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lurksion
Mar 21, 2013


Shooting Blanks posted:

Penny I think they also generally got right
It's kind of off too I think. He certainly comes off as aloof/better than you...but he doesn't seem like he would be interested in Fillory at all to even bother with tracking down the magic tokens, or the really deep interest in the foundations of magic that propels him to isolate himself that lets the tokens find him. Though I guess that didn't show from Quentin's perspective in the books initially either.

lurksion fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2016 around 06:10

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Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

At its heart The Magicians is a pretty depressing book and a big part of that is finding out that magic is not just waving a wand and saying a few words, but a tough and gruelling process. So far the series just seems like a generic low budget fantasy show with pretty people, all the flavour is gone.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


Shooting Blanks posted:

Eh, I think they kind of nailed Eliot's character - his mannerisms weren't what I expected, but they got the aloofness down pat. Penny I think they also generally got right. Everyone else - bleh.

Hopefully this show turns around because I did enjoy the books, but so far I'm disappointed. It tends to veer towards being extremely dark, in the vein of the books (ripping out the dean's eyeballs! fat from a corpse!) to the utterly mundain. Pacing is off, tone is inconsistent...it's far from irretrievable, but I've got a few more episodes in me before I throw the towel in. SyFy-itis is real, y'all.

The Expanse is pretty good, and gives me hope they won't completely drop the ball on Hyperion.

The Magicians, not so much. Will keep watching but this episode was a pretty solid 4/10.

Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

DAAAAAMN!
Put your glasses back on.


Team Darkside is really killing it. Level 50 girl is a total bad rear end.

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011


Oasx posted:

At its heart The Magicians is a pretty depressing book and a big part of that is finding out that magic is not just waving a wand and saying a few words, but a tough and gruelling process. So far the series just seems like a generic low budget fantasy show with pretty people, all the flavour is gone.

And apart of that I think they are diminishing the depressed main character angle, which is the pillar of the first book (and how magic isn't going to fix his psychological problems). .

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade


Rocksicles posted:

Team Darkside is really killing it. Level 50 girl is a total bad rear end.

Level 50 girl terrified the living poo poo out of me because she looks EXACTLY like an ex of mine. I actually went to the IMDB page to make sure it wasn't her.

gohmak
Feb 12, 2004
cookies need love


Pompous Rhombus posted:

The Expanse is pretty good, and gives me hope they won't completely drop the ball on Hyperion.

The Magicians, not so much. Will keep watching but this episode was a pretty solid 4/10.

Pretty good? The Expanse is shaping up to being one of the greatest scifi shows ever.

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

gohmak posted:

Pretty good? The Expanse is shaping up to being one of the greatest scifi shows ever.

I think it is decent so far, but it is only barely interesting enough for me to keep watching, but it is certainly good to have a solid science fiction show on tv.

Pwnstar
Dec 9, 2007

Who wants some waffles?



So far there are no likeable characters in this show, everyone is a piece of poo poo. I guess thats the point maybe?

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Pwnstar posted:

So far there are no likeable characters in this show, everyone is a piece of poo poo. I guess thats the point maybe?

That would be keeping the spirit of the books. Actually there is one likable character in the books who isn't in the show.

Hedrigall
Mar 27, 2008

Furgiven, but not furgotten


geeves posted:

That would be keeping the spirit of the books. Actually there is one likable character in the books who isn't in the show.

Yeah, where the gently caress is Josh

And who the gently caress is this new "Katie" person they replaced him with??

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Hedrigall posted:

Yeah, where the gently caress is Josh

And who the gently caress is this new "Katie" person they replaced him with??

And what are they going to do with Penny? The Beast didn't kill Amanda, so why would we think The Beast would bite off Penny's hands?

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Oasx posted:

I really hated the first episode because of pacing issues and stupid story changes, this one was a little better but i think it is pretty clear that The Magicians is never going to be a good show.
The first episode was terrible. As someone who hasn't read the books, I had no idea what was going on. It felt like we were missing huge chunks of story and character development. The second episode is such an improvement it's like night and day. If it continues to improve (or even stays where it is), I'll keep watching.

STAC Goat posted:

I like the basic idea, I'm glad they glossed past "orientation" and right into the stories for both characters, it just could have been handled better.
My suggestion would be to cut most of episode one and just introduce us at the point where the protagonist is already at magic school. I honestly don't think you'd have a harder time following this starting at episode two than at episode one. This episode was just so much easier to follow and actually introduced characters and plot elements in ways that worked, whereas episode one just jumps from one thing to another so fast you don't know what's important or how anything relates to anything else.

gohmak posted:

Pretty good? The Expanse is shaping up to being one of the greatest scifi shows ever.
Meh. It's no Farscape or Lexx. It's OK, but I'm not particularly invested in any of the characters or the story at this stage.

