Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: TV Review: Good Gods Almighty!

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  • Andre Alessi, in reply to B Jones,

    Outside of American Gods, I can't think of another pop culture appearance of the Norse pantheon off the top of my head.

    The Norse gods (or their stand-ins) play a fairly major role in the Stargate continuity.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Certainly the most odious appearance of Norse mythology in (un)popular culture at the moment must be the peculiar popularity of Odin worship among white supremacists. Which quite puts the point on Leopold's earlier comments: this is a show deliberately constructed to be about a bunch of straight white dudes. Still, there's no reason gods from other pantheons can't or won't show up, right? -- although that does raise the spectre of unfortunate trips through exoticist fantasies about other religions and cultures. (There was a terrible episode of US genre show Supernatural with a similar American-Gods-knock-off theme recently, which included frankly gross and extraordinarily insensitive portrayals of a bunch of gods - off the top of my head, Kali, Loki, Odin, Baron Samedi, Zao Shen, and Ganesh

    A thought: Possibly this cuts both ways, though. I wonder how much of the over-use of the Norse pantheon is precisely to avoid those sorts of issues. Putting a white male in a furry jockstrap and asking him to smash things with a polystyrene hammer is not particularly problematic. Apart from stopping him looking ridiculous.

    Even with the best of intentions, trying to portray anything from a not-exclusively-white pantheon could easily see you speeding waaay over the line into 'unacceptable racial stereotyping' territory.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    I enjoyed it. I laughed out loud. I just wished the actor playing Axl/Odin didn't do the gormless idiot 21 year old mugging quite so vigorously. It was a little irritating by the end.

    Growing pains.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Dove,

    Thoroughly enjoyed the first episode - it sometimes got a little bit bogged down in its exposition, but it succeeded in getting me interested and curious and making me laugh several times. I think there's just something about the bathos of a flat New Zealand accent that makes talking about gods and quests and destiny about ten times funnier.
    I really disliked Anders, but then, I have the feeling I'm supposed to. Had the most sympathy for Ty and Mike, thought Axl seemed like a sweet-natured boofhead (hope we're going to see him mature quite a lot - he flipping well should if he's going to be an avatar of Odin). I'm most curious to see what the mystery ladies gunning for Axl are up to.
    I was interested to read the comment from James Griffin about _Gods Behaving Badly_, because I read that a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. While _The Almighty Johnsons_ isn't really breaking new ground, I'm sure it will develop its own distinctive take on the 'ancient gods, modern world' concept.
    Also we got to see lots of bare bums, which is always a plus.

    Darkest Howick • Since Feb 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    I didn't pick up on it at the time, but when Olaf asked the girl in his car what day it was, did she say [edit] yesterday was Tuesday? Because that would make Axl's 21st on ....... you know ....... Wodin's Day. Which is cool. And apt. And I'm sure completely deliberate too.

    I liked it a lot. No way the rest of the house will be watching Castle on a Monday from now on.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I thought Wednesday was Wodin's day....

    Edit: Hang on, did she ask this the day before? I don't remember every line in there!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8598 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    Yeah - I didn't explain it very well at all - they were saying what day is it, she said "Well, yesterday was Tuesday" and he said "So that makes today....." and then left.

    Edits galore!!

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes it would be quite wrong to for it to all happen on Chewbacca's day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8598 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to BenWilson,

    Or Thor'sday would be worse still.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Please. They're much better writers than Russell T. Davies.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Miche Campbell,

    I haven’t seen any of Davies work outside of Doctor Who, so it’s hard to tell. His DW is certainly patchy. The issue of appropriate levels of overwroughtness and cheesiness for the type of story has come up a lot in recent postings of mine here. I accept a certain amount of that in DW, but Davies has gone too far at times (eg, The Last of the Time Lords). However, some episodes of DW (though not necessarily ones penned by Davies) have easily been the equal of anything I’ve seen from Griffin or Lang. (And that’s meant as a compliment to all parties, not a dig.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Parks,

    I haven’t seen any of Davies work outside of Doctor Who, so it’s hard to tell. His DW is certainly patchy.

