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Thread: His Dark Materials series

  1. #1

    Default His Dark Materials series

    You may know this better as "The Golden Compass." Three part book series that they made into a movie a while back with hopes to make a trilogy... didn't pan out.

    Looks like the show just might be better!

    Also, the author has done more books in the universe since, so if this is successful they have spinoff material to work with,.
    To support Viz hosting all Jump manga for FREE and day of release, Arlong Park will now support the official release.

    Official chapter discussions now start Sundays at Noon, EST.
    Please do not post threads when scan sites release their version, and just discuss those releases in the spoiler thread.

  2. #2

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    This has been popping up as ads on Youtube videos for a while now, and it got my attention.

    I read the first book and liked it, then started the second one and couldn't finish it cause. . .it was from my ex-girlfriend's sister, and once we stopped dating, the book was no longer in my possession. Aaaand then I completely forgot this saga even existed.

    So, who knows? Might give it a chance! (+ James McAvoy).

  3. #3

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    Finally got around to watching the first season of this the other day, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I think on the whole I'd call it a failure. I'll keep watching, as a fan of the books and someone very curious to see how they'll adapt the increasingly crazy setting of the rest of the trilogy. But as much as I really like certain aspects or scenes, or some of the acting, or most of the visual effects and high-production value... a lot of things are just bad IMO. I'm curious what anyone else who's seen it thinks.

    I think two major things bring it down for me -- tone and pacing.

    The tone is all wrong in that they took a fantasy series that focuses a lot on wonder and adventure, and made it 100% dark, grim, and gritty. There is almost ZERO room for levity or excitement here. Everyone constantly looks depressed, or angry, or crazy. The stakes are always through the roof with maximum tension. Even if this were appropriate, you can't have it that way constantly. It's too much. But it's not appropriate. There is supposed to be joy in this series. But no, any time the show is at risk of having a good time, it invents new shit to be evil about; invents new characters just to kill them; invents new REALLY dumb and uncharacteristic subplots to be edgy. This permeates into the whole cast too, in particular with characters like Ma Costa who looks like a recovering meth addict and seems psychologically traumatized to the point of uselessness, or John Faa who is just some unremarkable depressed dude begrudgingly issuing orders. I don't know why they felt they had to turn this into another Game of Thrones, and it doesn't help in that respect that they picked up some cast members from it as well (that said, James Cosmo as Farder Corum is one of the best performances of the series).

    The pacing issues are less quantifiable but mostly the problem is how excruciatingly slow everything is. It's awesome that they can take their time now that it's a series and not a movie, but they waste so much of it with inconsequential filler scenes or plots and at times it feels like noooothingggg everrrrrr happenssss. Yeah sure let's have another 5 minutes of everyone standing around being sad, I totally didn't already get it. The last episode was particularly bad with this. What really hurts is there are basic things they really COULD have expanded upon but didn't. Lyra could have really used more fleshing out at the start. Her fierce determination, wild imagination, incredible ingenuity for making things up on the spot. They kind of try to show these things, but briefly and poorly. They also utterly fail at taking time to develop the relationship between humans and their daemons, how sacred that bond is (and thus how appalling it is when others touch one's daemon), etc.

    Other than that I think they gut a lot of the cool reveals and twists by straight-up presenting them upfront or prematurely. Time after time info just gets casually dropped that was absolutely not meant to be known yet. They completely drop the ball on Iofur Raknison's character and his big scenes (trying to avoid spoilers), and they dip so far into the second book so early (like, episode 2 early) that it really deflated me. They are just so desperate to set up Lord Boreal as some kind of supervillain.

    Finally I want to call out what I think is hands-down the worst casting choice. Lin-Manuel Miranda is absolutely atrocious as Lee Scoresby. I literally do not understand how they made this choice. His acting is shit, his portrayal is shit, his accent is shit. To be fair the writers butchered the character too. He's one of the better ones in the books -- an old jaded Texan veteran who is a good man but wants nothing to do with human strife yet gets pulled back in -- and they turn him into some young selfish grifter and compulsive pickpocket? It's fucking pathetic.

    Anyway, is the series actually bad? Probably not. It just does its best to miss the point and fail to live up to its potential at every step. I legitimately think the Golden Compass movie adaptation is better in almost every way, especially given the time constraints of the format (it also has much better casting on the whole). I'm curious what others think.

  4. #4

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    I struggled to finish this 1st season. I usually quit, but I barely have a lot to watch. Definitely not watching if there's a S2. Shows like this is why I quit things when my instincts tell me it's shit

  5. #5

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    I watched the first six or so episodes and fell out of it in December.
    It seemed really interesting but also surprisingly dull, and I can barely remember anything that happened in the show despite having watched the first few episodes a second time with a friend.

  6. #6

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    It's interesting because the source material is legitimately good. It's dull because the adaptation is a slow, brooding mess.

  7. #7

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    Is this show worth watching?

  8. #8

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiebs View Post
    Is this show worth watching?
    It's not terrible but it does get dull.

    Maybe give it a try and if you like it, go read the source material.

  9. #9

    Default Re: His Dark Materials series

    I mean, you could certainly do worse. I was kind of off-put due to being familiar with the source material, but then again that's also why I'm too curious to just give it up entirely. It's weird to think that in making this child/teen oriented story all grimdark for a more "mature" audience, they also ended up dumbing it down quite a bit.

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