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Veltigar

Watch, Watched, Watching: Britannia doesn't rule the waves

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I finished Sky/Amazon's new series Britannia. It started out okay, but it devolved into an unitelligible mess by the end of the season. The series really made me wish I knew how to get into showbusiness. Now that the streaming giants are clobbering it out and pumping money into every idiotic project that comes their way, I think I could earn a nice bit of cash with all my crazy ideas for shows. I could definitely produce a better story than what we see here and that's truly a shame. The cast is overall enjoyable, there aren't that many duds in there (although the guy playing Lynden the Gaul is definitely the Kit Harrington of this ensemble) and the setting is pretty well realised. 

It truly feels like a wasted opportunity in all honesty. The story they tease in the first episode, namely a rather 'straight' adaptation of the Roman invasion of the British Isles, leading to an epic conflict between belief systems was so much more interesting than the muddled mess of 'boring magic party one with proxies' vs. 'boring magic party two with proxies.' When will the writers of all these historical shows understand that we are not fucking interested in another fantasy show.

First Vikings succumbed to this and now you have shows like Knightfall and Britannia just failing to comprehend that we would really just love another good period drama. Did they not learn anything from series like Rome, Spartacus and Black Sails (note, when I say period drama I don't necessarily mean a 100% accurate historical study)?  And even worse, the fantasy they deliver isn't even engaging. It's okay to tease magic, in a sense that your characters believe that it's real, but please don't include actual magic. It's such a cop-out.  

I don't know if I'll watch another season of this. A lot of the more promising characters probably won't return and their absence will be sorely missed. In fact, I don't think I would have finished this first season if I had to wait for the episodes to appear on a weekly basis. It was a way to piss away some time that would have been much better spent on something productive, but apparantly I'm an idiot. 

EDIT: Another thing that greatly bothered me was the dialogue. It was truly dreadful. As someone who swears like a sailor, I was pretty offended by this show's weak attempts to include a fuck or a shit in what seemed like every single line of dialogue. The random switching in language (like when they started to speak modern French) were just really annoying. 

 

Some spoilery comments:

Spoiler

I really like Kelly Reilly. She's a talented actress and hot to boot. The way her character was weirdly sidelined for so much of the second half of the season was a baffling choice. Especially since they then choose to kill her off. What was the point of her character? It feels like this show's weak attempt to have their own Ned Stark moment really. If that was indeed their intent, they failed miserably. 

Lynden the Gaul has the charisma of a wet rag. He was like a black vortex of chemistry, sucking in everything that was charismatic about other characters.

Queen Amortina/Amidale/... (or whatever her name was) was almost as bad. Almost comically bad that actress.

If I'm ever drafted into a war, I would hope that I have opponents like this. All the characters were suicidal to such an extent that it beggers belief. 

 

 

Edited by Veltigar

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I barely made it through the first episode and didn't bother even trying to continue. @Veltigar loved it.

I forgot to respond to this the other day, but indeed I loved the Young Pope. Under that top layer of arthouse pretension, there was a deep and abiding sense of spirituality that I don't think I have ever encountered in a series. It truly was something special and the fact that there won't be a second season is a tragedy. It was so lush and leisurely paced, with such a talented ensemble (Jude Law and Cecile de France :wub:) that it's truly a crime that the story won't continue. 

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I heard the "warlord chronicles" was being adapted according to werthead a few years back. Slightly different time period but it also has druids and "British" people fighting off an invasion (and ultimately failing). The magic is honest too. Hope that's still happening.

We've been getting a few westerns of late but in general "period dramas" don't seem to fare so well unless they are about rich people no further back than victorian times. I guess period drama covers a hell of a lot of shows though if it just has to be set in the past.

But in terms of pre-elizbethan shows i can only really think of Vikings as being successful. I guess "The last Kingdom" is doing ok but it does feel as if they've benefitted from GOT in terms of those shows feeling analagous in terms of tech, warfare and culture. Sword and Sandal shows have always seemed to struggle. Despite Rome's popularity it only managed two seasons. Black Sails should have been a major hit but either had trouble finding an audience due to distribution or because people didn't love it like me.

I think the BBC has a show out about the fall of Troy. That has the potential to be good but we'll have to wait and see.

