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What other TV shows do you watch?


EvigMidnat
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We've recently been watching an episode of Murder, She Wrote (on DVD) each evening with supper, and anyone who's also watched the show frequently (e.g., in daily syndication) might appreciate a piece that I happened upon.  It's called "The Formula for an Episode of Murder She Wrote" [here], and even though I love the show, I must admit that this writer has it hilariously pegged.

Brief sample:

JESSICA’S LOVELY FRIEND:
Well, this isn’t at all the right context for this phrase, but a rolling stone gathers no moss.

JESSICA:
Moss… that’s it!

JESSICA’S LOVELY FRIEND:
That’s what?

JESSICA:
The missing piece of the puzzle!


P.S.:  Some of the comments are pretty good too.

 

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Apropos of nothing (except the thread title, of course 😄 )....  Since I cannot get broadcast TV anymore, and can't afford for-pay services, I have been reduced to streaming anything I can find for free ... most of which is pure crap (you get what you pay for! :D )   Lately I've been watching the old "Rifleman" TV series, which originally aired in the late-50's, early 60's. I think it's been in syndication somewhere ever since (that is, rebroadcast). At any rate, I was a fan when I was a kid.

I still love the character of the boy, Mark McCain ... so cute and sweet-tempered! ... but man, I realize now that his pop was one bloodthirsty son-of-a-gun. He kills at least one person in every episode, usually right in front of his 10-year-old child. A lot of the killings are avoidable, but Lucas McCain can't resist butting his nose (and his rifle) into every situation. Every once in a while he or the sheriff preaches about how "killing is never a good thing", but somehow Lucas is lauded for every shooting and is considered a pillar of the community. I'm up to season 3 and he must have killed over a 100 people by now. Wow. There's also been several episodes that feature gunfighters-for-hire, and they are always treated as respectable folks. Double wow.

It can't help but make me reflect on the gun culture in this country. The people I mostly hang out with have "outgrown" this sort of attitude towards gun use; we feel it should be avoided when possible, and left to the authorities, not to self-styled "protectors of our way of life". But watching the show makes me think a lot of Americans still believe the Lucas McCains of the world are someone to look up to, and worse, emulate. If so, I find that attitude both immature and scary. It also makes me wonder if Kyle Rittenhouse grew up watching this series. Urk, I think the world has run beyond me.....

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Oh, and I also tried to watch the highly-recommended-by-friends "Yellowstone". The first episode was so filled with profanity (boring!!!!) that I soon started playing a video game while it was on, and then they inserted a pointless and very raunchy sex scene, at which point I turned it off. Why, why, why do they feel such crap is necessary to tell a story???? Wah..........

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Lately I've been watching the old "Rifleman" TV series, which originally aired in the late-50's, early 60's.

 

6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I'm up to season 3 and he must have killed over a 100 people by now.

6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

watching the show makes me think a lot of Americans still believe the Lucas McCains of the world are someone to look up to


Please re-read that first quote.  Admittedly, the fact that the show is still running (albeit on some free streaming service) sounds like it still has fans -- but many of them are probably on a nostalgia trip like you.

Note that Star Trek is still running too, and they got past the "kill the monster" stage with the very first episode.

 

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Why, why, why do they feel such crap is necessary to tell a story????

Story?  What's a "story"?

 

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11 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

 


Please re-read that first quote.  Admittedly, the fact that the show is still running (albeit on some free streaming service) sounds like it still has fans -- but many of them are probably on a nostalgia trip like you.

Note that Star Trek is still running too, and they got past the "kill the monster" stage with the very first episode.

 

To be honest, I'm not sure what your point is ... but something I always admired about Star Trek was that it acknowledged that the universe is morally ambiguous. I.e., sometimes "our side" is on the "wrong side." This was not a concept I was exposed to as a kid! But a lot changed in this country between 1958 and 1968, and I always thought of it as "progress." Even more to the point, I always thought most people considered it "progress." Now I'm not so sure; The Rifleman is over 60 years old but the attitudes seem awfully contemporary sometimes. Proof that history goes in circles, perhaps? (I hope not.)

