Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

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Cappy
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Cappy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:37 pm

I'm actually generally okay with the Dick Tremayne stuff, at least pre-Little Nicky. Ian Buchanan just pulls it off, somehow. The Roadhouse courtroom bits just fall flat for me though.

Back onto top 10 tv shows, my tastes don't include too much that hasn't already been praised in this thread. I like a lot of the prestige tv stuff from the past 20 years or so. I do want to praise one show in particular though: On Cinema At The Cinema. It's a parody movie review show on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network), although you can find almost all of it on youtube or the adult swim app. One of the hosts thinks he's very clever for his overly wrought opinions on films and pop culture, and the other's chaotic life gradually takes over the whole show, leading to episodes where movies are completely ignored for the sake of discussing his anti-vaxx beliefs/vape addiction/whatever is destroying his life that week. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen it, but if you are someone who might tend to take your opinions of cinema/TV very seriously at times, then you might see a little bit of yourself in this show and cringe.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:45 pm

I think Dick Tremayne was way overused. He’s ok in moderation, but definitely not one of my favorite corners of the TP universe. Ironically, I think I find him funniest in E28, which is one of my least favorite episodes overall.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Agent Earle » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:53 pm

Mr. Reindeer, does Windom Earle going full drag have anything to do with you disliking that episode? :D
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:00 pm

Agent Earle wrote:Mr. Reindeer, does Windom Earle going full drag have anything to do with you disliking that episode? :D


Heh, I posted my thoughts on the episode at length in the E28 thread a few years ago, so I’ll just link to that: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2734&start=30#p77102

The drag-Log Lady honestly isn’t my favorite thing, but it’s a drop in the pond in the grand scheme of late-S2 campiness/kitsch. Definitely not a major factor in my dislike for the episode.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby eyeboogers » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:32 am

Cappy wrote:
Audrey Horne wrote:the Roadhouse trial scenes


Yeah, people don't talk about the Roadhouse trial stuff, but it does kind of fall flat, for me anyway. I mean obviously it's Twin Peaks and I love it no matter what, but just contrast the Roadhouse trial to, I don't know, Leland's jailhouse confession an episode or two prior? Or the emotional gravity of say, the principal announcing Laura's death?


For those moments to have the desired effect you have to build up to them, earn them. It's about pacing, your song can't only be one long chorus. Things like the Pine Weasel and the Roadhouse trial is essential to the world building. It makes Twin Peaks feel more like a place inhabited by people and not just a backdrop for some arch-plot.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby N. Needleman » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:10 am

I adored Dick. I wish we'd seen him once more.
AnotherBlueRoseCase wrote:The Return is clearly guaranteed a future audience among stoners and other drug users.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:49 am

N. Needleman wrote:I adored Dick. I wish we'd seen him once more.


Don’t be so defeatist! There’s still the possibility of a season 4! :mrgreen:
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby mtwentz » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:06 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I think Dick Tremayne was way overused. He’s ok in moderation, but definitely not one of my favorite corners of the TP universe. Ironically, I think I find him funniest in E28, which is one of my least favorite episodes overall.


I really liked Dick Tremayne, but I am not unbiased- in high school and college I was a General Hospital fan (yeah, I know) and Ian Buchanan was a breath of fresh air on that show.

I wonder if he was actually given the role in part to draw in daytime drama fans.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:48 pm

Agent Earle wrote:Well, I felt it was beautifully poignant that after 7 seasons worth of furious brawl, they should hand over the regency to a kid in a wheelchair via a peaceful sit-down. From the meta perspective, it went completely against the grain and deserves to be commended for it - no-one would anticipate such conclusion (the same way no-one would anticipate the "conclusion" of The Sopranos). But I feel this development made sense from the story's point of view as well: everybody was tired from years-long fighting and weary from all the despair, bloodshed and destruction, so having the issue resolved peacefully - through a "lame meeting", as you put it - was a sensible thing for them to do.

To have Arya not kill Cersei was, to me, also against the grain and anticlimactic, and I loved it all the more for it - after all, I'm a sucker for a show/movie to go against common expectations and do the opposite of what would be deemed as "normal/fair" in the "mainstream" (granted, that doesn't match at all with my dislike of TP S3, which is a lexicon definition of anticlimactic and going against the grain ...). Plus I loved it that the show had the audacity to give Jaime and Cersei, the de facto irredeemable villains of the show, sort of a honorary send-off, so tragic that it made even their warped romantic love for each other a little more acceptable. Agreed, having Arya to just "jump out of nowhere" and assassinate the night king was the sole point of disbelief for me - especially since they had two seasons worth of build-up towards her immitation gimmick -, but I'm not letting such minor stuff taint my over-all impression with how the show wrapped up all the stuff it set up during the years it was on.


