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Neil Gaiman's American God's coming to HBO. (Gaiman discussion


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http://hbowatch.com/category/american-gods/

I met Neil at a comic convention many years ago and I got my first issue of Sandman signed by him. I've read most of his comics and novels and enjoyed just about all of them. I've always considered it a tragedy that none of his works have made it to the silver screen, but I think this will be the best treatment we can get with HBO.

Any thoughts on who would play Shadow?

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It's been awhile since I read this book (great book btw) so I'm interested in seeing how this will turn out. Love me some Neil Gaiman :)

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I've always thought that the sandman would be great on HBO, Showtime or AMC. They simply can't stuff it all into movies unless they do it like a Harry Potter series. Benedict Cumberbatch for Dream!!!

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Cumberbatch's on the cusp of super stardom, so he's definitely going to be doing whatever he wants very soon. Fortunately he loves playing Sherlock :)

I've not read American Gods, but the adaptation of the story into an HBO series already has my attention simply because it's HBO doing it. I'm familiar with Gaiman's work and I have some faith that HBO will do right by him.

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  • 4 years later...

Reviving this thread because I saw episode 2 last night, and boy I'd forgotten how fraked up this story is.

I'm not sure if I like that it sticks really really close to the source material, but I certainly don't dislike it. Looking forward to episode 3.

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29 minutes ago, renegadeleader1 said:

I know nothing of the book, but keep seeing the trailers and it looks like garbage. 

It is most definitely my kind of garbage.

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3 hours ago, kajnrig said:

Episode 3, and... whew. It certainly is a Starz show.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I was thinking about picking this up, but i'm on the fence. Like others in the thread, I read the book years ago & I don't really remember it too well. 

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Well, like other Starz/HBO shows, there's full-frontal nudity that borders on softcore porn depending on your tastes. This is one story where I feel like the graphical depictions of sex is more thematically appropriate than other shows, but all the same, it throws you for a loop when it happens.

One criticism I've developed with this show is that they can't ever seem to just turn off the music. Everything has to have something playing in the background, and it's annoying as hell.

Besides those two gripes, though, it's an enjoyable story. It's a WEIRD story, though, so... I dunno. I can't heartily recommend it, because you have to really like that Neil Gaiman-y type of fantasy, and I don't think that describes much of the American TV-watching audience. It's definitely something you have to make up your own opinion about.

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Three episodes in and I still can't tell if I like this show or not. It has solid performances, some really great visuals, but it just feels like it's really up it's own ass all the time, like it almost implies constantly that it's trippy, and edgy and weird. I don't know, I'll still keep watching, but it gets really middling at times, I can't tell if it's good or pretentious. I've never read the book and know zero about the source material, I don't know if that helps or hurts, either way, it's definitely something. I would recommend at least giving the first episode a shot, if that is too much for you then I'd stop, it just keeps going from there. From what I can gather, with no spoilers because there are honestly very few to give, Gods actually exist, and the old Gods hold a grudge against the new ones we've created in recent times, and I guess they are going to war. Recently released convict Shadow gets tied up in all this nonsense, on the day he is released, by a man simply named Mr.Wednesday, who I believe controls weather, or is the God of weather of climate or something. Very strange stuff, like I said, I'm still watching, so I guess it got me. Also, should someone change the thread title? It was optioned to HBO years ago, it ended up on Starz.

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1 hour ago, Tking22 said:

Three episodes in and I still can't tell if I like this show or not. It has solid performances, some really great visuals, but it just feels like it's really up it's own ass all the time, like it almost implies constantly that it's trippy, and edgy and weird. I don't know, I'll still keep watching, but it gets really middling at times, I can't tell if it's good or pretentious. I've never read the book and know zero about the source material, I don't know if that helps or hurts, either way, it's definitely something. I would recommend at least giving the first episode a shot, if that is too much for you then I'd stop, it just keeps going from there. From what I can gather, with no spoilers because there are honestly very few to give, Gods actually exist, and the old Gods hold a grudge against the new ones we've created in recent times, and I guess they are going to war. Recently released convict Shadow gets tied up in all this nonsense, on the day he is released, by a man simply named Mr.Wednesday, who I believe controls weather, or is the God of weather of climate or something. Very strange stuff, like I said, I'm still watching, so I guess it got me. Also, should someone change the thread title? It was optioned to HBO years ago, it ended up on Starz.

Wednesday was Odin's day... just FYI.

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2 hours ago, Mommar said:

Wednesday was Odin's day... just FYI.

