Which series to watch

Which to watch if you can only watch one??

Breaking Bad
10
56%
The Walking Dead
0
No votes
The Wire
8
44%
None, they are all s***!
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 18

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Duke
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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Duke » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:14 pm

Good <gent>
I dunno

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Perch's First Touch » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:54 pm

Bloodline on Netflix. Ben Mendelsohn is class in it.
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Re: Which series to watch

Post by asbo » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:31 pm

Breaking Bad would be my recommendation but The Wire is by far the greatest TV show ever made and always will be, but it's kind of esoteric and (and I don't care how conceited this is) simply above those who criticise it. I wouldn't recommend it because I think many people would start watching, deem it boring and choose to watch something else instead, I did the first two times I attempted to watch it. Most of what I've watched since The Wire I find almost patronisingly simple compared to it

Edit: I voted for The Wire because the poll question was slightly different to thread subject. <roll>

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by asbo » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:36 pm

Bodacious Benny wrote:I'm onto series 2 of Mad Men which I'm enjoying so far.
I recently watched the first two series but that was all I had downloaded and our internet's too s**** to download any more. <grim>

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by skalpel » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:13 pm

asbo wrote:The Wire is by far the greatest TV show ever made and always will be, but it's kind of esoteric and (and I don't care how conceited this is) simply above those who criticise it.
<laugh> <awe> This. Hilariously immune to rebuttal as well.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:47 pm

I find people who think The Wire is the best TV show ever tend to prefer story driven shows rather than character driven shows.

Personally I prefer character driven shows like Mad Men and The Sopranos because they are more interesting and they have more rewatch value. Story driven shows like The Wire I only really watch once then that's it.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:48 pm

Also The Walking Dead is complete s*** and vies with Game of Thrones as most overrated TV show ever.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:50 pm

The Shield > The Wire

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Chappy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:04 pm

Mifune wrote:Also The Walking Dead is complete s*** and vies with Game of Thrones as most overrated TV show ever.
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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Bodacious Benny » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:06 pm

Mrs Benny watches GoT but I only ever look up when boobs are on show.
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Re: Which series to watch

Post by skalpel » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:13 pm

Mifune wrote:I find people who think The Wire is the best TV show ever tend to prefer story driven shows rather than character driven shows.

Personally I prefer character driven shows like Mad Men and The Sopranos because they are more interesting and they have more rewatch value. Story driven shows like The Wire I only really watch once then that's it.
Bit of an odd hypothesis imo. To start with, Frank Sobotka is probably the most complete tragic hero in television history. His character is at least half the reason why I rate the show so highly. He is a masterpiece. The Avon and Stringer plot in the third season is rooted in two conflicting character developments, and I'm sure I remember almost all of season 4 being low on story, high on character.

To be honest, the only thin-ish characters are the cops, and even then they're not exactly one dimensional (save for McNulty).

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:39 pm

skalpel wrote:
Mifune wrote:I find people who think The Wire is the best TV show ever tend to prefer story driven shows rather than character driven shows.

Personally I prefer character driven shows like Mad Men and The Sopranos because they are more interesting and they have more rewatch value. Story driven shows like The Wire I only really watch once then that's it.
Bit of an odd hypothesis imo. To start with, Frank Sobotka is probably the most complete tragic hero in television history. His character is at least half the reason why I rate the show so highly. He is a masterpiece. The Avon and Stringer plot in the third season is rooted in two conflicting character developments, and I'm sure I remember almost all of season 4 being low on story, high on character.

To be honest, the only thin-ish characters are the cops, and even then they're not exactly one dimensional (save for McNulty).
What I meant with story/character driven was the overriding thing that drives the show. Story driven shows still have character development and character driven shows still have story arcs. But with The Sopranos the thing that drives the show is the character of Tony Soprano, that what the show grows around. While The Wire does have character development and stuff it is the story arcs of the cases that the show is worked around.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Perch's First Touch » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:40 pm

The most overrated show on television as Duke has already said is Big Bang Theory.
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Re: Which series to watch

Post by skalpel » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:06 am

Mifune wrote:
skalpel wrote:
Bit of an odd hypothesis imo. To start with, Frank Sobotka is probably the most complete tragic hero in television history. His character is at least half the reason why I rate the show so highly. He is a masterpiece. The Avon and Stringer plot in the third season is rooted in two conflicting character developments, and I'm sure I remember almost all of season 4 being low on story, high on character.

To be honest, the only thin-ish characters are the cops, and even then they're not exactly one dimensional (save for McNulty).
What I meant with story/character driven was the overriding thing that drives the show. Story driven shows still have character development and character driven shows still have story arcs.
Of course. But I'm arguing that the second season (the best season) of the Wire is basically a character driven morality tale with everything orbiting one complex character whose attributes and decisions impact the story like pond ripples. It could even be taken as a self contained miniseries which would undoubtedly be viewed as a character study. Anybody who, as you say, finds character driven fiction more interesting than plot driven (I count myself as one) would not be let down by The Wire.

Edit- It's a similar deal with the third season as well: character drives the plot rather than the other way about. In this case it's basically an inner conflict split between two characters, where only one world outlook can possibly exist, putting both characters squarely against eachother and generating events from there.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Duke » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:02 am

Mifune wrote:Also The Walking Dead is complete s*** and vies with Game of Thrones as most overrated TV show ever.
Spoken like someone who has seen about an hour of it
I dunno

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:26 am

Duke wrote:
Mifune wrote:Also The Walking Dead is complete s*** and vies with Game of Thrones as most overrated TV show ever.
Spoken like someone who has seen about an hour of it
I've seen every episode of it, d*******.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:37 am

skalpel wrote:
Mifune wrote:
What I meant with story/character driven was the overriding thing that drives the show. Story driven shows still have character development and character driven shows still have story arcs.
Of course. But I'm arguing that the second season (the best season) of the Wire is basically a character driven morality tale with everything orbiting one complex character whose attributes and decisions impact the story like pond ripples. It could even be taken as a self contained miniseries which would undoubtedly be viewed as a character study. Anybody who, as you say, finds character driven fiction more interesting than plot driven (I count myself as one) would not be let down by The Wire.

