[TV] Talk about the last TV you watched, the catchall thread

Yeah, it also seemed really stupid to board a ship with 3 people.
At least that's easily explained away by crew contingent of cramped vessels, and experience boarding vessels etc. (also, actor count, i just assume that they would have put more ppl in if money was no issue, but they wou;d still all get killed during the assault).
 
I am watching the Witcher. It's extremely faithful to the books, with a little added and taken away here and there with the first three episodes mostly just taken from the first collection of short stories interspersed with the later books over-arching stuff.

Spoiler alert, episode 3 is the opening cinematic of the first Witcher game.
 
Not yet. I can see some folks not liking the format of the show. The timelines are all over the place.
 
Oh it is. But I like it so far. Only watched the first two episodes. Will watch the rest over the next days.
 
The first episode is by far the weakest, even though it's taken from one of the best of the short stories. It get better from there, if anyone feels put off by it. The third episode is really, really excellent.

Anya Chalotra is absolutely nailing it as Yennefer. Her casting was amazing.
 
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fade

Staff member
I read an interview with Cavill, and he said he was a huge fan of the books and the games, and had played them "end to end". That seemed promising to me.
 
Cavill's a big gaming dork. Dude said he apparently played through Total War Warhammer 2 with every faction. That's....a lot of fucking hours spent playing Total War Warhammer 2.
 
If I had one major complaint, it would be that the Nilfgaard armour is fucking dreadful looking. Black, shriveled testicle armour. Everyone involved in designing, to greenlighting, to building it, should be ashamed.
 
Well played Mr. Robot, well played.
Great ending to the show. Much better than I expected.
 
Any bets on Yennefer being next years big baby name?
As someone who didn’t read the books or play the games, the first season was great. Loved it, and can’t wait until next season.
 
Mr. Z has been watching Witcher, and enjoying it. But he always seems to start episodes right as I'm going to bed, so I haven't actually seen an episode, but I've heard quite a bit of it. I read an observation somewhere that Henry Cavill sounds like Superman trying to sound like Batman, which, even with my eyes closed, I can indentify him instantly. I shared this with Mr. Z as he started a new episode last night, he chuckled and goes,

[strained whisper]"Kick. Over. The desk!"
 
My brain is having a really hard time with all these Witcher .GIFs/screenshots. In my mind, I keep unconsciously replacing Henry Cavill as the actor with Adrian Paul.

—Patrick
 

figmentPez

Staff member
My brain is having a really hard time with all these Witcher .GIFs/screenshots. In my mind, I keep unconsciously replacing Henry Cavill as the actor with Adrian Paul.
That's probably a nice change for him, from getting confused with Matt Bomer.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
I've been watching, in the last few months, in no particular order:
Nobody's Looking
This is a weird one. I watched the whole first season because I wanted to know where it was going, but i don't think I'll be back. It's not bad, but it's not for me. I laughed, but it's not a tone that vibes with me, and it doesn't feel like it's going anywhere but piling on more questions, and mostly ones that have been asked before. I was hoping for something more thoughtful from a comedy about guardian angels.

John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch
I highly recommend this one if you like Johh Mulaney, or want a parody of classic TV specials. Nostalgic and modern at the same time.

Lucifer
I started watching this one with Kags so we'd have a series to talk about. I wasn't expecting to like it much, but it's so much fun! Lucifer is a fantastic character and it's a wild ride watching him. I can't decide if my favorite part is his singing, or his habit of taking his therapist's advice in completely the wrong way.

Derry Girls
Absolutely hilarious. I very much enjoyed this look at the 80s 90s from a very different perspective. And allow me a @bhamv3 moment to say that I was relieved to find out the actresses are all in their 20s, because they look damn good, especially in hairstyles that I was into in my younger years. That aside, there is some really sharp wit in this show, and I'm probably going to watch it again (something I rarely do) because I need to have an Irish accent for my next play.

Fleabag
Another biting comedy, and a damn good one.

