firecat: bag of popcorn and movie reel (movies)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration) ([personal profile] firecat) wrote2017-02-12 05:22 pm

TV series recs?

If you have watched any of the following series, I would love your opinion.
Well written?
Cast/creator diversity?
Sexism/racism/other $fail?

The Colony
Into the Badlands

Do you recommend any other TV series (prefer crime/mystery/sf) that are available on DVD and are fun, diverse, and not too $faily?
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[personal profile] tagryn 2017-02-13 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
Do you mean "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel, or "Colony" on the USA network?
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[personal profile] tagryn 2017-02-20 12:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I really enjoy "Colony," but I'm aware I may be in the minority on that. It has something of a "V"/"They Live"/"Handmaid's Tale" vibe for me, in that its about the aftermath of an alien arrival, but the plot is mostly about how the humans in this ghetto that LA is now find ways to survive from day to day, whether to resist the invasion or to try to get along and collaborate with the authoritarian Quisling human gov't that the aliens have put into power. So, someone looking for hard sci-fi rather than human drama will probably be disappointed, since the setting is more there to set up the character interactions than vice-versa.

The writing is generally pretty good, I don't feel like I have to turn my brain off as with a show like "24." They haven't quite ventured off the cliff like "Lost" did of having too many different sideplots that they lose track of them all.

As far as diversity, the main cast is all white and thin and isn't really set up to represent a spectrum of anything; there's a few AA and Asian characters, but they're all minor. I haven't looked at the writing or production staff. Sexual diversity isn't explored. I think it passes the Bechdel test in the infrequent times women talk to one another directly, but the writers aren't going out of their way on that one, either.

Unfortunately "Colony"'s probably only going to get two seasons, since this year they've been relegated to the graveyard of 10 PM on Fridays.
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[personal profile] kshandra 2017-02-13 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Lucifer is one of the very few scripted shows I watch faithfully. Very well written, even when it gets trope-y. And the scene where Lucifer reveals his true nature to his therapist is one of the most incredible things I've seen on network TV.
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[personal profile] sinanju 2017-02-13 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
I've only seen two of those shows (well, more than one episode).

Spartacus, which was chock full of gratuitous nudity and sex, and graphic violence. But that was the show's raison d'etre, so.... Pretty well written, I thought. Fun.

iZombie I've watched from the beginning. I've enjoyed it a lot. Well-written, with lots of interesting plots and character development and story twists. I know nothing about creator diversity. But Clive (the detective) is black, and the coroner (whose name escapes me at the moment) is a POC, and both are interesting, quirky lead characters.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-02-13 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
Everyone but me and T likes Killjoys better than Dark Matter, but I think Dark Matter is a lot better, and it's quite diverse.
kore: (Default)

[personal profile] kore 2017-02-13 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
LOL, I thought those were shows you HAD seen and you wanted others like them. READING COMPREHENSION FAIL. Spartacus is super super slashy, gory, was a not-bad presentation of ancient Rome and I thought it was fun. First season of Rome is better, tho.

If you want an outside opinion, T loathed both iZombie and Colony, altho lots of my friends love iZombie.
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[personal profile] lilacsigil 2017-02-13 05:11 am (UTC)(link)
I have a zombie phobia but still enjoyed iZombie, as it's not a zombie apocalypse and most of the zombie-ism is more like a managed serious health condition. Positives: the main character is female, two of the four lead characters are POC, one of the two creators is female, there's often female writers and directors. The supporting cast is moderately diverse in both African American and Asian characters, and there are a few LGB characters. I like crime shows where people are smart and compassionate and this is definitely one of them.

Negatives: one of the main characters keeps getting into plots where either everyone keeps a secret from him or he keeps a secret from everybody, and this is one of my least favourite things ever. One episode in the first season involves this character being gaslit into losing his job and having himself admitted to a psych hospital.

Occasionally the casefile aspect involves unpleasant stereotyping, but about as often it relies on stereotypes being wrong.
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[personal profile] lilysea 2017-02-13 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
I loved iZombie.

Well written? Yes

Fun? Yes

Intelligent? At times, yes

Cast/creator diversity? Three characters (one of whom, the main characters boss/friend, gets a lot of screen time) are actors of colour.

Sexism/racism/other $fail?
The only times there is sexism or racism is when the main character has eaten a sexist/racist brain and is being influenced by it - and this is always portrayed as being bad/wrong/unacceptable.
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[personal profile] br0ken_dolly 2017-02-13 05:58 am (UTC)(link)
i like iZombie, although i'm pretty sure i remember a little fatphobia i wasn't real excited about... didn't turn me off entirely, just a thing that rubbed me the wrong way. i actually hate zombie shows/movies, and iZombie is a show i look forward to.

killjoys is okay... although I agree with the other comment that Dark Matter's a bit better. i think i just related to the characters a bit more.
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[personal profile] kore 2017-02-13 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
I thiiiink Dark Matter is a little more diverse than Killjoys, altho I only saw a couple of eps of the latter and can't remember.
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[personal profile] sqbr 2017-02-13 10:00 am (UTC)(link)
Here's the review I made of Lucifer early on. I liked how season one played out but ran out of momentum early into season 2. It starts out very unpromising and improves but is never perfect.
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[personal profile] alexcat 2017-02-13 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Let's see...
IZombie is cute, a bit funny and Liv Moore is adorable. Lots of diversity in Season 1, not done with 2 yet..

