Recommendations-Netflix, Amazon, MHZ

Angela: Ozark is pretty good, but the plot line is pretty rough. MHZ is running Don Matteo and has I think the first 7 seasons on it. I am in well into season 3. The plot lines are fairly predictable sometimes but still very good the acting is great (They Call Me Trinity Terrance Hill (i.e. Mario Girotti) and Nino Frassica), the food always looks good, the women lovely :) and the Umbria scenery beautiful. Of course if you have already seen the show, my apologies. Cheers.
 
I saw the whole "Inventing Anna" mini-series, honestly it just annoys me. Why is this person being idolized by anyone? She's just a dishonest, shabby, narcissistic, thieving loser. The whole thing seemed unrealistic, I doubt it was actually as they portrayed. Then again, a lot of people are probably dumb enough to fall for her tricks. I'm sure if she hadn't been arrested, somebody would have just killed her, and that would have been the end of her.
 
The only thing I've found to watch on there in the last month or two is the latest version of "Kingdom" and some new episodes of Midwife. Everything else is ruined by Wokeism (a black Regency Rake and Viking chieftain, really?) or they're about people I hate.

I keep on cancelling it and then paying for a month when there's a couple of things I want to see. It's becoming a wasteland. HBO Max and even Amazon are better, imo.
 
I saw the whole "Inventing Anna" mini-series, honestly it just annoys me. Why is this person being idolized by anyone? She's just a dishonest, shabby, narcissistic, thieving loser. The whole thing seemed unrealistic, I doubt it was actually as they portrayed. Then again, a lot of people are probably dumb enough to fall for her tricks. I'm sure if she hadn't been arrested, somebody would have just killed her, and that would have been the end of her.

My wife and I just finished watching "Drop out" on Hulu, based on the true story of Elizabeth Holmes. She makes Anna Delvey look like small potatoes. We also saw the Tinder Swindler. Which is about an Israeli guy that poses as the son of a billionaire, and tricks women into wiring money to him.

I don't know how these people can live their lives knowing there's a massive lie they're hiding that will destroy everything. How do you even enjoy the money with that over your head? Doesn't seem worth it to me.
 
Is the Vikings thing watchable?

The earlier seasons are outstanding up until the point Ragnar Lothbrok dies then it goes down hill

The new Vikings Valhalla is pure woke and a historical mess

Last Kingdom is absolutly superb all the way through, no wokeism and more or less as acurate as can be apart from moving Uhtred back in time a little to fit the story
 
Thanks for the heads up about Vikings Valhalla; I won't bother.

Yes, I've watched Last Kingdom all the way through; excellent.

I tried to watch the new British import, Anatomy of a Scandal, and it was awful; typical "Me Too" retread. All women are to be believed, even the ones having an affair with their married bosses, who are into "risky" behavior, all men are rapists, especially rich, powerful, white men. One line had me absolutely livid: he's too handsome, never trust really handsome men; usually rapists.

I'm so annoyed that I ordered it for a month. If something good doesn't come on I wasted that money.

Amazon doesn't disappoint as much. I've been watching the Wallender series with Kenneth Branagh. The stories are well written, character, not technology driven, and he's a really wonderful actor.
 
My top Netflix series: New Amsterdam, Money Heist, Brigderton, Inventing Anna.
yesterday I started wathcing Dead to Me - not that popular, but very interesting
 
Watched House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power, both of them prequels: the first of GOT and the second of The Lord of the Rings.

I like House of the Dragon, although it's not GOT, at least not yet. As for the Rings of Power, I was ready to write it off after the first episode, but the second really picked up.

However, and I write this as a woman: does every series have to have women as the strongest or ruling characters, and women often stronger and better fighters than any of the men around them? In the case of Rings of Power does a full third or more of all the characters have to be black, when they weren't described that way by Tolkien? Don't we owe historical material some deference instead of imposing our own sensibilities on it? I mean, the Queen of Numenor, ancestress of Aragorn, Boromir and Faromir is black?

