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Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Steve, Jun 9, 2014.
From today's New York Times:
I like and hate these shows. Once you start, it's hard to give up on it, because you need to go all the way to the end before you actually judge it.
No, really, you don't.
There was a time when I was vexed by the maddeningly slow pace of new Lost episodes; I couldn't remember what had happened and it made it difficult to understand some of the characters' motivations. I could not keep the thread.
But then I realized that it didn't matter. I was enjoying each episode for itself, as a self-contained story. Because as good as JJ and the gang are at serialization, they know episodic as well.
And that is the key. If you are a writer-producer doing long-form television in a serialized format, you have to do two things, you have to continue the over-arching story, and you have to make every episode entertaining for those who just parachuted in. If Lost had not done that, they would have screwed the pooch, and the show would have been cancelled because by about year 3, we all would have been completely frustrated at ABC doling out the shows that slowly, and would have Lost (no pun) interest. People that I know that could not enjoy each ep for what it was did lose interest, and the audience did erode.
And Lost taught those writer-producers who could understand that concept, just how important it was to do that. Or maybe they got it from some other source, either before or after Lost, and maybe some never learned that at all.
So ask yourself, "am I enjoying this ep based on this ep?" and if the answer is no, do yourself a favor and stop watching. Ask "am I enjoying spending time with these characters?" for any drama. Ask "have I laughed enough, or even at all?" for any comedy. Brain surgery, it ain't.
But this is Bochco, and he seems to be smart enough to know all of this. Hill St and NYPD Blue were serial procedurals, but you could still watch any ep as a new viewer in a vacuum and come away entertained. Maybe not so much with Cop Rock.
I'll give it a look. Replays of ep. 1 Thurs. night and Sat. morning. Sure is nice compared to network one and done and hope you can find it online.
I think it has promise. I do not understand the significance of the dying wife, or how that may relate to the story or to Taye Diggs' character's motivation; it feels more like an unconnected, unneeded B story, and a depressing one at that, possibly some way of a writer who experienced this in real life getting his own personal closure, which does not belong in the show. We don't need DIggs to have a huge personal loss to be invested in the character or understand why he does his job the way he does, or to set up his availability for a tryst with his partner. The tech guy seems a bit stereotyped and one-dimensional as well. Both things make me question the focus of the writing.
This feels like something the junior varsity team in Vancouver might be producing, good enough for summer but not able to make the big league of in-season cable or network. The end-of-show promo makes me hope there is much beyond what was shown us in the pilot.
Of course the obvious comparison would be to Murder One, circa 1995, also by Bochco, which was brilliant and captivating and helped launch the careers of a number of actors, including Mary McCormack, Gregory Itzin, Daniel Benzali, and Dylan Baker. And by comparison to that, this one is pretty shallow.
Good to have Kathleen Robertson back on my screen.
I'm going record it and watch as a whole at the its season.
Kinda yummy, no?
OK, I am ready to revise my opinion. This show is starting to develop a style, and a personality. It has a tone to it now, and it now feels like a very polished production. Not many shows ever achieve that. Maybe it is the Bochco pedigree shining through; I just have no way of knowing. But without the story or plot or acting really having improved much, the show is getting better because it seems to have found a pace and is settling into a groove. Nice to see that.
I agree Tom, and I also think you were right about your first review regarding the death of the wife. What was the point? I haven't seen it impact any portion of the show currently.
And for an update - is anyone still watching this show? Last week I was bored and lost track of the plot. This week, I think I'm done with it.
I'm still waiting until the season ends. It's the only I can watch these stretch out plots.
But how is it ratings?
Still watching and enjoying it.
Same here, I'm still watching and enjoying it. I haven't watched last nights episode yet, but will sometime today after watching Longmire 1st, Under the Dome 2nd, 24 Live another Day 3rd then I will get to it.
Ditto. It's not the first show we watch, but it's still holding our interest.
Must just be me then. Although last night I did enjoy some of it.
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I still find that it is among the top 5 available programs that I want to watch when I browse my program list. I probably watch it the same day or within the next two. James Cromwell is amazing, and the writers are giving him amazing lines.
What I have noticed about this show that I have not often noticed elsewhere is an attention to fine detail. Very little things are depicted, such as the way a person fails to notice another person is trying to get out of a row of chairs and reacts lately by eventually scrunching out of the way. I have seen half a dozen little extra touches such as this that help to color in the personalities. The end result is that the characters are pretty 3-dimensional, because these little things help to give the impression that this is real rather than a staged drama, and as it turns out, that has a lot of value.
But I also agree that the entire story is too short for the number of scheduled eps, and that too little movement is occuring in each ep. They could beef it up with more side stories, but that would just be cheating, and they are already doing that too much. What they really needed was a story that deserved the number of eps they scheduled. Too late, probably, to fix that.
I also will be disappointed if I have already figured out the killer and "big reveal" expected somewhere near the end. They have been good about not too many red herrings though, which implies talented writing in itself. And I think the writing is top-notch here.
OK, I believe this season is over. I have it all in the can. Is it worth watching in one sitting?
I stopped watching about 3 episodes ago and cancelled the series. I enjoyed it at first then it just got way to out their for my liking.
I almost cancelled it. But I kept it on while doing computer things and last week, I liked it. I think there is only 1 left, so I'll finish it out. But for me personally, I wouldn't do it again.