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Talk abut Movies & TV here. Just tell us what you have been watching. Have hyper-academic discussions on visual semiotics. Whatever, it's all good.

TOPIC: American Gods

American Gods 14 Jun 2017 11:55 #249858

Anyone else been watching American Gods on Starz? Loved (most of) the book, and love most of this adaptation. They're really taking some chances, and for the most part it's paying off.
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American Gods 14 Jun 2017 13:00 #249862

Yeah, I've been watching it. It's been many years since I read the book, and I've forgotten everything except the basic premise, so I came into the show with little in the way of expectations. I like it a lot. I think the cast is great, especially Ian McShane.

I never get tired of the way Mad Sweeney calls Laura "Dead wife." Cracks me up every time.
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American Gods 14 Jun 2017 14:32 #249873

I've watched a couple episodes, then got busy, but plan to catch up soon. Good to hear it continues to be good. Didn't know it was a book, might have to check it out.
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American Gods 14 Jun 2017 14:33 #249874

I've surprised myself by thinking that Westworld was better, but I like the show just fine.
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American Gods 14 Jun 2017 14:54 #249876

RobertB wrote:
I've surprised myself by thinking that Westworld was better, but I like the show just fine.

Don't want to hijack OP's thread but...
I LOVED the West World movie when I was a kid and thought, oh shit, they are making it a series. It was decent, but I felt liked it dragged on a bit in the middle.
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American Gods 14 Jun 2017 15:42 #249877

The book was okay, but didn't leave a strong lasting impression on me. I actually enjoyed The Monarch of the Glen more, as a novella length sequel that almost felt like a Hellboy story. I will eventually watch this, but I'm not paying Starz for the privilege of seeing it right away.
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American Gods 14 Jun 2017 17:35 #249891

The details I left out upthread...

I was really stoked for it, because I really liked the novel. And I do like the show. But if I'm asked about it, I'll say, "You'll like it, it's good." If I'm asked about The Expanse, I'd say, "It's Awesome! You need to watch it!"

And yes, Leprechaun and Dead Wife are stealing the show.
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American Gods 15 Jun 2017 02:31 #249920

Liking it a lot so far, though it hasn't grabbed me the way the first season of True Detective did. But then nothing did in the last couple of years. Will definitely keep on watchin for now.
Gaiman is usually best when he's giving his own spin to something he found in his encyclopedia of myths and fairy tales of the world. Also, he's much better at characters and dialogue than at intricate plot, so I always thought American Gods was his strongest book.
Love the casting. That dream-like fog filter is a little annoying, and they could have used half the fake blood to better effect. Every time they show a penis, I'm like 'just shocking them US viewers with your ART again? we get it already'
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American Gods 15 Jun 2017 11:40 #249957

Nodens wrote:
Every time they show a penis, I'm like 'just shocking them US viewers with your ART again? we get it already'

Is anybody actually shocked by hanging dong?? I haven't read or seen any criticisms of the show in that regard. Even that pretty explicit gay sex scene in the second or third episode passed without any hubbub that I noticed. Much like Spartacus (another Starz show), the boobs-to-dong ratio on American Gods is probably close to 50/50, so good on them for being an equal opportunity provider of nudity. HBO could probably stand to even out their ratio with their shows.

I finally caught up with last Sunday's episode, with the Mad Sweeney background story. I really love the little asides and short stories that the show weaves into the narrative. I can't think of any other show that will spend the first 15 minutes of an episode telling a seemingly unrelated side story, just for the purposes of world-building. I like that a lot.