Well, I'm surprised you liked it!

Let me just say that I didn't have much problem with any of the season's major plot points, but with the simplistic way it was written. Well, maybe the Night King stuff or turning Tyrion into such an imbecile, but that's still more about the writing. It was like they were filming the outline of a show without actually writing the teleplays that connect the dots. Like they gave you a highlight reel based on Martin's notes, but were too lazy to actually write anything of substance to fill in the blanks. I also felt at times that they were misinterpreting the show's penchant for stunning twists, instead giving the viewer weak or expected twists that I really feel like the showrunners thought were up to par with the subversiveness of the first four seasons. I've never seen anything like it. I honestly believe that every insult leveled at the showrunners is more than deserved because I've personally never seen a show of such deliberately paced, ruthless complexity implode to this degree of rushed, watered down incompleteness. Regardless of quality judgments of good or bad, it operates like an entirely different show in the last season or two, and that's what's so insulting. It's unprecedented.

That said, I do wonder if watching the series in binge-mode would somehow alleviate some of these feelings. Maybe I'd get caught up in rush of it all and the simpler writing would somehow aid in the feeling. I did rewatch the entire series in preparation for Season 8, and then watched Season 8 week to week.

Anyway, long story short. The plot points were fine. The writing was so, so weak, though.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:59 pm

Jerry Horne wrote:
TwinsPeak wrote:
Jerry Horne – Better Call Saul rated higher than Breaking Bad? Interesting, I can understand it. Why do you rate it higher?



They are very close. Perhaps I'm giving Saul the edge because it's current and still unfolding. Or perhaps it has the edge when it comes to characterization and pacing. I fully admit that once it's over, it could drop out of my top 10. Let's see if they go with the tragic ending I think it deserves.


I also believe that Better Call Saul has better, more subtle writing. I'd still rank Breaking Bad ahead of it for all of its tragedy and viscera, but Better Call Saul really isn't far behind, which is remarkable, and it is certainly better in the ways you detail.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Agent Earle » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:43 pm

LateReg wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:Well, I felt it was beautifully poignant that after 7 seasons worth of furious brawl, they should hand over the regency to a kid in a wheelchair via a peaceful sit-down. From the meta perspective, it went completely against the grain and deserves to be commended for it - no-one would anticipate such conclusion (the same way no-one would anticipate the "conclusion" of The Sopranos). But I feel this development made sense from the story's point of view as well: everybody was tired from years-long fighting and weary from all the despair, bloodshed and destruction, so having the issue resolved peacefully - through a "lame meeting", as you put it - was a sensible thing for them to do.

To have Arya not kill Cersei was, to me, also against the grain and anticlimactic, and I loved it all the more for it - after all, I'm a sucker for a show/movie to go against common expectations and do the opposite of what would be deemed as "normal/fair" in the "mainstream" (granted, that doesn't match at all with my dislike of TP S3, which is a lexicon definition of anticlimactic and going against the grain ...). Plus I loved it that the show had the audacity to give Jaime and Cersei, the de facto irredeemable villains of the show, sort of a honorary send-off, so tragic that it made even their warped romantic love for each other a little more acceptable. Agreed, having Arya to just "jump out of nowhere" and assassinate the night king was the sole point of disbelief for me - especially since they had two seasons worth of build-up towards her immitation gimmick -, but I'm not letting such minor stuff taint my over-all impression with how the show wrapped up all the stuff it set up during the years it was on.


Well, I'm surprised you liked it!

Let me just say that I didn't have much problem with any of the season's major plot points, but with the simplistic way it was written. Well, maybe the Night King stuff or turning Tyrion into such an imbecile, but that's still more about the writing. It was like they were filming the outline of a show without actually writing the teleplays that connect the dots. Like they gave you a highlight reel based on Martin's notes, but were too lazy to actually write anything of substance to fill in the blanks. I also felt at times that they were misinterpreting the show's penchant for stunning twists, instead giving the viewer weak or expected twists that I really feel like the showrunners thought were up to par with the subversiveness of the first four seasons. I've never seen anything like it. I honestly believe that every insult leveled at the showrunners is more than deserved because I've personally never seen a show of such deliberately paced, ruthless complexity implode to this degree of rushed, watered down incompleteness. Regardless of quality judgments of good or bad, it operates like an entirely different show in the last season or two, and that's what's so insulting. It's unprecedented.

