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S01.E14: Ghostwriter

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49 minutes ago, redpencil said:

 

To me, he wasn't actually speaking English in the flashback. It was just a representation of the scene using English for the audience (and in his retelling of it for Sam) in place of subtitles for the whole scene. And the initial conversation being in their native tongue was just to set the scene. It doesn't make sense that they would actually be speaking English like that, especially randomly switching between them. Obviously I don't know the show's intentions, but breaking the 4th wall and being solely for the audience's sake is what I'm going with in my head, since it's what makes the most sense to me.

You are right. The scene starts with them speaking in their native language; but there was a transition with the camera movement that implied they were still conversing in that language and we hear English for the sake of simplifyng it.

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57 minutes ago, redpencil said:

To me, he wasn't actually speaking English in the flashback. It was just a representation of the scene using English for the audience (and in his retelling of it for Sam) in place of subtitles for the whole scene. And the initial conversation being in their native tongue was just to set the scene. It doesn't make sense that they would actually be speaking English like that, especially randomly switching between them. Obviously I don't know the show's intentions, but breaking the 4th wall and being solely for the audience's sake is what I'm going with in my head, since it's what makes the most sense to me.

That was exactly how I saw it. You described it perfectly. 

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30 minutes ago, MysticMoon said:

You are right. The scene starts with them speaking in their native language; but there was a transition with the camera movement that implied they were still conversing in that language and we hear English for the sake of simplifyng it.

Yes, the way the scene was shot definitely contributed to that impression for me.

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2 hours ago, redpencil said:

 

To me, he wasn't actually speaking English in the flashback. It was just a representation of the scene using English for the audience (and in his retelling of it for Sam) in place of subtitles for the whole scene. And the initial conversation being in their native tongue was just to set the scene. It doesn't make sense that they would actually be speaking English like that, especially randomly switching between them. Obviously I don't know the show's intentions, but breaking the 4th wall and being solely for the audience's sake is what I'm going with in my head, since it's what makes the most sense to me.

I believe they also indicated at the bottom of the screen that the scene was set in 1513 (or was it 1530-something?). Pretty sure the English speakers did not have a presence in North America yet, so the Lenape wouldn’t have any need to learn and use English.

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I think @iMonrey is probably right about the producers not wanting to offend with a stereotypical "Kemosabe" Tonto accent. 

But I also find it perfectly plausible that a real storyteller as Sass is supposed to be would change his vernacular to match the time, so his stories would match his audience.  It makes sense that he'd change his speech to be compatible with the times. 

Those flashbacks were him telling his recollection to Sam, right?  So it makes sense he'd code-switch to tell his story in her hearing style.

Plus, Sass is cool, so he's hip to the skip, and can't help it.

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This feel good show was definitely welcome this week.

It's a testament to the writers and cast that I can't really pick favorite characters anymore. I just love them all, and each contribute to the episodes, even just with a line or two.

I'm glad we got a little more Flower, and we know now, if they reach, she teach, with her sharp elbows, lol. Man.

Sass and his story at the end was a great moment. I love that it was his real father in the episode. He and Sam both getting defensive, and standing with their arms crossed was a nice touch.

I can understand Sam's fear of opening the B&B and I almost hate to introduce more characters into the show, but I have faith the writers will keep the ghosts front and center. Hopefully.

I hope Mark can stick around too, and Jay can have a living friend, in addition to Pete.

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7 hours ago, possibilities said:

I am hoping Sam and Jay discussed the situation and Jay was in on the planning, so she didn't really ambush him. It seems like all the other residents were in on it, so I just figured Jay was, too.

I could see that.  Jay has become really accepting about the ghosts being part of their lives, and trying to be part of the situation himself, even with its challenges for him.  His genuine joy at being able to play D&D and watch basketball with Pete is so sweet. 

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16 hours ago, shura said:

Sass is so incredibly sharp and perceptive, isn’t he?

He is (literally), an old soul, wise, intuitive, pragmatic. I appreciated his exasperation in that prior episode, with the social game-playing surrounding the texts to his beloved. 