Killjoys is all action all the time and very visually interesting to me. Plots are not so complex but I think they are all quite fun to look at. (I saw several mention Dark Matter, which has a more complex plot but the characters are almost exactly Firefly characters to me.)

Lucifer is also an eye candy show. When he reveals himself to humans, he is quite shilling but other than that, he's a teddy bear. He does mention being bi in later ep, though I think he';s simple a hedonist- as he is Lucifer after all.
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[personal profile] alexcat 2017-02-14 07:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Don't think so.
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[personal profile] snippy 2017-02-14 03:04 am (UTC)(link)
If you're not watching The Expanse (on Syfy), I recommend it. Best science fiction I've seen filmed, and I include movies. Very well written, I find it fun, it's intelligent enough that I have to rewatch some parts to understand, cast diversity (not sure about creator), I haven't noticed any $fail.
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[personal profile] graymalkin 2017-02-14 12:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Of the shows on the list, the only one I've watched is "Spartacus." I enjoyed it -- I've watched all the seasons at least three times. It's solid quasi-historical comic-book entertainment with anti-slavery and anti-sexual-abuse themes. And Strong Women characters whom I quite like.

Well written? I think so, especially the first and second seasons, especially if you keep in mind that it's more or less a comic book. The performances are what really make the show. The lead actors are really wonderful.

Fun? Yep. Lots of violence, gore, slaves treated as sex objects, and swearing, but I don't mind those things; they're presented as part of a slave-owning culture, which is the point of the story.

Intelligent? Not monumentally, but yes.

Cast/creator diversity? I don't know about the creators. The cast seems pretty diverse; it has many non-white and multiracial actors and characters, reflecting the fact the Romans took slaves from all over the Empire. (I think all the boss Romans are played by white people, but the slave characters' stories are presented as equally or more important.) Also, same-gender love, sex, and commitment are presented as an integral part of the culture, and there are bisexual characters.

Sexism/racism/other $fail? Sexism and ethnic conflicts of varying levels of intensity (ranging from joking insults to war) are integral to the plot, fitting the time period. I didn't get any actual sexist or racist messages being delivered by the show itself.

I agree that "Rome" is a more intelligent and higher quality show about the time -- more literary than comic-book -- but its story has a completely different focus -- conflicts within the ruling class rather than slaves rebelling against them.

I'm anonymous at the moment

(Anonymous) 2017-02-15 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
If you can make it through the first episode, which is a bit unpleasant but sets up the story, I think you'd enjoy it. At least stick with it until Peter Mensah shows up -- he and his character are wonderful. John Hannah's character is an antagonist, but Hannah is so good, and often very funny.
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[personal profile] jazzfish 2017-02-14 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
The only one I've seen is Into the Badlands, but we just finished the first season. (I don't know whether S2 has aired yet or not.)

Well written? --eh, mostly. Some of the dialog's too on-the-nose and winceworthy.
Fun? Yep. Good cinematography, fun wire-fu, twisty plot.
Intelligent? Reasonably.
Cast/creator diversity? Acceptable, at least in cast. Daniel Wu's an exec producer and the star; the Kid With Mysterious Past is Aramis Knight; Daniel Wu's lover is a black woman. Extras tend to be more diverse than the rest of the speaking roles. (Oh, there's a black Baron who turns up a couple of times.)
Sexism/racism/other $fail? Some sexism, mostly in the form of ingrained social roles.

If you've not watched Leverage I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Into the Badlands

[personal profile] bibliofile 2017-02-15 08:42 am (UTC)(link)
The second season starts in March, hooray!

Seconding Into the Badlands for the above reasons. I found it enjoyable.
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[personal profile] owlmoose 2017-02-15 04:16 pm (UTC)(link)
I strongly second Leverage. It's one of my favorite shows ever.
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[personal profile] bibliofile 2017-02-15 09:16 am (UTC)(link)
Another iZombie fan here.

[personal profile] al_zorra had interesting things to say about Killjoys in this post, including the comments.

The first season of Humans was better than average for SF TV; the Wikipedia entry seemed accurate. I liked it, anyway. (The second season hasn't aired in the US yet.)

I bounced hard off of Dark Matter early because the characters, while of various colors and genders, were all cardboard stereotypes. You have a group of people who don't know who they are (much less each other) and make it totally predictable? The east Asian guy is the martial arts expert! Yeah, no. YMMV.