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breadnsucc
Jun 1, 2020


mary had a little clam posted:

drat, episode 5 was awesome. Just weird and gross with great body horror but also, I was genuinely moved by Montrose at the drag show. I found that really lovely and , at least for this episode, I'm glad we didn't fall back on the trope of a self-loathing closeted queer beating the poo poo out of someone they are in love with. Beyond the sexy character stuff, I'm extremely curious as to what this is all leading towards.

Also, can we get a moratorium on people complaining about the soundtrack? Yes, it's on the nose, yes, that's a choice, it should be obvious by now this is what the show is so like... let's move on. At this point it's like complaining there's too much mobster drama in the Sopranos.

One actually pertinent criticism I have though is the climax of the Davenport saga: I felt like they played the surprise sex of a male for "poetic justice" which, yeah the guy is a racist creep and probably a rapist himself, but surprise sex as justice doesn't sit well with me. Unless we're not meant to think she was sodomizing the manager with a shoe, but that's how I parsed it.

That scene is perfect just because of how people read that scene. It was stupidly gratuitous and obscene and absurd, but that is so perfect and that is the point. The editing is weird between scenes though sometimes


Mameluke posted:

Yeah Montrose sucks. Like it's nice that Michael K Williams got paid to hang out with some drag queens and wear a big bruise appliance but he just sucks the air out of the screen. Give me schlock or horror, not "oh woo the violent old man is sad cause he's Got Such Issues"

IMO it speaks to transgenerational trauma, a big important thing and part of understanding things like how we pass on abuse and trauma to our children. One of the crazy things I've been thinking, have the only shades of brown in between black and white been the alien phone princess in ep one and the native undead two spirit person? If true interesting discussion to be had on the erasure of certain peoples in the conversation surrounding racism, and homophobia.

We're really going to need some sex worker commentary soon so I can hit my bingo card though.

breadnsucc fucked around with this message at 06:37 on Sep 17, 2020

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Skyweir
Apr 29, 2013


GoGoGadgetChris posted:

Big "Skyler" energy

Ah, you are one of those people. I was interested in the disussion for a bit there, but now I can see where you stand.

Snowman Crossing
Dec 4, 2009



Skyweir posted:

Ah, you are one of those people. I was interested in the disussion for a bit there, but now I can see where you stand.

On the side of the righteous

Solvent
Jan 24, 2013

These Words Hold Not Truth
Evident For All To See
This Hand Wears No Ring


College Slice

Thinking about it, I agree that the Montrose character is a total drag. I think the point I was trying to make was that Monty is unforgivable, heís a villain in the inner circle. His place is to remind us among all the magic and skin melting that heís the real monster, the cops are the real monster, and even Tic and Letti are not immune from being a part of that evil. Even the inner circle is not immune from the evils of real life, let alone this world.

Bismuth
Jun 10, 2010


Hell Gem

Holy poo poo dont compare him to skyler lmao. Solvent is right though

anothergod
Apr 11, 2016



What makes someone irredeemable? Montrose is a lovely lovely person, but he's also the impetus for the Atticus coming to Chicago aka the whole show. I would've been really annoyed if the family adventure trust catch was "the turning point" where Montrose "finally became a good dad" because that would've just been way too easy, but yeah... I feel like the theme of redemption is going to be a key part of the next 5 episodes.

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

He straight up murdered a person in cold blood, itís going to take a lot more than five episodes to redeem that.

anothergod
Apr 11, 2016



If magic didn't exist so would have Tic

Solvent
Jan 24, 2013

These Words Hold Not Truth
Evident For All To See
This Hand Wears No Ring


College Slice

Oasx posted:

He straight up murdered a person in cold blood, itís going to take a lot more than five episodes to redeem that.

I was a little hung up on the fact that it was a dead body that reanimated, itís just the way he did it, and living dead or not that was a helpful person who shows no animus towards anybody.

I think it wonít be too far out to predict some kind of ďmartyr momentĒ from him later, but in the meantime, his dialogue is minimal, I canít think of a time when he isnít delivering a line through his teeth, and his actions are mechanical (the character, not the actor) so yeah, thatís kinda a drag.

JazzFlight
Apr 29, 2006

Oooooooooooh!