 

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4 hours ago, Veltigar said:

I finished Sky/Amazon's new series Britannia. It started out okay, but it devolved into an unitelligible mess by the end of the season. The series really made me wish I knew how to get into showbusiness. Now that the streaming giants are clobbering it out and pumping money into every idiotic project that comes their way, I think I could earn a nice bit of cash with all my crazy ideas for shows. I could definitely produce a better story than what we see here and that's truly a shame. The cast is overall enjoyable, there aren't that many duds in there (although the guy playing Lynden the Gaul is definitely the Kit Harrington of this ensemble) and the setting is pretty well realised. 

It truly feels like a wasted opportunity in all honesty. The story they tease in the first episode, namely a rather 'straight' adaptation of the Roman invasion of the British Isles, leading to an epic conflict between belief systems was so much more interesting than the muddled mess of 'boring magic party one with proxies' vs. 'boring magic party two with proxies.' When will the writers of all these historical shows understand that we are not fucking interested in another fantasy show.

First Vikings succumbed to this and now you have shows like Knightfall and Britannia just failing to comprehend that we would really just love another good period drama. Did they not learn anything from series like Rome, Spartacus and Black Sails (note, when I say period drama I don't necessarily mean a 100% accurate historical study)?  And even worse, the fantasy they deliver isn't even engaging. It's okay to tease magic, in a sense that your characters believe that it's real, but please don't include actual magic. It's such a cop-out.  

I don't know if I'll watch another season of this. A lot of the more promising characters probably won't return and their absence will be sorely missed. In fact, I don't think I would have finished this first season if I had to wait for the episodes to appear on a weekly basis. It was a way to piss away some time that would have been much better spent on something productive, but apparantly I'm an idiot. 

EDIT: Another thing that greatly bothered me was the dialogue. It was truly dreadful. As someone who swears like a sailor, I was pretty offended by this show's weak attempts to include a fuck or a shit in what seemed like every single line of dialogue. The random switching in language (like when they started to speak modern French) were just really annoying. 

 

Some spoilery comments:

  Reveal hidden contents

I really like Kelly Reilly. She's a talented actress and hot to boot. The way her character was weirdly sidelined for so much of the second half of the season was a baffling choice. Especially since they then choose to kill her off. What was the point of her character? It feels like this show's weak attempt to have their own Ned Stark moment really. If that was indeed their intent, they failed miserably. 

Lynden the Gaul has the charisma of a wet rag. He was like a black vortex of chemistry, sucking in everything that was charismatic about other characters.

Queen Amortina/Amidale/... (or whatever her name was) was almost as bad. Almost comically bad that actress.

If I'm ever drafted into a war, I would hope that I have opponents like this. All the characters were suicidal to such an extent that it beggers belief. 

 

 

Since I live over here there's no opportunity for me to have seen this, but I religiously read all the articles before and during this show and feel I received a fairly decent idea of what it was (particularly after so many others, including films such King Arthur).  And now your assessment.

Why o why o why can't these people get it -- including not needing every single historical detail exactly right, but the historical feel (including dialog and character) of plot and the action must be?

I am still loving -- in fact, even more, now into season 2 of Resurrection: Ertugrul how exactly right that it is (though their attention to historical detail in every aspect is astounding -- I look up everything as best I can after binge watching another cluster of episodes.  Sometimes weeks have to go by before I get back to it, but it's so exciting to have this always there, a treasure chest of my various favorite watching points, which, at the top is historical period action adventure -- and by golly, the 13th century!

P.S. From the trailers and so on, one felt these people took all the wrong lessons from Vikings, particularly the religious and so-called 'magic' expressions.  At first Vikings did this so well, and we loved it, and then it -- devolved. 

Worst of all, it seems these idiots are taking their formula from Got -- which is a very, very, very bad formula.  Shyte, I quit watching GOT years ago already it was so bad.

Edited by Zorral

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I watched Narcos S1 and enjoyed it but didn’t love it.  It was feeling very dragged out toward the end.  For such an eventful story — drug trafficking, terrorism & political assassination, special police units, DEA and CIA on foreign soil, communist insurgents, cartel alliances and enmities — the last few eps spent far too much time with Pablo glowering and growling, Gavrilia fending off various plaintive cravens, and Pena and Carrillo asking everyone how far they’re willing to go.  I understand the director is trying to tell the story through a handful of main characters but it got bogged down through repetition.  The spiral of outrage in reality was muted by repeating scenes of debate over negotiation and extradition.  Plus I got really concerned when I noticed there are three seasons already; I don’t want the show runner to keep milking it and drawing it out. 

Can anyone reassure me that they rediscover some momentum and narrative impetus?  And do a little more show than tell?

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49 minutes ago, RedEyedGhost said:

It's on Amazon Prime.

But I don't do that, any more than I do fb and twit!

All my lov$$$$$ goes to netflixen!

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2 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I watched Narcos S1 and enjoyed it but didn’t love it.  It was feeling very dragged out toward the end.  For such an eventful story — drug trafficking, terrorism & political assassination, special police units, DEA and CIA on foreign soil, communist insurgents, cartel alliances and enmities — the last few eps spent far too much time with Pablo glowering and growling, Gavrilia fending off various plaintive cravens, and Pena and Carrillo asking everyone how far they’re willing to go.  I understand the director is trying to tell the story through a handful of main characters but it got bogged down through repetition.  The spiral of outrage in reality was muted by repeating scenes of debate over negotiation and extradition.  Plus I got really concerned when I noticed there are three seasons already; I don’t want the show runner to keep milking it and drawing it out. 

Can anyone reassure me that they rediscover some momentum and narrative impetus?  And do a little more show than tell?

Check out yourself with the minimal assistance of the goolgel the MANY reviews and praises and analyses and criticisms etc. from all the media that bother with this kind of media, OK?  Don't ask me to do it FOR YOU , OK?

Edited by Zorral

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Ok, the cameo was perfectly decided but Shammy indulged too much and spoiled the fun.

Meanwhile, @Tywin et al. have you seen this lobotomy of a picture? It's fascinating in a way. Like watching an old timey movie where the racism is a little too real.

I'm not one to speak about inaccurate depictions of X condition or syndrome Z in media. I mean, I really don't give a shit if you want to suggest that its ok to give in to the crazy to unlock the genius like in 'A Beautiful Mind' but Shamilan has crossed some kind of line in glorifying in DID and I'm not sure if I enjoy McAvoy indulging the man's neuroses.

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7 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

JACE GRUMPY!

SILLY SHAYAMILAYN SHENANIGANS from CameRAH! MAKE JACE FEEL FUNNY IN high brain while watching 'SPLIT!'

Careful. I've been hearing tales of people getting pistol whipped around these parts for that sort of language.

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12 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I watched Narcos S1 and enjoyed it but didn’t love it.  It was feeling very dragged out toward the end.  For such an eventful story — drug trafficking, terrorism & political assassination, special police units, DEA and CIA on foreign soil, communist insurgents, cartel alliances and enmities — the last few eps spent far too much time with Pablo glowering and growling, Gavrilia fending off various plaintive cravens, and Pena and Carrillo asking everyone how far they’re willing to go.  I understand the director is trying to tell the story through a handful of main characters but it got bogged down through repetition.  The spiral of outrage in reality was muted by repeating scenes of debate over negotiation and extradition.  Plus I got really concerned when I noticed there are three seasons already; I don’t want the show runner to keep milking it and drawing it out. 

Can anyone reassure me that they rediscover some momentum and narrative impetus?  And do a little more show than tell?

I'll just say this, knowing real life history, not all three seasons are about Escobar. I thought season 2 and 3 were great but then again, I really liked season 1 too.

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We were stuck in the house all day Sunday, so we binged Britannia ...I thought it was heartbreakingly blah.... I think they started out intending to make a historical fiction show --kind of like The Last kingdom-- and somewhere along the line the writers realized that they didn;t really have the proper background to pull that iff, so they threw in some magic and comedy towards the end... granted, episode 7 was really funny.... but it seems like --at times-- the writers were making fun of their own show.... and while I'm all for self-aware comedy, thats not what this show was supposed to be. 

We also watched Mosaic this week... if anyone is curious about it, I recommend waiting to see if there is a second season... its not worth the investment if they leave it where it ended... Sharon Stone was excellent as the emotionally damaged, aging writer... and Paul Ruebens  was likewise fantastic... if I had to grade this one, I'd give it an "incomplete"

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11 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

JACE GRUMPY!

SILLY SHAYAMILAYN SHENANIGANS from CameRAH! MAKE JACE FEEL FUNNY IN high brain while watching 'SPLIT!'

 

10 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

Ok, the cameo was perfectly decided but Shammy indulged too much and spoiled the fun.

Meanwhile, @Tywin et al. have you seen this lobotomy of a picture? It's fascinating in a way. Like watching an old timey movie where the racism is a little too real.

I'm not one to speak about inaccurate depictions of X condition or syndrome Z in media. I mean, I really don't give a shit if you want to suggest that its ok to give in to the crazy to unlock the genius like in 'A Beautiful Mind' but Shamilan has crossed some kind of line in glorifying in DID and I'm not sure if I enjoy McAvoy indulging the man's neuroses.

The Jace needs to take her chill pills. Yes I have seen the movie and I think it’s overrated.

Meanwhile, I watched a ton of shark movies this weekend. I saw Jaws 1 & 2, Deep Blue Sea, The Shallows and 47 Meters Down.

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Watched Kingsman: The golden circle last night.

I enjoyed it, just not as much as the first Kingsman movie.  Which I knew going in.  The first movie took me by suprise and I knew the second wouldn't be able to do the same thing.  I didn't think the villain, while fun, lived up to Samuel L. Jackson.  Also:

Spoiler

I hate the switcheroo they did with Channing Tatum.  The trailers made it seem like he would be a large part of the movie and all he basically did was have one fight.  Reminded me to much of the fake out the did with Executive Decision back int he day.  Stephen Seagal and Kirk Douglas were in all of the trailers and Seagal died within the first 10 minutes.  Such BS.

Spoiler

 

 

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I've been watching some of the new premiers. The Chi, Counterpart and The Alienist are all early in their seasons, but I've enjoyed all three so far. The Chi is the furthest along with four episodes now. The second episode of Counterpart was excellent. The Alienist only one episode, but I enjoyed the novel the series was adapted from so I'll keep watching.

I also watched the first season of El Hipnotizador from HBO Latin America about a hypnotist in a fictional 1930s-40s Latin American city who has been cursed with insomnia by his arch nemesis. From what I gather, there is the major arc to confront his arch enemy and remove the curse and the episodic arch of curing characters through hypnosis. It's a bit surreal and beautifully filmed. Reminds me slightly of The Illusionist or The Prestige.

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8 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Careful. I've been hearing tales of people getting pistol whipped around these parts for that sort of language.

 

4 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

 

The Jace needs to take her chill pills. Yes I have seen the movie and I think it’s overrated.

Meanwhile, I watched a ton of shark movies this weekend. I saw Jaws 1 & 2, Deep Blue Sea, The Shallows and 47 Meters Down.

GAARRRRAAARRRRR!!!!!!

Shark movies is fun. How was that 47 meters movie? I saw a commercial for that once.

As for 'Split', Chryst was that shit overrated. I saw a hundred people on this board say that it was a bit off but redeemed by the introduction of the larger world. This movie was just a nightmare of weird and there are some really unsettling ideas tossed around in a way that I found irresponsible in the extreme.

And at the end of the day, it was whatever. I'd give it a 4.5 on a scale adjusted to reflect the dreck we are forced to swallow these days, so just below average.

And that's all it is. A just below average film with some really confused ideas that maybe should have been thought through before Shamii vomited this mess onto a screen.

I wish the dude would start a cinematography school or something, he could teach people how to set up interesting shots. But I'm starting to wonder if we need to weld iron mittens onto his hands to keep him from ever putting pen to paper again.

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I’m watching The End of the Fucking World on Netflix and it’s awesome. 

Also finally started watching the latest season of Vikings. First two episodes down, it’s quite boring and profoundly nonsensical and ridiculous. 

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11 minutes ago, RhaenysB said:

I’m watching The End of the Fucking World on Netflix and it’s awesome. 

I watched the first episode and found it weird and quirky in a really good way.  I plan to watch more.

On the very same evening, I also tried the first episode of Can't Cope, Won't Cope.   I guess I was in a mood that evening to experiment with oddball coming-of-age comedies.  This one was less quirky and less novel but got some bonus points for capturing Irish culture.

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2 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

 

GAARRRRAAARRRRR!!!!!!

Shark movies is fun. How was that 47 meters movie? I saw a commercial for that once.

It was pretty good as far as shark movies go. One thing that it has going for it is it's a unique take on the genre. It's free on Netflix so I'd say give it a shot. 

Quote

As for 'Split', Chryst was that shit overrated. I saw a hundred people on this board say that it was a bit off but redeemed by the introduction of the larger world. This movie was just a nightmare of weird and there are some really unsettling ideas tossed around in a way that I found irresponsible in the extreme.

And at the end of the day, it was whatever. I'd give it a 4.5 on a scale adjusted to reflect the dreck we are forced to swallow these days, so just below average.

And that's all it is. A just below average film with some really confused ideas that maybe should have been thought through before Shamii vomited this mess onto a screen.

I wish the dude would start a cinematography school or something, he could teach people how to set up interesting shots. But I'm starting to wonder if we need to weld iron mittens onto his hands to keep him from ever putting pen to paper again.

:thumbsup:

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