Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: TV Review: Good Gods Almighty!

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Yes. Though this question should surely have been answered by James or Simon!…

    *cough* First line of the post: "The Almighty Johnsons (Three, Mondays, 9.30; repeated Sundays, 10.30pm)"

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Rich Lock,

    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.

    Oh, come on, though. "It's too hard not to be racist so we'll just tell stories about white people"? Like there's no-one who could dare Maori or Pasifika mythology, let alone stuff from further afield? Not good enough.

    In the Norse-gods-in-popular-mythology stakes, there's a reasonably good novel by Timothy Zahn, "The Green and the Grey", although that's more about explaining the Norse (and Greek) mythologies than featuring their gods per se.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Oh, come on, though. “It’s too hard not to be racist so we’ll just tell stories about white people”? Like there’s no-one who could dare Maori or Pasifika mythology, let alone stuff from further afield? Not good enough.

    Of course it isn't, but I still think Rich has a fair enough point - at the risk of "political correctness gone boink" I can understand why Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom went down like the proverbial bucket of cold sick in India .

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

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

    But not her 'first sally upon the field of criticism', per se.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I assume it's the same Helen Martin who wrote (very good) film reviews for the Listener in the 1980s and co-authored the Oxford book on New Zealand Film, 1912-1996, so she's not exactly a novice on her first outing.

    I didn't dislike the Almighty Johnsons as much as her, but I can see some of her points.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Adamson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I guess it is, as you say, "easy to forget". But I do remember actively listening out for those "howls of outrage" locally and on Outpost Gallifrey (as it was back then) for them regarding RTD's past work. I must have missed them. I do remember a lot of very positive comments about his appointment though, both on the strength of his previous _DW_ work (the novel _Damaged Goods_) and especially on the success of _QAF_. The main local fanzine _Time-Space Visualiser_ ran a couple of articles championing the _Who_ content and references in _QAF_, in fact. It's possible that after _The Second Coming_ there might have been some anxious fans, perhaps, going by its religious angle. And I do agree about the concerns over whether the show would have legs to the _Phantom Menace_ generation, as one magazine put it.

    But the overall impression I got from online fandom was that RTD would be a pretty safe pair of hands.

    Wellingtown • Since Nov 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Peter Adamson,

    I guess it is, as you say, “easy to forget”. But I do remember actively listening out for those “howls of outrage” locally and on Outpost Gallifrey (as it was back then) for them regarding RTD’s past work.

    Fair enough – as both RTD and Moffat have said repeatedly, a thick skin is essential when working on Doctor Who. If you’re not getting flamed on the boards by someone (from RTD’s “gay agenda” to Moffat’s ginga-phobia in one easy step) you’re not doing it right. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    *cough* First line of the post: “The Almighty Johnsons (Three, Mondays, 9.30; repeated Sundays, 10.30pm)”

    Yeah, I saw it, but Geoff obviously missed it.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1131 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Oh, come on, though. "It's too hard not to be racist so we'll just tell stories about white people"? Like there's no-one who could dare Maori or Pasifika mythology, let alone stuff from further afield? Not good enough.

    Not saying it shouldn't be done (and in fact I'd like to see it), just that I can see why film/TV makers may decide to give it miss. I rather enjoyed 'Mataku' when I saw that a few years ago.

    Specifically, I was replying to this post from Tui Head.

    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

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2343 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Not saying it shouldn't be done (and in fact I'd like to see it), just that I can see why film/TV makers may decide to give it miss.

    Well, yeah, it can be (and has been, as Tui pointed out) done badly. Extraordinarily so. I can see why you'd want to avoid the obvious pitfalls - but at the same time, if everyone goes around never addressing any non-European myths because it's too dangerous, then for the time being they're just never going to get addressed at all. Someone has to try.

    Supernatural is also not a good standard for "trying to handle people who aren't straight white American men sensitively", because it never has and never will. I have a bit more faith in the Kiwi TV industry than that.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    I'm really, really late with this, but on this be-oo-t-full day, I watched it on video - because there's another one tonight and we'll need that tape...... but thought it was well worth another thumbs up. It had laugh-out-loud moments aplenty, and I for one can cope with some plot-laying ahead of time, so yes, please, bring it on! Not to be missed.

    Actually, Craig, I thought the femmes - they of the Tarot and heaps of coolth - looked pretty interesting too.

    No doubt, any creakiness in acting will be overcome, and eventually we'll forget all those ads enough for them not to intrude.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Oh, come on, though. “It’s too hard not to be racist so we’ll just tell stories about white people”? Like there’s no-one who could dare Maori or Pasifika mythology, let alone stuff from further afield? Not good enough.

