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Thread: Geralt of Netflix

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004

    Geralt of Netflix

    So I just finished the new Witcher series on Netlfix, and have opinions, gasp :O

    I haven't posted much on TTLG recently, so what better way to break the silence than spewing opinionated opinions on subjects I have opinions about???

    SPOILERS AHOY

    Overall, I feel the show is kind of all over the place quality wise. There's some amazing scenes and acting, juxtaposed against a bit of sloppy delivery and contrived plot points. However, I do feel the show gets better with each episode, and I am curious how they'll tackled the next season

    The good
    The cinematography is fab. There's so many shots where the set design, lighting and composition are just beautiful! All the wide establishing shots also do an amazing job of giving a sense of space and mood. The show definitely does a good job of creating an atmosphere

    I also like the show bringing up some of the deeper themes in the books: sexism, evolution/survival of the fittest, racism, destiny vs. free will, desire to reproduce, corruption of power, etc. It's one of my favorite thing about Sapkowski's books and I am excited to see them represented in the show as well.

    While I am not entirely sold on the new Geralt, there's many scenes that work great and capture his character. Like the Geralt and Calanthe exchange during the ball was just perfect. The two riff off of each other so well. I just love Calanthe so much, she's awesome, half bitch, half loving mother, half strong ruler of necessity. She does an excellent commentary on traditions and shows her own conflicted viewpoints. Honestly, even tho I say "bitch" i don't mean it in an insult in her case, it's what she has to be to survive in her role.

    With Ciri, I feel she is different from the books, but I don't mind as much. Fantastic casting job, just her presence immediately makes you feel she is important. I love Yennefer's backstory, and I feel more for her than I did in the books and games.

    I also like the fact they boiled down the books into 3 parallel stories that eventually come together.

    That being said...

    The Bad
    I feel the show suffers from a few issue, particularly Geralt's relationship with Yennefer and Jaskier. The pacing is just really contrived and seems to skip important details.

    For example, Geralt meets Yen, they sort of fall for each other, so far so good. Then next episode they randomly bump into each other, act all weird for the whole episode, then they fall madly in love promising each other, and 10 minutes later Yennefer never wants to see Geralt again. WTF? That whole thing should have been built up over few more interactions, not a 20 minute block (IIRC in the books they had a long-standing on-and-off relationship with many encounters). It just felt really contrived.

    What makes this worse is that some stuff just isn't explained clearly and ends up confusing. The reason Yen was ignoring and flirted with a handsome knight (to make Geralt jealous) was because he left her after the Djinn episode because hew as afraid of commitment and admitting he has human feelings. But was any of that explained? No, it was just a throwaway line when they were in bed about him leaving her, awkwardly set up him NOT leaving her this time.

    Similarly with Jaskier, Geralt goes from meeting the random dude to suddenly being world-famous in one episode and it's not really explained how much time has passed (if any). The two kinda get chummy together and the events described happened pretty closely to how they went in the books but... it kinda felt like they left out all the "buddy buddy" moments and just left the "annoying each other" moments so it comes off more antagonistic than it should be.

    (also where the fuck is his plum hat???)

    I found the show also does a lot of this thing where it kind of introduces a concept, but does explaining it till like half an hour later. Like when the "Law of Surprise" is invoked and everyone gets in a big fight over it. But it's not even explained wtf they're fighting over, until like half an hour later when Geralt is leaving. I can't tell if the writers were trying to be mysterious and leave people guessing, or if it just isn't best writing, but I had a few instances where I was like "what?"

    Lastly, the acting is kinda hit and miss. Some of Geralts funnier lines fall flat because of poor timing/delivery/setup (like the Ox kicking Jaskier's balls). I definitely Geralt felt more like Geralt as the show goes on, but the beginnings are rough. Triss Merigold feels way off too for some reason, like she's not convinced of her own role at all. Meep.

    EDIT: Also, to clarify, I read the books (in Polish) and loved them, tho that was almost a decade ago so I am fuzzy on all the details.
    Last edited by Yakoob; 23rd Dec 2019 at 19:12.

  2. #2
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Overall, I feel the show is kind of all over the place quality wise. There's some amazing scenes and acting, juxtaposed against a bit of sloppy delivery and contrived plot points. However, I do feel the show gets better with each episode, and I am curious how they'll tackled the next season
    I read a quote that summed up my feelings of it quite well. To paraphrase:

    "It's almost always at least good. Sometimes, it's incredible. Though there are those moments when it's straight up Xena Warrior Princess."

    That's about as succinct as you can get. When the show's firing on all cylinders, it's amazing. Everything you'd hope it would be. But then it suddenly forgets itself, and the cheese ramps up to ridiculous degrees, like they had to bring in the D team to write a few scenes to save some cash.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Haha that's a good way to take it. I had a few "this feels like an 80s filming/CGI" moments so the Xena Warrior Princess sums it up well xD

  4. #4
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    We're likely both thinking of that gold dragon right about now.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Haha yea after GoT its hard to look at that and not think "ok... that's a dragon." Oddly the ep1 opening fight in the swamp also felt very "SyFy channel cgi" to me.

