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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 12:04 pm:   

To start this off, I will put forward my choice: The Dead Zone (Anthony Michael Hall in the lead role...surprising since he gets five/six series out of a character killed off at the end of the Stephen King novel).

Why do I nominate this? Terrible terrible acting, (except from Sean Patrick Flannery as Greg Stilson). Soap opera shenanigans, convoluted plots even Lost In Space would have rejected, and an overall feeling that we've stumbled into the bargain bin basement world of genre TV making aimed at a daytime audience. Imagine 'Highway To Heaven' awfulness, and then multiple it seven fold.

Cheap, shoddy and worst of all, ultimately boring. Avoid at all costs.

I didn't. I bought the DVD 1st season.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 01:46 pm:   

I hate, loathe and detest those bloody Buffy & Angel series, and everything they have been responsible for...

I know they're supposed to be well made and entrancing for people who like that kind of stuff but, personally, I find them an insult to the whole horror genre. One of my pet hates, people.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.177.181.107
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 02:28 pm:   

I watched Buffy from the start and really liked it, although it lost its way somewhat in later series. Ah well...
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 83.24.188.80
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 02:36 pm:   

Steve - yes, me too, I'm afraid. Yet I'm a fan of the daft Supernatural series. Go figure!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.215.174
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 03:29 pm:   

I loved Buffy and Angel. They combined an intelligent awareness of the horror genre (and in the latter case, the noir genre) with a keen and subversive irony. Also loved The X-Files, a masterful and complex tribute to classic weird fiction (and Lovecraft in particular).

I haven't liked Doctor Who since I was about ten, the age of its target audience. But my vote for the worst genre TV show ever would go to the original ('classic') Star Trek. Wooden, self-important, posturing Cold War propaganda. A spaceship representing the world and its peoples is called the US Enterprise. As in 'free enterprise'. Give me strength.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.23.31
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 04:08 pm:   

Star Trek. [...] A spaceship representing the world and its peoples is called the US Enterprise. As in 'free enterprise'. Give me strength.
=====================
I think that may be an unintentional subtext.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 04:14 pm:   

Personally I prefer genre TV shows to show a respect for the material, and its heritage, as well as respecting the intelligence of the viewer. If I want to see horror or fantasy or science fiction "played with" I would rather they went the whole hog and created a sitcom version, e.g. 'Red Dwarf' or 'The League Of Gentlemen', rather than pandering to a teenage audience who can't watch anything that doesn't have a single normal or "ugly" looking person in the cast.

Off the top of my head, these are my Top 10 Genre TV Shows, of a serious, non-anthology format, that pass these criteria:

1. Doctor Who (especially the Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker years)
2. Star Trek (original series)
3. The X Files
4. Survivors (original 1970s series only)
5. The Prisoner
6. The Avengers/The New Avengers
7. Space 1999
8. Star Trek : The Next Generation
9. Millennium (grossly underrated)
10. UFO

I'm sure there are some I've forgotten... and no apologies for wallowing in nostalgia - each of these wonderful shows still cut it in my book.

Another pet hate are those initially promising (usually US) TV Shows, like 'Lost' or 'Heroes', that don't have the good grace to wrap things up after one or two series, but go on, and on, and on, and on...
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 05:02 pm:   

Joel - I think Star Trek's flaws are more to do with naivety than anything else. I'm not a fan, but I loved Generations. Yes, it could be annoying, squeaky clean, etc, but when it delivered stand-alone episodes dealing with themes of time-travel, it was the stuff of childhood, wonderfully Twlight Zone in essence. And I must admit to have shed a few tears to the final episode which wrapped up the whole series via the very first episode. I tend to think of Star Trek as a good-natured pantomime.

Babylon 5 on the other hand was a complete attempt to get away from that, and was an outright rejection of Roddenberry's 'vision'. This for me was the real deal, dark, political, daring and bleak.

I also loved the X Files, even when it took ages to resolve story arcs. It was one of the few examples at that time of genre work, a little oasis in the sea of banality. But again, I was a big fan of the stand alone episodes, especially the out and out horror episodes.

