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Author Topic: Lovecraft Country  (Read 9661 times)
MediumHigh
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Reply #70 on: September 08, 2020, 07:40:52 PM

The source material is written in the vein of a series of short stories with characters who persist between them. Kind of game of thrones ish except for one the stories aren't happening at the same and their connectivity is more to do with the strangeness encircling one family less because the characters affect each others individual stories.

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Velorath
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Reply #71 on: September 08, 2020, 08:28:55 PM

I think we learn a little something at the end of each episode that turns seemingly unrelated material into an indication of something more cohesive.  I don't think we'll know what the finale is about until half way through it... the question is whether it pays off everything.

Ultimately the only pay off I'm looking for is for it to be entertaining. This is the kind of story that probably shouldn't be tied together neatly. I want something like this to be a little messy and for some things (maybe a lot of things) to go unexplained.
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Reply #72 on: September 09, 2020, 09:43:59 AM

I want something like this to be a little messy and for some things (maybe a lot of things) to go unexplained.

I agree with this.  Part of what makes Lovecraft fun is that he'll describe some weird shit while conveying that it's only the tip of the iceberg.  Wrapping everything in a neat bow is beside the point, if not completely antithetical to it.

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jgsugden
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Reply #73 on: September 09, 2020, 10:49:15 AM

Right, but that applies to the mythos, not the characters and storyline.  I don't need to see consistent rules for magic, an ecology for the monsters, or anything along those lines. 

However, it doesn't serve anything well if something out of the blue negates story elements. 

You still need a strong story that includes victories that are earned and characters that develop.  If they're battling a bunch of warlocks in the season finale and suddenly a brand new monster appears and eats the warlocks, that would be a VERY different experience than what we saw in the pilot.  You need the culmination of a season to actually, you know, culminate.  I have no idea what the season finale will be, but my hope is that it will build upon the story elements we've seen so far and pay off on our interest in the prior events.


2020 will be the year I gave up all hope.
Threash
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Reply #74 on: September 26, 2020, 01:01:07 PM

Holy shit, that was fucking Ando from Heroes.

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HaemishM
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Reply #75 on: September 26, 2020, 02:59:20 PM

Holy shit, that was fucking Ando from Heroes.

Yeah, it took me a minute to recognize him as well.

Even though it was definitely a "side story/backstory" episode, I think it was one of their best. When I heard that the guy playing Tick had been cast as Kang, I thought it was a good casting - this episode solidified that judgement.

Surlyboi
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Reply #76 on: September 27, 2020, 02:22:12 AM

Holy shit, that was fucking Ando from Heroes.

Random side note, he was two years behind me in high school.

That said, this was a solid “filler” episode that still gave me a shitload of insight into where the season is going. Also showed me Jamie Chung can actually act.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
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Reply #77 on: September 27, 2020, 07:52:39 AM

Random side note, he was two years behind me in high school.

And now you've seen his butt.

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Velorath
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Reply #78 on: September 28, 2020, 02:47:40 AM

Another great episode and another stellar performance.
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Reply #79 on: September 28, 2020, 12:29:20 PM

Yeah, I don't think I've seen Aunjanue Ellis on anything before but she is amazing.

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Velorath
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Reply #80 on: September 28, 2020, 01:27:05 PM

Yeah, I don't think I've seen Aunjanue Ellis on anything before but she is amazing.

Yeah, I've never watched Quantico and most of the other stuff she's in has been bit parts. Think the most notable role I would have seen her in is Undercover Brother. Of course people probably wouldn't recognize her name from that since despite being on the posters she didn't get billing, while Chris Kattan (who isn't on the posters) did.
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Reply #81 on: September 28, 2020, 03:32:36 PM

Damn, I guess I didn't scroll down far enough. Completely forgot she was sistah girl.

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Surlyboi
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Reply #82 on: September 28, 2020, 11:19:52 PM

Random side note, he was two years behind me in high school.

And now you've seen his butt.

And his “O” face.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
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Reply #83 on: October 01, 2020, 02:03:31 PM

This show continues to deliver. The effects they did on the transitions between time and space were just a perfect visualization of Lovecraftian descriptions of that sort of thing. The acting continues to be good.

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Reply #84 on: October 05, 2020, 01:26:27 AM

Holy fuck.
Threash
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Reply #85 on: October 05, 2020, 09:44:51 AM

That scary girl breaking the fourth wall worked SO well.

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Reply #86 on: October 06, 2020, 09:55:41 PM

OH. SHIT.

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Reply #87 on: October 11, 2020, 10:03:20 PM

Double OH SHIT.

They tie this to Watchmen and I won’t be too mad.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
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Reply #88 on: October 12, 2020, 01:20:32 AM

One more episode left.
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jgsugden
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Reply #89 on: October 12, 2020, 07:52:57 AM

I've really enjoyed this show a lot, but I felt like last night's episode left cards on the table.  There was a lot they could do with it, and it fell flat. 

