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Old 10-07-2019, 06:10 PM
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Anyone watching new Masterpiece series, "Press"? Spoilers welcome.


First episode last night (Oct 6, 2019) in my area.

From PBS site:
Quote:
Set in the world of newspapers in London its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24-hour news cycle, its future uncertain this razor sharp and observant drama explores the current, turbulent media landscape and the ethical dilemmas that journalists and editors face each day. Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders) and Ben Chaplin (Apple Tree Yard) star, alongside Priyanga Burford (King Charles III) and David Suchet (Poirot).
I was hoping for Lou Grant, but got something closer to The Newsroom. Generally agreed to be based on principled The Guardian v. entertainment/shock-oriented The Sun (or Mail). Mixed reviews on IMDB. It's a little too ripped-from-the-headlines for me. Competent, respected, black (female) govt minister forced to resign over indiscreet (sex & drugs) photos from 30 years prior. Isn't there an expiry date on Dumb Shit We Did in College? Apparently not. Cutthroat editor who pushed her to resign vewwy vewwy proud of himself. Ugh.

Might give episode 2 a look-see, as Sunday night is a vast wasteland on the telly.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Might give episode 2 a look-see, as Sunday night is a vast wasteland on the telly.
I watched it on original broadcast on the BBC last year. It's OK - the character beats get better and more complex as it goes along - but it's only OK. The BBC put it out on a Thursday I think, so it wasn't in one of the prime drama slots.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:31 PM
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I watched episode 1 and will give episode 2 a try, too. So far it's not hitting me as similar to The Newsroom, but then I tend to find Aaron Sorkin massively irritating and am not, thankfully, seeing Press that way.

It may not be the most insightful-about-journalism show ever made, but so far it's sufficiently entertaining for me to give it more time.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:47 PM
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I watched it, too. I'll give it another Sunday. I did find it a bit on the nose and the characters caricature-ish.

Mostly I spent the episode trying to work out from which other film(s) I remembered Ben Chaplin. Finally had to look it up: The Truth About Cats and Dogs. He's been in other stuff I've seen, too, but I remembered him in The Truth About Cats and Dogs.

Sherrerd, you and I agree on Aaron Sorkin. The dialogue gets too cute and snappy for my taste.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:45 PM
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I'm a big fan of Aaron Sorkin. "Cute & snappy dialogue"?? The West Wing? Sports Night? A Few Good Men, FFS??

The Newsroom started out okay, but ultimately was not good Sorkin, esp when Mackenzie went into full hysteria mode. I can't watch Emily Mortimer in anything without remembering her in that show.

Aspenglow, whenever I watch anything, I have IMDB.com open on my kindle, so I can instantly solve the "where have I seen this person before" problem. I watch tons of British mysteries, and it's almost like a repertory company with all the cross pollination.
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Last edited by ThelmaLou; 10-07-2019 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:59 PM
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Sherrerd, you and I agree on Aaron Sorkin. The dialogue gets too cute and snappy for my taste.
Yeah, and he's so focused on getting that cute-and-snappy effect that his characters become mere puppets, unconvincing as human beings.

Also he's clumsy with product-placement. Remember how everyone in The Newsroom was always talking about 'my Blackberry' and 'your Blackberry'---at a time when the company clearly desperately needed promotion (2012-14)? It was kind of ridiculous.

Anyway, Press actors. I watch a lot of UK-made entertainment and do enjoy seeing how versatile a lot of those performers are. The lead actress in this, Charlotte Riley, has had three other roles that I recall clearly, and all are wildly different: Nance, the lone female in the military unit in the sci-fi Edge of Tomorrow; Arabella, in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell; and the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, in King Charles III.

I remember Ben Chaplin best as Sandra Bullock's partner in Murder by Numbers, as well as the tormented Basil in Dorian Gray. And of course David Suchet is always a pleasure to watch.

So, we'll see. At least there won't be any Blackberries in it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:44 PM
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Yeah, and he's so focused on getting that cute-and-snappy effect that his characters become mere puppets, unconvincing as human beings.
...
WHAT??

