Limitless

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by TomCat, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Broken record here, but the show just keeps getting better all the time. Not only is it a fun procedural because they made Finch a charismatic humorous character (micropenis?), but this show seems to have the ability to do something that very few shows can do, which is surprise you with where they are going.

    Almost every other show is predictable, regardless of how good (or bad) it is. For instance, I liked the CSIs quite a lot (well, most of them), but by the second season I was mouthing the lines right along in unison with the actors, being confident that I knew exactly what they were going to say and where the plot would travel next. You can't binge-watch a procedural like CSI because that would be too much Groundhog Day to take. Every ep was a rehash of the previous ep; they told essentially the same story 350 times in a row.

    Limitless, on the other hand, takes three or four sharp left turns in every episode; we never know whats coming next. The minds of these writers are so prolific, and their stories are really fresh and unexpected.

    I see an upswing in the quality of interplay between actors in this show, and in a lot of others. Surprisingly, even in Blindspot, which is a pretty straight-ahead procedural ('Patterson' is a favorite of mine because of her personality, yet she's just the tech that drives the main characters' actions). The way characters speak with and relate to each other is much more believable than it used to be just a few years ago. And the level of the acting (at least on Limitless) is kind of, well, unLimited. (sorry). Some of the reaction shots of the principal actors in this show are priceless.
     
  2. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Finally was able to binge watch and catch up on this over the last week... It basically is Chuck. A lot of common threads with this and Chuck. It's interesting that this show is getting a lot more buzz on CBS than Chuck did on NBC. I don't know if the network makes the difference or it is a different time or what... but this show is doing a lot of what Chuck did well.

    I am a little confused about Bradley Cooper's character. He seems to be meant to be the same character as he was in the movie... and sure seems like that movie is part of the "canon" as backstory for this TV show... and yet, Cooper's Senator character so far has seemed a bit dodgy so far on the show, whereas he was essentially the hero of the movie. I'm wondering how this will play out. IF they will eventually show a bit more to reveal the "all is not as it seems" trope OR if they will have a play on the side-effects of long-term use for the pill and have Cooper's character having become somehow affected over the years.
     
  3. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I loved Chuck. But this is no Chuck. It has the similarity that the lead character has two eyes, one on the left, one on the right, nose in the middle, mouth under. But that's about it. All shows are similar to other shows; TV is the most-derivative medium there ever was. But what sets this show apart is how UNderivative it is, how different and fresh it is. This show is even more different from its namesake movie than it is similar to Chuck or anything else you can name. I think it feels more like Castle than anything else, actually, which is high praise.

    The BC thing is a legacy thing inescapable if you are going to continue to call this show by the same title. Often, that would be problematic. But BC is invested, he's an EP, and the writers can use him as little or as much, according to his availability, as they want, while remaining true to the character and allowing that to be a resource for great story lines at the same time. He IS the same character, acting the same way, so this should hardly be confusing. Brian Finch is the hero, Senator BC is a bit player now. His "not-Limitless" (sorry again) availability can be used as a creative tool for, rather than an obstacle in the way of, the overarching backstory.

    As for the buzz, this show is on The Pre-eminent Tiffany Network cruising on top, while Chuck was on a network struggling to survive and finding it difficult to find a slot that fit that show. Chuck had no prequel box-office hit to ride in on. It did have Yvonne Strahovski, though; kept me watching, at least. Give that girl a show.
     
  4. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'm surprised you don't see all the parallels to Chuck...

    Ordinary guy who is a bit of a self-screw up, doesn't believe in himself and can't find his niche... suddenly gets the ability to learn and remember important stuff, able to solve problems... via a thing the government wants to keep secret and study so he becomes a "consultant" with a government agency. He wants to go out in the field, but they keep him on lockdown at first for his own good, but he sneaks out and does stuff anyway. He can't tell his friends or family for fear of putting them in danger. Over the course of the program he begins to reveal more layers to himself than even he knew existed, so even without the super powers he is a better person than he was before. Also, they seem to be headed towards a romantic thing with his "handler"...

    Was I talking about Chuck or Limitless?
     
  5. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Only you know. Replace the word "government" with the word "police" (and all of those references are to law enforcement rather than actual "government" anyway) and maybe you are talking about Castle. Or half a dozen other shows. The similarities you mention are somewhat specific, but not unfamiliar to lots of stories that end up on TV.

    I'm surprised that anyone would see a parallel to Chuck that would be so specific as to put you in the mind of that show any more than just realizing that you are watching a particular bent of the garden-variety procedural genre, probably because all of those other shows were predictable procedurals, while this show (Limitless) is quite unpredictable by comparison. And actually, I felt that Chuck has its own set of specifics that set it apart from most other shows, including this one, which was one of the things that made that show great.

    But its the unpredictability that sets this show apart and makes it feel like something pretty much completely different from anything we have seen before. And I think we might be talking about a couple of different shows that each have very specific attributes of their own that set them apart enough to essentially discourage comparison, and again, those are the aspects that set them apart and make them good shows. Vive la difference.

    I get that you are not seeing this comparison as problematic, at least I hope not. It is certainly not based on Chuck, is not a rip of Chuck, and likely was not inspired by Chuck (but even if it was, that is simply high praise, as we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us). I see how your example might support your argument, but regardless whether it does or not, Limitless does not really feel like Chuck to me in any real way at all. But that said, if you liked Chuck, you should probably find yourself liking this one, too, would be my best guess.
     
  6. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yeah... it's actually the similarities to Chuck that sucked me into this show. I was initially nervous about how the themes from the movie would have played out extended over a TV season... but the "Chuck"ness of it works for me.

    For what it's worth, I gather a lot of Chuck was familiar to fans of "Jake 2.0" (I think that was the name of the show)... and Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" had some of those elements in it as some point as well... so you're right, there are some things that if you look for them you can find them in a lot of shows.

    In this case, though, I was expecting the TV show to be more like the movie... and was pleasantly surprised to find it more Chucky :)
     
  7. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Two great show mentions.

    For the question earlier. The show stands on its own. Watch the movie IF you like the show, but you don't NEED to watch the movie to like the show, at all. They are honestly two different stories. As different as, oh, I don't know, Limitless and Chuck. You don't have to watch one of those to like the other, either.

    And yes, I will agree with this: the 'Chuckyness' is actually one of the things that makes the show better than the movie. But the freshness and unpredictable story turns are what makes it better than either of them.
     
  8. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I caught the end of the movie last night on TNT... and I hadn't seen it in a while... and now that I have, I have to admit... I forgot a few little details that actually make it believable for Cooper's Senator Morra to have gone a bit darkside over time.... if that is truly where they are taking his character on the show.
     
  9. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Other than maybe Chuck Schumer and a couple others, what senator hasn't 'gone a bit darkside'? Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts, absolutely. (Lord Acton)

    Based on your post, I am now suggesting that seeing the movie is a good idea if you like the show. Not necessary, but probably nice BG if nothing else.
     
  10. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It's a good movie on its own... but yeah, as a fan of the show it was good to have a re-watch and see some things that they might explore on the show at some point. There's more than a few loose ends at the end of the movie that could pop up on the TV show.
     

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