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Other TV Shows

Discussion in 'Movies, Music and TV shows' started by Celestin, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Death Eater

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    Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick here, but isn't Warhammer 40k inherently ideological? The state of the Imperium (and the galaxy in general) has always been presented as a 'bad thing'. It's in the tag line. Grim darkness is hardly a neutral way of describing the setting.

    Like, I get what you're saying if you're saying you don't want to see any 'do better, senator' shit in Warhammer. That's entirely reasonable as that kind of 'positive' ideology is generally out-of-place in Warhammer. But Warhammer is still ideological, it's just ideological in a 'negative' way, as it shows us an image of the worst possible versions of ourselves.

    That kind of thing isn't for everyone, to be sure, but to pretend that such an extreme caricature of basically every shitty real-world philosophy under the sun isn't in some way ideological just seems silly to me. It is, at its core, satire, and pretty much all satire seeks to encourage the watcher to question ideological assumptions and positions through the use of gross exaggeration.
     
  2. Othalan

    Othalan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Not really. It's not ideological overall, because it's not trying to make an irl political statement, and the setting is not constructed in a way that is meant to challenge or support irl political assumptions. In as much as there's any political statement in it at all, it essentially boils down to "tyranny bad." But even then, the setting subverts that message by putting forward scenarios where a lot of the awful shit that happens is actually kind of necessary in the context of that universe.

    And I personally never took it as satire. I've seen people make this claim, but I've never seen it myself. Certain elements of the lore, especially among the older bits of it, have a certain satirical flair (the Orks in particular come to mind), but the setting as a whole never struck me that way. I mean, it's not exactly cutting edge satire to point out that brutal tyranny and violent religious zealotry are bad. These are not points anyone sane in the West would really argue or need to have reinforced for them. But they make for an interesting backdrop for telling cool stories, which I think is the prime motivation.

    As much as I dislike "I know it when I see it" kinds of arguments, the main reason I've never considered 40k to be satyrical/political is that I've never once felt preached at by anything that's come out of the franchise. Satire - even satire you agree with - all tends to have that preachy quality where it's clear they're making an irl political statement. I've never once gotten that feeling from 40k.

    One example off the top of my head is the way the Imperium has no racism (well, not amongst humans anyway), zero homophobia and near-total equality of the sexes, yet it's never mentioned, not even in passing. I strongly believe that a work that was meant to be satyrical or ideological would make a point to shove those facts in readers' faces at least a little bit, if only to juxtapose those progressive elements with the horrors the Imperium perpetrates. But 40k never does. We only know they're a thing in-universe because no character in any 40k material ever gives the slightest reaction to the gender or skin color of a human, nor to learning that a man has a husband or a woman has a wife. Those background details of Imperial life are meaningless to the story, therefore they are not emphasized in the slightest. Which I think is kind of the antithesis of politically-motivated storytelling, of which satire is one type.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  3. flaze

    flaze Squib

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    Amazon who made the rings of power?, made for a "modern Audience" amazon, who in Hollywood still has the creativity and the freedom to do projects like these?.

    Don't get your hopes up, it can be good but more likely we will be getting another wheel of time or star wars shit show.
     
  4. Othalan

    Othalan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    They also did Reacher, which was very pleasantly and surprisingly true to the source material, even when that flew in the face of their usual party line. There are a few other shows they've done that were handled similarly. Like I said in the my post about the 40k project, it depends on who's put in charge of it.
     
  5. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Death Eater

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    I really don't buy this.