  6. #6
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Yeah, it was a little rough, though not as bad as that gold dragon.

    That assassin guy? That's the way a kikimore is supposed to look.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Yeah the Kikimora was great. That whole chase sequence was solid (and again shows great cinematography and set design), especially when Yenn gets pissed at the girl and just abandons her

    Also another thing - I thought the boob shots were so unnecessary, they weren't even trying to make any sort of point with it. It's like "well GoT did it, so we HAVE to have boob shots!" Especially when no balls being shown, it was very one-sided... very clearly just trying to get attention of male viewers.
    Last edited by Yakoob; 24th Dec 2019 at 15:57.

  8. #8
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Also another thing - I thought the boob shots were so unnecessary, they weren't even trying to make any sort of point with it. It's like "well GoT did it, so we HAVE to have boob shots!" Especially when no balls being shown, it was very one-sided... very clearly just trying to get attention of male viewers.
    To be fair, it's in theme with the games too. It's like here's some naked boobs, cuz why not? And for some added edginess: HUNCHBACK BOOBS!

    Also:


  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Not quite cause the games did it to show how much sexy time geralt gets. But here the boob shots had nothing to do with that, they just seemed arbitrary (like the transformation or the djin summoning). The orgy might be the only one that makes sense but even so the women were more undressed compared to the men.

    Not that I mind boobs in my shows, it just felt unnecessary to the scenes being portrayed.

    And that image is great xD

  10. #10
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I'd argue the transformation scene was the only scene where it was justified, given what was being done. Everywhere else? Yeah. Totally gratuitous. It was just throwing naked people around for the sake of having naked people around.

    I don't think of it as any better or worse than the games, because really, there weren't any particularly pressing reason to have nudity there either. Those succubi could've worn tops.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Gotta say, I never quite get this 'gratuitous nudity' thing. How is that any more gratuitous than having inordinately attractive people or beautiful scenery? Is there any pressing reason *not* to have nudity?

    I do get the "We're going to show copious female nudity, but not male, because... something" criticism, though, because at that point it's not gratuitous, it's just pandering and sexist.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Nudity becomes gratuitous when it's done in a fanservice-y way. When it's clearly meant for audience titillation and has very little to do with plot. When the show takes time to linger on it. When there's a beach episode in your otherwise serious work about the horrors of war. *cough*Valkyria Chronicles*cough* It's not as much about the amount of nudity as it's about how it's handled and presented.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Sure, I agree that there can be nudity that is gratuitous, that serves no function other than titillation, and that therefore doesn't fit with whatever else we're being shown, but people more quickly say that nudity is gratuitous, and frankly, I think that some of that is prudery - which is pretty much baked into our society. If there's a mismatch that harms the overall story, tone or themes, sure, but I think it's not particularly coherent to demand that nudity passes a special test to warrrant its existence in a film or TV show, in a way that violence or expensive cars or cute animals never have to.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    There is such a thing as gratuitous violence as well. I can't say I have ever heard of expensive cars or cute animals being called gratuitous, but scenery porn is a trope. There's no special test or anything. It's just something that people notice.

    I haven't seen the show yet so I can't really comment on whether the nudity there is really gratuitous or whether TTLG just has a bunch of prudes, but given what I know about the story, I'd be inclined to fall on the side that an excess of violence would be more appropriate in this show than excessive nudity. And no, I don't think you really need a lot of female nudity to show that Geralt has lots of sexy times.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Yeah I'm not prudish and don't mind nudity at all, I'm all for normalizing it. Its not excessive in Witcher, but felt one sided and designed to get my male brain firing. I don't doubt it works too, even if people wouldn't admit it.
    Last edited by Yakoob; 25th Dec 2019 at 23:50.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Horror and sex have a long history together. Recall the bedroom chapter in Stokers Dracula? Renfield may have been interested in sucking fluids later but that night he wanted his fluids sucked. During the twenties and thirties publications such as Weird Tales had lurid covers of scantily or completely nude (though artfully positioned) women and Margret Brundage has highly sought after issues of that. It may have been tamped down hard in the fifties but it reemerged with a vengeance in the sixties as drive in movies struggled to keep teens coming in. And Hammer. I mean, if ever there was sex it was in those bare breasted vampire flicks of the early seventies. Sure it smacks of desperation for most series and lesser movies to put it into their formula when it is just an action flick but with horror it is part of a long tradition. Sex and horror go together like chocolate syrup on a sundae. Wonderfully so.

    Both are meant to be titillating. Ask Elvira.

