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Culture Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Jan '15 14:21 / 1 edit
    Anyone else seen it? (Please, no series 2 spoilers)

    Caught series one on Netflix streaming. Excellent show, though I was a little disappointed in the finale.

    It's also the first British series that I really have gotten into. I tried Downton Abbey but couldn't really get into it. I'm also planning to give Happy Valley a shot but after one episode, I can't say I'm all that optimistic.

    The British series seem to take a bit of a minimalist approach as opposed to the in-your-face constant sensory barrage of the HBO and Showtime series. I like the way Broadchurch takes a more low key approach, letting the viewer figure things out along with the characters. Reminds me a little of the first season of "Damages."

    Any other good British series to recommend?
  2. Donation mwmiller
    RHP Member No.16
    19 Jan '15 14:41 / 1 edit
    Give "New Tricks" a try. It's on netflix but is dvd only as far as I know. It's a humorous police series that I thought was pretty good.

    Another good one on netflix is "Foyle's War". It's more on the serious side.
    "A touch of Frost" is also good.
  3. 19 Jan '15 17:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Anyone else seen it? (Please, no series 2 spoilers)

    Caught series one on Netflix streaming. Excellent show, though I was a little disappointed in the finale.

    It's also the first British series that I really have gotten into. I tried Downton Abbey but couldn't really get into it. I'm also planning to give Happy Valley a shot but after one episode, I can't ...[text shortened]... nds me a little of the first season of "Damages."

    Any other good British series to recommend?
    Sherlock and Dr Who seem to be big followings worldwide, although I don't watch either (I'm English). For detective series, the aforementioned Foyle's War I believe is good (although I've only seen a little bit), but also Inspector Morse and Lewis (the succeeding series after John Thaw died).

    I'm assuming its drama you're after (there's plenty of other great stuff too, mostly on the BBC). Personally, I don't like New Tricks, though my parents watched it regularly. Silent Witness is a great forensics drama – very chilling and often harrowing, but I've heard it's lost its way in the new series. Waking the Dead was a police series in a similar vein, also excellent.

    The Hollow Crown was an excellent series of three or four Shakespeare dramatisations (the history plays), very accessible because the dialogue was delivered naturally rather than in more or less fixed iambic pentameter. Yet another police drama, Luther, is popular in the States (I think), but I've only watched a few minutes so can neither recommend it nor warn you off.

    Three other types of programmes the BBC, in particular, does brilliantly are comedies, documentaries and the wildlife/natural history subgenre of documentaries. All of these have been dumbed down quite a lot in recent years, but there's still some first-class content being made and plenty in the archives.

    BBC radio is also excellent, and often more convenient than TV. I think it has the advantage of being freely available overseas (do correct me if I'm wrong). Radio 4 is broadly factual talk, ranging from hard-hitting news programming to documentaries and debates on everything under the sun. They broadcast some brilliant comedies, particular I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, The Unbelievable Truth and anything with Milton Jones; they also broadcast dramatisations of books and adaptations of plays, as well as books read in the standard way.
    Radio 3 is for serious classical music, with some jazz and world music on weekends and late night GMT.
    Radio 5 Live is like a less formal version of Radio 4, and accordingly more lightweight: 'journalism lite'. They broadcast a lot of sport and audience phone-ins. The main difference is that everything is live, and there's none of the artistic content that features on Radio 4. There are 4 music stations, Radio 1 and 1Xtra (both club dance music), Radio 2 (mixture of middle-of-the-road rock, golden oldies, jazz and occasionally a little classical), Radio 6 Music (trendy bands). There's also the Asian network, which plays stuff like Bollywood music and Desi. If you're looking for true Indian Classical music (or even crossover), don't look there, find a good guide to World Music and buy a few MP3s.

    Whew, I went on a bit there, sorry about that. But I do like the BBC a lot! Hope you find something you like.
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    19 Jan '15 18:11 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    Sherlock and Dr Who seem to be big followings worldwide, although I don't watch either (I'm English). For detective series, the aforementioned Foyle's War I believe is good (although I've only seen a little bit), but also Inspector Morse and Lewis (the succeeding series after John Thaw died).

    I'm assuming its drama you're after (there's plenty of ...[text shortened]... on a bit there, sorry about that. But I do like the BBC a lot! Hope you find something you like.
    I have BBC and CNN programmed into my Sirius radio (I have a very long commute, 1.5 hours) and all CNN talks about is the Charlie massacre which was terrible for sure but CNN is milking the hell out of it, repeating stories I heard just an hour earlier ad infinitum. BBC has some really great stories about artists and such. I listen to that and NPR, or Public Radio International (PRI) as it is now called and some classic radio show stuff, programs, dramas and such from the 1930's, 40's, 50's and 60's, like X minus one, sci fi, Gunsmoke, which was a radio show long before TV, Twilight zone, same, and Dragnet, same thing, radio way before TV.

    I also started listening to audio books, 6 to 12 cd's of various stories.