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12 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I think we just have to accept the fact that the show doesn't want him to have any kind of dialect that could be perceived as offensive to native Americans.

It is a curiosity. I’ve lived in proximity to a few different Native American groups throughout my life, and I’m mesmerized, listening to their speech. There’s a different cadence, as well as a musical, tonal quality to it. I dare say, it would be difficult to adopt for an acting gig (LDP made a valiant attempt in Longmire, he didn’t nail it, but it wasn’t insulting, either). So, I have to agree with you, better not to try, than to attempt it and fail miserably. 

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9 hours ago, madmax said:

Probably because I hate to be idle like that.

Not just idle, frustratingly out of the loop! Of course, it would be irksome. 
On the topic of something happening to ease Jay’s frustration, I’m not for any type of injury to the character. There are lots of examples in the supernatural realm of film and literature where spirits have more power. I don’t understand why this crew is depicted as being so helpless. Also don’t understand all the obnoxious grunting and groaning from Trevor as he tries to activate a keypad/keyboard (especially when my own attempts can sometimes work with fingers only hovering!). 

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10 hours ago, emma675 said:

To me, he wasn't actually speaking English in the flashback. It was just a representation of the scene using English for the audience (and in his retelling of it for Sam) in place of subtitles for the whole scene.

This is exactly what they did in Vikings.  Dialogue was spoken by the actors in English for the sake of viewers, but whenever the Vikings were in a scene with actual English characters, they spoke in Norse with subtitles

 

1 hour ago, Daff said:

I think we just have to accept the fact that the show doesn't want him to have any kind of dialect that could be perceived as offensive to native Americans

The fact that Sass has too much of a modern/Western accent bothers me greatly.  And why would it be offensive for the show to give him one - especially if the actor replicates a true NA accent?  Glad no one cared about being offended when Kevin Costner made Dances With Wolves  And for that matter, the show doesn't care about offending Norse people with Thorfinn's accent.

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24 minutes ago, ctlady said:

This is exactly what they did in Vikings.  Dialogue was spoken by the actors in English for the sake of viewers, but whenever the Vikings were in a scene with actual English characters, they spoke in Norse with subtitles

 

The fact that Sass has too much of a modern/Western accent bothers me greatly.  And why would it be offensive for the show to give him one - especially if the actor replicates a true NA accent?  Glad no one cared about being offended when Kevin Costner made Dances With Wolves  And for that matter, the show doesn't care about offending Norse people with Thorfinn's accent.

The quote attributed to me was actually written by @Imonrey. I simply came to the conclusion he might be right. And to answer your question, I did explain in my post that a Native American accent (and it would be an accent-born from the influence of a language other than English) is difficult to learn. If done poorly, it could be very insulting. There is extensive precedence for resentment of this type in Hollywood’s long history. 

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18 hours ago, shura said:

There is a hotel in Belfast that was bombed by the IRA something like 30 times. I have always wondered how on Earth it stayed in business. You’d think that after, I don’t know, the first dozen bombings potential guests would have caught on.

The Europa hotel.  I actually stayed there about ten years ago or so.  My husband and I were in a new section, but my two daughters were in the old section.  They were a little weirded out.

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I watched the pilot episode last night and noticed Sass's first lines were formal with no contractions:  "Shh, I think it is happening" and then "This plan of Trevor's fills me with discomfort.  The line between the living and the dead is one we should respect.  Who are we to..."  (Jay walks through Sass) "All right.  Let's haunt these bastards out of here."

So...was that the writer's attempt to make Sass's speech more "old-fashioned" like Thorfinn's or did Sass's speech change when Jay walked through him?  

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17 minutes ago, Phebemarie said:

I watched the pilot episode last night and noticed Sass's first lines were formal with no contractions:  "Shh, I think it is happening" and then "This plan of Trevor's fills me with discomfort.  The line between the living and the dead is one we should respect.  Who are we to..."  (Jay walks through Sass) "All right.  Let's haunt these bastards out of here."

So...was that the writer's attempt to make Sass's speech more "old-fashioned" like Thorfinn's or did Sass's speech change when Jay walked through him?  