Or maybe we don't: Arondir the elf is my favorite character in that series. I don't see his color at all, which is what happens with good acting. You just see the character. He has that gravitas mixed with grace and a sense of ancient wisdom that are the hallmarks of the elves, traits which Galadriel doesn't possess at all. Also, since when was Galadriel a warrior? I also don't think the actress playing Galadriel is doing a good job at all. She may look like the Tolken character, but she doesn't personify her at all, imo. The strength of the older shows was partly the great acting. They should have invested more in actors, especially in The Rings of Power.
 
imo Tolkiens world is too outdated to make a modern show that is free from stereotypes, if you want to stick to the source material.

for example in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the last humans fighting Sauron are Gondorians and Rohirim which are a mix of various european cultures. Rohan seems to be based on ancient germanics. not sure about Gondor, they seem to be a mix of western european middle ages and the roman empire. they are generally described as having fair features.

the "easterlings", who are described as beeing swarthy and having yellowish/olive sktin tone and straight black hair, were serving Sauron.

the Haradrim or "Southrons" were also on Saurons side. their skin, hairs and eyes are dark. they come from Harad in the south of Gondor and if you go even further south the people start to look like half trolls.

the orcs are squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes. Tolkien wrote himself that he based these characteristics on "(to Europeans) least lovely "Mongol-types"

the elves which were the most noble creatures in Tolkiens universe were also the fairest.

it's hard to make a modern show that is based in a world like this without feeding stereotypes. lord of the rings was written by an english man between 1937 and 1949 and i think the world of middle earth mirrors this a little bit. so i kinda understand that the producers can't really stick to the source and try to mix things up a bit.
 
imo Tolkiens world is too outdated to make a modern show that is free from stereotypes, if you want to stick to the source material.

for example in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the last humans fighting Sauron are Gondorians and Rohirim which are a mix of various european cultures. Rohan seems to be based on ancient germanics. not sure about Gondor, they seem to be a mix of western european middle ages and the roman empire. they are generally described as having fair features.

the "easterlings", who are described as having yellowish/olive sktin tone and straight black hair, were serving Sauron.

the Haradrim or "Southrons", who are as the name "Haradrim" already suggests inspired by arabic people, were also on Saurons side. their skin, hairs and eyes are dark. they come from Harad in the south of Gondor and if you go even further south the people start to look like half trolls.

the elves which were the most noble creatures in Tolkiens universe were also the fairest.

it's hard to make a modern show that is based in a world which is built like this without feeding stereotypes. so i kinda understand that the producers can't really stick to the source and try to mix things up a bit.

Well, I somewhat agree, although the creator of the original Lord of the Rings series took care of that problem by making the vast majority of the followers of Sauron, except Saruman, Orc like creatures, and you could barely see the others.

Also, I doubt the people of Rohan were supposed to be Germanic. Although there is some debate about it, Tolkien was, imo, reacting to the two World Wars he had witnessed (as well as the despoliation of the natural world by industrialization). He wouldn't have seen Germans as the "good guys".

If anything, I think the people of Rohan were based on tales of the Indo-Europeans of the steppe.

The "heroes" were the people of the West, ie. Western Europe.

I'm not, for what it's worth one of the Tolkien fanatics who want every detail of the books transferred to film. However, I am indeed very, very attached to them, and have been since I read them in high school.

We can't re-write the whole Western canon so newcomers or minorities can "see" themselves in these representations. There are plenty of films set in more modern times which can provide that opportunity.

That said, in this particular version of Tolkien's work I'm less bothered by it because of the excellence of the acting of the main elf character, especially in contrast to the terrible acting of the woman playing Galadriel.

I wonder, given all this effort to make Tolkien's world look like it's populated by people from modern day New York, how large the minority audience is for this material in the first place.