At any rate, in spite of my reservations about McCain's bloodthirst, I find the show more palatable than anything else I can find online right now ... which unfortunately says a lot about my state of mind these days! :D 

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I never watched that show much, but yeah, the kid was pretty appealing.  Other than the two main characters, about all I remember from the show was "Pa!  Pa!"  I saw that young actor just recently on Murder, She Wrote.  He had grown up!

My point, near as I recall, was that Rifleman is a far from current program, so (unless you're making the point that it still appeals to current-day audiences) it isn't logical to say that it says anything about modern attitudes.  And the fact that you found it on a free streaming service may imply that it's not so much still-popular as cheap.

 

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On 12/4/2021 at 10:35 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

We've recently been watching an episode of Murder, She Wrote (on DVD) each evening with supper, and anyone who's also watched the show frequently (e.g., in daily syndication) might appreciate a piece that I happened upon.  It's called "The Formula for an Episode of Murder She Wrote" [here], and even though I love the show, I must admit that this writer has it hilariously pegged.
 

Love this linked piece, thanks Carol. So many good lines like the 22 murders she solves a year.

JB Fletcher is a longtime hero of mine, I still kind of want to be her.

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On 12/9/2021 at 4:39 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

My point, near as I recall, was that Rifleman is a far from current program, so (unless you're making the point that it still appeals to current-day audiences) it isn't logical to say that it says anything about modern attitudes.  And the fact that you found it on a free streaming service may imply that it's not so much still-popular as cheap.

Ah, I see. No, I wasn't trying to say that the show addresses modern attitudes ... I was trying to say that I used to think modern attitudes were different now than they were then. Or to put it another way ... when I was a kid I didn't see anything odd about the casual use of killing as a means to solve a problem, because that was part of the culture I lived in. But as I grew, I came to find the idea pretty appalling, in part because my attitude was influenced by shows like Star Trek and McGyver, which were, in turn, influenced by what I perceived to be the changing attitudes of the country in general. And since my peers felt the same way, I sort of assumed most people did.

Now I can't help but wonder, if they were to reboot the Rifleman without changing a single thing about it except the cast ... if it were broadcast with all the original self-righteousness and assumed superiority of the white alpha male intact ... I wonder if most Americans would embrace it as a "true" representation of our culture as they wish it to be. In other words ... in spite of everything we've been through, has nothing at all changed in the last sixty years?

Hey, I'm alone a lot, and tend to think too much. :P 

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8 hours ago, bedelia1984 said:

JB Fletcher is a longtime hero of mine, I still kind of want to be her.

Me too.  But mostly I lust after her typewriter.  (I've got a very nice Olympia portable gathering dust, but always wanted a Royal manual office model like Jessica's, though heaven knows if they even sell ribbons these days.  I'm presumably far too lazy to pound the keys nowadays -- though it might be worth producing a real typewritten page now and then, just for the nostalgia effect.)

 

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8 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Now I can't help but wonder, if they were to reboot the Rifleman without changing a single thing about it except the cast ... if it were broadcast with all the original self-righteousness and assumed superiority of the white alpha male intact ... I wonder if most Americans would embrace it as a "true" representation of our culture as they wish it to be. In other words ... in spite of everything we've been through, has nothing at all changed in the last sixty years?

You don't have to endorse a mindset in order to enjoy watching it in a movie.  I still laugh every time the guy with the cutlass comes after Indiana Jones, who gives an "Oh, for Pete's sake!" look before blowing him away.  And you still enjoy watching The Rifleman, despite your change of real-world attitude.  That's not to say there aren't some people who do endorse that mindset in real life, but they're clearly in the minority, even out here in the heartland.  Maybe they always were in the minority, but the censors were too busy banning the open-mouth kiss.

8 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Hey, I'm alone a lot, and tend to think too much.

Apparently!

I've recently discovered that the entire series (i.e., one season) of Longstreet is on YouTube.  (Here's Wikipedia's description of the show.)  I enjoy detective shows in general, and this one also focuses on Mike Longstreet as a person -- you might call it a show about a detective.  If you'd like to check it out, be sure to start with the pilot (here), which sets the stage for the series.
 