Pwnstar posted:

So far there are no likeable characters in this show, everyone is a piece of poo poo. I guess thats the point maybe?
I dunno, I'm starting to like the gay best friend. Really not interested in the two outcasts (the guy who hears voices and the girl who's stealing stuff for whoever those two in the car were), or the hedge wizards, and the protagonist is pretty bleh. I think Reese Witherspoon and the girl who failed to entrance exam and has now joined the hedge wizards (I don't know her name and I can't think of any particular characteristics she has) might grow on me as it continues. There are other characters, but they made so little impression on me I can't remember them right now.


Some other thoughts:
  • Why does no one in this show ever just say "What the gently caress are you talking about?" There's all this cryptic bullshit being spouted and everyone just acts like these non-answers and mysterious hints are perfectly normal things to say, and it's really irritating.
  • Why are they calling the bad guy a beast when he's clearly a man? And why did no one say "Hang on, why are you calling that guy a beast?"
  • The Narnia parallel is really blatant and feels lazy and dumb. I can't see this playing out in any way that will feel satisfying.
  • When whatsername escaped from the freezer and she was angry at the dude, then they revealed it was actually the girl who was behind it, why did that even matter? It was the same bullshit no matter who planned it.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


I'm waiting for this show to start getting better.

It did have a few good moments such as the Beast scene but the rest of it has so many weaknesses.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.


Tiggum posted:

My suggestion would be to cut most of episode one and just introduce us at the point where the protagonist is already at magic school. I honestly don't think you'd have a harder time following this starting at episode two than at episode one. This episode was just so much easier to follow and actually introduced characters and plot elements in ways that worked, whereas episode one just jumps from one thing to another so fast you don't know what's important or how anything relates to anything else.

I think if they had like thrown the whole seance/beast attack storyline in before Julia's party then it would have worked fine. Have the attack happen and Q freaking out that he's going to get expelled, have Julia's boyfriend call about the party and guilt him into going, then have him encounter Julia, find out she remembers, and try to talk her into giving it up. Not only would it have established a longer timeline and made his stay at the school feel longer but it also would have sort of justified him being kind of a dick friend and not really dealing with Julia being a mess because he was too preoccupied with his own guilt about calling the beast, the horror of it, and his fear he was getting expelled. Q saying "You don't want to go there, you don't know what horrible poo poo happens there, I'm going to get kicked out anyway because I hosed up and people got hurt" would have played better than "school's hard and I might flunk out, so just forget it."

Then you end the first episode with Q barely staying in school and Julia starting down her independent study path. That might have required a 90 minute pilot or something but it probably would have been smoother.

But whatever. What's done is done. Pilots are rarely flawless.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Coach Bloodshot
Default Status: SHOUTING


Tiggum posted:

Meh. It's no Farscape or Lexx. It's OK, but I'm not particularly invested in any of the characters or the story at this stage.


That was pretty much what I said to a friend who keeps touting it as the best SF show ever. Plus you know, BSG, B5, DS9.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


After watching the second episode I think I'm down for giving this show some rope. You just have to decide to not consider it an adaptation of the books, but as its own thing.

It really feels like an adaptation in name only, the very general broad strokes are the same, the characters are mostly the same, but all the plot points are mixed up/changed so it's basically an entire different story.

I'm still kind of hoping for a reveal that this is an earlier iteration of Jane's timeline fuckery, that would redeem everything IMO

odiv
Jan 12, 2003



Man, I couldn't even stand Farscape or BSG. Different strokes I guess.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


Lexx, lmao, okay buddy.

STAC Goat posted:

But whatever. What's done is done. Pilots are rarely flawless.

Not SF, but if you want an example of a great pilot, Eastbound & Down nails it as far as establishing characters/expectations by showing and not telling, as well as being funny as hell to boot.

Danger
Jan 4, 2004

all desire - the thirst for oil, war, religious salvation - needs to understood according to what he calls 'the demonogrammatical decoding of the Earth's body'

So I was travelling for work and listening to some old Bob Edwards podcasts, as you do, and had the one with Lev Grossman right after Magician's Land came out and Bob asked him about the tv deal and he was like, "Fox bought the rights and they had a fantastic script, then it went nowhere and they reverted to me. Then Syfy got them and they had an ok script...so now we're casting. I'm listed as 'creative consultant' so it pretty much means they can listen then ignore me."

It's a great interview though, he talks a lot about the themes of the book (though they are fairly explicit) and the show really seems to be almost in the face of them.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


Danger posted:

So I was travelling for work and listening to some old Bob Edwards podcasts, as you do, and had the one with Lev Grossman right after Magician's Land came out and Bob asked him about the tv deal and he was like, "Fox bought the rights and they had a fantastic script, then it went nowhere and they reverted to me. Then Syfy got them and they had an ok script...so now we're casting. I'm listed as 'creative consultant' so it pretty much means they can listen then ignore me."

