What are some tv shows you want to like but don't?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Jayson1, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    It is a very good series, with regard to Walter though my take was that
    he was always that guy. Take his anger when dealing with those guys who picked on Walter Jr, or his pride and arrogance in refusing to take money from his former business partners.
     
  2. douwed

    douwed Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I gave it a chance I eventually even finished it, but it wasn't terribly compelling for me I kinda had to push myself to finish it. To each their own I guess. You are right the initial motivation was fine, but it just didn't grab me.
     
  3. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think Breaking Bad is the best series ever, but it was (IMO) the first and still the only show to rival something like The Sopranos in quality while keeping the pace of something like 24. It's absolutely incredible how nearly every single episode dramatically moved the plot forward without quality ever dipping.
     
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  4. douwed

    douwed Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Breaking bad is not the worst show but I don't remember ever looking forward to watching an episode, it was a way to kill an hour but nothing more, to me at least.
     
  5. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, I can understand that then. And as an interesting aside, Ozark on Netflix constantly gets compared to Breaking Bad, but personally I don't see it. The motivations for one thing are completely different, because while Walter is in it for trying to pay for his treatments, but Jason Bateman's characer in Ozark is just dirty from the get-go, making the choice to be illicit and for no other reason, and I almost gave up on it after the first season, because I found it hard to sympathize with him and the situation he put himself in.


    I always saw it that he was too proud, and didn't want many people to know how he was suffering, wanted to keep his dignity intact. By accepting help from his former partners, it would have signaled a personal defeat of some form, as he likely considered it a personal battle he wanted to overcome from himself alone and didn't want others to be involved in his suffering.

    That's the beauty of this show though. I think there are many things we can take away from it. I found it pretty powerful. By the end, we see that he's let the whole business consume him.
     
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  6. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I really like Ozark but you're right, it isn't Breaking Bad in all but the most superficial ways. I guess really it's less Bateman who's Walter in that than Laura Linney.
    At the other end of the ordinary people do crime genre I also love Good Girls. It can be dark but on the whole it's way more fun than Ozark
     
  7. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ozark is trying so hard to be Breaking Bad it’s almost lost its own identity. It even lifted a minor plot point from Better Call Saul with the therapist buying a way too ostentatious car.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Ozark. But you can almost hear Netflix executives shouting ‘be more Breaking Bad!’ between scenes.
     
  8. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Her character definitely seems to be the driving force. In a way, she seems to be enjoying it more than her husband does. Overall, I just find it really difficult to sympathize with them as they seem to keep making bad decisions. I kind of almost wish they'd be caught to see how they would get out of such a situation. At the same time, I have low patience for shows that throw characters into terrible situations only to get them out of it quickly. I don't find that to be good writing.
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    I would disagree with that assessment. When you watch it again knowing where it ends up you see Walter at the beginning very differently. He was angry that he missed out on becoming a billionaire with Grey Matter, and felt entitled to that sort of success. All the cancer did was give him nothing to lose and give him an excuse. Even at the beginning, he's controlling and narcissistic. At that point he really believes he can do it all without violence, and then after the incident with Tucco, without innocent casualties at least. And most of the time he makes an effort to avoid loss of innocent life, but even early on he shows callous disregard for the lives of his dealers. He told himself over and over again he was doing it for his family, and realizes at the end it was all a comforting lie and all he wanted was the power and money he felt entitled to.

    He was never really doing it just to pay for his treatments. He was doing it because he felt the universe owed him something after taking away Grey Matter. And as the series went along, Heisenberg shed more and more of his Walter White costume.

    The major difference between Breaking Bad and Ozark is that in Ozark the wife is on board. And not just, I'm playing along because I think you'll die of cancer soon and want to spare our children from the knowledge, really on board.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  10. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think this is the main problem with Ozark. It's really hard to keep up that BB style pace with lots of twists and not have it just look like ridiculous good fortune for the protagonists to keep escaping. It doesn't help that Wendy is constantly gloating about how great she is, even though realistically it's just the show making things monstrously easy for her. I get the impression it wasn't supposed to be Wendy who would drive the plot forward. Feels a lot more like something they came up with on the fly and just ran with.
     
  11. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I definitely don't see it that way. Maybe he felt like he made a bad decision, and maybe he eventually regretted it, but we have to consider that he originally made the decision before his cancer diagnosis and likely wanted to keep his dignity. Either way, I think he genuinely enjoyed being a chemistry teacher and applied what he knew to the best of his abilities. I really don't think his cancer was used as an excuse. Motivation, yes, but excuse?


    Oh yeah, definitely agree. Good point about Wendy, as I've often rolled my eyes whenever she's done that. I was actually kind of glad that they gave them separate ambitions during the last season, but it seems to me like each of them are digging their own graves with each bad decision they make. Some of them are quite callous.
     
  12. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    There's a scene where he tells Jesse that he checks the valuation of Grey Matter every day and thinks about how he 'Sold his birthright for a few months rent'. He always had something like this in the back of his mind, the cancer just removed his inhibitions that prevented him from doing it. Remember, in the first season, Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz offered to pay for his treatment outright, and he turned it down out of pride.

