Debating TV shows

I’ve got a whole assortment, that Prime-thingy, Netflix, Sky, Paramount, Apple, Disney - but like @secretagentfan I only watch a select few things.
On Apple it’s Teheran, on Disney Only Murders and The Bear.

Recently, Amazon messages me to tell me my ‘BBC Player’ was missing me, because I just fail to finally watch Doctor Who beyond early Tennant - but the wife watches most of the cozy crime so that’s at least a reason to keep it.

Most of my other subscriptions are similarly underused. Some of the stuff is no doubt good - but often one spends an hour in the menu without settling for anything. And especially the Netflix offerings tend to resemble each other, only switching from Poland to Britain to Spain to Germany; there’s a certain predictability to productions.

A bit like Chinese food, you leave the restaurant feeling bloated and strangely empty. I recently sat through eight episodes of Harlan Coben - but I couldn’t tell you anything about it except that the main character was cast entirely unconvincing.

So are you missing out? Depends. If somewhere in the near future you expect to host grandchildren, a Disney subscription might come in handy so you can park them for weeks in front of the telly, the way we - well, I at least - grew up.

The ‘classic’ Hollywood output, the films they used to show on the telly up to the 90s, is spread across a whole range of services. But often you can find them on a ppv basis on, for example, Prime. So that’s not necessarily worth a whole subscription.

But if one wants to be pleasantly surprised by some out-of-the-blue discovery - like I was with Blue Eye Samurai recently - then there’s no getting around several subscriptions and mostly ignoring them until existential ennui lets you spend a whole evening zapping through submenus and watching trailers.



They shall be sent out to work - sweeping chimneys, paper rounds, kerchief-stealing and random acts of vivisection. The way we - well, at least I - grew up*.

*obviously a lie; I have never grown up. However, I am now far too portly for most chimneys. My girth is immense. I need to watch less television.


Another problem for me: so often when I am looking for a particular movie on the streamers it is not available - only as a ppv. For example, last week I was searching for Harold Becker´s “City Hall” and Tony Gilroy’s “Michael Clayton”… and not one of the streamers offered it.

Maybe I am not algorithm-friendly.


In my defence, my better half does look like Kate from Bridgerton…to the the point she is worried Kate won’t in it as much she would like.




That be her, she even came with a dog.


You could buy them as used blu ray on amazon :astonished:

I did - but that defeats the purpose of paying for streamers.

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That´s exactly the same like in the 80s…they rarely had the old movie you were looking for in your local video shop


And those two were only from the 90‘s and 00‘s.

So many classic movies from the 20th century are not existing on most streamers.

I shudder to think that in a few years generations have forgotten those classics and consider Sylvia Sweeney romcoms milestones of cinema.


Is it a bad thing I don’t know Sylvia Sweeney? I looked her up, I still don’t know her, or any of the movie titles she’s known for.


I think you mean SYDNEY Sweeney, but your point still stands.


Yes, I‘m that old that I bungle names now.

Oh, man, is my bickering just an age thing?


Not when the bickering is of your quality.


As for the power and the idiocy of marketing…


‘Shardlake’ (Disney+)

Supposedly this has been gestating since 2007 - not long after the start of the book series - and potentially starring Kenneth Branagh (before he jumped ship and switched to the BBC ‘Wallander’ adaptation).

What a lucky strike that delay was.

Not just is Branagh a better Wallander; the big advantage is that Arthur Hughes is Shardlake. Not because of his handicap but because he largely makes us forget about it. Shardlake is seriously handicapped - but the focal point of political conflict and personal danger he finds himself in isn’t a result of that handicap. And his integrity and dogged will to negotiate this dangerous maze are only all the more resolute for it.

‘Shardlake’ is based on Sansom’s Dissolution, a historical crime novel set in the tumultuous time of English Reformation. On the surface a locked room mystery, the series unfolds a political thriller dimension out of its monastery setting. While both elements are intertwined one cannot help feeling that Cromwell, Norfolk and the entire London shark tank of movers, shakers and assassins is a little underused.

A King’s commissioner is found beheaded in a Scarnsea monastery and Shardlake is sent to…no, not find out the truth. His brief is to get there and fairly fastish wrangle a concession out of the abbot. If he finds out who shortened his predecessor that’s just a bonus.

Shardlake is given strong-arm colleague Jack Barak - played amicably cocky by Anthony Boyle - as entirely superfluous support. And the two of them start shaking up Name-of-the-Rose Country right away. But while the investigation seems to tread water at times the series itself zips along nicely. There are eerily-beautiful scenes in marshes, dungeons and secret passages; there’s a little action and bloodshed, and there are production values aplenty.

In fact, we reach the end of the fourth episode remarkably swiftly. Shouldn’t that be at least two more episodes? No?

But once we’re there the Shardlake-Barak buddy relationship is firmly established and the hints at huge nefarious forces in the background promise plenty of intrigue and suspense for future seasons.



Nothing to do with this thread, but I’m afraid I’ll need another comment in the Casting the Continuation Novels thread to continue. Thanks.

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Have we come… to the point… that even the thinnest plot… can only be communicated…by saying the shortest sentences… and in between… there has to be a sound effect…?

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