I think this article answers your question here👆 @Phebemarie, and some more of my questions about the depiction of Sass in general. As I guessed, the actor had a say in it:

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[interviewer Max Gao]
. . . Sasappis was obviously Native American when you auditioned to play him, but how have you worked with the creative team to ensure that you were honoring the specificities of his background?

[Román Zaragoza]
After the pilot, I had really good conversations with the Joes—[executive producers] Joe Port and Joe Wiseman—about bringing a Lenape consultant into the project. If you want him to be Lenape, you should be engaging with the tribe or someone who is associated with the tribe, because otherwise, it could come off a little disrespectful. I’m like, “I’m not Lenape. I’m not knowledgeable on the Lenape people’s history. That’s not me, so I would love to bring someone in.” So they brought in Joe Baker, who is this amazing resource and amazing guy, who is enrolled in the Delaware Tribe. He’s Lenape, he’s the executive director of a Lenape center. He’s been such a blessing for us and so supportive, and you can really see the impact he had on Sasappis and on the show as a whole, from my costume changing from episode 1 [to] episode 2.

Having Sasappis be a storyteller, that was something that the Joes and Joe Baker were talking about because they wanted to make Sasappis that made sense to his character, not just making some stereotypical warrior or whatever other stereotypes there are for Native people. They wanted him to be this full-fledged person, and I was so excited when they said they wanted him to be a storyteller. Also, we have a Native writer in the writer’s room by the name of John Timothy who’s Muscogee Creek, so it’s been exciting to have Native creatives in the room so that I don’t feel like I need to take up all of that space. I can just be an actor, which is awesome. . . 

observer.com/2022/02/roman-zaragoza-on-ghosts-and-growing-native-representation-in-mainstream-media

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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I always wonder when the British invaders stopped sounding British when they spoke English here. I imagine it took some time to transition. And for that matter, the different sounds of American English from region to region across the country had to have evolved over time, as well. 

I actually find Thorfinn's speech pattern offensive, as it just doesn't seem to serve any purpose. I don't even understand what they think they are accomplishing with it. Is it supposed to be funny? I really hate it.

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This is the only thing that bugged me about the episode.  It was great of Sam to get all the ghosts together to hear Sass be a storyteller, but that had to SUCK for Jay.

He seemed to be into it though. They did show Sam translating and at one point Jay asked "what happened to the turtle?" so he was definitely following along.

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But I also find it perfectly plausible that a real storyteller as Sass is supposed to be would change his vernacular to match the time, so his stories would match his audience.  It makes sense that he'd change his speech to be compatible with the times. 

He hasn't really had an audience aside from the ghosts until Sam moved in. And their accents are all over the place. I don't know where he would have picked up a modern accent from other than Pete and Trevor. 

Look - it doesn't really bother me, I just don't find the need to fanwank why he talks that way. It is what it is.

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I always wonder when the British invaders stopped sounding British when they spoke English here. 

Interestingly . . . it's the other way around. Upper class Brits in England started to adopt a fancy way of speaking to distinguish themselves from the lower classes and from British ex-pats in the colonies. 

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Look - it doesn't really bother me, I just don't find the need to fanwank why he talks that way. It is what it is.

Doesn’t bother me, either. More annoyed to find someone highlighted YOUR words, and attributed them to me! Not talking about Sass’s lack of accent anymore. Done and dusted, after the article above. You said it best, it is what it is. I like the character, I like the actor. 

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11 hours ago, LADreamr said:

His genuine joy at being able to play D&D and watch basketball with Pete is so sweet. 

I liked when he and Pete tried to do that celebratory handshake thing while watching the basketball game. And I like how they still managed to be pretty well in sync overall with it, too, despite Jay not being able to see him. 

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1 hour ago, Daff said:

More annoyed to find someone highlighted YOUR words, and attributed them to me!

That's a software bug, not something a poster deliberately does. Until someone develops software that can detect updates in all platforms being used and instantly program fixes that make them compatible, we will be seeing that. I obsessively check and edit my posts, but I'm retired and don't expect the average bear poster to do so.