Might have been better if they softened his actions by putting him in a situation like Yahima was hanging on a ledge or going to drown during the escape and he just didn't save them.

GoGoGadgetChris
Mar 18, 2010


Bad Dog

I still feel like there was a missing scene before Montrose's shawshank redemption escape

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

anothergod posted:

If magic didn't exist so would have Tic

I agree, but people here thought it was perfectly fine for the hero of the story to murder a person who did nothing to threaten him, a person who has in fact had saved his life twice.

But at the very least Tic is generally a sympathetic character, Montrose is not.

Solvent
Jan 24, 2013

These Words Hold Not Truth
Evident For All To See
This Hand Wears No Ring


College Slice

GoGoGadgetChris posted:

I still feel like there was a missing scene before Montrose's shawshank redemption escape

breadnsucc posted:

The editing is weird between scenes though sometimes

Yeah, this is definitely a good point, I think I'm just so out of it on Sunday nights during that wind down TV time that I let a lot of it slip by.

Harvey Birdman
Oct 21, 2012



Augh okay, I know I said I was out, but morbid curiosity had me watch 5 while I worked to see how the Yahima fallout was handled.

I wish this show just didn't touch queer topics at all, tbh, I think it'd be better for it. The story editing leaning on sudden disorienting jumps in time would still be frustrating, but not in the same painful way as the LGBT content puts me on edge. It feels really oddly thoughtless. Why was Yahima even in this show? The pages are more important to Tic this episode. She wasn't the reason for throwing the punch. :/ Either Ruby or Montrose's plotlines maybe should have been their own episodes- Ruby's seems complete, but the Montrose part is so rushed.. I wish he had any dialogue to have a glimpse into his head about things. The silent acting isn't really cutting it for me.

Probably it's unintentional, but man... the juxtapositions of gender non-conformity (yahima, christina/william, the drag queens mostly feel like props for Montrose tbh) and anal penetration (montrose/sammy, and ruby and the manager) have just the skeeviest vibes to me.

This show is really willing to not beat around the bush and deal with tropes about Black people in media head on, but the way it steps on a rake about the ways queer people are handled in subtext just suuuuucks. It's a big distraction from what the show was actually handling well in episode one.

Solvent
Jan 24, 2013

These Words Hold Not Truth
Evident For All To See
This Hand Wears No Ring


College Slice

Iím guessing Yahima will be back.

Harvey Birdman
Oct 21, 2012



Solvent posted:

I’m guessing Yahima will be back.

That was definitely my initial suspicion but it's still super weird how uninterested this episode is in her.

Chef Boyardeez Nuts
Sep 9, 2011

[size=xx-large"]
You're not getting another fucking dime from us, Lowtax
[/size]

Something is absolutely wrong if people are upset at Michael K. Williams screen-time.

Bismuth
Jun 10, 2010


Hell Gem

Chef Boyardeez Nuts posted:

Something is absolutely wrong if people are upset at Michael K. Williams screen-time.

Yeah its not the actor's fault, I think he's doing exactly what the writers/directors want, and doing a good job. Its just the content they're giving him is a huge loving drag.

I was kind of excited to see some queer content in a show like this, i thought maybe we'd get a very often ignored and overlooked black/queer perspective, but its the same poo poo as always

The only potential this show has for doing something good in my gay eyes at this point is how it deals with ruby/christina's relationship. I hope they dont have ruby just run off at the point she learned the truth, because that...i mean, she already has been doing weird magic and very nearly murdered a guy, if she runs off just because her boyfriend is a girl I'd be miffed. Id like to see some insight into how Christina identifies, if william is just a useful suit or if he represents a real part of her gender identity. I dont have high hopes though

JazzFlight
Apr 29, 2006

Oooooooooooh!



