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  #51  
Old 12-02-2015, 09:16 PM
Insipid_Lobster Insipid_Lobster is offline

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Originally Posted by Ragnahar View Post
That many black bars means it must be worth watching.
Yeah, i'm gunna check it out after I've finished re-watching Rome.
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  #52  
Old 12-02-2015, 10:30 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Originally Posted by Ragnahar View Post
That many black bars means it must be worth watching.

Can't be worse than Jessica Jones.
I was talking about the book and the show, so it was double-duty on spoilers.

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
You might say it's a cliche setting, but I actually discovered the book while looking for a story that depicted a Cold War between victorious Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. I found that premise extremely underrepresented in fiction.
The Man in the High Castle was one of the earliest big alternate history novels to take this premise (I think Fatherland was first), so it helped set the cliche.

And yeah, the cold war scenario doesn't pop up a lot, but makes for a more interesting story. Plus, I can't imagine a loose alliance of white supremacists and Japanese supremacists getting along very well once the dust settles.

I liked how the book also mentioned the Italians, though they're mostly an extension of Germany. The Mediterranean gets drained (which was something people seriously considered doing back then, apparently--read about Atlantropa to learn more about this abominable idea), and Italy takes the new "land" along with parts of north Africa.
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  #53  
Old 12-03-2015, 01:10 AM
Aneurysm Aneurysm is offline

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I liked the part where Obergruppenf?hrer Smith was told his son was well on his way to become a total cripple, and that he should put him out of his misery.
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  #54  
Old 12-03-2015, 08:01 AM
spidey1980 spidey1980 is offline

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Originally Posted by Pajamasalad View Post
It is very eerie seeing the US conquered.
Better get used to it. Kim Yong Un is preparing his army of high-tech super soldiers as we speak.
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  #55  
Old 12-25-2016, 01:15 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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I just finished watching the second season.

Short version: If you liked the first season, you will probably like the second one even more. However, the show still hasn't really solved the problem of the main characters being underwhelming (they did take a step toward addressing this, but explaining it would be a spoiler).

Long version: Specifically, they helped solve this by killing off Frank Frink in the penultimate episode. This was a pretty gutsy move, and actually a smart one. You could see the show struggling trying to balance out the stories of Julianna, Joe, and Frank, none of whom are terribly compelling. Getting rid of one of them (and I think Julianna is the only one who's really essential) lets them focus on the more interesting side characters.

Joe Blake is still boring. On the plus side, they've at least more or less decided who he is, so he's relatively consistent. In this sense, he improves from the first season.

Frank ended up being quite disappointing. He joins the Resistance, but this actually just makes him more irritating. This may be a failure of acting; once he starts up with the Resistance, he comes off like a bratty teenager who's just adopted a political cause.

Julianna Crane still comes off the best of the main trio, though her personality is somewhat hazy. I think the big problem with the main characters is that they all act and behave more like people from the modern US. Maybe the idea was to make them relatable, but this fails because they don't seem like they're really a part of this world.

Where the show still shines is with side characters like Obergrueppenfuhrer Smith, who is probably the stand-out in this season. Here we have a man who is the architect of a nightmare, and is now witnessing that same nightmare destroy that which he holds most dear (his family). Rufus Sewell's acting is superb (as is that of the actors playing his wife and son).

In general, the scenes in the American Reich are the strongest. The Man in the High Castle has some of the creepiest sequences I've ever seen. You see the bright suburbs and manicured lawns, the family dinners and prosperity--and then you hear what the people are saying. The chilling casualness with which they describe eliminating undesirables is something that sticks with you long after the show ends. Likewise, the heavy amount of surveillance is nice tip of the hat to Das Leben des Anderen.

Inspector Kido doesn't have quite as much to do, but he has good moments anchored by Joel de la Fuentes' excellent performance. Tagomi spends much of the season (maybe a little too much) in our version of 1962, where his family is still alive and has emigrated to the US. Much of Tagomi's strength comes from him being a just man in an evil society. You don't get that same level of tension. That said, they payoff made it worthwhile.

There's a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance on this show, which I don't think the writers intended. You end up feeling much more sympathetic to the Axis-aligned characters, not because you agree with them, but because they're better-written (and often better acted, though I think Alexa Davalos does a good job with Julianna's limited scope). During Frank's suicide bombing, I felt much more concerned about Kido than Frank, even though Kido's done horrible things (though Frank ends up killing a lot of civilians--the Resistance has adopted the enemy's tactics). Ultimately, Frank's boring, and Kido isn't.