Anyhoo, I'm okay with the accents used and not used on the show. I also never notice a British actor's accent bleeding through when they're playing an American--although when Canadian actors say "either" with a long "i" while pretending to be American, I can't help giving the TV a disdainful smirk. 

 

As someone who dressed a lot like Flower in the 70s, I appreciated that they gave her more depth.
Even though sports are not my forté, I think they were a good means of demonstrating that Flower was not just a, well, a "flower child."

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25 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

although when Canadian actors say "either" with a long "i" while pretending to be American, I can't help giving the TV a disdainful smirk. 

Why a "disdainful smirk"?

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15 minutes ago, Trey said:

Why a "disdainful smirk"?

Just because it gives away that they're Canadians playing Americans, and I'm petty enough to be thinking: Gotcha!

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Not talking about Sass’s lack of accent anymore. Done and dusted, after the article above. You said it best, it is what it is. I like the character, I like the actor. 

I mean . . . if I had to fanwank it somehow . . . he obviously had to learn English from others since he only spoke Lenape when he was alive, so I suppose the other ghosts had to teach him eventually - he predates most of them. Thor would have had to learn English too, for that matter. Sass might have just been better at picking up accents from the more modern ghosts and the living who passed through the manor.

Speaking of which - I noticed in one of the exterior shots there seems to be some sort of chapel adjacent to the main house. Kind of weird, since most of the exterior is CGI rather than a real house.

Thor: "Thor like to put head of Dane in basket and give it to Dane's mother." But, aren't Vikings Danes? Brutal.

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I really enjoyed seeing Sasappis’s storyline in this episode.  For several episodes I’ve been thinking that his age when he died has a lot to do with his character, because he wasn’t old enough to be set in his ways.  So he is more open to current influences, including picking up on speech patterns.  That’s just how I see him and I’m glad to have a show like this where I care enough about the characters to think about their personalities, and want to see what is revealed next about them.  

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On 2/25/2022 at 9:26 PM, madmax said:

This is the only thing that bugged me about the episode.  It was great of Sam to get all the ghosts together to hear Sass be a storyteller, but that had to SUCK for Jay.  Just sitting there, maybe getting a translation from Sam . . .

It also stinks for Sas, trying to tell his story while Sam whispers to Jay.  Very distracting.

 

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7 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

It also stinks for Sas, trying to tell his story while Sam whispers to Jay.  Very distracting.

And yet very representative of any Native American story and history telling in their own languages to audiences of non-speakers, since these languages are not widely known like Spanish or French or Russian or Mandarin.
And hence the success of Navajo Code Talkers in WWII--which would be a topic for a Small Talk thread.

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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16 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Just because it gives away that they're Canadians playing Americans, and I'm petty enough to be thinking: Gotcha!

That's more an American way of saying that word?? While I occasionally say it both ways, I by far pronounce it with a long "I" sound. And I'm from the southern US (primarily). 

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On 2/27/2022 at 10:17 AM, callie lee 29 said:

That's more an American way of saying that word?? While I occasionally say it both ways, I by far pronounce it with a long "I" sound. And I'm from the southern US (primarily). 

Interesting.
I confess that I've never lived in the south, and may not have noticed if that's common.
Plus, whenever I've been especially bugged about the long "I" pronunciation of "either" on a show (when the character repeats the word several times) causing me to look up the actor, it's always turned out to be a Canadian actor. 
Maybe I ignore it when an actor with a Southern accent says it that way because it seems like part of that speech pattern? I'll look out for this in the future. 

 

ETA: Discussion continued here: https://forums.primetimer.com/topic/122365-small-talk-ghostly-chats/?do=findComment&comment=7315727

 

Edited by shapeshifter
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19 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

although when Canadian actors say "either" with a long "i" while pretending to be American, I can't help giving the TV a disdainful smirk. 

I am American and I use both "either(s)" depending on which one sounds better to me. It is the I sound when power stressed at the end of a sentence. The E sound when it flows in a sentence.