Dang, beat me to the punch. Yeah, the names are an important bit. That's the thing with Gaiman; he goes really deep into the obscure details of mythologies and takes it all more or less literally. Mr. Wednesday's name is a big clue as to who he really is. Wednesday. Woden's Day. Odin's Day. Thus why he says "What day is today? [Wednesday.] Well, then I guess it's my day." If you've ever studied any of the Romance languages, you've no doubt had to deal with some of the differences between their days of the week and the English ones (rooted in native Germanic languages):

French
- lundi (day of the moon (la luna))
- mardi (day of Mars)
- mercredi (day of Mercury)
- jeudi (day of Jupiter)
- vendredi (day of Venus)
- samedi (day of the Sabbath)
- dimanche (day of the Lord)

English
- Monday (Moon's day)
- Tuesday (Tyr's day)
- Wednesday (Odin's day)
- Thursday (Thor's day)
- Friday (Frigg's day)
- Saturday (Saturn's day)
- Sunday (Sun day)

Gaiman stories don't just use the "popular" modern treatment of a character. They'll go deep into the lore and try to suss out what that character actually is. It's a far cry from the sort of sterile depictions of Greek gods that you see in cinema nowadays, like in Clash of the Titans or the Disney Hercules, where the mythology is sanitized and manipulated to be more "Christian." (Zeus and Hera being loving parents of Hercules, for instance, instead of a horndog and a spiteful vengeful bitch, respectively.)

Which is part of the reason why I can't wholeheartedly recommend it. If you know a bit about mythology and have even a slight understanding of how screwed up it usually is, you'll probably enjoy this story better. If you're used to mythology being more of a simplistic, idyllic good versus evil thing a la God and the Devil, then you probably won't like it as much.

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2 hours ago, Mommar said:

Wednesday was Odin's day... just FYI.

Oh damn, that makes sense. I'm guessing he also helped those Vikings in the opening scene of the first episode get the hell out of the New World they accidentally stumbled upon, right after he demanded they play the most extreme game of shirts v skins in history! The actor for Wednesday is phenomenal, he's just a ton of fun to watch. Episode 3's Djin/Jin/Genie scene was excellent too, "We don't grant wishes." Indeed, to some extent.

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6 minutes ago, Tking22 said:

Episode 3's Djin/Jin/Genie scene was excellent too, "We don't grant wishes." Indeed, to some extent.

I forget if this is in the book or if it was just something I read into it, but it's a bit of a bittersweet scene. Djinn are traditionally tricky, nefarious demonic creatures. After a whole lot of time in America, where belief in them has waned to the point that this djinn has to subsist on cabfares, he finds an unexpected kindred spirit: a person of the tribe that he used to spend countless millennia torturing. "We don't grant wishes," he tells the human, and yet the next day, the man finds himself freed from his own existential crisis. The djinn himself is nowhere to be seen. After centuries spent dwindling until his once-magnificent fire only shines through his eyes, he extinguishes himself, giving what little he can to the last person to believe in him.

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25 minutes ago, kajnrig said:

 

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I forget if this is in the book or if it was just something I read into it, but it's a bit of a bittersweet scene. Djinn are traditionally tricky, nefarious demonic creatures. After a whole lot of time in America, where belief in them has waned to the point that this djinn has to subsist on cabfares, he finds an unexpected kindred spirit: a person of the tribe that he used to spend countless millennia torturing. "We don't grant wishes," he tells the human, and yet the next day, the man finds himself freed from his own existential crisis. The djinn himself is nowhere to be seen. After centuries spent dwindling until his once-magnificent fire only shines through his eyes, he extinguishes himself, giving what little he can to the last person to believe in him.

 

Stuff like that is why I won't and can't blatantly say it isn't a good show, it's a really good show in a lot of ways! That scene was excellent, and very somber, it went down pretty much exactly as you posted from the book. Now the question is will we see the "new" Djinn meeting up with Wednesday in the future? Because the previous Djinn met with him and Shadow in the diner in the second episode but yeah, he extinguished himself and made the mortal a new Djinn, freeing him from his pretty obviously hated existence. Once again, good show is good!

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The latest episode is probably the most "grounded" of them so far. It's definitely the easiest for a general audience to take in. Enjoyed it as much as some other episodes, more than others, and all in all had a good time with it. The actor who plays Anubis (or maybe some other god of death, or maybe Death itself, I remember being a bit hazy on that in the books as well) is excellent. I'd love for Sandman's Death to make a cameo sometime. She's just my absolute favorite depiction of Death ever.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Last couple episodes, the story's ramping up nicely. The small "Coming to America" bits are probably my favorite parts of the show. And my one critique from way back when still stands: Please, for the love of god, turn off the damn music every now and then.

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New episode, still hate the music but I'mma stop beating that dead horse from now on. The entire episode is more or less a dedicated "Coming From America" sequence, which I'm totally fine with. The editing could have been better - it keeps cutting back and forth with modern day events that aren't as interesting, to be honest (mainly because the plot moves along so slowly) - but all in all, it tells a great personal story.

I'm sad to see Salim not-Salim go; he was a pretty cool character, all things considered. Hopefully he makes a comeback. The Laura Moon plot thread is way more interesting than the Shadow one right now (again because the latter is taking so long to get going), but even here it doesn't go much of anywhere; it's still just a road trip.

The same actress who plays Laura plays the main character of the Coming to America short. I dunno if that's supposed to imply Laura is her progeny or not; I don't think so, I think it was more for metaphor, but all the same, I'm uncertain.

More Anubis and Ibis (aka Thoth), which is always a plus.

Towards the end of the episode, we finally get a revelation: Mad Sweeney was the one driving the car that caused Laura's death. As he watches her die (the first time, the night before Shadow gets out of prison), he talks to a raven. I like that particular twist. I don't think it was in the novel, but it fits into the narrative all the same.

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