Speaking of Frank, his friend Ed gets some good moments. I'm fascinated with the guy's face; it's like the casting team somehow reached into a photo of Dust Bowl migrants and plucked one of them out and put them on the show. You just don't see many people who look like him. Regardless, he starts to come into his own, as does Robert Childan, who's one of the most entertaining characters in the season.

One element that I loved was showing how the young Nazis in Berlin have created their own counterculture. This makes sense: like the RL American youth of the time, they feel relatively secure. Like youth in all generations, they feel the need to rebel (though they obviously do it more covertly--that said, some of the are well-connected enough to get away with almost anything).

Despite my complaints, I did quite enjoy this and am looking forward to Season 3. Might be a good idea to off Joe Blake as well.
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  #56  
Old 12-28-2016, 05:51 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
You might say it's a cliche setting, but I actually discovered the book while looking for a story that depicted a Cold War between victorious Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. I found that premise extremely underrepresented in fiction.
Well alternate-history in general is not very mainstream, at least in terms of big television or cinema productions. So maybe saying cliche is the wrong word. But the fact of it is that among the AH genre there is way too much "what if X happened in WWII." I guess it is cliche within the AH fandom? Imo it is a whole league above even other big cliches (like Rome never falls, etc). But hey, just because I am a hipster who would like to see a luckier Mongol Empire (seriously Japan, how lucky can you get? ) doesn't mean I am not happy to get AH television. Or maybe some very ancient Point-of-Departure AH that totally changes the world (perhaps by forging stronger American states or allowing for early contact to get the diseases out of the way before the actual land invasions, or a non-European culture becoming dominant which totally changes the whole world). But I ramble on...


The 2nd season thoughts:

-I am not sure where they were going with Joe, a bit too much meandering for my tastes. He is of divided loyalties, obviously, but what is the point of him? I only liked that we saw Berlin's youth while seeing him. Ultimately even from a meta perspective of "why did it matter that Jules let him live" it doesn't make terribly much sense. True, without him John would never gain the access he did and succeed in stopping the war but maybe if he never delivered the tape to Hitler he would have lasted longer (the tape really upset him) and some other options may have opened. Still he is far too divided and yet lukewarm at the same time to be interesting. He slowly slips into the depths of the Nazi machine with moments of "no this can't be right" but then he just keeps on slipping... it's all resoundingly meh.

-John is still my most interesting character. He was ever since they threw that curveball of his son being ill. And yeah Rufus is an awesome actor which helps (I will always remember Dark City). Though his motivation eludes me somewhat. Strictly speaking he shouldn't care that much if a war breaks out so why risk so much to stop it. Sure some of their people would die, but he doesn't seem the type to care about breaking some eggs, and the end result would be a resounding and complete Nazi victory. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that he still has residual loyalty to the USA or at least its people. He disliked burning Savannah and in the war the hardest hit place would be Nazi America.
But other than that I don't get his motivations... I don't get the feeling that he is a true believer, not anymore anyway. His son's plight changed him. Was he still loyal to Hitler or the Reich he created? I am not really buying it.
Still the death of his son will cut deeply. He could come to hate the system that drove him to basically kill himself. Or he could bury himself in his work, become obsessed with the movies, while his family crumbles in the aftermath of this tragedy and his absence. Getting hailed in Berlin might be the highpoint for the Obergrupenfuhrer, I am pretty sure things are going downhill from here on out for him.

-The Resistance are far too strong imo, they just shouldn't have these many agents, this much vitality, this much intelligence and reach given their dire situation. And like many other things this season I am not sure where they are going with them. It seems we are meant to relate with them, that they are the "good guys" but they are quite unlikable. I mean they are like fucking ISIS, bombing places, killing civilians in the process, actively trying to incite civilian deaths to gain popular support... and I think they killed Lucy despite saying they won't. Sure they are fighting Evil Empires TM... but some would say the same for ISIS and it doesn't excuse them.
And this is quite clearly communicated. Their fighters easily go from surly into asshole territory and they say, and we can see, that they are willing to be as dirty as the enemy to win. But then we get those cute moments like the funeral, Frank the plucky Jew rising up... I don't know.

