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Author Topic: American Gods (2017)  (Read 7034 times)
jgsugden
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Reply #35 on: May 02, 2017, 05:22:39 PM

I find the two thread approach generally doesn't work.  Either nobody posts in the thread for the non-book readers, or a book reader just posts spoilers in it anyways. 


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Reply #36 on: May 02, 2017, 06:59:47 PM

I find the two thread approach generally doesn't work.  Either nobody posts in the thread for the non-book readers, or a book reader just posts spoilers in it anyways.  

If a book reader posts spoilers in the no-book thread, we can give them a stern talking to or whatever.

Can't help you so much with the issue of nobody else wanting to talk about the show while avoiding talking about the book it's based on.  That's exactly why I think it's unreasonable to expect these threads to be book-spoiler-free-zones as a general rule.  Comparing and contrasting with the book and speculating about how they'll handle X from the book is like 80% of what anyone wants to talk about with a show that's based on a popular book.

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Reply #37 on: May 02, 2017, 07:49:13 PM

As there are many that have not read the book(s), I'd request we use spoiler tags. 

I'd be curious as to what percentage of the book that first episode represents, but I could not find my copy of the book last night.

It is almost exactly the first chapter.

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Reply #38 on: May 02, 2017, 09:47:28 PM

To be fair, the book is 16 years old, and the series isn't a surprise. 

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Reply #39 on: May 03, 2017, 03:26:57 PM

The fun thing about this series coming out so long after the book is that it's been long enough since I read the book that most of it will be new to me.  I remember the broad outline and the most significant characters but I can't remember for the life of me what's going to happen at the start of the next episode.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Velorath
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Reply #40 on: May 04, 2017, 05:20:40 AM

I know they anticipate a 5 year story to tell the story of American Gods I. 

This is the first I'd heard that and I'm kind of excited to see what they do with it.  Being that Gaiman is actually involved rather than it being another team trying to stretch his work out, I'm not worried that it'll end up feeling like they're killing time (as has happened in GoT a lot since they ran out of book to work with).

I think last year they were saying it might be 3-4 seasons. Not sure if that's changed since then. This season is 8 episodes long and judging from the episode titles I could see it wrapping up maybe a little bit past the end of Part 1. It's also worth noting that the story has been lengthened a bit since it was first published. The 10th anniversary edition which is still being published is 12000 words longer than the original version.
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Reply #41 on: May 04, 2017, 06:53:16 AM

The fun thing about this series coming out so long after the book is that it's been long enough since I read the book that most of it will be new to me.  I remember the broad outline and the most significant characters but I can't remember for the life of me what's going to happen at the start of the next episode.

I don't even remember that much. Bits started coming back to me as we watched the first episode (the alligator bar rang a bell) but not much more than that.

We were trying not to start watching any new series until we've finished off a couple of ongoing things we're watching but we couldn't resist. Glad we caved. Truly, we're living in a golden age of television.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
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Reply #42 on: May 04, 2017, 09:10:44 PM

The fun thing about this series coming out so long after the book is that it's been long enough since I read the book that most of it will be new to me.  I remember the broad outline and the most significant characters but I can't remember for the life of me what's going to happen at the start of the next episode.


Me too. Can't remember a damn thing about it (also not helped by the fact that a lot of bad shit was happening in my world at the time I was reading it)

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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Samwise
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Reply #43 on: May 08, 2017, 01:05:06 PM

I loved all the gods we met this episode.  Especially Anansi.  I can't want to see more of that character.   Heart  Having him show up in that crazy suit was perfect for his trickster nature -- most gods would appear to their followers in a guise that they'd expect, but Anansi just doesn't give any fucks about anachronism.  Wonder if he'll still be played by Orlando Jones in the modern-day sequences, since when we meet him in the books he's described as a little old man.  It'd be pretty cool if they changed the actor for "old Anansi" but brought Jones back to star in an Anansi Boys series.

Gillian Anderson was also amazing as Lucy and that sequence felt perfect; I especially remember the "did you ever wanna see Lucy's tits?" line and that would have been really easy to fuck up by making it too over the top and vulgar, but I think Anderson nailed that whole sequence in terms of going from hot to cold to hot again to sort of keep Shadow off balance the whole time. 

Czernobog was just the right amount of weird and scary and (just barely) sympathetic.  His monologue about him and his brother both turning gray was fantastic; I can't remember if that was in the book.