As for Gaiman's work, it's hit-and-miss for me. Coraline is my favorite by a long ways. I recently read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was short and very good. I also think Neverwhere is an underrated gem. I tried reading the Sandman comics a while back, but after 2 or 3 trades, I kind of fizzled out. I don't really remember why, but I just didn't get into those.
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American Gods 16 Jun 2017 05:04 #250008

Joebot wrote:
Nodens wrote:
Every time they show a penis, I'm like 'just shocking them US viewers with your ART again? we get it already'

Is anybody actually shocked by hanging dong?? I haven't read or seen any criticisms of the show in that regard. Even that pretty explicit gay sex scene in the second or third episode passed without any hubbub that I noticed. Much like Spartacus (another Starz show), the boobs-to-dong ratio on American Gods is probably close to 50/50, so good on them for being an equal opportunity provider of nudity. HBO could probably stand to even out their ratio with their shows.
You're problably right, it's not a summer blockbuster, the audience is more mature. And sex is very important to what the story is about, so 'is good'.

Joebot wrote:
As for Gaiman's work, it's hit-and-miss for me. Coraline is my favorite by a long ways. I recently read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was short and very good. I also think Neverwhere is an underrated gem. I tried reading the Sandman comics a while back, but after 2 or 3 trades, I kind of fizzled out. I don't really remember why, but I just didn't get into those.
Sandman has three or four amazingly great stories, but there is a lot of filler material where he's flailing around trying to get the plot back on track. The Rose Walker storyline stands out, but I have a suspicion it wouldn't have been as strong without the weaker stuff, because one might argue it is the central story of the whole thing. Loved Neverwhere, and the British tv adaption wasn't too bad either. Honourable mention to Stardust, because even if it has its flaws, it kind of works and at least he had the balls to try to tell a fairy tale love story. It's almost like he said: 'Listen, I am not a boys' writer.'
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American Gods 16 Jun 2017 11:16 #250021

Nodens wrote:
Sandman has three or four amazingly great stories, but there is a lot of filler material where he's flailing around trying to get the plot back on track. The Rose Walker storyline stands out, but I have a suspicion it wouldn't have been as strong without the weaker stuff, because one might argue it is the central story of the whole thing.

I see where both you and Joebot are coming from. I jumped on board with issue #2, so I kept wanting this series to be about this cool Sandman guy. And yet, I was enjoying all these stories about other people, and my single favorite issue of the whole series was about Emperor Norton. And looking back, yeah, Rose Walker and The Doll's House storyline was probably the peak of the series. After issue #50, I enjoyed the series less, as it seemed like Gaiman just wanted to tell random stories. And then it seemed like DC/Vertigo forced him back to writing more about Sandman, so the final arc becomes this prolonged and joyless hunting of Sandman to extinction and then replacing him with a minor character from a completely unrelated comic.
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American Gods 17 Jun 2017 19:06 #250078

I've read American Gods about 4-ish times, and I think it will be a while before I pick it up again. There was a period where the Internet was all HAVE YOU SEEN THE CHARMING AND DELIGHTFUL THING NEIL GAIMAN HAS DONE THIS WEEK? A PICTURE OF AMANDA PALMER BEING PRECIOUS on auto repeat so I've taken a Gaiman/Palmer break. Another factor is that I just finished the Hellboy library editions, and in many ways Mignola's exploration of folklore is richer or different that Gaiman's, leaving American Gods to feel a little bit diluted. I know this makes me into some variant of comic book store guy.
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American Gods 19 Jun 2017 12:10 #250129

I'm kind of disappointed in it. I loved the book but they're really stretching out the material for the TV show. Some of the characters don't feel quite right, Shadow chief amongst them. Too many 'artsy' shots just for the sake of it. You see someone take a drag on a cigarette, you know you're then going to get a slow motion shot of the cigarette descending to the ashtray, then a surround sound BOOM of the impact followed up by slow-mo embers flying off. Loads of rather pointless shots like that. Man, that soundtrack is annoying!

Not all bad though. Ian McShane is always worth watching. Although the character of Shadow isn't really how I imagined him, the actor who plays him is fine, as is Laura. Some of the little vignettes are great, particularly the one about the tribe with the mammoth skull.

So yeah, it's alright, it just seems like it's trying too hard to be edgy and avant garde
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