Bismuth posted:

Yeah its not the actor's fault, I think he's doing exactly what the writers/directors want, and doing a good job. Its just the content they're giving him is a huge loving drag.
Lol, this just made me compare his LC character to him playing Omar in The Wire. Omar was also gay and did a ton of shady poo poo but had a pretty decent moral code.

breadnsucc
Jun 1, 2020


Solvent posted:

Yeah, this is definitely a good point, I think I'm just so out of it on Sunday nights during that wind down TV time that I let a lot of it slip by.

its the worst part of the show unless it has some secret purpose tbd and even then its a lame way to do a plot to cut out story stuff and then have everyone spend the first ten minutes talking about what happened between episodes

AtraMorS
Feb 29, 2004

If at the end of a war story you feel that some tiny bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie

Soooooo this will probably not be a popular opinion, but I got curious today about MKW's own sexuality. He's kinda known for playing gay/bi characters--not exclusively or anything, but they're 2/3 of his HBO characters that I've seen--and I've never heard him included in any list of straight actors taking roles from LGBTQ actors. Wikipedia had nothing, but I did find this NYT article from a few years ago. It had the following segment (and I'm gonna put a couple slurs behind spoilers):

quote:

The Vanderveer of Mr. Williamsís childhood was often a landscape of drugs and violence. As he rode down the avenue, nearly every corner conjured a grisly memory. ďThatís where I saw my first shooting,Ē he said, passing New York Avenue. Two blocks later: ďThatís where I first got robbed.Ē

Born in 1966, Mr. Williams rarely envisioned a life beyond Brooklyn. His mother, an immigrant from the Bahamas, worked as a seamstress for much of her life before opening a small day care center that she ran out of Vanderveer. His father, who came from South Carolina, was a gregarious but wayward man who battled health problems.

Starved of opportunities, many in the community took their cues from local gangsters, who exuded a swaggering masculinity that Mr. Williams contorted himself to realize.

As a boy, he was sexually molested and the experience left him withdrawn and confused about his own sexuality. He never spoke of the abuse back then, but his peers seized on his vulnerability and tormented him relentlessly.

ďThey had two nicknames for me: Blackie and enjoyable human being Mike,Ē Mr. Williams said. ďI was very soft, very fragile.Ē

Though formal acting was not yet on the horizon, his life became a kind of delicate performance as he desperately tried to conform. He wore knockoff streetwear and learned to walk with a lean. As a favor to a friend, he smuggled balloons of marijuana into Rikers for a man he barely knew. He was 16. (The experience later helped inspire a plot point on ďThe Night Of.Ē) Before long, he developed a drug problem of his own, and by 19, he was cycling in and out of clinics. To finance his addiction, he tried his hand at carjacking and credit card fraud, though the schemes left him with little more than a thickening arrest record.

Alienated from his family and friends in Vanderveer, he found a sense of belonging at the gay bars of downtown Manhattan in the 1980s and í90s. Though he did not identify as gay himself, Mr. Williams relished the sheer liberty of carousing around a space unencumbered. Many weekends, he would dance until the early morning at clubs like the Roxy, Sound Factory and Palladium. His nimble moves even landed him some work as a part-time backup dancer.

Most of that seems relevant, but that line about being soft reminded me of a much more current interview from AV Club about Montrose specifically:

quote:

I didnít make his sexuality the thing that I went after. It was the fact that he never had the chance to identify as anything. By the time we meet Montrose, he is so traumatized. He survived a massacre that took place in Tulsa. He moves to the South Side of Chicago, which is like moving into a war zone within itself. And heís doing this during the Jim Crow era. Thatís how we meet him. Heís been so beaten into a box and told how to feel and what the definition of Black masculinity or Black sexuality feels like. He was made to feel so much that being soft or being soft spoken or being mildÖ that his demeanor was a sign of weakness by his father that I donít think he really had a chance to define himself any which way.

[snipped, partially because I think the next sentence was a spoiler]

Montrose was very soft growing up. He was very afraid, fragile, and he was abused by his dad. So that demeanor that we see him have, thatís because he was battered and very traumatized. Heís not given a space to explore, so when you see him let down his guard [in the ballroom scene], heís going back to the little boy in him that was so severely scarred and thrown into this box.

Maybe I'm seeing layers that aren't there, maybe MKW is recycling interview answers, and maybe I'm not as familiar with bad tropes in queer portrayal as I should be, but this thread is flattening the character in a way that I think really misses the point. Like, we're perfectly willing to accept racism as a monster of the show, but...not homophobia or toxic masculinity? Much less a character caught at the intersection of all three? The biggest complaint so far --other than nitpicks about pacing and music selection--is really just a poor editing decision at the end of ep 4 (which would've been much better if it'd ended with Tic beating Montrose instead of leading off the next episode with that).

