The Diary Game 31/05/2021. I watched SF-fantasy series: Shadow & Bone, Jupiter’s Legacy, The Irregulars, The Nevers, Watchmen
A few weeks ago it was bad weather and we stayed in the house and watched the series.
Shadow and Bone (Netflix) is mediocre. The action is based on a young adults book written by Lea Bardugo; maybe the book is better than the series, which is simple in size.
The action takes place in a fantasy world, a kind of combination of Ukrainians with Mongols and Nordics. There is magic, but there are few who are strong and not very well regarded in society, although I do not see how it could be a good idea to massively discriminate against people who could fire or stop your heart. In any case, as in other fantasy books, those with magical powers were rather tolerated in society.
That's a weak point. The second is intrigue. Countries are practically separated by a dark area, populated by monsters. It was crossed with a high risk of caravans. A woman with the power to shed light is discovered there, to overcome the darkness, so she is taken to the royal court to be trained by the great general.
And everything is very simple. All the characters are one-dimensional, and the conflicts are the classic ones: the girl is too innocent, the friend who does not obey the orders of his superiors and goes to save her, the king who has lost touch with the real world, the petty courtiers and so on. Everything is predictable.
I summarize the problem differently: the first seasons of Game of Thrones raised the bar too much.
Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix)
It's still a superhero movie, but in the modern world. Season 1 shows how the first superheroes appeared, around 1920, and in parallel shows their current problems and the problems of their children.
The series is well done. His problem is that he is advancing very slowly. The whole season 1 is an origin story that is neither out of the ordinary nor surprising, but only progresses slowly. The current story, with a mysterious bad guy and the problems of superhero children, is not too good either. It's just the classic clichés with the father being too harsh who criticizes his son no matter how well he acts, with his drugged daughter doing his head and so on.
Its advantage is that it is well enough made to play in the next episode. It wasn't until the end of the season that you drew the line and discovered that it wasn't, in fact, a very interesting story.
The Nevers (HBO) made by Joss Whedon.
Victorian London with strong steampunk accents. A kind of mysterious UFO appears in the sky and gives some people powers, X-Man style. Or, if you will, like in Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, the first of a very cool trilogy that I recommend.
Most of those in power are women. The one in the main role has a kind of asylum / shelter / orphanage / school where she gathers other women with powers, because the society in this series also discriminates against people with magical possibilities, although it doesn't seem like a good idea at all. As in the X-Men, the shadow owner of the school is in a wheelchair.
The action is related to various shadowy intrigues of some characters with still unclear interests, that it is only the first season. It wasn't bad, just unremarkable.
The Irregulars (Netflix)
Also Victorian London, but with supernatural accents. The irregulars are a group of street children (honest and smart, but soaked in soot on their faces and clothes) whom Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson set out to investigate some mysterious matters. Ghosts, evil powers, things like these.
It's just weak. I didn't care about those people, their problems or the story. I understand that Netflix has already announced that it will not do season 2. Don't waste your time with the first one either.
Jupiter’s Legacy reminded me that I hadn’t seen the Watchmen series, the HBO hit of 2 years ago. I watched him two days ago, serious binging. It's great!
Intrigue, actors, twists and turns, totally unexpected situations - he had them all. It is very cool work and in fine details, such as the news that is heard on the radio or the banners of some demonstrators that appear in 2-3 seconds on the screen. This kind of detail almost always shows a good production.
There are also all sorts of absolutely crazy situations that show that the writers went all-in on crazy ideas, like Ozymandias' adventures in escaping from where he was kept.
It helps to see the 2009 Watchmen movie first, because it's often about his characters. I also read the comics (the only comics I read, actually) and they are excellent too. The 2009 film follows them quite closely, in fact, and tells a well-thought-out and morally ambiguous story. She's going to be a superhero, but it's not about Batman here.