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3 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I am American and I use both "either(s)" depending on which one sounds better to me. It is the I sound when power stressed at the end of a sentence. The E sound when it flows in a sentence.

Continuing in the Small Talk thread:

 

 

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Sam should have been transcribing the story as Sasappis told it.  That way Jay could have followed along by reading, and she would have had a record of it.  In fact, Sam should transcribe all the stories that all of them tell.

Other than that, I really liked this episode a lot.  

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1 hour ago, Browncoat said:

Sam should have been transcribing the story as Sasappis told it.

Good idea, since they can't record the ghosts talking.  Maybe Sam and Jay could both learn shorthand, so Jay can read as she writes.

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2 minutes ago, Driad said:

Good idea, since they can't record the ghosts talking.  Maybe Sam and Jay could both learn shorthand, so Jay can read as she writes.

Maybe Flower took shorthand in high school and could brush up on her skills?
Since a lot of the Ghost World Rules are, well, "invisible" to me, I'm imagining Flower could transcribe Sass's stories into shorthand, then into long hand, then Sam could either see them or Trevor or Pete could read them to her to type into her computer.
Or maybe Pete was the one who learned shorthand. I don't know. Would a boy scout have earned a merit badge for shorthand? 

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I don't need to see it now, but I think a nice way to wrap up the show (which, hopefully, will be long long time from now) will be for Sam to have become a successful author of "historical fiction", writing a series of books about the Ghosts, as people who were somehow connected to the manor.  And maybe a Storytelling anthology, to get Sass' stories out there. 

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On 2/26/2022 at 5:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

That's a software bug, not something a poster deliberately does.

Actually, it’s remedy is simply to take care when using the highlight text/quote SELECTION function-make sure your selection is on a WHITE background (original poster),not GRAY background (new poster’s reply). Thanks, though. I realize some people don’t pay attention to details like that, as if attribution doesn’t matter. 

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On 2/25/2022 at 1:37 PM, Snow Apple said:

I also hope Trevor gets better a holding things so he can communicate with Jay via text or writing. 

How did he catfish Jay's sister anyway if he hasn't perfected typing yet? Must have taken hours to type a sentence.

Maybe (for whatever reason) capacitive is faster. He just needs to electrically register with the screen, there's less touch effort than with a physical keyboard. Lighter taps=faster typing. 

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26 minutes ago, questionfear said:

Maybe (for whatever reason) capacitive is faster. He just needs to electrically register with the screen, there's less touch effort than with a physical keyboard. Lighter taps=faster typing. 

Oooo. I can imagine Trevor dealing with predictive text, thinking: Close enough? 🤣

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29 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Oooo. I can imagine Trevor dealing with predictive text, thinking: Close enough? 🤣

Good point! That saves him a ton of time. 

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On 2/26/2022 at 5:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

although when Canadian actors say "either" with a long "i" while pretending to be American, I can't help giving the TV a disdainful smirk. 

On 2/26/2022 at 6:08 PM, shapeshifter said:

Just because it gives away that they're Canadians playing Americans,

But plenty of Americans say it like "eyether" as opposed to "eether".

On 2/26/2022 at 10:36 PM, iMonrey said:

Thor: "Thor like to put head of Dane in basket and give it to Dane's mother." But, aren't Vikings Danes? Brutal.

Not necessarily.  Danes descended from Vikings who settled in that area, but those who ventured to America were more likely to be Norwegian Vikings who were still pagan long after the Danes became Christian (by the end of the 9th century).  Since Thor is in New York, I'm going to assume he was a Norwegian Viking and did not consider the Danes to be Vikings at all and thus would gladly put their heads in baskets to give to their mothers.  Because that's how he rolls.

 

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1 hour ago, proserpina65 said:

I'm going to assume he was a Norwegian Viking and did not consider the Danes to be Vikings at all and thus would gladly put their heads in baskets to give to their mothers.  Because that's how he rolls.

 

I wonder if it would just be the head in the basket, or something snarky with it, like a sarcastic note, or something.  Adding insult to injury kind of thing.  

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On 2/26/2022 at 11:49 AM, iMonrey said:

I don't know where he would have picked up a modern accent from other than Pete and Trevor. 