That said, I do wonder if watching the series in binge-mode would somehow alleviate some of these feelings. Maybe I'd get caught up in rush of it all and the simpler writing would somehow aid in the feeling. I did rewatch the entire series in preparation for Season 8, and then watched Season 8 week to week.

Anyway, long story short. The plot points were fine. The writing was so, so weak, though.


We'll just have to agree to politely disagree in this matter :) Btw, I watched the whole series in its entirey from December of last year to this year's August - for the first time. It all worked like a charm for me, no complaints from day one till the end.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby LateReg » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:26 am

Sorry in advance for the lengthy post!

I've put off doing this because I knew I couldn't just post ten favorites, let alone decide on ten! I also had to really take some time to differentiate between "favorites" and what I consider "best," which have some overlap but are sometimes entirely different, arrived at via different thought processes. I also had to figure out what the word "favorite" even meant. To me, it's a major gray area. I was blown away and loved the thrill of watching Breaking Bad, but somehow it's not something that I consider a personal favorite. For me, favorite signifies something that somehow touches me in some inexplicable way, something I either love to watch or simply think about watching a lot because its left me with much to think about or with a strong feeling of the experience of watching it. And yet, Breaking Bad did most of those things and doesn't register as a personal favorite. No idea why. It's just a feeling.

I should mention that, perhaps like many people, I have too many blindspots when it comes to pre-2000s TV. So most thoughts here will be unfortunately restricted to the 1990s onward.

I'll also state something that I've said before, which explains why The Return hit me so hard. Prior to The Return airing, I had felt TV growing stale. It's like those articles you might have read: It's not Prestige TV because it's all Prestige TV. Despite the uniformly high quality of most series, they all seemed to blend together to me because they all felt like TV, a higher form of TV but once again lacking a more personal aesthetic. They all pretty much looked the same, sounded the same, moved the same and felt the same. Which is all to say that I've enjoyed everything that the Peak TV era has had to offer, but I've also felt it resting on its laurels. Hence, why The Return is so damn important in shaking up the landscape. And also to say that I often tend to veer towards TV that bears the hallmarks of cinema, treating it as a visual medium - and not just polished cinematography, which is often a fake out - as well as an aural medium. Finding ways to use visuals and sound, textures and tone to tell the story.

This is why I can enjoy a perfectly good show like Feud, but not really care about it in the grand scheme. It's good TV, but pretty typical at this point. It's very entertaining and well-written, the performances are outstanding, etc., but in the wake of something like The Return, it barely registers to me as something worth caring about.

Some series that I consider the best ever that I for some reason don't consider among my absolute personal favorites are very obvious: The Wire, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad would all certainly rank in my top ten best series list, but aren't exactly personal favorites. Same thing for other obvious modern classics like Arrested Development (surprised no one is mentioning it, but maybe its returns have diminished the show's reputation? I like Season 4, btw.), Louie, Atlanta, Fleabag, Better Call Saul, Bojack Horseman, etc.

Some current or more recent series that I've thoroughly admired but not purely loved are Rectify, True Detective (all of it), Succession, Dear White People, Halt and Catch Fire, Game of Thrones, My Brilliant Friend, Mr. Robot, Haunting of Hill House, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (it's actually quite technically virtuoso), She's Gotta Have It, Catastrophe, Eastbound and Down, Sherlock, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, One Day at a Time, Six Feet Under, Undone, American Crime Story.

Some current series that I truly love: GLOW (somehow my favorite recent thing to watch), Random Acts of Flyness (so wild), Mindhunter, Search Party, Homecoming (bravura direction), Rick and Morty (unbridled creativity unburdened by the morality plays of its contemporaries), Big Mouth, Master of None, The Girlfriend Experience, Lodge 49 (the second season is incredible).

Some completed series that I truly loved: Seinfeld, The X-Files, Enlightened (so wonderful, Laura Dern in the lead and as producer), The Knick, Justified, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friday Night Lights, Veronica Mars (pure young fun but smart, and the second season is insanely complex), 24 (Mainly the relatively streamlined 1st season, an astounding, successful experiment in time and a full-blown action movie on TV), Nathan for You, Parks and Recreation.

Some canceled one-season series that could have been contenders: Freaks and Geeks, Firefly, Terriers, Luck, John From Cincinnati

Guilty Pleasures: Fringe (sooooo underrated, more consistent than X-Files), Stranger Things, House of Cards (Seasons 1 - 3), Arrow (I got stuck watching it and ended up enjoying myself), Legends of Tomorrow, Black Mirror (devalued to a guilty pleasure because it's hit or miss at this point).

