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Thread: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

  1. #701
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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    It sounds interesting. Do you think that 8 episodes was the right number? I feel like so many documentaries (and plenty of regular shows) are an episode or two longer than they need to be and it ruins the whole thing for me.
    Extremely interesting. One correction. I typo’d…it is 9 episodes. I hear you on the length thing but this is not a normal documentary at least in my viewing. I found it so fascinating because it isn’t just the history as I knew it. To me, the way they do the backgrounds of people (often in their own words) such as Brezhnev’s family background and upbringing and the folks they have (like the 90 something year old Japanese woman who survived the bomb and her story of what her mother said to her), the fact that they have everyone from folks who were “in the room” running parts of NATO at the time of historic events to lower level folks like the Russian who was filling in for a sick co-worker and stopped a mistake that would have caused missiles being fired….stuff like that which makes this so fascinating. It really also makes one think about not only how we got to where we are today but the possible off ramps and risks we as a civilization are facing.
    « If I knew what I was doing, I’d be doing it right now »

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    Friends love this series, so I’m eager to try it. I will try not to think about how his ship could be called Serenity.
    If you enjoy "wacky" it's fun.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Shogun is so far - good. The Japanese actors are the show though.
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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    We just wrapped up all 6 seasons of This Is Us and I don't think I've ever enjoyed a television series more. Highly recommended if you like subtle nuanced performances and realistic, not-dumbed-down drama...but consider yourself forewarned if you prefer high-octane action (it is a very quiet, slow-moving series) or have trouble following multiple simultaneous timelines (lots of flashback and flashforward).

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Yeah, I’ve been enjoying Shogun.

    We’ve been away for the weekend with a poor cellular signal so watched all of 3 Body Problem. It’s the first thing in a while where I’ve actually binged something. It was very good - although the first 8 episodes are apparently just the first of many books and now we have to wait.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by kdawg View Post
    Yeah, I’ve been enjoying Shogun.

    We’ve been away for the weekend with a poor cellular signal so watched all of 3 Body Problem. It’s the first thing in a while where I’ve actually binged something. It was very good - although the first 8 episodes are apparently just the first of many books and now we have to wait.
    The original Chinese series has 30 episodes @ 50 minutes each

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by kdawg View Post
    Yeah, I’ve been enjoying Shogun.

    We’ve been away for the weekend with a poor cellular signal so watched all of 3 Body Problem. It’s the first thing in a while where I’ve actually binged something. It was very good - although the first 8 episodes are apparently just the first of many books and now we have to wait.
    Quote Originally Posted by vertical_doug View Post
    The original Chinese series has 30 episodes @ 50 minutes each
    I jumped into the middle of 3 Body this last week as friends we were visiting in Prague where immersed in it, so we watched a couple episodes. And while they thought it was amazing, I was bothered by it. Everyone seemed to be having a nervous breakdown and there was lots of weeping. Just seemed strangely different from what sort of drama our friends would have typically been drawn into. And then I read this article which explained some of the shifts from the original to the Netflix version, and after asking our friends about it, they rated the earlier episodes (that I did not see) far higher than the later episodes of the series (which I did see.) So the article suggests origins for that split.
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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    I started the 3BP from the start and the episodes so far are hit or miss. I gave it a few episodes to develop then finally there was a good one. Then the next was back to so-so. I don't know what episode I'm on and have to admit I'll probably finish it but I can't recommend it.

    We are almost done with season 3 of Fargo. We jumped around and this is the last season for us. It is bittersweet.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Recently watched The Gentlemen and enjoyed it. Now watching Derry Girls (after the rest of the world already has). Not sure 3BP is going to be my wife's cup of tea.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Money Heist is a Spanish crime thriller with a team robbing the Spanish Federal Reserve Bank. Complicated, detailed, very well written and acted. On Netflix.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    A few episodes of Mr. Bates vs The Post Office has driven me down the rabbit hole a bit. Good show. I hope it concludes with a scene in which someone in jail on marijuana charges is released early, and Paula Vennels is put into that open cell.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    About to start season 3 of Slow Horses on Apple. Loved the first 2, and Gary Oldman and Kristen Scott Thomas are great. Also about to start watching Fallout on Amazon on the advice of my son.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Shogun episode 9 was a real tour de force from Anna Sawai who plays Mariko.
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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Shogun episode 9 was a real tour de force from Anna Sawai who plays Mariko.
    I have slogged through this version of Shogun without much satisfaction.
    The Anjin is a true one note wonder.
    Most of the other characters are also cutouts.
    It's been many years since reading the novel, but perhaps I would have a similar opinion if I read it today.

    I'm not yet to episode 9, but will give it a go.
    By

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by bironi View Post
    I have slogged through this version of Shogun without much satisfaction.
    The Anjin is a true one note wonder.
    Most of the other characters are also cutouts.
    It's been many years since reading the novel, but perhaps I would have a similar opinion if I read it today.

    I'm not yet to episode 9, but will give it a go.
    By
    Even when I read Clavell's book back in 7th grade, I thought it was a typical British Empire male fantasy, albeit one fastidiously researched by an author with a very interesting history himself. And a page turner of a book. So I actually like that this version of the stories has made Anjin simply a piece on Toranaga's chess board and elevated Mariko to her position as the most interesting character in the book.