My top ten looks like this:

1. Original TZ and original Prisoner.
2. Sapphire and Steel.
3. The Outer Limits - original.
4. X Files.
5. American Gothic (criminally overlooked).
6. Fringe (great monster show which owes much to the X Files).
7. Millennium (agree with Steve wholeheartedly).
8. Survivors.
9. Day of the Triffids.
10. Hammer House of Horror.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.23.31
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 05:11 pm:   

Another pet hate are those initially promising (usually US) TV Shows, like 'Lost'...
=====

I am currently watching the last and sixth series, and I feel LOST is the perfect blend of complexity and length ...... and serendipity and synchronicity and, yes, of course, retrocausality... :-)
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 05:19 pm:   

I'm a big fan of LOST - brilliant television, IMHO.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 05:21 pm:   

I bought two series of Lost after Zed kept saying how good it was, and against my better judgment. He was right. Of course it's littered with problems, and anybody can easily pull it apart, but I have to say it's been immensely entertaining. I'm going to buy season three soon.

Des - I think that about sums it up (:

When I finally manage to get the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica I suspect it may shoot up to third or fourth place on my list.

Never have I misjudged something as badly as I did this after the pilot episode. But Lynchy and Mickster told me to stick with it, and boy, what a great, great piece of TV. This series never kowtow's to the formulaic expectations of the executives.

And as an added note about Star Trek, I only wish they'd gone with Harland Ellison's ideas as described in King's 'Danse Macabre'. Now that would have been something.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 09:45 pm:   

I also despised BUFFY and ANGEL, for the reasons Stevie notes above... Until I actually watched them! Superbly intelligent, fun deconstructions of the genre with, I think, a real respect for the source of the tropes it lampoons.

When it comes to rubbish shows there are any number of contenders these days. FLASH FORWARD is probably the most inept of recent efforts.

Frank - the last series of BATTLESTAR is more likely to knock it down your list rather than up, I'm afraid. :-/
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Skip (Wolfnoma)
Username: Wolfnoma

Registered: 07-2010
Posted From: 72.218.208.106
Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:10 pm:   

I actually enjoyed the first 2 seasons of this. They lost me when they decided to change the story line into a more long and drawn out manner. I wanted to see Stilson and Johnny face off in an assassination attempt.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 08:25 am:   

Yep, they should at least have resolved the main Dead Zone arc before the budget cuts and cast changes of the later seasons.

I like the way Supernatural handled its ongoing storyline - everything wrapped up with season five, creator moves on, new person comes in to start a new storyline. Quite similar to how it's worked out on the new Doctor Who, now I think about it.

Joel, if you think Star Trek is the worst, I'm guessing you haven't seen Andromeda, Babylon 5: The Crusade, or SeaQuest DSV..!

Same for the Dead Zone - it's not as good as the critics made it out to be, but much better I reckon than similar shows like The Ghost Whisperer.

Hard for me to pick a worst.

Sea of Souls was profoundly disappointing, though I usually enjoyed it - if you have a programme about a scientist investigating the paranormal, he should act like a scientist. He constantly ignored obvious ways to test the claims being made.

Babylon 5: The Crusade was so awful it upset me to watch it; I'd loved Babylon 5.

The pilot of Warehouse 13 was the dullest hour and a half of television I've ever watched, although it was thrilling compared to Deep Space 9.

TekWar is probably the worst I've seen. Or Mantis, Birds of Prey, or any number of crappy superhero shows.

I think I'm going to go for Mutant X. Total rubbish.

And Highlander: the Series is the worst long-running programme I've watched from beginning to end.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 08:47 am:   

Ranjna has just reminded me of Space Precinct.

(I wish she hadn't!)
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.148.194
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 08:57 am:   

"Star Trek. [...] A spaceship representing the world and its peoples is called the US Enterprise. As in 'free enterprise'. Give me strength.
=====================
I think that may be an unintentional subtext."

Des, surely if a subtext is there it doesn't matter how conscious it was it's still there, part of the audience's experience.

The message was spelt out in one episode where the Enterprise crew found an alternative future Earth with two peoples: the despotic, barbaric rulers or 'Comes' (pronounced 'combs') and the gentle, idealistic slaves or 'Yangs'. Kirk spells out the meaning for anyone slow on the uptake: in this world the Communists beat the Americans instead of the other way round. Most cringeworthy moment is when the the Yang leader tells Kirk: "Our god is called Free-dom," and he says "That's our god too."

