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Subyng
May 4, 2013


That strong new Zealand accent though...anyone else find it a bit hard on the ears?

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Phy
Jun 27, 2008

ZWAP ZWAP ZWAP


Any Texans - is Cas Anvar's Mariner Valley drawl for Alex anything like a real Texas accent or does he sound like some goob trying to imitate Mission Control? Because honestly that's what I pictured the Mariner accent as anyway.

404notfound
Mar 5, 2006

stop staring at me

Phy posted:

Any Texans - is Cas Anvar's Mariner Valley drawl for Alex anything like a real Texas accent or does he sound like some goob trying to imitate Mission Control? Because honestly that's what I pictured the Mariner accent as anyway.

The books point out how it's all highfalutin affectations anyway, and in various times of stress, Alex tends to lessen or drop the accent.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Kesper North posted:

Worth noting that Frankie Adams is a boxer, for those complaining about her physicality.

She's way hotter than I pictured Draper, I will admit.

In the books she's often described as a real looker, though.

404notfound posted:

The books point out how it's all highfalutin affectations anyway, and in various times of stress, Alex tends to lessen or drop the accent.

One of my issues with the show is how few of the Martians, specifically all of the ones we just met, don't have a southern drawl. It's a defining characteristic of Martians, and yes, it's this weird over-utilized point of pride for them.

a few DRUNK BONERS
Mar 25, 2016


So why were the people on that station firing gel guns? What was the point?

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

You will surely find out, and there were some hints as to why, but not done nearly as well enough as in the books.

Fake Edit: I swear I like this show a lot, but these first two episodes have some serious flaws.

ClassH
Mar 17, 2008


a few DRUNK BONERS posted:

So why were the people on that station firing gel guns? What was the point?

If you haven't read the book then it will be explained later on. (Hopefully)

Eiba
Jul 26, 2007



Man, they got a six foot tall Maori boxer and people still complain that they didn't cast her like they imagined her in the books? Jesus.

grilldos posted:

One of my issues with the show is how few of the Martians, specifically all of the ones we just met, don't have a southern drawl. It's a defining characteristic of Martians, and yes, it's this weird over-utilized point of pride for them.
Mars is a whole planet. The Mariner Valley is just one region, and even then not everyone there has an exaggerated drawl like Alex. It's like asking why there aren't more Texan accents in this group of American marines.

It would be cute to see more Martians with drawls, but it'd be silly if they overused it.

a few DRUNK BONERS posted:

So why were the people on that station firing gel guns? What was the point?
That's quite a mystery isn't it!

We also have no idea what the deal was with those psycho dudes scientists strapped into a computer. Considering we only just had a minute conversation with the head scientists before he got Miller'd, there's still a lot that was going on in that station we don't understand.

Real Edit:

grilldos posted:

You will surely find out, and there were some hints as to why, but not done nearly as well enough as in the books.

Fake Edit: I swear I like this show a lot, but these first two episodes have some serious flaws.
Man, I don't get this. I love the books to death, but so far the show's been better in pretty much every way so far.

Eiba fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2017 around 20:19

Fister Roboto
Feb 21, 2008

Fully functional and programmed in multiple techniques.

The space station was actually a prototype for a giant null gravity paintball arena.

Spoilers: the Expanse is actually a prequel to Laser Moon Awakens.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Eiba posted:

Man, I don't get this. I love the books to death, but so far the show's been better in pretty much every way so far.

Miller putting Dresden down like a dog doesnít have the same impact without the reveal.

MiddleOne
Feb 17, 2011



I've never read the book and the spoilers this and the last thread put forward are so obtuse that I haven't actually understood jack.


I guess that is actually a positive thing.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Eiba posted:

Mars is a whole planet. The Mariner Valley is just one region, and even then not everyone there has an exaggerated drawl like Alex. It's like asking why there aren't more Texan accents in this group of American marines.

It would be cute to see more Martians with drawls, but it'd be silly if they overused it.

To be fair, I am going off of the world built by the books here, which very much makes a thing out of the accent being the norm. The show is an entirely different beast, granted.

Eiba posted:

Man, I don't get this. I love the books to death, but so far the show's been better in pretty much every way so far.

If we want to really dive into it, we can. To be clear, my issues are mostly about the TV show as a good TV show, not as a comparison to the books (however, the books handled the Dresden capture much better).

