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What TV Series Are You Streaming Lately?

SixOhNine

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Netflix kept pushing this at me and finally I gave in. Perhaps because I had absolutely rock bottom expectations, it was better than anticipated. Utterly predicable, but mildly entertaining.
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venividivicibj

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Netflix kept pushing this at me and finally I gave in. Perhaps because I had absolutely rock bottom expectations, it was better than anticipated. Utterly predicable, but mildly entertaining.
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I liked it as well - felt too short/compacted at 6 episodes though
 

SixOhNine

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I liked that it was only 6 episodes, but yeah, it could've sustained a reasonable pace with two or three more. It didn't have the usual Netflix bloat, where it felt at least four hours longer than it needed to be.

Second season has been confirmed, so we'll see how it holds up.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

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Watched episodes 1 then tried to watch 2 of Clarice...Christ on a bike WTF is going on here? They have f...ed with the story out of all proportions...no more.
 

OtterMeanGreen

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Watched episodes 1 then tried to watch 2 of Clarice...Christ on a bike WTF is going on here? They have f...ed with the story out of all proportions...no more.
Once again another shining example of why you don’t mess with classic movies turned into shows or mini series. Cobra Kai being the exception. How many times have they tried this shit? I wouldn’t say all of them were classics, more like cult classics.
 

kindofyoung

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For something even more different, I finished the south korean show "The Flower of Evil" last week and it was great. There's some difference in pacing and tone compared to western shows, but once you get into it the difference is actually much smaller than I initially expected.
View attachment 1548226
The quick summary is that the dude to the left has been wanted for nearly 20 years after a murder in his village when he was younger. Since then he has changed his name and ended up marrying the female detective (right) who ends up entwined in the very same case, when events in the current day shake up things from the past.

Overall really solid acting and great twists and pacing, loved it from start to finish. An interesting difference compared to american shows is that every episode is ~70minutes rather than 40-45, so there's A LOT happening during the 16 episode season. Barely any filler either, which I found very impressive.

I feel like most people at this point have already come in contact with various european shows, whether it be an ambitious german or british period piece or the latest scandi noir, but if anyone is interested in reaching even further from the standard US selection I highly recommend this as a first foray into asian shows. You can watch it readily available either on Rakuten Viki (free with ads), or alternatively sail the high seas for better quality :thumbs-up:
I've been continuing my deep dive into korean TV and man, they have some seriously great stuff. All of the below shows are also available right now on Netflix worldwide, so you have no excuse not to check them out.

After I finished the previously mentioned The Flower of Evil, I started on Stranger/Secret Forest/Forest of Secrets
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Two seasons out so far with a third most likely on the way, both are great and relatively self-contained.
The story mainly revolves around the police woman in the DB-jacket and the medically emotionless prosecutor to the right of her, and how their investigations and the people around them end up connecting to eachother. Excellent thriller drama about crime, corruption and intrigues in the South Korean political and criminal system, that also ends up as an interesting look into a fairly different system of justice from the rest of the world. A lot more serious/sober and grounded in reality than tFoE, but still with some cool twists and reveals nicely paced throughout both seasons. Both seasons are on Netflix, I highly recommend it, 8.5/10.


After that I checked out another kdrama "classic" called Tunnel.
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Without spoiling too much, the guy on the left is a detective in 1985 who ends up unintentionally timetravelling to 2015 while on the hunt for a serial killer who still hasn't been caught by then. Korean shows in general have a very entertaining mix of comedy vs sad or serious or action-filled moments, which works great for a large part of this series and in general I liked the first 3/4ths of the show. Ufortunately it drags on for way too long in the homestretch with some truly idiotic character and story decisions that leave a bad taste right when it counts. Still finished it, but it went from being around a 7.5 to maybe a 6/10 for me with the bullshit at the end.


Thankfully right after this I had a very well-received series called Signal prepared, and we were right away back to greatness and "timetravel" done in a much more interesting way.
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Again we have the years 2015 and 1985-onwards colliding, only this time it's a timetravelling walkie-talkie conversation rather than a person doing the jump in time. A detective from the present (left) stumbles upon the walkie-talkie of a detective from the past(right) and through an unexplained phenomena (just roll with it) they are able to regularly but only very briefly communicate with eachother. In other words this show is basically if Christopher Nolan at his best was korean and decided to do a detective show, and if that doesn't sell you idk what will. The cases from the present end up affecting the past and likewise the other way, as the show gradually moves from a "procedural" of sorts to a much larger story at play.

I think this is probably my favorite kdrama so far, with a great mix of everything from crime and conspiracy to romance and comedy to action and thriller elements. Only one season out so far but again relatively self-contained and with a second season on the way. I'd probably still start with Stranger if someone wants something closer to western shows, but this is a must-watch once you've warmed up to these shows. 9/10.