    You could be not the least bit racist and still be seen to have co-opted or mocked Maori and Pasifika mythology. You can pretty much do what you like with the Norse gods.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18654 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    Actually, Craig, I thought the femmes – they of the Tarot and heaps of coolth – looked pretty interesting too.

    Three old bats reading the runes and looking anxious – how could we not have have much hilarity, chaos and bloodshed ensuing from that? :) I did mention them, but cut it because it was a little spoiler-ish, and forgot to fix it up. As you may have noticed, I suck at meeting deadlines – even self-imposed ones.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You could be not the least bit racist and still be seen to have co-opted or mocked Maori and Pasifika mythology.

    Quite - I'm huge fan of Chinese and Japanese culture, but would still tread very carefully indeed before appropriating something as deeply culturally significant as The Journey to the West or The Tale of Genji. They're not just literary classics to be plundered at will like some Orientalist dress up box. They exist suspended in incredibly complex social, political, religious and cultural contexts that should be treated carefully. Not out of political correctness, but simple honour for other cultures that deserve it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    P.S. There was an episode or two of "Hercules" which featured the Norse Gods. Hercules saved them, of course. (Just saying).

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Are you reviewing SuperCity? I needed to lie down and rest my eyes after the first ad break, so just wondering if it was the hard week, or something else.

    Jane Bowron said;

    I applaud Super City, think it's very clever, but it leaves me colder than a homeless night.

    I think she meant 'penguin's chuff', but you have to play to your audience I suppose.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to recordari,

    Are you reviewing SuperCity?

    I'll give it a second episode and pray I warm to it a lot. To be fair, I'm enormously hard on local comedies. But at the moment, I like Madeline Sami and Taika Waititi a lot but the episode felt like a one-woman Comedy Festival show that could have done with some more time in development. It's not as if Sami isn't very funny (she had me pissing my pants in Jackie Brown Diaries) and has the acting chops to pull off playing multiple characters - she was awe-inspiring in Toa Fraser's No. 2. But a string of meh-some sketches uncomfortably strung together isn't worthy of the real talents involved.

    So why am I giving Super City a second chance? Because the first episode of Chris Lilley's We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year felt like a one-note gimmick too, and that made more sense with episode two.

    Finger and legs crossed that lightning strikes twice. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Quite - I'm huge fan of Chinese and Japanese culture, but would still tread very carefully indeed before appropriating something as deeply culturally significant as The Journey to the West or The Tale of Genji. They're not just literary classics to be plundered at will like some Orientalist dress up box. They exist suspended in incredibly complex social, political, religious and cultural contexts that should be treated carefully. Not out of political correctness, but simple honour for other cultures that deserve it.

    Yep, the hoary old chestnut of Authentic History vs Theme Park History.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4130 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DeepRed,

    Aaaargh... being directed to TV Tropes... I may be some time...tell Laura I love her...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I like Madeline Sami and Taika Waititi a lot but the episode felt like a one-woman Comedy Festival show that could have done with some more time in development. It’s not as if Sami isn’t very funny (she had me pissing my pants in Jackie Brown Diaries) and has the acting chops to pull off playing multiple characters – she was awe-inspiring in Toa Fraser’s No. 2. But a string of meh-some sketches uncomfortably strung together isn’t worthy of the real talents involved.

    All of the above. Think my expectations of laughing out loud (look, no acronym) were so high, that when it didn't happen, I felt cheated. Although there were points at which I actually snarled, so that possible wasn't the aim. But still, Taika is a home town hero, so to speak, so will show some resolve and go round again.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    Is this where I get to tell my Hercules brush with fame story? It is? Oh, well then. Many years ago, whilst I was training to be a teacher, I worked as a nanny for a young boy whose mum was a makeup artist on Hercules. Did I meet Kevin Sorbo? Did I what. Did I have my photo taken with him? Why, yes I did. Did I lose that photo? Absolutely. What a very good looking man he was. <sigh>
    And I really enjoyed quite a few moments in Super City. I thought Georgie was gorgeous.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Did I meet Kevin Sorbo?

    Uh-huh. Remind me to tell you my Kevin Sorbo story, Jackie.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    As far as Super city goes, I've never been a fan of that kind of comedy - I never saw the appeal of We Can Be Heroes or High School High, for starters.

    It has, however, provided me with a useful new exclamation -- "By the frosted merkin of Madeline Sami!" works in any number of situations, I find.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    Uh-huh. Remind me to tell you my Kevin Sorbo story, Jackie.

    Do I need to put our a call for Kevin Sorbo stories - I could grow to like being the Perez Hilton of Public Address. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11850 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Oh Craig, I was just playing one-up-personship, thass all!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

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