XIPHOS TAKES A LOOK AT THE TELEVISION

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Here’s a look at some shows I’ve been watching in a mini-review format. Some are on going, some have wrapped up for the season and few have just started their run. As always spoiler warning is in effect but then again if you read reviews online and expect them to be spoiler free your parents and grandparents, nay, your whole line are sibling fuckers.

Shows that have ended for the season

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Justified (FX Network): This season was different than the previous ones in that there wasn’t a “big bad guy.” Instead it involved solving a season long mystery about a dead parachutist holding several keys of coke that went splat on a residential street in 1983. They only clue about who he might be was a license that said Waldo Truth and pouch that was found in Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens incarcerated father’s house that led to the name Drew Thompson. The entire season was about finding out who Drew Thompson was and to figure out why the Detroit Mob, the Dixie Mafia, crooked Feds and Boyd Crowder all wanted him dead. It was another tremendously entertaining season and it’s just pure joy to listen to the fantastic writing spill out of Raylan’s and Boyd Crowder’s mouths. This is also the season that Deputy US Marshal Tim (RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!) Gutterson comes into his own as a character in spectacular fashion. As always great work put in by guest stars and supporting cast members. Kudos to Mike O’Malley, Jim Beaver and Ron Eldard who were exceptional in their parts.

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Spartacus War of the Damned (STARZ Network): I haven’t finished this season yet since I was waiting for the finale to air so I can watch the last six episodes in one long binge viewing session. I will be reviewing that series separately and I only bring it up because this show, Rome and The Tudors have helped launch networks historical revisionist band wagon jumping and I needed to reference it for a review below. Quick point though, the show isn’t about anything more than Gannicus because he’s super duper awesome.

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The Walking Dead (AMC): Christ on a Popsicle stick this show is frustrating. They manage to make a few outstanding episodes like the one with Lennie James or Meryl’s sacrifice and Darly’s burden over it but then they completely fuck over the viewers with that horrible season finale. That was the one that they teased all season long about the Governor attacking the prison which DIDN’T HAPPEN hardly at all. Then seeing how much they screwed up characters like The Governor, Michonne and Andrea and under used and changed Cutty Wise…er I mean…Tyrese from the comic strips is hard to watch.

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House of Lies (Showtime): This is a series based on a book called House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time (I’m about 20 pages into it) by former Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Martin Kihn. The show is sort of okay I guess. It has a foul mouthed oversexed Veronica Mars as as one of the leads and she gets down to her unmentionables a lot. HoL has a decent amount of nudity but I don’t think the show is exceptional. Mostly I watch it because it reinforces my belief that consultants are as big of scumbags as Californians, lawyers, politicians, Hollywood and the media. Also yeah it has tits and lots of them. Don Cheadle is quite watchable as Marty Kaan and his asides during business deals about how they are just here to fuck the client out of money has a ring of truth to it. However after that the show lacks any real basis for credibility. Did I mention the copious amount of juggage? Yes well that is its selling point.

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Californication (Showtime): This show has been been trending downwards the last few season but I still stick with it due mainly to brilliant beautiful writing occasionally and a fantastic turn by Agent Mulder as Hank Moody. Mostly I stick with it because it shits on Hollywood, LA and California which makes me happy since I think we should nuke that place from orbit just to be sure. I am happy to say though that my patience with the series was rewarded this season because it turned out to be quite funny and very entertaining.

On Going Shows

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Game of Thrones (HBO): Ha got ya! No I’m not watching Game of Yawns. That show sucks. I do however have Kloipy monitoring it for any signs of the Scottish chick,that can’t pronounce Jon Snow correctly dropping trou or the off chance of a midget riding a dragon. I’ll watch GoY for those two reasons. Since the Dink is the only good thing about that vomitus dumpster fire my hope is all his best parts will be on a youtube vid to watch that way I don’t have to sit through that nerd slobbered junk pile to get at it.

