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Neil Gaiman's Sandman - Now Netflix/WB co-production


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Just blitzed the first 3 episodes of this and I think it is incredible.

 

I was into this series when I was a teenager, but I tired of Neil Gaiman's schtick over the years - this was the best thing he ever did though and so far this really nails it.

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Watched the first episode and wasn't expecting some lovely

 

Spoiler

Charles Dance. As I've not kept up with casting or anything. Just put him in everything.

 

But anyway, it's been a while since I read the comic but it seems to be pretty well done about as far as lavish TV adaptations go. It does just make me want to read the comic again though, as you're never going to get the exact combination of music, acting and visuals to compare with the narrative form of written text and images as your imagination fleshes them out.

 

But if I had one gripe after the first episode: why the ever loving fuck does it show me a trailer for the rest of the season after the first episode of a show I've just started watching, spoiling future scenes, before the credits have even rolled? Absolutely fucking stupid and annoying.

 

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It's very gorgeous to look at, but I tell you what, sometimes the music just needs to calm down and take a chill pill. It's quite stifling and really needs to cut back a bit to allow some scenes to breathe.

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So I intend to go back on hiatus so apologies for the length but I've literally no one where else to talk about this. And it's weird one. I'm about half way through.

 

On the various gender and race swaps. People are visual. I think about this in the opposite direction - once I've seen a good adaptation, I can't read a book without visualising the characters in that way. So a little whiplash when it doesn't look the way you expect is fine. All the lore stuff misses the point - some of the looks are iconic and it changes it. Just don't be a fucking twat about it and give it a chance.

 

From what I've seen with Death clips it's fine but I wish they'd made one more change and inverted her colour schemes. White also has associations with death and while Sandman's art is often messy it does sterling work with contrast across all of the Endless that will change the visuals even when they try a panel remake. And maybe it's just me but I have favourite panels. I think it's notable Gaiman is the writer and not the artist - voice is his overriding concern, I think.

 

Alsl - all those people whining about Lucien gender swapping when they should have been worrying about Lucien becoming Basil fucking Exposition.

 

But thing is: Morpheus is wrong here aside from anyone else. Yer man's cheekbones are doing sterling work but... Morpheus is not Caucasian. He is pure white. His eyes are stars. His clothes and hair are big and meander around the frame. His speech bubble is one of the most iconic in comics, and surely denotes something more than a quasi Batman voice. He's clearly not human in the comics. 

 

I suspect they will have tested some of this, and it will have appeared as complete ass on screen. But I think that is indicative of it losing something important in translation.

 

It's not bad - this is probably as good as a straight TV adaptation could be, but it lacks vitality that the comics had. To do it better would need inventive cinema level talent I think, and the adaptation would be a lot less straight.

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29 minutes ago, Benny said:

It's very gorgeous to look at, but I tell you what, sometimes the music just needs to calm down and take a chill pill. It's quite stifling and really needs to cut back a bit to allow some scenes to breathe.

 

The music is the worst aspect. All DUN DUN DUN - unsubtle and unmemorable.

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Secondly, the changes are all over the shop for me

 

Spoiler

Joanna Constantine makes total sense - John is only in Preludes and the consistency is going to help.

 

I have also particularly enjoyed everything with the John Dee strand and the general exercising of most DC related elements keeps the story clean.

 

However, I did not like what they did with A Hope In Hell

 

Spoiler

Facing Morpheus off with Lucifer directly diminishes the character. Lucifer's power is clearly established as literally one down from God. The thing about Morpheus strategy to win is that he figures out the limitations of demon plays the game and exploits the ultimate lack of imagination in it. That lack of creativity is not something Lucifer should have and gifting it to them does the character no favours. Moreover, in the comic Morpheus earns Lucifer's ire for his quip on the power of dreams at the end - a relevantly trivial matter and illustrates something about the character. Here, Morpheus has soundly beaten Lucifer then effectively humiliated them.

 

On top of that, you have Matthew squawking in for half of the thing which really changed the feel. Morpheus is not someone that typically needs geeing up or support in that sort of manner. This reinforced some similar changes in earlier eps. 