    I do believe he enjoyed being a chemistry teacher. He didn't enjoy working at a car wash. And he always felt like billions of dollars he deserved were unfairly taken away from him. You can enjoy your job and still think it's beneath you.

    And, he didn't decide to cook meth until after the diagnosis. He went on the ride-along, then he was diagnosed, and *then* he contacted Jesse.

    There's also the running theme in the show of Walter being triggered by Hank's alpha male behavior. Particularly a scene where he makes his son drink tequila, and the more Hank tries to stop him, the more he insists on it. And I think that was season two. He was not cooking meth to pay for cancer treatment. He wanted to be the man in power. The cancer just removed his inhibitions, and any question of whether his motive was to pay for cancer treatment is removed when he turned down charity to do so.

    I've watched through it all like six or seven times, so I've had a lot of chances to take in all these little details.

    In a way, the difference between Breaking Bad and Ozark is that in Ozark, they are honestly what Walter White was pretending to be.
     
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  13. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, hence the reason for it being his main motivation. We can continue to forever discuss the little details, but the main point is that it's generally been a far more compelling show, partly because of his cancer diagnosis making him a more relatable figure. Ozark in comparison doesn't really have any of that going for it, where it's just bad people doing bad things.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
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  14. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

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    I was pressured a lot to watch TBBT. I remember my parents were obsessed with it and most of my maths class (including the teacher) would crack jokes about it. Then around 2013-14ish I very suddenly lost interest and I think the rest of them did as well. From what I recall I had originally liked the series because of all the sci-fi stuff in it but in later seasons as the main cast got paired up it devolved into being just another generic sitcom.

    She seems to be a particular unfavourite of a lot of reviewers.

    The Cousins' War series is a bit strange for me because while they have a great many faults I remember (and rewatch) them a lot more than I do other, technically superior series. I guess it's the historical equivalent of Voyager in that way. I also find it intriguing that such a brief series has enough of a devoted fandom to keep putting music videos out even years later.

    As someone who never watched the series or read any of the corresponding books I was aggravated by how much everybody around me kept going on about them (even worse than Breaking Bad) and using GoT as the benchmark by which to identify every actor and evaluate all other programming. It was particularly annoying that in the comments sections of certain YouTube channels I followed the posters would seek to cram in an irrelevant reference at every opportunity.

    Then, come 2020, it all very suddenly disappeared. Having dominated popular culture for about a decade, suddenly the show was so despised that nobody would admit to ever having watched it. In April when Chris Whitty gave a Gresham lecture about COVID-19. He talked about how transmission of flu-like diseases changes with the seasons and, in a rare case of him making a joke, said "It's not just in Game of Thrones that winter's always coming."* In 2019 that quip would have been perfectly in keeping with contemporary culture but in 2020 it was as cringe-worthy as if he'd referenced On The Buses.

    My favourite part of this phenomenon is watching YouTube clips from LOTR and seeing the comment sections filled with the anguished cries from disappointed Thronies about how Helm's Deep was so much better a battle than Winterfell.

    I watched the British version in 2014 but didn't realise until much later that there was an American version out. I never bothered watching that but many of my classmates did. There have been quite a lot of US remakes of British series over the years and I wondered why this one was such a big hit - including back in Britain - when the majority flop. I think it's because most of the remakes are just carbon copies of the original without an understanding of why the original worked. That couldn't be done with HoC because the US political system is too different for the plot to be transferable - Urquhart/Underwood's rise to power in the first season might just about work but the plot of the second (the prime minister having a war of words with the king) couldn't happen in a country where the head of state and head of government are the same person, nor could the third season (trying to beat a predecessor's tenure record) happen when there are strict term limits.


    *Or something like that, I can't be bothered to watch the whole thing again to check.
     
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  15. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're right that there are some things that simply wouldn't work, but I think at its very core, the story could have, if they'd stuck with it. Given that it was the same creator at the helm of both, I think the original intent was to follow through with as much as the original story as possible while adapting it for a different political system. As for the tenure thing, It still works out, but it's done differently as you have Francis holding on and preventing any competition from having a chance, but frankly it's now a little too close to the truth given what recently happened.
     
  16. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    A bit late to respond to this, but I feel like Walter conned himself into believing he had those motivations, and conned the audience into believing it at the same time. That's why his confession to Skyler at the end "I did it for me" was such a big payoff. He was finally admitting it to himself as much as Skyler.
     
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  17. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ok, that I can believe. In the end though, it doesn't stop the fact that it's generally a more compelling show than Ozark, at least IMHO.
     
  18. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blooness Premium Member

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    Right now, the show I *really* want to like but don't is "Debris." It could be the new, cool sci-fi show but....no. The characters are flat; the dialogue is overly saccharine so nothing feels genuine. The premise has so much potential but it's hobbled by being forced into a network formula.

    It's early days yet, so maybe it will get better, but I'm not very optimistic.
     
  19. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Still find it hard to believe people disagree with that.
     
  20. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's a shame. It's on network TV and started in midseason so it doesn't have much room to breathe.