Season 1 is pretty great, and the way it differs from the books are specific, with purpose, and above all, entertaining. See Donkey Balls, an episode written by the book authors, with a plot entirely made up for the show. It's well paced, funny, stressful, and firmly defines every character on the Roci while doing some colorful world-building. Everyone shines. And on the whole, the season's plot's pace suits the split genre, half hard-boiled detective story and half a survival road trip. The characters push the plot, not the plot pushing the characters.

Season 2 has started out really bizarrely when compared to Season 1, which I just recently rewatched. For the most part, the acting is too stilted and subpar; the blocking of scenes is too stagnant (more on that later); and the editing is way too tight, allowing almost nothing to breathe -- most of the scenes that don't involve the Roci crew and Miller are too rushed. This post speaks to that feeling:

ZorajitZorajit posted:

Y'know, one thing that really surprised me about this episode was the density of plot. Like, that's just not very common in modern writing. Year, source material, etc., etc. But I can't think of very many series that give this much dialogue over to questions of "how will this affect the world around us." I'm not really going to offer a qualitative opinion of that, but the self-hating lit-fic educated genre-writer side of me is watching this thinking "No, no, how does this develop the character! No one cares about the plot!"

Season 1 doesn't feel like this usually. Characters did have little speeches they'd give which attempt to put everything in cultural context with dialogue that's not very realistic at all, especially Miller, but they were treated with scenes that weren't frenetic. Everything felt earned. Even when exposition needed to be dumped onto the viewer, it usually wasn't blatant and was coupled with solid character development.

Not all of Season 2's first pair of episodes is bad. The CGI battle scenes were a joy to watch, and all of the Miller scenes (with the exception of the Thoth Invasion) were fantastic, which I feel is mostly due to Tom Jane and the Roci actors. Tom Jane forces a scene to pace well. If you compare his scenes of Season 2 with Bobbie's, it's a night and day difference. He pauses, he collects himself physically. Do you remember how many scenes in the first season involved Tom Jane taking his time to do blocking bits like Stand Up or Cross A Room? It was all the loving time. Characters are drat near still in Season 2 unless the scene actively calls for something different.

So at the end of the day, most of these problems are directoral. Breck Eisner did these two, and he did none of Season 1's. I also would be willing to bet that Syfy really pushed for Big Action for the season premiere, so the Thoth Station invasion had to make it into the first two episodes. The editor had to really cram all of this in, with footage from a borderline director. I think in someone else's hands, maybe one of the 4 guys who directed season 1, things would have come out better. Especially if they didn't need to cram so much poo poo into these two episodes.

And finally, Thoth Station's invasion, specifically Miller's scenes once it's boarded, feels off. This is the one scene where all of the problems of this season premiere show themselves. You get the sense that, what, there are like 10 people on the station? That station is loving huge, and the direction does nothing to really give you a sense of the space. It feels like a set, in the way that (another Syfy show, one that is not good) Dark Matter's station sets feel like a set. The blocking is weird and without motivation for anyone other than Tom Jane, and when his invasion lackies shoot up the Matrix folks with hundreds of bullets, they're all facing eachother in a big circle and should have shot eachother up. Badly. Tom Jane also wanders around and immediately finds exactly what he is looking for, Dresden, one room over, on a station that is loving Gigantic, according to the ship fight that the viewer just saw minutes before. Dresden's rant feels less like the pointed words of a charismatic sociopath and more like an actor just spewing out lines quickly.

This scene reeks of bad direction from the start to the end, because the director simply went by the plot, which is the sign of a lovely director. The boarding party breaks in, kid gets shot, Miller notices gel, scolds his men, they find weird people, the weird people get mad, they shoot the weird people, Miller leaves everyone alone for some reason, he finds Dresden, Holden and Johnson show up, Dresden says insane poo poo, Miller shoots Dresden. All of this happens, and the director does nothing on his own accord to make any of it feel earned or the least bit realistic in physical flow. poo poo happens because it was written to happen.

I really do like the show, and I'm not at all saying it's poo poo and should be dropped or whatever extreme bullshit TV IV is known for. These were a pretty flawed pair of episodes with plenty still in them to enjoy. I am looking forward to getting on with it now that Syfy's blue balls orgasm of a premiere is done.

Platystemon posted:

Miller putting Dresden down like a dog doesnít have the same impact without the reveal.