It would matter less if Star Trek were not so mannered, pompous and formula-driven at all levels. I'm sure there have been worse SF shows on TV but they haven't been so absurdly overrated.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 08:58 am:   

And she's also come up with Poltergeist: the Legacy. We watched that for quite a while when Channel 5 first launched. I wouldn't say it was the worst, though - round about the mediocre level of stuff like Charmed.

Talking of Channel 5 reminded me of Lexx. The TV movies were okay, but the series was woeful.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 81.155.23.31
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 09:24 am:   

"Star Trek. [...] A spaceship representing the world and its peoples is called the US Enterprise. As in 'free enterprise'. Give me strength.
=====================
I think that may be an unintentional subtext."

Des, surely if a subtext is there it doesn't matter how conscious it was it's still there, part of the audience's experience.


;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
You are speaking to the converted there, Joel! :-)

des
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.204
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 12:16 pm:   

Sorry Joel.

As an twelve year old lad who had been cntunually disappointed by TV sf - including Dr Who which I often found ludicrous and frustrating - the first series of "Star Trek" was a breath of fresh air. It took my imagination and ripped it open and as a result...I write stories of my own now (did I ever mention my latest book "The Places Between"? I didn't, remiss of me).

Yes, I know, looking back now, it has its daft and pompous moments, but that programme was a moment in time, and now that time has passed.

For the most part, however I've been frustrated by TV sf and horror. There have been good moments and "X Files" was a very good attempt to get it right, although the Cancer man episodes were irritating and spoiled it for me.

Buffy? She looked nice but I simply wasn't interested.

I'm a fussy bugger when it comes to filmic sf and horror.

Cheers
Terry
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 12:47 pm:   

I'm a fussy bugger when it comes to filmic sf and horror.

You and me both, Terry. With knobs on...

I fancied the red haired one in Buffy, but not enough to watch the bloody show.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 12:53 pm:   

I missed Red Dwarf off the list.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 - 03:22 pm:   

I think you're taking 'Star Trek' a little too seriously, Joel, and ignoring how truly groundbreaking and progressive the show was for its time. For me, there has never been a greater marriage of infectious tongue-in-cheek fun, thrills, intelligence and a true sense of adventure and exploration in the entire history of genre television. The casting, production values and general quality of the scripts were second to none, and even the odd duff episode (like the one you singled out) still shine due to the effortless magic generated by the performances.

William Shatner, in particular, is one of the great unsung comic actors of our time imo. If you don't believe me, check out the movie 'Free Enterprise' (1999) - he plays himself, and mercilessly rips the piss out of his on-screen persona, while being ably supported by Eric McCormack & Rafer Weigel as two starstruck Trekkies. It's one of my favourite comedies of recent years - and says all that needs said about the show, and its influence, much better than I ever could.

'Doctor Who' is a lot more hit-and-miss in quality than 'Star Trek', but just pips it due to longevity, cultural relevance and the overwhelming nostalgia factor - wobbly sets and rubber suited monsters notwithstanding.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 213.81.116.100
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 04:51 pm:   

Steve, I remember Free Enterprise, I vaguely recall reviewing it for the BFS. IIRC Shatner performs a rap version of Julius Caesar.

And let's not forget the Shatner and Co's comedy hi-jinks in the Futurama episode Where No Fan Has Gone Before.

But you're wrong about Buffy. One of the best genre shows I've ever seen. Even better than Crime Traveller.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 05:57 pm:   

I know Buffy has its fans, and recognise the quality of the production values, and I did take a peek at it every now and again, but the look and tone of the show just never appealed to me - in fact I positively loathed it. Horses for courses...

'Free Enterprise' is a great wee movie. Laugh out loud funny and full of irresistible warmth. You know there's talk of a sequel with all the original cast: 'Free Enterprise II : The Wrath Of Shatner'!!!!
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 06:10 pm:   

Angel was better than buffy although they were both good shows.