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12 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

That's not to say there aren't some people who do endorse that mindset in real life, but they're clearly in the minority

I hope you're right about that. It doesn't seem that way, sometimes. All too often, these days.

I can't actually say I'm "enjoying" The Rifleman. It's simply the only thing I've found so far that I can stand to leave on for very long. It's half-hour episodes, maybe that's why. I listen more than watch; it's company, I guess. Man, I'm really starting to sound pathetic.....

I think Longstreet may be something that's available, seems like I saw a listing for it. I'm shocked to see that it's from the 70's ... you would think I'd have heard of it. But in the 70's we lived in areas that didn't receive an ABC channel, maybe that's why. I'll check it out, thanks.

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

I listen more than watch; it's company, I guess. Man, I'm really starting to sound pathetic.....

Sounds like you miss the pre-Covid world.   :hugz:

1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

I think Longstreet may be something that's available, seems like I saw a listing for it. I'm shocked to see that it's from the 70's ... you would think I'd have heard of it. But in the 70's we lived in areas that didn't receive an ABC channel, maybe that's why. I'll check it out, thanks.

It's definitely available (free) on YouTube, at least.  Let me know what you think -- I've recently become somewhat addicted, and would love to have someone to discuss it with.

 

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On 12/10/2021 at 10:31 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Me too.  But mostly I lust after her typewriter.  (I've got a very nice Olympia portable gathering dust, but always wanted a Royal manual office model like Jessica's, though heaven knows if they even sell ribbons these days.  I'm presumably far too lazy to pound the keys nowadays -- though it might be worth producing a real typewritten page now and then, just for the nostalgia effect.)

 

I had a real typewriter as a child- there is something about that sound of the keys that is so hard to beat. There is a shop near me selling vintage models, though they may be more for display. I  remember falling afoul of tippex related spills more than once also.

I think there is some celebrity that does all his correspondence by typewriter- possibly Tom Hanks or Steve Martin. So at leat you would be in good company!

My own personal TV covid low was rewatching the entire series of Frasier and getting the Cafe Nervosa ceramic coffee cups, so I could drink from them whilst watching. I still think its a great show, but I think the main reason that I watched it was that it reminded me of a simpler, safer-feeling time, and gave that sense of pleasant company that you don't have to pay too much attention to if you don't want.

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44 minutes ago, bedelia1984 said:

I  remember falling afoul of tippex related spills more than once also.

I'd never heard that name, but assumed it was basically like the US product Liquid Paper (or its competitor Wite-Out), and the internet says that's correct -- or at least that it's a white liquid that you can paint over mistakes on a typewritten page.

44 minutes ago, bedelia1984 said:

I think there is some celebrity that does all his correspondence by typewriter- possibly Tom Hanks or Steve Martin.

A typewriter would still be a useful tool for anyone who doesn't want to commit to the care and feeding of a computer.  (And yay!  I now see that ribbons for my Olympia typewriter are available online.)

44 minutes ago, bedelia1984 said:

I still think [Frasier is] a great show, but I think the main reason that I watched it was that it reminded me of a simpler, safer-feeling time, and gave that sense of pleasant company that you don't have to pay too much attention to if you don't want.

Especially if you don't mind a few neuroses thrown into the mix!   :D   I agree, a really fine program.

 

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On 12/11/2021 at 8:05 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Sounds like you miss the pre-Covid world.   :hugz:

I think you may be right. 😥

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14 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

 

A typewriter would still be a useful tool for anyone who doesn't want to commit to the care and feeding of a computer.  (And yay!  I now see that ribbons for my Olympia typewriter are available online.)

Especially if you don't mind a few neuroses thrown into the mix!   :D   I agree, a really fine program.

 

I don't know if you've seen the movie 'Can you Ever Forgive Me'- about Lee Israel putting a typewriter to lucrative, if legally dubious, purposes.

Quote

Especially if you don't mind a few neuroses thrown into the mix!   :D   I agree, a really fine program.

The neuroses just improve it! They have one or two nice mystery episodes too- like Retirement is Murder where Marty looks over a cold case, with some bungling assistance from Frasier. It would have been nice to see him as a detective.