-The whole season is kinda aimless. I don't mind ambivalence in a work but I get the feeling that the producers are not going for that yet that is what we get. I mean the resistance is both "plucky" and horrible. Two of the most ruthless characters in the show save the world. Juliana is just wandering around at this point. And Hawthorne's and Tagomi's magical heeby jeeby is just further muddling the waters.
But like Hlaalu I do love the world building. And it didn't disappoint this time around either (those kids in Berlin were a high point, makes sense they would go towards Environmentalism, a way to rebel from Nazi values but not rebel too much). And like Hlaalu I sure do love some of the side characters. And again we agree that those often tend to be Axis characters. Lucy's baby issues, the tragic fate of Thomas, John and Helen, Kido... they all were more interesting than the dissident characters. This ties in with my point that this is not what the producers want, but the Axis are more interesting and quite sympathetic too. Part of it is the old "even the devil is not as black as they say" and they wanted to make that dissonance between the horrible things they do and say while also loving the same things we do but I don't think they wanted them to completely outshine the supposed protagonists.

-And WTF is up with Himmler of all people coming in the 11th hour to save the day? I guess he is a true believer, outraged over the plot against Hitler, and he bought the "we can all go boom" story. Though he is one of the few I'd peg as crazy enough to go ahead with things despite the risk of a nuclear exchange... just an odd pick for a rational figure that's all.

-While this season was somewhat muddy and forgetable and while I am a harsh critic I also want to say I did like the show for the reasons I outlined above. And despite me being a harsh critic the show is decent, I am looking forward to S3.
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  #57  
Old 01-14-2017, 07:25 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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I just finished the first season.

Please don't hurt me Japanese people, especially the angry looking ones.
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  #58  
Old 01-15-2017, 04:39 AM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Originally Posted by PajamaSalad View Post
I just finished the first season.

Please don't hurt me Japanese people, especially the angry looking ones.
Wouldn't you be in the Nazi controlled parts? As a blue eyed blonde you should be fine provided your Arab and Slav heritage is not a deal breaker
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  #59  
Old 01-15-2017, 05:22 AM
Aneurysm Aneurysm is offline

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My favourite part of S02 was when Schmidty took out his son to the lake and was gonna go all eugenics on him, but realized how fucked up that is, so he capped the doc's ass instead. And then my second favourite part was when Schmidty's son suicided in the name of ze Führer and for ze zake of ze raze.


Nah, but seriously though, this show is a real interesting watch, no doubt. If you look beyond the alternate-universe-jumping-through-meditative-techniques and weird supernatural movie reels, I think it shows extremely well how a world where extreme racism and ideologies rule would be like, and where the morals and norms we take for granted today, what with human rights and all that jazz, never came to take shape on the same scale.
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  #60  
Old 01-15-2017, 06:08 AM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
Wouldn't you be in the Nazi controlled parts? As a blue eyed blonde you should be fine provided your Arab and Slav heritage is not a deal breaker
I don't think they would be able to tell but in this time line those immigrants would have never been able to make it to the US so I wouldn't exist.
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  #61  
Old 01-15-2017, 07:57 AM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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I don't think they would be able to tell but in this time line those immigrants would have never been able to make it to the US so I wouldn't exist.
Ah, so you have some recent immigrants in your family tree?

Anyway I was mostly joking, in truth all of us would not exist due to the butterfly effect. Even a tiny change may disrupt something as delicate as a particular sperm finding a particular egg at a particular time. And an Axis victory is a massive, massive change to the timeline.

And ofc Nazi racial policies were very idiotic when you look into them a bit. And I don't mean that they were reprehensible, which they clearly were, but they were outright stupid. For example Nazi's were hard pressed to explain brilliant Slav artists, scientists and leaders. So their explanation was that each and every exceptional Slav was a German who had been assimilated and made to forget their real heritage. Since Slavs were a supposed slave race then everyone with any initiative had to be brainwashed German. I suppose extreme ideology breeds extreme stupidity.
And while that is all painfully stupid and hypocritical, there is also a chilling component to it. It is very scary that such a stupid ideology was able to attract and convince so many people. How dumb and foolish the bulk of humanity is.
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  #62  
Old 01-15-2017, 08:33 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
And ofc Nazi racial policies were very idiotic when you look into them a bit. And I don't mean that they were reprehensible, which they clearly were, but they were outright stupid. For example Nazi's were hard pressed to explain brilliant Slav artists, scientists and leaders. So their explanation was that each and every exceptional Slav was a German who had been assimilated and made to forget their real heritage. Since Slavs were a supposed slave race then everyone with any initiative had to be brainwashed German. I suppose extreme ideology breeds extreme stupidity.
That's not precisely how they actually had it. The Slavic peoples were as a whole considered an inferior kind of people, but they were not considered a race per se, the NSDAP raciology still distinguished racial groups from ethnolinguistic groups. The thing with the Slavic people was that, unlikely as seen with the western nations, they were not considered Aryan for the amount of a non-Aryan admixture was seen as too high, especially in the South and the East. However, it was believed that many individuals within these nations could be "Aryan enough", and as the Aryan blood was essentially considered Germanic in its origin, these people were (if they'd prove loyal to the Reich) apt for Germanisation.
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  #63  
Old 01-29-2017, 08:42 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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I am surprised Japan isn't stronger than Germany. In the real time line they have a bigger economy and being an island nation should have several advantages. Japan being unable to invent the atomic bomb at this point seems unexpected of them as well. The Japanese even seem to have alternate reality traveling powers.

