Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«51 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


STAC Goat posted:


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.

You're supposed to hate Quentin, or at least empathize with his flaws if you also have experience with manic depression. You're right though, he's being depicted as being somewhat incompetent

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


My complaint from the first two episodes persists in this one. It's still going too fast. Apparently it's been three months? I would have guessed a week at most. The stuff that's happened makes a bit more sense if it's been three months, but I just don't get any impression of that much time having passed. We needed a lot more build up, show us the everyday wizard school stuff before it gets all crazy. It's impossible to appreciate the scale of anything that's happening when it's all new and unknown. It feels like the protagonist showed up at school, summoned a demon on his first day, got sorted on his second day, then fought an evil ghost on his third. And I still have no idea who most of the characters are.

Harrow
Jun 30, 2012

This knight was born to be THE BEST! Just like all the billions like him!


I think the fact that I loved the books is keeping me from watching this, and hearing about how quickly it's tearing through the first book's plot feels like it's validating my decision. Other people who liked the books: is it worth a shot regardless?

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Harrow posted:

I think the fact that I loved the books is keeping me from watching this, and hearing about how quickly it's tearing through the first book's plot feels like it's validating my decision. Other people who liked the books: is it worth a shot regardless?

The way I deal with it is by trying really hard not to compare it to the books. I feel like if it was its own thing, not connected to a pre-existing work, it would be a decent show. It's just the fact that it's mangling up the stuff it's based on that gets under my skin.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


Harrow posted:

I think the fact that I loved the books is keeping me from watching this, and hearing about how quickly it's tearing through the first book's plot feels like it's validating my decision. Other people who liked the books: is it worth a shot regardless?

It has some good moments realizing parts of the book. If you want to see some decent-ish fan fiction of the books with okay production value it's worth watching.

Or hate-watching.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Harrow posted:

I think the fact that I loved the books is keeping me from watching this, and hearing about how quickly it's tearing through the first book's plot feels like it's validating my decision. Other people who liked the books: is it worth a shot regardless?

It's worth a shot, yes. I really enjoyed the books and I'm enjoying the show so far. It's not as rigorous an adaptation as say, Game of Thrones (season 1); so aside from some major plot points, I accept the books / show as two separate stories that occasionally dovetail when necessary.

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

Have we seen Quentin do actual magic? He has done slight card tricks and the such, but i mean actual finger twisting magic.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Oasx posted:

Have we seen Quentin do actual magic? He has done slight card tricks and the such, but i mean actual finger twisting magic.

There was the magical playing card tornado/house of cards thing in the first episode.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Oasx posted:

Have we seen Quentin do actual magic? He has done slight card tricks and the such, but i mean actual finger twisting magic.

He attacked Penny in a scene that was hilariously awful.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.


Yeah, that one hadouken he threw is like the sole sign they've given that Quentin can do any magic that Criss Angel couldn't probably pull off. When every episode has Julia learning new stuff, Alice doing all kinds of stuff naturally, and Penny discovering brand new life ruining powers Quentin really stands out as the guy who doesn't seem to belong.

Its also what makes me not like him at all for the Julia stuff because from our perspective it really does seem like she got a lovely deal due to flawed standardized testing or something. Because she sure seems to be kicking Quentin's rear end in the learning department. But there he is still holding over her that he was accepted into the school and she wasn't so he's just better. That would be obnoxious under any circumstances but when the whole thing was started with the idea that Quentin is "chosen" for some reason so he was gonna get in anyway it just feels like the guy born with a silver spoon making GBS threads on the genuine overachiever.

I suspect you book people are going to be miserable if you can't let go of expectations and see this as an alternative take. If they're burning through things as fast as you guys say then the only logical conclusion to me is that they really have no intention to keep the show to the books. Maybe it will take until Season 2 or 3 (if it lasts) but I'm sure like most shows SyFy would love this thing to be a hit and go as long as it can be worthwhile and whatever direction they want to. It just seems like the nature of adapting a book to TV unless you committed to it being a mini-series.

Fast Luck
Feb 2, 1988



Tiggum posted:

I just watched the first episode and I have no idea what's going on in this show. The timeframe seems very confused. Like, Sam Winchester shows up for his first day at wizard school and you'd think he should be in a class of people who are also new (like whichever of those other people who took the exam got in), but it seems like everyone else has been there for ages? Also, half the time he obviously has no idea what's going on, but then other times people will be like "magic is always dangerous, you should know that" like as though he's been at it for years. Or the scene where he's talking to mopey girl and acting like he knows what's going on and won't help her get into the school because he knows she's not qualified or whatever, when he should actually be saying "How the hell could I get them to change their minds about you? I don't know what the gently caress is going on."

