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SilverStormm

Downward Dog

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In the series premiere, a lonely dog tries to understand 21st century relationships.

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ABC has released the pilot online.

I thought it was okay: 80% because of Martin the dog*, 20% because I like Allison Tolman, and 0% because the story was good.

Reviews haven't been swell, particularly about Martin's millennial-speak, but I was entertained.

 

Played by Ned the dog, voiced by Samm Hodges.

Edited by Lord Donia
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The dog playing Martin comes from the same shelter my dogs came from, so I think I might be contractually obligated to watch this. Also, Lucas Neff grew up a block from my house and I know his dad. And I really liked Alison Tolman in Fargo and want her to succeed. So many imaginary obligations to watch something that does not at all sound like something I want to watch!

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Don't really care about this show, but Nick, your dog is cute. What's his/her name?

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On 5/12/2017 at 3:54 PM, stanleyk said:

And I really liked Alison Tolman in Fargo and want her to succeed.

Yes, she was amazing in Fargo! She's a good actress and her efforts elevated what I thought was such tired material, but with a twist! I can feel I'd be sick of that dog voiceover thing quickly. I like to give shows a few episodes before I fully say yes or no, so I'll be back after a few more air. 

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Wasn't great and wasn't terrible so I'll give it a few more episodes. As mentioned above the lead actress is so darn likeable.

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this was so boring. the people are so depressing. even the dog is depressing.  i hope it gets better.

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I can't see how they're going to get a lot of run out of this but I really enjoyed and laughed a lot during the pilot. Forget Martin's dialogue, his freaking deadpan expressions while staring at Nan (Nam? Not Actually Molly) were exactly what I needed. 

Do you think Martin chewing up Nan's Sorels were a nod to Molly's typical footwear? Should I just go watch Fargo Season 1 another time?

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Co-sign the "depressing" posts.  Alison gave such a low-energy performance (frankly, so did Martin) that I felt like I was *willing* this thing along.

I don't know that quaaludes are a thing anymore, but it put me in mind of those.

And I want to like the show!! Because I like Alison & I like Martin.

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I loved it, but I'm a dedicated dog fan/owner/rescuer.  I appreciate they used a standard hound mutt instead of an adorable scruffy type, and that he's unique enough they won't be swapping in a bunch of subs with approximate markings.  I think they could cut a few "likes" out of his dialogue.  : )

Refreshing that the main human character also breaks with typical thin blonde central casting, too.

 

 My stupid dvr cuts off the last few seconds of every show--did it end with the anxious dog looking out the window?

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1 hour ago, candall said:

My stupid dvr cuts off the last few seconds of every show--did it end with the anxious dog looking out the window?

They did. And then they showed him having a nightmare where the cat evilishly taunts him about the owner never coming back because she doesn't love him. Then he wakes up and says he's gonna kill that (expletive) cat.

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Was this a comedy? Wouldn't know it by the amount of laughter it generated here.

It was good to see Alison Tolman and Lucas Neff on my screen again, as RH and Fargo are 2 of my favorite shows, but this didn't do much for me. Hated the dog's voice, hated the obnoxious cliche-ridden boss, and didn't laugh once. That said, the subject material and cast are enough to get me to watch one more episode

Edited by TheRabbi
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Well I don't know what's wrong with my brain, but I f'n loved this first episode. I loved the fact that it wasn't exactly a comedy,...oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Pathos? Pathos mixed with some comedic moments that weren't really played for laughs.  Also, I absolutely love the fact that it's from the view point of the dog. I know that's not original, but I really felt like a dog might think this things.  I don't know. Truthfully, I got goosebumps  when Martin is telling the story from being a puppy in a box and then falling in love.  Hmm, I think my eyes started watering.  It was just so touching to me. Like others have said, I don't know if they will be able to keep this up, but I will watch every episode they make.

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Did anybody else find the dog creepy at times?  Like when he said something like, " It's because I love her so much that I had to dominate her so aggressively."   That sounds like exactly what an abusive husband would say to justify his abuse.  Maybe it wouldn't have been so icky if the dog was at least a female dog. 

Some of it was okay, but like other posters, I found a lot of it depressing.  And then throw in the creepiness factor, and I don't know if I'll bother to watch it again.  I do like the lead actress though.

I'm probably not the intended audience for this anyway though.  I have always loved dogs (at least nice well-behaved dogs), so I get that part of it...  but I also feel like so many people have gotten really crazy about their dogs in recent years, so I'm wary of a show that further encourages  anthropomorphism.