Admittingly, I went into it with high expectations.  GoT made huge "episode 9s", and I thought we'd get the same here - and felt we did not.  I just felt like the acting, writing and directing on this episode were a pretty sizable step down - which surprised me given the content they were covering.  I felt like they wiffed on a hanging 60 MPH curveball. 

2020 will be the year I gave up all hope.
HaemishM
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Reply #90 on: October 12, 2020, 09:38:35 AM

We were apparently watching much different episode 9's.  swamp poop

Some of your complaints are valid if you're a complete geek, but I'll take a little stretching of the logistical side of stories in order to get some of the emotional impact. Michael Kenneth Williams monologue at the window and his interactions with Johnathan Majors in the alley were worth every single bit of logistical glossing over. I'll always liked Williams since I saw him in Boardwalk Empire (no, I haven't yet watched the Wire and YES I KNOW), but the difference in emotional range needed for this character as compared to that is just fantastic, and he nailed it.

HBO doing a more personal approach to the Tulsa massacre after Watchmen is also just perfect. I think they should do one show a year that just does nothing but recreate this event until white people finally get it through their fucking heads.

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Reply #91 on: October 12, 2020, 10:02:20 AM

I thought it was amazing.

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Reply #92 on: October 12, 2020, 11:47:08 AM

Yeah, I thought it was pretty great. Most of jgsugden's complaints seem to just come down to stylistic things which were done for dramatic effect. The slow walk was maybe dragged out a little long, but overall I didn't have any problems with the episode. I really don't get the complaint about not showing a car drive recapping things we just saw two episodes ago just so we can see some of the characters being brought up to speed.

And Haemish watch the fucking Wire!
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Reply #93 on: October 12, 2020, 01:17:16 PM

..I really don't get the complaint about not showing a car drive recapping things we just saw two episodes ago just so we can see some of the characters being brought up to speed...
I'm not itching to watch car rides.  Nor do I have a hard on for recaps.  However, I do want to see characters address the huge fucking elephants in the room because it stands out if you don't. 

Hippolyta, who was presumed dead, walks in the door, tells them she lived hundreds of years in the last few days, says she knows how to nonsense the MacGuffin to frell the Updyke, tells them she has infinite wisdom now, and then tells everyone to get in a long ass car ride so she can Uptown Funk You Up.... and apparently the only response is, "OK".  She has revealed nothing of her plan through the entire car ride (as evidenced by her explaining the basics of it in the observatory) by the time they reached there?  Montrose explicitly says she sounds crazy, but they just spend the entire car ride playing license plate Bingo or something?

And you don't 'get' why that deserves to be called weak storytelling? 

We didn't even need to see the car.  A throwaway line in the observatory could have made it clear she tried to explain it in the car, but they just couldn't understand what she was explaining.  Instead they made it clear that that her being part computer was a revelation being made in the observatory.  It screamed of a Fanfic Dramatic Reveal. 

And there was so much more … Hipployta rises up in the air, electricity arcing off of her - and Tig runs right under her to make sure he gets electrocuted?  Standing in the burning building that could collapse at any second and pin you in the rubble?  Not worrying that the book could get knocked out of your hands and incinerated in an instant during either the lounging in the burning building or the strut down Apocalypose Blvd?  The gun exchanges where the "good guys" stand firm with no cover, and the bad guys cower behind cover while they exchange shots (which I know is far from unique, here, but still annoys the fuck out of me).  "Hey Girlfriend - are you going to murder my Sister's guy - the father of my future nephew?  I really like the guy, but if you're going to become immortal, then by all means murder the guy."  Montrose's RPG character sheet must have a section on flaws that says, "Must dawdle for 1 minute before going through any portal."

There just was more self indulgent, nonsensical and unmotivated elements to this episode than I saw in the other episodes. 

2020 will be the year I gave up all hope.
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Reply #94 on: October 12, 2020, 01:49:00 PM

All the lead characters at this point have experience crazy shit and participated in actual magic.  With Dee's life on the line and the clock ticking, yeah I'm not surprised that they were able to move on quickly when Hippolyta reappeared. No, I don't need to see them bombard her with question after question about all the details of what happened to her. I'm sure stuff would have been discussed on the car ride over. Considering how long she said she'd been gone, I'm not surprised she didn't get to cover every detail.

Every other comment is just nitpicky stuff you could point out in any other work of fiction.
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Reply #95 on: October 12, 2020, 03:46:36 PM

and apparently the only response is, "OK". 

That was a perfectly valid response given what they've all experienced.

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Reply #96 on: October 12, 2020, 03:51:16 PM

Explaining the computer stuff in the observatory instead of the car ride is really just a "we really don't need to shoot another scene in the car" decision. This is a visual medium choice - how many scenes have you watched in movies and especially TV where one character makes a big reveal about something that is CLEARLY going to need explanation, but the explanation is made somewhere else completely (like on a walk/car ride or in another location entirely)? A ton, because the visual mediums often don't have time for exposition with characters just standing in place. It's one of the reasons GOT had so much sexposition, it's necessary for the viewer's eye to not get too bored. It's pretty nitpicky to knock an episode for that, especially when the episode needs to feel somewhat frantic due to the amount of rising tension.

