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Marco Polo

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Just happened upon this: the cinematography looks stunning, and except for all the naked gyrating people and the fact Marco Polo was probably not a buff kick ass dude...I would try Netflix to watch this.

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And okay start to the series. A lot going on and a lot of characters to follow. I'm glad I had the cast list on Wikipedia up, as well as subtitles on. That helped a lot with following along.

 

I think if I suspend belief on a lot of things, this could be an enjoyable show. I'll give it a few more episodes though to see. It's absolutely stunning visually, so that's a plus.

Edited by ellystar

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Bored me - almost to death. I can't recall a season premier that felt so underwhelming. 

 

The cast ist not good, the acting unintentionally comical, I really don't know what they were expecting from this!

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It's absolutely stunning visually, so that's a plus

Was it ever. Some seriously sweeping vistas in the this show.

I also agree that it was kinda hard to follow. I know its the pilot, but there were a lot of concepts and characters to follow all at once. I think it might have been better if they'd just stuck to Marco and his father traveling to China for the first episode and ended with Marco getting left behind as tribute. We didnt see much of anything between Marco and his father, so that betrayal didn't pack much punch.

I could have lived without the brothel scene, but as this isn't on broadcast or basic cable, I guess they felt that they had to prove their sexy-sexyness. It would have been nice to get equal opportunity nakedness, but outside of Spartacus, that usually seems to be too much to ask for.

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I thought this episode was much better than the first one. Far more coherent, and a lot less bouncing around. I think sticking to the two major plot lines (Kublai vs his brother and Marco learning how to navigate the court) made things much easier to follow.

It's becoming rather obvious that Kublai wanted Marco to stick around as he has an excellent way with words and isn't (at least yet) entangled in any court politics, which makes him rather naively honest.

I was happy to see that we got a better sense of the women on the show as well. Forget Kublai and his brother, I vote for the Empress as Great Khan. Though, yes, I could have lived without the naked Kung Fu.

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I liked it.  I could have watched Marco's instructor dance with the Cobra all night.  

 

I found it hard to follow too.  I wonder how much of that is from my lack of historical knowledge.  History?  Not my best subject.

 

Off to watch Ep 2.

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I was happy to see that we got a better sense of the women on the show as well. Forget Kublai and his brother, I vote for the Empress as Great Khan. Though, yes, I could have lived without the naked Kung Fu.

 

Ah yes!  The Empress was terrific and scary.  I have to disagree on the naked Kung Fu though.  I thought that showed exactly how strong she was, being able to be so vulnerable and still kick some ass.  Plus, it was beautifully shot.  It did cross my mind how the actress\stunt woman felt during the shooting of that scene though.

 

I enjoyed the fact that Khan was more disappointed in his brother than angry.  Disappointed that his brother couldn't embrace Khan's vision.  I also liked that, even though they were at odds, Khan still showed respect to his brother.  Were they playing a game  that involved teeth?

 

I do think that Khan needs to get to the gym more often instead of lounging on his throne all day.  He even had a hard time getting off his horse.  He's still a tough old bird though.

 

I can't wait to see the meeting between the concubine (naked Kung Fu gal) and the Empress.  That should be a lot of fun.

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Not bad for a testosterone heavy show.   I am not sure there was a prominent woman for the first twenty minutes  which is a major minus for me.  A MAJOR one. I usually judge a show on the female cast buuuuut this is Netflix and I am bored.  If this was week by week show I probably wouldn't have kept up with it.  Which is why I really like Netflix dropping the entire series at once. I can watch on my schedule. 

 

Who was the head guy Kublia.  I liked him and I found him the most interesting one hue pilot,  Plus he's tough on crime.  Dude killing a man for stealing a horse.  Bet the horse their wishes he had a couple of kids now.....or maybe just didn't steal that stupid horse.  No namby pamby wishy washy prison system.  Just death and dismemberment....ah the good old days.  

 

Falconry?  Is that really a thing?  Wait sending messages right?  Still cool job if you can get it.  

 

I am going to enjoy the relationship with Marco and Kublia and Marco and the Blind Jedi.

 

And Just a guess here but the show is going to go the Marco vs Kublia's son hate off thing aren't they?  I mean they really kinda have to.  

Edited by Chaos Theory

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And the women show up which makes the show more interesting.

 

I like the taxman,

 

Political intrigue ho!

 

I was right Marco and Jingim are not going to be drinking buddies.  My question now is how much of hateamosity are they going to have..... Did Jingin not get enough daddy love so he i jelouse that Marco is getting it?   

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What was the opening scene about?  Who was that and what was happening?

 

The Chancellor pulled a page out of Xena's book.  The praying mantis is an interesting bug.  I had one as a pet when I was little.  He lived in my Barbie townhouse.

