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Werthead

Love, Death & Robots: major SF authors in a new anthology Netflix series

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Earlier the question of consensus had come up for episodes that were least and most liked, and I noticed today that IMDB's ratings -- generally in the 6000-11000 total ratings per episode range -- also seemed to line up pretty well with the polls I've seen, especially in terms of least liked episodes. The episodes with the lowest results were "Sucker of Souls" (6.5), "Fish Night" (6.4), "Blindspot" (6.4), "Alternate Histories" (6.4), and "The Dump" (6.3).

Highest rated are "Sonnie's Edge" (8.3), "Three Robots" (8.1), "Beyond the Aquila Rift" (8.6), "Good Hunting" (8.1),  "Zima Blue" (8.3), and "The Secret War" (8.2) ("The Witness" is seventh at 7.8).

 

Total votes is an interesting one as well -- as is typical, they mostly fall for each successive episode (despite the multiple orders things, the vast majority got one order), but there are a couple of outliers -- the highest-rated episode, "Beyond the Aquila Rift", #7 in the normal order, has nearly 2k more votes than the episodes at either side and has the third highest vote share, and the same for the #2 episode "Zima Blue", which was 14th in normal order but had the 7th highest vote shore.  Fewest total votes belongs to "Blindspot".

 

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Not sure a gender switched Witness would be better.  It would have male nudity - less problematic. But also have a man killing a woman as the climax - more problematic.  And it seemed like the trope of a woman fleeing a violent man was part of the effect, with the twist that it’s some kind of nightmarish cycle. You switch it and the twist is more like “don’t worry it also happens the way you’re used to, where the guy kills the girl.”

On the best episodes - I quite liked Fish Night, I thought it was kind of deep, pun intended.  Aquila Rift, I thought was rubbish, with the story direction and the twist pretty obvious.  Secret War also seemed very basic, not sure why that’s rating highly, just seemed to be some guys shooting monsters (a common theme in all the eps), maybe I missed something.  I did like Sonnie’s Edge, some cool stuff, nice character interactions and a decent twist.

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18 hours ago, john said:

Not sure a gender switched Witness would be better.  It would have male nudity - less problematic. But also have a man killing a woman as the climax - more problematic.  And it seemed like the trope of a woman fleeing a violent man was part of the effect, with the twist that it’s some kind of nightmarish cycle. You switch it and the twist is more like “don’t worry it also happens the way you’re used to, where the guy kills the girl.”

Again, the nudity wasnt the problem. It was the way the show focused on the nudity that was a problem. 

It is fair to say that making the man kill the woman at the end may be bad. I hadn't thought about that, and it's a good point. I suspect that it wouldn't be as bad given that she's chasing him and stalking him after he witnesses the murder, but it is an issue. 

That said, I think it would be really interesting for the gaze to be switched. Stare at the man's body, make him dance erotically for someone else, linger longingly on his ass and cock for a while. I suspect that this would very quickly become uncomfortable for people in a way that makes a point. Especially if the person making him dance is a man. As I've said elsewhere I think a lot of homophobia for men stems from the fear of being treated by men like they treat women. 

Edited by Kalbear
now that's a freudian slip

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Highest rated are "Sonnie's Edge" (8.3), "Three Robots" (8.1), "Beyond the Aquila Rift" (8.6), "Good Hunting" (8.1),  "Zima Blue" (8.3), and "The Secret War" (8.2) ("The Witness" is seventh at 7.8).

Sonnie's EdgeThree Robots and Aquila Rift are, I believe, the three episodes they offered for review before release, and are the episodes that seem to have come up as the first three for a lot of people (in variations of the order), regardless of the "normal" order. As with a lot of Netflix shows, there's a lot of people who start watching and then drop off partway through, so it makes sense those are the three highest rated stories. The Witness usually comes up in the first ten, so that explains why it's also relatively high whilst something like Secret Histories (which normally seems to fall last, or near the end) gets a lower marking because a lot more people have checked out by then.

Quote

 

I did like Sonnie’s Edge, some cool stuff, nice character interactions and a decent twist.

 

Sonnie's Edge seems to have had a very positive reception, and I think that PFH has used that to make a case for a full adaptation of the full Night's Dawn Trilogy, which would be longer and more expensive (and would also need someone like HBO behind it, but Netflix could probably make a reasonable fist of it).

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11 hours ago, john said:

Not sure a gender switched Witness would be better.

Agreed. Seems to me that if it's almost perfect one way, it's also almost perfect the other way, which I'm fine with. Though I come at this from the perspective that gendered "gaze" is absolutely normal and that individual works of art are not in and of themselves problematic in relation to a wider social issue. If society at large has a general issue with these things, fair enough, but this is a wider problem than any one work.

 

 

Edited by Ran

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12 hours ago, Kalbear said:

That said, I think it would be really interesting for the gaze to be switched. Stare at the man's body, make him dance erotically for someone else, linger longingly on his ass and cock for a while. I suspect that this would very quickly become uncomfortable for people in a way that makes a point. Especially if the person making him dance is a man. As I've said elsewhere I think a lot of homophobia for me stems from the fear of being treated by men like they treat women. 