And characters just do stuff for no discernible reason, like when the symbol appears on his hand, so he goes to talk to Reece Witherspoon and she won't help him unless he does a seance with her, and he raises some fairly compelling objections to this plan, but then goes through with it anyway and she still doesn't tell him what the symbol is? Or did I miss that? But through most of the episode (or at least the second half) I was just constantly asking "Why is this happening?"

On top of that, all the characters seem to be really shallow stereotypes, like they're characters in an American high school movie. And there's the whole Narnia thing, which I assume is meant to be obviously Narnia by a different name, except that in this world it's some obscure series no one cares about. Does that mean something? It just seems weird and dumb.
I don't know if I'm interested in this show but I read the books so I checked out the first episode and those are the exact same comparisons I was mentally making for those two actors.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


WarLocke posted:

The way I deal with it is by trying really hard not to compare it to the books. I feel like if it was its own thing, not connected to a pre-existing work, it would be a decent show. It's just the fact that it's mangling up the stuff it's based on that gets under my skin.

Nah, as someone who hasn't read the books, this show is not good. It might get there, but three episodes in it still feels really rushed and hard to follow.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.


I tend not to judge new shows too harshly as I don't think many shows come out of the game on fire. The occasional show does. Some have a really compelling meta plot that hooks people. Some has some standout actors/characters/elements. This one has me watching because it has an interesting world which I'm curious to see revealed. Its been moving fast enough for me on that front (arguably too fast as many people have critiqued) so I'm comfortable with the show.

A show doesn't really have to HOOK me until the end of the season. If you're entertaining me enough to keep me watching I'll do that, but if you want me to care enough to come back next year you better give me a solid reason. Right now the show's good enough for me to watch to see what's next but it definitely hasn't given me the hook yet. But there's obviously this Narnia stuff on the peripheral so I'm assuming that will pick up later.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009




Shooting Blanks posted:

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.
You used to date Kacey Rohl? You lucky gently caress.

Bert Roberge
Nov 28, 2003



Elliot I think is perfectly cast and the show's worth watching just for that. In the books he's about the closest to a good person they have since they're all addicted degenerates who hate themselves.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


This episode (while not great) was definitely an improvement, especially the Quentin/Julia confrontation, where Q's character flaws are becoming much more apparent. The niffin bit started out good but then went off the rails in a fairly major way, Alice just couldn't even and... scene.

As an aside, I think a lot of the soundtrack cues feel like a 17 year old going "Yeah, this'd be cool" (for this ep, mostly talking about the The xx opener). I generally *like* the music that's annoying me on its own, but the application just feels kind of juvenile and clunky. Contrast that with the Black Keys cover in Belter creole track in the pilot of The Expanse and... yeah.

Harrow posted:

I think the fact that I loved the books is keeping me from watching this, and hearing about how quickly it's tearing through the first book's plot feels like it's validating my decision. Other people who liked the books: is it worth a shot regardless?

I mean, watch it or don't. I personally don't subscribe to the school of thought that an adaptation can retroactively ruin the source material, ymmv I guess.

Bert Roberge posted:

Elliot I think is perfectly cast and the show's worth watching just for that. In the books he's about the closest to a good person they have since they're all addicted degenerates who hate themselves.

Yeah, I really like the actor doing Elliot. Generally I think it is pretty well cast but I'm not sure how I feel about Julia and at times Alice (who in fairness is also quite good at other times).

Pompous Rhombus fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2016 around 11:31

Emerson Cod
Apr 14, 2004
Here I was just about to tell you all to shut the hell up, and then you stopped talking so I didn't have to.

I've been liking most of the scenes that don't involve the core plot from the series. Penny teleporting to Japan and the book hunt scene were fun and show that the writers can work well with the world. With the main story, a lot of the changes feel arbitrary. Considering most of the books were from Quentin's perspective they probably wanted to give the other characters more to do earlier on, I guess.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


Emerson Cod posted:

I've been liking most of the scenes that don't involve the core plot from the series. Penny teleporting to Japan and the book hunt scene were fun and show that the writers can work well with the world. With the main story, a lot of the changes feel arbitrary. Considering most of the books were from Quentin's perspective they probably wanted to give the other characters more to do earlier on, I guess.

It reminds me a lot of Game of Thrones. Original scenes in that show that support the established universe tend to be really good. But when they divert directly from the books, their changes are almost always less clever, louder, and work to less effect. This adaptation seems to follow that same guide.

