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Mama Deb
.:::.:....... ..::...:
Mama Deb [userpic]

I finally saw the whole thing consecutively yesterday.

Things I liked:

Much, much pretty.
Jack's canonical orientation.
The butterfly motif.
The piano.
The lack of any overt Christian imagery or references.
The pretty.
The queen.
The KJV style of the press releases.
How David conquered the Goliath.

Things I don't mind:
Jesse being female.
The reordering of the story for dramatic reasons.
The changing of the story for dramatic reasons.

Things that bug slightly:
Why Silas and not Saul?
The Hero being the only blond. (It's a trope I really hate - good guys always seem to be blonds in an otherwise dark cast.)
The dejudaizing of the whole thing. I get it; I don't have to like it.

Thing that made me go "HUH?"
Liszt - it's an alternate universe. It has countries named Gilboa and Gath and Oesterria (or however it's spelled.) That they speak English is something I'm glossing over - I'm figuring magical TV translating. But that our universe and their universe share a composer just doesn't work for me.


Caveat: I've been reading posts about it, but I'm only 1/4 through the first episode, since other things keep coming up.

There's a lot I like, but you summarized it pretty well. :-)

The whiteness of the main cast annoys me, but this is American TV. Unfortunately. As for the blondness of David and the gayness of Jonathan, those bother me a lot if they do intend to go the "David = good, Jonathan = evil" route. However, I'm hoping that the show is setting up these cliches in order to subvert them. They certainly claim in interviews that Jonathan isn't a villain and David isn't a pure hero.

(My secret hope is that the show was foreshadowing when David was told "I'd think you were a spy, if you weren't my brother." After all, the Biblical David allies himself with Gath/the Philistines [1 Samuel 27], and the easiest way to get yourself in the king's confidence is to rescue his son using your double-crossing knowledge . . .)

We know David's not a pure hero. He drinks and smokes, after all. :)

The only thing I could come up with about the "Why Silas and not Saul?" is that somewhat increases the distance from the Biblical story,so it looks less like a ripoff (not that the writers of the original can sue for copyright infringement!). I was watching it while doing something else and didn't really realize just how closely they were following the 1st Samuel storyline until the "David beats Goliath" headline made it way too transparent.

Silas is, at least to me, more of an N.T. name (one of Paul's associates on his missionary journeys. Paul's original first name was Saul, by the way). I don't know if that fits into the scriptwriters' logic at all, though.

They do the same with Jack. Which is clearly meant to be "Jonathan", only not.

This is a minor button with me, because I find "Jack" a silly nickname for "Jonathan". I know - people go "Jonathan - Jon - John - Jack", but that makes no sense from my point of view. The silent "h" in John is because it originated from the name "Yochanon" - it's from the letter "chet". In which case, "Jack" makes sense.

On the other hand, Jonathan = Yonatan. No extra chet there. It drives my husband slightly nuts when people spell his name "Johnathan" because that's so very wrong.

I think it is distancing itself to some degree (although - David Shepherd? Rev. Samuels? That the Royal family is named Benjamin? Not going *that* far. But they probably don't want to seem "too Jewish" or something.

ETA: A brief search yields this : Silas is Greek for the Aramaic Seila, which, in turn, is from the Hebrew Saul. Now it make sense.

Edited at 2009-03-19 06:15 pm (UTC)

Alas, you should not get too attached. Ratings for the premiere were terrible. I think it might get cancelled even before the episodes that NBC ordered are aired.

Yeah. I'm getting that feeling.

Foreign Policies That Make You Go "Hm..."

Ian MacShane appeared yesterday on "The View" to promote the series. He tried to explain the show as being in an alt.universe, where NYC was the capital of a kingdom fighting a war against Canada. This was just the logical turn I took when I saw they were using Manhattan as a backdrop. Personally, I think New York would win hands down if it ever came to that.

Re: Foreign Policies That Make You Go "Hm..."

Well, clearly.

At the very least, we outnumber them.

Re: Foreign Policies That Make You Go "Hm..."

Actually, New York State is around 16 or 17 million people while all of Canada is around 25 million. If we can just fight Ontario or Quebec, I think we'll have them.

Re: Foreign Policies That Make You Go "Hm..."

What, you mean NYC isn't the capital of the United States? Looks that way to me. Even aside from the Saul Steinberg "New Yorker" cover, who is paying tribute to whom to prop up their failing governance of the markets? Obama & Congress may whine that the Wall Street firms are misusing the tribute, but it won't do any good, and the tribute will keep flowing.

Re: Foreign Policies That Make You Go "Hm..."

MacShane's explanation is so far off it isn't even wrong.

Re: Foreign Policies That Make You Go "Hm..."

Hey, he's just an actor.

Things I don't like: the Evil Gay stereotyping. The Magical Negro. The Blond Hero. The hitting you over the head with obvious imagery.

Things I like: the setting. The reimagining of one of my favorite mythic stories.

I am on the fence on this one right now.

On the other hand, Christopher Egan can actually play the piano, which is a plus. :)

We'll see if Jack is truly evil. But Samuels is very Magical.

The Apthorp (which I used to walk past every day enroute to school for 9 years) as the palace, and the NY Public Library as some of the interiors in the capitol building - pretty nice.

The Big City is not really New York, though. The buildings are all different, much more modern, since the City seems to be a huge project of Urban Renewal or even totally new construction like Brasilia.

The de-jewing of it drove me nuts, but it was pretty cool. Alas.

Thing that made me go "HUH?"
Liszt - it's an alternate universe

Also, 1874 years since what exactly?

This is more the Chronicles David than the Samuel David, at least as far as the 2 hour movie goes. I dislike the way they disambiguated King Saul. The reason Saul loses the kingship is terribly vexing, and in Kings Silas loses the kingship for completely understandable reasons.