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What Are You Watching?

Readout

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I see.

As already implied I went into it not knowing about the source material and unconsciously expected a more "natural" (for a lack of a better word) representation of our world, which why I noticed that basically everyone is gay/lesbian and in a mixed-race relationship.

"Never detrimental" was added because I feel lately a lot of media try to shoehorn those themes into their product and the results were less for it, but in this case it is shown and mentioned but doesn't take away from the story or acting.

I mean, let’s perhaps stick with “average” there.

Kris already made the very important point about fantasy and subculture. But I want to think out loud on the term “forced diversity” in a wider sense. Hopefully it helps to explain my point of view here, and why I commented in the first place.

Just for the sake of clarity, my interpretation of your comment was that you noticed the diversity and that the amount of diversity did not represent your own experiences in life. This did not reduce your enjoyment of the show, but it was sufficiently notable to be worth including in the review. Please do correct me if this is wrong, though.

With that being said, and while I’m sure not what you meant, one reading of the term “forced diversity”, particularly when linked to the term “natural”, is that what is “natural” is a straight relationship between people of the same race, and that a gay or mixed-race relationship is “unnatural” - and that these can only exist in media when “forced” into the narrative. The reason that I mention this, even if it wasn’t what you meant, is because I think that the term “forced diversity” (and the description of a largely straight and same-race relationships as “natural”) can carry a lot of insidious cultural elements and baggage. But, even leaving aside a more overtly unpleasant usage, the inclusion of the term “forced” is inevitably pejorative. You can’t really ever say that “forced diversity” is a compliment or positive thing. You can’t even really say it as a neutral thing. “Forced” implies, at the least, some kind of artificial or improper inclusion - the diversity did not belong there and it was wrong that it was.

So that’s the first distinction that I think is important - between “diversity” and “forced diversity”. The first is not inherently a value judgement; we can say that something had “good diversity”, “bad diversity” or simply “diversity”. But the second term is inherently a negative thing.

I also think that it’s worth toying out a distinction between a critique of “forced diversity” and “unrepresentative”. As noted above, the former carries all of the ideas that the diversity is somehow shoehorned in, improperly used or artificial. It feels inherently negative. The latter, however, can simply mean that what we’re watching doesn’t reflect everyday life. Which, as an evaluation of a TV show, can be a good thing, a bad thing or a neutral thing. It depends entirely on the show, whether it was attempting to portray itself as representative, whether being representative is actually a good thing or not in that particular context, and a million other factors. It may not be representative to have a show about American Big Law filled with Black, gay people. But shows about American Big Law are never particularly representative anyway - and would be really boring to watch if they were. So it would be accurate to call it unrepresentative, but it wouldn’t be a criticism to do so.

That’s not to say that I always think that the term, in-and-of itself, is harmful. And it’s important to recognise that diversity can be applied in harmful ways. Ignoring the existing baggage connected to the term, I can see the idea of “forced diversity” being a valid critique in some cases. To take an absurd example, imagine if someone made a historical documentary about Boris Johnson and having him be a gay, Black woman. This would add diversity, sure, but it would be very forced, since so much of what Boris Johnson did and does is tied to him being a straight, white, upper-class man. To take a more reasonable example, we could probably use the term “forced diversity” to describe American college or corporate brochures, where they round up the only two Black or gay people on campus/in the building and then put them in every other photograph, to try and pretend that there is more diversity than really exists. These are cases where the diversity has been forced, in both cases in a way that ignores or hides deep, structural inequalities.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts, and hopefully they explain my comment a bit more.
 
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Krafty

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Not to belabour the point but you're expecting a more "natural" representation in a story that mostly revolves around supernatural and deific cast? Because there's a whole lot of mythology and folktales that would disagree with the idea.
Yes, until an explanation is given why it should be otherwise I apply my usual expectations of 18th-20th century England and America and not blank slates like e.g. Pandora.
The presence of manifested deities per se did nothing for me to expect altered ratios and treatments, although it obviously helped with suspension of disbelief.

I liked "representative" and will use it in the future instead of "normal" because the later could be misunderstood to mean what is shown instead of the likelihood of it to happen.
 

Tarnagh

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Is that the episode of Buffy where she met The Actual Dracula? Because there's a cool thing (at least I think so) about that episode. A few days before this episode aired, there was a movie on The History Channel called "Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula." The same actor played Dracula in that TV movie and in the Dracula episode of Buffy.
 

meezookeewee

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I just watched the first two episodes of Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power show. I'm liking what I'm seeing. This show is STUNNING. The first episode is a little slow, but it's laying the groundwork for what's coming. There's stuff that I never thought I would actually see in a live action adaptation of Tolkien's work. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next.
 

Dullblade

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The latest episode of Harley Quinn was a GREAT piece of batman media.
 

Amarus

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Everything Everywhere All at Once finally came out in France this week and I absolutely understand the hype. That was amazing.

