Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Series I Want to Watch Again and Ones I Do Not

As I am watching the final days of DEXTER and BREAKING BAD, I badly want to see BB again from the beginning. I have no desire to rewatch Dexter though. Part of it was that what you saw in the beginning was what you got at the end with DEXTER. There was no evolution of character for me. And each season basically did the same thing. It did it well but sort of statically.

I would rewatch THE WIRE but not THE SOPRANOS. I would rewatch SIX FEET UNDER but not THE GOOD WIFE.

What series that you enjoyed would you watch again? Which one would you not?


27 comments:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I only watch comedey serials. One reason I enjoyed BECKER, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, FRASIER, THE BIG BANG THEORY, and FRIENDS was the deadpan (and nasty) humour and that's also the reason why I watch these sitcoms again. However, these sitcoms, in the order mentioned, wouldn't have been nearly as funny without Ted Danson, Peter Boyle, David Hyde Pierce, Jim Parsons, and Matthew Perry. Without these worthies, you can toss the serials out of the window. I'm a sucker for quiet one-liners.

I don't think I'd watch SEINFELD again or Charlie Sheen's TWO AND A HALF MEN, the latter because of its obsession with sex.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on THE SOPRANOS. I liked it a lot when it started, less so as it wound down, but it was a product of its time and I wouldn't watch it again.

We have at times rewatched a series of episodes of ST. ELSEWHERE and still enjoyed them nearly as much as the first time. I do want to see THE WIRE, but then we never did see the entire run so I'd like to watch it straight from the beginning.

Jeff M.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Interesting question!! I would watch The West Wing and Cold Case again, but although I liked it, not Hill Street Blues. Interesting isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Prashant, certain episodes of SEINFELD yes (The Contest, all the Florida episodes), but not all of them. But then we rewatch certain episodes of other sitcoms - ROSEANNE, MASH, back to I LOVE LUCY even.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Jeff M.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Jeff, I thought of the many early sitcoms that I enjoyed some two decades ago and more, like Alan Alda's M*A*S*H* and Brit sitcoms like FAWLTY TOWERS, TO THE MANOR BORN, ARE YOU BEING SERVED?, SOME MOTHERS DO 'VE 'EM, THE BLACK ADDER, and NOT THE NINE O'CLOCK NEWS.

I miss WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (I thought Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles were really good) and, to an extent, THE DREW CAREY SHOW. Never was a Lucy fan, though. She and Desi Arnaz were popular in India.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Comedies I put into a different category. I might rewatch some episodes now and then-especially FRASIER but I would never watch them from the first episode to the last. And I probably would not rewatch a network series that made 20 episodes a year for years. But these cable series that made only 12 or less for five years yes. The exception might be HOMICIDE.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Patti, I watch these sitcoms randomly or whenever they show up in channel surfing. I'll watch any series that has Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Rowan Atkinson (not as the insufferable Bean) in it. I attribute the Brit influence to the overdose of British sitcoms on Indian television in the 70s & 80s. I think DYNASTY and REMINGTON STEELE were two of the earliest American TV series beamed in India.

George said...

I seldom re-watch series. But I could view SEINFELD again, but not 24. I could watch THE BIG BANG THEORY again, but not HILL STREET BLUES.

Anonymous said...

I loved the British WHOSE LINE too. The Drew Carey version was not as good (despite Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles being in it) because Drew inserted himself into the game rather than just moderate as Clive Anderson did.

We have the DVD sets of classics like THE GOOD LIFE, ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE and FAWLTY TOWERS and do watch them.

At one point we watched a few HILL STREET episodes but ... let's just say it doesn't hold up the way ST. ELSEWHERE can still be watched.

Jeff M.

Anders E said...

While I would never watch an entire season in a marathon sitting, I would certainly follow THE GILMORE GIRLS, THE ROCKFORD FILES and THE COMEBACK. And BLACKADDER (except for the first, vastly inferior, series). And maybe even KOJAK.
I would not follow ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS or THE YOUNG ONES. I've seen reruns, and neither one has aged well. Esp not THE YOUNG ONES which turned out to mostly be a lot of wackiness and loud shouting.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I didn't see the entire GILMORE GIRLS series so I would be interested in filling in the gaps. I wonder if ROCKFORD FILES would hold up. So many of those older drama series seem dated now. Very disappointed when I watched an old REMINGTON STEELE which I loved at the time. TV series have grown more sophisticated.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, disagree. I loved the first series of BLACK ADDER.

Jeff M.

Al Tucher said...

Definitely not LOST, and probably not TWIN PEAKS. They're definitely of their time.

But I think I would watch HILL STREET BLUES. In fact I did watch some of it again in 1992, but dubbed into German, which was hilarious.

Heath Lowrance said...

I could see myself watching the first two seasons of HELL ON WHEELS again, and probably JUSTIFIED. Recently I've been watching some old episodes of LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, and those stand up really well, mostly due to Vincent D'Onofrio. Going waaaaaay back, I've watched all the episodes of Danger Man a few times each and they never get old.

Al Tucher said...

Which in turn invokes THE PRISONER, which is timeless.

Richard R. said...

I still watch episodes of M*A*S*H when I come upon one, and Perry Mason. I'd re-watch LA Law, Columbo, Cheers, Streets of San Francisco, Have Gun Will Travel, Foyle's War.