    Uh... this Witcher is a horror?

  17. #17
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Well, it's about monsters, and the people who kill them, then have hot sex afterwards. Sometimes, they don't even bother with the monsters.

    And some times, on not very rare occasions, they have hot sex with the monsters.

    ...it's a complicated show.

  18. #18
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Fuck. Hmm. Hmm. Fuck. Hmm. OH VALLEY OF PLENTY!


  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    I watched the original Polish TV show or movie, I forget, but only after playing the games. My expectations of characters, locale are obviously very heavily influenced by the games. so bare that in mind.

    Made for Netflix shows are either really good or so inconsistent across the board it almost hurts. All of their marvel series suffer from inconsistent acting/camera work/choreography/plot direction/effects. One scene could be really well done, you are engrossed in the story and the action then a scene later you're wondering why the director thought that was acceptable, why not ask for another take to get it right? Or are they trying to hide something with all those quick cuts? etc etc. There is something oddly similar here in The Witcher. As with those Marvel shows however, there is some reasonably decent stuff here, but it might take them a season or two to figure out their groove.

    Bad
    • Plot focuses way too much on people who aren’t Geralt
    • Costumes look good, appropriate, or terrible bordering on anachronistic (nilfgard armor may work in a book or game (I don’t recall it looking that gaudy), but can you seriously imagine a blacksmith bothering with all those ripples for all that armor?
    • Geralt’s armour looks like it was made for someone a good foot taller.
    • Contact lenses – When you get used to Yennefers purple eyes, they look decent, but Geralt and Ciri constantly have that rediculous googly eyed thing going on, seriously lets down production quality
    • Triss isn’t a redhead...why bother making people wear contacts for accuracy, but not dye Triss’ hair?
    • Dutch angles make it look like a shitty 90’s matinee action tv show. It’s so film student tier, yuck.
    • The dragon looks kind of cheap/shitty
    • Some of the acting is really quite weak. Too much of a rush/effort to keep costs down to get another take?



    Good
    • Cavil’s voice is pretty damn close, maybe trying a little bit too hard, but still good.
    • CG and practical effects are quite decent, not mind blowing, but effective, which is good enough for me.
    • Some of the scenic shots look nice, well arranged between actual shots and CG enhancement.



    Maybe 5/10 for me. Wouldn't be surprised if it was cancelled after another season.

    A sign of the times is a quick glance at most any online discussion on this involving people who can't wait to argue about how woke the show is, whether they're for it for or against. My take is this; if you become familiar with a story's characters/locations as described in a book, or visually presented in some appropriate medium, you expect things to look a certain way. When an adaptation differs in any way it can seem jarring, like a constant reminder of how incorrect what you're seeing is. It fades eventually if you stick with it, you just get used to it.

    I found the LoTr films to be quite challenging, likely because I'd read the book roughly once a year since I was a kid and had a very clear idea of what those characters looked like, how they sounded, even the overall tone of the story. Now I can't even remember, when I read it, I see the cast from the films and hear dialogue in their voices. so I can understand why people get annoyed about something being different, or something being changed for woke hollywood woke points or whatever, but tbh I just can't wait for outrage culture to fuck off.

  20. #20
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Just finished it! Good show overall. My fave episodes were Yen’s origin story in Ep 2 and the big battle in the finale. Also I didn’t realize it wasn’t all chronological until the second to last episode. That revelation made a lot of things that didn’t make any sense click into place.

  21. #21
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    So is anyone going to talk about the quality of the adaptation? I'm sure all of us could nitpick the cinematography and costuming to death, or what the names sound like (Subjeff wut the eff), but I'm more interested in whether the voice and spirit of the original stories come through strongly enough or not.

  22. #22
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Subjeff wut the eff
    What filthy piece of... shit... did I do now?

  23. #23
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    You know what you did.

  24. #24
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Currently watching The Witcher tv series. Excellent, excellent stuff. Music, acting, the set, battles, all great. They completely nailed it.
    I think so too.

    I've watched all 8 episodes. I was entertained. The story is reasonably faithful to the books. I think. I've only read the first 2 books, and that was 8 years ago. And the vibe of the games is sometimes noticable. The Witcher has the same choreographer for the sword-fights as GoT. (The Night's King, btw). But I've read that the first sword-fight, in Blaviken, was choreographed by someone else ! It shows. I liked the first sword-fight a lot better than the others. The Night's King will not be in season 2, so I have high hopes that the fights will actually be better.

    I don't like Netflix's practice of releasing a whole series at once. I think it would be smarter to release one episode per week. That would increase the hype. And I think it would make watching more enjoyable for most people. (You'll have time to think about each episode). Weird that Netflix doesn't realize this themselves.