Really like the developing relationship between Shadow and Wednesday.  With this episode we really see what sort of a guy Shadow is.  And once again, I vaguely remember many of these events from the book, I remember Czernobog and his hammer and the bet, but the cliffhanger still works because I can't quite remember how Shadow gets out of trouble.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
jgsugden
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Reply #44 on: May 08, 2017, 04:18:12 PM

That answers my first question as a non-book reader (yet) - are they sticking to the outline of the story from the books or adding to embellish.  This seems like a series where they could add a lot of 'character of the week' additions to the original book to more fully explore the world.  It sounds like they have not done so (yet?)

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Reply #45 on: May 08, 2017, 05:40:58 PM

I think the "coming to America" flashbacks at the start of the episodes are new material.  There are a LOT of characters in the book that appear relatively briefly, so they can build on any of those and not need to add any new characters.  I also don't think the fertility goddess (I forget her name now) who's showing up in cutaways was a part of the story by this point.  The book mostly stuck to Shadow's POV -- there were flashbacks to his own past, but I don't remember a lot of scenes where we actually see the exploits of the other gods/creatures unless it's through Shadow's eyes, or by having someone (usually Wednesday) telling a story about them.

BTW I really liked Czernobog very subtly spilling Wednesday's real name but using an old form of it that Shadow (and most viewers) wouldn't pick up on.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #46 on: May 08, 2017, 06:18:13 PM

No, those are straight out of the book. They are even tagged "coming to america".

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Xanthippe
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Reply #47 on: May 09, 2017, 11:21:48 AM

Saw the first episode, never read the book. Loved it.

The problem with the book reader/tv show threads isn't that book readers want to discuss the book, it's that they spoil the TV show by disclosing things that haven't happened yet without using the spoiler tag. I don't understand this.

One thread, two threads, whatever. Just use the fucking spoiler tag if you're going to spoil or if you don't know if you're spoiling or not.

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Reply #48 on: May 10, 2017, 11:16:29 PM

It just gets silly when a whole page is filled with posts that are all spoilered because the book readers have a lot more to talk about than others.  Hence why the two thread solution was tried.  The fact that it doesn't work is more a testament to the perverse willfulness of non-book readers to play chicken with spoilers and then bitch about it after when they lose, than the desire for book readers to 'ruin' the show for anyone.

I am also prejudice though because I think the whole idea of spoilers is fucking stupid.
apocrypha
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Reply #49 on: May 11, 2017, 05:16:04 AM

I am also prejudice though because I think the whole idea of spoilers is fucking stupid.

I agree with that. Do you enjoy watching a show less because you already know the story? Do you enjoy reading a book less after having seen the movie? The specifics of a story, in most cases for me, are secondary to the other things that make a TV show, film, book or game great.

But of course I do respect others opinions, even if they're different from mine (gasp), so I wouldn't deliberately or carelessly spoil a story for someone else, but I won't be overly upset if I read a spoiler for something somewhere.

This show so far is fucking great. Ian McShane is perfectly cast.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
jgsugden
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Reply #50 on: May 11, 2017, 06:04:18 AM

Having a great twist spoiled does diminish a show or movie. Watching the Sixth Sense the first time, when you either do not know or are only speculating, is different than viewing it the second time when you are watching how they weave in the clues and hide the workarounds. If you had it spoiled, you miss that first experience.

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Reply #51 on: May 11, 2017, 06:08:33 AM

Very few things are the sixth sense though.
jgsugden
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Reply #52 on: May 11, 2017, 06:37:33 AM

Very few things are the sixth sense though.
Few are that infamous, but most shows and movies have twists. Some are pathetically telegraphed, but very few scripted entertainment pieces go straight ahead down a clear path where you're intended to know what is to come.

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Reply #53 on: May 11, 2017, 08:25:27 AM

That boat seen was pretty hammy. I mean Spartacus hammy. But you know I watched all 4 seasons of Spartacus and the prequel. Also does the shows ability to teeter back and forth between playing it straight and playing it on drugs oscillates between awesome to grating. Like the show is begging for a big payoff and I'm getting the sneaky suspicion we're watching it blow their load.

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Reply #54 on: May 11, 2017, 08:54:32 AM

Watched the first episode ;  I'm not sure I like this.  I can't quite figure out why.

Full disclosure :  Loved the book.