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2 hours ago, TheRabbi said:

Was this a comedy? Wouldn't know it by the amount of laughter it generated here.

I'll be honest, I feel like all the the best parts were already show in the fafillion commercials they ran for this prior  to the premiere. I can't say I laughed. At best, I found certain parts clever but by the end I found the dog's voice grating. Also, overall I found it depressing. I like dogs but I'm not sure l'll stick around for this one.

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6 hours ago, candall said:

I loved it, but I'm a dedicated dog fan/owner/rescuer.  I appreciate they used a standard hound mutt instead of an adorable scruffy type, and that he's unique enough they won't be swapping in a bunch of subs with approximate markings.  I think they could cut a few "likes" out of his dialogue.  : )

Refreshing that the main human character also breaks with typical thin blonde central casting, too.

 

 My stupid dvr cuts off the last few seconds of every show--did it end with the anxious dog looking out the window?

I didn't think it was great, but I did enjoy it, and I found myself tearing up when Martin was remembering his journey to Nan.

The show ended with Martin having a dream about the evil cat taunting him.

2 hours ago, AnnaRose said:

Did anybody else find the dog creepy at times?  Like when he said something like, " It's because I love her so much that I had to dominate her so aggressively."   That sounds like exactly what an abusive husband would say to justify his abuse.  Maybe it wouldn't have been so icky if the dog was at least a female dog. 

It actually sounds like the kind of thing that Cesar Millan talks about: dogs are pack animals and they need an alpha to dominate the pack.  It lines up with real dog behavior.

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5 hours ago, A.Ham said:

They did. And then they showed him having a nightmare where the cat evilishly taunts him about the owner never coming back because she doesn't love him. Then he wakes up and says he's gonna kill that (expletive) cat.

I love that the Cat was voiced by Maria Bamford in his dream. I hope she pops up again

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9 minutes ago, proserpina65 said:

It actually sounds like the kind of thing that Cesar Millan talks about: dogs are pack animals and they need an alpha to dominate the pack.  It lines up with real dog behavior.

Oh, I know about alpha dogs.  I just thought it came across really creepy.  Especially the way it came across as the dog thinking he's her surrogate husband.

I found this review that sums up the yuck factor very well.

Quote

Here's a couple paragraphs from that review, which points out some of what I didn't like about this pilot:

And in giving Martin a personality, the show settles on a mopey, selfish little cretin who observes, matter-of-factly, that he really has to “dominate” his owner, Nan (Allison Tolman), to get what he wants out of their relationship. It becomes difficult to not root against Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges) just so that Nan can get a few minutes of peace.

...Anyone who has a pet knows all too intimately the wordless manipulation of the four-legged (usually tempered, at least some of the time, with unbearable cuteness). But Martin, in the show’s framing, sees Nan not as his “mom” going through a “divorce,” but instead as his wife and landlady, the ol’ ball-and-chain. (Neff’s Brian was apparently just competition for Nan’s affections, even though Brian makes a point of coming by every day to play fetch.)

It’s unsettling. Martin becomes entangled in Nan’s relationships with “other” men, all the while engaging in a self-delusional monologue about how he could stand to be in better shape and deserves more from her. Occasionally, his dog-ologue finds great material — such as Martin’s fear of an automatic door turning into the dawning realization that he must have secret powers over the universe — but that is smothered with oddly entitled “zingers” about the dog’s dissatisfaction with “monogamy.”

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27 minutes ago, AnnaRose said:

Oh, I know about alpha dogs.  I just thought it came across really creepy.  Especially the way it came across as the dog thinking he's her surrogate husband.

I found this review that sums up the yuck factor very well.

I guess the fact that I'm currently going through the battle of two male cats trying to be the dominant one colors my reaction. but I didn't find it creepy at all, just a reflection of real pet behavior.

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I liked it, but I think this show is strictly for dog lovers. No I didn't find it particularly hilarious but I could relate to it, especially the dog wondering why his owner kept leaving every day. That actually made me a little sad, and the whole thing just kept making me want to get up and go hug my dog.

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22 hours ago, Height-Nonchalance said:

I like it fine except for the effect of making the dog's mouth move when speaking, which I despise.

I hate this as well. 

I just kept wondering if Nan even likes having a dog, she doesn't walk him anymore, they're hardly together (until right at the end).  I guess the point is lonely Martin so we see him alone a lot and the puppy montage was cute but if it's going to be even more sad Martin because she's working nights and weekends - that's not going to be fun for me.