CainsDescendant
Dec 6, 2007

Human nature

Tiggum posted:

Nah, as someone who hasn't read the books, this show is not good. It might get there, but three episodes in it still feels really rushed and hard to follow.

Personally, I've really been enjoying the pace. I've had more than enough slow burn origin stories, I'm glad that this show keeps jumping to the good stuff. I haven't been having trouble following it.

Huzanko
Aug 4, 2015

by FactsAreUseless


Does anyone know why all SyFy shows are cheesy and poorly made and poorly acted? Even their better stuff just comes off as flat. Other networks and Netflix seem to do more with less or similar. So, what the gently caress is the issue is with SyFy?

I really like the books but I am very OK with a show departing from the books but not when the show has poo poo-tier acting, effects, plot, etc. Elliot and some of the older actors are the only decent ones; everyone else was just hired because they're really pretty. Really, Elliot carries the show whenever he's on-screen.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Noam Chomsky posted:

Does anyone know why all SyFy shows are cheesy and poorly made and poorly acted? Even their better stuff just comes off as flat. Other networks and Netflix seem to do more with less or similar. So, what the gently caress is the issue is with SyFy?

Because they have no budget.

Huzanko
Aug 4, 2015

by FactsAreUseless


IRQ posted:

Because they have no budget.

Sad that he sold the rights to SyFy. The show would've been great on HBO.

Also, I think they've changed a lot from the books because we'll never get to see Fillory. Everything is going to take place at the school.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Noam Chomsky posted:

Sad that he sold the rights to SyFy. The show would've been great on HBO.

Also, I think they've changed a lot from the books because we'll never get to see Fillory. Everything is going to take place at the school.

Low budget trashy Syfy channel is exactly where this belongs to me.

Huzanko
Aug 4, 2015

by FactsAreUseless


IRQ posted:

Low budget trashy Syfy channel is exactly where this belongs to me.

Because you don't like the books?

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Noam Chomsky posted:

Does anyone know why all SyFy shows are cheesy and poorly made and poorly acted? Even their better stuff just comes off as flat. Other networks and Netflix seem to do more with less or similar. So, what the gently caress is the issue is with SyFy?

I really like the books but I am very OK with a show departing from the books but not when the show has poo poo-tier acting, effects, plot, etc. Elliot and some of the older actors are the only decent ones; everyone else was just hired because they're really pretty. Really, Elliot carries the show whenever he's on-screen.

The Expanse is a pretty drat awesome show, and while I haven't read the books people have been saying in the thread for it that it's almost a direct scene-for-scene adaption. And the production values for that show are NUTS.

Syfy can make good shows, they just don't seem to care about putting the effort into this one I guess?

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Noam Chomsky posted:

Because you don't like the books?

I liked the first one enough to read the second one and haven't gotten around to the third, so it's not as if I hated them. But the books (that I did read) were pretty trashy and I think SyFy is going in the right direction with all this.

Magic is a drug *dubstep breakdown*

Huzanko
Aug 4, 2015

by FactsAreUseless


IRQ posted:

I liked the first one enough to read the second one and haven't gotten around to the third, so it's not as if I hated them. But the books (that I did read) were pretty trashy and I think SyFy is going in the right direction with all this.

Magic is a drug *dubstep breakdown*

You're insane. Even if the books are trashy - and I don't think they are - it doesn't have to mean poorly cast, poorly written, and poorly produced. The show is just garbage and it would be garbage even if it stayed close to the books.

The books aren't even some of my favorites - my wife likes them a lot more than I do - but they are pretty good books while the show is just very poorly made.

Huzanko fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2016 around 20:52

Huzanko
Aug 4, 2015

by FactsAreUseless


WarLocke posted:

The Expanse is a pretty drat awesome show, and while I haven't read the books people have been saying in the thread for it that it's almost a direct scene-for-scene adaption. And the production values for that show are NUTS.

Syfy can make good shows, they just don't seem to care about putting the effort into this one I guess?

I guess it just comes to production company - Magicians has an entirely different, and seemingly shittier, production company. I'll have to watch The Expanse.

Here's the writer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McNamara_(writer)

And the creator (whatever that means): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sera_Gamble

Not really any good previous work between them.

Huzanko fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2016 around 20:59

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


IRQ posted:

I liked the first one enough to read the second one and haven't gotten around to the third, so it's not as if I hated them. But the books (that I did read) were pretty trashy and I think SyFy is going in the right direction with all this.

Magic is a drug *dubstep breakdown*

The niffin stuff seemed extremely bad since it basically mangled a pretty important plot point from the third book. Not only has the show jettisoned everything leading up to it, it was given to the absolute worst character (considering what happened in the book) and then it went and guttered out like a wet fart.