Ok yes, that would be interesting.

2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Sonnie's Edge seems to have had a very positive reception, and I think that PFH has used that to make a case for a full adaptation of the full Night's Dawn Trilogy, which would be longer and more expensive (and would also need someone like HBO behind it, but Netflix could probably make a reasonable fist of it).

I’d watch.  I’m also planning to pick up some of Hamilton’s books sometime, which I didn’t have much interest in before. So it could have worked out very nicely in terms of exposure.

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I agree with john on Aquila rift in that it all seemed so very obvious. Sonnies edge covered very similar things but did manage to surprise me. I guess if people didn't see the twist throughout it may have worked better. Just felt like softcore porn with some spiders thrown in as a video game cut scene.

 

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3 hours ago, john said:

Ok yes, that would be interesting.

I’d watch.  I’m also planning to pick up some of Hamilton’s books sometime, which I didn’t have much interest in before. So it could have worked out very nicely in terms of exposure.

A Second Chance at Eden is the short story collection that starts with Sonnie's Edge, as it's the earliest story in the Night's Dawn timeline, as it takes place in 2070, whilst The Reality Dysfunction (the first novel in the trilogy) takes place in 2610. The short stories then fill in the gap in the timeline.

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I don't disagree with you guys saying that Aquila Rift was predictable, per se.  I thought it was still really compelling because of overall execution:  like watching a Mass Effect or KOTOR scene taken way next level in appearance.  And while the overall story might have been predictable I still think the coup de grace had a lot of shock value in the how even if we already suspected the what and never fully got the why.  

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I also agree that Aquila Rift was predictable. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it however.

It occurred to me whilst watching it that I could maybe count every lazy sci if cliche in terms of design and turn it into a drinking game. 

- Star gates: drink

- Space truckers out for profit: drink

- Sleep modules: drink

- Halo style space suits : drink

Id be wasted even after a short episode 

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It wasn't a bad episode in the show but was in the mid range acceptable level for me and simply didn't blow me away. I need to do a list.

58 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I also agree that Aquila Rift was predictable. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it however.

It occurred to me whilst watching it that I could maybe count every lazy sci if cliche in terms of design and turn it into a drinking game. 

- Star gates: drink

- Space truckers out for profit: drink

- Sleep modules: drink

- Halo style space suits : drink

Id be wasted even after a short episode 

We have to be thankful it was only 15 minutes and not 40- movie length :)

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19 hours ago, red snow said:

It wasn't a bad episode in the show but was in the mid range acceptable level for me and simply didn't blow me away. I need to do a list.

We have to be thankful it was only 15 minutes and not 40- movie length :)

Thankful why?

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5 hours ago, Triskele said:

Thankful why?

Based on heartofice's drinking game there'd be some headaches with a longer run-time :)

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And now Alberto Mielgo has a deal to write and direct an original animated feature film. The name Vince Gerardis leaps out, as he was GRRM's entertainment manager for the Game of Thrones deal who set up the meet with D&D. 

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

And now Alberto Mielgo has a deal to write and direct an original animated feature film. The name Vince Gerardis leaps out, as he was GRRM's entertainment manager for the Game of Thrones deal who set up the meet with D&D. 

That's going to be interesting. Be good to see his work on the big screen but i imagine Netflix will be happy to buy it afterwards.

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I re-watched a few of my favorites from this.  

I thought that Sonnie's Edge was as good as I'd understood before.  I do have a question and forget if this has come up:

The two entourage-type people on Sonnie's side:  Do they know the deal all along?  Doesn't seem clear at all or addressed to me.  Maybe not considered relevant.  

Akila Rift:  somewhat surprised this doesn't get talk for male-gaze stuff more than it does.  To be clear, realize it's not in the exact same situation as The Witness.  Still really like this one overall though.

USSR Red Army v. Demons - I remembered liking this one more but was a little more meh on it on the re-watch.  Hated the ritual scene a bit more on the re-watch but did also still love the final scene.  

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1 hour ago, Triskele said:

 

Akita Rift:  somewhat surprised this doesn't get talk for male-gaze stuff more than it does.  

I mean it’s about a guy who gets seduced by a life sucking void alien who transplants a fantasy of his sexy ex into his brain to make him happy.. what’s the issue here?

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On 8/1/2019 at 7:00 AM, Triskele said:

I re-watched a few of my favorites from this.  

I thought that Sonnie's Edge was as good as I'd understood before.  I do have a question and forget if this has come up:

The two entourage-type people on Sonnie's side:  Do they know the deal all along?  Doesn't seem clear at all or addressed to me.  Maybe not considered relevant.  

In the original short story they do - they're the ones who found her after the attack and set her up that way.

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7 hours ago, Denvek said:

In the original short story they do - they're the ones who found her after the attack and set her up that way.

Yeah, I believe they're affinity engineers who implanted the affinity gene in her and arranged the body transfer.

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Just going off memory - don't they get uneasy at the start when the guy is trying to talk her into throwing the match? Because they know she can't do that.

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