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1 hour ago, bedelia1984 said:

I don't know if you've seen the movie 'Can you Ever Forgive Me'- about Lee Israel putting a typewriter to lucrative, if legally dubious, purposes.

Nope, sorry!

1 hour ago, bedelia1984 said:

The neuroses just improve it! They have one or two nice mystery episodes too- like Retirement is Murder where Marty looks over a cold case, with some bungling assistance from Frasier. It would have been nice to see him as a detective.

The neuroses are typically the main basis for the episode, agreed.  It's just that every once in a while one of 'em will kinda get to me, like "Oh, for pete's sake, get a life!"  And I assume that some people have an even lower tolerance than I do.

Martin was one of my favorite characters, actually -- maybe because he's one of the few in the show that I can really relate to.  I don't offhand recall that episode, but it sounds great!  I'll have to keep an eye out for it next time we do a DVD marathon.

The two episodes I find most memorable are 1) the one where Frasier arranges to direct an old-timey mystery show on his radio station.  The rehearsal goes quite smoothly, but then of course all hell breaks loose during the live broadcast, and 2) the one where Frasier and Niles are determined to get tickets to a particular dog show -- not that they're dog lovers (they're clearly not!) but simply because that dog show is a snob event and tickets are nearly impossible to get (and the entire episode is actually a build-up to a dreadful punch line, which I will not repeat here, lest I spoil the joke for someone who hasn't yet seen it).

 

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I have been revisiting a favorite older show currently streaming on Amazon Prime.  I first discovered the show via Netflix, and purchased my own DVDs because I liked it so much.  My remote died and my DVDs are temporarily inaccessible so I'm viewing on streaming.  Some 'revisionist' editions of classic shows don't work, but this one works brilliantly. 

THE MUSKETEERS (BBC 2014-2016-30 episodes

This brisk and cheeky update of the Dumas classic finds the swashbuckling boys in top form.  Athos (Tom Burke), Porthos (Howard Charles), Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) & the 'baby', D'Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) are the King's bodyguard in the court of Louis XIII (Ryan Gage) and his Queen, Anne (Alexandra Dowling).  We learn much more about the Musketeers than we ever did before including the fact that Milady d'Winter (Maimie McCoy), the sociopathic assassin employed by the Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Capaldi) to do his dirty work is the estranged wife of Athos, the tormented nobleman who walked away from his birthright as a gentlemen squire to lead the Musketeer regiment . . and that the long-awaited Dauphin of France is actually the son of Aramis, who has a brief passionate (and entirely treasonous) liaison with his Queen after he saves her life multiple times.  This Porthos is biracial, in a nod to the author's heritage, and is the secret, unacknowledged son of a French aristocrat.  The virtuous yet sassy Constance Bonacieux (the awesome Tamla Kari) is married to a pompous and overbearing draper and struggles with her feelings for D'Artagnan, while functioning as a sort of den mother to the rough and tumble boys.

Peter Capaldi, with a mustache and beard that makes him resemble a schnauzer dog is an excellent malevolent Richelieu, the King's First Minister, who is secretly plotting with agents of Spain.  Unfortunately for the show, Capaldi left after the first season to assume the mantle of the 12th Doctor, so Season 2 opens with the funeral of the Cardinal.  His slimy lieutenant Comte de Rochefort (Marc Warren) steps ably into his place as the top court villain, but lacks Capaldi's charisma.  Rochefort is also in love with the Queen, so things are going to get sticky for Aramis.  As the King and Queen, Gage and Dowling are by turns petulant and entitled and touchingly vulnerable.  Gage in particular has a tricky part and has to find the lost man under the foppish buffoon.  We get frustrated with Louis in his more obtuse moments but never hate him.  He is a victim of an upbringing of immense privilege, yet devoid of a father or any maternal love.  He is a man-child with occasional flashes of nobility, and a very erratic boss indeed, but ultimately loveable despite it.

