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  1. Excited for this since it looks like the main trio will spend a lot of time together (which they should have done in the sequel as well imo), but I'm disappointed that Finn seems to have been reduced to the WOOO guy throughout these movies. There was so much they could have done with him. A Stormtrooper breaking his conditioning and joining the Resistance? He could have served as anti-First Order propaganda, inspired other Stormtroopers, learn to adjust to his new life, be force resistance, worked his way up the ladder in the resistance etc. So many paths they could have taken with him, and they just reduced him to mostly comic relief.
  2. The discourse surrounding Skyler and the hate she gets reminds me of how much hate Sally from Barry gets despite being the least terrible character on that show. Yeah, she's selfish and self-involved and a little bit narsissistic at times, but she's an angel compared to the mass murderers and gangsters on that show, all of whom are even more self-absorbed. That includes the titular character who gets so much sympathy from the audience because he's awkward and vulnerable. Meanwhile, Sally's branded the biggest monster on the show because she's a self-involved wannabe actor, just like Barry. Sally is a wonderful character in that she's unlikable half the time but is still a fleshed out, three-dimensional character with relateable strengths and vulnerabilities and an arc + development independent of her love interest, the main character. But it seems sympathy for morally grey characters is only afforded when they're male.
  3. A few years ago she was my favorite actress, but her recent filmography has me convinced that she doesn't have much range. She's very good at playing a specific type of character e.g. cold, commanding, detached etc., but when she diverges from that type of characterization, it's hard to buy into her acting. The Help is the only exception I can think of.
  4. Assuming the major character beats would stay the same: I'd never have Bran lose his humanity if he was to become king. If they worried that making him omniscient would interfere with the rest of the plot, I'd have limited his ability to see things through the weirwood trees only like his book counterpart. The problem with the show is that they did away with so much of the magical aspects of the series that they ended up completely removing Bran's importance as The Last Hero 2.0. in favor of using Bran to confirm Jon's parentage. I'd have highlighted his importance as one of the several saviors of humanity as well as stressed how much he'd sacrificed at age 10 to do the right thing. Bran's one of the most caring, empathetic and selfess characters in the books, and I think there's groundwork for him being a good king. I'd have Dany abandon Slaver's Bay in favor of Westeros without the implication that she magically eradicated slavery and stabilized the region by putting Daario and his sellswords in charge of overseeing change (lol). SB as a whole would be doomed with the threat of complete destruction on the horizon in the form of starvation, disease, war, and insurgency, just like in the books. She also wouldn't gain the loyalty of a superstitious people who already hated her for getting the most powerful khal killed because of her getting a witch involved by burning their leaders alive in their most holy temple in their most holy city. She'd conquer them by burning them alive with her dragon. I'd also have Dany's invasion be a lot more destructive. 50.000 Dothraki and their 50.000+ horses can't be confined on a barren island like Dragonstone for months. They'd have to pillage the countryside to keep themselves alive, especially as winter would deplete Westeros' resources. Jon would be a darker character following his resurrection and missing a chunk of his humanity without being evil. But I'd want tangible proof of the effect death had on his soul. The Northerners wouldn't elect Ned Stark's bastard who ditched the Night's Watch over his legitimate daughter who brought the Vale to the North and whose connection to her cousin saved the North from the Boltons. That's just BS. No Sansa vs. Arya. The Long Night would last a whole season. Most importantly, since the introduction of fAegon complicated the plot so much, I'd instead have Margaery and Tommen on the throne when Dany invaded, with Cersei being confined to Casterly Rock and secretly plotting. Tommen was a caring and sensitive boy and Margaery a competent and cunning, yet sweet woman. Dany's opposition to them would have brought so much ambiguity to the story because it would rob Dany of her supposed moral high ground. It'd also explain Tyrion's reluctance to harm KL with his nephew there, especially since his niece died because of his decision to send her to Dorne.
  5. Assuming the major character beats would stay the same: I'd never have Bran lose his humanity if he was to become king. If they worried that making him omniscient would interfere with the rest of the plot, I'd have limited his ability to see things through the weirwood trees only like his book counterpart. The problem with the show is that they did away with so much of the magical aspect of the series that they ended up completely removing Bran's importance as The Last Hero 2.0. in favor of using Bran to confirm Jon's parentage. I'd have highlighted his importance as one of the several saviors of humanity as well as stressed how much he'd sacrificed at age 10 to do the right thing. Bran's one of the most caring, empathetic and selfess characters in the books, and I think there's groundwork for him being a good king in the books.