I'd certainly skip Everybody Loves Raymond, Golden Girls, Hill Street Blues.

Not watched but would sure try: St. Elsewhere, Friends, Firefly, Madmen and others I can't think of, I'm sure.

Dana King said...

Good timing. The topic of character evolution came up at lunch yesterday, and The beloved spouse and I are about halfway through either our third or fourth re-watching or THE WIRE.

We watch DEADWOOD every year and a half or so. We've not gone back to TH SOPRANOS for a while, but I don't know it that's because there are so many episodes and we tend to binge watch ta series in sequence.

I was a huge HILL STREET BLUES fan, but have never watched it since it went off, I think because I'm pretty sure it would come off as dated.

As for comedies, I'll watch favorite episodes on a random basis, but, as noted above, comedies are different that way.

Charles Gramlich said...

Other than rewatching episodes of old TV shows from my youth, like Star Trek, I've never watched a TV series over. Maybe Frazier.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I have no problem rewatching Homicide,The Wire, Rome, The Sopranos, Justified, Twin Peaks and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Also the earlier seasons of X Files. The ones I love that no one ever mentions is Carnivale and The Larry Sanders Show.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Adore Larry but never got CARNIVALE,

Todd Mason said...

The general run of tv series has grown more sophisticated, but a series such as THE ROCKFORD FILES was and remains a sophisticated series, much as early MAGNUM PIs hold up, and the odd, usually early HAWAII FIVE-0 (the episode in which rightwing but maverick showrunner Leonard Freeman had them make a case for draft resistance, while Jack Lord stood around and looked like he wanted to punch someone for the whole hour, was memorable thus), or ELLERY QUEEN and some others. ST. ELSEWHERE once one is past its rather weak first season (creators Brand and Falsey and quasi-star David Birney were shown the door, and with them went the curdled cuteness replaced for the most part with actual wit and much better actors). Everything is of its time by definition, but good work remains good work, and slight entertainment remains that (at least REMINGTON STEELE was far less obnoxious and overrated than MOONLIGHTING).

I find that HOMICIDE repeats poorly for me mostly because I remember the episodes too well once they start...it made too much of an impression. Though THE GOOD WIFE in repeats (I purchased the first season last year) works well for me, as SIX FEET UNDER doesn't...but it didn't work for me That well when it was new, again with the cuteness and scripts and characters striving for quirk rather than acting much like my experience of actual people and how they deal with their lives and each other, nor enough reason to accept the distortions presented (as one might with, say, a Wodehouse dramatization or a BLACK ADDER series...or, better yet, YES, MINISTER or THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW). I can usually watch the sharp early episodes of M*A*S*H again, but the later syrupy ones are far harder to take, even if the heavy dollops of "hip" sexism are somewhat (not entirely) extirpated by the later years of the series.

So, what makes a show worth watching again, or encourages that? Why SIX FEET again?

Just listened to the Phila NPR radio interview with the DIFFICULT MEN author, who wasn't aware that DIFFICULT WOMEN was already taking shape with women at the helm of RAY DONOVAN and THE BRIDGE (US--the adaptation is in the hands of COLD CASE's Meredith Stiehm) and probably some others I'm letting get by me...

pattinase (abbott) said...

At the time, the later episodes of MASH served a purpose bud didacticism seldom holds up once the issue is gone. They are horrible now.
SIX FEET I like for its evocation of a family with its problems and supportiveness. So few good shows about families. Why I like PARENTHOOD now.
I rarely remember a show so well I can't watch it again in terms of HOMICIDE. Or ST. ELSEWHERE for that matter. But I haven't rewatched either.
The only dramas I have rewatched from to back are BREAKING BAD and MAD MEN. Although I plan to eventually rewatch FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

Charlieopera said...

I've rewatched The Sopranos and The Wire ... Breaking Bad is okay, but I won't rewatch it (too absurd) ... Six Feet Under I'd watch again (it was great) ... Boardwalk Empire is good but I wouldn't rewatch ... I'll probably rewatch The Newsroom someday ... I'm sure I'm forgetting something ...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I missed the first season of THE NEWSROOM but am watching the second. I am finding it pretty good when it gives the characters breathing room. Some pretty great acting as you might expect. And of course Sorkin knows dialog.

Todd Mason said...

Pity Sorkin doesn't know much of anything about the world beyond the television studio. (And even there, STUDIO 60 suffered in comparison to the excellent SPORTS NIGHT and even to the better aspects of the current project...which is certainly less painfully naive than THE WEST WING.)

The early episodes of M*A*S*H had a didactic purpose, as well...always a series with a point of view...but the collective latter years of the series was a rather sad thing even at the time, as the characters were blanded out and dipped in marzipan.

Yeah, the family dynamics of ONCE AND AGAIN and even SHAMELESS simply ring that much truer to me than SIX FEET UNDER or PARENTHOOD, and it's a real shame since I like so much of the cast of both series (Lauren Graham, I learned yesterday, has written a book of linked stories that has been optioned for a tv series in development...what that means for her in re: PARENTHOOD I don't know). The self-indulgence of Alan Ball on TRUE BLOOD was very much in evidence already in SIX, for me.

Erik Donald France said...

I love rewatching The Sopranos -- the dark humor comes out a little more each time. And the soundtrack is perfectly attuned to content.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I would especially like to see the first year or so again for the presence of Nancy Marchand.