear in revisiting it was that it would play too much like a mystery -- what's the one childhood incident/trauma/problem that is at the root of all problems. To quote Disney's The Rookie, "it's never just one thing." Fortunately, I think the show realizes that. Also, while I'm not typically about that in film, I just find this to be an actor's showcase. Byrne is terrific even though I pretty much don't like Paul. Josh Charles, Blair Underwood, Dianne Weist, and Debra Winger all do their best work. I'm a huge Amy Ryan fan. This show was the first place I ever remember seeing Mia Wasichowski or Allison Pill. 

That's a heck of a cast (big fan of Byrne and Ryan), and enough people whose judgment I trust (you and Darren come immediately to mind) have recommended this, that I think I'll vote for this to be our next binge.  After Ozark, and the new seasons of The Last Kingdom and After Life, that is...


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Though I rarely watch TV series these days, when I do, for some reason I seem to be drawn to comedy series over dramatic. Thus, I have been watching seasons 5 and 6 of Brooklyn 99. I also anticipate re-visiting Twin Peaks: The Return at some point in this pandemic situation. And we will watch various BBC shows in the evening as a family; the last one was Arctic Academy, a reality TV show about Scottish teenagers going on an expedition to the Arctic circle in Greenland.

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If you haven't seen the BBC comedy series Detectorists, well, take this as my highest recommendation for a TV sitcom. I can't think of any sitcom that is as human as this one. Written by, directed by, and starring Mackenzie Crook, it's a thing of beauty. Anne and I are watching it all the way through a second time simply because its grace and beauty and non-cynical humor inspire hope and a sense of peace in the storm. And it's hilarious.

First two seasons are on Amazon Prime. All three are on Acorn.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I am not watching much series TV presently, but I did just finish watching a super-cool show with my 10 year-old that starred Gina Carano, Werner Herzog and Giancarlo Esposito, which I really enjoyed.  I'm watching DEVS on Hulu with my 16 year-old week-by-week when they drop a new episode.  I'm a casual fan of Alex Garland's directorial work, and this show fits the template of his films--every time I think it's dumb it does something really smart, and every time I think it's smart it does something really dumb.  If nothing else, though, DEVS has given the world a scene in which Marilyn Monroe rides Arthur Miller cowgirl, so take that, cooking competition shows.


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So help me, I've watched the first two seasons of Grey's Anatomy since this isolation began.

I hate it, but it's a lot of fun to hate. (Why the hell is Izzy not in prison?) Plus there is something weirdly comforting about being two seasons in and knowing you still have 260 some episodes to go...

True story, my Facebook Memories app once kicked up a reminder that "7 years ago you posted... Grey's Anatomy is still on the air?" To which I check and...it was still on the air.

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On 4/4/2020 at 11:32 AM, Anders said:

My wife and I have been looking for something that would appeal to us both and were thinking maybe The Americans or The Leftovers. I'm also interested in checking out Devs, since a close friend of ours who is a sci-fi writer recommended it.

I would vote for The Americans, which comes on a bit strong at first, but gains layers and more layers as it goes on. Divided loyalties on every side. Outstanding performances from every cast member. And one of the few non-evil clergypersons in TV history.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Started Unorthodox  last night. Easy to get into.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I did the predictable and binged Tiger King not long after the pandemic started. The absurdity is appalling and undeniably entertaining, but it's also little more than a freak show.

More recently, I finished up season two of Narcos: Mexico and season five of Better Call Saul, both of which were excellent, especially the latter. Now, I find myself with no active show to watch aside from the weekly episodes of The Last Dance to give me my sports fix. I'm tempted to delve back into Star Trek: The Next Generation as I find the Star Trek series among the most comforting (and best) series ever made. And if there's one thing that is comforting right now, it's watching excellent leadership react in the face of crisis on an episodic basis.


"Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film." - Werner Herzog

3brothersfilm.com

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If you have Amazon Prime and have never seen Babylon 5, the original "long narrative" TV series, now's the time. A five-season story-arc that unfolds episode by episode. There are a few throwaways, but not many. Some say it effectively ends at season four. They are incorrect. The special effects are terrible, but just remember that it was made in the 1990s on a shoestring and focus on the story and the outstanding character work of Peter Jurasik as "Londo Mollari" and Andreas Katsulas as "G'Kar."

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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We're doing a lot of Money Heist (in season 2 of 4) and Broadmore (also season 2).

 


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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