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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 April 2018 at 2:08pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Okay, so the masochist in me compelled me to watch the 2nd Season premiere, and the whole thing still seems like a pompous and unnecessarily attenuated waste of time.

Except...

Suddenly, I see a thread. Not going to say what it is, since that would range into the kind of speculation I discourage here in the Forum. But if it is what I think, I will have to offer well deserved kudos to the show makers.

But, honestly, I doubt that will happen.

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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 24 April 2018 at 4:16pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Well, now you have me curious, JB... the first season didn't "hook" me right away but I'm willing to see where the 2nd season takes me.

-C!


Edited by Charles Valderrama on 25 April 2018 at 8:58am
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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 24 April 2018 at 6:56pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

NOT speculating, just asking: is the show super slow?  I feel like the whole premiere could have been 30 minutes.  And yes I risk sounding like an ADHD viewer.  Other than "Man in Black", I am struggling to find rhe motivations compelling.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 April 2018 at 7:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I watched the original movie again, the other night, and was reminded that the series has taken ten hour long episodes to get to where the movie got in 90 minutes.

Some would argue, I'm sure, that this is because the series is telling a much more elaborate tale, following different pathways, but overall the effect, for me, is that the series is all broad strokes, while the movie works with a scalpel. There's scarcely anything there that doesn't need to be there.

The series has replaced Crichton's love of chaos theory with something deeper, and that requires more screen time -- but not as much, I think, as they are taking.

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Didier Yvon Paul Fayolle
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 12:34am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Suddenly, I see a thread. Not going to say what it is,
since that would range into the kind of speculation I
discourage here in the Forum. But if it is what I think,
I will have to offer well deserved kudos to the show
makers.

--------------------------------

NOw, I want to knoooow !
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 2:16am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

There are little threads here and there in this show they could pull on that could move things in some very different directions.   The end of the first season was taking on almost a BLADE RUNNER-esqe vibe.   

The show seems to be saying just as much, if not more about the humans involved than the androids.   If the bison and children in the opening credits are a sign then it's going to be a very bumpy ride.   That's all I'm going to say on the subject as I don't want to mess with the Chief's enjoyment of the show.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 3:46am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

No risk of that, Rob. I still think it's a train wreck. Just one with a fleeting chance to salvage something worthwhile.
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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Some would argue, I'm sure, that this is because the series is telling a much more elaborate tale, following different pathways, but overall the effect, for me, is that the series is all broad strokes, while the movie works with a scalpel. There's scarcely anything there that doesn't need to be there.

__________________________________________

I find this with most modern shows. Sometimes it can take up to episode 10 of 12 before the show gets interesting. I understand that it can be great in someways where a show can really get into the characters but, boy, can it be boring. Usually it's not until season 3 or 4 where it really hots up. Sometimes I prefer the old days when everything had to be wrapped up in an hour or at most 2 parts.

There seems to be, today, a close parallel between comic books and TV in terms of deconstruction.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 8:56am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

If my guess is correct, at least part of the reason for the "decompression" is that about 90% of the show is misdirection.
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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Decompression! Thanks.

I haven't seen the show I have an aversion to remakes these day. Although I know people who enjoy the show who haven't seen the original film.
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David Miller
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Posted: 25 April 2018 at 2:27pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I haven't been able to engage myself enough to particularly even enjoy the show, let alone appreciate its many subtleties, so I doubt I noticed the thread with potential. 

Watching the premiere, I just kept coming back to wondering why on earth there are so many projectile weapons at a theme park. Googling the official explanation only raised more questions.  
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

JB wrote: If my guess is correct, at least part of the reason for the "decompression" is that about 90% of the show is misdirection.
------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------
90% of the show IS misdirection.
It took a while, but it became clear that season one had narratives that the viewer was watching at the same time, but were actually taking place at different points in a specific character's life.
Characters were not who (sometimes what) they appeared and at any given time, the viewer had to figure out which timeline they were in and what that timeline's events meant for what was actually going on in the other timeline.

I ended up liking it, but just wish there was less gratuitous nudity in it, doubly so following what has been coming out about how parts of the film industry operate. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 4:04pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I don't see the faux Tarentino jumbled timelines as misdirection as such. They fall, I think, under the umbrella of something Alan Moore said about WATCHMEN: everything matters, but not everything is important.
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Trevor Krysak
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Posted: 28 April 2018 at 9:01pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I tried watching Westworld twice. I got about four episodes in and bailed. I can see they've really tried to create a strong setting to tell interesting stories about humanity but my main problem was I had no clue who I was supposed to be invested in. The robots? The people? The people you're expected to believe are people but are actually robots?

Most shows have some sort of character you can follow and enjoy. A series like Game of Thrones lets you do that with several characters. Westworld I just couldn't find anyone of interest.