I always thought the Tolkien fanatics who would flock to series like these were white geeks who spent their adolescence reading. In other words, people like me, although I was a girl, and the vast majority of fantasy and science fiction fans were boys.
 
Well, I somewhat agree, although the creator of the original Lord of the Rings series took care of that problem by making the vast majority of the followers of Sauron, except Saruman, Orc like creatures, and you could barely see the others.

Also, I doubt the people of Rohan were supposed to be Germanic. Although there is some debate about it, Tolkien was, imo, reacting to the two World Wars he had witnessed (as well as the despoliation of the natural world by industrialization). He wouldn't have seen Germans as the "good guys".

Germans are just a small subgroup of modern "germanic" people though. the language of the Rohirim is based on Anglo-Saxon, they are tall, their hair is blonde, their eyes blue. perhaps there is also an east gothic influence in Rohan since the east goth armies mainly consisted of horsemen armed with lances.
and if this is what he thought about the Indo-europeans it's not really far away from what the germans of that time preached.

i'm not so sure how bad he really thought of the germans for their racial theories anyways. if i look at my previous comment he certainly had a certain affinity. as i edited afterwards, i think some form of racist thinking was common also in england and it is visible in middle earth, were there is a clear racial structure from more noble fair featured races down to more primitive darker ones.
 
My wife and I saw "Gilded Age" on the plane ride home from Europe. I enjoyed it primarily for the fact that I find the late 19th century in the US to be very interesting. Basically, it shows the social dynamic between a fictional (based on a real life) "Robber Baron"/Railroad Tycoon family considered new money, and how they feud with the old money families of New York City.
 
I think my instinct about the Rings of Power was correct, both in the diversity run amok and the turning of the Galadriel character into some sort of heroic, rebellious, warrior. Although the critics have lauded it, predictably enough, it gets a 37% from audience reviews. Amazon has suspended reviews of the show.

These companies have to decide whether they are businesses which have to make money to survive, or the purveyors of a certain cultural point of view.
 
I think my instinct about the Rings of Power was correct, both in the diversity run amok and the turning of the Galadriel character into some sort of heroic, rebellious, warrior. Although the critics have lauded it, predictably enough, it gets a 37% from audience reviews. Amazon has suspended reviews of the show.

These companies have to decide whether they are businesses which have to make money to survive, or the purveyors of a certain cultural point of view.

i think a lot of those audience scores are from fans of the old lord of rings, who can't understand that the pure Tolkien Universe can not be implemented properly in a modern series. everything in it is clearly split into good and evil, pure and impure and it is clearly tied with the phenotype of the characters.
some old fans see more diversity in middle earth and it is automatically a bad show for them that doesn't stay true to Tolkiens world eventhough Tolkiens world has quite big flaws from a modern point of view which really do not necessarily have to be adapted.
if the show survives this initial phase it will be ok, since it certainly has it's good moments.
 
i think a lot of those audience scores are from fans of the old lord of rings, who can't understand that the pure Tolkien Universe can not be implemented properly in a modern series. everything in it is clearly split into good and evil, pure and impure and it is clearly tied with the phenotype of the characters.
some old fans see more diversity in middle earth and it is automatically a bad show for them that doesn't stay true to Tolkiens world eventhough Tolkiens world has quite big flaws from a modern point of view which really do not necessarily have to be adapted.
if the show survives this initial phase it will be ok, since it certainly has it's good moments.

The show either sells or it doesn't; it's that simple.

I was in advertising for a few years after university. To succeed you had to know your target audience. The target audience for beer was different than the target audience for fine wines. Then you had to figure out how to reach that target audience. Everything was based on test screening or "viewing" of advertising content. People either liked it or they didn't.

It was the most intense, stress inducing work I ever did; the last bastion of pure capitalism I used to think. You had to carry your resume in your briefcase at all times, because if the company lost the business you were out, no fanfare, two weeks notice, clean out your office, no matter if you were only a cog on the team, and not the deciding voice. The creative team might be trying to manipulate the emotions of the buyer, but the strategy was based on pure, cold, reason.

