What TV Shows Are You Watching?


[quote=“jabrams007, post:20, topic:277”]
No, I’ve heard good things, although the same people who liked the show said that the season finale was either a letdown or a mess.
[/quote]I wouldn’t say that. The episode is fine by itself, the show itself has smaller problems that basically culminate in that final episode. It’s a bit sparse on the worldbuilding, it’s a bit weird with the pacing, and when it gets to the final episode, it feels like it just cut off suddenly, without fulfilling the promises it made throughout the rest of the show.

That said, it’s still worth the watch. But yeah, read the books first. I think the series seems to have been made on the assumption that you’ve read the books, and I think it shows through more than it really should.


Oh man, it was hard to get through the first episode of Dark Matter. It was like watching someone’s D&D power fantasy in space. It was just soooo bad.


I watched it straight as a TV show without knowing it was a book series and thought it was fine. The cliffhanger abruptness is common in many American TV shows that want you to be hooked.

I actually watched it through twice to get the nuances of what was going on and realised there was gap filling required for complete information but it was interesting enough fanciful reflection of real world international politics.


Has anyone watched the “new” Studio Ghibli series Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter, that’s streaming now on Amazon? If so, how is it?


Dark Matter is the epitome of Canadian scifi. It’s not terrible and it tries really hard. I’ve kept up with it, and while it gets a little better and has hilarious and touching moments, it’s definitely not going to be my go-to recommendation, unless you like the camp, questionable writing, and cheesy acting. Canadian scifi is my guilty pleasure though, probably like B-horror is for some. I think it’s what I get for having a Stargate shaped hole in my heart.


Continuum was actually a pretty decent show and that was Canadian scifi, wasn’t it? What else is?


Yeah it was. Most of them have been listed already, but this is my completely non-serious (and NOT necessarily a recommendation) list for canadian scifi as a genre (medium tier writing & acting, inclusive cast & awareness of social issues, scifi trappings, the. same. actors):


  • Caprica (RIP, I’m stuck in the past)
  • Almost Human
  • Continuum
  • Minority Report
  • X-men knock-off and others


  • Killjoys
  • Travelers (better than Timeless)
  • 12 Monkeys (blah)
  • Dark Matter
  • The Expanse

The Famous living children:

  • The 100
  • Orphan Black (a shark jumps a shark now what?!)

American TV trying to be Canadian:
(not enough special sauce)

  • Timeless (I shouldn’t ever bother with Eric Kripke shows)
  • Frequency (it barely qualifies, it doesn’t)

Netflix is the new Canada:

  • 3%
  • Sense8
  • The OA
  • Humans (has no true home in my arbitrary categories)


I’ve been enjoying 3% though it’s a blatant rip off of like a million YA novels at this point, the non-original plot is made up for by some interesting characters and high stakes. (and Brazilians)


Yeah I watched the first season of The Expanse before getting into the books and really was not left wanting more from the show for what was shown. I absolutely wanted to know what was next, but the show did fine at what it did cover. The plot was perfectly legible.

Of course it’ll be interesting for season 2 because I’ve now read all the book content going in so I wonder if I’ll feel, like Churba, that it is leaving things on the table.

Re-watching the series with my brother I did feel a lot of moments where I got like “I got it, but I don’t know if you did” sensations but I think that’s mental. He did seem to get it. I think the content is overall clear enough to follow along if you’re interested in it. And if you’re into actual space stuff and want to see that in sci-fi, it’s hard not to be really interested in what The Expanse is showing.


@no_fun_girl Canadian sci fi shows, along with their usually lower quality but greater absurdity counterparts made in Australia, have been a less-guilty-than-it-should-be pleasure for me since the 90s. Thanks, Ocean Girl, Sliders, and far too many others. I never dug the various Stargate series, but to me they seemed like the ultimate Canadian sci fi shows.

I watched a bit more of Dark Matter. As the character’s backstories unfold, the show becomes increasingly entertaining. I am going to watch first season and then judge if I will continue watching the show.


[quote=“SWATrous, post:29, topic:277”]
Of course it’ll be interesting for season 2 because I’ve now read all the book content going in so I wonder if I’ll feel, like Churba, that it is leaving things on the table
[/quote]Oh, I haven’t read the books. I just noticed a lot of “As you know” spots, where they’re laying something down as if you’re already familiar with it, and it doesn’t require any worldbuilding(as it’s already built). It’s something that happens with adaption shows sometimes.



I never got that it was lacking in world building. It’s supposed to be very normal to everyone and not wondrous, but routine. I feel you should feel like you landed in a foreign country but not an alien or fantastical place. I guess, I dont need world building as long as there is a built world? I don’t know if that’s fair. Like I’d rather play catch up on the side while watching things progress than sit through exposition, so I’m OK with it personally.