It's a great interview though, he talks a lot about the themes of the book (though they are fairly explicit) and the show really seems to be almost in the face of them.

I guess that would explain why things such as the tone and themes for the TV series feel off.

gohmak
Feb 12, 2004
cookies need love


odiv posted:

Man, I couldn't even stand Farscape or BSG. Different strokes I guess.

BSG had a good 1.5 seasons. The Expanse better.

gohmak fucked around with this message at Jan 28, 2016 around 23:45

Mouse Dresser
Sep 3, 2002

This isn't Middle Earth, Quentin. There aren't enough noble quests to go around.

The third episode airs tonight. I'm hoping that they get better with the pacing.

I'm rather glad we haven't yet seen Fillory. Although I dislike the collusion of the Dean and Jane. It makes Quentin too much into ~*~The Chosen One~*~ and I really, really miss Josh. Katie seems like the moody female replacement for him purely to show Penny's body (not complaining about that part) and to make sure we know he's sensitive and heterosexual. Penny's sexcapades make Elliott look even more gay. And they need to give Elliott and Margot/Janet some character development besides "ha ha ha we're bitchy!"

I wonder if they'll head to Brakebills South in this episode. There's no way they aren't going to show that, it's one of the most famous parts of the books.

Mouse Dresser fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2016 around 01:00

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



Heads, up, you've got a pretty big spoiler outside of tags there.

Rochallor
Apr 22, 2010


Mouse Dresser posted:

The third episode airs tonight. I'm hoping that they get better with the pacing.

I'm rather glad we haven't yet seen Fillory. Although I dislike the collusion of the Dean and Jane. It makes Quentin too much into ~*~The Chosen One~*~ and I really, really miss Josh. Katie seems like the moody female replacement for him purely to show Penny's body (not complaining about that part) and to make sure we know he's sensitive and heterosexual. Penny's sexcapades make Elliott look even more gay. And they need to give Elliott and Margot/Janet some character development besides "ha ha ha we're bitchy!"

I wonder if they'll head to Brakebills South in this episode. There's no way they aren't going to show that, it's one of the most famous parts of the books.

The episode titles are on Wikipedia and the 7th (out of 11) is about Mayakovsky, so that's when Brakebills South will happen probably.

I've been kind of down on these first two episodes but I could see it picking up if they can get the pacing issues under control after this.

dangerdoom volvo
Nov 5, 2009


i hope they show foxes banging

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


dangerdoom volvo posted:

i hope they show foxes banging

I feel like the next-day response on Fox would be worth it

Mouse Dresser
Sep 3, 2002

This isn't Middle Earth, Quentin. There aren't enough noble quests to go around.

dangerdoom volvo posted:

i hope they show foxes banging

They'll probably show them sniffing the Alice fox will have glasses and a bow so we know it's a girl/her and then slowly pan over to a snow drift while soft music plays.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


Did... Did they make Elliott straight?

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



Kind of rearranging story bits here.

Cast Iron Brick posted:

Did... Did they make Elliott straight?

No, last week he mentioned that if Quentin got kicked out and mind erased he'd find him and seduce him to give him something to remember at least.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


Oh, okay.

This episode seems far better paced than before. I'm curious who's going to get interdimensional travel since Penny is psychic now.

E: so that's how.

While I have more confidence from this episode, the choice to make everyone pretty and put together makes a lot of the beats not land as well.

Julia not being a burnout junky and instead just kind of being handed her hedgewitchdom makes her plea to Quentin seem really flat. Sure there was talk of turning tricks for spells, but everyone in the safe house was wearing designer suits and tops. It feels like every angle of this thing was taken in name only.

Cast Iron Brick fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2016 around 03:10

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

The bits with Charlie were pretty decent, it is the first time that the show has shown glimpses of what makes the book good.
Too bad that the rest of it is so bland, nothing feels special or important, it is just pretty people going to school.

Mouse Dresser
Sep 3, 2002

This isn't Middle Earth, Quentin. There aren't enough noble quests to go around.

Cast Iron Brick posted:


Julia not being a burnout junky and instead just kind of being handed her hedgewitchdom makes her plea to Quentin seem really flat. Sure there was talk of turning tricks for spells, but everyone in the safe house was wearing designer suits and tops. It feels like every angle of this thing was taken in name only.

Well, they did show Julia doing a spell at the ATM that suddenly dispenses a lot of money. So that explains the designer clothes.

The lead hedgewitch going from the hoodie and jeans look to the over the top runway gear makes me so angry, and I don't know why. Can't ANYONE in this show just look like a regular loving person? I don't mind Penny's getups, and Quentin looks fairly average. Elliott having the outfits makes sense, and I guess Margot/Janet makes sense, too. But loving hell, can we get even some of the background extras in jeans and t-shirts? Katie's outfits bother me the most. LOOK SHE'S SEXY AND EDGY!

Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

DAAAAAMN!
Put your glasses back on.


Yeah but she was head bitch in New York, for starters.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


Mouse Dresser posted:

Well, they did show Julia doing a spell at the ATM that suddenly dispenses a lot of money. So that explains the designer clothes.


Well, they actually have this scene in the books, but it's used thematically in a very different place to much better effect.

Come to think of it, this statement is also my description of the entire show so far.

CainsDescendant
Dec 6, 2007

Human nature

All critical analysis or whatever aside, Elliott is awesome and Penny and Quentin's interactions are hilarious. Maybe it's just because my expectations were rock bottom at the outset, but I'm really enjoying this show.

If I'd read the books, I imagine that I'd be less forgiving. This is the first fantasy adaptation I've watched where I haven't read the source material first! It's a weird feeling.

CainsDescendant fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2016 around 05:25

el oso
Feb 18, 2005

phew, for a minute there i lost myself


CainsDescendant posted:

All critical analysis or whatever aside, Elliott is awesome and Penny and Quentin's interactions are hilarious. Maybe it's just because my expectations were rock bottom at the outset, but I'm really enjoying this show.

I'm a fan of the books, warts and all, and I'm enjoying the show because my expectations are also very low and I watch it knowing that it will only generally resemble the books with many details reorganized to work on TV, which I totally understand. I'm entertained enough to keep watching it and as the show goes on I think they are getting better at showing how hard and dangerous real magic can be, which was most obvious in tonight's episode.

I think the casting of Quentin, Eliot and Penny are great but not really sold on the ladies. Julia is ok but I find the actress looks more sleepy than sad in all the scenes where she is on the verge of tears (which is often the way they've written her) and Alice is just not a good fit. The perfect Margo/Janet to me is Lizzy Caplan in Mean Girls but they really haven't had enough for Margo to do so far to figure out how this version of the character should be played.

el oso fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2016 around 05:39

Escape Addict
Jan 25, 2012

YOSPOS


I liked the Emily Greenstreet scene and the flashback to Charlie. I wish they had made her more deformed looking, like a Picasso rendered in real life, a real Cronenberg horrorshow. It was cool to see Charlie go up in blue flames, but a pity the special effects budget is so low that they couldn't make him look like that all the time. Niffins are supposed to be made of blue fire, constantly floating, and they're smaller than their original bodies, like a person at 3/4ths scale. Also, naked, which I suppose they wouldn't be able to show on TV. It bothers me that the TV writers made up a "Niffin Box" that can so easily bind them. They're supposed to be as powerful as minor gods--the best you can do is try to run.

I agree with the other criticisms posters in this thread have made. I really love the books. They're a lot like a fantasy version of The Venture Brothers in the sense that they focus on how people fail to achieve happiness even with superpowers and how fairy tales are horrifying if you actually had to live in one. This TV show seems to be ignoring what made the books so clever and insightful, in favor of giving us some generic fantasy show with attractive young people acting edgy.

I 75% hate this show. But since it's supposed to be adapting my favorite fantasy novels, I'll keep watching it to see the other glimpses of book-accurate cool moments interspersed between the poo poo they keep making up out of whole cloth.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.


I have zero problem with the off brand magicians all having fancy clothes. Like, if a bunch of people were being taught magic and questionable morals than I would completely expect their first act to be stealing money from ATMs. And if I was some power tripping magician trying to build a gang I'd probably seek out pretty people with their poo poo together over a bunch of losers in sweats and flip flops. Seems to make sense for people who are focused on power and personal gain over all else.

And Julia looks plenty strung out to me. I'm glad that they're not overdoing it and making her full on junkie. She looks exhausted and ragged like she's spending every waking minute playing with magic and neglecting everything including sleep. That's playing better for me than if she was itching or some silly junkie hint. I was actually struck during that Julia/Quentin scene that Julia looked SO much worse than she did back at the start of the show. And then lying to her boyfriend in a way that seems harmless enough but its probably the next step towards abusing magic and betraying people sold for me.

My only major complaint at the moment is I don't like Quentin at all, and that's kind of a problem since he's the main character. His constant condescending dismissal of Julia is a huge part of that, but I guess at least he kind of realized he was a dick later. But it also doesn't help that he seems to be the only person on the show who I'm not convinced can do magic.

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IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



dangerdoom volvo posted:

i hope they show foxes banging

Having read 2 of the books (and hating the second) this is my chief hope for the show. Actually I haven't minded it so far, but it also hasn't yet devolved into my alternate title for the books - Jersey Shore: Hogwarts Edition.

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