  6. Currently reading the book and it's definitely way more scary than the movie. One thing that bugged me about the first IT movie as well as this one is that IT just shows up and pranks the Losers before disappearing again, like it's more michievous than evil. But in the book, IT actually tries to kill the kids during their individual encounters. IT doesn't just show Mike his parents burning to scare him before ditching him, he actually transfers into a massive monstrous bird and tries to eat him. As a horror movie, I don't think this one rates well. But it's the characters that set the two chapters apart from other horror movies. The coming of age part was done very well, and the dynamic between the Losers, as kids and adults, was the main draw for me. Still, I hope we get an eventual Netflix 10-episode series that leans more into the horror aspect, but still devotes enough time to characterization and interpersonal relationships.
  7. I just saw a compilation of all the "subtextual" clues in the books, and now I understand what you mean. Richie's literally holding on to the popsicle while Eddie starts sucking on it. Then there's Eddie stroking Richie's cheek before dying, Richie kissing his cheek, and the "but he knew well why" line. No wonder so many people believe the book characters are coded as LGBT. If this was always King's intention, I wish he'd been more overt about it. If he could have six 13-year-olds run a train on a 13-year-old girl, he could do this too. Speaking of the book; I read that the adults go back to forgetting each other again which is just heartbreaking. I'm glad the movie changed that or I would have been a sobbing mess.
  8. I've loved James Ransone as an actor ever since I saw him in Generation Kill so I was excited when he was cast as Eddie. He was wonderful here and his and Richie's dynamic was the highlight of the movie. Finding out that Richie was in love with Eddie after the latter died? Heartbreaking. And not gonna lie, I'm disappointed about the 'bury the gays' trope employed here, though as I understand it, the lgbt aspects were a lot more subtextual in the book? The actors all did very well and really managed to sell the Losers' bond despite their characters spending so much time apart. The only actor who didn't work for me was Chastain as Bev. She's an otherwise amazing actress but she's never been good at selling vulnerability imo, and every time she came on screen I'd go "that's famous actress Jessica Chastain." A complaint that ties into my dislike of Chastain's portrayal of Bev is that I didn't like the romantic subplot in the movie and it took a lot away from the character. It was cute and heartfelt when they were kids, but Ben holding on to his crush for 27 years because a girl was kind to him, and then spending half his screen time scowling at Bill for standing too close to her during super serious moments was just too irritating to me. I can definitely see it making sense in the book (which I haven't read yet), but the time frame between Bev leaving an abusive relationship and hooking up with Ben was too short. And Ben not being given anything else to do but win her over? Ugh. On one hand, I'm very happy that Bev managed to escape the cycle of abuse and found a good man to love, but I'd have preferred her just dedicating some time to therapy and self-care after forty years of abuse instead of moving on to another man so soon. But again, I'm sure it's a lot more believable in the book where both characters are probably given more depth and things to do.
  9. Ned wasn't dumb. He was a man of integrity whose trauma following the deaths of most his family and his participation in Robert's Rebellion affected him to such a degree that he jeopardized his own safety to ensure innocent children wouldn't be murdered as long as he could do anything about it. That and he was completely isolated from his allies and friends. He had no one trustworthy in King's Landing to back him up which limited his options on whom to trust and which actions. It was either sacrifice everything he believed in and stood for or put his own life on the line. Really, the biggest mistake he made was to take his daughters with him to King's Landing despite his suspicions that the Lannisters killed Jon Arryn.
  10. I loved this season and I've already watched it twice. It might even be my favorite season of this show. That said, I'm seriously baffled by the lack of attention given to Max's home life. In season two we saw Billy get slapped by his dad with his stepmom present which clearly telegraphed this was par for the course in their house. But it was still ambiguous whether he physically abused Max or her mom which still allowed the audience to shrug it off because Billy was written so stereotypically. Then in this season, we saw him being abusive to both Billy's mom and kid Billy, showing that he's been a POS for a long time and that he clearly doesn't have any misgivings about hurting women or children. So what does that mean for Max and her mom? Was he only a dick to Billy? And even so, Billy clearly modeled his misogynistic, homophobic and racist behavior after his father. So Max has just been living in this household for years, watching her stepdad beat up his son whom she was terrified of last season? And has she spent the past year sneaking around with Lucas out of fear that her dad will find out she's dating someone who's black? Does Billy no longer care? How does Lucas feel about that? And how did they manage to keep it secret from Mr. Hargrove in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business? This is the problem with making the stereotypical Stephen King bully a family member to one of the (now) main kids. The Duffer brothers said Billy was added to have a human villain in the story, but that doesn't work when you have a bigger monster in Billy's dad, who's also stepdad to a core member of the group who's best friends with a super-powered girl who's the daughter of the chief of police. And they must have realized that with the way they retconned Billy and Max's dynamic. The writing for Billy is just all over the place. They should have either written him more sympathetically last season and made his dad the true villain, or at least have Hopper actually intervene in some way and ensure that Max wasn't being abused. Because watching El, a kid who was abused for most of her life, have a sleepover at Max's, knowing as a viewer that Max too is living in an abusive household made me very uncomfortable. And I have a very hard time believing Hopper is oblivious to what goes on in that house.