Before I watched buffy I thought it would be rubbish, but actually really liked it when I was forced to watch a couple of episodes.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 07:23 pm:   

That's funny, Weber. I had to be forced to watch it as well, having dismissed it out of hand when it was originally on. It took about a series and a half before I was willing to admit that I was starting to enjoy myself.

Agree that ANGEL - when it was on the top of its game - was the better of the two. And that ending...!
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 07:24 pm:   

Going back to the bad stuff, though. Surely it must be the endless dreck that crops up on various digital channels. MEDIUM, GHOST WHISPERER, shit like that?
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 82.11.97.194
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 08:34 pm:   

Buffy took a little while to find its feet -- I didn't get into it properly until series 2 which was WAY better than what I saw of series 1. Series 2 was good time to jump onboard; as the show progressed its continuity became convoluted and may have made it more difficult for the casual latecomer to get a feel for the series.

Angel was darker and with some great emotional beats and plot reversals but the overreaching storyarc got a bit screwed up as the series progressed. Not sure how much of that was down to having to work around cast pregnancies and interference from the network but whatever the reason some of the major storylines make pretty much no sense. Also, as it progressed there seemed less sense of the 'supernatural menace serving as metaphor for real-life problem' stuff that Buffy did so well. That said, I watched the later series of Angel way more recently than the later series of Buffy so I could probably find flaws in Buffy as well if I had fresher memories of the episodes.

Firefly was also excellent. A little rough around the edges but full of wit and charm.

Dollhouse, though, is very disappointing. I'm still deciding if I can be bothered to watch the second series even if Eliza Dushku does get to wear all kinds of sexy outfits. And coming from someone who watched all of Tru Calling just to watch the scenes where Dushku keeps waking up in her pyjamas that's pretty harsh criticism.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 82.11.97.194
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 08:36 pm:   

Btw, I can't believe that no one jumped on the mention of Crime Traveller to scream about how truly awful it was.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.151.247.23
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 10:00 pm:   

'Fringe' is brilliant! The X Files of the new era. While 'Supernatural' definitely has some stand out pure horror episodes. Did anyone watch the pilot episode of 'The Event' last week? I have it taped.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 10:25 pm:   

Sean, I enjoy FRINGE (although that's another one which took a series or so to get going), and SUPERNATURAL has a lot of goofy charm. THE EVENT pilot was okay - a bit all over the place, to be honest, but I'll give it a few more episodes to see how things pan out. I can't say I was especially gripped by any of the characters.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 10:54 am:   

I've had a look at 'Supernatural' but it seems to fall between two stools for me, half the time it wants to be 'The X Files', the other half it's too close to 'Buffy' territory for my liking. Couldn't warm to it. Haven't seen 'Fringe'.

I actually enjoyed the recent British genre shows; 'Afterlife' & 'Sea Of Souls'. They had the grace not to go on and on indefinitely and were more gritty and low-key in their treatment, while still maintaining the entertainment factor. I always tend to prefer British genre TV to American. 'Star Trek' and the Chris Carter productions being the big exceptions. This especially holds true in the sitcom format; America has done nothing to approach the brilliance of; 'Red Dwarf', 'The League Of Gentlemen', 'Nighty Night' or 'Psychoville' imho - well not since the 60s anyway.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 11:11 am:   

I'm talking non-antholgy genre TV above.

When it comes to the old "different story every week" format the Yanks rule - even taking 'Thriller', 'Beasts' & 'Hammer House Of Horror' into account. Nothing can top 'The Outer Limits', 'The Twilight Zone', 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' and, by all accounts, 'Boris Karloff's Thriller', when I finally get a chance to see it.

The 90s revival of 'The Outer Limits' was also excellent and unfairly neglected, 'The Hunger' was hit-and-miss but had more than its share of classic episodes, particularly in Series 2, while 'Masters Of Horror' was the greatest pure horror show of its kind ever made imho - even the odd duff episode always had something, while, when it worked, as it did more often than not, the result was better than anything we've seen in US horror cinema this last 10 years.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 11:22 am:   

I thought 'Masters Of Horror' was around 85% garbage. Only the Takeshi Miike (Imprint)and first Carpenter (Cigarette Burns) eps stand out as being something special. Oh, and the one by the director of May - with Angella Bettis and the beetle, and Brad Anderson's Sounds Like were good. The rest were poor, IMHO.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 11:32 am:   