Maybe one more ep.

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I thought it was adorable and very sweet and touching and yeah, a little sad. I do think that's the intended affect. The scene from the shelter when she adopts him made me cry.

I love Allison Tolman and she gets to look cute (unlike in her Fargo cop duds), and Lucas Neff looks HOT all scruffy and bearded.  Who knew?

21 hours ago, AnnaRose said:

Did anybody else find the dog creepy at times?  Like when he said something like, " It's because I love her so much that I had to dominate her so aggressively."   That sounds like exactly what an abusive husband would say to justify his abuse.  Maybe it wouldn't have been so icky if the dog was at least a female dog. 

 

Except the point in that scene was that as his voiceover is SAYING he 'dominates her so aggressively', we're shown that he's curled up on her like an enormous pile of fluff. That's his form of domination: cuddles.

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1 hour ago, luna1122 said:

Except the point in that scene was that as his voiceover is SAYING he 'dominates her so aggressively', we're shown that he's curled up on her like an enormous pile of fluff. That's his form of domination: cuddles.

I thought he was referring to tearing up her project to teach her a lesson.

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Well, I watched the first show On Demand last night.  I think I'm gonna like it.  I love Martin's voice and his use of "it's like" all the time.

The writing is fresh.  I'll enjoy it for a while.  But then again, I also loved Making History when it first aired.  Then I was tired of it by the 4th show and quit watching it.  I don't know what it is, but new shows (especially comedies) don't seem to hold my interest very long any more.

Take The Last Man on Earth.  I was really into it the first couple of seasons and I now I not only don't watch it, I removed it from my DVR schedule.

I watched The Office, Seinfeld, King of Queens etc. until they ended their runs - for years!!!.  I guess it's just me getting older having a shorter attention span - LOL!

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I liked that they featured the real way dogs process and behave, which is a topic I find interesting.  (I've told a hundred? a million? people with "problem dogs" these two main things:  1.  If you're not the boss, then the dog is the boss.  2.  95% of behavioral issues can be resolved with more exercise.  Heads up, Nan!)

It tickled me that Martin imagined Nan was treating herself to a day-long drive with her head hanging out the car window.  I guess, when the weather gets too warm for my dogs to go with me in the car, it may seem different/WRONG that I get to take car rides and they don't--but otoh, I am the boss. 

 

I can see where the instant appeal would be mainly to dog people, but it's also quirky and unlike all the sit-coms with overly loud laugh tracks.  Maybe it'll catch on.

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Oh, I loved this one.  I'll admit I tuned in just for Allison Tolman, but I just adored this show.  It reminded me of that 20-something angsty feel of the 90s (back when I was angsty 20-something).  I think my only complaint was that  I don't think they needed to make the dog's mouth move.

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I wasn't too sure about this, but actually mostly enjoyed it. Couldn't stand the cliched boss. Loved the parts with the dog and got a little teary at the shelter scene. [My cat picked me when he was a kitten at the shelter. sniff sniff]. I didn't like the "working nights and weekends" business at the end. I'll be watching the second episode, with my cat. 

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Well, I watched the first show On Demand last night.  I think I'm gonna like it.  I love Martin's voice and his use of "it's like" all the time.

The writing is fresh.  I'll enjoy it for a while.  But then again, I also loved Making History when it first aired.  Then I was tired of it by the 4th show and quit watching it.  I don't know what it is, but new shows (especially comedies) don't seem to hold my interest very long any more.

Take The Last Man on Earth.  I was really into it the first couple of seasons and I now I not only don't watch it, I removed it from my DVR schedule.

I watched The Office, Seinfeld, King of Queens etc. until they ended their runs - for years!!!.  I guess it's just me getting older having a shorter attention span - LOL!

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:08 AM, AnnaRose said:

I thought he was referring to tearing up her project to teach her a lesson.

Yeah, well, that's what pets do.  But I think that domination line came before the project destruction.  Although I haven't rewatched the episode, so I could be wrong.

Edited by proserpina65
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Funny, I agree with most if not all criticisms and yet, I enjoyed it. Perhaps because I watched from my hospital bed, where I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to keep my cat, who has separation anxiety, alive. Not hyperbole; last time I was in three weeks and he got a stress-induced condition on day 11 and almost died and this is Day 10 of at least 21.

