[TV] Talk about the last TV you watched, the catchall thread

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Problem is, everyone and their grandmother now tries to have their villains be like that, and, frankly, it's gotten boring.
Most of what I see is still the same ol’ selfish/greedy/subjugation/“I want all the <whatever> for myself!” stereotypical stuff, or else the “mindless consuming threat” (dinosaurs that for some reason never stop being hungry, the Borg, Kaiju, “aliens”), though I freely admit I haven’t seen much lately, of course.

—Patrick
 
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Most of what I see is still the same ol’ selfish/greedy/subjugation/“I want all the <whatever> for myself!” stereotypical stuff, or else the “mindless consuming threat” (dinosaurs that for some reason never stop being hungry, the Borg, Kaiju, “aliens”), though I freely admit I haven’t seen much lately, of course.

—Patrick
Ah, but most of those count under the "we didn't bother with why they're doing what they're doing" category, which is more prevalent in films, because the run time doesn't allow delving into both the heroes and villains backstory.

....

Anyhow, this discussion reminded me about how well the OotS comic does both sympathetic and born ass-holes villains... Xykon and Redcloak being the most prominent.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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I don't think that analogy works, since, you know, normal lanterns would be more like time passing normally, and not time travelling.
I never said lanterns are like time traveling. I said that the existence of more lanterns and lamp oil doesn't negate a miracle happening with one specific supply of lamp oil. A miracle occurring for Sam's leap doesn't mean time travel can't ever work. Jesus performing a miracle and feeing the 5,000 doesn't mean that you can't ever feed a crowd that large, or that if you did feed a crowd that large that it would mean what Jesus did wasn't a miracle.

Yeah, but Ziggy is clearly more then he seems.
Yeah, he's the result of billions of dollars of government funding. How are the evil leapers getting funded? They've got an evil computer, Lothos, that's as capable as Ziggy, and they also have the capability to send back new leapers. It's never explained. It just IS. It's wasted potential, and lazy writing.

Also, didn't the original "evil" leaper get turned by Sam?
Yeah, and that was out of nowhere. It didn't make any sense. She was never very evil to begin with. Her "personality" traits existed solely for Sam to try to save. She had no past that was ever revealed; so she wasn't even there for Sam to redeem, just rescue. WHY? If the devil is behind the evil leapers, why put a damsel in distress for Sam to save? Wouldn't some sort of temptation for Sam make more sense? If the evil leaper project is funded by some organization, and they have enough control to send new leapers back, what is their motivation for going back and dicking with history? Who is paying billions of dollars just to ruin some very specific lives? And why is the person they've sent back to to do this so ready to be stopped by first knight in shining armor she encounters?

Problem is, everyone and their grandmother now tries to have their villains be like that, and, frankly, it's gotten boring.
I have to disagree. I think there's a wide variety of villains out there, and that it's still a minority of shows that are trying to have "perfectly logical, understandable, relatable" villains. In any case, that's not what I'm arguing for. Corporate villainy is rarely logical, understandable, or relatable. It sometimes tries to be those, but generally it's just selfish looking-out-for-#1.

The difference between "I'm being evil because evil is good" and "I'm being evil because it benefits me" doesn't always matter, because there genuinely are people out there who just seem to enjoy seeing evil happen, even if they don't get any long-term gain. There are some people who just like to cause suffering. However, it's harder to get a crowd of people to just go along with random evil. Generally to get a group of people working together on a giant science project with billions of dollars in funding, you have to tell them lies about how the evil they're doing is going to help them, or society, long term. "We're going back in time to ruin this person's life, just because we want to watch him suffer" isn't something you're going to sell a room of people on. Getting them to do it "because it will ensure a better economy", or "it will purify our genetic heritage", or "it will ensure victory over our enemies" is a much easier thing to do. The Evil Leapers never had any of that. Why are they doing what they're doing? Because EVIL.

"We're going to spend billions of dollars continuing this project, that has the capability to send new travelers back in time, and what we're going to be doing with it is making the lives of random people in history worse." It's hard enough to believe that the QL project continues to get funding to try to help Sam when he's doing "good" things. I really don't know how they sold that at the budget meeting, but if you've got working time travel, it's got to have some sort of goal to keep people working at it. (I think they did have episodes about the threat of Sam being abandoned in the past because the project was going to shut down.) Quantum Leap never even hinted at how the evil leaper project was possible. It was all just hand-wavey bullshit, and that's stupid.

The whole Evil Leaper plotline was undeveloped nonsense that clearly was not thought out.
 
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I just want to say that I was a fan of the show, watched it every chance I got, and made a special effort to see the final episode. Sure, I missed some episodes here and there, yet this thread was the first time I have heard any mention of “evil leapers.”

—Patrick
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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I've been rewatching Family Ties... and damn this is a mixed bag. I'll set aside that it's cheesy, kinda cliche, and none of the characters undergo any real character progression... No, wait, I'm not going to set aside that last one. None of the characters have any significant change to their personalities over the course of six seasons.

There's a post going around Tumblr about how it's a warning sign if a guy has Tyler Durden, Rick Sanchez, or Bojack Horseman as their favorite character. Fight Club, Rick & Morty and Bojack Horseman are good shows, but these characters are dysfunctional assholes who really should not be looked up to, and far too many guys who like those characters see them as some sort of rebellious heroes, instead of the disheveled wrecks that they are.

