Saturday, October 1, 2016

Stranger Things and Accursed Kings

So I watched Stranger Things over the past couple of weeks, an episode here an episode there and the two last ones tonight. I went in with no idea what this was going to be, completely unspoiled as it were, except knowing I'd probably like it 'cos nerdy.

I will not spoil any plot details but let's say it really captured my attention from the get go with it's incredible eighties style; I felt like I was eight again, this was what the movies were like back then, from the logo to the music to a hell of a lot of the cinematography. It just oozed a certain atmosphere that harkens back to, I don't know,  I guess Steven Spielberg movies like E.T. but, you know, for a modern and somewhat older audience.

Not knowing anything about it, I was stunned that the show was over tonight; maybe I'm too used to the endless developments of Game of Thrones but all of a sudden all the character arcs began to merge and boom finished. In that regard I felt the story was unbalanced, with a lot of buildup that was essentially resolved in the final two episodes (well, there was a lot of stuff that wasn't exactly resolved as well) and it left me somewhat disappointed; but, since Netflix is calling it 'season one' I can only imagine there will be a 'season two', though I found this season to be self-contained enough that it doesn't really need a second season - which I guess was a deliberate choice. Not a success? No season two. I assume this isa big success though, but I actually have no idea. For all I know it's a Firefly, which deserved so much more attention than it got.

All right, wow. Of course I loved the references to Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars in particular; I enjoyed how authentically eighties movies it was; I thought the cast was great (most of them anyway) but not on the level of Game of Thrones (but which TV series can boast similar excellence?); the special effects not so much, again we've been spoiled I suppose by the might of Thrones, but there were also moments where I thought they could have solved a scene in a different perhaps better way; not all character interaction came across as believable, but overall I liked the script's creativity. The villains (or whatever you want to call them) were a bit weak, in my opinion, but the story didn't really have much room for them. The best parts were without doubt (and now I have to check online 'cause I have no idea who these actors are) Finn Wolfhard (that's a great nickname for a Stark character) as Mike and of course Millie Bobbie Brown as Eleven. David Harbour as the chief did a great job, too, his story brought small, manly tears to my eyes.

Now it's time to put Stranger Things behind me and get on with Maurice Druon's novel about the Hundred Years' War that inspired George R.R. Martin himself (actually my Kindle version is a collection of three novels, the first three out of seven (!) collectively known as The Accursed Kings); I've read the very short prologue and first chapter, and while the prose is quite different from Martin's I can already see the links between Martin and Druon.

I find it interesting to explore some of Martin's influences, I guess if you mash this up with The Lord of the Rings and Martin's pre-AGoT works you'd be coming close to A Song of Ice and Fire. Maybe. Have the nicest weekend!


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