Episode 5 - Dear Dave

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Slainmonkey, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. djmcbell

    djmcbell Supply Officer

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    From a very very brief read, this seems to be another one that is dividing a lot of people - which, let's face it, all the episodes so far have.

    Looking forward to watching it hopefully tonight!
     
  2. SuperHorse

    SuperHorse Skutter

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    Each to their own but I thought it was terrible.

    I haven't really liked any of the new series though I think 'Entangled' was probably the strongest so far. But last night's just wasn't funny at all. There are no worthy jokes, there is NO acid, there is NO timing and what there is I can see coming a mile off. It's like the letter scene when Rimmer's spouting on about Lister being over competitive... all the time he's doing this I'm thinking -

    "he's going to do the same followed by obligatory laughter, he's going to do the same followed by obligatory laughter etc."

    5 seconds later he overacts in what is now predictable fashion followed by the 'Oh so funny' (not) laughter. But it's now like that all the way through. Rimmer and Lister have a crap unfunny discussion followed by laughter, Lister backs up and bumps his chair into a computer console followed by laughter, Rimmer makes a comment about abusing the furniture followed by laughter.

    WTF is this s**t?!

    I feel like I'm watching Friends or MY Family in space. I'm sorry but there is barely anything here worthy of the classic Red Dwarf I adored as a kid and still adore now. And no amount of wanting it to succeed can delude me into pretending it's good.
    It just isn't.
     
  3. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    After a second viewing, here's my review:

    • I've always been fond of bottle episodes, and this one is no exception. The dialogue though is just not of the excellent quality to make this another Marooned.
    • I found it a bit of a drag when watching a second time. This makes it the only episode so far that's actually got worse rather than better with a second viewing. I still like it a lot, but I feel that some of the scenes go on longer than necessary.
    • Some of the external shots in this series have been lovely. They'll make great desktop backgrounds.
    • The main four's performances are still good, but there's an unfortunate tendency for some occasional over the top acting, which seems to be mostly the script's fault. An example of this was Rimmer's out-of-character celebration after finding the letter addressed to him.
    • The vending machine humping scene instantly brought to mind a certain scene in Polymorph. It gave me my biggest laugh of the episode, but it was completely predicable from start to finish. I kept thinking, "Well come on then. When's Rimmer going to walk by?"
    • Apart from the aforementioned scene, it was just lacking a bit in funny moments, but there were a few good gags. It was a bit of a comedown after last week's episode with so many fantastic lines.

    Overall: Some scenes go on too long, but there are enough good moments here to make this a reasonably memorable bottle episode.

    My personal rating: 7/10 My objective rating: 5/10
     
  4. _Pree_

    _Pree_ Skutter

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    Weakest episode so far, Not that bad but it was like i did see everything coming. First episode i liked the first half better then the second.

    F&S 9/10
    Entangled 8/10
    Lemons 7/10
    Trojan 7/10
    Dear Dave 6/10

    8)
     
  5. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    I can definitely see what you're getting at here, and to an extent, I do agree with you. Although I don't have such major issues with this series as a whole, but this episode was, for the most part at least, pretty awful. Much of the acting seemed forced, as did much of the writing. For example, in the earlier series' when Lister became depressed at being the last human being alive, that was something that really came across on screen, and that made you empathise with him. In contrast, in the episode last night, the depression didn't seem genuine, which had the outcome of me lacking empathy for Lister. Other things too, like the letter opening scene which seemed so amateurish both in an acting and writing sense, compared to the similar, but far superior letter scenes from "Better Than Life" which I was instantly reminded of as I watched it last night. And that was the biggest problem with the episode. On too many ocassions, scenes were reminding me of scenes from earlier series', and more importantly, how superior those earlier scenes were.

    I felt the new series got off to a great start, but has gotten slightly worse with each new episode, reaching the low point of the one last night. I can only hope that the last episode is much better quality. The first 3 episodes in the new series, whilst not totally devoid of flaws, at NO point plummeted to the depths reached the worst moments in Series VIII, I certainly saw them as a vast improvement, and better Dwarf episodes than had been made since the best of series VII. However, Entangled for the first time did make me recall the very worst moments of latter day Dwarf, and that was even more so with "Dear Dave".

    The airing of episodes of series VI last night around the new episode only illustrated the huge gulf in quality between those episodes, and "Dear Dave". They could have at least aired episodes from Series VIII, and then it wouldn't have looked so bad. lol
     
  6. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    I'll need to see it again before I can make a proper assessment but I liked it.....I found myself actually laughing a great deal at some of the dialog which seemed to be the real strength of this episode and there actually seemed to be some real heart to it as well. The vending machine romance at the end seemed maybe to be a bit over played but.....it was a funny episode.
     
  7. currymonster

    currymonster First Technician

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    My initial reaction to this episode was that it was pretty bad, lots of little storylines not given enough time to breath, recycling old gags and to some extent poorly written. However knowing the problems they had with production, last minute re-writes etc I could get over it.