    I've read a little bit about the tv-show on the net. But not too much yet. I've only watched the last episode yesterday. What surprises me is that nobody talks about the fact that The Witcher is in fact a girly tv-show. It's about the women. The men only play a small part in it. It's like those old tv-shows Flipper and Skippy. Those shows were not about a kangaroo or a dolphin. They only lend their names. The shows were about everyone else. The Witcher is the same. The show is about Yennifer and Ciri. And Tisseia, Fringilla, Triss and Calanthe. Geralt is just a mascot. Stumbling around the set, clueless, with very little impact on what happens.

    I think this is smart. I've got a rl friend who made a living for the last 10+ years playing as a professional musician in a band. They don't release albums, they only do live shows. They do "mash-ups", where they take a few popular songs, and mash them together into one song. Combining pop, dance and even (well-known) heavy metal songs (Metallica, AC/DC). I sometimes made suggestions of what new songs to combine. But the my friend often answered: "we can't combine those songs, because we need music for the ladies too". When they write/compose their songs, they always keep in mind that their music has to appeal to women too. So they try to not sound too heavy, and always have some dance or pop tones in their songs.

    Game of Thrones did a similar thing. They have women (and girls) in the show. Compare that with LotR. LotR has only male heroes. Except Liv Tyler maybe, and she hardly has any screen-time. GoT has Daenerys, Cersei, Arya, Sansa, Brienne, Melisandre, Ygritte, and many more. Not all of them are heroes/fighters/warriors. But about 1/3rd of the characters listed on the got-wiki page are female. GoT had an appeal to men and women alike. I know a few women who were never into fantasy. But who were big fans of the tv-show.

    So The Witcher seems to take it one step further. (Over?) half the cast are women. The women have the political power (direct, as queens, princesses, or indirect, as political advisors). And they are the superior warriors (good luck fighting a sorceress, with your sword or spear). I'm not sure this is intentional by Netflix or Schmidt Hissrich (btw, the show is produced by a woman). Or maybe they just follow the books. But I do find it remarkable. And I think it is a factor that can help make the show popular with a large audience. The Witcher has one other huge plus over GoT: the books are finished ! GoT turned out to be a huge fuck-up in the end. GoT has set a record. Namely: the most disappointing tv-show ever. The 2 producers who took over the story and script in S7 and S8 are two huge idiots who didn't understand why S1-S5 were so popular. And GRRM is the biggest idiot, for letting his legacy slip away. Deep away in the mud, and shit, to a place where nobody will remember the show in a few years. Chances that this will happen with The Witcher are much smaller. (Although I don't think The Witcher has the potential to be another LotR, like ASOIAF/GoT had 10 years ago).

    I'm gonna rewatch all episodes later this month. I might read a few more books. And then we'll have to wait a whole frigging year for season 2.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 2nd Jan 2020 at 07:46.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    So is anyone going to talk about the quality of the adaptation? I'm sure all of us could nitpick the cinematography and costuming to death, or what the names sound like (Subjeff wut the eff), but I'm more interested in whether the voice and spirit of the original stories come through strongly enough or not.
    I kind of alluded to it in my OP but it's been nearly a decade since I read the books, and I played games after, so my impressions are skewed.

    I feel Geralt is too gruff, in the books he's more of a.... normal guy desperately trying to be an unemotional un-human, because that's what he's been told he is his whole life. I think his characters grows into that role better towards the end.

    Jaskier is also a bit off imho, and is missing his hat. The Geralt<->Jaskier relationship isn't as developed as it is in the books, and is portrayed bit more antagonistic than it should be (as my friend put it).

    Yen is great, imho, tho I think the books don't focus on her backstory as much.

    Ciri, IIRC, is more of a kid in the books than the series, but I do like her more mature and determined character in Netflix.

    Triss Merigold is just WTF

    That being said, I feel many of the bigger themes for the books are well represented, such as racism/elf genocide, corruption of power, sexism, the sorcerer league trying to manipulate things behind the scenes, the "who is a real monster?" question. Tho some of the lines feel bit hamfisted (like the first episode when geralt is saying "lesser/bigger evil is all the same" - same line in the books but here it felt a bit forced or too early?).

    I've read a little bit about the tv-show on the net. But not too much yet. I've only watched the last episode yesterday. What surprises me is that nobody talks about the fact that The Witcher is in fact a girly tv-show. It's about the women. The men only play a small part in it. It's like those old tv-shows Flipper and Skippy. Those shows were not about a kangaroo or a dolphin. They only lend their names. The shows were about everyone else. The Witcher is the same. The show is about Yennifer and Ciri. And Tisseia, Fringilla, Triss and Calanthe. Geralt is just a mascot. Stumbling around the set, clueless, with very little impact on what happens.
    Yeah, the social commentary is heavy in the books and it's one of the reasons I love them. Definitely talks about sexism, women's role, feminism and (later on) even issues of abortion. It's surprisingly progressive and deep for a fantasy series.

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