This is part of why the Thoth Invasion felt so off at the end of it, too. The invasion in the book was half an infantry battle and half Miller discovering the truth of that station, Dresden, and coming to a personal epiphany about who he is and what the system has become. There's none of the personal reflection in that scene. It's just action, baby! I'm fine with pure action, they gave it to us with the ship battle. So where's the character-driven emotional payoff I'd grown accustomed to with Season 1?

grilldos fucked around with this message at Feb 3, 2017 around 21:55

Big Mean Jerk
Jan 27, 2009

MENTALLY
DEFEATED


Phy posted:

Any Texans - is Cas Anvar's Mariner Valley drawl for Alex anything like a real Texas accent or does he sound like some goob trying to imitate Mission Control? Because honestly that's what I pictured the Mariner accent as anyway.

It varies. He doesn't usually hit cartoon levels of drawl, but it's an obviously affected accent. I like it, but the real test would be to hear him pronounce milk, jalapeŮo, tamales, and find out if he hates Dallas.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


Eiba posted:

Man, they got a six foot tall Maori boxer and people still complain that they didn't cast her like they imagined her in the books? Jesus.

It's impossible to please nerds

ClassH
Mar 17, 2008


grilldos posted:

Long post

I agree with just about everything you said.

LinkesAuge
Sep 7, 2011


etalian posted:

It's impossible to please nerds

I guess part of the problem is that people imagine a female soldier that is basically built like a very strong man but in reality even extremely strong woman just don't look as imposing, that's just biology. You'd have to cast one of those freakish female bodybuilders to get anything close but that wouldn't make sense (just like male soldiers don't look like extreme bodybuilders) and is impossible to get as a decent actor.
So people need to get over the fact that a strong woman will never look as big as a similar male version especially if you add armor/clothes which can make anyone look kinda "normal".
Imo they did a good job of finding someone who looks like a strong female solider in a realistic manner.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006


DentArthurDent posted:

I'm sad to see that the AV Club seems to have dropped coverage of The Expanse for its second season (unless they are really late posting about it). Whoever reviewed the first season didn't really seem to get the series all that much, its a shame they could not find anyone else. It also did not even rate an honourable mention in their 2016 Best of TV lists.

It's ridiculous that they can't bother to cover what is arguably one of the best sci-fi series on TV right now, while continuing to cover crap like "Legends of Tomorrow". (Actually, I have never seen a single second of Legends of Tomorrow, it might be great, but how many superhero shows do we need?)

The Onion AV is very bad and i'm sure their reviewers probably post in CD forum.

Doctor Butts
May 21, 2002

AFC NORTH PITY FUCK


grilldos posted:

This is part of why the Thoth Invasion felt so off at the end of it, too. The invasion in the book was half an infantry battle and half Miller discovering the truth of that station, Dresden, and coming to a personal epiphany about who he is and what the system has become. There's none of the personal reflection in that scene. It's just action, baby! I'm fine with pure action, they gave it to us with the ship battle. So where's the character-driven emotional payoff I'd grown accustomed to with Season 1?

I'm nearly certain that the whole reason behind Miller straight up capping the dude is so the writers can keep tension between him and the Rocinante crew.

LinkesAuge posted:

I guess part of the problem is that people imagine a female soldier that is basically built like a very strong man but in reality even extremely strong woman just don't look as imposing, that's just biology.

No problem here. I never read the books. Could care less about them. She doesn't have to look strong and imposing at all, as far as I'm concerned- unless the show goes out of its way to make her seem imposing (it hasn't) then it isn't an issue at all.

But since people brought up comparisons between her looks in the show and how she's described in the books, yea, there's a huge difference.

It still doesn't make a difference as far as the show goes.

Toast Museum
Dec 3, 2005

30% Iron Chef


grilldos posted:

To be fair, I am going off of the world built by the books here, which very much makes a thing out of the accent being the norm. The show is an entirely different beast, granted.

They're right though; it's not a Mars-wide accent in the books. They often (usually?) refer to it as the "Mariner Valley drawl" in the books. Others mimic it occasionally as a joke, but as an actual accent it's a local/regional thing.

I'm on board with the rest of the post, though. The raid on the station in particular was really underwhelming.

AlternateAccount
Apr 25, 2005
FYGM

grilldos posted:

You will surely find out, and there were some hints as to why, but not done nearly as well enough as in the books.

I assume that they are some kind of "less lethal" suppression rounds designed to just incapacitate? But I don't remember seeing anyone that would need that except the cracked-out people in the chairs. And what exactly were THEY doing?
Big station though, maybe there's a bunch of protomolecule zombies elsewhere?


Fister Roboto posted:

Spoilers: the Expanse is actually a prequel to Laser Moon Awakens.