 

Third, this one case where I think the gender swap isn't a good idea. Christie is fine, if narey a hint of Bowie. But this means leaning away from cultural connotations rather than into them. It's not a huge thing but there is some subtle subtext added with effectively the Judeo-Christian god being the highest power and threats issued by the devil as a white male that is lost.

 

None individually are huge things. But all the wee differences add up into something lessor than the comic book.

 

I think a lot of these changes are put in to make it "more TV".

 

Spoiler

Like it's not just Lucien, Morpheus is paired with various Basil Expositions. And things like facing off with Lucifer seems designed so there's some sort of epic action sequence. But Sandman was never that sort of comic.

 

The whole fight as well. Like in the comic that's an amazing moment, something I reread a lot. Here... I dunno, it just didn't seem to land for me and it's something to do with the medium. Comics are slower. Something you concentrate on and pour over. Here it was all done so quickly.

 

I find the look of this all over the shop as well. There's places that look fantastic and there's places that look like a CW drama. But even when good, I don't think it captures the same feel as the comic.

 

I also wonder how well someone who has not read the comics multiple times.over would follow this. There's a lot going on.

 

Overall, this is like 3/5. I can't see how they can do it better but it just pushes me towards the comic is unfilmable in the sense that while you can adapt it you end up with 3/5 material from a 5/5 comic. However the first book of the comic is a bit messy and my hope it's a bit like that here - it'll take some time for it to fully gel and then it'll take flight.

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22 minutes ago, Benny said:

Matthew being voiced by

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Patton Oswald 

 

Is surprisingly bang on to how I always imagined him in my head.

 

Less nasal, for me. But it works.

 

I think these comics are near impossible to adapt visually, but they've done a fine job.

 

There are a few improvements even - Jesamy, for example.

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Okay I really dig the

 

Spoiler

Hell episode

 

Just felt straight out of what I remember from the comic.

 

Spoiler

Visually striking, epic feeling. Just great stuff.

 

Maybe just a little too much exposition from Matthew for the audience in case they're too dumb to know who "Lucifer" is though.

 

But hey, most Netflix viewers really will be that stupid so if it gets more Sandman in their lives that's good.

 

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4 hours ago, Benny said:
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I don't remember any of the 24/7 episode in the comics though. But I love it. Terrifying.

 

 

I thought they were slightly too subtle with the tv news reports, though  in terms of wider impact.

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Absolutely loved

 

Spoiler

Hob Gadling

 

Worked really well, right down to the

 

Spoiler

Repeated joke from 1389 being retold in the bar in 1989. 

 

Very good attention to detail.

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10 hours ago, Festoon said:

 

Light in what sense?

 

Similar to what others have said that it looked and felt a bit like a CW show in place or like Shadow and Bone...while it was plenty gruesome in places there didn't seem to be as much tension as I would of liked.

 

For example

Spoiler

Kane and Able where played as comedy and while that's true, there was always a brooding sense if menace for me - it felt they shyed away from showing the murders so they lost impact.

 

I wanted the feeling that Able was always one word or action away from doing something that would cause Kane to murder him.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, kensei said:

Secondly, the changes are all over the shop for me

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Joanna Constantine makes total sense - John is only in Preludes and the consistency is going to help.

 

I have also particularly enjoyed everything with the John Dee strand and the general exercising of most DC related elements keeps the story clean.

 

However, I did not like what they did with A Hope In Hell

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Facing Morpheus off with Lucifer directly diminishes the character. Lucifer's power is clearly established as literally one down from God. The thing about Morpheus strategy to win is that he figures out the limitations of demon plays the game and exploits the ultimate lack of imagination in it. That lack of creativity is not something Lucifer should have and gifting it to them does the character no favours. Moreover, in the comic Morpheus earns Lucifer's ire for his quip on the power of dreams at the end - a relevantly trivial matter and illustrates something about the character. Here, Morpheus has soundly beaten Lucifer then effectively humiliated them.