 

What was the deal with the tattoo on the potential consort?  Was it significant or just that consorts can't be marked in any way?

 

I'm not sure what's up with the Chancellor choosing one of his sister's friends to look after Sunflower.

 

Of course, MP beds an important person's (Khan's cousin?) "virgin" daughter.  

 

I love the interaction between the Empress and Khan.  Those two have great chemistry.  I don't understand how Mei Lin ended up with Khan when the Empress dismissed her.  Did she get moved up after disfiguring the other one?

 

Aw man, MP, your instructor warned you not to lie to Khan.  Now, somebody is dead.

 

Even though I knew there was something bad in the bag under the tree, I still jumped.  Good job Show.

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Marco you were warned not to lie to Khan and now there is a body count.  

 

Its not the first time I heard the story of the virgin female warrior who will marry the first man who can beat her in a battle.  "Girl made me rich but I will never be a grandfather."  

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Agreed that the women are making things more interesting. I was a bit disappointed in the pilot episode but this felt like a big step up to me.

I have to admit that I'm having a bit of trouble keeping track of the various characters and wonder if this how it is for Unsullied GoT fans. Names for everyone apart from Marco , the Khan and Mei Lin are the only names I have down so far. It seems like there are two empresses (three? A dowager empress maybe?) at least one high consort, a favored concubine, a princess hostage--those are main female characters so far, right?

Joan Chen is still a beauty. To think that The Last Emperor was filmed almost thirty years ago. I'm glad that her character seems like she's going to be smart and fierce.

I'm looking forward to catching a couple more episodes tonight if I can.

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So who planted the snake for whom?  I thought last episode that it was the Blue Princess for the man who usually picks up.  I thought maybe she had heeded her bodyguard's warning.  And in a lovely "show, not tell" we find out the bodyguard is a eunuch.

 

Polo Sr wins the John Winchester Father of the Year award.  Uncle Polo is an ass.

 

The Empress telling her son to "man up" was great!  I loved that.  Plus?  round eyed pet? hee.

 

The treasurer is great in treaty talks, if you don't really want peace.  HA!  I didn't think anything about the Chancellor missing the truce talks.  I just thought he was trying to make some kind of power play or that he got the message that Khan wasn't coming.  But nope, the Song Empress set the peace talks not the Chancellor.  I don't know why she just didn't have him killed.  She has that authority, right?  And the Chancellor breaking Sunflower's foot, that's messed up.  Maybe she'll be the one to kill him.

 

Khan puts another burden on MP.  I wonder exactly how harsh he'll be to his father and uncle or if he'll find a loop hole.

 

ETA:  The Empress did not handle the Song Consort like I imagined she would.  Still interesting though.

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Just finished and not a bad series.  If you check out the reviews on Netflix (besides the highbrow reviews that tend to be all negative for odd reasons) most of the low reviews tend to be for the usual reasons Netflix Orifinal series rated low (Adult content and pervasive language).   Its like we are living in puritanical times.  So a little skin and people go nuts.  That being said....BROTHELS HO!  

 

I enjoyed the main storyline with Maro Polo and the Kahn and the the Kahn's son.  I saw the the jealousy with the Kahn's son and  I like how the storyline ended.  I also liked the blind guy and I am glad he survived the season.  I joe the show gets a season 2

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One of the criticisms aimed at the show was that the titular character seems to take a backseat. Like "Orange is the New Black," I think it's clever to provide an entry to the world of the show with this bland main (white) character, and end up showcasing a diverse cast made up of characters with interesting backstories.

I did think that Marco was in a difficult position most of the time, but still managed to not be that sympathethetic a lot of the time.

I thought Kublai and Chabi were great characters, and I, too, was glad that Hundred Eyes made it to the end.

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Well I watched it from start to finish so it wasn't awful, but I think it could have also been much better. Sadly, Marco Polo ended up being one of the least interesting characters. Hundred Eyes was awesome, but a blind Kung Fu master is kind of automatically awesome. I thought Mei Lin was really interesting but underutilized for most of the season. The nude fight scene was pretty neat in my book. I also wondered how the goofy teenage Jia Sidao transformed into this master warrior/ manipulator as an adult. It would have been nice to see a little more of his back story since it seemed to be a pretty huge leap to me. I enjoyed Kublai a great deal especially in the earlier episodes. It seemed like we got a lot less of a peek into his mind in the later episodes though which I thought was disappointing. I am really looking forward to Ahmed and Mei Lin stirring up trouble next season.

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As with most binge-watch series, I found myself really missing the show when I finished. Loved the ending! Those two are destined to rule and/or cause trouble in the future (and I know nothing of the actual history). I liked Marco, as he was easy on the eyes, and was the means by which we got to observe these amazing characters! I wish the actor had mastered English the way the rest of the cast did. His lines were the most difficult for me to understand. Which made me happy that they didn't go the Shogun route (or those of other "stranger in a strange land" tales) of only seeing interactions involving Polo.