Everyone watch this, Auralnauts is/are awesome.

Athanatos
Jun 7, 2006

Diligence is the mother of Luck


ZorajitZorajit posted:

I guess the Martians his uncle suicided at picked him up and just let him go at the next place they passed?

When he was taking to Miller pre-drop he said another Belter ship saw the explosion and picked him up, welwala.

Eiba
Jul 26, 2007



grilldos posted:

To be fair, I am going off of the world built by the books here, which very much makes a thing out of the accent being the norm. The show is an entirely different beast, granted.
No they don't. One or two odd characters have the accents in the book, and it's an accent associated with Mars, but it's not exactly common. Bobbie doesn't have the accent, nor does anyone in that short story that takes place on Mars.

quote:

If we want to really dive into it, we can.

Wow, I'm sorry, I guess i don't really want to get into it that much.

I wish I could respond to this in some way, as it seems like a heck of an effort post, but honestly you're using language that I really don't understand. I don't get what you're saying beyond, "it didn't really work [for me]".

I don't keep track of who the director is, and I barely know what blocking even is.

The lasagna scene was well done, warm, and really entertaining, in the same way as the Donkey Balls episode was. Honestly it was even nicer as they weren't under a ton of pressure and we just got to see these people relax.

Thoth seemed like a small operation, yeah, but I assumed that meant it was a small operation in the TV show. It was a huge abandoned station with a few scientists being creepy in a room. Considering I know what's going on from the books, I think it actually makes sense for it to be a much smaller, creepier operation. The books strained my credulity by making it a huge thing.

Dresden was belting out his lines as fast and hastily as possible, true... but that's because he needed to get everything out as fast as possible. People were pointing guns at him and his work was being interrupted. He was alternately worried for his life and annoyed that his incredibly important project was being interrupted.

For what it's worth I think we should probably agree to disagree. You seem... pretty passionately disappointed by these episodes that I personally enjoyed the heck out of. That's okay. I hope my previous boggling incomprehension didn't come off as too passive aggressive or anything.

AlternateAccount posted:

I assume that they are some kind of "less lethal" suppression rounds designed to just incapacitate? But I don't remember seeing anyone that would need that except the cracked-out people in the chairs. And what exactly were THEY doing?
Big station though, maybe there's a bunch of protomolecule zombies elsewhere?
Miller did say that they were the type of weapon you'd find in a prison so we can assume they're basically nonlethal weapons, yeah.

Phanatic
Mar 13, 2007
Please don't forget that I am an extremely racist idiot who also has terrible opinions about the Culture series.


Doctor Butts posted:

I'm nearly certain that the whole reason behind Miller straight up capping the dude is so the writers can keep tension between him and the Rocinante crew.


No problem here. I never read the books. Could care less about them.

In the books Miller straight-up caps the dude.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Eiba posted:

Miller did say that they were the type of weapon you'd find in a prison so we can assume they're basically nonlethal weapons, yeah.

I think those are rhetorical questions.

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007
deadlift minimalist

For Bobbie, I was picturing Valeria Adams, that gigantic New Zealand shot putter. She's huge, like 6'4", so she just towers over everyone, and she looks ridiculously strong.


bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

DO YOU HEAR THAT? THAT'S THE SOUND OF ME PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK.

I don't really know anything about the books other than they exist.

The reason for the non-lethal seemed obvious after the 'scientists' went psycho after they were disconnected.

My take is that they were slightly mutated by the proto-molecule into some sort of living data processors. I mean, the guy went on and on about how you could get it to do anything. They were probably hard coded to only respond to him. That's why he was the only one that had the encryption key, it was literally him. Any other personnel would need protection against them if they got loose, but you wouldn't want to straight up kill them either. That's how I read the scene anyways. We'll see if that is true.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Toast Museum posted:

They're right though; it's not a Mars-wide accent in the books. They often (usually?) refer to it as the "Mariner Valley drawl" in the books. Others mimic it occasionally as a joke, but as an actual accent it's a local/regional thing.

I'm on board with the rest of the post, though. The raid on the station in particular was really underwhelming.

Eiba posted:

No they don't. One or two odd characters have the accents in the book, and it's an accent associated with Mars, but it's not exactly common. Bobbie doesn't have the accent, nor does anyone in that short story that takes place on Mars.

If I'm wrong then I can accept that. The feeling I got was that, like Texas, a lot of people have that accent and that's the stereotype, but plenty of people don't. I'm probably projecting as an accent-less North Texan.

