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Half Déjà Vu
October 16, 2010 8:06 AM   Subscribe

"This family album isn't all-encompassing. 'The Sopranos' had many parents and grandparents, and it spawned many more offspring than can be covered in one slide show. We've just focused on some of the more colorful ancestors and descendants in the family tree."
posted by griphus (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hmm. Maybe I should give Weeds and The Shield a chance.
posted by box at 8:52 AM on October 16, 2010


I really like Weeds. As a series, it doesn't end up where you think it's going when you start watching. The third season got really REALLY dark (for me), and I nearly quit watching, but it picked back up again and continues to be entertaining.

Bonus -- it's only 30 minutes per episode, and the storytelling is VERY condensed, so it really covers a lot of ground in each episode. And it's VERY VERY funny, in a very black comedy kind of way.

I loved the first season of The Shield, but after devoting 12 years to NYPD Blue, I'm kind of burned out on police series in general. I keep thinking I may try to give it a consolidated viewing one of these days, because I continue to hear about how good it is.

Oh, and can I just say how fukin SICK I am of slideshow presentations of material on websites? I almost didn't read the linked article because of the format, but it was well written enough that I did anyway. It's starting to feel like a scam to boost pageviews, either to boost ad revenue or to get some kind of tracking metric from cookies that do monitoring of use of a single website.
posted by hippybear at 9:36 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm halfway through, and really loving this article. I knew about most of these influences, but was surprised by All In The Family. I had never watched more than 5 seconds of All In The Family, and I was amazed at how harrowing the Edith Bunker rape scene was.

And The Shield is one of the greats.
posted by Faust Gray at 10:13 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


All In The Family may be one of the most important and influential TV series ever made. Watch it. It's worthwhile, especially in the context of the times when it was broadcast.
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


My god, it's been over three years since "The Sopranos" faded to black??

So, I guess I should try to watch "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "The Shield." I've suffered through four seasons of "Weeds" but it's just not worth it anymore. They never should have left Agrestic (nor should they have changed the opening credits -- they are so self-indulgent now!). The first two seasons were great but it has been downhill ever since.

Oh and of course I need to watch "The Wire" seasons 3-5.
posted by m0nm0n at 10:50 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


anti-climactic (and thus more surprising, for "The Shield") wrap-up

anti-climatic? what? because nothing blows up? is it possible he didn't understand it? tbh, I can't figure out if he liked the finale or not, but after watching 45 years of TV that was my favorite, blow away, crazy-amazing, final episode of TV I've seen.

And yes, All In the Family was the first time we realized that TV fiction could actually reflect something real. Not sure how the comedy holds up today.

The article itself feels like a thinly veiled premise to write about a bunch of cool shows (i.e. what hippybear said)
posted by victors at 10:54 AM on October 16, 2010


Yes, because nothing blows up. That's anti-climactic for a show where things frequently blow up, and where one of the previous season climaxes had an epic blow-up.
posted by Faust Gray at 11:30 AM on October 16, 2010


Not sure how the comedy holds up today.

It's kind of dated, but no more so and probably a lot less so than other shows from that era. (Yes, I'm looking at you, "Here's Lucy," "Sanford & Son," and "Bridget Loves Bernie.")

Since my dad was basically the living embodiment of Archie Bunker without the overbroad Queens accent, though, I'm not sure how unbiased I can be.
posted by blucevalo at 11:46 AM on October 16, 2010


Sopranos began to get less and less interesting. Connections can be made to anything, if far fetched enough. My favorites on HBO: Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Larry David. Highly regarded by critics, but I have not followed: The Wire, Entourage. Boardwalk --great recreation of time and place in an otherwise tedious show. Blood sucking shows Vampires: trashy. Big Love got better after a while. Hung: tedious but with built in commentary (subtle) about The Way We Live (consumerism etc)
posted by Postroad at 11:54 AM on October 16, 2010


The final scene of The Shield was brilliant and perfect, but it went against expectations. I don't think "anti-climatic" is meant negatively in this context.
posted by Falconetti at 12:02 PM on October 16, 2010


Boardwalk --great recreation of time and place in an otherwise tedious show.

My main complaint with Boardwalk is the sometimes clumsy exposition and on-the-nose dialogue -- a lack of subtlety that seems particularly surprising coming from the same creative team behind The Sopranos (plus Scorcese!), who seemed far more confident in their audience's ability to understand context/character/motivation/etc. in a more sophisticated way. (Oh, and also: the boardwalk itself is lovely to look at, but it feels just a shade too Disneyland Main Street U.S.A. for my tastes. Plus I start every episode praying for the demise of Paz de la Huerta's character, precisely as I pray for the demise of Sookie on True Blood and Dex's sister on Dexter. How can the same writers who brought us Carmela Soprano and Adriana La Cerva give us the [so far] one-note virgin/whore female characters of Boardwalk Empire?)