The Man in the High Castle
This got off to a good start in the first season, but I found it held my attention less and less as time went on. I drifted so far out it was background noise for the last few episodes, and I'm not really sure how it ended. I'm not sure how much of that is me, and how much was the show, though. It's a good premise, with a great cast.
 
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I saw the witchin' man show. It was fine. It's not the game of thrones replacement that some people seem to be hailing it as, but it was fun enough. Good action bits for the most part.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
The Witcher

I've just started this, and it's a lot of fun. But what my mind is going over is "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher", in regards to "historical accuracy". Fantasy setting aside, and the impossibility for anything to be accurate in regards to a fake history, I'm curious as to just how anachronistic the song is in regards to real world medieval bard music, but I don't want the ignorant chorus* of "it's completely modern because it doesn't sound like what I heard at a Ren Faire one time", or "it's modern because the version on the soundtrack has multiple overlaid instruments and voices, it's not just one guy singing with a lute." I'd like to some examination of what makes it modern, how far off from period music it is, and if the "Tiffany problem" is involved at all.

* Speaking of which, while trying to find an existing post discussing this issue, I found someone complaining that The Witcher is anachronistic because it uses the word "mutant" to describe witchers, when genetics is a modern invention. Which completely misses the point. Witchers aren't genetic sports (if I understand the fictional lore correctly), they've been changed by arcane ritual. Mutant comes from a Latin word for change, and old and very prevalent Latin word. So, aside from the stupidity of trying to criticize the language used in a Fantasy world, even if this were set in medieval Europe, it would be plausible for an alchemist/wizard/whatever to coin the term "mutant" to describe someone who had been changed.

Okay, I'm nerded out. No half-assed commentary, please. I know I'm wrong about something in my ignorance, but we don't need the blind leading the blind.
 
I can't speak to your first point, but as to the second, "mutant" comes from the Latin mutare, the verb meaning "to change." It's basically identical to calling someone/something a "changeling," just using a Latin root instead of an English one, and the only issue with it re: The Witcher is a) an assumption that language in the setting evolved from Latin and other languages in the same way it did in our world, which turns into a hilariously convoluted discussion about all of the words used in the books/games/shows, or b) the idea that the term could only come into usage through the study of genetics because that's the way it happened in our world, which again is a giant pile of nonsense.

Basically you're exactly right in how you're thinking about it.
 
I'd like to some examination of what makes it modern, how far off from period music it is, and if the "Tiffany problem" is involved at all.
I've never actually listened to the song, and my Music degree has thirty years of accumulated dust, but I'll give it a go. Here is the one I listened to, in case it's not the one you're referring to.

To start with, it does sound like a lute, which would put it somewhere in the Renaissance/Baroque period (15th-18th Century) when that instrument was popular. Aside from the reverb (we'll pretend it's being performed in a cathedral or cave) and the recurrent vocal fry (we'll pretend your bard has an affectation), it starts off fine on a strong tonic chord ("When a humble Bard") followed by a IV chord (i.e., based on "fa"), but I don't remember enough to tell you whether the chords that come after (especially ones like "along came this") were in use until more modern times. Dissonant chords (6ths, 7ths, 9ths, etc) didn't really start become a thing until the 18th century. Renaissance and Baroque music were more about complexity and fast-moving and/or ornamented melodies played against strummed chords or some kind of bass pedal basso continuo* or drone (or deadpan percussion accompaniment). Syncopated rhythms have been around since the 1300's, so that's fine.
But then at the 0:15 mark ("When the White Wolf fought") the bard begins to play in more of a fingerpicking style (low-high-low-high-low-high) which you don't really see until the 19th century (e.g., Spanish Classical guitar), and his flagrant appoggiatura ("a silver-tongued... devil") didn't go mainstream until very, very late in the Baroque period.
At 0:50 he is joined by a second, lower stringed instrument (a bass lute theorbo, maybe? Those were around in the Baroque period).
At 0:58 he does a long downward glissando (not popular until mid-19th century).
And at 1:11 all pretense of period is lost when the electronic pads and hi-hat come in (both not introduced until the 1920's), at 1:20 we have the first hits of an obvious kick drum (rather than, say, an upright orchestral bass drum) to fill out the drum kit hinted at with the hi-hat. The throaty yell in "now pour him some ale" is also reminiscent of early Jazz singing.
At 1:30 we get a touch of harpsichord, but those were all over Renaissance and Baroque times, so it's hardly out of place.
At around 2:00 we introduce what has to be a modern upright concert harp, but those have apparently been around in a form close to their current one since the Baroque period so we'll give that one a pass.
At 2:55 we hear what sounds like some overdriven whistles/flutes/recorders and... a hurdy-gurdy, maybe? Amazingly, this is probably the least anachronistic, since they (or things very like them) have been around since the Macedonian dynasty(!), when years were still expressed with only three digits.