   The Counselor was really despicable, though, and his end made me cheer. You don't purposely inflict pain upon children.

   The Khan reminded me of the portrayal of Henry VIII in the "Six Wives Of Henry VIII" mimini-series (not "The Tudors") with his thirst for power, his world-weariness, and his failing body. Fortunately the Empress was every bit his match. Makes you wonder how much Henry might have accomplished had they had Marriage Equality back then.

     Looking forward to a second series!

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Marco you were warned not to lie to Khan and now there is a body count.  

 

Its not the first time I heard the story of the virgin female warrior who will marry the first man who can beat her in a battle.  "Girl made me rich but I will never be a grandfather."  

Khutulun's a historical figure, though, and by all accounts pretty damn badass.  Kaidu Khan had 14 sons but relied mostly on her for military and political advice, and was a highly skilled wrestler (this in a time where "weight classes" and "rules" weren't exactly in common usage).  She declared that she would marry no man unless they defeated her in a wrestling match, whereas if she won her opponent would need to give her horses.  She died in her mid-40s, undefeated, having amassed a herd of 10,000 horses.

 

She did eventually marry though, since her political rivals were spreading rumors that she was in an incestuous relationship with her father (of course, this was most likely bullshit, but historical gender dynamics weren't all that kind to independent women).

 

And also, in all likelihood, that virgin female warrior was no virgin.  I mean, come on now.

Edited by Mars477
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I'm so pissed off at what the Chancellor did to his niece with the footbinding thing. That was some evil shit.

The Chancellor character is like a Littlefinger who has badass kung fu skills. Scary. Definitely compelling though.

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I feel like this series was only named "Marco Polo" to draw an audience. Having the main character be a white male that saves the day in the end seems almost offensive when it doesn't feel at all like this is his story, or even a story about him. As another poster stated, Marco was the least interesting character. Honestly, his character was not needed, and the show would be better without him, but would very many people watch a show about Mongolian and Chinese history without the perspective of a white dude? Probably not. 

 

Despite this flaw, I enjoyed the show. Also, Prince Jinghim is attractive. 

Edited by Zima

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With this episode I feel like the show is finally kicking into high gear.

Loved that the empress was the one to shoot the arrow.

I like that this show has so many capable female characters.

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all and all, I think I would have liked this show much better if Marco Polo hadn't been in it. Maybe they can send him back to Italy for season 2?

Edited by s-k-s
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I like that this show has so many capable female characters.

Especially since the first episode was badly lacking, the writers have done a damn good job making up for it.

Kokachin isn't actually Kokachin and for the first time in the series is actually interesting.

Empress Chabi shooting down the incredibly desperate Mei, but not going for the kill. I'm assuming out of curiosity, not compassion.

And Khutulun getting her fight/flirt on with Byamba ( who is her second cousin, right?) .

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I am really loving this show. I binge-watched episodes 2-5 last night, and ran home at lunch today to watch 6. It's like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but with boobs (and one lone peen)! 

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Just started watching this.  It had it's moments but it was kind of boring for a pilot.  I think my biggest issue going forward is that this is going to be one of those shows where I find the lead to be the least interesting thing about it.  By the time the hour was done, I still didn't really give a damn about Marco and his relationship with his father.  Honestly, I really found the flashbacks to be dull and jarring. I found everyone else; Kublia Khan, Khan's son, Chin Han's character, blind badass, Khan's brother and Rick Yune's character; to be way more interesting.

 

Production values were great.  They clearly were going for a big epic feel.  I just hope the writing and character development catches up to it.

 

Yeah, the nudity did become very gratuitous.  The sex scenes; like the one with concubine (Chin Han's sister, I think?); weren't too bad, but the brothel scene totally felt like the show was trying to compete with Game of Thrones on that department.  I'm certainly not against female eye-candy, but lets not be that obvious about it, show.

 

Still, only ten episodes.  I'll blow through the rest of them before Christmas and see if it improves.

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I feel like this series was only named "Marco Polo" to draw an audience. Having the main character be a white male that saves the day in the end seems almost offensive when it doesn't feel at all like this is his story, or even a story about him. As another poster stated, Marco was the least interesting character. Honestly, his character was not needed, and the show would be better without him, but would very many people watch a show about Mongolian and Chinese history without the perspective of a white dude? Probably not. 

 

Despite this flaw, I enjoyed the show. Also, Prince Jinghim is attractive. 