Some Limited Series that are (mostly) wonderfully cinematic that I (mostly) love: The Little Drummer Girl, Top of the Lake, Olive Kitteridge, Mildred Pierce, Angels in America, Tanner 88, Too Old to Die Young, America to Me, The Singing Detective, Mosaic, Paranoia Agent, The Vietnam War.

Cinema Masterpieces that aired on TV (somewhere) that I love more than almost anything: Berlin Alexanderplatz, Out 1, Scenes from a Marriage, Dekalog, The Kingdom, P'tit Quinquin, OJ: Made in America, Wormwood


Top 10/11 "Favorite" Series (I only included multi-season series, lest the list gets filled with everything from the above Cinema Masterpieces category)

Quick honorable mention to draw more attention to it:

The Knick - which ran for two seasons, 20 episodes entirely directed by Steven Soderbergh, who shot the thing with as much urgency and innovation as its lead character, played by Clive Owen, applied to his medical profession. It's a period piece about the dawn of modern medical practice...but it's shot on digital with a very modern, electronic score, which gives it this uniquely immediate feeling unlike any other period piece I know. The lighting is off the charts, rivaled only by Deadwood in its beautifully amber-aged ambience, and it never skimps on the grotesquery of the medical procedures. Season 2 in particular is insanely good.

10. Fargo - I cannot tell a lie. While I think Noah Hawley has gradually proven to be somewhat of a hack, I simply enjoy the hell out of this. I think Season 3 shows signs of wear, especially in the way Hawley borrows so much and tries to make each episode its own gimmicky entity - and its derivations became even more evident when the real deal Twin Peaks returned halfway thru its airing - but it's still very good once you embrace its full embrace of pulp. Season 1 is just a great thing to lay back and enjoy, while the incredibly rich Season 2 has struck me more and more on repeat viewings as the 2nd best Limited Series Season of the decade, a truly great American artwork.

9. Battlestar Galactica - A surplus of ambitious ideas mapped onto an unpredictable adventure. Even in the end, the ideas are so grand that I can gloss over any flaws in the plot itself.

8. Lost/Leftovers - A complementary tie that contains historical lessons about the changing television landscape, and how the growth of the medium enabled the growth of Lindelof as a storyteller. I probably "like" Lost more, but The Leftovers has emerged as the greater series thanks to its brevity and the unpredictable perfection and pure emotional force of its final two seasons; the third season of Leftovers is one of the most perfect ever made, and that it was ending two weeks into The Return's run has always made me think of it as the perfection of the "old" way of making TV - episodically structured yet building towards the whole. Everyone is in agreement that Lindelof fully stuck the landing with Leftovers, which is also usually to imply that he didn't with Lost, but I think both end perfectly. The Leftovers' finale is probably top five ever, but if you restart Lost immediately after it ends you'll notice that all of the ideas in the finale were prevalent throughout the first season.

7. The Sopranos - Again, I cannot tell a lie. This is easily the most purely and universally enjoyable of any of the greatest dramas, and it grows more subtly richer and textured with each season.

6. The Shield - I can't explain why The Shield occupies a spot within my favorites when the similarly visceral yet more consistent Breaking Bad does not, but for some reason it's always been that way. The Shield is one of the most influential series ever made, not just for its style but also for changing FX's programming model and leading to every series they've aired since. It's the single most complexly plotted series that I've ever seen, and very few things even come close. It had its shit together from the start, with events of the very first episode looming throughout the series and playing a large role in the final season, which is one of the greatest final seasons and finales in history, and which I actually find superior and more impactful to those of Breaking Bad.

5. Deadwood - By far the most hardcore A-R-T of any of HBO's classics, from its language to its lighting. A mix of highbrow and lowbrow, Shakespeare and history, artifice and authenticity. Over the course of three seasons you literally get to see a wild west town being gradually built and inhabited in real time with the development of the characters and narrative. While the third season finale is actually, in retrospect, the perfect conclusion to the series, if it had run for at least one more season as Milch wanted and finished on its own terms I have little doubt that it would be considered more highly than The Sopranos and The Wire by those who can work through its tough impenetrability. Instead, it has the reputation of an unfinished masterpiece, regardless of the cyclical summary perfection of its final scene. I've also been wondering if, with all of its verbal abuses and physical violence, it would even be made nowadays, regardless of how each character - both male and female - is fully felt and fleshed out despite the way they are treated. The overwhelming thought that wouldn't stop running through my head when I had recently revisited it to prepare for the movie: TV dramas have not advanced at all since this series and its template in particular. Once again, score another point for The Return.