Media companies today are, imo, ruled by their emotional commitment to a set of far left values that are completely out of tune with the vast majority of the population. They could not have done much test screening of very early material or else they just don't care. It's like the conversations I used to hear if I stopped to shop in "Dem" territory and heard the wailing when Hillary lost. "I don't understand it; everybody I know voted for Hillary." If the people in their echo chamber like it, they figure "everyone" will like it. Well, it doesn't work that way. They forgot the cardinal rule of advertising or selling of any kind: KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.

House of Dragons is doing much better because in the early episodes it sticks more to the universe that those interested in fantasy media like. I've seen some leaked material from after Episode 6, and they're going to run into trouble too. People need someone to root for. I don't think they're going to get it.
 
i think a lot of those audience scores are from fans of the old lord of rings, who can't understand that the pure Tolkien Universe can not be implemented properly in a modern series. everything in it is clearly split into good and evil, pure and impure and it is clearly tied with the phenotype of the characters.
some old fans see more diversity in middle earth and it is automatically a bad show for them that doesn't stay true to Tolkiens world eventhough Tolkiens world has quite big flaws from a modern point of view which really do not necessarily have to be adapted.
if the show survives this initial phase it will be ok, since it certainly has it's good moments.

I refuse to watch it precisely do to what you are alluding to. It is a pure political statement interjecting diversity for diversity stake for representation in the fantasy space. This is the same problem happening with the Great American Comic book characters. I am an avid comic book collector. I bought my first comic book back in the day when they were sold in Drug Stores in the spin racks/bins when the cover price was 20 cents (or more likely my grandfather) 1971/1972, when they were 20 Cent cover price. I still collect silver and bronze age books (1960's to 1970's) stuff but refuse to collect any modern stuff given to what the Corporate executives have done to the canon regarding these characters (woke ideology run amok).

Netflix a few years back did 2 shows that were true to the canon and origins of 2 Marvel Comics characters, 1) Daredevil and 2) Luke Cage (one of the early African-American characters created by Marvel, debuting in 1972; The Black Panther is from mid 1960's). Both shows were in my view excellent. They both stayed true to the original canon of the characters as the creators of both characters created them.

And the reason moderns can't see the original Tolkien Universe in the way it was intended is because Tolkien was an orthodox Catholic, Yes I will come out and say it and those that have problem with that well that is their problem. So pure and impure was not tied to race and ethnicity but more in terms of grace/holiness vs sin/evil theological concepts or good vs evil. But again, the modern West has lost all sense of those realities and even a secularist who still sees the cultural norms that were passed down through the centuries in Europe (this applies to the USA/Canada/Australia as well) as having value could still see the notion of good vs. evil.

So I refuse to watch it, same for the new Game of Thrones prequel.
 
I refuse to watch it precisely do to what you are alluding to. It is a pure political statement interjecting diversity for diversity stake for representation in the fantasy space. This is the same problem happening with the Great American Comic book characters. I am an avid comic book collector. I bought my first comic book back in the day when they were sold in Drug Stores in the spin racks/bins when the cover price was 20 cents (or more likely my grandfather) 1971/1972, when they were 20 Cent cover price. I still collect silver and bronze age books (1960's to 1970's) stuff but refuse to collect any modern stuff given to what the Corporate executives have done to the canon regarding these characters (woke ideology run amok).

what do you want instead? that the producers adopt Tolkiens work which was written in the 1940's one to one? that all elves are depicted as these super fair featured superhumans? that most numenorians who colonized middle earth and tought people how to be civilized are tall, blonde with blue eyes with a few having dark hair like Tolkien described them? the blonde ones descending from the "greater folk", the dark ones from the "lesser folk". btw the "northmen" like the Rohirim later descended from the greater folk.