So. Wrong.

Quote:
At least there won't be any Blackberries in it.
I've only ever owned Blackberries. My latest is a Key2, and it can beat the pants off you and your mama's iPhone. Twice on Tuesday.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:05 PM
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WHAT??
So. Wrong.
I've only ever owned Blackberries. My latest is a Key2, and it can beat the pants off you and your mama's iPhone. Twice on Tuesday.
I've only ever owned seven-bucks-a-month (a 90-day card is $20) flip phones. So I don't know from either Blackberries or iPhones.

As for Sorkin: I was totally enthralled by the first season of The West Wing. As the series went on I became less enthralled and more disappointed by what seemed to me to be predictable and formulaic writing (I still thought the cast was great). When The Newsroom debuted I was willing to give it a fair try, but....puppets being pushed around. That's how it seemed to me. Mileage obviously varies.

For progressive-viewpoint filmed entertainment, I much prefer Mike Leigh. For commentary on journalism as a profession, I like Network (1976), Absence of Malice (1981), and Broadcast News (1987). Honorable mentions: The Odessa File (1974) and State of Play (2009).

Will Press turn out to be as incisive as any of these? I'm interested to find out.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
WHAT??

So. Wrong.


I've only ever owned Blackberries. My latest is a Key2, and it can beat the pants off you and your mama's iPhone. Twice on Tuesday.
Yeah, flip phone here, too, and never turned on except when I travel.

I know I missed a phenomenon, but I never watched West Wing. Never saw Sports Night -- never even heard of it till you mentioned it, ThelmaLou.

A Few Good Men I watched once. I didn't find it all that compelling. But then I'm not a big Nicholson fan except for his work in As Good As It Gets. He was kinda charming in that one.

By the way, in Press, did you clock Leonard (Al Weaver) from Father Brown as James? Bet you did.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:25 PM
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Yes, I loved Al Weaver. That curly hair!!

Humble-bragging about not having a smartphone? You two crack me up.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Yes, I loved Al Weaver. That curly hair!!

Humble-bragging about not having a smartphone? You two crack me up.
No, no, I don't have a smartphone only because there's no point. I don't have cell reception where I live. In truth, I'd enjoy having one!

And thank you for not publicly pointing out that I meant Granchester, not Father Brown. Too many cassocks...

Last edited by Aspenglow; 10-08-2019 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:57 PM
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The phone thing came up due to

Quote:
I've only ever owned Blackberries. My latest is a Key2, and it can beat the pants off you and your mama's iPhone. Twice on Tuesday.
...which seemed to imply that any criticism of Sorkin for promoting Blackberries must be rooted in iPhone-partisanship. I was pointing out that I hadn't written out of iPhone partisanship.

Anyway, in re Press: episode 1 seemed to be themed along the lines of 'problems with staying afloat financially are all about journalistic ethics.' I'm not sure that theory holds up. It's true that some financially-successful newspapers do have good reputations, ethics-wise---but their success isn't due to operating ethically. It's due to operating ethically while keeping their content behind a paywall.

I wonder if that particular aspect of the business will become a plot point; I have a feeling it won't, because it's tough to cast it in Noble terms.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:13 PM
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OK. So I'm the only one who thought the Blackberry thing was foreshadowing that the Corporation had stopped investing in their program? LOL! Totally thought that was a plot device.

I haven't seen "Press" yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
No, no, I don't have a smartphone only because there's no point. I don't have cell reception where I live. In truth, I'd enjoy having one!

And thank you for not publicly pointing out that I meant Granchester, not Father Brown. Too many cassocks...
See, I read Father Brown, but heard Grantchester in my head. Mind-meld?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
The phone thing came up due to



...which seemed to imply that any criticism of Sorkin for promoting Blackberries must be rooted in iPhone-partisanship. I was pointing out that I hadn't written out of iPhone partisanship.
...
Yes, yes. Lighten up. I din't mean nuttin' by it. You're one of my favorites.
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