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Line of Duty: The Probation
Episode 5, Season 1

A Major Disappointment
Series starts well, then major characters often reverse their behaviours adversely without reason. Graphic violence, language. Filmed with low colour delineation which is consistent with storyline. Even the protagonist is frequently nasty and/or self-destructive and I cannot identify with him; only one character in the first season appears virtuous. Portrays an evil, corrupt police culture that I have no desire of revisiting by watching any further after the bad endings of Season 1.


AVOID THIS. Why Things Seem to "Happen" Disconnectedly
Makes "sense" only if one assumes a rather odd dream or drug trip happening in the mind of the female lead. A physical and temporal journey from despair to total conquering of self and others, with odd interludes and characters--often without any known cause. The Hero's Journey from Dani's internal perspective without any social controls: from helplessness to being Queen over all, with sycophants echoing her every mood and executing unsatisfactory boyfriend . With disturbing images, previews within narrative, etc. characteristic of deep trance. Never going to happen in real world. Distasteful, unwatchable. (Yes, I watched WICKER MAN in both incarnations and thought them acceptable.)

The Hollow

Forget this mess
Repulsive movie with slimy characters--even the "heroes"--and sickening plot line. Makes no sense in a world populated by evil, corrupted, or broken people entirely. . Feel like decontaminating from falling into sewer after trying to sit through it, did not make it past 20 min. Left with bad impressions of Mississippi, small towns, even Federal Bureau of Investigation. X-files this is NOT!


Remember Mission Impossible TV?
This is a very private-enterprise successor to the spirit of the con- men/women fooling evildoers under impossible conditions Peter Graves hit of many years ago. The Government is not involved in any way (except as bumbling or unable to act) and the action is much more domestic. The bad guys are the good guys here. Not sure yet quite how (1)criminals all work together for the greater good contrary to their basic natures, (2) how all the large expenses are paid for each medium con since sometimes the clients get much more than their original damages back with no commissions for the enterprise generally mentioned. Accept suspension of disbelief, have great fun watching.


Derivative but strangely watchable
Low-budget (Canadian syndication squidgy financing) future Western interplanetary meld of many threads. Try "Andromeda" with character reversals--everybody has "a past", move the technology back to maybe 2 centuries from now, limit travel to Mars/Neptune/Jupiter/Saturn (what ever happened to "Earth?") add episode inspiration from movies as series progresses. Ensemble cast gets to jell after disjunctions including psychotic sabotage from within; implausabilities and economy CGI easily overlooked as they do. Bonus: Star Trek/Gate actors occasionally guest star. Have fun identifying guest character actors who make a decent living north of the border from Tax Credits Canada.


Big profits from Big Government, stay out of the way
Watched several times. Finally figured out the message: big money is made out of corrupt municipal government activities/spending such as water development. Those unfortunate to uncover or stand in the way of the City Hall money tree thugs better watch out! But we knew this already then as today, is L.A. or the failed state of CA any better now? Lack of coherence, abetted by always-vapid Faye Dunaway obscures the kernel of truth here. Will vote against any government spending from now on, even though I in SoCal probably drink some of the water that resulted. As to existential subtexts, read whatever you want into this noir mishmash; we later found out what kind of person Director Polanski is. Happy Exile from LaLa Land, please do not trouble sensible folks' eye/brain coordination again.


Fine as student movie in film school
Made for less than my checking account, with free sets and crew as actors. An acknowledged learning exercise--no funds for what movie-making adults call "continuity" --that most viewers cannot and should not have to follow. Nonlinear, often inexplicable experimenting of tranquilized engineers in Texas into time-travel using equipment from commonly available objects, that leaks no less. They use staccato speech (personal verbal shorthand?) with unfinished sentences and gaps in logic to fall into a time-travel warp of many loops and unknown properties. Paradoxes obviously multiply as everything collapses in their lives, including the unreliable narrator device. Laws of physics are among casualties--the famous time travel paradox does not apply. Exestentiality controls their destiny and those around them (what would any Texas setting be without a gratituitous shooting reference?) My personal indicator not to netflix Sundance favorites.

Stargate: Atlantis

Recycled Son of Stargate
Where has this group appeared to defend Earth against the enemy aliens? TEAM: Cynical colonel with Earth air combat experience and ability to control alien electronics. Check. Asperger-syndrome scientist (male) of many talents theoretically and in emergencies, re-discovers his humanity. Check. Warrior alien (male) from world fighting common enemy speaks little, thinks fast, and prefers action. Check. Female alien warrior queen rediscovers sensitivity. Check. Second scientist (female) --the identical character-- promoted to run operations base(!) Theme music re-orchestrated from trailer to forgettable flick Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

So why is all this so good? It's the combination.

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