4. Hannibal - Despite TV turning cinematic, Hannibal was one of the few 2010s series that actually attempted to do anything beyond "look like film." It's easily the most aesthetically pleasurable series of the past decade, and it's not even close (OK, Mr. Robot/Homecoming come close). It is pure aesthetics and pure mood married to an increasingly intricate, perverse, gory, sensuous and sensual game of cat and mouse, and that it aired on NBC is as shocking as the fact that the original Twin Peaks went up against Murder She Wrote. The Season 2 finale is one of the great hours of TV, while Season 3 fully embraces mood-based waking nightmare logic, pushing past narrative and into an avant-garde emotional headspace.

3. The Americans - Wholly consistent for six seasons, ending with one of the greatest finales ever. The amazingly intricate weaving of - equally - spy thrills, family drama, and history over the course of six years is unique and unparalleled in its narrative and moral complexity and intelligence. It pulls no punches when it comes to physical and emotional violence, but the use of disguises and the way it consistently and thrillingly throws the viewer into the midst of a spy operation without explaining its purpose is both riveting and fun, despite feeling relatively unadorned in its dry, 70s-esque approach.

2. The Office (UK) - It has the advantage of running for only two short seasons and a Christmas Special, but this is the most perfect series I've ever seen; Fleabag is similarly brief and perfect, but I prefer The Office. Though the fact that I haven't watched it in at least five years gives me pause, it had thoroughly amused and deeply affected me with both its humor and unexpected bursts of emotion that hit like tragedy and got my heart beating heavy every single time I've ever watched it within the ten year period that I'd show it to countless friends and family.

1. Twin Peaks - I don't know where I'd rank this imperfect, influential beast on a list of "best" series ever, but, as Reindeer had previously said, whatever doubt there might have been that it is my absolute favorite series was obliterated by the The Return, which gave me exactly what I thought TV was lacking in ways I somehow never expected and changed the way I looked at both TV and Film. But like most people, for the original series it wasn't just about the possibilities that Twin Peaks opened for the art form, but about the overwhelming sense of mystery, mood, time(lessness?) and place, all of which occupies permanent, almost physical residence in my mind.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:51 pm

Great list, LateReg, and beautifully articulated rationales. In particular, Deadwood and Hannibal really feel like they should be in my top 10 (and perhaps would be if I were to re-make the list in this moment).
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby AXX°N N. » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:21 pm

Gonna single out Paranoia Agent in your list just 'cause there's been very few anime mentions.

I was actually thinking about it the other day. It's for sure my favorite thing Kon ever did, narrowly beating out Millennium Actress. Although I've always liked PA, I had trouble gelling with the extended metaphor and never really appreciated it for what it was. Something about it seemed off or misplaced. Well, looking back on it, I think it's actually incredibly prescient. I look out at the world today and see absurd group delusion and scapegoating rampant through all avenues. In short, its central message held up well, aside from being a great tonal piece.
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Re: Peaks Fans Top 10 TV shows

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:08 am

What has me completely flabbergasted when reading LateReg's lists (not just the top-ten one, but everything he mentions in the preceding paragraphs) is how on Earth one finds the time to watch all this stuff - some of it more then one time, if I understood correctly... Me, I'm lucky if I manage to go through 2 multi-seasonal shows (I try to watch a couple simultaneously) in the space of, say, 6 months (it depends on how many seasons and episodes there are, with the average being around 5 seasons of about 10 eps) - some of it is to be contributed to the fact that I'm a slow watcher in a sense that I like to take time watching the story unfold, so I can live with the characters, ponder the situations and savour the dilemmas for a long time, particularly if it's the show I like (and there really hasn't been any from the age of Peak TV that I disliked, or even had any major issues with them - apart from The Return, that is :) ). So even though the tempatition is huge, I avoid binging because I feel I'm doing myself and the material a disservice if I race through whatever was meant to be taken in over a period of few years in a week or two.

I yearn for the days of my misspent youth, when I seemingly had all the time in the world to indulge in obssessing over whatever held my attention in the world of TV/movies, computer games (point-and-click adventures mostly) and literature; part of it is that everything that would interest me was far from being available, especially in my country (I remember it literary took years to get my hands on some of the movies I read and fantasised about), so I was free to pore over the material I did have infinitely. Of course, the Internet revolution changed all that, but the instant availability of practically anything one's heart desires has - as greater minds than mine have noted - very much proven to be a double-edged sword.

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