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Supernatural (CW “Network”): Way to bounce back. Since about episode 8 of this season they have rounded back into form. Crowley is looking for the way to destroy heaven and messing with loony prophet Kevin Tran who’s gone off the rails because of it. We’ve got that lummox Sam getting pounded into dust trying to solve the three challenges of god to seal off hell forever. The whole Men of Letters legacy for Sam and Dean percolating under the surface and above it for that matter. And lastly with the inclusion of Naomi, heaven’s trouble shooter who may or may not be helping and Dean embracing his battle lust, SN has found its way again. At least in my opinion it has. Your mileage may vary.

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The Americans/The Following (FX and Fox): These two shows have the same problem for me both are competently to well made, star people I usually enjoy like Marc Anthony from Rome and that succulent toothsome little biscuit Keri Russell, yet I found myself not involved in any way. I made it to about episode 6 of The Americans, a show about deep cover KGB agents working in the northern Virginia/DC are in the early 80’s. I made it to episode 9 of The Following, a story about an incarcerated serial killer that has disciples doing his nefarious bidding. I’ll probably swing back around to these shows this summer when there is nothing else on.

Shows I am reviewing that just started and have only aired like 1 or 2 episodes because that’s how I roll

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Mad Men (AMC): I watched the 2 hour season premiere on 13 April and I have to say I was disappointed in it. Mad Men might be at or very near to the top of shows I like right now but the way they built the premiere with its disjointed time structure and uninteresting stories has me concerned. I hope this was a misfire and not a sign of things to come. Roger Sterling is still aces though. God I love that guy.

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Hannibal (NBC): This is the Hannibal Lecter show that takes place before the book Red Dragon when Will Graham first met Lecter. Two eps in and the chemistry between Lecter and Graham is good. The killers they’ve chased so far have been creepy and well thought out and do their evil business in creative ways. What’s not so good is Cowboy Carl aka Larry Fishburne aka Morpheus as Graham’s boss Jack Crawford. Cowboy Carl sucks in the role as he alternates between mother hen and bellicose jack wagon. Still it has shown me enough to keep watching but I suspect this has a limited shelf life. One thing I wished they did on Hannibal that they chose not to was set the show in the 70’s to follow along with the books timeline. It would have made the stories more compelling in my opinion. Now they have easy cheats because they set it in modern times with modern tech to carry the load. Also the show needs to teach that fancy boy English lad playing Graham not to whack the trigger when he’s shooting his pistol. It’s very distracting and even the Feebs at the FBI aren’t that lame in real life. Close but they’re not there yet

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DaVinci’s Demons (STARZ Network): This show is the bastard child of a three way between Rome, The Tudors and Spartacus (See what I did there with the callback? Damn I’m good!) and based entirely on the pilot I watched on 12 April, this could work but there is a caveat. To really get the full Monty from the show you need to have a good understanding of who DaVinci was and what he was about. A keen understanding of the Italian Renaissance. A deep understanding of the Italian Political climate in the 15th century and how the Popes in Rome and the Medicis in Florence operated and their political alliances and structures. A belief in conspritard horseshit. A willing suspension of disbelief the size of Van Diemen’s Land that DaVinci created everything and that DaVinci was an ambidextrous swordsman a la the Dread Pirate Roberts and Inigo Montoya. also that he was a  cocksman of some renown even though he was probably gayer than springtime in Paris. On the plus there are cans galore in it. Also it was filmed in Jarv’s most favorite land on all of god’s creation, Wales. So it has that going for it.

Xiphos

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About Xiphos0311

Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.

34 responses to “XIPHOS TAKES A LOOK AT THE TELEVISION”

  1. Xiphos0311 says :

    There were a few other ones i’ve/I’m watching but this was getting long so i cut them out.

  2. Judge Droid says :

    I’m really liking Hannibal so far. Thought Fishburne was good in the pilot, but less effective in the 2nd ep. Mainly because of the writing. The killers, particularly in the 2nd ep, have been very good. Mads is great. Still warming to the guy playing Will, but I think he’ll turn out alright. I agree that it has a limited shelf life. It’s really a one season show, which should end when Hannibal is first captured and Will nearly dies. Anything more than that and you’re getting in to Red Dragon territory, which doesn’t have a lot to do with Hannibal. And Hannibal behind bars I have no interest in seeing anyway, since that’s been done and done and done.