    And I think the acting by the Japanese leads has been very good. They are invoking very traditional motifs from an era where restraint was of the utmost, so the subtle nod, hand movement, proximity, etc. was very important. Hiroyuki Sanada who plays Toranaga is especially good as he portrays Toranaga's decay in the face of total defeat in episodes 8 and 9. And Tadanobu Asano is also good as Yabushige, the lord who makes his living from split allegiances.

    I thought the original version with Richard Chamberlain was unwatchable.

    But admittedly, these series are limited in a lot of ways that books are not, especially when it comes to covering expanses of time. The book was 1152pp in its original printing. 10 episodes is just not enough time to make anything as historically detailed as the birth of the Tokugawa Shogunate that lasted 300 years on a highly ritualized multi-level social structure in which honor and shame were the primary animus for a tremendous production of art and war.

    So yeah, definitely flatter than actual history. But as a binge object in 10 easy parts, I think it has a good beat and you can dance to it Mr. Clark.
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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Perhaps it was just my mood or the particular episode I viewed last evening.
    If my wife continues, I'll give it another go.
    Thanks,
    By

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Episode 1 of Shogun definitely didn't pull me in but I hear it gets better so I'll try another 1 or 2 and see how it goes.

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Even when I read Clavell's book back in 7th grade, I thought it was a typical British Empire male fantasy, albeit one fastidiously researched by an author with a very interesting history himself. And a page turner of a book. So I actually like that this version of the stories has made Anjin simply a piece on Toranaga's chess board and elevated Mariko to her position as the most interesting character in the book.

    And I think the acting by the Japanese leads has been very good. They are invoking very traditional motifs from an era where restraint was of the utmost, so the subtle nod, hand movement, proximity, etc. was very important. Hiroyuki Sanada who plays Toranaga is especially good as he portrays Toranaga's decay in the face of total defeat in episodes 8 and 9. And Tadanobu Asano is also good as Yabushige, the lord who makes his living from split allegiances.

    I thought the original version with Richard Chamberlain was unwatchable.

    But admittedly, these series are limited in a lot of ways that books are not, especially when it comes to covering expanses of time. The book was 1152pp in its original printing. 10 episodes is just not enough time to make anything as historically detailed as the birth of the Tokugawa Shogunate that lasted 300 years on a highly ritualized multi-level social structure in which honor and shame were the primary animus for a tremendous production of art and war.

    So yeah, definitely flatter than actual history. But as a binge object in 10 easy parts, I think it has a good beat and you can dance to it Mr. Clark.
    I must have read the book at a similar age as you and had a similar reaction - sort of Wilbur Smithish, but set in Japan with a bit more history and rigour. But, having read the book since my reaction is a little different. On the one hand it is a lengthy historical drama focusing on a complex society at cross-roads in their history. However, on the other, it is a very subtle example of the use of power. So, I think it can be read on two different levels.

    In any event, I enjoyed the TV series. I thought the Japanese characters were well done (even if the actress portraying Mariko was born in NZ). I also thought the scene with Toranaga and Yabushinge was a clever treatment of Toranaga's internal monologue at the end of the book. Though Ishido's fate, dealt with in a short half page treatment in italics in the final page of book, could possibly have been the final, and very brief scene, in the TV series.

    I think I have seen the Richard Chamberlain version, but have no real memory or it one way or the other. Like his portrayal of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, it has been lost in the midsts of time (or streaming services).

    I also finished watching Fallout. I thought that was entertaining!

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by htwoopup View Post
    Extremely interesting. One correction. I typo’d…it is 9 episodes. I hear you on the length thing but this is not a normal documentary at least in my viewing. I found it so fascinating because it isn’t just the history as I knew it. To me, the way they do the backgrounds of people (often in their own words) such as Brezhnev’s family background and upbringing and the folks they have (like the 90 something year old Japanese woman who survived the bomb and her story of what her mother said to her), the fact that they have everyone from folks who were “in the room” running parts of NATO at the time of historic events to lower level folks like the Russian who was filling in for a sick co-worker and stopped a mistake that would have caused missiles being fired….stuff like that which makes this so fascinating. It really also makes one think about not only how we got to where we are today but the possible off ramps and risks we as a civilization are facing.
    I'm about half way through watching this. I find the whole thing quite depressing, particularly the link between the past and the present with the opening of episodes focusing on the Russia/Ukraine conflict.

    On a slight tangent...if the Cold War was decided on who sported the best set of eyebrows, Brezhnev would have brought home the bacon for the Russians!

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    Default Re: Binge Watching Series Recommendations

    I've now watched the second half of the Cold War/Bomb documentary.

    While the contemporary Russian stuff was interesting, and Putin is clearly a scum bag, it did lose the thread of the what the series was about. One of the former US ambassadors does raise some of the issues missed in the last episode by saying words to the effect of 'the invasion of the Ukraine was clearly illegal, but the US can't talk as it invaded Iraq." I would have thought the US sabre rattling over Iran and Nth Korea and actually invading Iraq might have gotten a run in the context of Putin trying to re-build Russia as a global power. Or pointing out the hypocrisy of the sabre rattling over WMDs in Iran or Nth Korea when the US still has a sizeable stockpile (or overlooking their development in Israel) of WMDs.

    Certainly worth a watch, and but slightly depressing!

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