Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reality is stranger than fiction


Sheesh, who thought this whole "World War 2" story arc would be a great idea? They started out with a bang - this whole Napoleonic thing, lots of dashing actions, fairly believable characters (a typically megalomaniac yet lovable dictator who is also AWESOME at everything notwithstanding). That was cool. Then they switched gears to a whole different continent and did "Civil War". Still lots of dashing action, they even did an episode or two set in the Wild West, good mix of romance, war, politics, and humour (they even slotted in Mark Twain! That's badass!), and the characters were more believable too. The action scenes were kinda monotonous though, Gettysburg and Antietam episodes plainly used much of the same footage for instance. But whatever, I enjoyed it so I kept watching the show. Then they dropped The Great War season on us! That was the highlight of the show for me - shit got so grim and dark (grimdark even!), and there was tons of stuff going on, and lots of famous people making cameos, and it was just over the top in general. The battle scenes of Verdun, or Vimy Ridge, or Somme, or Brusilov's Breakthrough were epic! The filmmakers used the gritty grainy effects combined with shaky cam to great effect actually. I felt they reused the sets of trench life and warfare too often, but the sets of life in the rear were refreshing. The ending was kinda meh, the authors wrote themselves into the corner with the whole positional trench warfare thingie, and they already used the 'gas' gimmick in the earlier episodes. The Russian Revolution and Civil War was a pretty clever way to bring the season to a close, but come on! Everyone must've seen it coming a mile away! World War 2 on the other hand was the most disappointing season yet (I'm still waiting to see how the whole Middle East season gets resolved, it's really dragging and I feel like they should just cancel the show). I pretty much agree with everything the guy in the blog I linked says: characters are very one-dimensional, super-weapon macguffin to resolve the season's plot is much less clever plot device than the Great War ending, the bad guys are Bad with a capital 'B' and seem to do EVILEVILEVIL all the time just for the LOLs, and come on - the entire plot is basically a rehash of the previous season with some new characters, nicer sets, better special effects (I have to give them credit - the special effects in this season are way better than Great War season), and more action. It's like they got Joss Whedon and J. J. Abrams to write the script, but didn't allow them to put in any lipstick lesbians or 'oooooooooh mysterious monsters scary!!!'. Epic fail!

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