Yeah, speaking as an Asian American guy, having the obligatory white guy focal point who saves the day (and is apparently the only one around who understands siege warfare, instead of the Iraqi siege engineers that were used by the real Kublai Khan) was annoying.  It would've been more tolerable if the actor was halfway decent, but he was just godawful.  It didn't help that he spent so much time acting against Benedict Wong.

 

 I kept on mistaking Prince Jingim for a lady.

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Won't lie; naked Kung Fu totally left an impression.  That was a sight to behold.  And, made me respect the hell out of the actress and stunt woman; not just for the nakedness, but it meant they had no padding of any kind, so any slip-ups or hits, would actually be felt.  Either way, I do find her character interesting, and curious to see what is going to come out of her dick brother forcing her to inform on Khan.

 

Khan vs. his brother was equally interesting.  As was their meeting beforehand.  Khan may have a screw loose or two, but he really did seem sad about what he felt he had to do.  Interesting that the Empress was really gung-ho about killing him.  I guess her son almost dying would do that.

 

Still love blind master.

 

Still bored with Marco.  Really not feeling this obvious romance with whoever this princess is.

 

Yeah, Jingin totally doesn't like how Marco is being Khan's new favorite dude.  I'm sure this is only going to get worse.

 

Better then the pilot, but I still have trouble with names, other then Marco, Jingin, and Khan.  Everyone else is still Empress, Chin Han, Chin Han's concubine sister, blind dude, etc.

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You fucked up, Marco!  In more ways then one.  I guess before he goes anywhere with this mysterious princess, he gets to have a "relationship" with whoever this badass warrior woman is.  Well, she's apparently the daughter of Rick Yune's character, who will marry whoever can finally beat her.  Also, he still believes she's a virgin.  Oh, Rick Yune.

 

Man, I think they might have managed to already beat out Game of Thrones in the female nudity department.  OK, not really, but it does seem like nudity follows Mei Lein, wherever she goes.  I'm assuming she somehow got promoted, after she scarred that other concubine, but that kind of confused me.  Also wondering why The Empress didn't want her to begin with.  It seem like since they first locked eyes, she wasn't down with her.  I'm sure this little feud is only warming up.

 

The Chancellor might be a dick, but he apparently has some impressive fighting skills as well.

 

Khan is crazy.  Loved him all "I know you lied to me, but I don't want to kill you!  So, I have to kill this witness instead!  Look at what you made me do, Marco!"  He also really didn't see happy that their banker guy is talking politics with The Empress.

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I thought for sure Mei Len was done for, but judging from that last scene, it seems like instead, The Empress is actually going to make her please Khan better?  Have no idea what to make of that.  Of course, little does Mei Len know what's going on with her daughter.  Man, again, The Chancellor is a dick and a half.

 

Marco's dad and uncle have returned, and sure enough, fucked things up for everyone.  At least Khan has freed Marco, but now is making him choose his dad's punishment.  Oh, Khan.

 

I have no idea what the hell is going on with the Princess and that snake.  Who planted it and who exactly was the target?

 

At least Jingham got a brief victory.  Before it all went to hell thanks to, I"m assuming, The Chancellor's meddling.

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Also wondering why The Empress didn't want her to begin with. It seem like since they first locked eyes, she wasn't down with her.

I've never figured out what was going on there either. It certainly wasn't jealously, she obviously enjoys picking out concubines for her husband. Some kind of wierd sixth sense that indicated to her that Mei was trouble? I'm not sure why Mei getting rid of the other cobncubine secured her place either. This obviously wasn't a "you just missed out" and more of a "I really don't like you" from the Empress. Interestingly though, she didn't seem to put out when she found out that Mei made it in anyway though. The whole thing felt that it could have used a bit more explanation.

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Well, I guess it was about time to have an opium orgy scene.  This show certainly isn't surprising on that front.  Still have a few left. Sex under a waterfall or in hot springs?  Threesome?  What will be next?!

 

So, some assassins show up and almost kill Khan.  Everyone accuses (and probably wants it to be) the Song dynasty, but blind guy figures out that they are these Hashshashin folks, who were hired out.  Thanks to Marco and that one who I'm still unsure who he is (I think he's Khan's bastard child?), they instead find that someone gave them a map of Khan's bedchamber, so they know that it's actually someone in his inner circle, more likely?  Who could it be?  The Treasurer clearly is a top contender.  Maybe Jingim has had enough of mean daddie.  Or maybe torturer guy for some reason.  Or maybe even The Empress.

 

The Chancellor was totally behind the killing of the diplomats, and now has power of the Song army.  I'm sure he won't abuse that in any way!

 

Marco managed to dodge killing his dad and uncle, but instead had to brand their hands.  They, of course, glare at him at the end, even though, if this it, they really got off easy.

 

I will say that Marco with the traders and the old man, was probably the most the actor ever sparked.  Still find him dull overall, but it was something.

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