 

On top of that, you have Matthew squawking in for half of the thing which really changed the feel. Morpheus is not someone that typically needs geeing up or support in that sort of manner. This reinforced some similar changes in earlier eps. 

 

Third, this one case where I think the gender swap isn't a good idea. Christie is fine, if narey a hint of Bowie. But this means leaning away from cultural connotations rather than into them. It's not a huge thing but there is some subtle subtext added with effectively the Judeo-Christian god being the highest power and threats issued by the devil as a white male that is lost.

 

None individually are huge things. But all the wee differences add up into something lessor than the comic book.

 

I think a lot of these changes are put in to make it "more TV".

 

  Hide contents

Like it's not just Lucien, Morpheus is paired with various Basil Expositions. And things like facing off with Lucifer seems designed so there's some sort of epic action sequence. But Sandman was never that sort of comic.

 

The whole fight as well. Like in the comic that's an amazing moment, something I reread a lot. Here... I dunno, it just didn't seem to land for me and it's something to do with the medium. Comics are slower. Something you concentrate on and pour over. Here it was all done so quickly.

 

I find the look of this all over the shop as well. There's places that look fantastic and there's places that look like a CW drama. But even when good, I don't think it captures the same feel as the comic.

 

I also wonder how well someone who has not read the comics multiple times.over would follow this. There's a lot going on.

 

Overall, this is like 3/5. I can't see how they can do it better but it just pushes me towards the comic is unfilmable in the sense that while you can adapt it you end up with 3/5 material from a 5/5 comic. However the first book of the comic is a bit messy and my hope it's a bit like that here - it'll take some time for it to fully gel and then it'll take flight.

 

Re: Hope In Hell

Spoiler

I wasn't a fan of Matthew's pep talk - I think it slowed the flow of it and I liked that originally Dream's plan.

 

But I do think it fits with the wider arc of Dream learning that he's not alone and learning to connect and trust the creations around him.

 

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12 minutes ago, Delargey said:

 

Similar to what others have said that it looked and felt a bit like a CW show in place or like Shadow and Bone...while it was plenty gruesome in places there didn't seem to be as much tension as I would of liked.

 

For example

  Hide contents

Kane and Able where played as comedy and while that's true, there was always a brooding sense if menace for me - it felt they shyed away from showing the murders so they lost impact.

 

I wanted the feeling that Able was always one word or action away from doing something that would cause Kane to murder him.

 

 

 

 

Ah ok, I suppose, at points. However, I thought that particular example you quoted was present quite clearly.

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Spoiler

It was played quote safe for me...the first murder was shown from a distance and the second was cut away.

 

I would have preferred them to be more vicious- in this safe comedic environment. It would have lent an air of tension so in this world that might feel a bit bbc drama no one is safe.

 

But different people have different takes on violence maybe after watching too much GoT I don't find it as shocking unless a dagger is being shoved into someone's eye.

 

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15 minutes ago, footle said:

Cain and Abel

 

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Always were comedy.

 

 

Spoiler

Not saying they weren't or shouldn't be. But they were comedy, mixed with viciousness and sadness and love and tragedy.

 

I think Abel's story about brothers that don't hurt each other would have landed more if we saw more of the murders or they where presented with more rage.

 

 

 

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Up to the 6th episode which was the best yet. It was never going to follow the original books directly. I was expecting 80s Doctor Who levels of production just because but this is exceptional. 

 

It's nice to have nice things now and again.

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I just watched episode 6

 

Spoiler

I'm really impressed now.

 

It was really very touching and affecting. Got quite caught up in it as it's one of my favourite parts of the comic.

 

I really think Death is portrayed exceptionally well. Very close to the kind of temperament I imagined.

 

And as for 1589 Dream: phwoar! That's one attractive lad.

 

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10 minutes ago, memories said:

Have we found out what the point of the comic is yet?

 

Not the comic, which is a meditation on the nature of immortality, change, stories, their importance in how they shape the world, and creativity.

Just the first three issues of the comic.

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