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Author Topic: what tv shows are you currently watching?  (Read 29521 times)

Il Palazzo

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #420 on: January 04, 2020, 09:38:40 pm »

Yeah, the show's a mess.

The timelines thing seems like an attempt at creating that nice Westworld epiphany, only a mostly failed one.

The dialogue and soliloquies are often taken verbatim from the books, but this style of writing doesn't translate well to the screen.

The CGI is hit-and-miss, the combat choreography often doesn't make sense, the rules of magic feel ad hoc and illogical.
The acting is not good enough to sell it all despite the flaws.

That is not to say the show doesn't have its moments. But it's terribly uneven, and even at its best it ain't terrific.

Overall it felt like an upgraded version of the old Polish adaptation. And that's not a good thing to be.

And boy, if I hear 'destiny' one more time I'm going to vomit (I'm looking at you, ep.4).
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ChairmanPoo

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #421 on: January 04, 2020, 10:07:36 pm »

Btw: is it just me or the Ronin mage was totally a reference to the first mage you fight in the Witcher 1?  I mean he even had a pet frightener too (albeit smaller than the one in TW1)
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Yoink

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #422 on: January 05, 2020, 05:29:18 am »

I binged the second season of The End of the Fucking World today.
Previously I'd been like, why tf did they even need a second season? But I'd grown more and more curious to see what became of the characters nonetheless. It definitely scratched that itch. I loved it. Different, of course, to the first season, but the things you loved about it are still there.   

Plus, as with the first season, there is not only the well-written story itself unwinding before your eyes, you are also taken on a wonderful musical voyage thanks to the top-notch soundtrack. There wasn't a single song that missed the mark, and there are at least a few new (to me!) musicians whom I will be listening to a lot more of in the future.
Heck, I already have been listening to more of them, as I digest what I just watched.   
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Kot

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #423 on: January 05, 2020, 04:50:19 pm »

Firstly, the chronology issue. I've read a fair amount of feedback on this and the only people I've seen defending it do so on artistic grounds...which is always fair, I guess. Apparently there are some people who appreciate their TV shows being presented in completely random chronological order and with only subtle conversational cues to indicate when any episode is happening. I, however, am not one of those people.
I don't think it's artistic. I think it's mostly a reasonable choice to set-up background and adapt the subjectively best parts of Witcher before delving into the main plotline of saga, which is Ciri, yet to still have her so it's not a complete cop-out that a main character is included only in second season and people go like "ok who is that". I don't think the idea by itself was bad, but yeah, the handling is shit, it doesn't explain that much. Even having all the context it took me a while before realizing it is actually separate timelines, rather than show shoving things around in time.
IMO it's way too unexplained... you probably got the fact that things are happening in different times at some point, maybe episode 2 or 3. You probably didn't realize that there are usually three to four timelines going on in each episode, sometimes with 80+ years of difference (eg: all that shit about Yennefer's training? She is supposed to be pushing a hundred. All that stuff about her training happened waay before pretty much anything else in the series).
I think they made a sloppy job with the timelines. I think they should have made those in the context of an episode focused in whichever character it was, make it clear that it's a flashback, and make it clear about the dates, probably.
I think just slapping a date on it would be kinda lazy, and after a while they do drop a whole lot of hints (that require careful watching however), but yes there should be some more indication outright that plot is convoluted.
Second, the destiny thing. I can appreciate Destiny being used as an excuse for occasional coincidences. The idea that some greater force is subtly guiding individuals where they need to go so they will have an opportunity to do something meaningful eventually is somewhat romantic in a sense. However, in this show 'Destiny' is literally puppeting people, forcing them to go places and do things and feel things with absolutely no personal motive, just an invisible force controlling them. This is just about the least satisfying plot device I can imagine.
Yes. No. Kind of. The show doesn't delve more into it, because it's discussed much later on in the books if there actually is destiny or is it just self-fulfilling prophecies or even something more - contrasting complete rationalism and possibility of "something more". As for it being a shit plot device, eh, it was enough for Greeks, and books are at least self-aware about it. It's not really a defense of the show, but rather of the handling of destiny in Witcher in general.
Lastly, Witcher does not do a lot to set itself apart from every other medieval fantasy. There is some decent fan service, and the over-zealous witch society can be interesting at times, but pretty much everything else done here has been seen too many times before.
Well, that's kinda the problem, Witcher by itself doesn't really have that much of unique setting by modern standards - the whole "Slavic" shebang you get in Witcher 3 and such is more of an adaptional thing, and was probably very consciously dismissed by the show runners, and while some years ago a fantasy show that delved more into "grounded" fantasy, with some background of politics might have been more unique, in year 2019+1 we've gone far from fantasy just being Lord of The Rings.
The timelines thing seems like an attempt at creating that nice Westworld epiphany, only a mostly failed one.
I think that's just blatantly false. Westworld kinda hinged on that plot point, and while it was hinted at (enough to be the main theory for longest time), it clearly served the purpose of, well, creating "that nice Westworld epiphany". Witcher is so obvious with having separate timelines if you pay attention (IIRC, in the same episode you see Foltest both as an old dude and as a kid) that I am pretty sure they wanted people to know there are separate timelines, they just failed miserably at making it clear from the get-go, which confuses people.
The dialogue and soliloquies are often taken verbatim from the books, but this style of writing doesn't translate well to the screen.
There's lack of internal dialogue, but that's the problem of nearly all show adaptations. As for if the actual dialogue translates well - eeeh, I don't know. It seemed fine at the time.
The CGI is hit-and-miss,
The dragon could be worse. :P
the combat choreography often doesn't make sense,
Well, when it's some Nilfgaard dude waving a giant axe around, sure, but the main fighting of the show, which is what Geralt does, is actually better than a lot.
the rules of magic feel ad hoc and illogical.
The acting is not good enough to sell it all despite the flaws.
Coincidentally, the "rule of magic" being equivalent exchange is the show's invention, which does raise an eyebrow. It is kinda like that with spells taking their toll on magic users in books, but nowhere is it stated it's because of some lifeforce thing. I presume they just felt a need to explain magic in an universe where magic is supposedly more akin to science rather than make-believe, but in practice is pure make-believe.
That is not to say the show doesn't have its moments. But it's terribly uneven, and even at its best it ain't terrific.
Overall it felt like an upgraded version of the old Polish adaptation. And that's not a good thing to be.
I think I feel positively about this show mainly because initially I thought it's going to be so horrible I will miss the old Polish one. It surprised me positively so greatly I try to look past some of it's flaws. It really could have been so much worse that being an upgraded version of the old Polish adaptation is something that seems completely fine to me, but then, I was under assumption the target is people who are mostly not familiar with Sapkowski's books, rather than people who actually know what the fuck is going in their show.
And boy, if I hear 'destiny' one more time I'm going to vomit (I'm looking at you, ep.4).
I think I have grown resistant to the word "destiny" because I watched that one other (quasi-historical) fantasy show that used that word a lot. Something something "destiny is all", something something Geralt son of Geralt son of Geralt son of Geralt son of Geralt.
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nenjin