Eiba posted:

Wow, I'm sorry, I guess i don't really want to get into it that much.

I wish I could respond to this in some way, as it seems like a heck of an effort post, but honestly you're using language that I really don't understand. I don't get what you're saying beyond, "it didn't really work [for me]".

I don't keep track of who the director is, and I barely know what blocking even is.

The lasagna scene was well done, warm, and really entertaining, in the same way as the Donkey Balls episode was. Honestly it was even nicer as they weren't under a ton of pressure and we just got to see these people relax.

The lasagna scene was wonderful. Everything involving the crew and Miller was great and had a clear and resonating arc.

Eiba posted:

Thoth seemed like a small operation, yeah, but I assumed that meant it was a small operation in the TV show. It was a huge abandoned station with a few scientists being creepy in a room. Considering I know what's going on from the books, I think it actually makes sense for it to be a much smaller, creepier operation. The books strained my credulity by making it a huge thing.

Dresden was belting out his lines as fast and hastily as possible, true... but that's because he needed to get everything out as fast as possible. People were pointing guns at him and his work was being interrupted. He was alternately worried for his life and annoyed that his incredibly important project was being interrupted.

He's a true sociopath who should have had a more terrifying, controlled, and commanding composure. There's a chance they're adjusting what exactly was done to the scientists for the show, which I can understand. That said, the way that scene was put together was not good at all.

Eiba posted:

For what it's worth I think we should probably agree to disagree. You seem... pretty passionately disappointed by these episodes that I personally enjoyed the heck out of. That's okay. I hope my previous boggling incomprehension didn't come off as too passive aggressive or anything.

The vitriol in my effortpost more has to do with overcompensating for the lack of critique I've seen for these episodes from nearly every outlet I've been reading up on. It feels like everyone is just so loving horny for a good space opera to be back again that they're quick to forgive some pretty blatant issues with these two episodes, issues that need to be fixed up if this show wants to be the hit it has the potential to be (and Syfy expects it to be). Space operas have always struggled to cross over into mainstream appeal, and these issues could keep it from doing so. It's also particularly disappointing after a truly stellar first season. I think the worst possible place a space show can be in is having the full attention of Syfy executives.

Again, there was a lot to love about these two episodes, namely almost every scene with the Roci crew and Miller, save that final scene. We'll see how the rest of the season shakes out.

grilldos fucked around with this message at Feb 4, 2017 around 01:02

404notfound
Mar 5, 2006

stop staring at me

Apropos of no particular post, I hope us book-readers can keep spoilers to a minimum and let people speculate about the direction that the show is going in. It's fun to see what people can come up with, and you never know when Ty and Daniel will decide to throw a curveball at us.

johnsonrod
Oct 25, 2004



grilldos posted:

And finally, Thoth Station's invasion, specifically Miller's scenes once it's boarded, feels off. This is the one scene where all of the problems of this season premiere show themselves. You get the sense that, what, there are like 10 people on the station? That station is loving huge, and the direction does nothing to really give you a sense of the space. It feels like a set, in the way that (another Syfy show, one that is not good) Dark Matter's station sets feel like a set. The blocking is weird and without motivation for anyone other than Tom Jane, and when his invasion lackies shoot up the Matrix folks with hundreds of bullets, they're all facing eachother in a big circle and should have shot eachother up. Badly. Tom Jane also wanders around and immediately finds exactly what he is looking for, Dresden, one room over, on a station that is loving Gigantic, according to the ship fight that the viewer just saw minutes before. Dresden's rant feels less like the pointed words of a charismatic sociopath and more like an actor just spewing out lines quickly.

This scene reeks of bad direction from the start to the end, because the director simply went by the plot, which is the sign of a lovely director. The boarding party breaks in, kid gets shot, Miller notices gel, scolds his men, they find weird people, the weird people get mad, they shoot the weird people, Miller leaves everyone alone for some reason, he finds Dresden, Holden and Johnson show up, Dresden says insane poo poo, Miller shoots Dresden. All of this happens, and the director does nothing on his own accord to make any of it feel earned or the least bit realistic in physical flow. poo poo happens because it was written to happen.

I'll agree on the point that the station did seem pretty small and yeah they found exactly what they were looking for pretty quick. I'm guessing that was part of what you said that they wanted to make sure they got the station invasion in the premiere. If they had of had more time I imagine it could have been improved.

