Henrik Carlsson's Blog

All things me.

I’m so fed up with content

posted this article on and tagged it with Black Mirror Content Handwritten Subscription services TV shows

Linn and I have started watchning the latest season of Black Mirror. (Season 6, I think.) So far we’ve only seen the episodes ”Joan is Awful” and ”Loch Henry” and I think both were good.

In the past I’ve thought that the problem with ”Black Mirror” is that it’s rarely as clever as it thinks it is.Its good ideas have usually been explored better in earlier works of sci-fi and it has this air of baby’s first dystopia. Two episodes in and I feel that this problem is less present in this season, even though the meta narrative stuff they’re doing at the moment are balancing on the edge of becoming masturbation.

But I’m not here to complain about Black Mirror. I’m here to complain about Netflix.

The problem isn’t the service Netflix, it’s the Netflix apps. They’re just so noisy. When I want to find something to watch I want to browse a list of recommendations, of I’m searching for something specific and want to see the results of a search. Netflix does present a list to browse but doing so is like browsing a minefield. Whenever I stop the cursor for just a second to read something or look at a poster, the thing I’m currently highlighting starts autoplaying.

I’ sure there’s lots of data that suggests that this maximizes the consumers engagement with the content. But I don’t want to consume or engage with content. I want to watch a movie or a tv show. Sometimes to relax and to take my mind off of things and sometimes to challenge myself to new ideas and perspectives!

When I finally find something to watch in this endless sea of content to consume, if that something is a tv show the next annoyance shows up.

”Skip intro”

I HATE the ”skip intro” button. If what I’m watching is something that’s really meant to be watched for its artistic merits, the intro is part of the experience. The director and editor has crafted the pace of the film (or show) with the intro in mind. Is sets the tone, tells part of the story. The ”skip intro” button just tells me that I should rush past this boring thing and get to the content.

And then, after I finished watching an episode of something, enter the stress again. As a movie or an episode ends I like to remain immersed in the world I just visited and think about what I saw while the credits roll. Oh now you don’t, says Netflix and starts pushing the next thing. If I want to stay with the credits I have just a few seconds to find the remote and quickly tell it that yes, I’m actually watching this and I want to continue doing that.

Why, Netflix, are you so afraid of me actually getting a few seconds to think? Are you that worried that I’ll realize that so much of what You present to me are just meaningless, artless content meant to distract my mind and keep me subscribed?

Post scriptum: The rest of the season was good as well.

posted this note on and tagged it with Reading The Stand TV shows

I was just listening to the last few chapters of The Stand and thought about how the ending of the 2020 TV show was better than the novel because it didn’t drag on so much. It ended nice and clean after the stand in Vegas.

Boy was I wrong. There’s apparently an entire episode that we missed.

posted this note on and tagged it with Adaptations The Stand TV shows

I drove to pick up groceries today and listened more to The Stand and realized that I’d only written about things in the tv series favor yesterday and two things that are much better in the book came to mind.

First, Las Vegas. At least thus far in the book (Chapter 81) it’s far from the depraved sex party of the tv show. The shows depiction of the city of Flagg seems like ”bait” for the modern tv audience who expects som T&A in their shows. It’s more appealing, and frightening, when it’s more similar to Boulder.

Secondly, Larry Underwood. That character remains fairly undeveloped in the show, at least to my recollection. He is a much more interesting character in the novel.

The Stand – the 2020 tv series

posted this article on and tagged it with Adaptations The Stand TV shows

Earlier this year (or was it late last year, time blurs) me and Linn watched the new tv series version of Stephen King’s The Stand and we really liked it. It wasn’t the greatest, nor most interesting thing ever made for tv but it was a fun watch. After we finished it I read some reviews and saw that a lot of people, both regular viewers and professional critics, seemed to dislike it and I just couldn’t understand why they where so down on it.

Now that I’ve only got a few hours left of the audiobook of the novel I can sort of see where they are coming from, but I still don’t agree. Yes, if you’ve loved the book for decades then the show is going to leave you feeling it lacks so much. That’s kind of always the case. It’s an adaptation, not an exact word for word retelling with sound and moving images. On the other hand if you, like me, know about the book but haven’t gotten around to reading it the show is great ”fun” and might actually push you to read the book

Stop reading here if you don’t want spoilers.

Thus far in my reading of the book there are even some things that I think the tv show does better, primarily Randall Flagg himself. In the novel he is a sort of a demonic entity from the start whereas in the show he comes of as very human to begin with, almost getting you to like him, while still there being something wrong about him. Alexander Skarsgård is perfectly cast for the roll and his puppy-dog eyes makes it all the more effective when he does do scary things. It’s much more scary with a psychotic human then a demon.

Harold Lauder also comes to mind. The character in the book never gets as interested as he has potential to be and I think Owen Teague’s portrait of him really makes him human. I think there’s much more of an interesting internal conflict in him in the show as compared to the novel, and you end up both hating him, pitying him and also understanding him in the show. In the show you can see how it really was perfectly possible for him to drop his grudges and be ”Hawk” instead, remaking himself as a likable person in Boulder, but that he choses not to.

Worth noting also is the casting of James Marsden as Stu. While not ”better” than the book, it’s simply great casting. Marsden is really the perfect actor to play this almost archetypical character, the redneck with a heart of gold.

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posted this note on and tagged it with TV shows Westworld

The quality of Westworld season 3 episodes vary a lot. The other day I watched episode 4 (”The Mother of Exiles”) which was a really good one. Tonight #5 (”Genre”) which might have been the first truly bad episode of Westworld.

posted this reply on and tagged it with TV shows
Replied to Thoughts on Netflix by Steve P Brady (micro.stevepbrady.me)

I think 3 seasons is probably the sweet spot as far as story telling goes. I’d much prefer 10 exciting and original 3 season shows to 5 bloated shows that just keep chruning out episodes derivative of their own past. Am I wrong?

I agree with this. I think this golden age of television that we are in is only helped by killing shows before they lose what makes them special. Netflix’ own Stranger Things is a great example of this. The first season was amazing, the second one really good, while the third one really feels like it’s time to wrap things up.

Another example of a show that ran way too long is Orange is the New Black. Amazing for a couple of seasons and then it just fell apart. IMHO, off course.

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posted this watch on and tagged it with TV shows
Watched Devs from thetvdb.com

Linn and I finished watching Devs last night and I’m currently listening to The Incomparable’s discussion of it. I need to think about this one and write more but as a whole I thought it was a very interesting premise that failed in the execution. And it was waaaaaaay too long. A two hour movie, or even a Black Mirror episode, would have been enough.

posted this note on and tagged it with True Detective TV shows

🎞 Watched: True Detective – The Long Bright Dark

Linn and I have been wanting to find a new show that we can both get into and this one seems very promising.

Great acting by McConaughey and Harrelson and nice chemistry between them. Also very nice work by the make-up department.

posted this note on and tagged it with TV shows Westworld

Finished my rewatch of the first season of Westworld tonight and loved it just as much as the first time. With hindsight, so many of the twists and turns are so clearly layed our before the view.

Tomorrow it’s on to season two!

posted this note on and tagged it with TV shows Westworld

I never got around to finish watching the second season of Westworld and I’ve been meaning to do so for quite some time now. Today Linn and I decided to give season two a go together, since she’s watched the first season but didn’t join me for the second one on my first attempt. So today we said we’d start with the final episode of season one and then go for season two.

However, as Linn fell asleep on the couch and as I tried to remember as much as I could about the first season I decided to instead go all the way back to the first episode. So I’ve just finished rewatching the very first episode of Westworld and oh my it’s a good show. So cleverly plotted!