It seems you're assuming that he could have only learned a modern accent from the the other ghosts. Why not those living and visiting the home over the years? (Most recently, Sam's great-great aunt or whoever she was, and Hetty, too, for that matter.) Additionally, it's highly likely that at least since the 1930s, the residents of the home listened to the radio and then later, the TV. He's had over 500 years to learn English and adjust his accent according to the times.

I noted in the beginning of the show, when the ghosts were standing around talking to Sam about the website, Hetty had her hand (or hands) casually sitting on Sass' shoulder. Later, she was casually sitting on the arm of the sofa. I'm guessing she's loosened up over the years.

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On 2/26/2022 at 5:19 PM, shapeshifter said:

although when Canadian actors say "either" with a long "i" while pretending to be American, I can't help giving the TV a disdainful smirk. 

I say either with a long "i" and I am from the south.  Not sure why, but that's how we say it.

 

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On 2/24/2022 at 9:43 PM, Sakura12 said:

Trevor: I wish I had underwear on.

Hetty: we all do, Trevor. 

Not all of us, Hetty. 😉

I'm surprised at how much I've come to like the show after my lukewarm reaction to the pilot and the first couple of episodes. 

I'm still not a fan of the actress who plays Sam (both the actress and the character come across as too earnest and perky), but I like the others (although Pete is a little annoying with all his earnestness).

I think Jay is a stand out, both the actor and the character, and one of the things I really like is the interracial aspect of their marriage is such a non-issue, even among the ghosts for whom it might be.

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22 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

Not all of us, Hetty. 😉

I'm surprised at how much I've come to like the show after my lukewarm reaction to the pilot and the first couple of episodes. 

I'm still not a fan of the actress who plays Sam (both the actress and the character come across as too earnest and perky), but I like the others (although Pete is a little annoying with all his earnestness).

I think Jay is a stand out, both the actor and the character, and one of the things I really like is the interracial aspect of their marriage is such a non-issue, even among the ghosts for whom it might be.

Sam's positive attitude makes her likable. I'm glad she accepts her ability rather than denying it. I wonder if Jay's parents will appear next season? I'd like to find out what happened to Sam's dad.  Is he dead or did he abandon his family?

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I think Jay is a stand out, both the actor and the character, and one of the things I really like is the interracial aspect of their marriage is such a non-issue, even among the ghosts for whom it might be.

Now that you bring it up, it does seem like something Hetty would comment on. Seems kind of lazy on the part of the show to ignore it.

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Just now, iMonrey said:

Now that you bring it up, it does seem like something Hetty would comment on. Seems kind of lazy on the part of the show to ignore it.

I almost always hate the word "lazy" because it's most often used by someone too lazy to examine the deeper motives at stake, but in this case, I'm not sure that it doesn't accurately describe the choice.
I too have been waiting for at least an interview to discuss the choice made to have ghost Hetty ignore the interracial marriage by her descendant.
This is similar to the choice to have Sass not use Native American speech patterns and to not discuss it in an interview.

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3 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Now that you bring it up, it does seem like something Hetty would comment on. Seems kind of lazy on the part of the show to ignore it.

Well, we do know she hates the Irish. :-) 

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If Hetty made racist comments about Jay, we'd hate her. I'm sure the writers don't want that.

And it would be completely jarring, considering the fairly light nature of this show.

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31 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

If Hetty made racist comments about Jay, we'd hate her. I'm sure the writers don't want that.

And it would be completely jarring, considering the fairly light nature of this show.

Hetty has had the most character growth since Ghosts started IMO. She's fond of Sam I doubt Hetty would want to hurt her feelings.

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On 2/27/2022 at 8:57 PM, chaifan said:

I don't need to see it now, but I think a nice way to wrap up the show (which, hopefully, will be long long time from now) will be for Sam to have become a successful author of "historical fiction", writing a series of books about the Ghosts, as people who were somehow connected to the manor.  And maybe a Storytelling anthology, to get Sass' stories out there. 

That’s a really great idea!

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