    Of the other shows, I watched about 4 or 5 eps of SN but wasn’t feeling it. I’m waiiting until it finishes and then I’ll blitz the season like I did 7.

    Never seen Californication, Spartacus, House of Lies. Not watching more of Walking Dead. Still only 2 seasons in to Justified. Still need to see season 5 of Mad Men.

    Watched the pilots for both The Following and The Americans. Neither grabbed me. I’ve got more eps for both, with the intent on giving them another try at some stage. Also have the pilot of DaVinci’s Demons to watch at some stage.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      With SN the early eps of this season were pretty blah but around episode 8 they started to get their shit together and by oh I guess 12 or so they got it figured out, but that’s not say there isn’t a clunker or two episode in that run.

      With cowboy Carl I agree the writing for the character has been weak but the way he chose to play him is also bothering me he comes off as unctuous,slippery, pompous and weak.

      DaVinci’s pilot isn’t that strong but its fairly entertaining you just have to really suspend your disbelief to the breaking point. dropping viewers into complex political intrigue with all of the characters having already establish alliances and motives without knowing even a little about them will turn off many I suspect.

      Mad Men needs to right that ship tonight, I hate say it this early in the season but its a must win show today.

  3. tombando says :

    Mad Men is the only one of this lot I watch. Agreed the premier wasn’t great, wanted more of the red head and the Giant robot lion account.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      I think some of the reason MM premiere was so off Tom is that they made it deliberately jarring to show how the late 60’s was a jarring time of change. That’s my theory at least don’t know if there is one bit of reality behind it.

  4. Jarv says :

    Broke the f-in desktop again, so I’m miles behind.

    However, have watched about 2/3 of Alcatraz.

    MEH MEH MEH MEH MEH MEH MEH.

    Not a bad idea, but hamstrung because it reeks of being Lost with crims.

  5. kloipy says :

    Nothing yet to report Xi. The 3rd episode did feature some full frontal but that was about it. As for the story, nothing really has happened yet. Tyrion is still cool,but it did turn into an instance of Game of ZZZZs for me last night

  6. kloipy says :

    As for the others.
    Californication had three great seasons. Really like Ducovney in it. Fits the character perfectly.
    Hannibal- I thought it was alright but I don’t like the guy they have playing Hannibal.
    Totally agree with you on Walking Dead, by far this has been the best season, which still doesn’t say much because it is so hit and miss.

    Almost caught up on Mad Men, which I agree is one of the best shows going right now.

    • Toadkillerdog says :

      Hola Kloipy!
      How is the kloipette doing?
      Have you taken her to Disney yet?
      We have taken the girls three times already – and while I like Disney, it is getting old – not to mention a tad bit expensive, and we still have a Disney cruise upcoming in December. I have put me paw down and told my wife – ‘no more disney’ we will see how long that lasts! Ha!
      I do not get a chance to watch much tv, but a friend coaxed me into giving walking dead a try again this season. it helped that he had media preview eps for the first four, and i must say i liked it. I had given up after the third ep of season one, and had not looked back but this season was a good one, I have yet to see the finale, we were on spring break vacation when it aired, so i will watch it sometime this week or next.

      As for GOT, well, I actually have liked this season so far. There is no doubt that season one lacked a helluva lot , but I think the production values have gone up, and although there is no real ‘action’ I think the storyline has improved greatly. They are playing around with the timeline a bit, but so far it is working.
      I have read the books, and although there are some really wicked surprises coming up, the books went off the rails about midway through the third book and have never recovered, so maybe changing the timeline will work for the show.
      It does not have a helluva lot of action, but when the books where at their best, it did not need action, it was more intrigue

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Kloipy, I may be repeating myself, I think I already asked you once before about Disney, forgive the old toadkiller, caint even blame ‘communin with the spirits’ as a defense

      • kloipy says :

        Hey TKD! No we haven’t gotten her to Disney yet. Right now the plan is for next year, she’ll be 5 and hopefully able to remember some of it. But this kid loves rollercoasters and will ride pretty much anything, so I think we are in the clear for that. She loves all the disney princesses and all the Pixar movie, so I assume when we finally get there, her little mind will be blown with excitement haha

        Walking Dead isn’t a bad show, but it has made a lot of missteps and undercuts itself time and time again. I think they have the ability to be a much better show, but they haven’t hit that sweet spot yet.