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apocrypha
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Reply #55 on: May 11, 2017, 09:32:54 AM

Having a great twist spoiled does diminish a show or movie. Watching the Sixth Sense the first time, when you either do not know or are only speculating, is different than viewing it the second time when you are watching how they weave in the clues and hide the workarounds. If you had it spoiled, you miss that first experience.

Not the best example, I worked out the "twist" in Sixth Sense 30 seconds in. But I take your point :)

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Reply #56 on: May 11, 2017, 04:26:16 PM

Having a great twist spoiled does diminish a show or movie. Watching the Sixth Sense the first time, when you either do not know or are only speculating, is different than viewing it the second time when you are watching how they weave in the clues and hide the workarounds. If you had it spoiled, you miss that first experience.

Not the best example, I worked out the "twist" in Sixth Sense 30 seconds in. But I take your point :)
Same here: The kid sees dead people, and nobody but the kid actually talks to Bruce Willis. I kept waiting for the 'twist' everybody was raving about, because dead therapist was too obvious.

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jgsugden
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Reply #57 on: May 11, 2017, 04:31:53 PM

Quote
Not the best example, I worked out the "twist" in Sixth Sense 30 seconds in. But I take your point :)
Even then: We think we know the twist, but do not know for certain. That is a different experience than watching and absolutely knowingly.

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Khaldun
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Reply #58 on: May 13, 2017, 10:29:12 PM

I think we're a bit on the fence too. I cannot put my finger on it, but there's something off-putting about it even while it's also engaging. The visuals are great, the performances are strong. There is just something oddly soulless about it, and I thought that a bit about the books too. It is a basic problem with the whole idea of gods interacting with mortals this way, maybe. It's ok with superheroes, but it almost feels as if it should be something even deeper and more primal and eerie than it is here. There is a literalness about some of it that feels too on the nose. The Bilquis scenes are closer to that feeling than anything else so far.
Bzalthek
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Reply #59 on: May 15, 2017, 01:31:05 AM

Is it possible to have an aneurysm from rolling your eyes too hard?

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Ironwood
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Reply #60 on: May 15, 2017, 06:09:05 AM

I've noticed that this has almost Hannibal like stylings that it doesn't deserve.  I really don't need to see a single raindrop in slow motion.  Fuck off.


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Reply #61 on: May 16, 2017, 03:30:03 AM

Bryan Fuller is involved so yeah it has his [wonderful] style all over it.
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Reply #62 on: May 16, 2017, 04:36:17 AM

Christ, you guys could suck the joy out of a puppy party.

I'm enjoying it, it's fun.

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Reply #63 on: May 16, 2017, 06:23:37 AM

I think the overstylization may be really what's eating me too. It's good, it just feels a bit much. I dunno. I can't really identify fully why I like it but don't love it.
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Reply #64 on: May 16, 2017, 07:25:05 AM

Yes.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
jgsugden
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Reply #65 on: May 16, 2017, 02:07:43 PM

Does anyone that has not read the book really care about Shadowmoon?  He just seems ... flat to me.  He needs to carry the show.

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Reply #66 on: May 16, 2017, 02:39:52 PM

Alas, that turns out to be the point.  If anything, he's too interesting right now.   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Reply #67 on: May 17, 2017, 01:22:11 AM

There was always a mystery around Shadow in the book, I don't think he was intended to only be purely the bland every-man character.  You were immediately wondering why he was chosen for all this, and he has the tendency to instinctively know the right thing to do that hints at bigger things.

As to the over-stylized feeling, this is the realm of legend and ritual, I don't know how they could portray it in a more mundane fashion without doing the book a disservice.  These are beings that are literally over-stylized representations of human concepts.

I think the show is great, and I only liked the book, not loved it.  If it has any problems is that it has book pacing and not TV pacing which, while I am enjoying it, I think may be the main thing that pulls others out.
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Reply #68 on: May 17, 2017, 01:45:50 AM

Ya, its interesting but I'm waiting for the fireworks factory a bit at this point.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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Reply #69 on: May 17, 2017, 10:36:19 AM

It's odd... sometimes they seem to manipulate the size of Shadow so he looks like he's 7 feet tall instead of whatever he is.  Especially when he's in a scene with Ian McShane who is not tall but not tiny either.  Other than that strangeness, I really like this show.  Btw, I've not read the book.  Is it a book book or a comic book?

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