The movie was decent enough. The series just seems to be more interested in its story than the characters in it. So in a sense they're all just robots. And none of them appealed to me in the slightest.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 May 2018 at 6:49pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Frustrating. Now I think I've figured it out, I'm finding it quite entertaining. But I also find myself thinking GET ON WITH IT!
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 08 May 2018 at 7:41pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Just don't be THAT fan if the story goes a different direction...;-)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 May 2018 at 9:13pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Have I ever?
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 11 May 2018 at 6:03am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Frustrating. Now I think I've figured it out, I'm finding it quite entertaining. But I also find myself thinking GET ON WITH IT!

I agree, this season seems to be a lot of 'getting everybody going to the same place at the same time in different ways so the big season ending cliffhanger can happen'  -- basically padding a journey that should only be one episode, tops... into ten.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 May 2018 at 7:26am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

That there is another season ordered -- well, I think the whole thing could have been done in five or six episode (especially if my guess is right). WESTWORLD seems doomed to putter out as it strives to fill episodes it doesn't really need.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 May 2018 at 6:41am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The latest episode goes a long way in convincing me that I have guessed correctly about the main story thrust, tho not much in the way of advancing that story.

GET ON WITH IT!!

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 14 May 2018 at 9:31am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Supposedly, the writers have a five season story planned out.  Obviously I don't know how decompressed that is.  But there's a five season plan in place if ratings keep the show around that long.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 May 2018 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

So far they're doing the TV equivalent of taking a full page to show someone falling out of bed.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 14 May 2018 at 10:57pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

It's taken a season and a half to get to (what is presumably) the point.

When show creators and showrunners pay lip service to having mapped out the entirety of the story and written the ending I just think back to....   

"And they have a plan" (BSG)

No, they don't.  
(both the characters and the creators) 

They are making this shit up as they go while mimicking the surface details of a story that has deeper themes and meanings.   It's a hell of a lot easier to write the start of the story, set all the pieces up on the board and hook viewers with cool ideas than it is to keep the middle interesting and worth watching.   Inevitably these things lose steam about 1/3 of the way through and they'll limp by stringing viewers along until the half way point pretending it hasn't gone off the rails.   If it doesn't get canned and cut short then they usually write an unsatisfying ending after painting the narrative entirely into a corner.

BSG
Lost
Heroes

Westworld is sitting with some fine company.   Mark my words.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 14 May 2018 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I can think of only one show that clearly had it all mapped out at the start. And because of that, you had major revelations each season, you had major arcs each season & the story was able to have three very large arcs that overlapped, not just one point.

Most of these Ďarcí shows now are predicated on a single point so it takes forever to get to it. One mystery that all other mysteries are linked to so all resolutions can only happen @ the end, when the final point is revealed.

Apologies for being that broken record, but BABYLON 5, by having multiple arcs could give us mini revelations & resolutions each season.
Season 2 - who are the shadows & what do they want
Season 3 - what happened to Babylon 4 & who is Valen, plus a major shift towards the shadow war proper
Season 4 - resolution of the shadow war, shift to conclusion of the Earth war (granted some of this was shifted early because they didnít think they were getting a season 5)

& along the way, we got a continual stream of information that was relevant & moved the story forward.
One trick pony shows only appear to give answers but fear giving too much away because they have nothing else to give.


Edited by James Woodcock on 14 May 2018 at 11:32pm
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 15 May 2018 at 3:02am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

James, I was totally thinking of B5 when I was writing my above rant. :-)

Two things that I think contributed to the success of B5: 

*There was a trap door exit B-story written for every major character so the show could weather gradual or sudden cast changes and keep the main narrative points intact.  A breakout star leaving the show that made them famous or the sudden death of a cast member can derail a lesser-conceived show in pretty short order when they clumsily try to drop in substitute characters (*cough* X-Files *cough*).   The beauty of B5 is that as a skilled writer JMS had envisioned the narrative both forwards and backwards -- It's always easier to see multiple paths to get to the same/similar places if you have access to the entire map (whether it's a future, a history, or a character's emotional progression).  

*It was a singular vision, brought to fruition mainly by it's creator who had enough industry clout and gumption to see it through.   It's probably no surprise that JMS wrote the majority of the episodes.   Far too often with shows that try to fake the kind of depth B5 had the showrunner or principal writers hand writing and plotting duties off to other lesser writers or dump the work onto a 'writers room' committee.   Not to mention at least half of the current showrunners are all riding on the coat tails of someone else's fame (Kurtzman, Orci, Fuller, Nolan among them) instead of distinguishing themselves in the industry on their own merits.   I long for the days when a show doesn't need the words 'Bad' and 'Robot' anywhere in the credits.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 15 May 2018 at 3:03am
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