I'd put it the other way round, Gary. About 50% excellent, 30% good to okay, 20% bad (but beautifully so). The production values, "let's try something new" approach of most of the directors and no-holds-barred attitude to gore and extreme body horror was sensational imo - a real breath of fresh air in the 2000's US horror scene. Even Dario Argento produced his two finest works of the decade in that series, with 'Jenifer' being the highlight of the whole show imho.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 11:43 am:   

Jennifer? Really? I thought it was terrible, truly awful. Laughable, actually.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 12:03 pm:   

You cannot be serious!! It scared the crap out of me... I found that whole episode truly nightmarish and loved the horrible inevitability of the plot coming full circle. The demon girl, whatever the hell she was, I found a brilliant creation - incredible make-up job. Another real standout episode was 'The Fair Haired Child' - brilliant make-up effects and a truly unsettling monster. There were so many great episodes of truly cinematic quality horror in that show - long overdue serious reappraisal in my opinion.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 12:18 pm:   

I bought both series of Masters, and have to say Zed is right, in my humble opinion. Great production, yes, but does a pair of tits have to make an appearance every episode? When they got it right, it was great, but when they got it wrong, it appalled me.

Sorry, Steve. You and I are usually quite close in terms of what we like, but Zeddy has my vote this time.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 12:24 pm:   

Anything the breathtakingly untalented Mick Garris has a hand in is bound to be variable at best, Frank.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 12:33 pm:   

Agreed.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 12:42 pm:   

Amen to that. Garris couldn't direct piss into a bucket. He makes Michael Winner look inspired (to be fair, Winner's made one film I liked, which was 'The Sentinel') I really don't know why King lets him make anything of his into a film. If it's possible to be a worse director than Michael Bay, Garris manages that too.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.46.233
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 12:53 pm:   

I thought Masters of Horror was boring, uninspired drivel, with only a few episodes standing out as better than average (and even they were patchy, in my opinion). And ditto what Simon and Zed said about Garris - he hasn't a clue about horror. There's a vapid, cheesy phoniness to everything he's associated with, in my opinion.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 02:05 pm:   

Is Desperation any good? I mean his adaptation of it?
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.46.233
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 02:51 pm:   

I tried to watch it, Frank, because Ron Perlman was in it. I gave up after about half an hour...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 03:40 pm:   

I must disagree wholeheartedly with the apparent consensus on 'Masters Of Horror'. I have no axe to grind with Mick Garris, and don't consider him a creative talent at all, but what he achieved in getting this series off the ground, and getting so many of the great horror directors involved, and committed, and firing on all cylinders like at no other time in the 2000s, has to be recognised as one hell of an achievement. I seriously fail to understand the undeserved vitriol this show attracts from horror fans. In my unbiased, honest opinion it was inspired and a rare oasis of quality in the desert that has defined mainstream US horror over the last decade.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.77.197
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 03:43 pm:   

I quite liked Desperation, Frank. Solid enough. You can get it on YouTube, oddly.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 217.20.16.180
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 04:05 pm:   

The concept of MASTERS OF HORROR was sound, but unfortunately too much of the 'talent' were well past their best. Carpenter and John Landis did well, as did Takashi Miike. The one Stevie mentions - FAIR HAIRED CHILD - I thought was excellent. JENIFER on the other hand was hilarious rubbish.

I'm similarly down on Mick Garris's output. He's a solid TV director at best, with little or no flair for drama or composition. His writing is agaonising too, if his story in HELLBOUND HEARTS is anything to go by.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 04:07 pm:   

I'm with John on this - insipid is a good work to describe Garris's work (and much of MoH).

Desperation is probably his best, and it's actually quite watchable, but lacks any real style or substance.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 04:33 pm:   

'Jenifer' (spelt with one N) was a work of pure brilliance - frightening, disgusting, disturbing, subversive, blackly comic, perfectly paced, the direction uncharacteristically and appropriately understated, the effects and make-up superb - and like nothing I'd seen before - the story and monster original, the lead performance wonderfully sympathetic, the narrative drive relentless and the pay-off sublime in its inevitability. Sorry, but you guys are dead wrong on this one - watch it again, and ignore the fact that Mick Garris produced it!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 04:37 pm:   

Steve, I watched it twice (God knows why) and thought it was terrible...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 05:00 pm:   

So did I... and thought it was wonderful.

The one with John Goodman dissolving people in acid was another great episode, and the one about US soldiers returning from Iraq as zombies, the lesbian insect monster one, the were-deer one, Stuart Gordon's enjoyable adaptation of 'The Dreams In The Witch House', the nicely Picaresque Clive Barker one. In fact I feel like revisiting the whole lot and trying to reidentify just which episodes didn't work...!! Oh yeah, 'Pro-Life', then again... hmmm.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 05:00 pm:   

Even Dario Argento produced his two finest works of the decade in that series....

Not saying a lot, Stevie, Since Argento produced films SO utterly execrable in the 00's - like THE CARD PLAYER, DO YOU LIKE HITCHOCK? or whatever it was called, and so on (coming from an Argento fan, mind) - that his "Jenifer" could only stand out (what was the other one?)... but I, too, found it overall, unmemorable. I've not seen a MOH that impressed me. Not seen them all, by any means, but... will not be striving to, either....
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 05:07 pm:   

'Pelts' is one of the most gloriously gruesome and blackly comical things Argento ever directed. Even Meatloaf was perfectly cast, as a sleazy tub of lard, as also in 'Fight Club'. All in my humble opinion, of course.
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 82.18.207.61
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 05:13 pm:   

Has anyone mentioned So Haunt Me yet? Or My Hero?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 05:26 pm:   

Bloody hell, I've just discovered there was a "third series" made in 2008-09, with the same creative team, high production values and big name horror directors! It was moved to NBC and retitled 'Fear Itself'. Has anyone seen this and is it available on DVD?!?!
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 82.210.188.215
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 05:45 pm:   

Steve - yes, it's on dvd, and received better reviews.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 06:00 pm:   

Thanks, Frank... that's my DVD buys for this month sorted out. 'Sgt Bilko' Season 1, 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Season 7, 'Fear Itself', and, if I can still get it cheap enough, the Laurel & Hardy box set. Got a load of long awaited and hard fought for backpay today!!
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 11:03 pm:   

Laurel and Hardy, you lucky so and so.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.178.82.216
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 11:19 am:   

Stevie - great price on the Laurel & Hardy box here:-

http://www.zavvi.com/dvd/laurel-hardy-the-collection-21-disc-box-set/89831.html

...a little over 30! Mind you, I paid almost full whack when it first came out but haven't regretted it for a moment, although they could have saved the effort and not bothered with the "colorised" versions.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 12:47 pm:   

That's ridiculously cheap! Thanks, Mick.

I thought Zavvi had gone bust though...
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.155.107.175
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 01:59 pm:   

I have to agree with Stevie on the 'Masters of Horror' debate. 1/3 great episodes, 1/3 okay episodes and the rest poor. But all well made and genuinely entertaining. 'Imprint', 'Jenifer', 'Fair Haired Child' and 'Cigarette Burns' immediately spring to mind as the best of season 1. I only caught 3 or 4 of season 2 and know nothing of 'Fear Itself'.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.178.82.216
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 02:33 pm:   

Stevie - in that case how about 31.47 from Amazon?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001K2KE8%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAJKTXY WBP4ZI3F6WA%26tag%3Dfindhotelinth-21%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3 D165953

Don't think they're going anywhere soon!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.47.224
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 - 07:15 am:   

Again, the few somewhat decent episodes of Fear Itself (the Brad Anderson episode and the Larry Fessenden ones weren't bad, although it's really about time Fessenden found new subject material) were outnumbered by the downright awful ones. The opening titles sequence is really tacky and unimaginative (appropriate for anything Garris-related).
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.185.1.18
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 12:04 am:   

Speaking of Larry Fessenden, his 'Wendigo' is going for 1 in Poundland!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.185.1.18
Posted on Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 12:08 am:   

Sorry it was George Wendt, not John Goodman, in John Landis's excellent, and truly disgusting, 'Masters Of Horror' epsiode "Family". I always get those two mixed up.

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