Netflix Notes

            Due to something that I don’t quite understand, after our tv set and Fetch box were setup here we can only watch broadcast tv by pressing a couple of buttons on one of the remote controls, and that is confusing enough that we don’t bother.  So the only stuff that we have watched has been on the ABC’s iView and on Netflix.  I cannot now remember what we watched on iView, so everything else is what we saw on Netflix.

            Just for the record.  From watching all this stuff on the screen I’ve learned that Americans are able to have hot steamy sex and do it while having the working bits of their plumbing still clothed.  I’m sure we’d all like to know how they do that, it could be quite useful.

            Lost in Space is something that did not impress me the first time I tried to look at it but I thought I’d give it another go.  After a couple more episodes I gave up again.  This was mainly because the episodes dragged on so much, there is usually enough plot for half an hour but they run on for another twenty minutes which just seemed like a waste of time.  The plot is also fairly uninspired and while the current Dr Smith is a bit more believable she is a bit too believable and psychopathic for me in a show like this.  I wouldn’t mind finding out what happens in this show, but not at it’s current pace.

            Nightflyers is another series that I gave up on, this time during the middle of the third episode.  It seems to be a tedious mash up of many of the most hackneyed stfnal ideas we’ve read in other books and seen in other shows.  The suspense seems to be based around what the crew of the spaceship will find when they finally reach the aliens and also what is causing the fault on the ship.  And if the mysterious ship’s captain isn’t the AI that’s running the ship I’ll be astounded.  Not that I will ever find out.  I was not so much bored by this one as I was annoyed by the endless dragging out of hackneyed ideas mixed by the kinds of overacting of human emotions that makes me wish the crew would calm down and get on with their jobs.  Give me a break.

            Marcella was very good but if they make any more episodes I don’t think I’ll be watching them.  Right towards the end of the second series we learn that our lead character is going mad because she accidentally killed her baby and has repressed the memory.  If you like to watch a character going mad and doing increasingly irrational things then this is the show for you.  I was impressed by the sound track which, by the way, is very similar to the  soundtrack to Nightflyers.  I’m sure that many of you will be really like this one, but not me even though it is excellent.

            Secret City was very enjoyable because, among other things, it was set in Canberra.  We might have watched an episode or two of this on the ABC some time ago but lost track of it.  Now we watched both seasons in a few sittings.  The acting is pretty good, the setting is lovely and the plot of the first season is good and the second okay.  I always get the feeling with Australian shows that another draft or two of the script would improve things but it may be that this is how all Australian shows are going to feel no matter how much they are polished up.  After an almost endless diet of American and British stuff it is a real delight to watch something local even though the plot seemed to me to teeter on the verge of unreality at times.  If you haven’t watched this, give it a go, if only for the loving shots of Canberra.

            Shadow and Bone is a rather fantastical series set in a magical land that has an Eastern European feel to it.  I gather it is the screen version of a book or series of books and has the feel that there is a lot going on that is in the background but not on the screen.  The acting and setting are extravagant at times but sometimes the plotting seemed rather predictable and did not live up to the world that this show creates.  There’s lots of good and evil and larger than life characters to carry it along and, although there is a lot of darkness here, it is not so overwhelming as it is in many other shows these days.  It’s all set up for a second series so let’s see how that goes.

            Star Trek Discovery feels just like all the other Star Treks.  The space ship is different and, characters are different, and the Klingons are more out of control than usual, but the plot devices and philosophy keep reminding me of earlier versions.  I have to admit that I’m not really ‘watching’ this, I have it on my computer screen in the evening while I’m working away on a model.  This means that I don’t get annoyed by some of the special effects, the bits where the plotting drags along or the characters go on about their personal problems.  I’m into the second series now and the business of entering an alternate reality where the humans are the bad guys was just so redolent of earlier Star Trek stories that I almost gave up.  But I’ll stick with it.

            Good Witch is produced for the Hallmark Channel and looks and feels like it.  The characters are all likeable, the story line is not very taxing, it is all very upper middle class and predictable.  There’s nothing very complex or challenging, the plot and script move the characters through their roles fairly effortlessly and it’s all fairly light hearted.  Which is what we like about it.  At the end of the day when it time to relax into the evening this is just what the doctor ordered, and the producers know their audience and deliver in spades.

            We’ve also watched piles of movies but space to mention only three.  Give RIPD a miss and only watch Ex Machina if you want to be bored to death by a tedious and predictable plot.  The French do this kind of thing a whole lot better.  On the other hand Burlesque is a dump truck full of American entertainment.  I am no great fan of musicals but this one worked its magic on me with some very entertaining singing and dancing.  There’s also a plot of sorts, which we’ve seen in countless similar movies before so it all turns out well in the end, of course.  I’ll happily watch this one again any time.


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