I seem to recall from one of the reviews (NY Times, maybe?) that it starts getting into a much more interesting groove around episode 5 or so. I hope so, because I really want to enjoy it (I love the premise, I love the visuals, I love that time period, I love Buscemi, I love Scorcese), but this past episode or two I found myself looking at the clock too often to be a good sign.
posted by scody at 2:27 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, agreed on Boardwalk Empire. I find I'm looking more at the sets than the story, which isn't really a good sign. We'll see how it progresses, but if it continues in this vein, I won't bother with watching Season 2.

That said, how great to see Tommy Gnosis from Hedwig doing something else of quality? That has me happy.
posted by hippybear at 2:48 PM on October 16, 2010


I kind of lost interest in Boardwalk Empire after realizing Scorcese wasn't going to do much directing after the premiere. Maybe I should have done my research before it aired but : BAIT AND SWITCH!
posted by Lorin at 2:50 PM on October 16, 2010


Yes, because nothing blows up. That's anti-climactic for a show where things frequently blow up, and where one of the previous season climaxes had an epic blow-up.

and

The final scene of The Shield was brilliant and perfect, but it went against expectations. I don't think "anti-climatic" is meant negatively in this context.

ok, maybe the plot (aka action) might have been so but the story (something screenwriters recognize as distinct from the plot) was extremely "climactic" and satisfying because while it went against initial expectations, it was completely in line with the character. I have to say, that particular ending had a profound effect on me because it seemed to justify my love of the series until that point. I guess reducing the series to be about the action (which the writer does explicitly in the opening of the Shield slide) is ultimately what bugged me.

Regarding the Sopranos, I thoroughly enjoyed it throughout, including the ending - but the first 2 seasons was something magical in that it was about a boss who was having anxiety attacks and sought therapy because he was having problems with his mom(!) This was so Greek it really slayed me. When the actress who portrayed the mother died the writers recovered nicely enough but that initial magical element was gone for me.
posted by victors at 2:58 PM on October 16, 2010


Hmm. Maybe I should give Weeds and The Shield a chance.

Don't bother and Yes, you should

So, I guess I should try to watch "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "The Shield."


You should, YOU MUST, and yeah, you should.
posted by saul wright at 4:56 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does the cancer treatment stuff on Breaking Bad get better (i.e., less explicit/intense) or worse as the show progresses? We started watching it and loved it, but the scenes of him retching in the bathroom, etc., etc. were just too much for me to deal with currently, so I had to back-burner it after watching roughly the first half of Season 1.
posted by scody at 5:07 PM on October 16, 2010


Scody, after the first season there's less focus on Walt's cancer, although it's still a significant part of the plot. After season 2 people are ending up in the hospital for lots of reasons unrelated to cancer...
posted by biddeford at 5:39 PM on October 16, 2010


The Shield was the epitome of "what a tangled web we weave".
posted by bwg at 5:41 PM on October 16, 2010


I really like Weeds. As a series, it doesn't end up where you think it's going when you start watching. The third season got really REALLY dark (for me), and I nearly quit watching, but it picked back up again and continues to be entertaining.

Bonus -- it's only 30 minutes per episode, and the storytelling is VERY condensed, so it really covers a lot of ground in each episode. And it's VERY VERY funny, in a very black comedy kind of way.


The husband started watching Weeds on Netflix like two weeks ago. I liked the first two episodes or so, but thought there was a rapid decline in quality by the end of the first season. Nancy became not only unlikeable, but also really really boring, as were so many of the supporting characters. By the time he was deep into the second season, I was whining loudly about my hatred for Nancy and begging him to let me put on Jack and Bobby instead (which, BTW, is a pretty good family drama that deserved far more than its one season). But something happened at the end of season 2. It got really good! By midway through season 3 I was watching along with him, despite myself, and we just finished season 3 in a marathon viewing tonight. Now, I'm not sure that it will stay consistent in its quality--I still find Nancy to be one of the blandest and unsympathetic leads I can remember seeing on TV--but it's certainly entertaining enough to consider getting into. Also, it has a fantastic soundtrack.


Yes, we watch a lot of TV.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:26 PM on October 16, 2010


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