The rebels just seem like assholes to me. When Nazi Germany is about to invade Japan they weaken the Japanese? Wouldn't that just make it easier for the Nazis to take over the pacific states? That gate guard that was rushed for Frank to get the bomb into the building was poorly trained because someone trying to rush you is an indication that they are trying to do something suspicious.

Seeing Thomas willing turn himself in was pretty crazy. Nazi brainwashing is so intense that you feel utterly worthless if you have any sort of imperfection. The eastern US was always so eerie with how people were able to accept such an ideology so casually. I think the Japanese side really captures what it is like being ruled by a different race. Both sides were really messed up and I don't know what I would pick if I had to.

I agree with Annie though about the world being completely different and when new generations are raised in this environment they end up adopting the culture. It is the price of losing the war. With no Geneva Convention the Nazis are extremely eager to use atomic weapons without hesitation along with their crazy racial ideology.
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  #64  
Old 01-29-2017, 09:02 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Originally Posted by PajamaSalad View Post
I am surprised Japan isn't stronger than Germany. In the real time line they have a bigger economy and being an island nation should have several advantages. Japan being unable to invent the atomic bomb at this point seems unexpected of them as well. The Japanese even seem to have alternate reality traveling powers.

The rebels just seem like assholes to me. When Nazi Germany is about to invade Japan they weaken the Japanese? Wouldn't that just make it easier for the Nazis to take over the pacific states? That gate guard that was rushed for Frank to get the bomb into the building was poorly trained because someone trying to rush you is an indication that they are trying to do something suspicious.

Seeing Thomas willing turn himself in was pretty crazy. Nazi brainwashing is so intense that you feel utterly worthless if you have any sort of imperfection. The eastern US was always so eerie with how people were able to accept such an ideology so casually. I think the Japanese side really captures what it is like being ruled by a different race. Both sides were really messed up and I don't know what I would pick if I had to.

I agree with Annie though about the world being completely different and when new generations are raised in this environment they end up adopting the culture. It is the price of losing the war. With no Geneva Convention the Nazis are extremely eager to use atomic weapons without hesitation along with their crazy racial ideology.
IRL, Nazi Germany was leagues ahead of anyone else when it came to aerospace technology, which I think is the source of their power. They'd also have more scientific capital by taking most of the best scientists in Europe and America. Mainland Asia didn't have very many scientists by comparison, and they'd be building up from an almost medieval economic base in many areas.

And I think the rebels are intended as being unsympathetic, though you can certainly see why they are the way they are. They're mostly making things worse, though. Honestly, I'd be pretty okay with it if Frank stays dead; he was really obnoxious by the end.


Also, I was gobsmacked to learn that Rufus Sewell is British. His American accent is impeccable.
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  #65  
Old 01-29-2017, 09:06 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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Originally Posted by HlaaluStyle View Post
IRL, Nazi Germany was leagues ahead of anyone else when it came to aerospace technology, which I think is the source of their power. They'd also have more scientific capital by taking most of the best scientists in Europe and America. Mainland Asia didn't have very many scientists by comparison, and they'd be building up from an almost medieval economic base in many areas.

And I think the rebels are intended as being unsympathetic, though you can certainly see why they are the way they are. They're mostly making things worse, though. Honestly, I'd be pretty okay with it if Frank stays dead; he was really obnoxious by the end.


Also, I was gobsmacked to learn that Rufus Sewell is British. His American accent is impeccable.

I expected Himmler to be a lot more evil than he was. It seemed like he was going to be the one to push for killing the Japanese.
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  #66  
Old 07-18-2017, 03:32 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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When is Season 3?


This video announcement is just a scene from season 2.

Did the radiation from the explosion cause the deformity of his son? Is that why they are showing it?
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