    Why they don't go MP3 on those audio books I don't know since most every DVD/CD player can do MP3 of any variety nowadays. I guess they like to keep up the outrageous prices (40 to 50 dollars US, or 5 to 8 times the paperback price) They could get an entire book on one MP3 file but then they couldn't charge such ridiculous prices. So I get mine scouring used junk shops and such

    I was surprised at the quality of the audio on some of those old radio shows which were till the 1950's done on 12 or 14 inch 78 RPM records. You can tell this guy Greg Bell, who runs the show, has not done much in the way of signal processing, some of the shows could REALLY use some click and scratch removal but I think they just record them as is, I guess they don't want to spend the time to massage each and every show that needs help, signal wise.

    If I ran that show, I would have people running Wavelab or some such, which has click and hiss removal which really improves the intelligibility of some of the worse offenders.

    One thing I dislike about those old radio shows: The big productions, what we would think of a major programming effort today, has the actors running through their lines with good sound effects and such but with a full orchestra behind them.

    The cheaper productions used organists who did their thing at dramatic moments, most of them cause me to run the volume control down to near zero during that organ blast then back up for the vocals again.

    So that is MY commute. Any other commute stories?
  5. 19 Jan '15 18:37
    Originally posted by sonhouse

    I also started listening to audio books, 6 to 12 cd's of various stories.

    Why they don't go MP3 on those audio books I don't know since most every DVD/CD player can do MP3 of any variety nowadays. I guess they like to keep up the outrageous prices (40 to 50 dollars US, or 5 to 8 times the paperback price) They could get an entire book on one MP3 file b ...[text shortened]... n they couldn't charge such ridiculous prices. So I get mine scouring used junk shops and such
    I don't know which audiobooks in particular you listen to, but audible.com — yet another company which Amazon took over — has a great selection. I have a few from there (This Sceptered Isle, Tender is the Night, The Red-Headed League and The Scarlet Letter): they're top quality.

    I don't use this much, but my local libraries (ie the county library system) also issues audiobooks on loan through an app called Overdrive. Overdrive might be available in the States, too—I remember having to select my library from a list that was at least Europe-wide if not world-wide. The audiobooks are free to borrow on one-week loans and I think they can be renewed if not requested by someone else. It's possible that there are books available on Overdrive that aren't around on audible.

    Finally, there are services like Librivox, where the books are recorded by volunteers. Personally, I avoid this because I know the quality is highly likely not to be up to scratch (there may be exceptions, but I didn't discover any when I sampled their stuff.) Also, the interface was very fiddly.
  6. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    20 Jan '15 22:41
    Originally posted by sh76
    I'm also planning to give Happy Valley a shot but after one episode, I can't say I'm all that optimistic.
    Stay with it. It's worth the effort.
  7. Standard member redbadger
    Suzzie says Badger
    02 Feb '15 14:33
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    Stay with it. It's worth the effort.
    first series bad 2nd gave it up after 3 episodes
  8. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    13 Feb '15 18:51
    Originally posted by sh76
    Any other good British series to recommend?
    The Missing
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    13 Feb '15 18:54
    Originally posted by sh76
    Any other good British series to recommend?
    Wolf Hall
  10. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    19 Feb '15 02:21
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    I don't know which audiobooks in particular you listen to, but audible.com — yet another company which Amazon took over — has a great selection. I have a few from there (This Sceptered Isle, Tender is the Night, The Red-Headed League and The Scarlet Letter): they're top quality.

    I don't use this much, but my local libraries (ie the county library ...[text shortened]... ons, but I didn't discover any when I sampled their stuff.) Also, the interface was very fiddly.
    The few I did listen to in my car commute were given to us by a family friend. That's when I looked around and found they were ridiculously priced and especially since they could have all been put on a single CD using MP3 which would be fine for just voice or maybe simple instrumentation. Good tip about the library. We have a local one here, I might try them and see if they have any CD audio books. You could also put them on flash drives. My car radio has a flash drive input. It says Ipod in but I had recorded some of our family music (we play professionally, folk music) so I put about an hour and a half on a flash drive and stuck it in and lo and behold, it played! That was a surprise so that means audio books on flash drive will work most anywhere also. Considering flash drives are getting to be over 64 gigabytes, you could put a whole library on them in MP3. I just sent an MP3 music file of a tune I just composed and it was about 2 1/2 minutes long and was only about 3.6 megs. So at that rate, 250 minutes would only be about 1/3 of a gigabyte so 750 minutes per gig times 64 would be about 800 hours of audio on one flash drive! 400 hours on a 32 gig flash drive card, 200 hours on a 16 gig and so forth. 25 hours on even an old 2 gigabyte flash drive.

    I imagine that would only be useful for recording your own library on flash, nobody would sell 800 hours of audio books in one format! They would probably want 2000 bucks for that!
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    22 Feb '15 00:46
    Originally posted by FMF
    The Missing
    Thanks, but neither is on Netflix.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Mar '15 15:24
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    Stay with it. It's worth the effort.
    Finished the first series of Happy Valley. Not terrible, but not great.

    5 on a scale of 1-10.

    Don't think I'll bother with the second.

    Started Game of Thrones Season 4. Now there's a good show.