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Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN adaptation for Netflix


Werthead
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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Ah, right. So they released another video of that scene as well?

I haven't seen that, is there a link?

Not that I’m aware of. I think he was hoping her demeanor in that scene didn’t indicate that they’d do away with the playful attitude she displayed earlier in that issue and in other parts of the series. Though I don’t know why he’d be concerned. One of my favorite things about Death is that, while she’s as dutiful as Dream, she doesn’t allow it to consume her. She knows how to live a little. 

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Ah, right. So they released another video of that scene as well?

I haven't seen that, is there a link?

You are misreading what I wrote:

A ) I noted that the scene lacks the emotionality that Gaiman expressed in his tweet but that's because the scene has to be contextualized with the opening of the issue where there's a long conversation with Dream and Death, and while I assume Gaiman has seen it adapted, we have not. So more a "reserving judgment" comment than a critique.

B )  And then I just wondered whether the show is going to tonally change Death's character, again citing the opening of the issue, but (in a follow-up post) noting that the adapted scene itself is funnier and earthier in the comic than what we got on the screen. and her humor there has been removed. More a question mark of concern than anything.

 

Edited by Ran
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  • 2 weeks later...

Four episodes in and I think they pretty much nailed it. The changes are mostly logical, although I was worried. Having The Corinthian around as a villain in almost every episode feels like an error like over-exposing Vicious in Cowboy Bebop, but here it works because they organically intertwine the Corinthian with other characters and even helps explain a few incongruities from the original comics (humans trying to imprison the Endless with basic magic must have happened before and they were able to overcome it, but the Corinthian's insider info gives Burgess an edge). It also helps that Boyd Holbrook is cast to perfection as the Corinthian, whilst that other guy as Vicious was horribly miscast.

The trip to Hell was the comic come to life, Johanna Constantine works fine as a replacement for Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Series John (thanks to legal issues with The CW's use of the character), and David Thewliss's calm performance as John Dee is far more terrifying than either the comic book version or the Corinthian.

If I did have one complaint it's that Patton Oswalt's voice as Matthew is a bit too distracting, even if you didn't recognise him. It feels like the only bit of high-profile casting that feels incongruous.

The next episode (105) is 24/7, which a couple of reviews have already called the best hour of television this year, which seems like high praise, and then 106 is The Sound of Her Wings.

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I'm going to start watching the show this weekend with a friend. I'm rereading the comics and they remain wonderful the second time through.

Werthead, your review has really elevated my excitement. Now my worry is that I will enjoy this show and Netflix will cancel it within the first two seasons.

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I've waited more than 25 years to see 24 HoursThe Sound of Her Wings and Men of Good Fortune on the screen, and they nailed every single one of them. We're not getting Three Septembers and a January this season, as I think that'll be the next big test for them.

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Just finished 24 Hours. I haven't watched much tv this year so I can't say it's the best episode of it, I would say it's not quite up to the level of like all-timer episodes- but that it's being thought about that way says something. I do think it's a substantial improvement on the book, which was great for what it was but was as much shock value and horror as anything. The episode gave it much more actual emotional weight. 

Beyond that yeah, it's just a really bang-on adaptation, with the agreement that Matthew is the only slight misstep so far- though honestly it's not even so much it being Patton Oswalt as I'm not sure he should have been on the trip to Hell at all, I don't think he added anything. The rest of that episode nailed it though. 

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29 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

It has been removed from the DC comics universe… hasn’t it?

The TV show does not share continuity with any other DC TV show, no. But ironically that's because those shows - Constantine (and his subsequent appearances in the Arrowverse shows) and Lucifer most notably - were never very true to their DC comics original versions. I wouldn't want Sandman to share continuity with the CW Arrowverse or the Tom Ellis Lucifer anyway.

Sandman was also only very nominally part of the DC Comics Universe in the first place. A few DC characters had one-shot guest roles or cameos (or in the case of Batman and Superman, one-panel cameos) and that was really it.

Edited by Werthead
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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Martian Manhunter and Scott Free had non insignificant cameos in “Preludes and Nocturns”.

Yeah, but they're not integral to the plot. The TV show already blasted past those sections and had zero problems not using the characters and not using Arkham Asylum (and not using John Dee's DC nickname, Dr. Destiny).

Gaiman's also been upfront that he used Arkham, Martian Manhunter, Scott, John Constantine and the other brief DC crossovers (like the OG Sandman) to sell more comics and get Sandman more established, and none of them are integral to Sandman's own storyline.

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Very good first episode, did a great job hooking me in and I immediately jumped into the second but had to shut it off midway through because I was running late. Everything looks incredible so far and can't wait to see where it goes.

Have not read the comics, fwiw

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29 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Yeah, but they're not integral to the plot. The TV show already blasted past those sections and had zero problems not using the characters and not using Arkham Asylum (and not using John Dee's DC nickname, Dr. Destiny).

Gaiman's also been upfront that he used Arkham, Martian Manhunter, Scott, John Constantine and the other brief DC crossovers (like the OG Sandman) to sell more comics and get Sandman more established, and none of them are integral to Sandman's own storyline.

I know.  And they’ve done a very nice job papering over or even improving the P&N story.  I greatly prefer this John Dee.

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4 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Martian Manhunter and Scott Free had non insignificant cameos in “Preludes and Nocturns”.

As someone who knew very, very little of DC's comic universe when I originally read Sandman, I would say their "inclusion" was very much insignificant. They are little more than minor cameos.

EDIT: Two episodes in and I'm really liking the visuals and much of the casting. Still kinda wish Dream was more of a gothy albino, but eh whatevs. Them's nerd complaints. I also don't mind the Corinthian being more connected to these early events and Boyd Holbrook is fucking perfect. Also, the way it handled the Kindly Ones was fantastic. Pretty much how I hoped it would.

So far, it's surpassed my expectations and I sincerely hope it doesn't shit the bed at the end of this season like so many other shows.

Edited by Durckad
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I watched the first three episodes and thought they were good. My only concern is each episode is an issue and there are apparently 75 issues, has netflix ever let a show run seven seasons? I suspect this needs to be Stranger Things popular to have a chance of finishing.

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I’ve seen the first episode and something I really appreciated was that visually it often managed to capture the look of the sandman novels in a way I hadn’t thought they’d manage.

I really liked the fishbowl lens effect, something that really reminded me of the book nice, plus there was a special effect when they were doing the summoning that really captured that grimy look of the covers. 
 

So far so good. Apart from some slightly cheap looking CGI

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38 minutes ago, RumHam said:

I watched the first three episodes and thought they were good. My only concern is each episode is an issue and there are apparently 75 issues, has netflix ever let a show run seven seasons? I suspect this needs to be Stranger Things popular to have a chance of finishing.

I feel like they compressed quite a bit when they got to the Dollhouse arc. 

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This season gets up to the end of the second of the ten trade collections. Five seasons is obviously still a lot by Netflix standards but seems doable, and in any case I could see the next season taking even more issues on because I don't think any of the Fables & Reflections stories can account for a whole episode alone and as weighty a story as Season of Mists is, 5+ episodes would be a lot for it too. 

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Just finished this and I'm sure I will have further thoughts after taking some time to let it settle. But for now, I'd tend to agree with the critical consensus (that I've seen) and say that this is both a very good adaptation and about the best Sandman adaptation one could expect. It's not perfect, and there are things I could wish were done a little differently, but it definitely avoids the pitfalls I was afraid of.

I would even say that showing it on screen like this shows how some of the original ideas haven't aged as well as they might, but heck, that was over 30 years ago. Of course they've aged.

I'd be curious to see the reactions of folks who haven't read the comics, actually.

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