  11. All I wanted was a whole season of this: Literally the thing I'd been looking forward to the most. Just make the Long Night last at least a year and show the psychological toll something this horrifying would have on people. Have the NK and his army make it past Winterfell and have WF as some safe haven since it was built with the same magic as the Wall. Just make the show full-out apocalyptic instead of what we got. Then they could split the final season between Cersei and Dany's reign. They had all the resources at their disposal. HBO was willing to give them more money, time and seasons. They could have hired more writers and directors, and if they were exhausted and wanted to be done with it, they could have someone else replace them as showrunners.
  12. Replying to comments several pages back now: Dany is called a White Savior by some because her story in Essos is the most blatantly offensive orientalist adventure I can recall in modern pop culture. The story of the benevolent Westerner taming the brutal brown savages to teach them the ways of civilization because their culture is inferior in every way imaginable, and saving the infantilized masses who play no part in creating change because they fully rely on the Westerner to oversee it, is a classic orientalist trope, and one that has been, and still is, peddled to wage war in the real world. Just consider for a moment that Dany spent two seasons in Meereen and didn't think to create a Meereenese council until after she decided to ditch the city. Or that legit old brown people heralded this young white teenager as their mother. Or that the only two Meereenese that were allowed any voice for two and a half seasons were Mossador, who was executed early, and Hizdahr, who was mocked at every turn. The books bear a lot of responsibility for this as well, though at least according to some there's a case to be made that Dany's POV restricts us from seeing some of the less abhorrent aspects of Meereenese culture. No excuse can be made on the show. In the five seasons she spent in Essos, every single person except Mirri and Hizdahr was either a hapless, passive slave or a brutal, sniveling barbarian. And the show still treats Mirri as some evil cackling witch. Even where Missandei and Grey Worm are concerned, 99% of their hopes, dreams, motivations, priorities, and personalities have revolved around their loyalty to Daenerys. It wasn't until 8x02 that they were shown to have separate dreams from those of Daenerys. Having the super disciplined Grey Worm and the Unsullied deliberately partake in the slaughter of innocents given everything they've been through was just one big insult and destroyed any sympathy I had for them. Either they have free will and went "fuck these innocent people", or they've replaced Mhysa as their master and can't envision not following her orders regardless of how monstrous the command. I don't know which is better for the characters. The closest the Starks came to a similar situation was Jon's time with the wildlings, a foreign people with different cultures than the established ones, and who were considered savages. Except the wildlings were multidimensional characters with sympathetic motives, their cultures weren't one-dimensionally evil, they were willing to accept change in the way they went against tradition to choose Mance as their king, and they were willing to change their ways and refrained from rape, pillage and murder once they joined the NK. And all this without Jon ever civilizing them or being worshipped by them. Even after he died for letting them through the Wall, they still weren't on board with going to war with him against Ramsay until Tormund and Wun Wun convinced them. The Starks have never been White Saviors on this show, unless someone takes that to mean saviors who happen to be white.
  13. Also Dany who invaded a foreign country where she wasn't wanted because of some Manifest Destiny BS and who constantly needed to be talked down from committing atrocities. Who burned a slave alive for killing her slaver husband and called Drogo a hero as late as season seven. Who always picked the most cruel and inhumane executions when presented with alternatives. Who abandoned Meereen and let Daario "Fuck Meereen and its people" Naharis in charge of it. Whose dragon killed a child and then she later complained that the Targaryens were wrong to not let their dragons roam around King's Landing. Who brags about being the Breaker of Chains but refuses to grant the North its independence because she knows what people want better than they do.
  14. Oh look, a woman who's threatened to burn cities to the ground pretty much every season actually burning a city to the ground. What a surprise.
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