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Reply #97 on: October 12, 2020, 04:03:05 PM

One other point to make in the matter. If any of the stylistic choices had negative story repercussions, then I would understand the complaints more. If something did end up happening to the book because of Leti taking her time, or if the building collapsed on Montrose, or if anybody hadn’t made it back through the portal, then sure I’d be calling bullshit. As things went though, none of it caused any problems.
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Reply #98 on: October 13, 2020, 09:58:23 PM

I'll always liked Williams since I saw him in Boardwalk Empire (no, I haven't yet watched the Wire and YES I KNOW)

FUCKING HELL how do you even post about TV  ACK!
jgsugden
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Reply #99 on: October 14, 2020, 07:45:20 AM

Again, you guys are awfully forgiving. 

Great film/tv/etc... doesn't have these nonsensical gaps.  They close them, often with just a sentence or phrase, but they don't leave in unmotivated and nonsensical elements in their stories.  When we talk about character driven storytelling, this is exactly what we're talking about - the characters always doing what makes sense for them as characters, and the result of their actions being a great story.The character actions need to make sense and leave the audience either saying, "That is exactly what I'd have done," or "Oh, that was clever." 

How often have I seen things requiring explanation being revealed, them cut elsewhere, and then the explanation either taking place off screen, or at a later time?  Yes - a ton - AND THAT IS WHAT I SAID WE NEEDED HERE.  Don't hold the explanation and give it when the dramatic event happens - give it when it makes sense for the story.  As Haemish suggests - the explanations often come in the car ride.  And we do not need to even see it - just serve the characters by making it clear they had the conversation rather than making it clear they avoided asking the questions

They just needed to close the gap in a way that services the dialogue and characters properly, rather than having them do Horror Movie acting and just do nonsensical shit to set up a scene.

There were dozens of ways to close this gap - any of the below could have been tossed in to show that Montrose, Tic and Letitia either showed the natural curiosity / need for answers or were prevented from asking.

1.) Explicit: Hippolyta before they leave: "I'll explain in the car, but you're not going to understand."

2.) Confusion: Montrose or Tic in the observatory: "Is this where you become the Mother Lord?" Hippolyta: "Mother*Board*.  The brain of the computer."

3.) Too hard: Montrose/Tic/Letita before they leave: "Wait.  Before we go anywhere, you need to explain what we're …" Hippolyta: "No.  I don't.  My daughter.  My call.  And you're just not equipped to understand.  If you want to help save her, do what I tell you."

4.) Intentional deception: As Hippolyta plugs herself in, Tic: "What are those?  You didn't say anything about..." Hippolyta: "You wouldn't have understood."

And a real writer should be able to do a lot better than any of that crap. 

2020 will be the year I gave up all hope.
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Reply #100 on: October 14, 2020, 11:43:36 AM

I am a real writer and none of those things were necessary.

The dramatic effect of Letty walking with the back or staying in the house - I'll give you those. They were a bit over the top and stretched out but not to the point where they completely ruined the episode, more of a stylistic choice. Montrose's monologue at the window was absolutely necessary, though, and completely in character with how he'd acted the entire episode. Trauma as intense as what he was working through in that episode makes people do very strange things, and this was shit he'd been dealing with his entire life. As for Letty, I can actually make a case that the intense trauma she has suffered over this thing for the series (after the whole "OH YEAH, SHE ACTUALLY WAS DEAD) can also excuse her from making some nonsensical steps.

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Reply #101 on: October 14, 2020, 12:31:16 PM

Again, you guys are awfully forgiving. 

I'd have to see a problem in order to forgive it. What I'm seeing here is something that would be maybe used to pad out one of those "everything wrong with x in y minutes" videos if they were really struggling to come up with stuff. It's only marginally better than wondering why people never go to the bathroom or asking why nobody ever ends a phone conversation like people do in real life. It's the kind of nitpick that comes when one is specifically looking for things to point out as being bad or dumb.

Now I don't know why you want to try to pick the episode apart. Maybe it's because you went into it inexplicably expecting some sort of GoT event episode because hey, they're both HBO shows and even though they're in different genres and have completely different creative teams maybe they structured their seasons exactly the same in that respect and only that respect. Or maybe you saw that there were already a bunch of people posting positively about the show and decided this was your chance to be special and get attention. This was a chance to show how much more discerning you are than the common viewer. It's been a long time since we've had someone here who played Devil's Advocate and took the unpopular opinion for the sake of it being the unpopular opinion, but thinking about it you would make a pretty good Geldon. It could be you just didn't like the episode and now are struggling to figure our for yourself why that is and these little things are the best you can come up with.

Regardless, you're alone on this one.
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Reply #102 on: October 14, 2020, 02:27:55 PM

I've said my peace. 

2020 will be the year I gave up all hope.
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