A minor point but I can't remember if it was from the book or even from The Expanse, but I recall them describing the bullets they use as having certain special properties. Those being that they're not all that powerful and they shatter on impact causing them to stay in the body and prevent ricochets so there's no chance of breaching a hull. Like I said, that might not even be from this series but it would be a pretty obvious precaution to take with your weaponry when you're fighting on space ships and space stations.

*I don't really think it's a spoiler but better to be safe. Just an explanation for what happened on Thoth.*
As for Dresden's speech and Miller shooting him, that all seemed well done to me. Dresden knows he has a high chance of being killed by these people, so he makes his case as fast as possible. I don't necessarily see his character as a "charismatic sociopath". The sociopath part yes, but I didn't get any indication that he's supposed to be a "charismatic, commanding or terrifying" person. He's just a scientist whose completely obsessed with the proto-molecule. In his mind he's not evil and the deaths of a few thousand belters is meaningless compared to the rewards of the PM. He just has to make them understand and fast. As soon as Miller see's that Johnson is buying into his poo poo he acts. If he waits another minute it might be too late. The second Johnson gets the place secured with his people in charge, there's no way Miller's ever going to get another chance. Killing whoever was in charge of what happened to Julie and to a lesser extant the rest of Eros, was literally his only goal. I'm pretty sure he even says that at some point earlier in the episodes.

I thought it was a strong opening to the season.

Toast Museum
Dec 3, 2005

30% Iron Chef


johnsonrod posted:

A minor point but I can't remember if it was from the book or even from The Expanse, but I recall them describing the bullets they use as having certain special properties. Those being that they're not all that powerful and they shatter on impact causing them to stay in the body and prevent ricochets so there's no chance of breaching a hull. Like I said, that might not even be from this series but it would be a pretty obvious precaution to take with your weaponry when you're fighting on space ships and space stations.

Yeah, plastic rounds are sometimes used on ships to avoid putting holes in the hull. There are also the crowd control gel rounds we saw in the premiere and self-propelled rounds designed to keep recoil from spinning you around in zero-g combat.

quote:

*I don't really think it's a spoiler but better to be safe. Just an explanation for what happened on Thoth.*
As for Dresden's speech and Miller shooting him, that all seemed well done to me. Dresden knows he has a high chance of being killed by these people, so he makes his case as fast as possible. I don't necessarily see his character as a "charismatic sociopath". The sociopath part yes, but I didn't get any indication that he's supposed to be a "charismatic, commanding or terrifying" person. He's just a scientist whose completely obsessed with the proto-molecule. In his mind he's not evil and the deaths of a few thousand belters is meaningless compared to the rewards of the PM. He just has to make them understand and fast. As soon as Miller see's that Johnson is buying into his poo poo he acts. If he waits another minute it might be too late. The second Johnson gets the place secured with his people in charge, there's no way Miller's ever going to get another chance. Killing whoever was in charge of what happened to Julie and to a lesser extant the rest of Eros, was literally his only goal. I'm pretty sure he even says that at some point earlier in the episodes.

Dresden is a very different character in the book. He's the project's coordinator, but he's not nearly as hands-on as the TV version. He's absolutely a sociopath, either naturally or thanks to shady Protogen brain surgery. He's described as an unflappable, impeccably dressed older man who sees the raid as an annoyance, but not a real threat. He presents the case for his work in a collected, practiced manner, assuming throughout that he's too important and powerful not to get his way, let alone to be personally harmed. Holden and everyone else in the room (there are several others present) are feeling something like "I hate everything he's saying, but I can't find the hole in it," and then Miller puts him down.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Toast Museum posted:

Dresden is a very different character in the book. He's the project's coordinator, but he's not nearly as hands-on as the TV version. He's absolutely a sociopath, either naturally or thanks to shady Protogen brain surgery. He's described as an unflappable, impeccably dressed older man who sees the raid as an annoyance, but not a real threat. He presents the case for his work in a collected, practiced manner, assuming throughout that he's too important and powerful not to get his way, let alone to be personally harmed. Holden and everyone else in the room (there are several others present) are feeling something like "I hate everything he's saying, but I can't find the hole in it," and then Miller puts him down.

This, and Millerís decision weakened by, as I said, the lack of knowledge about just how much of a sociopath he is and also, in the show, Fred Johnsonís acceptance of his terms.

In the book, Miller puts Dresden down while everyone is still in shock. He acts to pre‐empt anyone entertaining the offer.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



Platystemon posted:

This, and Millerís decision weakened by, as I said, the lack of knowledge about just how much of a sociopath he is and also, in the show, Fred Johnsonís acceptance of his terms.

