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TV Series Thread

Started by PickelledEggs, August 26, 2014, 06:28:36 PM

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The more I think about this, the more I think TWD hit the right formula - you start out with some good, nice people - people you can really sympathize with - and really throw them to the wolves and see what happens.

Rick, Glenn, Clementine, etc.  They don't all have to be boy scouts, in fact it's better if they each have at least one serious flaw, but they do have to have good qualities.  They don't even have to all be on the same page, in fact it's better if they aren't.

All you have to do as a writer is introduce the character, show off just enough to get the audience to care about them, then put them up against increasingly formidable antagonists/crises that force them to change - sometimes for the good, sometimes for the worse.  Because the real conflict isn't the zombies - it's the day-to-day struggle to maintain your ideals and to change the world around you for the better when it seems like things are always falling apart.  It also helps to vary up the enemies - sometimes zombies, sometimes raiders, sometimes even a basic lack of supplies, just give the characters goals to achieve and problems to overcome and have interesting stuff happen every now and then.  You can repeat the formula practically endlessly.

I'm so glad TWD glossed over the actual outbreak (FTWD was a big mistake imo) because man, that would've been a snoozefest.  So now I'm sitting watching the outbreak in Last of Us and I'm struggling to stay awake.  Really bad call.  Being away from the main characters so early in the show also gives it a lack of focus, which is what did in TWD in its later seasons.  It's really bad that this new show is having these sorts of problems very early on.


I liked The Walking Dead, but stopped watching it when I no longer had access to the channel. There was one thing that was starting to bother me, though. It started to feel like there wasn't a thread tying the story arcs together. At first, it seemed like there was this mystery of the nature of disease. How does it work? Where did it come from? Do the Walkers have memories or their previous lives?

We got drip fed some information over time. We learn the disease basically restarts the brain after death, but only the most vital parts of the brain, allowing them to move and follow sound. We learn the disease is airborne, meaning even if you're not bitten or scratched, if you die for any reason, you become a Walker.

But we also see a Walker returning to her home over and over again, implying they may retain some memories after all. When one character dies, we see his life flash before his eyes. a part of them still there or not?

Then there was that guy who claimed to be able to cure the disease, if escorted somewhere. But that turned out to be a dead end. Oh yeah, and there was that whole thing with Rick being pronounced dead in episode one, but he wakes up. I mean, his friend checked for a pulse and couldn't find one. Is Rick a Walker who is immune from the negative effects of the disease? Probably not. But it's never addressed again.

Over time, we just stopped learning about Walkers and the disease, though. It all just became about surviving the last threat to pop up. It just felt like I was getting blueballed with this mystery going unsolved.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville--


We don't know and that information is never revealed. 

Walkers may indeed retain some of their humanity, and we get some tantalizing glimpses into this.  It was even a plot point where Hershel kept a bunch of them in a barn anticipating some sort of cure.

Ultimately, the nature of the disease and any ability to cure it, if any, is left to the audience's imagination.  Hell, much of the world could be zombie-free (or completely dead) and the characters we follow don't know that.  The real focus of the show is the characters' struggles, the zombie outbreak is just the backdrop.

In universe - all the cure talk is wishful thinking that the characters indulge in despite the lack of evidence because it gives them hope for a return to status quo (a couple character point this out).  One character notably exploits this wishful thinking to be valued and protected by other survivors.

Out of universe - all the cure talk is a deliberate mislead to give the characters motivation to travel from point A to point B


Okay, the second episode of Last of Us was pretty good.  Gorgeous CGI (the iconic overgrown city was amazing), good action, much better character interactions.  Maybe I was too hard on it earlier, but damn, it really dragged in a few places.  I suppose I should keep at it.  Hopefully, something cool happens along the way.


I just binge watched the first season of The Legend of Vox Machina. It's entertaining and reminds me of Joss Weadon's brand of quippy humor.  Maybe my expectations are unrealistic but the animation of Amazon's animated shows like this and Invincible is just... uninspired.


I really enjoyed that show, but I see what you mean.  It's passable animation, but the focus is clearly more on the audio than the animation.

I liked the jokes for the most part, since they tend to parody standard d&d tropes.

Also, you know crap has hit the fan when Percy brings out the mask...


Just finished episode 3 of Last of Us.

The neighbors must've been cutting up onions all night long...


Episode 4 of The Last of Us:

Solid episode and this time, we actually get to focus on the main characters.  I'm hooked!  (this show is like Mando, TWD, and Logan put together)

I was delighted by the hurricane of puns.  Very similar to teenager me.  (Some people thought it was annoying.  I got news for ya, teenagers are annoying)

My only remaining gripe is that I don't know how TF technology still works in this setting.

I'll use TWD as an example: a couple of years after the apocalypse, they start running out of leftover food and have to start growing their own.  And patch up their clothes.  Rick's shoes noticeably become very, very worn out a few years into it.  At a certain point, they also have to stop using cars, opting to use horse-drawn carriages or just ride horseback.  A few years after the apocalypse, they amass quite an arsenal of guns, going from a few handguns to significant portion of the group having their own full-auto rifles (due to intense conflict with raiders, they probably have more guns than people at one point).  But after a decade or so, their arsenal drops off due to disrepair, even though they produce their own bullets.  The point is, technology decreases steadily as things wear out and are only partially replaced with homemade gear.