The next show I watched was Black, which I don't even know how to describe but it was cool.
1613834975025.png

Even as you're watching this yourself it's pretty confusing at first, and I don't feel like I can say much or try to explan the story without spoling it all, so I'll just copy the very brief synopsis from IMDB:

A man possessed by death. A woman who can see death. The earthly and the afterworld collide dangerously.

In general you should be prepared that korean shows have no qualms about regularly throwing supernatural elements into their shows and not giving you much of an explanation as to why other than "because", but if you decide to give this show a chance it does all mostly come together in the end in a cool way. Fair warning though, the first two episodes are pretty confusing with an intentionally fractured timeline and missing pieces, but by the third episode the more linear narrative starts to get established and you can more easily follow along and put the pieces in their right place. You'll just have to trust me that more or less everything about the show is intentional, and if you stick with it you'll be rewarded for your troubles :thumbs-up: Not as good as tFoE, Signal or Stranger, but definitely better than Tunnel and overall I really enjoyed it. 7.5/10


And lastly (so far), I watched Bad Guys, which I honestly thought would be mostly mindless action but it ended up having more depth and intrigue than I expected (I'm telling you, Koreans are great at this)
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This premise for this show is essentially Suicide Squad minus the superpowers. A disbarred angry cop puts together a team of villains to catch even worse villains, and his choice of teammates are the korean equivalents of The Transporter, Drax the Destroyer and Dexter. The show is almost hilariously edgy and gritty at times, like for example when they increase the skin texture and contrast of male character close-ups but smooth it out for female characters. If you can look past the series stylistic choices though (it's not that bad, mostly entertaining), it's a pretty cool show and with a good amount of well-choreographed action on top of the intrigue and drama. Really enjoyed it. 7.5/10



tl;dr
Korean shows are great and you should try them
The Flower of Evil - Lots of twists and reveals, rat and mouse type of show. 8.5/10
Stranger - Great crime/politics/police drama, fairly serious and realistic, good intro to korean shows. 8.5/10
Tunnel - Alright timetravel show, fun mix of comedy and drama, weak last 1/4ths of the season. 6/10
Signal - This show is so good. Timetravelling walkie-talke, charismatic characters, cool story. 9/10
Black - Initially confusing but overall cool show, much more supernatural than the rest of these. 7.5/10
Bad Guys - Gritty and edgy, good action, cool characters, gets pretty interesting once it gets going. 7.5/10

I'd recommend this order/priority if anyone is interested but hesitant to try korean shows, based on ease of transition, level of outlandishness, variety and just how good they are overall:

Stranger s1 -> Signal -> The Flower of Evil -> Stranger s2 -> Black -> Bad Guys (-> Tunnel)
 
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SixOhNine

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You ever see the movie Frequency, with Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel? Signal sounds like a very similar premise. It's been years since I watched it, but I remember it being pretty decent.

Thanks for the thoughtful and thorough reviews, by the way.
 

Texasmade

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Once again another shining example of why you don’t mess with classic movies turned into shows or mini series. Cobra Kai being the exception. How many times have they tried this shit? I wouldn’t say all of them were classics, more like cult classics.
I’m guessing you haven’t started watching the Equalizer yet with Queen Latifah then.
 

kindofyoung

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You ever see the movie Frequency, with Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel? Signal sounds like a very similar premise. It's been years since I watched it, but I remember it being pretty decent.

Thanks for the thoughtful and thorough reviews, by the way.

I have, though it's been a long time for me too!

There are definitely similarities, especially towards the end of the season where things get more hectic. With a whole 16 hours to it's disposal though it's overall a slower-paced show I'd say, or atleast more "instance"-based with multiple individual crimes and events and episodes all eventually connecting to eachother. Overall I'd say the story of Signal takes the premise even further into Nolan-territory than Frequency did, but if you like one I'm pretty confident you'd also like the other.

And I'm glad others liked my write-up, even with how long the post became. I feel like I've found a treasure trove of new content I'd never considered before, so if I can convince others to also give it a try and they like it as much as I did that would make me happy :bigstar:
 

imatlas

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Watched episodes 1 then tried to watch 2 of Clarice...Christ on a bike WTF is going on here? They have f...ed with the story out of all proportions...no more.
You mean the show set in the Hannibal Lecter universe that doesn’t have the rights to, and can’t even mention, Lecter himself?
 

imatlas

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I’m guessing you haven’t started watching the Equalizer yet with Queen Latifah then.
This is decent, but Latifah is the best part of an otherwise formulaic show.

“Stumptown” is was a better take on the same idea.
 

imatlas

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Edited.
 

mhip

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I’m guessing you haven’t started watching the Equalizer yet with Queen Latifah then.
She's the one you go to when the thin people won't help you!

Christ, whenever they bury you in that much advertising, you know it's getting cancelled pronto.
 

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