Alex P. Keaton belongs on that list, even more so because Family Ties always shows him as a successful, likeable person. Alex would fit in perfectly with the modern Alt Right movement, if he were just racist. He's sexist, obsessed with money, worships Reagan, and refuses to admit he's wrong in the face of evidence. The worst part is that the show paints him as good guy because his heart overrides his Republican views in limited circumstances. "Women belong in the home... Well, except her, she's proven her competence.", "Money is the most important thing... Except when it's family, AND they really really need help", "Artists should get real jobs, and psychology isn't a real profession... but I'll support my girlfriend because she's pretty and I 'love' her despite the fact that she's going into a profession I don't respect in the least."

Holy shit, most of the time I want to punch Alex. He's an arrogant, unrepentant asshole. It's clear the show wants to set him up as the butt of their jokes about Republicans, but it doesn't work because he succeeds wildly in life. His girlfriends adore him, despite his condescension about their goals in life. His female boss doesn't fire him, despite the fact that he harasses her, because he's just too good with money. He lives a charmed life, and his misanthropic world view never gets him into any real trouble. He compromises his views for love and family, but he never even stops to examine if his views are wrong in light of this. If anything, he seems to take these as the "exceptions that prove the rule".
 
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The same goes for a LOT of male characters, especially father figures, from the seventies and eighties. Al Bundy is a loser in many ways, but a lot of people still consider him an example of how to stand up to women and feminism as exemplified by the neighbors. Times change.
 
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There's a post going around Tumblr about how it's a warning sign if a guy has Tyler Durden, Rick Sanchez, or Bojack Horseman as their favorite character. Fight Club, Rick & Morty and Bojack Horseman are good shows, but these characters are dysfunctional assholes who really should not be looked up to, and far too many guys who like those characters see them as some sort of rebellious heroes, instead of the disheveled wrecks that they are.
Tyler Durden is actively the villain of his own movie. Not only is his plan both inept and provably pointless, it serves no one but himself... he actively wants to bring down the world order in order to bring other men down to his level and force them to live like he does; without hope or desire to improve their situation. And that's just when he's not being a hypocritical asshole. He claims to detest men's standards of beauty while exemplifying them. He thinks men should be the masters of their own fate while indoctrinating gullible losers into becoming his personal terrorists and demanding obedience from them, going so far as to steal their names. He complains about society's emasculation of men but does NOTHING to reclaim manhood on his own terms; all his activities are for his personal amusement and he lives a life free of all responsiblity while leeching off of everyone around him.

To say that Tyler Durden is a reprehensible human being is an understatement.
 
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I really don't get all the hate for The Orville. Were people expecting Family Guy in space?
I think people's arguments against The Orville boil down to two things:

1) This show can't make up its mind if it's drama or comedy
2) Seth MacFarlane shouldn't be allowed to do so many different things at the same time

--Patrick
 
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I mean, it's better than many early episodes of Star Trek: TNG. Remember that one where an entire planet's population ran instead of walked and Wesley faced the death penalty for stepping on some flowers?
 
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I get what people don't like about it. The dick/fart jokes and modern pop culture references can really take you out of it.

However, I think that's a small price to pay for great trek-esk stories.
 
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I get what people don't like about it. The dick/fart jokes and modern pop culture references can really take you out of it.

However, I think that's a small price to pay for great trek-esk stories.
They're not just Trek-esque, they're basically rewrites of TNG scripts and that's what I don't like.
 
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I'm watching The Twilight Zone (Original) for the first time and I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this show is really good.

It's dated as you would expect for such an old show but it doesn't hurt it too much and the stories are still very entertaining.
I'm recognizing a few bits and pieces despite not having seen it before.
 
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I'm watching The Twilight Zone (Original) for the first time and I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this show is really good.

It's dated as you would expect for such an old show but it doesn't hurt it too much and the stories are still very entertaining.
I'm recognizing a few bits and pieces despite not having seen it before.
The last season or two the studios start sticking their fingers in the pie wanted more 'Comedy/light-heartedness' but Rod was still able to pull off good shows.
 
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With older shows like that it's hard for me to sit down and actually watch through it. I'm always too tempted to just try to hit the highlight episodes. When it's good it's great though. I really appreciate how some of the episodes are just excellent examples of good sci-fi writing.
 
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I think people's arguments against The Orville boil down to two things:

1) This show can't make up its mind if it's drama or comedy
2) Seth MacFarlane shouldn't be allowed to do so many different things at the same time

--Patrick
This last episode, they set themselves up to make endless puns about urinating, but stopped at two.

The drama sucks and the comedy is piss poor.
 
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I'm watching The Twilight Zone (Original) for the first time and I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this show is really good.

It's dated as you would expect for such an old show but it doesn't hurt it too much and the stories are still very entertaining.
I'm recognizing a few bits and pieces despite not having seen it before.
After this you should move on to Rod Sterling's Night Gallery.
 
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A series of Unfortunate Events season 3

Dear GOD...the end...was actually...SATISFYING!
No mountain of pointless cliffhangers, no ambiguous deaths of side characters, it was great! Ishmael's plan still made no sense though, but hey, work with what ya got!
 
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We've been watching Mrs Maisel, and we've liked it so far. However, I think some of her on-the-spot comedy is a bit unbelievable. Also, while the sets and wardrobe all look amazing, some of the dialogue feels off. They sometimes speak like they are in modern times. Lastly, I look forward to the moments Shalhoub and Pollak are on-screen. Especially, Shalhoub. He's the best of the cast IMO. We'll finish season 2, but I don't really feel like I have a lot investment in Mrs. Maisel's character.
 
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