    I've watched it twice now and I liked it the second time around, very much a series 1 feel. A bit clunky in places but it worked, very traditional in terms of sit-com.
     
  8. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    I will watch it again later today to see whether some of my intitial thoughts on the episode are altered. Certainly, "Lemons" was much better the second time I watched it than the first. Though it has to be said, I didn't have as many issues with that episode on first viewing as I did with "Dear Dave". But we'll see...

    The vending machine romance was arguably the weakest element of the episode, even though the "wanting to see what's round the corner" gag really was a great line. It did have some heart, but it was certainly lacking in that department compared with the first two series' which were also largely devoid of fancy sci-fi sub plots (much like "Dear Dave" was also devoid of them).
     
  9. mccollough

    mccollough First Technician

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    I knew that, I was making a joke about the terrible accent xD
     
  10. AnnieMouse

    AnnieMouse Second Technician

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    THIS WITH BELLS ON.
    I hate to say it, but this series just doesn't hit the spot. There's only been a handful of moments where I have genuinely been surprised by a punchline or action from a character (and it would appear that Dave is putting all the best bits in the trailers to ruin them!)
    Maybe it's because I'm no longer watching the series through a younger person's eyes, that I know these people are actors on a set, that they are simply a lot older, maybe even the fact it's filmed in such high definition and I'm not used to that; but this time round, all the episodes lack some wit, verve, sparkle. It is massively HAMMY acting, over-played exaggerated jokes, and the episodes don't seem to flow as well as earlier series. It's become totally obvious that particular scenes are only there to provide fodder for something that will follow.
    Any scenes or jokes that are reminiscent of earlier series just aren't done as well ('humping' the vending machine versus Polymorph boxer shorts; Lister feeling alone versus him feeling alone in Balance of Power, etc.)

    And I *still* don't understand the badly-shoehorned-in references to finding Kochanski in each episode.
     
  11. MacabreMagpie

    MacabreMagpie Catering Officer

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    Here's a thought; imagine if last nights vending machine scenes took the place of the 'Chinese Whispers' stuff in Fathers and Suns. Wouldn't that have made an all-time great episode? It would have fit, too, because Lister (in 'daddy discipline' mode) derided himself for not having a romantic future so him trying to test out his 'moves' would have made perfect sense. All you'd need to do is throw in the Chinese Whispers line somewhere so that the vending machine could save the day at the end in a similar fashion.

    I'm almost tempted to do a rough edit of the two together just for laughs, such is my want for THAT episode to exist!
     
  12. Rue_Dwarf

    Rue_Dwarf Supply Officer

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    You know, the 'weak dialogue' and 'poor story' being reported by some might be down to the fact that they were running out of time to get everything written, so it *might* have come out a little like a filler-episode, but I personally still enjoyed it. The Boys from the Dwarf acted really well, they did the best with what they were given. And when it coems down to it, it *may* from time to time lack sci-fi elements, but think about it - it's a sitcom. :-p It's no Star Trek/Stargate/Star Wars [delete/replace as appropriate] and it was made to make us laugh.

    I mean, these things weren't created to be dissected and analysed, thats what took all the fun out of Shakespeare for me at school. I realise constructive criticism is useful in improving a series, but when broken *right* down, -everything- has problems.

    First watch: Enjoyed the ride :-)
    Second watch: Saw a few little holes, as well as little tidbits amd nods to the old series, but still enjoyed it, choosing to blame the things like greenscreen on the Dave budget, who are ultimately the BBC. And we all know about the running jokes on how cheap they are~ :-p
     
  13. JCjunkstar

    JCjunkstar Second Technician

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    Oh dear. This was the first ever episode of RD where I actually did not laugh out loud once. I ended up stopping watching after a few minutes of the second half, and chatting to my partner who agreed it was unfunny, poorly written and turgid entertainment. I agree with a few other posters here - Trojan and Fathers and suns, while not perfect, were at least watchable, and contained some material that was reminiscent of earlier series. Sadly, with Lemons, Entangled and Dear Dave, I just see a cobbled together hit and miss sketch show. RD used to have a good set up and subsequent story arc in each episode. No longer. There's too much exposition, banal gags that have more place in lads humour shows and the dialogue is woefully timed, often destroyed with loud and interfering laughter. The set, as someone said, gives the impression they are not in space anymore. Previous series ALL felt like they were on a ship. It just doesn't feel shot and designed to give an impression it's a sci fi comedy show anymore. It's with hesitancy I say this but for me , RD is finished. Just compare any earlier series episode they show on Dave and tell me that X, just like BTE is anywhere near series 1-6. Man even 7&8 are absolute leagues above this dross. I know you'll all shoot me down but I can't pretend to like or big up something that has died a horrible death.
    Now, where's my series 5 DVD?
     