Also I'd never heard of the "Tiffany problem," so thanks for that.

--Patrick
EDIT: Fixed "bass lute" (I couldn't remember the actual name), clarified a couple other things.
*Thanks to @Ravenpoe for helping find a better term than "bass pedal tone."
 
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figmentPez

Staff member
I've never actually listened to the song, and my Music degree has thirty years of accumulated dust, but I'll give it a go. Here is the one I listened to, in case it's not the one you're referring to.
Yes, that's the one I'm referring to. Though I haven't finished the whole season, so I don't know if it sounds like that in show itself. At like 4 episodes in he's only sung a few snippets of it, and with just the lute. I figured a lot of the musical embellishment in the full song was likely far too modern pop/rock to be authentic, (and I even wondered if the lute he uses in the show is strung in the same way as a period lute would have been.) Thanks so much for that, it was a lot more info than I expected, especially on the instrumental side of things.

I kinda hope someone makes a YouTube video on the subject, pointing out all the stuff you did and providing examples. Hoping someone makes a "period accurate" cover might be too much to ask for, but I know I'd find it fascinating.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
I can't speak to your first point, but as to the second, "mutant" comes from the Latin mutare, the verb meaning "to change." It's basically identical to calling someone/something a "changeling," just using a Latin root instead of an English one, and the only issue with it re: The Witcher is a) an assumption that language in the setting evolved from Latin and other languages in the same way it did in our world, which turns into a hilariously convoluted discussion about all of the words used in the books/games/shows, or b) the idea that the term could only come into usage through the study of genetics because that's the way it happened in our world, which again is a giant pile of nonsense.

Basically you're exactly right in how you're thinking about it.
Any fantasy novel written in English (and probably any other language) has to have some amount of hand-waving when it comes to word origins, idioms and the like. The amount of world-building that would be necessary to write a linguistically consistent novel is mind boggling. I think you're absolutely right that the conversations about word-origins in fantasy would end up "hilariously convoluted".

Sometimes it's just easier to make references to the real world, without trying to explain anything. From what I've read, in the Witcher game/novels there are references to Shakespeare, Karl Marx and a whole bunch of other anachronisms, so "mutant" is really the least of the issue.
 
Because of the holiday, I'm not up to date with the new releases in streaming media.

It has left me wondering if the song in question from the Witcher is "I Think We're Alone Now".
 
Any fantasy novel written in English (and probably any other language) has to have some amount of hand-waving when it comes to word origins, idioms and the like. The amount of world-building that would be necessary to write a linguistically consistent novel is mind boggling. I think you're absolutely right that the conversations about word-origins in fantasy would end up "hilariously convoluted".

Sometimes it's just easier to make references to the real world, without trying to explain anything. From what I've read, in the Witcher game/novels there are references to Shakespeare, Karl Marx and a whole bunch of other anachronisms, so "mutant" is really the least of the issue.
Yep, I agree. I haven't read the books, but most of the out-of-world references in the games are done via quest names and the like, and it just isn't a big deal. As long as it doesn't turn into in-world characters referencing memes or events that didn't happen in that setting, there's really no point in dwelling on the etymology of specific terms in our world or anything of the like.

It's just a way for people to make themselves feel superior and show off their knowledge.
 
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