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Author Topic: Amazon Prime Video
Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 14, 2018, 17:54
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At least they made the Paki a villain. Thank Hell for small favors. An occasional "diversity" character would be one thing, but filling the show with them has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with the British Bullshitting Corporation. Did you ever read Fletcher Knebel's Dark Horse? It's very left-wing, naturally, but it also featured a Demagogue presidential candidate (Hugh Pinholster) who would fit in perfectly on Shetland.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 14, 2018, 18:27
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Never read anything by Knebel. Will look him up on Wikipedia.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 14, 2018, 18:49
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Amazing the diversity which abounds in and around Shetland.

Agreed, Mr. Kung. It’s being PC’d to death for all the reasons you specified and no doubt more. But you have to approach these shows as you would canned soup. I make my own soup and it’s very good. I’ll have you over some time. But there isn’t always time to make it. Sometimes you have a hankering for some soup and you do the best you can with some packaged or canned soup.

Inevitably such prefabbed soups are way too salty and often have a somewhat foul aftertaste. But you’re hungry, you want something hot, it’s convenient, so you open a can and eat it.

Series on TV are like this. It goes without saying that any modern show is going to be a bad can of soup in some way. But it’s all there is to eat. So honest people like you and me, who don’t make a habit of fooling ourselves, will have the soup and do the best we can not to get indigestion. But never will we pretend that it’s homemade.

Seasons one and two of Shetland had some good ingredients in it. But it’s still just modern canned soup. When you’re hungry, it can do the trick. But there isn’t much room for further compromise. We realize feminism, political correctness, “diversity,” etc., are going to be front-and-center in any British series as they craft a suicide pact with Islam. We can sort of laugh at their fatal foolishness as an inside joke.

But if they begin to put too much in, then it’s like spores of botulism getting mixed into the soup. It’s ruined. It’s unhealthy and will turn your stomach.

But, truthfully, with season three I just got bored out of my mind. And by the time you get to the end (hoping for some payoff to make it all worthwhile), the ending is idiotic….completely. Oh well. I hope those out there within the sound of our voices will still watch seasons one and two. They are well worth watching. And perhaps if someone gets to season 4 (I did….and quickly tuned out because The Nothing had also spread to it) or even 5, they can report back if it gets any better.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 14, 2018, 19:18
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One of the things which I found completely silly about season 3 was the villain. To believe that everything was plotted and put into motion by that twerp nut-case, was simply more than I could swallow, even being hungry.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: October 15, 2018, 08:13
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Yes, Mr. Kung. I thought the same thing. Still, I hold out hope that the series will right itself. Season 4 is on BritBox. I don’t remember where I left off but perhaps I’ll pick it up again. I like DI Jimmy Perez. He’s like the Mr. Rogers of police inspectors. He doesn’t do a lot of yelling and screaming. He calmly goes about his job and won’t be baited into losing his cool. (A commendable trait, I would assume.)

It’s interesting how all British daughters are now portrayed as little spoiled, reckless, cry-baby narcissists. His step-daughter might not be as bad, but she’s up there. That makes me wonder if female fascism (the Rule of Hysteria) has become so normal for them that such portrayals aren’t in the least a commentary on the times but just boilerplate reality that they never really think about anymore.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: February 3, 2019, 09:38
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You Poirot fans will be interested in this next one — perhaps only to avoid it.

Amazon Prime Video produced a three-part series with John Malkovich as Poirot: The ABC Murders.

I don’t recall if David Suchet ever did this one or if the ABC Murders is official Agatha Christie canon. Whatever the case may be, the plot is often as horrid as one of Christie’s.

Malkovich may seem a strange choice to play Poirot. He is. He seems to be demonstrating a a new form of method acting that I’ve seen several times before. Call it the “low emote” method whereby the actor’s somewhat comatose demeanor, I guess, is supposed to evoke a “still waters run deep” kind of atmosphere. But it just looks like they couldn’t be bothered.

Malkovich has adopted this approach with Poirot. Don’t worry about critiquing this from a purest’s perspective. This is a detective who is called “Poirot” but who could have been (if you like Malkovich’s approach) a completely legitimate detective in its own right. But he has little to do with Poirot but the name.

That said, this is a visually rich series. Common to today’s troubled artists and creative types, it clearly values style over substance. Or, I think more accurately, style is substance. This is a wonderfully filmed series. It’s rich to look at. And if you can accept Malkovich as Poirot’s third cousin, twice removed, it’s not all that bad until it get to the last half of the third episode (where all kinds of Christie-like nonsense explodes the plot into a farce).

Up until then it’s about a serial killer who is also a traveling salesman for lady’s stockings. A troubled man — one who undergoes periods of memory loss and apparent epilepsy — is plying his trade which gives him access to beautiful women.

Poirot, in the meantime (a horrible plot gimmick that never pays off or makes any sense), is getting tons of letters from this “ABC” killer who is killing people first in a city starting with “A” and someone whose initials are “AA.” Then a city starting with a “B” and the victim having the initials of “BB.” Etc. Again, you get to the end of this, and nothing about this comes together or makes much sense. But this is very typical of a Christie (or Christie-like) plot. So in that sense, it’s par for the course.

In a minor sense, Malkovich’s comatose portray of Poirot fits to a certain extent. We’ve seen similar themes in the later Suchet portrayals. Poirot is retired and somewhat without purpose. Inspector Japp has retired. The new crop of detectives at Scotland Yard all hate Poirot and blame him for tainting Japp’s reputation (at least in this Poirot universe). Okay…plausible.

Poirot keeps getting these letters from the ABC killer and gets drawn into it, interacting with Japp’s highly confrontational successor, Inspector Crome, played rather one-dimensionally (but forcefully) by Rupert Grint. He gets better as this goes along when he eventually figures out that Poirot is not such a dummy.

The one major departure (besides the goatee) is that (spoiler alert….but, again, this bolted-on element at the end has no pay-off value) Poirot (as Crome and others at Scotland Yard suspect) was never on the Belgian police force. Instead, in several flashback scenes, we see that he is a priest.

The top-rate production values and the very much Christie-like dislikable gentry who come into and out of this make the first two-and-a-half episodes worth watching. And then if you’ve gone that far, you just have to grin and bare the stupid ending.

Timothy-
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Post Re: Amazon Prime Video
on: February 3, 2019, 10:40
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I checked wikipedia, and this novel was done by Suchet as well as Malkovich. Both had differences from the book but largely followed the basic plot. (Japp was in overall charge of the investigation, with Crone working directly with Poirot.)

Ellery Queen wrote an actual serial killer novel, Cat of Many Tails in which the theory of The ABC Murders -- a fake series of serial killers (though the term wouldn't exist until much later) aimed at a specific individual -- is skeptically discussed without identifying the book.

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