The costumes and locations (shot in Prague, on a reconstruction of medieval Paris that looks sublime) are fantastic.  The musical score rocks, including one of the catchiest opening titles in all of television.  The actors all attended "Musketeer Camp" prior to shooting to learn how to ride and competently embody the fencing and fighting scenes, so it looks authentic.  While there is a slightly modern sensibility in the dialog and relationships between characters (Milady and Constance as protofeminists, etc.) it is not done to an extreme that tends to mar other period dramas that attempt to be too 'modern'.  We still feel like we are in France, circa 1600s, with better hygiene and beautiful teeth.   Did I mention the clothes?  Fantastic.  Each Musketeer has his own signature variation on the 'uniform' that rarely changes but the ladies' fashions (and it must be said, those of the King) are off the chain gorgeous.  Each one-hour episode flies by.

Each Musketeer is loveable in his own way, but my favorite has always been the quiet, brooding leader with the dark side and the secret pain, Athos (these Musketeer names are 'nommes de guerre' . . in another life, Athos was known as the Comte de la Faire, with a grand estate.  He is, one supposes, slightly older than the rest of his comrades, and is the acknowledged best swordsman in the regiment.  He functions as a mentor to the fiery impulsive youth D'Artagnan who gets his Musketeer commission from the King at the end of the first season.  I would be remiss if I did not mention that Tom Burke is the only child of Granada Watson Prime, David Burke, and he is the series' troubled heart as Athos.  (Smokin' hot as well)  Burke, Sr. has a supporting role as a priest in an episode modeled on another Dumas classic, 'The Man in the Iron Mask.'  Each Musketeer has his own fan club, and each one of our actors is a perfect match to his character.  They are all hot, so it's a buffet of riches.

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On 12/14/2021 at 11:14 AM, Hikari said:

Now watch that and tell me you don't want to see it immediately!

Hey, I didn't even have to watch that and I already want to see it! 😄 The name "Musketeers" alone is enough to get me interested! Haven't found a (free) way to see it yet, though.

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On 12/13/2021 at 7:16 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

 

The two episodes I find most memorable are 1) the one where Frasier arranges to direct an old-timey mystery show on his radio station.  The rehearsal goes quite smoothly, but then of course all hell breaks loose during the live broadcast, and 2) the one where Frasier and Niles are determined to get tickets to a particular dog show -- not that they're dog lovers (they're clearly not!) but simply because that dog show is a snob event and tickets are nearly impossible to get (and the entire episode is actually a build-up to a dreadful punch line, which I will not repeat here, lest I spoil the joke for someone who hasn't yet seen it).

 

I must confess, I cannot find the dog show episode- I went looking as I thought I might not have seen it. Its there any chance you mean the episode hot ticket where they want the ticket for the hot play but won't be seen in the cancellation queue? Or if not any extra clues to which one this episode is?

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54 minutes ago, bedelia1984 said:

I cannot find the dog show episode

Sorry, apparently they consider the dog show to be a sub-plot.  It's the episode where Roz meets her baby's paternal grandparents.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/25/2021 at 2:07 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Sorry, apparently they consider the dog show to be a sub-plot.  It's the episode where Roz meets her baby's paternal grandparents.

 

Ah, thanks Carol, I do remember this one (the couple with the schauzers!) but I will re-watch for the subplot I must have forgotten.

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/14/2021 at 10:12 AM, Hikari said:

THE MUSKETEERS (BBC 2014-2016)

I watched that one when it aired, and quite enjoyed it.

I haven't been able to find a single thing worth my time lately.  Season 2 of "Resident Alien" started in January, and I am dreadfully disappointed.  It is not funny or even interesting anymore at all.  The writing is lazy, aimless and senseless.  The dialogue is weird.  The characters are unlikable.  The acting is annoying.  The humor is cringey.  It is stuffed with boring subplots that go nowhere and have absolutely no bearing on the main character or storyline, whatever that's supposed to be.  There is no story.  There's practically no alien.  He hardly gets any screen time anymore.  It's actually awful.  I really had fun watching the first season (in spite of some cringey humor there too), so I've been suffering through season 2, hoping for a change.  But after the horror show that was episode 3, I'm ready to throw in the towel.  I've never seen a show jump the shark so quickly and inexplicably.  It's sad, it had so much potential.

Guess I'm back to shuffling through my streaming services, hoping to land on a hidden gem.

 

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