        I like GOT, and I agree that some of the best parts don’t involve the violence, and I think this season is leading up to something much bigger. I’m constantly impressed by the look of the show. The production value is awesome for TV and they have definitely built their world well. I think I will go back and read the books eventually.

        Hope you are doing well my friend!

      • Judge Droid says :

        It looks good “for TV” because each episode has a massive budget.

      • kloipy says :

        Do you know what the budget is for it? I’d guess it must be at least over a million per episode, but I have no idea how that works in industry

      • Judge Droid says :

        Season two had a production budget of $70m. And there are only 10 eps per season.

      • kloipy says :

        well I was a bit off haha

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Kloipy,
        You will be feeling some of my pain (wallet wise) very soon! Five is a great age to start – because she will remember.
        But if she is already into the Disney princesses, oh good gravy!
        That just plays into Disney wheel(hell)lhouse.
        Lemme ejicate ya.
        At Disney, You can go whole hog on the princess stuff, with the makeup, hairdo, dresses, special lunch and or dinner invitations, pictures with the disney princesses, autograph books etc etc.
        We did that our first year and for two girls it damn near set me back a grand!
        There is a another way though, skip the hair and makeup and dresses, but get her a nice princess veil and take her to one of the theme restaurants that feature all of the same disney princesses – where she can get pics and autographs – buy the autograph book at a walmart or a souvenir store in kissimmee
        It will still cost a bit to make the lunch reservations, but you will save hundreds by not doing the makeup,hairdo, dress thing.
        I understand the temptation to go nuts a disney though, and sometimes you cant avoid it!
        Oh the pain!

      • kloipy says :

        Dear God I’m in for it. I think i have a healthy kidney I can sell…
        The Princess stuff in insane. My kiddo is such a mix of princess/tom boy. She always wants to wear a dress, but she only hangs out with the boys at school. I need to teach her kung fu and have her be the dress-wearing ass-kicker

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Well,
        at least you will get some great pictures and video of your happy kid that may make living with only one kidney a bit more palatable!

    • Judge Droid says :

      I think Mads is the best thing about Hannibal, acting-wise. He’s been good.

      • kloipy says :

        Droid- I just feel like he’s playing him as way too sinister already. Not that the viewer doesn’t know, but I hate it keeps nodding to it (see see, he’s a cannibal!) but Will doesn’t even suspect anything until it is too late in the books but this Lecter is practically spelling it out for him

      • Judge Droid says :

        I don’t think he’s playing it sinister in his interactions with Will or Jack. In scenes not involving them? Sure. Sinister as hell. They’ve already shown him eating human lungs, and the assumption that he’s fed human flesh to Will. But the character is so well known that it’s utterly pointless to try to hide it. I’d rather they play it straight with the character, as they have been.

      • kloipy says :

        That’s true Droid. I’ve only seen the pilot so far and I did like it. But that we know him is part of my problem with the show. It just sort of robs it of any real suspense. If they follow the logic of the books (which they don’t really have to I guess) anyone who has read or seen Red Dragon or Manhunter know what will happen to Will, so it doesn’t really have the air of consequence to it. I’ll continue to watch it just to see what it does though

      • Judge Droid says :

        That is true. I have really enjoyed it despite this though. It will depend on the murderers they encounter and if they can keep the relationship between Hannibal and Will interesting. But as we’ve mentioned before, it does seem like a one and done show. One good season and finished.

  7. tombando says :

    Who here has caught the Kevin Bacon chasing a killer show yet and how izzit? And Scandel?

  8. tombando says :

    Holy shit did you guys see what happened in Boston at the finish line for the marathon? imagine if that had been a suicide bomber.

    • kloipy says :

      Just terrible Bando. Just feel sick about it. Seems we can’t open a new day without some horrific thing happening in this world.

  9. ThereWolf says :

    Well, you know how me and telly series get on… I’m only up to S4 of SN! So I’m not putting any more series on me Lovefilm list just yet.

    I do admire your dedication to the goggle box though – outstanding.

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