In the book, Miller puts Dresden down while everyone is still in shock. He acts to pre‐empt anyone entertaining the offer.

I got the same vibe from the episode, personally. He put him down when it became apparent no one else was going to lay down punishment for what he did.

WhiskeyWhiskers
Oct 14, 2013

We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism.

Diversity
is Disunity
is Weakness.


I got this avatar for being a giant shithead on ANZAC day.

I thought Johnson was going just bluffing to have all the data unlocked. I didn't really think he meant it.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



WhiskeyWhiskers posted:

I thought Johnson was going just bluffing to have all the data unlocked. I didn't really think he meant it.

Whether or not this is the truth, Johnson will loudly and immediately proclaim it.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



WhiskeyWhiskers posted:

I thought Johnson was going just bluffing to have all the data unlocked. I didn't really think he meant it.

I'm not saying he wasn't. However, I think Miller saw everyone buying into the bullshit and letting Dresden get away with it. Or even worse, letting him continue his work in a kind of Belter version of Operation Paperclip.

Personally, I liked it from a characterization perspective. Miller saw himself as reformed and a now a zealous dispenser of justice (re: air filter guy) and he burned for vengeance of an idealized love of Julie Mao. It also works in terms of the narrative by increasing the tension on whether or not the people ultimately responsible will ever be brought to task.

Proteus Jones fucked around with this message at Feb 4, 2017 around 03:53

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Disregarding the book, the Dresden stuff still feel off. The start of the scene has him ignoring Miller in a creepily calm way until physically assaulted, and then suddenly beginning to verbally spit out spaghetti while slowly backing up. The dialogue itself lends itself to a proper monologue too, one of those cliche TV diatribes by the arch villain. They even have inserts of the Holden/Johnson/Miller trio coming to the realization that this is not a normal man. If they 1) had the same lines, but Dresden stands still and vamps like Glenn Howerton and 2) had a proper audience of the belter boarding party in there with them, that scene would have been so much better.

flosofl posted:

I'm not saying he wasn't. However, I think Miller saw everyone buying into the bullshit and letting Dresden get away with it. Or even worse, letting him continue his work in a kind of Belter version of Operation Paperclip.

Personally, I liked it from a characterization perspective. Miller saw himself as reformed and a now a zealous dispenser of justice (re: air filter guy) and he burned for vengeance of an idealized love of Julie Mao. It also works in terms of the narrative by increasing the tension on whether or not the people ultimately responsible will ever be brought to task.

Like I've said before, Tom Jane is making up for a lot of poor directing here. He's the only reason the end of this episode wasn't straight up loving awful.

WhiskeyWhiskers posted:

I thought Johnson was going just bluffing to have all the data unlocked. I didn't really think he meant it.

Same.

(And to throw some more wrenches into this thread, I don't think Chad Coleman's work in this episode was very good at all. He was honestly borderline okay in Season 1.)

gohmak
Feb 12, 2004
cookies need love


grilldos posted:

To be fair, I am going off of the world built by the books here, which very much makes a thing out of the accent being the norm. The show is an entirely different beast, granted.


If we want to really dive into it, we can. To be clear, my issues are mostly about the TV show as a good TV show, not as a comparison to the books (however, the books handled the Dresden capture much better).

Season 1 is pretty great, and the way it differs from the books are specific, with purpose, and above all, entertaining. See Donkey Balls, an episode written by the book authors, with a plot entirely made up for the show. It's well paced, funny, stressful, and firmly defines every character on the Roci while doing some colorful world-building. Everyone shines. And on the whole, the season's plot's pace suits the split genre, half hard-boiled detective story and half a survival road trip. The characters push the plot, not the plot pushing the characters.

Season 2 has started out really bizarrely when compared to Season 1, which I just recently rewatched. For the most part, the acting is too stilted and subpar; the blocking of scenes is too stagnant (more on that later); and the editing is way too tight, allowing almost nothing to breathe -- most of the scenes that don't involve the Roci crew and Miller are too rushed. This post speaks to that feeling:


Season 1 doesn't feel like this usually. Characters did have little speeches they'd give which attempt to put everything in cultural context with dialogue that's not very realistic at all, especially Miller, but they were treated with scenes that weren't frenetic. Everything felt earned. Even when exposition needed to be dumped onto the viewer, it usually wasn't blatant and was coupled with solid character development.

