American Gods

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Copernicus
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American Gods

Post by Copernicus » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:26 am

I first read the novel (Wikipedia)American Gods by Neil Gaiman a few years ago, so I was interested in seeing how STARZ turned it into a TV series. The novel is essentially about religion and religious belief. It pits the traditional, old gods and old religious beliefs against the new ones of technology, media celebrity, and modern civilization in America. Gods are created by believers and sustained by worship, but the new gods have been steadily robbing them of believers. So a war is brewing. In the middle is the protagonist, a young African American called Shadow Moon.

Synopsis of the first episode: In the beginning, Shadow Moon is in jail for attempting to rob a casino. He is looking forward to being released in just five days. He looks forward to seeing his young wife, who has been waiting for him. However, he is called to see the warden and told that he was being released early because his wife had been killed in an automobile accident. On his flight home, he meets a mysterious "Mr. Wednesday", who offers him employment. Shadow claims to have a job waiting for him, but Mr. Wednesday just says "No, you don't". Shadow declines anyway and proceeds home. When he gets there, the wife of the man who was going to give him a job, his best friend, informs Shadow that his friend had died in the same car accident as his wife. While she was giving him a blow job. Later, while drinking away his troubles in a bar, Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday again, who renews his offer of employment. Then a large Irishman claiming to be a leprechaun picks a fight with Shadow, and the fun begins. In subsequent episodes, the dead wife returns to play a leading role in the series. Lots of strong female performances.

Everything about this TV acting is superb, including most of the acting, but you are warned that it contains a great deal of graphic violence, nudity, and sex. There are several cameos by great actors such as Cloris Leachman, Crispin Glover, Emily Browning, Ian McShane, Peter Stormare, Gillian Anderson, Orlando Jones, and many others that you may be familiar with. The sets are surreal, with lots of special effects, and the musical sound track works very well. Although the TV series introduces a few new plot twists, it is surprisingly close to the original novel.

Peanut
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Post by Peanut » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:16 am

I loved that book!
Where do i get to watch this series?

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Copernicus
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Post by Copernicus » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:19 am

[quote=""Peanut""]I loved that book!
Where do i get to watch this series?[/quote]
It's available if you have a subscription to STARZ, but the DVD should be out in October.

The TV series is remarkably faithful to the book in many ways, including verbatim dialog. However, there are some very interesting departures, which Neil Gaiman collaborated on. He has said that he now thinks of the characters in the book more as the actors in the TV series than he originally conceived them, especially Ian McShane, who plays Grimnir/Odin/Wednesday/etc. Also, the "new gods" are updated to reflect more current technology. The main character, Shadow Moon, is African American in the TV series, but not in the book. Mad Sweeney, the leprechaun character, has a much larger role in the TV series.

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Ozymandias
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Post by Ozymandias » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:33 am

It's incredibly slow, ponderous and pretentious. I gave up after 4 episodes. There is plenty of much better TV to watch.

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Post by Peanut » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:49 pm

[quote=""Ozymandias""] There is plenty of much better TV to watch.[/quote]
Where?
That's a serious question. Not physically up to outdoor winter activities and there isn't much else in the country. I've run through the good Netflix stuff; only more violence on offer now.
Besides Alias Grace, which, if bad will be a huge disappointment, and if good will be depressing as hell, I don't see anything in the fall lineup that looks even a little bit promising. The Galaxy Quest take-off is crap, btw.

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Copernicus
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Post by Copernicus » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:53 pm

[quote=""Ozymandias""]It's incredibly slow, ponderous and pretentious. I gave up after 4 episodes. There is plenty of much better TV to watch.[/quote]
Good point. This series will not appeal to everyone, and I am not at all surprised that you came away with a different reaction. It may be that this series appeals more to folks who have read the book.

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Ozymandias
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Post by Ozymandias » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:13 pm

[quote=""Peanut""]
Ozymandias;677024 wrote: There is plenty of much better TV to watch.
Where?
That's a serious question. [/QUOTE]

Have you tried The Expanse? It is based on a great book and I am really enjoying it. They are at least making some attempts to provide a show about space which is roughly in line with physics (they get some things wrong, but you can't have everything).

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Pendaric
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Post by Pendaric » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:44 pm

I just finished the novel last week, inspired to read it by having seen the publicity for the TV series.

I enjoyed it for the most part, and I may well pick up the DVD of the series when it comes out.
fear is the mind killer

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Post by Peanut » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:31 am

Thanks, will definitely try it.
The latest Star Trek travesty sure didn't work out.

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Roo St. Gallus
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:39 am

Meh.

I'm waiting expectantly for The Death of Stalin.
IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

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