Whoever is making these plot decisions is confusing the gently caress out of me.

Huzanko
Aug 4, 2015

by FactsAreUseless


WarLocke posted:

The niffin stuff seemed extremely bad since it basically mangled a pretty important plot point from the third book. Not only has the show jettisoned everything leading up to it, it was given to the absolute worst character (considering what happened in the book) and then it went and guttered out like a wet fart.

Whoever is making these plot decisions is confusing the gently caress out of me.

A pretty lovely TV writer I linked in my previous post.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


Noam Chomsky posted:

A pretty lovely TV writer I linked in my previous post.

Ouch, looking at his Wikipedia page, it appears he hasn't had a show he's written or produced last more than a season since "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman". That explains... a lot, actually.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Noam Chomsky posted:

You're insane. Even if the books are trashy - and I don't think they are - it doesn't have to mean poorly cast, poorly written, and poorly produced. The show is just garbage and it would be garbage even if it stayed close to the books.

Poorly written I'll give you. None of the rest really bothers me, but I obviously have different expectations.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


CainsDescendant posted:

Personally, I've really been enjoying the pace. I've had more than enough slow burn origin stories, I'm glad that this show keeps jumping to the good stuff. I haven't been having trouble following it.

I guess hard to follow is the wrong complaint. I know what's going on, just not what it means, I guess. Like, they haven't established the scale of anything. Was the protagonist's thing with the cards in the first episode impressive or mundane? When they fought that evil ghost, was that super dangerous or something a more experienced wizard would have handled easily? Was it more like catching a feral cat or a tiger? I couldn't tell. Are the rogue wizards doing something really dangerous? Is the magic they can do the same as the magic the real wizards do? What can magic even do in this world? It's just really difficult to figure out the significance of anything because there's no basis for comparison.

Botnit
Jun 12, 2015



Tiggum posted:

What can magic even do in this world?

It can, like, give you meaning to live. To be that thing that you wake up thinking of

Books were bad, show is terrible. Aging people up only made everything look extra silly.

Femur
Jan 10, 2004
I REALLY NEED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP


I don't get Julia's deal. Like magic is her core? In the pilot, she told Quinten to grow up, and failed the magical test because she stopped believing her talent right? I get the obsession over something you can't have, but I find her rationalizing really hollow.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Femur posted:

I don't get Julia's deal. Like magic is her core? In the pilot, she told Quinten to grow up, and failed the magical test because she stopped believing her talent right? I get the obsession over something you can't have, but I find her rationalizing really hollow.

I feel like it's another mangled bit from the books. In Magician's Land she makes a much better case. It basically boils down to "Imagine you lived your entire life thinking that magic was impossible. Then you find out it's real, and you can do it, but you're immediately told to just forget about it. How can anything else compare to literal magic? How can anything else be important when you can do magic?"

The addict allegory was a lot stronger in the books (with mentions of turning tricks for spells and such) although I thought the twitchyness Julia displayed in the show was pretty effective on its own. Basically magic is a drug and every one of the main characters is a junky mainlining it, Quentin just happened to luck into a nice steady dealer.

Femur
Jan 10, 2004
I REALLY NEED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP


If magic were an addictive drug, that school should be a lot meaner, not some ivy league deal.

You should have people always looking for more, better; but everyone looks pretty happy. Even quinten shows no desire to get more despite some dream girl telling him to.

If you want to paint magic as dangerous, the teachers need to show the effects of long exposure, but they are all calm and disciplined.

Julia is showing signs, but the 50 girl and suit guy seems like they are doing ok.

Cast Iron Brick
Apr 24, 2008


I don't think the "Magic is a drug" line is meant to be a literal allegory like in Buffy. It's more an effect of power and purpose being the ultimate goal of everyone, and that's intoxicating.

Again, these books are largely about dealing with depression. Magic represents controllable competency. The idea the the world really does have this little trick that makes you matter and gives you the ability to actually achieve your goals. This is a very enticing thing to an audience that often has major life consequences because they cannot muster up the will to attempt anything on a given day.

The magic=drug connection is the laziest and cheapest interpretation to pull from the material.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


Femur posted:

If you want to paint magic as dangerous, the teachers need to show the effects of long exposure, but they are all calm and disciplined.

The books at least imply that the professors at Brakebills have all gone through what the main cast is going through - they're the magicians who managed to figure their poo poo out before flaming out.

And yeah, I didn't mean a literal drug, just that the power/draw of magic is treated in a lot of similar ways.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

gohmak
Feb 12, 2004
cookies need love


I thought the books loving was kind of funny?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«51 »