What are you watching? (television thread)

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
The Mandalorian ended well and was good overall, maybe even very good for all the obvious reasons (out of this world production values, the Star Wars IP, great directors, etc). It would be nice if the show's plot actually went to another level next season and it truly became great creatively and not just through the aforementioned embarrassment of riches. But if it just remains a soft anthology where Mando and his foundling go low stakes adventuring from planet to planet each week I could probably watch that forever too.
It was good, and it's nice that they've upped the anté with the villain being both a Moff and someone connected to Mando's past (I'm not calling him Din...). I guess I'm supposed to be impressed by the casting choice there, but I didn't really feel that actor brought everything to the table yet (shouldn't a Moff naturally be more imposing than a fried chicken salesman? What's missing here?) I appreciated that they took the more dangerous but significant route of revealing a bit more about the character without ruining things. They haven't shit the bed yet, and by the end of season 1 of a streaming show, that's a notable victory.

But I did have a lingering feeling over those last two episodes that everything felt a bit circular. Not in a poetic way ("it's like poetry, it rhymes"), but in a way that reflects minimal effort on the writers' part for a two-parter that is ostensibly about raising the stakes for all the characters. And there was heightened drama, but the cost of that was on the backs of characters who the audience probably figured we were done with anyway, then Mando ends up exactly where we started this two-parter. I suppose that's in keeping with the show though.

Looking back on the whole show so far, I like pretty much all of the decisions they're making with it, but it's not reaching too deeply to ingratiate it with me more than "yeah that's pretty good." It feels like a touchstone from an earlier era of serialized TV, where not every episode had pressure to carry the story ball forward a few yards. And while in general serialized storytelling is more my bag, this has been a refreshing alternative in a sea of that.
 
The Mandalorian felt like a big budget fan project, in good and bad ways. If it wasn’t set in the Star Wars universe I probably wouldn’t have bothered watching. I thought the Mando himself was a bit of a bland chump. But the show felt like it was made with a lot of love for Star Wars, unlike the Disney trilogy.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I appreciated that they took the more dangerous but significant route of revealing a bit more about the character without ruining things. They haven't shit the bed yet, and by the end of season 1 of a streaming show, that's a notable victory.
The biggest risk the show took paid off big time, so hopefully that will embolden them in season 2 (that reveal at the end us already a good start).

But I did have a lingering feeling over those last two episodes that everything felt a bit circular.

...

Mando ends up exactly where we started this two-parter. I suppose that's in keeping with the show though.
Yeah, we'd basically already settled this conflict, and in the end it still wasn't even really settled, but I think, as we're all realizing, that's not the point of the show and the beauty of it not lining up with STAR WARS SKYWALKWR SAGA (fuck off)!

It feels like a touchstone from an earlier era of serialized TV, where not every episode had pressure to carry the story ball forward a few yards. And while in general serialized storytelling is more my bag, this has been a refreshing alternative in a sea of that.
Yep, it's more like the A-Team than modern TV; Mando and his foundling are on the run, and every once in a while they have to deal with their pursuers, but in the meantime checkout these wretched hives of scum and villainy they're passing through!

Still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian felt like a big budget fan project, in good and bad ways. If it wasn’t set in the Star Wars universe I probably wouldn’t have bothered watching. I thought the Mando himself was a bit of a bland chump. But the show felt like it was made with a lot of love for Star Wars, unlike the Disney trilogy.
That's pretty much Disney Star Wars in a nutshell thus far. Though I think it's all been made with love, but Star Wars fans in love with the old movies, even talented and capable ones, aren't necessarily the best equipped to make new and compelling stories set in the Star Wars galaxy.

I'd actually be interested to see what develops as more people, not necessarily beholden to Star Wars' history as it personally relates to them, become involved. So far it's been extremely reactionary to what's come before one way or another, which is sort of inevitable, and why I thought they might as well go full nostalgia trip for the initial run while that's still even possible (the moving on will take care of itself, as we've sadly experienced).

Instead they went with a hybrid approach that didn't really satisfy anybody, but we're getting past it now that the old characters and actors are literally dying off. Maybe they wanted a safety blanket in the old stuff while they tried transitioning to the new, which is also how you end up with a wet blanket like The Rise of Skywalker when everyone collectively wets the bed.

I think that's why they've been so careful with Mando, letting him essentially be a cipher for your idea of a badass Star Wars bounty hunter (he's literally acted out several of my childhood action figure/lego fantasies; hard not to like =), that'll get his ass kicked through circumstance every once in a while to cover the fact he inevitably outclasses everyone in the end. Still, for the hell of it I say put it altogether and stick Mark Hamill on Disney+ somehow for us olds, The Middle-Aged Adventures of Old Luke! It could totally do a crossover episode with The Mandalorian.
 
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