The Last of Us takes place a solid 20 years after the apocalypse and people are still driving around (though gasoline is going bad, so cars probably won't be usable much longer), still eating canned goods from the before times, still have fairly decent clothes, and are still firing full auto guns at each other.  They even have electrical power (powered how I don't know), though afaik, it just keeps the lights on.  And this is with technology left over from 2002 (so renewable power isn't very far along)

I know what you're going to say, it's a show about fungi-people-zombies, of course it's going to be unrealistic.  But imho, those overgrown and partially toppled buildings is SPOT ON exactly how things would look a couple of decades post-apocalypse.  Great attention to detail, so I don't understand other parts of the same series seemingly don't make sense.  Maybe the QZ has a cannery?  (Maybe they have lobster?)  I dunno, but it's fascinating to think about the details of how this sort of setting works, even if I ultimately won't get any answers.

Mike Cl

Quote from: Hydra009 on February 08, 2023, 03:58:32 PMI know what you're going to say, it's a show about fungi-people-zombies, of course it's going to be unrealistic.  But imho, those overgrown and partially toppled buildings is SPOT ON exactly how things would look a couple of decades post-apocalypse.  Great attention to detail, so I don't understand other parts of the same series seemingly don't make sense.  Maybe the QZ has a cannery?  (Maybe they have lobster?)  I dunno, but it's fascinating to think about the details of how this sort of setting works, even if I ultimately won't get any answers.
That reminds me of a show that History Channel (I think) called something like--The Earth after People.  And it showed how various places would look after 5 years, 10 years, 20 years and later, after all people were gone.  I was interesting to see how the program made something like Golden Gate Park would look at those various stages--what would go first and what would most likely last for awhile.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?<br />Then he is not omnipotent,<br />Is he able but not willing?<br />Then whence cometh evil?<br />Is he neither able or willing?<br />Then why call him god?


Yes, that's precisely what I was thinking about.  :)


The Last of the US episode 5:

Fantastic episode.  Perfect blend of character moments, action, and even a couple philosophical musings.  Exactly what I want in my zombie shows, which superficially seem shallow and repetitive, but can be a good vehicle for deep themes when done well.

I admit to watching this scene in the video game before watching the TV adaptation and while the TV version is very, very similar, there was one tiny, pivotal detail that the TV show didn't include that really wowed me when I saw the video game scene.  A seemingly innocent exchange that is so much more messed up after a plot twist later on.  I can't talk about it without spoiling it and afaik the spoiler tags are still borked, so I can't go into detail.  Suffice it to say that the TV version was a 9/10 when it should have been a 10/10.

And my final nitpick is that the villain was kinda underwhelming.  Plus, they did this thing where the villain is absolutely in a position to kill the heroes and super motivated to pull the trigger but instead of shooting, they wait and wait and then there's a distraction and instead of pulling the trigger then wheeling towards the distraction, they just kind of forget about the Iron Fleet heroes and give the distraction their full attention.

Look, writing villains is hard - having them be a credible threat to the heroes without burying them is difficult.  Once again, I'll compare it to TWD.  The Governor was a good villain because he was a dark reflection of the main hero Rick - a lot of heroic qualities and a similar role as Rick, but lacking compassion and driven with obsession.  He's a credible threat because he straight up kills one of the heroes and tortures another one, so when he's about to do it again, you know he means business.  Negan was a good villain guessed it-  dark reflection, kills several, tortures another one, just on a much longer timescale and much more in-your-face.  Anyone sense a theme?

In the Last of Us, it's a two-man team, so you can't exactly kill anyone off.  But you absolutely can put the heroes hanging from a cliff or badly wounded or something.  Not just almost hurt or threatened with violence, but almost dead and pulled back from the brink.  Hopefully, next time the threat is a little more believable.


Nothing is more important than Family.



Six episode miniseries in June!

Since you already have a rough idea what this is about, it probably won't hit you as hard as it did me.  But this comic series absolutely floored me.  Lots of intrigue boiling over into a helluva crisis, exacerbated by the fact that you absolutely cannot trust anyone.

Just imagine going about your day as a lowlevel SHIELD agent, essentially a beat cop but for supers.  You sit down at a cafe, have a coffee and look through your emails.  You get some strange ones, something about odd behavior from the boss lately, new security procedures, everyone has to check by the armory to surrender their piece in exchange for a new one and...what's this?  Two emails from a coworker - one says she wants to meet to talk about something important...and confidential.  The other email unhinged and paranoid saying that she needs to talk right now but come alone because *they* are watching.  And the crazy thing?  Different email addresses, but claiming to both be from the same person!

Before you can reply, some middle-aged mother of two mumbles something about Him and climbs up on the table like a crazy person before calmly and solemnly saying "He loves us" and BAAAAM, half the cafe is blown to smithereens.  Supers are fighting out in the street, a helicarrier crashes down Main Street, the President addresses the nation on TV from an undisclosed bunker while another casually addresses the nation from Fenway Park like it ain't no thing.  Supers duke it out, but it's impossible to tell who's on what side.  The national guard is called in but bizarrely, they're equally as likely to escort civilians to safety as they are to gun them down.

More explosions.  Like every conceivable crisis packed into one day.  Gun out, you try to escort some wounded to the nearby hospital.  As you turn the corner, you see yourself doing the same thing with another group.  He points it right at you and says you're some sort of alien.  He's the alien!  Your head throbs with the worst migraine of your life.  He says it's because that's what all aliens experience that when confronted by their double.  But he's the alien!  I'm not the alien, he is...I'm not the alien he is...I'm not the alien he is...


Beef. New Netflix mini series. It's good.

Middle life crisis-dark comedy.
"science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. ıt is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good." - tp


Just finished season 1 of Foundation on Apple TV. It wasn't anything special but worth the watch. It has been a long time since I read the books so I couldn't tell you how far the story diverged. I should probably try to read them again before Season 2.
Save a life. Adopt a Greyhound.