  14. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    But as I stated earlier, many of the episodes from the first two series also lacked the more elaborate sci-fi elements that were employed from series III onwards. Not to mention that the budget for those two series were probably even lower than the ones for series X. I wasn't complaining about the lack of those elements, more that they couldn't make up for the lack of those elements like the first two series' did. Those very early RD episodes had a wit, charm, and humanity at it's core which was simply devoid from "Dear Dave". It's as simple as that.

    I deliberately refrained from making any mention of the apparently controversial "slag" line from Lister right at the end of the episode, as from reading earlier posts it appears that lots of females on another RD forum found the line sexist. And I didn't want to appear as being in a long line of female fans specifically isolating that one aspect of the episode. But I feel now I have to address the wider issue you have just raised.

    Okay, we had a female Holly in series 3-5, and Kochanski in series 7-8, but the 4 male leads have always been at the heart of the show. But despite this, it has never felt like a "lad's show". But I have to say, last night's episode, and to a lesser extent, "Entangled" did have that sort of feel to it. Which it's never really had before, even in series VIII. I've always been a bit of a tomboy, but even to me, the series has seemed to have become a bit "lad's mag-ish", especially in last night's episode. I guess if anything, the "slag" ending was really just the culmination of the type of humour that infested most of the episode. Whether it is a coincidence that this more "lad's mag" atmosphere of later series X episodes has anything to do with the programme's association with Dave, is something I don't know. But it'a a possibility I guess...
     
  15. Slainmonkey

    Slainmonkey Deck Sergeant

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    This episode I feel showed the area that Doug's direction falls short. He is a great dramatic director but not a great comedic director. I feel the the visual gags should have been funnier then they were because, the situations were amusing. For episodes like this Ed Bye's influence would have gone a long way......still I think this was a good episode and I thought the dialog was very funny and well done.
     
  16. KrytensPenis

    KrytensPenis Third Technician

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    Well, it's met my half expectations anyway. It's not the best episode, I need to watch it a second time. There were some genuine LOL moments such as Cat winding Lister up by telling him not to think about it, and the vending machine with a lifetime wish to see what's around the corner.

    It's definitely an episode which doesn't have any particular main plot to follow, but rather smaller ones amongst the crew doing more their own things. It reminds me more of the earlier episodes. There were weak parts such as the charades bit which went on a bit too long that it didn't lead to anywhere and just fell flat as another fashion joke, and was just a long winded way for Cat to tell everyone that they got mail.

    People don't like the talking vending machines which came from series VIII much, but they're no real different to Talkie Toaster, they're more like surreal cartoon characters. Personally I don't mind them too much, but it does detract from what the show is supposed to be more about. Personally I might just go with that the crew has gone a little space-crazy believing that vending machines have come to life and even developed feelings :-)

    It might be the weakest episode of the series so far for me, but that will probably still be reserved for Lemons. Anyway, it's not that bad, not great and by no means a classic. It's OK. RD is still easily the best comedy on TV today, although that's not saying much as there is NO real comedy on TV today.

    Well, roll on next week. I have natural high expectations for the final series episode :-)
     
  17. Angelic_Storm

    Angelic_Storm Catering Officer

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    Both of those gags were the funniest in the episode by far. Though maybe the 2nd run through might throw up something I missed first time round. :P

    Technically, they are no different from Talkie Toaster, but the ironic thing was, Talkie was MEANT to be annoying, but he was actually funny and a charming little side-character. I don't think the vending machines were meant to be annoying, but they are! lol Also, it seems that people disliked the vending machine thing from Fathers And Suns more than on "Dear Dave". For me, it was the opposite way around, I liked the Vending Machines better in F&S!
     
  18. Bawsy74

    Bawsy74 Skutter

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    Well, I must admit I really enjoyed that. This episode very much took me back to the original airings of season 1 & 2 :-) Not many HUGE laughs, but just kept ticking over nicely and leaving me feeling very happy overall.

    Personal highlights:

    - Rimmer discussing 'moves' with Lister, and the return of the notepad!
    - Cat's "finger-wetting" line. That got me big time - took a while to recover from that.

    Currently, this series is shaping up to be in my top 4. Only a stinker of a last episode would stop it, and somehow, I don't see that happening!

    1st = Series 2
    2nd = Series 6
    3rd = Series 3
    4th = Series 1 (in danger of dropping)
     
  19. MacabreMagpie

    MacabreMagpie Catering Officer

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    I find that surprising but one thing I've learnt over the last month is that everyone reacts to Red Dwarf differently. Personally, I thought the scenes with the vending machines last night were some of the best scenes int he series (minus the humping).

    Also, how great is it to be able to experience Red Dwarf with this level of discussion afterwards?
     
  20. RobeH56

    RobeH56 Third Technician

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    When I re-watch Series 1 & 2 they strike me as far from perfect, but people (understandably) remember them with a warm nostalgic glow. The new series, by contrast, is put under intense focus and criticism. RD was at its best from series IV-VI, I reckon. Series X, for all its flaws, is easily better than anything since VI.
     

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