For comparison, a couple of friends and I use Sunday night for TV watching, and we've been going through Doom Patrol followed by this show, and I've gotta say I'm way more interested in Montrose than DP's own resident self-loathing gay man, who came off to me as far more stereotypical through S1. I'm not rooting for Montrose--he's a loving murderer and a lovely father--but I do want to see how they play him out, whereas I had a good idea where Larry was headed after about two episodes.

I dunno, I just don't feel what y'all are feeling.

(FWIW, I don't think we've seen the end of Yahima either, mostly because when we first saw them, they were deader than they are now. But if it turns out the show introduced them just to kill them almost immediately for some other character's development, then yeah I'll agree that that's pretty drat bad.)

edit: removed a jab about music tastes. the forums were crapping out so I posted a little before I was ready.

AtraMorS fucked around with this message at 04:16 on Sep 19, 2020

Doltos
Dec 28, 2005


Fwiw the only people who seem hung up on the Yahima/Montrose stuff is this thread. Reddit and twitter seem much, much more about race topics. Objectively Yahima is a throwaway character and Montrose being gay was more hamfisted than anything. Yahima being transgendered didn't matter as much as Yahima being a boring Native American soothsaying character. Montrose being gay didn't matter as much as the character being a lovely evil bummer that no one cares about his personal life.

I think the worst you can say is that the showrunners naively used being a closeted homosexual then coming out in public as a redemption arc. They saw it as a positive thing while LGBT viewers were like ugh wtf is this poo poo again. Same goes with anyone with a brain disliking anal surprise sex as a revenge plot line, especially violent anal surprise sex that probably resulted in weird sepsis and death. In the end it's a pulp show with pulpy poo poo and if you get put off by the LGBT relations you might as well get put off by the race relations too, which is the whole crux of the show. Pulp isn't exactly the best place to fight for oppressed minority groups and will most often result in wtf is this poo poo moments. If you can't enjoy it now I doubt you'll enjoy it for the rest of the show either. What is nice is there's several times where I look up stuff I had no idea about with black history and got more informed. If that's the goal of the showrunners then they achieved that at least.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


This is such a weird show. Normally that papers over a lot of weaknesses for me, but not so much here.

I will say that episode five was the first episode I've enjoyed in a while.

The ending, too, is very clearly meant to be Bad News, complimenting Wunmi Mosaku's arc from repression to hedonistic disregard for human life, and using that to say dark things about the abuse inherent to privilege (specifically in terms of race). It's a classic villain turn.

Solvent
Jan 24, 2013

These Words Hold Not Truth
Evident For All To See
This Hand Wears No Ring


College Slice

Some great perspectives here, I wanted to add that a friend of mine growing up had a dog named after the ending credits song. When I asked him about it he sang a big part of it.

That was Merck, he was kinda a performer, but Iíve known other people to speak verses of whitey on the moon, itís nice to be at least less ignorant and I tell ya, there can never be enough well played educational moments for people genuinely interested in being less ignorant.

davidspackage
May 16, 2007



Exciting Lemon

What did Tic say right before attacking Montrose? I listened to it three or four times, but couldn't make it out.

AtraMorS
Feb 29, 2004

If at the end of a war story you feel that some tiny bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie

davidspackage posted:

What did Tic say right before attacking Montrose? I listened to it three or four times, but couldn't make it out.
"Titus's pages?" is the last thing he says before punching him.

Totally different subject, but one that I was reminded of looking that up: When it comes to how we ought to view Ruby's actions at the end, it's worth pointing out that the episode title "Strange Case" is a reference to "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

Hollismason
Jun 30, 2007

"Real life is messy, inconsistent, and it's seldom when anything ever really gets resolved."

Goddamn that was not what I was expecting but it was super good. I was not expecting them to do a whole episode focused on a character we kind of knew about and then all the stuff with Atticus being kind of a total bastard in the war

Medieval Medic
Sep 8, 2011


Thanks HBO for not subtitling any of the korean stuff in my country to the point that I only understood maybe 1/4 of the dialogue in this episode.