I will say I wish more establishing shots were there, to show us where stuff is in the solar system. GOT gives us this awesome intro that not only shows places, but more or less shows how to get from one to another. You can definitely get an idea of where everything is geographically located in the show, and there’s a lot of things to get, simply by paying attention to the interesting intro. I know some of the places in the Expanse are asteroids and some are moons but I have to really think hard to try and imagine how you’d get from Ceres to Eros. I have no idea where Tycho station is, etc. That is something lacking in the current show.


Well Westeros and the Game of Thrones environment is a fake place (even though it’s loosely based on the British Isles).

While The Expanse is based in the same galaxy as you live so I would hope you could at least Google where things are if you didn’t already know.

I personally never had an issue. The opening for Game of Thrones is more fan service than an actual map as far as I’m concerned. If it were actually to be useful it would show show what political allies are where and why and having homing beacons on all the key players with distances mapped out. Like closer to what your cable TV news / pretend news shows during an election.

I’m not sitting and watching The Expanse and thinking hmm, these guys seem to be from Mars, wonder where that is? I know the name, it rings a bell. Damn I wish they gave me an introduction to this stupid environment, I’m totally lost.


Did you find you were getting much out of the series having already read the books? I gave the first few episodes a go, but I didn’t feel like there was enough there to make me want to experience the story again in a different format. Maybe it was just because Avasarala wasn’t cussing enough. Did you find it eventually hooked you in even when you were aware of the upcoming plot twists?


[quote=“Heidi, post:34, topic:277, full:true”]
Did you find you were getting much out of the series having already read the books? I gave the first few episodes a go, but I didn’t feel like there was enough there to make me want to experience the story again in a different format. Maybe it was just because Avasarala wasn’t cussing enough. Did you find it eventually hooked you in even when you were aware of the upcoming plot twists?
[/quote]Yeah, it took a while to get going, but it still had plenty of meat to it. There wasn’t really a sudden hook, I just kinda found myself wanting to know more all the time, so I suppose you could say it did.


Did you ever watch Silversun? That was my preferred poison in the 2000’s Australian trash sci-fi genre.


Hmm. Perhaps I will give it another try then.


@Heidi, no. I have not seen Silversun.


Not sure I agree with you here. Westeros is totally made up so if I had never seen even a crappy map of it and was watching the show I might not get that King’s Landing is near the southernmost tip of their kingdom, or that the Eyre is apparently on the eastern coast, and south of the Iron Isles, which are up near the Wall. As an average viewer I certainly am not going to go looking up a map to figure it out, so I want that presented to me within the show or I’m just going to assume they don’t care or want me to know. But they do tell me enough that I don’t need another map to at least have a vague sense.

Now, as an average viewer, of The Expanse I might know my Solar System pretty well from elementary school. I might even know Pluto is no longer a planet, RIP, frowney face HashtagPutBackPluto or whatever. I might even be somewhat into my space facts and sci-fi and know that some of the moons like Europa, IO, Titan, and a bunch more are around either Saturn or Jupiter. I might be able to say Ganymede is definitely one of those too.

OK they’re on Ceres, that’s a moon right? Oh, it’s not? Oh, was it the tiny planetoid near Pluto? So they’re really far from everything? No, it’s in the belt eh? OK cool, A belt moon!

And then now they’re on Eros. it’s also an asteroid in the belt? OK. Wait it’s an asteroid that sometimes is closer to Earth than even Mars? So it’s not really a Belter kind of place is it, being down the well from even Mars. Except it looks pretty Belter to me. Guess it’s in the belt somewhere for now. But is it anywhere near the other belt stations or is it literally on the other side of the belt? The belt is a big place after-all. Guess it doesn’t matter?

That’s the kind of confusion that comes up even for me at times, and even some basic Google searches of the Solar System will not yield data sufficient to point out where these various things are unless you start looking up the locations one-by-one. I only just now found out the big where Eros actually sometimes comes in and crosses the Mars orbit down into Earth’s. That’s an insane fact! That might have huge implications in the story! Knowing that changes things potentially. Especially by the end of season 1 if you know Eros could be near Earth, that’s like ‘oh shit’

But, OK, occasionally we see a hologram of the system in the show, and sometimes people will drop enough hints to get maybe an idea of where some stuff is. It never really truly hurts the show and you can totally get by only knowing the order of the planets and just go with the rest. And, Syfy put up a pretty cool interactive map on its website that does help a lot with showing where all this stuff is. But again it requires you to go and look it up. The show could spend a few seconds every once in a while and do the same thing right in the primary source.


I don’t even think it’s vague. If a viewer was just not paying attention to the intro at all then I could see them having this issue. But the show clearly even changes its intro to highlight where are the main events are taking place, and their relation to other points on their world map. The one thing, however, it doesn’t really do is show you auxiliary regions to the main story. Like I don’t remember if it ever shows where Dorne is on the map. I could be mistaken about this, but they, at the very least, highlight where things like The Wall are in relation to Winterfell, and Winterfell’s relation to King’s Landing enough that even an average viewer should pick up on that type of stuff.