So pure and impure was not tied to race and ethnicity but more in terms of grace/holiness vs sin/evil theological concepts or good vs evil.

of course you could say that all i wrote until now is just pure coincidence or perhaps Tolkien just liked blondes more.
 
I refuse to watch it precisely do to what you are alluding to. It is a pure political statement interjecting diversity for diversity stake for representation in the fantasy space. This is the same problem happening with the Great American Comic book characters. I am an avid comic book collector. I bought my first comic book back in the day when they were sold in Drug Stores in the spin racks/bins when the cover price was 20 cents (or more likely my grandfather) 1971/1972, when they were 20 Cent cover price. I still collect silver and bronze age books (1960's to 1970's) stuff but refuse to collect any modern stuff given to what the Corporate executives have done to the canon regarding these characters (woke ideology run amok).

Netflix a few years back did 2 shows that were true to the canon and origins of 2 Marvel Comics characters, 1) Daredevil and 2) Luke Cage (one of the early African-American characters created by Marvel, debuting in 1972; The Black Panther is from mid 1960's). Both shows were in my view excellent. They both stayed true to the original canon of the characters as the creators of both characters created them.

And the reason moderns can't see the original Tolkien Universe in the way it was intended is because Tolkien was an orthodox Catholic, Yes I will come out and say it and those that have problem with that well that is their problem. So pure and impure was not tied to race and ethnicity but more in terms of grace/holiness vs sin/evil theological concepts or good vs evil. But again, the modern West has lost all sense of those realities and even a secularist who still sees the cultural norms that were passed down through the centuries in Europe (this applies to the USA/Canada/Australia as well) as having value could still see the notion of good vs. evil.

So I refuse to watch it, same for the new Game of Thrones prequel.

You're not missing much, especially as concerns Rings of Power.

I, and a lot of others, have always loved Tolkien not just because of the beautiful language of the books, or the extremely detailed creation of a parallel universe, or the marvelous characters, although all of that is present and essential, but mainly precisely for that moral sensibility. Man and woman can love one another truly and loyally. True friendship can endure anything. There is good and evil in the world, and in a lot of instances you have to choose one or the other.

Yes, I loved the Aragorn character, and Elrond and Galadriel and the rest of the elves, and Faromir, particularly in the books, but it was the hobbits who held my heart, and especially Sam. To me he was the real hero: loving, loyal, self-less, with an unerring sense of the good and the determination and courage to follow it. To this day, after I don't know how many times I've read or seen it, when he says "I may not be able to carry it (the ring), but I can carry you.", I start crying.

George R.R.Martin and all the other fantasy writers after Tolkien stole from him unabashedly, and in the process coarsened fantasy fiction, imo, especially in the HBO GOT version. I mean how much simulated coitus do we need to see on screen, especially when it's so unfeeling or even joyous? Even in that, however, while the characters had human flaws, there were good characters and evil characters: Ned Stark, Jon, vs. Cercei Lannister and her evil father, for example.

The conflict of good vs. evil was the underpinning of the westerns. When they were deconstructed, the people who believed in the existence of that dichotomy went to fantasy fiction to some degree, imo. Now they are meddling with that.

Btw, have you seen some of the PR about the Padre Pio movie? Do you believe Shia LeBeouf is sincere in his conversion? I'm definitely going to watch the film, given its directed by a Buddhist, so who knows what kind of Padre Pio we get. I think the real Padre Pio would be a hard pill to swallow even for a lot of practicing Catholics.
 
what do you want instead? that the producers adopt Tolkiens work which was written in the 1940's one to one? that all elves are depicted as these super fair featured superhumans? that most numenorians who colonized middle earth and tought people how to be civilized are tall, blonde with blue eyes with a few having dark hair like Tolkien described them? the blonde ones descending from the "greater folk", the dark ones from the "lesser folk". btw the "northmen" like the Rohirim also descended from the greater folk.


I'd like Gondor as Byzantium, and Gondorians as the "People of the South", just like Tolkien described them.:embarassed:
 

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