- Posts: 160
- Thank you received: 178
Coming the Week of January 18th (17 Jan 2020)
First Impressions of Return to Dark Tower.
Reviews of Clank!, On the Underground, Cover Your Kingdom, and Arkham Horror LCG: Circle Undone Core Box.
It Came from the Tabletop's take on Sanctum.
Part 3 of The Others.
And more TBA
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Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.
What TV SHOWS are you watching?
Same here. It does look impressive, but after about two seasons my wife said: 'I just can't make myself care about the problems of any of those people.' Neither could I.
ThirstyMan wrote: Also, I just CANNOT get into GoT after watching one and half seasons. It just does not grip me in any way whatsoever. I see it as soft core porn for the neckbeards.
Gary Sax wrote: What a mess of a show the Witcher is, esp the last few episodes. The whole meta structure is a nightmare. Years between episodes, only hitting big Plot Relevant plot progressing points. This is that rare, rare show which would have been vastly better with a Kung Fu style episodic structure with many many enjoyable monster of the week episodes between plot relevant eps. It's like watching only X Files conspiracy episodes with a character whose best traits show in monster of the week eps.
I haven't finished the season yet, but I already agree with you. I was probably 3 or 4 episodes in before I even realized that the show was jumping around to different points in time. The show certainly doesn't signpost it for you, which is fine. I don't mind having to pay attention. I'm just not sure what's gained by telling the story this way.
I feel like non-linear narratives are the cool, trendy thing right now, like Westworld or Watchmen. My opinion is that screenwriters are just trying to make themselves look clever, but all they're really doing is making a mess of their story. In Watchmen, the technique worked great. In The Witcher, it just makes things confusing, and I'm not sure that it brings any particular insight or depth to tell the story in this way.
Like you said, if they'd just told the story in a traditional, linear fashion, I think it would have been a solid show. Mix in some monster-of-the-week episodes with some larger, ongoing plots. TV shows have been doing this shit for a long time. It works.
I'm also almost done with His Dark Materials, and it really is the equivalent of the first Harry Potter movie. It mechanically hits the story beats, but it has lost all the flavor and themes and originality of the source novel. It's so frustrating. I'm not even sure if the showrunner even read the book, or if he just read the Wikipedia synopsis. The book is fundamentally about humans and their relationships with their daemons. That relationship underpins everything that happens. The TV show totally misses that.
Joebot wrote: I feel like non-linear narratives are the cool, trendy thing right now, like Westworld or Watchmen. My opinion is that screenwriters are just trying to make themselves look clever, but all they're really doing is making a mess of their story. In Watchmen, the technique worked great. In The Witcher, it just makes things confusing, and I'm not sure that it brings any particular insight or depth to tell the story in this way.
I've been thinking the same thing lately. Sometimes a non-linear narrative can be brilliant, because the juxtaposition of two scenes from different time periods can really drive home a plot point or some character development. And sometimes it feels like a non-linear narrative just muddles the story-telling to no particular advantage. Or maybe it can partially conceal that the underlying writing is not great.
But Jason Bateman's character was not even in town that day, and he can prove it.
If this show keeps its momentum, it will be difficult to wait on each coming episode. It's a good mystery, and while I *think* I know what is going on, episode 2 did throw a curve ball that was unexpected.
Check it out, and I'll warn you, the first two minutes shows a disgusting corpse.
Ben Mendelsohn is great btw. Wasn't he also in Captain Marvel also, the skrull dude.
Thanks for recommending it/discussing it here.
Msample wrote: Speaking of timelines, S3 of WESTWORLD premieres in late March and it looks like a total reboot; no more old West. The latest trailer is rather bizarre.
After the end of season two, I wasn't sure if I was going to keep watching Westworld. It started well, but season two gave the appearance that the writing team was leaning too hard on the mystery box approach to storytelling. The mystery box usually ends up either empty or full of shit. But I will at least give season three a try.
The main characters are still underdeveloped, generic heroes, with the big three occupying the same roles as the big three on Star Trek (original series) of commander, science officer, and medical officer. The f/x looks cheap, and not even as good as early Star Trek. The stories are all still episodic, with no carryover beyond the basic premise from one show to the next. And the science is sometimes complete rubbish, starting with the idea that the moon would not be destroyed by nuclear blasts powerful enough to send it out of Earth's solar system at nearly warp speed.
But aside from some weak science, the show strives for plausibility. The Eagles look like very workable space shuttles. The space suits look very similar to the ones used in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The set dressing is fine. I really like the Moon Base Alpha uniforms. Quite a few episodes deal with first contact with alien races, and some of those races are really alien and not just humanoids with variant hair or skin color. But the best part is the ambitious ideas after the first few episodes. The writers put an impressive amount of thought and effort into ideas that are used for a single episode, and some of the episodes are surprisingly character-driven. And oh, that awesome theme song. It starts with thundering kettle drums and roaring brass (also reminiscent of 2001), and then the cheesy, eerie synthesizer melody rolls in.
Just for one example, there was an episode where they encounter a vast alien ship. The occupants fled a dying world, on a 1,000-year journey to a suitable planet where they could start over, with about a century left in their journey. But a disaster on the ship exposed most of their people to excessive radiation, leading to widespread mutations. The 14 remaining pure-strain aliens live near the bridge, sealed off by safety doors from the rest of the ship. The other survivors scrape by with a primitive and ignorant lifestyle that includes worship and human sacrifice to the occasional pure-strain visitors, who harvest the sacrifices for organs and nutrients that they used to live as near-immortals. I could build a whole role-playing campaign (like maybe Metamorphosis Alpha or Paranoia) around those ideas, but Space: 1999 uses them for a single fast-paced episode.
I was kind of an SF snob about stuff like that back then, and that was a deal-breaker for me. I watched a couple of shows, but would bitch and moan about the moon all through the episode. You can see how that enhanced my enjoyment.
Shellhead wrote: ...And the science is sometimes complete rubbish, starting with the idea that the moon would not be destroyed by nuclear blasts powerful enough to send it out of Earth's solar system at nearly warp speed.