Jan 3, 2016

Zoo, Brooklyn Nine Nine and other equally great ways to waste time

Golden Age of Television. It's a great time in history, is it not?

There's more good TV than you'll ever watch (Mad Men, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Fargo, Broadchurch, The Killing, Sherlock, The Thick Of It, Homeland, Narcos, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and more)

There's more kind-of-good TV than you'll ever watch (Orange Is The New Black, Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation, The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Doctor Who and more)

There's TV I still haven't watched but which I know is at least kind of good, and likely very good or great (The Fall, Jessica Jones, Master of None, Girls, Transparent, Veep, and more).

There's TV I tried some time ago and have no interest in it so stop talking about it, internet, as if it's as good as the good stuff! (Entourage, The Good Wife - get out).

But, thanks to Netflix (or Stan, or Presto), there is always something at least passably good, and most often actually very good, right at your fingertips. For people my age who grew up on decades of lame to woeful network TV shows, it's amazing how good most of it is, and how much there is.

It's not all "great" television but it is stuff the Golden Age of Television probably makes possible nonetheless, because there's room for every niche as long as everything has high production values and a fast turnaround time.

Here's the stuff I've been enjoying - a mix of good, great and silly:

Better Call Saul
Who didn't love Saul in Breaking Bad?  This is very different but didn't disappoint.  I love him even more now. Plus he's kinda hot. I know!!

The Delivery Man
Really pretty silly. Cop becomes midwife and reverse-sexist shenanigans ensue.  Also has Jenny from Cold Feet (remember Cold Feet?) Mildly funny and easy to watch.

6-episode doco series with melodramatic narration, each episode re-enacting 3 stories of people who survived horrific animal attacks. Includes interviews with the survivors, and representations of the animal bites using x-ray-style graphics of teeth and skeletons, complete with blood and bone crunching noises. Shamefully awesome.

Finally! Season 2!! I love this show. I love it more than Jake obviously loves Amy. Which is a lot.

Some movies:

The Awakening, Case 39, Let The Right One In
Good supernatural horror

Passengers, Unknown, Chloe
Ridiculous but enjoyable psychological suspense/thrillers. 

Just saw this and loved it. Awesome (I mean I was actually awed) movie. Not really what I expected and left me thinking (unlike most of the other things on this list...)

And back to TV: my current show of choice:

Oh this is so good. It has an awesome premise (the world's animals have had enough, and are en masse turning on people), but is not great in execution.  It could have been a lot better - or maybe the story is just a bit too silly.  It is fun to watch though. It has a predictably evil global corporation, some beautiful settings, beautiful animals, and it has Billy Burke (the only hot man in the Twilight movies)

It also has Bess Armstrong - remember her?? I think I last saw her in Jaws 3D. But it came back to me, watching her scenes, that she was never a very good actor.  In fact, once I saw her name on the opening credits and started looking for her, that was how I recognised her.

Zoo also has some silly dialogue, cliched characters, leaps of flawed logic and what I believe is probably very inaccurate science (but, you know, I could be wrong). The scenes with animals are also a little weird, because you don't actually see any animal attacks, and the animals are obviously just standing or running as ordered. (The scene with wolves attacking a prison was a scary idea, but looked a bit too much like a group of dogs loping happily towards their off-screen trainer).

There is a thread on Reddit with a link to this review on YouTube which pretty neatly skewers this show. But whatever, it's silly schlocky fun and I'm enjoying it.

My favourite piece of dialogue so far:
"I don't know which was worse, being attacked by lions, or finding out my sister was sleeping with my fiance."

And re-reading this, I think I may be spending too much time watching TV.    


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