Not all of Season 2's first pair of episodes is bad. The CGI battle scenes were a joy to watch, and all of the Miller scenes (with the exception of the Thoth Invasion) were fantastic, which I feel is mostly due to Tom Jane and the Roci actors. Tom Jane forces a scene to pace well. If you compare his scenes of Season 2 with Bobbie's, it's a night and day difference. He pauses, he collects himself physically. Do you remember how many scenes in the first season involved Tom Jane taking his time to do blocking bits like Stand Up or Cross A Room? It was all the loving time. Characters are drat near still in Season 2 unless the scene actively calls for something different.

So at the end of the day, most of these problems are directoral. Breck Eisner did these two, and he did none of Season 1's. I also would be willing to bet that Syfy really pushed for Big Action for the season premiere, so the Thoth Station invasion had to make it into the first two episodes. The editor had to really cram all of this in, with footage from a borderline director. I think in someone else's hands, maybe one of the 4 guys who directed season 1, things would have come out better. Especially if they didn't need to cram so much poo poo into these two episodes.

And finally, Thoth Station's invasion, specifically Miller's scenes once it's boarded, feels off. This is the one scene where all of the problems of this season premiere show themselves. You get the sense that, what, there are like 10 people on the station? That station is loving huge, and the direction does nothing to really give you a sense of the space. It feels like a set, in the way that (another Syfy show, one that is not good) Dark Matter's station sets feel like a set. The blocking is weird and without motivation for anyone other than Tom Jane, and when his invasion lackies shoot up the Matrix folks with hundreds of bullets, they're all facing eachother in a big circle and should have shot eachother up. Badly. Tom Jane also wanders around and immediately finds exactly what he is looking for, Dresden, one room over, on a station that is loving Gigantic, according to the ship fight that the viewer just saw minutes before. Dresden's rant feels less like the pointed words of a charismatic sociopath and more like an actor just spewing out lines quickly.

This scene reeks of bad direction from the start to the end, because the director simply went by the plot, which is the sign of a lovely director. The boarding party breaks in, kid gets shot, Miller notices gel, scolds his men, they find weird people, the weird people get mad, they shoot the weird people, Miller leaves everyone alone for some reason, he finds Dresden, Holden and Johnson show up, Dresden says insane poo poo, Miller shoots Dresden. All of this happens, and the director does nothing on his own accord to make any of it feel earned or the least bit realistic in physical flow. poo poo happens because it was written to happen.

I really do like the show, and I'm not at all saying it's poo poo and should be dropped or whatever extreme bullshit TV IV is known for. These were a pretty flawed pair of episodes with plenty still in them to enjoy. I am looking forward to getting on with it now that Syfy's blue balls orgasm of a premiere is done.


This is part of why the Thoth Invasion felt so off at the end of it, too. The invasion in the book was half an infantry battle and half Miller discovering the truth of that station, Dresden, and coming to a personal epiphany about who he is and what the system has become. There's none of the personal reflection in that scene. It's just action, baby! I'm fine with pure action, they gave it to us with the ship battle. So where's the character-driven emotional payoff I'd grown accustomed to with Season 1?

Wow. Well made and thought out arguments. I think you're wrong and season 2 is kicking off to be great tv. I hope they ignore criticisms like this and keep up the good work.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013



gohmak posted:

Wow. Well made and thought out arguments. I think you're wrong and season 2 is kicking off to be great tv. I hope they ignore criticisms like this and keep up the good work.

To be fair, the point of criticism is not necessarily to hate on a thing. And in this point I think grilldos is trying to counter the gushing of "PERFECT EPISODE" with some valid arguments. And let's be honest, while I think it was a good episode and I enjoyed it, it was far from a perfect episode.

For honest criticism, I think the hope is that the show runners DO pay attention to it and use it constructively to improve and address the shortcomings.

gohmak
Feb 12, 2004
cookies need love


flosofl posted:

To be fair, the point of criticism is not necessarily to hate on a thing. And in this point I think grilldos is trying to counter the gushing of "PERFECT EPISODE" with some valid arguments. And let's be honest, while I think it was a good episode and I enjoyed it, it was far from a perfect episode.

For honest criticism, I think the hope is that the show runners DO pay attention to it and use it constructively to improve and address the shortcomings.

And my point is that some of his of criticisms are what I enjoyed about the episodes.

Also evil sniveling scientist Dreaden is better that smug sociopathic manager Dresden.

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Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

DAAAAAMN!
Put your glasses back on.


Yeah but you're arguing personal taste, in 2000 words.

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