And while I loved Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, this definitely handles multiverses in a much more satisfying way.
 
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Kris

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Hah! I literally just finished watching it as well. I only knew two things about it, multiverses and my best friend said "this film was made for you" and he was absolutely correct.

The mix of irreverence, sincerity and embracing absurdity is completely on brand for me. Even the googly-eyes are weirdly on point with my personal brand.

Edit: Yeah, I know I'm currently in the afterglow of really enjoying something but I genuinely think that this is one of my favourite films.
 
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Tallgeeselll05

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I've been enjoying House of the Dragon so far, and Rings of Power.

I'm late but I'll notion Prey is pretty good.
 

meezookeewee

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I just got back from seeing Jaws in theaters. The 3D wasn't bad at all, but it really didn't add anything to what is already one of the best movies ever made. Still, seeing the original film on the big screen was amazing. What's old is new. They were even playing the original Blob with Steve McQueen.
 

Kris

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The Orville is really good? It's very clear that Seth MacFarlane sold it as a Star Trek parody but in reality he's just a huge fan who wanted to make his own Star Trek. It's literally just a slightly sillier version of TNG.

And if you're worried about the humour don't worry, it's much closer to A Million Ways To Die In The West than Family Guy and as the episodes go on the comedy takes more of a back seat.
 

meezookeewee

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As someone who absolutely HATED the final season of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon is really fucking good. I decided to take the plunge and watch the current three episodes of Dragon. I won't compare House of the Dragon to Rings of Power. Very different from each other, obviously. What I will say though is that I'm glad both exist. It's a hell of a time to be a fan of the genre.
 

Dullblade

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Is House of the Dragon bound to any books or pre-existing script?
 

Dace

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I haven't had a disc drive in a while and with the PS5 I could finally watch some of my blurays again. I also took the opportunity to get 12 Angry Men on blu-ray since it has been years since I watched it and only had it on DVD. Damn. What a fantastic movie. Like, I consider it my favorite but watching it after so long made me fall in love with it again.
 

Prime3k

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Four episodes in, and House Of The Dragon just isn't grabbing me. I don't care for the characters, I don't care for the plot.

I guess this is what happens when you know that basically all Targaryans are horrible bastards.
 
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Flippy

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Went to see the sneak preview in our local movie theater for the first time in AGES and it turned out to be Bodies Bodies Bodies.

Without taking away too much it truly was a wild ride. The movie took a turn like every 20 minutes and you really never knew where the whole thing was going exactly (especially if you don't know the genre). I found it was fun and quite enjoyable.
 

Kris

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Am I correct in guessing that the Joanna Constantine in Netflix's Sandman is actually supposed to be John Constantine from the Hellblazer comics/Movie/TV show?

Because the character seems very much the same and I could believe they had to change the details due to IP rights. I just never knew they were in the original comics.
 

Amarus

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Am I correct in guessing that the Joanna Constantine in Netflix's Sandman is actually supposed to be John Constantine from the Hellblazer comics/Movie/TV show?

Because the character seems very much the same and I could believe they had to change the details due to IP rights. I just never knew they were in the original comics.

Haven't reached that yet, but I do believe that the Sandman comics did in fact have a Joanna Constantine who's as an ancestor of John.
 

Kris

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I did consider putting it in spoilers but it was episode three of a show that came out a number of weeks ago.

And even then, it's mention of a character's name.
 

Dullblade

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COBRA KAI!

That was a fun season, written well enough in case netflix is stupid enough to cancel it as well.
 

Sentynel

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The Sandman comics feature both John Constantine (the DC character, who appears in the contemporary section of the timeline) and an 18th century ancestor called Johanna Constantine. The show chose to gender flip the present-day one and have both played by the same person, apparently because it seemed easier to manage. Why The Sandman Transformed John Constantine Into Johanna Constantine - /Film
 

Kris

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That's cool, I had no idea that the character was involved so when they appeared in the show but changed but clearly the same it raised some questions. I did Google it quickly but didn't see a quick answer and thought it would just be easier to ask.

And while it might be my Catholic upbringing showing but I've always liked the character. An exorcist who hates the church and is battling their own personal demons, (literally and figuratively)? It just ticks a lot of boxes for me.

I have a few comics but it's one of those cases when the character has existed for so long that it's hard to know what to get.
 

meezookeewee

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Just watched Baz Luhrman's Elvis. Amazing movie. Austin Butler may not look like Elvis, but he's got the swagger, the voice, and the charm. If he doesn't get on Oscar nomination, it'll be a crime. He's that damned good. My biggest complaint about the movie, ironically enough, is Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker. I love Tom Hanks as an actor. He's one of the greats, but he was terribly miscast here. Also, Austin Butler will be playing Feyd Rautha in Dune Part 2. I'd say this kid's got a future.
 

Kris

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I really wish that Twitch didn't autoplay when you go to someone's page. When it comes to something like Critical Role even if it's just for a second you can catch some major spoilers.
 
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