selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
[personal profile] selenak
Which to this reader was great, but also makes me wonder what on earth show-only people make of it, because a self contained episode, this was not.



I spy the first significant departure from the novel by Fuller withholding the reveal that Laura is now undead and her first post mortem encounter with Shadow, which in the book takes place in his first night in the America Motel. One possible reason, I think, might be that Wednesdays "believe it or believe you're mad" challenge works out differently, and so consequently does Shadow's decision to play Checkers with his life as a stake with Czernobog. Talking to tv screens and getting beaten up and nearly lynched by Matrix Agent wannabes is on a different emotional level than having a conversation with your recently deceased wife who is very clearly a walking corpse and quite capable of turning other people into corpses. Though it's not their first meeting but their second in the book as far as I recall when Laura rescues Shadow from Techonological Boys kidnapping, and she does kill those guards and leaves the corpses behind. There's no way he's imagining that.

The first post-mortem encounter also has Shadow asking, not surprisingly, "why?" re: Robbie, and Laura answering that question, and apparantly Fuller wants to keep Shadow in a state of emotional torment and uncertainty about it a while longer? Which in the show version contributes to the recklessness of accepting Czernobog's challenge. But I'm curious whether there are also other reasons for holding back Laura's first appearance outside of dreams and flashbacks. Well, we'll see in future episodes.

As for what is in the show: we open with the "Coming to America" story that introduces Anansi, aka Mr. Nancy, and Orlando Jones is great in the part. What he actually does is also neatly ambigous: yes, the slaves were doomed either way, and there's something to be said for going out fighting and taking your murderers with you, but otoh note the word "sacrifice": there's also (to me) the clear implication that the slaves dying this way empowered Anansi and enabled him to become a god in America, and he knew it would, but of course he didn't tell them that. And you can see the connection to Wednesday manouevring Shadow into the situation with Czernobog (and, um, other things). Maybe even to Bilquis and her human sacrifices.

Gillian Anderson as the Goddess Media: far more regal and impressive than the book version, who came across as mostly irritating to me; true for all of the new gods, come to think of it, in the book. Mind you, given today's technology the whole "speaking from a tv screen even after Shadow unpluggs it" isn't half as freaky or impressive; you can do it without being a goddess. Speaking of technology: updating the novel into the show set 17 years later means there are mobiles, and not until we got that scene between Wednesday and Shadow did it occur to me that this could cause plot having later (if Wednesday, or for that matter anyone else, could simply reach Shadow on his mobile phone, and vice versa), so go Fuller for coming up with an in-universe explanation why Wednesday and Shadow don't have mobiles. (Not anymore. Poor Shadow.) Mind you: on a Watsonian level, I wonder whether Wednesday also doesn't want mobiles near him because they're worshipping devices for another divinity, or because of the more modern reason that they're making him traceable.

The Zoryas and Czernobog so far are just how I've imagined them. I squeed a little when we saw the genie taking his leave of Wednesday; presumably his and Salim's episode is coming up?

Date: 8 May 2017 13:40 (UTC)
musesfool: tom mcrae lyrics icon (i was born in a summer storm)
From: [personal profile] musesfool
I wonder whether Wednesday also doesn't want mobiles near him because they're worshipping devices for another divinity, or because of the more modern reason that they're making him traceable.

Both, I think, though probably more the former than the latter.

And yeah, I can't imagine this working if you haven't read the book, because nothing really happens in this episode, or nothing that pays off within it, anyway.

Date: 8 May 2017 14:16 (UTC)
rike_tikki_tavi: cuddle pile of mongooses (Default)
From: [personal profile] rike_tikki_tavi
So I haven't read the book but I still liked this episode. Sure, nothing much got explained as to what the hell is really going on but since that puts me into pretty much the same spot as Shadow, I can live with that.

Hey, Sens8 took 8 episodes until they got going on the plot and I stuck with that. So hanging in story telling limbo for a bit more, I can deal with. Especially if in the mean time I get stuff like Orlando Jones being awesome and Ian McShane being one charming devil.



Date: 8 May 2017 17:12 (UTC)
alethia: (TV)
From: [personal profile] alethia
Which to this reader was great, but also makes me wonder what on earth show-only people make of it, because a self contained episode, this was not.

::raises hand:: Non-book reader here and I can tell you this was maddeningly frustrating for me. Both because nothing happened, but more because the character choices aren't making sense to me from what I know (e.g. Shadow taking that bet). I don't care about any of the characters, so I'm not invested in them, which made a lot of this deadly boring.

To me, the most effective parts of this episode were Orlando Jones and Gillian Anderson.

It looks nice, though. I'll give it that.

Date: 9 May 2017 20:39 (UTC)
alethia: (TV)
From: [personal profile] alethia
Mind you, it took me through most of s1 of Black Sails before I liked anyone on that show, and we didn't find out the key information re: Flint until mid s2 (though I'm proud that I can prove I did voice it as a theory after having watched s1, during the season hiatus)

That's a feather in your cap, for sure. I watched real time and was stunned, albeit in a delighted way. Because that's the kind of bold move precious few shows could ever pull.

I think it's possible to watch a show and develop affection later than the first few episodes. However, one shouldn't force it.

I hear that. Still, since everyone who has read the book speaks of it in glowing terms, I'm hopeful that the show will end up convincing me to like it? But until that happens, it's a bit of a rough go, I fully admit.

Date: 9 May 2017 00:37 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] miladygrey
I am given to understand that Salim and the djinn get their story in Episode 3. I am also given to understand that the limits of the network's tolerance for explicit sex are going to be tested.

Profile

selenak: (Default)
selenak

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2 3 45 6 7 8
9 10 11121314 15
16 17 18 19202122
23242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 21 July 2017 12:41
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios