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Isis

Troy on BBC/Netflix

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As this show is going to be available in the US soon I think it's possible that more people might want to discuss it. (I did a search and couldn't see a dedicated thread but do correct me if I'm wrong on that)

I'll try to avoid any direct spoilers but I wanted to say some things about it generally.

I have found the show quite heavy-going at times. I guess in this age of TV shows with ads we are used to 40 minute episodes and when episodes are longer it can feel 'too long'. Or maybe that depends entirely on the quality of the show. But it feels like it drags at times.

In the UK I think the penultimate episode has aired (I have it recorded and will watch it shortly) and I've just been reading some tweets about the show. As could have been predicted some idiots are annoyed that 'Achilles is gay', even though that's in the text. People are also complaining that 'Achilles wasn't black', saying it's 'messing with history', even though it's a work of fiction. Of all the things to moan about, surely these are the most pathetic.

I think my biggest issue with the show is that it lacks standout performances. Achilles is probably the closest thing because his character is quite striking and extreme. But nobody else really goes far enough to make an impression on me. It's a big cast I guess, so maybe that's part of it.

The way the gods and goddesses are portrayed is refreshing - quite 'gritty' I suppose, rather than them floating around on clouds or wearing lots of silks and chiffons.

Still waiting for the big horse to show up...

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It will appear -- after all the title is Troy:  Fall of a City.

I just read the recap / review of this latest episode in the UK Guardian.  The writer and many of the commentators agreed this one was the most satisfactory of all the episodes so far.

Yah, the series shows up here on netflix on Friday.

 

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This show is oh so very bad. Which is a shame because I live in eternal hope of a decent adaptation of the story.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Spockydog said:

This show is oh so very bad. Which is a shame because I live in eternal hope of a decent adaptation of the story.

 

 

Well it has been only 3000+ years. I imagine at some point some one will do a decent adaptation. Without spoilers of course. Think of those 3000+ years from now.

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41 minutes ago, maarsen said:

Well it has been only 3000+ years. I imagine at some point some one will do a decent adaptation. Without spoilers of course. Think of those 3000+ years from now.

Harsh on Sophocles and Euripides. I thought their attempts were pretty good.

 

Unfortunately I must agree with Spockydog that it was poor. I wonder if they would have had more luck if they actually adapted the Iliad rather than tried to do the entire Trojan War - with its vast scope, numerous contradictory versions and no single source covering the whole thing.

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Yes. I get a little confused on the timeline and feel like I need to re-read The Iliad (which I read nearly 20 years ago). I know where the book ends...I feel a little rusty as to where it starts, but I seem to recall that it's toward the end of the action. I am going to blow the dust off my copy tomorrow though.

I know at least that in this show they didn't bother with the stuff with Achilles' armour (re the battle between Hector & Patroclus/Hector & Achilles), which is fine, I guess - it simplifies things.

I don't know. I guess I'm left with the same feeling at the conclusion - that as much as the Greeks are smart and cunning, they should have just not bothered with the whole bullshit 10 year war to get back a piece of property. Urgh. So many people suffered just because some men are dicks. You can't change 'history' I guess.

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I feel the complaints about race and sexual orientation are things that would have been mentioned less if the show was better. I've read articles where people involved in the show are hiding behind genuine criticism using the race of characters as a shield. It's disappointing how these changes tend to occur with shows that just aren't so good. 

So far I like how Achilles is portrayed as a powerful, dangerous thug. That's what was heroic back then.

Still disappointed with Hector but he is at least having more to do.

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Like most wars, at least back in the day, this one was about domination of trade routes, taxes and customs.  The Trojans controlled the choke point and the Mycanaeans wanted it.  Helen / wife, if she existed, was the pretext for the aggression -- and the gods and fate, of course.  Jason and the Argonauts were kind of a first act for getting that route connecting the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

https://repository.ihu.edu.gr/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11544/718/Maria Andreadou_50252.pdf?sequence=2

 

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Finished episode 6. Was a little bit WTF with how Paris seemed to have thrown himself into the arms of the Amazons. I realise it's budget saving but they robbed us of some good battles. That said I liked how they shot the battle between Patroclus and Hector. Although I'd say a lot of the episode was rushed I thought they had managed to get Hector into the place I'd wanted him which is the doomed hero. The most noble character of the bunch (arguably the only one besides Patroclus, who he killed) and I'm glad they didn't shy away from how he loses everything. Although I agree the guy playing Hector while decent didn't stand up so well in terms of presence as the actor playing Achilles. But it's hard to say whether it's the writing/directing or the actor in terms of Hector often seeming a little lost. I prefer him as the leader, dealing with a shit situation but doing his best. It may be the show wanted the character to seem out of his depth but it could also have been the performance.

I think they've also done a good job with Achilles in the sense he is pretty damn selfish and almost evil in places but there's no denying his ego and power - much more a force of nature than good/evil which is what makes him compelling even when he's being so cruel with Hector and his body.

I still don't like Paris but at least by now the show has given us plenty of reasons to dislike him so in that sense he works. And at least he knows he's a coward and brought all this on himself.

The show has a lot of flaws and it probably shouldn't have taken so long to have some strong moments but I still feel it's a better outing than I've seen so far in terms of TV and film. Although there's a surprising lack of adaptations to be honest. I'm sure they'll get there eventually with a strong version

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Ok. I've finished watching the show. To be honest the final ep was a gigantic anticlimax. I honestly think the film did a better job of bringing the various archetypal characters to life. I had a problem with the storytelling and I struggled sometimes to know/care who was being spoken about, especially with the 'Helen is betraying Troy' plotline. The level of performance in the majority of cases was lacking. I'm struggling to think of any elements which I could say I thought were done well. I just think it's a real shame that this is the best they could do. Seems like a lot of money down the drain. :(

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I just finished this last night, and I agree the resolution... is lacking. It just kind of stops, like, is there going to be a season 2- the Odyssey? Is it might to present the nihilistic, crapsack world ending? It's kind of, "the end- no moral! Go home! The bar is closed!"

I agree that the Troy movie from 2004 had more memorable performances (poor script, tho), even if I liked how this show gave some insight into Agamemnon and Menelaus- while in the Troy movie just made them straight-up villains. I did feel like the show was well-served by its budget. 

I would recommend that any fan of the Iliad give it a watch, just to form their own opinion. 

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This was like watching Scott Baio play King Lear... it should have been titled, Troy: The Fall of Netflix Standards

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Only 2 episodes in so far. It's not very good, it's sooo small scale compared to what it should be. The acting is so so. Initially I liked that they were trying to be more faithful to Homer's writings by bringing the gods in, but now I wish they had stuck with the realism, instead. The're just thrown in there so weirdly.

On 4/2/2018 at 2:22 PM, Zorral said:

Like most wars, at least back in the day, this one was about domination of trade routes, taxes and customs.  The Trojans controlled the choke point and the Mycanaeans wanted it.  Helen / wife, if she existed, was the pretext for the aggression -- and the gods and fate, of course.  Jason and the Argonauts were kind of a first act for getting that route connecting the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

https://repository.ihu.edu.gr/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11544/718/Maria Andreadou_50252.pdf?sequence=2

 

I have to wonder (and I didn't have time to read that thesis), but maybe this particular war had plenty to do with revenge, too, not just land and trade routes. And while nobody believes in the mythological aspects of the Iliads and the Odyssey, these writings were inspired by some historical events. And from that perspective, the gist of Homer's stories is this: Greeks use the "kidnapping" of Helen as a pretext to go to war with the Trojans, they spend 10 years besieging the city, they eventually win, and loot and destroy the city, then they go home, with various degrees of success on that latter part. So if it's about controlling trade routes, and possessing land, how come no one stayed? Especially with the 10 year siege, you would think the Greeks developed the area to allow them to control the straights.

And this brings me back to the show, and other previous incarnations of the story.

Where the hell are the ports? Greeks invade, sure they land on a beach, but Troy is land inwards some miles, so they should have a port somewhere, no? But even when Paris returns from Sparta, his ship just lands straight on the beach.

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On 13/04/2018 at 10:51 PM, Martini Sigil said:

I'm on ep 5... this show is pretty good if you are simultaneously doing your taxes... 

I have to admit - I'm usually trying book flights and chores while watching most of the time.

12 hours ago, Isis said:

Ok. I've finished watching the show. To be honest the final ep was a gigantic anticlimax.  I just think it's a real shame that this is the best they could do. Seems like a lot of money down the drain. :(

Sounding like there's a consensus the ending is bad. Maybe I should just leave it with the end of episode 6 which I enjoyed? It's not like I don't know how it's supposed to pan out.

8 hours ago, Liver and Onions said:

I just finished this last night, and I agree the resolution... is lacking. It just kind of stops, like, is there going to be a season 2- the Odyssey?

I always feel like the Odyssey is better suited to Film/TV - especially given the love of Fantasy/adventure at the moment. It's a lot more in vein with greek myth than the Iliad which on the whole is about the end of the heroic age. It just seems an easier adaptation and besides a decade here or there of them sitting on an island it's generally got the forward momentum of them trying to get home. The Iliad is about a lot of sitting, waiting and sulking with intense action/battles to break things up - probably refelective of ancient siege warfare.

I also feel bad for the actors who get to play Oddyseus in Troy adaptations in the sense they must be hoping there's an outside chance they can play the lead in the spin-off sequel. Sean Bean would have been great and the guy in the BBC one could certainly helm a TV show (he's a good actor but seems stuck in strong B level support character in most roles lately).

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One of my key thoughts while watching the final episode was: please don't make The Odyssey, please don't make The Odyssey.

Yeah, I mean The Odyssey is much more 'adventurey' than The Iliad. However, the book manages to cope with telling a story about a 10 year siege by starting the story near the end of the siege. It's (maybe too obvious) straightforward enough to do with flashbacks. The book ends with Hector's funeral. And it's pretty significant in the book...in this adaptation it was a bit meh. 

The other thing is to adapt The Aeneid...but they didn't leave any hints for that either. Odysseus has a GREAT story and I'd love to see it done justice. Just not by these people. :)

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I still have an episode to go before finishing -- still traveling, which means little to no viewing time, or for anything else either, other than what I'm here for.

However, no,  not the Odyssey, but I would really love a follow-up season that deals with Cassandra, Clytemnestra, Electra and Agammemnon's execution, and particularly what happens back home in Sparta when Menelaus takes Helen back.

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Damn, I was looking forward to watching this series once I resub to Netflix. Not so much anymore.

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6 hours ago, Isis said:

The other thing is to adapt The Aeneid...but they didn't leave any hints for that either. Odysseus has a GREAT story and I'd love to see it done justice. Just not by these people. :)

It was odd how they had Aeneas in it but didn't do much with him. Thought there'd at least be a nod and a wink.

It's almost like they thought they only had the rights to the Iliad and not the Odyssey or Aeneid :)

Still, you'd think we'd get one of those for every adaptation of Troy.

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4 hours ago, Astromech said:

Damn, I was looking forward to watching this series once I resub to Netflix. Not so much anymore.

Well, I've liked this series very much.  It isn't the Iliad, by the way, though it takes material - inspiration from it as well as other sources.

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