SunshineDanceParty
Feb 7, 2006

One Road. Two Friends. One Ass.


Hollismason posted:

Goddamn that was not what I was expecting but it was super good. I was not expecting them to do a whole episode focused on a character we kind of knew about and then all the stuff with Atticus being kind of a total bastard in the war

Yeah I spent a moment trying to convince myself it wasn't him but drat.

Good episode and I've always liked Jamie Chung so it was cool to see her carry an episode like that.

FastestGunAlive
Apr 7, 2010

Dancing palm tree.


Havenít really had an issue with the changes the show has made from the book til now. Didnít hate the episode (fine to get some more backstory on Tic in the war) but I just donít find this addition to the plot interesting. Then again itís a bit early to tell so Iíll stay open minded.
Edit: Actually on sudden retrospect, I do kind of hate it. I donít see the backstory of Tic as a war criminal adding any compelling depth to his character.

FastestGunAlive fucked around with this message at 03:24 on Sep 21, 2020

AtraMorS
Feb 29, 2004

If at the end of a war story you feel that some tiny bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie

Gonna be rude for a second and quote myself quoting someone else:

Kinitra Brooks posted:

This episode also begs a conversation on the grander narrative of the structural violence of hierarchies, the problematic construct of our Western society that pushes the oppressed to become the oppressor.

<----eta: that quote

AtraMorS fucked around with this message at 08:32 on Sep 21, 2020

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012



I have to admit I was surprised it didn't dovetail into the end of the previous ep.

Wolfsheim
Dec 23, 2003

and god is on your side
dividing sparrows from the nightingales

Catching up on this thread became confusing because I thought the 'why could we ever like a character that would murder someone in cold blood' discussions were about Atticus doing war crimes, not his father slicing up the person they rescued. Which is....a little weird in terms of the broader series as a protagonist were supposed to be sympathetic to but I actually thought it worked well in the framing of this episode.

I liked it a lot! And also there was no bad Marilyn Manson song to completely take me out of it!

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


Why were those tentacles furry!?!?

Oasx
Oct 11, 2006

Greetings from Asbury Park

I really wasn't a fan of this episode, and was bored throughout most of it.

FastestGunAlive
Apr 7, 2010

Dancing palm tree.


Open Source Idiom posted:

Why were those tentacles furry!?!?

Nine tailed fox.

Power Walrus
Dec 23, 2003



Fun Shoe

This show kinda feels like itís made by people who feel uncomfortable in horror. I donít expect it to be scary, but I do expect it to try and holy moley the bad cg tentacles and her seeing this guys life of family and climbing mountains before he pops like a water balloon

The way the show handles ghouls and ghosts would not be out of place in something like American Horror Story, a show that embraces camp. People exploding like wet bags, giant Halloween ghost heads yelling at people. Iím glad that the show is going big on the supernatural! It just feels like they have no confidence in it so they decided to make the gore so outrageous that it distracts. Lovecraft Country tries really hard to be an HBO prestige drama, and the competing tones crash into each other like two boring trains. But Iíll keep watching it!

That Italian Guy
Jul 25, 2012

Rocky uses Explosive Punch!
Paid by the Spines-for-Lowtax Committee.


Oasx posted:

He straight up murdered a person in cold blood, itís going to take a lot more than five episodes to redeem that.

This is going to be interesting after the last episode. Not that I am not agreeing with you, and definitely the show displays a different behavior from Tic in the aftermath. Also, there's quite a time jump from the war to the current events. Still, our protagonist murdering a defenseless woman in cold blood "obeying orders" is a lot to take in.

On another topic, I liked the fact that they showed that, even if segregation in the US army had officially ended in 1948, there were still segregated companies in Korea.

Ballz
Dec 16, 2003

it's mario time



Open Source Idiom posted:

Why were those tentacles furry!?!?

She was a Pokemon.

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InfiniteZero
Sep 11, 2004

PINK GUITAR FIRE ROBOT



College Slice

Power Walrus posted:

The way the show handles ghouls and ghosts would not be out of place in something like American Horror Story, a show that embraces camp.

The very first episode featured this:



... so I'm not sure if there was ever a question about embracing camp. I guess they could have had a picture in picture in the corner of John Waters giggling but hopefully the message still got out there.

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