Edit- It's a similar deal with the third season as well: character drives the plot rather than the other way about. In this case it's basically an inner conflict split between two characters, where only one world outlook can possibly exist, putting both characters squarely against eachother and generating events from there.
Story is always going to involve characters. The difference for me personally is that in shows like The Wire even if there is character stuff in them it is created by the story rather than in shows like The Sopranos where the story is created by the character.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by asbo » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:43 am

Mifune wrote:
skalpel wrote:
Of course. But I'm arguing that the second season (the best season) of the Wire is basically a character driven morality tale with everything orbiting one complex character whose attributes and decisions impact the story like pond ripples. It could even be taken as a self contained miniseries which would undoubtedly be viewed as a character study. Anybody who, as you say, finds character driven fiction more interesting than plot driven (I count myself as one) would not be let down by The Wire.

Edit- It's a similar deal with the third season as well: character drives the plot rather than the other way about. In this case it's basically an inner conflict split between two characters, where only one world outlook can possibly exist, putting both characters squarely against eachother and generating events from there.
Story is always going to involve characters. The difference for me personally is that in shows like The Wire even if there is character stuff in them it is created by the story rather than in shows like The Sopranos where the story is created by the character.
But skalpel just gave two examples of where the plot was being heavily driven by the characters, maybe you managed to miss all the scenes involving Barksdale, Bell and Sobotka when you watched it <erm>.
SpoilerShow
The Wire is so grand in scope that what is plot-driven for some characters is character-driven by others; Frank Sobotka's storyline is a great example of this: under pressure from the union he represents to revive the shipping industry in Baltimore and stymied by political corruption he involves himself with The Greek's organised crime network (which has huge repercussions later in the series because it's The Greek's supply of higher quality drugs which gives Prop Joe an advantage over the Barksdale organisation, forcing Stringer to join the co-op and causing cracks in the relationship between Bell and Barksdale). The cops' storylines are driven by Sobotka's; first with the discovery of a shipping container full of dead hookers and then as they begin to suspect his port as being entry point for the city's drugs, and at the same time scrutiny on the shipyard is being fuelled by a personal grudge Valchek has toward Sobotka. All the while he's having to deal with the actions of his idiot son who then gets arrested for murdering one of the Greeks. Everything about that season goes through Frank Sobotka, he could be considered a major player whose actions and decisions are affecting everyone in the city, or he could be seen as little more than a pawn being manipulated by circumstances which have escalated far beyond what he could control, either way the season is driven by him; by his decisions and his reactions to situations.
For the record I've always found the term "character development" to be specious when referring to TV shows, a phrase people shoe-horn into a review of a show without clarifying exactly what they mean by it, praising it in shows they like or criticising an absence of it in a show they don't ("oh it's fantastic, has great development"/"it's s***! there's no character development"). It's used so arbitrarily I don't even know what people mean by it; are they referring to the showrunners' ability to flesh out the more intricate details of a character's personality over time? or the way the character's personality is changed over time by events in the show? or something else entirely? In any case a great show won't be character-driven or plot-driven, it will be both. A great show needs strong characters to drive the plot, but at the same time the characters must plausibly react to and be changed by plot-developments, if the story-telling is strong the characters can only develop as a result. The Wire is too big to be merely character-driven or plot-driven. Preferring a show to be purely character-driven compared to The Wire is asking for something considerably lower in quality.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by skalpel » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:26 am

Mifune wrote:Story is always going to involve characters. The difference for me personally is that in shows like The Wire even if there is character stuff in them it is created by the story rather than in shows like The Sopranos where the story is created by the character.
skalpel wrote:character drives the plot rather than the other way about
skalpel wrote:character driven morality tale with everything orbiting one complex character whose attributes and decisions impact the story like pond ripples
Yes, we both know the difference between character driven and plot driven.

But here's what I'm saying: when you cut through to it, the second season of the Wire is basically a modern Faust. Frank is conflicted between justice and morality, literally the entire story unfolds from there and it progresses almost exclusively due to his decisions, motivations, etc. He, his decisions, and his state of mind are the central part of the season's story, to the extent that parts of the story which impact other apparently isolated characters all ultimately boil down to him in cause and effect.

The only difference between The Wire's second season and the Sopranos when we're talking character driven vs plot driven is that it is more immediately obvious in the Sopranos, not in the least because the character in question is the title character and the existence of his inner conflicts are made clear to the audience by his need of a psychiatrist. They're both dependent on the thoughts, needs, conflicts, ideas, motivations blah blah, of one central figure.

Edit - Didn't refresh after writing this earlier, and didn't see AbGlo's post <roll>.

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Re: Which series to watch

Post by Mifune » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:52 am

I think we are at crossed purposes here.

In The Wire different aspects of society are looked at. Throughout a season certain social structures are examined through characters eg. with Frank it is moral integrity and corruption. So the characters are used to explore it, rather than drive what the show talks about themselves.

Morality is a theme in Mad Men too but it is used to look at a character rather than like in the wire where characters are used to look at morality as a story.

Obviously this isn't binary and there are parts of both in most TV shows. Just taking about the overall structure of the shows.

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