I'll watch again esp for Tolman, who is charming as heck. But I suspect the dog's moving mouth will bother me when I'm watching on something bigger than my phone.

Edited by Darian
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On 5/20/2017 at 11:09 AM, Evagirl said:

 I love Martin's voice and his use of "it's like" all the time.

Like, the over use of "like" is like the one thing I like couldn't like stand. I turned it off at like the 999th "like." It's like that was like 10 minutes in.

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 No offense to you, Evagirl, trust me......I welcome all points of view.

Well I guess this is why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream.  The two things Evagirl  liked the most were the things I hated the most.    If I hear one more "like", I will lose it......on this program or in real life.   LOL     I have even picked up saying it myself which makes me even crazier.   Okay, I admit it.   I am OLD.     But really..... every now and then on a talk show  I count the number of times a person says it, just out of curiosity.  It is unbelievable

I remember someone whom I  greatly respected said that when someone uses curse words it is because they don't have the education or the desire (or both) to have the words they need to express themselves.  I feel the same way about slang.  I don't mind it once in a while but every other word in a sentence.   Like, is that really necessary?    See what  I mean. But, what do I know.   It could be another "Mash" or something that's on for 100 years.   But I won't be watching it.  Rant over

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Nan installs an automatic dog door so she can take away Jason's key while still keeping him as Martin's dog walker, but it causes Martin to think he can open doors with his mind. Elsewhere: Nan's boss is uncertain about a new ad campaign that Nan pitched to the corporate bosses.

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Nan takes Martin to work to keep Kevin at bay after she gets frustrated with him due to his interference in her ad campaign development, however Martin takes a liking to Kevin.

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I tried real hard to like this show. But OMG! It was such a horrible thing. It was just impossible to like. I was so disappointed.

IMHO, it just bombed.  It really bombed.  I'm so glad that no one has yet developed Smell-O-Vision because if they had, this show would have stunk up livingrooms all across the nation.  It was just putrid. YUK!

In a nutshell, the dog thinks the whole world revolves around him. Is that a funny summary for a sitcom?  I really don't think so. It's just not funny at all.

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4 hours ago, MissBluxom said:

I tried real hard to like this show. But OMG! It was such a horrible thing. It was just impossible to like. I was so disappointed.

IMHO, it just bombed.  It really bombed.  I'm so glad that no one has yet developed Smell-O-Vision because if they had, this show would have stunk up livingrooms all across the nation.  It was just putrid. YUK!

In a nutshell, the dog thinks the whole world revolves around him. Is that a funny summary for a sitcom?  I really don't think so. It's just not funny at all.

I disagree. The dog was the best part. I could do without his mouth being animated, though. 

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On 5/21/2017 at 11:25 AM, Nordly Beaumont said:

Like, the over use of "like" is like the one thing I like couldn't like stand. I turned it off at like the 999th "like." It's like that was like 10 minutes in.

Thank you. I came here to say exactly this. I normally don't care too much if people say "like" a few times (I'm guilty of using it a lot too), but once I noticed the dog dropping "like" every other word, it drove me nuts because I kept counting how many times he'd use it. 

Edited by Curio
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I really enjoyed this.  The dog door reminded me of my own first dog who finally learned to use our dog door when I was at work.  Apparently, he basically fell through it, freaked out because he thought he had fallen out of the side of the house, the neighbor saw him freaking out, jumped the fence and put the dog back into the house.  So, I enjoyed seeing it from the dog's perspective (or the writer's guess at the dog's perspective).  

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I just love this show!  I especially love the fact that the star is a rescued shelter dog.  He's a better actor than the humans!

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I watched this with my shelter dog cuddled up to me and snoring. Clearly I'm the show's target audience, as I teared up a bit at the end. (Any soundtrack with The National is a great soundtrack.) And the dog playing Martin is just ridiculously cute. 

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I really wanted to like this show, but I can't stand the way the dog talks and the adults with the constant "like" every other word. Gonna pass after the pilot unless they revamp it.

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I love the quirk and weirdness and sweetness of this show, and like everyone else, love the story of Ned/Martin being a rescue. His face and his eyes are so eloquent.

Lucas Neff's hair is awesome.

I loved how sweet the 'evil' cat seemed to be while Nan was holding her.

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I loved Martin going to the farthest spot from the door to think about it, and then the cat chasing him later.  And how he knew that Nan was the most awesome being in the universe because she could deal with the evil cat.  (I hope my cats think that about me when I put away the evil vacuum cleaner.)

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