    I'll agree to disagree but fair enough, that's an argument without end among Whovians - the SF fandom that make Trekkies look downright sedate. :) And, with all due and sincere respect to James, least said about Diplomatic Immunity soonest mended.

    But I would suggest tracking down Queer as Folk -- though I promise you'll never be able to watch Sons of Anarchy's Jax again without blushing. Not actually my favourite of Davies' work (I prefer Bob and Rose and The Second Coming), but it certainly grabbed my attention.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But I would suggest tracking down Queer as Folk

    Just to clarify, make sure you get the UK Queer as Folk, as the US “adaptation” stole all the worst bits and added a steaming pile to them, IMHO. Also, Davies had nothing to do with it creatively.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Quite.

    Honestly, I can see the criticism of RTD's 'everything and the kitchen sink' approach to Doctor Who -- sometimes it doesn't work. Even Steven Moffat - the new show runner who wrote some of the best episodes of Who 2.1 - has his off days. The much anticipated return of The Weeping Angels in series five was good, but inevitably suffered by comparison with the outright classic 'Blink'.

    But it's easy to forget the howls of outrage when it was announced that that Queer as Folks guy would be bringing Doctor Who back to television after eighteen years. And with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it's easy to forget that there was enormous scepticism that DW would be relevant to an audience that, in large part, wasn't alive when it limped off air in 1988. Davies and Julie Gardner pulled off an enormously difficult balancing act - preventing the die hard fanboys from starting a lynch mob, while at the same time being open to everyone else.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Davies and Julie Gardner pulled off an enormously difficult balancing act – preventing the die hard fanboys from starting a lynch mob, while at the same time being open to everyone else

    Yup, yup yup. The fanboy in me was keen for more DW, while the critic was nervous of what they might do to it, as my favourite Doctor was Patrick Troughton (until Tennant). I liked Eccleston, I liked that he was sooo different and I liked how he transitioned to Tennant. THAT's what I call a reboot!

    As you say, everyone has their off days but RTD's good days well outbalance his few bad ones.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to James Griffin,

    Had to look it up. Was compulsion.

    http://www.mariephillips.co.uk/ - apparently been optioned by Ben Stiller's company Red Hour.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to nzlemming,

    The fanboy in me was keen for more DW

    Watched the DW Christmas Special the other day, and apart from the fact anything with Michael Gambon gets me excited, it held together pretty well, and broke some of the Christmas Carolly traditions, while also paying homage to them.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to recordari,

    I liked it too. Matt Smith has grown on me, as Pertwee did after Troughton (though I was MUCH younger then) and Moffat seems to be putting in a good job at the helm. I just wish it was still weekly ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    Less-than-enthusiastic review in On Film: http://www.onfilm.co.nz/2011/02/08/the-almighty-johnsons/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    Bloody hell, Simon. I'm sorry to tell Ms. Martin this, but I'm fairly sure Go Girls had more..., well (implied) johnsons on display than Almighty. The promos were certainly cock-teasing like crazy. And since both shows drew well north of 300K viewers, I guess male objectification works.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    Less-than-enthusiastic review in On Film:

    Give her a break! It’s her first TV review.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Fair enough, but hell -- sometimes a sword is just a sword not a cock. A distinction that comes clear when you get poked in the eye. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    No way I want anyone embedding my cock in a tree trunk......

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Give her a break! It’s her first TV review.

    Fair enough – I’ve got a brownish clipping of my first sally upon the field of criticism. Rather embarrasing, as it was promptly followed by a correction and apology for giving the leads unwanted gender reassignments. Spoiling a somewhat important plot twist was merely bad form. Provincial am-dram is a harsh mistress.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Will ep. 1 be repeated anywhere?

    Yes. Though this question should surely have been answered by James or Simon!...
    It will be repeated this Sunday 22:30 on TV something-or-other.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

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