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #424 on: January 05, 2020, 05:11:40 pm »

Bit of an aside, but, my friends and I over the years have pointed to destiny and predestination as our least favorite plot device in all of fiction.

I feel like it was huge in the 80s when we were growing up, especially in fantasy literature. David Eddings literally killed the "destiny" / "chosen one" thing for me when he made prophecy an actual character that speaks in his books, with a personality and snark and everything.

I guess it's easier to write a fish out of water story where your main character's internal motivations don't matter as much and their place in the story can be determined by an external but unaddressable force. It's like having an invisible parent telling you what to do.

And maybe it's the double dose of both literature and gaming that leverage so much predestination that I can't stand it anymore. I'm not a big Star Trek fan or anything, but I was watching a trailer for Picard? I think? And it cuts dramatically to someone saying "she's the key to all this" referencing some character in the show. And my instant reaction was to dismiss the entire thing.

More and more, I want characters that do stuff because they want stuff, because they have some real, tangible internal motivation. People that do great things because they chose to, not because it was their destiny to.
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Reelya

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #425 on: January 06, 2020, 05:07:25 pm »

Yeah, it is the band-aid for a lot of lazy writing. With "destiny" you can more or less have any story meander however you like, and have it end up with them beating the Big Bad, any amount of contrivances required, and it just works out because it was "destiny".

Ulfarr

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #426 on: January 07, 2020, 01:30:11 pm »

I binged the new Dracula mini series (on netflix) last night. It's just 3 episodes with a runtime of ~1,5-2 hours each and honestly I would really like to recommend it but I just can't. The acting is a bit hit or miss, even by the very same actor/actress in some cases, and it seems like the creators/producers/writers just didn't know what they wanted to do with the show somehow. There are some interesting ideas here and there but ultimately they don't matter because they are mostly left unexplored.

Spoiler: very minor spoilers (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 01:33:07 pm by Ulfarr »
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Folly

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #427 on: January 16, 2020, 02:59:44 pm »

I finished watching The End of the Fucking World.

First of all, I'm disappointed that it didn't take place in a post-apocalyptic setting. Not that I particularly enjoy that setting...but the show's title set certain expectations, and then did not live up to them.

Second, I must acknowledge the noteworthy musical accompaniment which others have mentioned. It's not my particular style of music so it's effect on me was limited...but I must admit it was well composed just the same.

Beyond that, the show was just a story of stupid teenagers being stupid teenagers under mildly interesting circumstances. Watchable, but imo undeserving of much of the praise it has been given.


In other TV news, Season 5 of The Magicians just began, and it's off to a strong start!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Il Palazzo

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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #428 on: January 16, 2020, 03:17:15 pm »

Watchable, but imo undeserving of much of the praise it has been given.
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Re: what tv shows are you currently watching?
« Reply #429 on: January 16, 2020, 03:25:40 pm »

We're sending an operative who is probably not a robot also. Maybe.

I like the idea that he isn't a robot, because the actual artificial people with no ability to feel showed more emotion than the detective who knows nothing but work and ramen. That's at least cool.
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