    Firstly, because being 'political' (in the bullshit modern parlance of 'talking about topics I consider to be controversial, and suggesting answers I don't like') and being ideological really aren't the same thing. All stories are inherently ideological, because a story that contains no ideas, nor entertains any ideals is utterly without merit or substance to the point that it kinda ceases to even be a story. Now the ideas at play can be chosen to be non-controversial (things like the power of friendship, or fascism bad), or they can set out to challenge a consumer's already-held beliefs. Warhammer has, at one point or another, played with almost all cultural tropes or ideas to some extent. It basically plays devil's advocate with everything by applying the heaviest dose of cynicism imaginable to it. Fascism bad? But what if there are daemons which can reduce entire planets a bubbling mass of perpetually tortured melted flesh if we don't restrain their heretical thoughts? Fascism good? But what if someone with unlimited power is a big bag of dicks, or just misguided, and destroys a planet of innocents for no good reason?

    Secondly, it just feels blinkered to the reality of our modern media environment. You rightly point out that Warhammer 40k has very little in the way of systematic sexism, racism, or the like. But do you think for a moment that a Warhammer 40k TV show would be able to avoid accusations of 'woke' from certain portions of the internet if it decided to include a main character who was a black lesbian Inquisitor/rogue trader? Even if her skin colour and sexuality were kept completely at arm's length and not lingered on by the narrative at all?

    Because that's the problem, right there. Where is the line drawn between 'just doing the setting justice' and 'vapid pc woke trash' drawn? Or, less provocatively stated, where is the line drawn between 'including something because it fills a gap in/adds to the narrative of a story' and 'forced inclusion solely for the sake of inclusion'? Why is it that you can include a fascist government in a story as scene-dressing and without commentary, and it is fine, but doing the same with certain 'hot button' issues is an inherently political statement?

    If avoiding 'political statements' means the show can't do something that the setting absolutely and explicitly permits, then surely that's an issue? Isn't that doing exactly what 'anti-woke' campaigners complain about? Isn't that forcing the setting to conform to a set of real-world political sensibilities? The only difference is that this time the sensibilities being conformed to are theirs.

    This is why I've always argued that bad movies/tv shows with blunt, poorly-handled 'politics' are not bad because they included those ideologies, but because they did a shit job of making them a seamless part of the story. In my opinion, it is the 'tacking on' of these things purely in order to score points among Twitterites (or to drum up some lovely outrage so that your thing never leaves the public consciousness) that leads to a failed story.

    This was all a very long-winded way of saying that I couldn't give a shit if a prospective Warhammer TV show includes some aspect that has been labelled 'controversial'. If it is included in such a way that it makes sense in the context of the setting, and does not detract from the story being told, then I'm a-okay with it.
     
  6. flaze

    flaze Squib

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    Yes that would be great, but you need talented writers for that, which are in general absent.

    And these aspects seem more and more like a easy excuses for the directors to easily dismiss all criticisms as racism and sexism etc.
     
  7. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Death Eater

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  8. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    I've not had any 'holy shit please be good please be good' moments in the last few years bigger than this. 40k has a ton of great lore than would be amazing to see or follow in any medium.

    At the same time, Cavill tends to be a curse on adaptations, as much as I like him personally. And having 40k 'transformed for a "modern audience" would be the biggest slap in the face.

    I dread this, tbh. I hope it's good, but I don't see how it can come to be.
     
  9. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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  10. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Death Eater

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    It does seem like it could be a perfect storm of not great.

    Cavill is a big ol' fanboy, but as a creative force he's very much an unknown quantity.
    Warhammer is almost the epitome of the kind of fandom that 'artiste' types might look down on and resent having to adapt.
    Amazon is creatively not great, and on their own they seem to lack the kind of institutional expertise that really only comes with time.

    That said, Vertigo is attached to it as well, and they've got some decent stuff under their belt.

    The funny thing is that as much as I want this thing to succeed, I reckon that even if they do somehow pull it out of the bag and make something great, there's a 50-50 chance that it won't be to my taste anyway.

    There was also the old rumour of an Eisenhorn show in development, with Abnett attached. I wonder if that's shelved, or if it is part of the Amazon deal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  11. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Tbh, probably the safest route for them to take is small scale stuff. Like an Interrogator/Inquisitor having adventures and solving small-time mysteries in a single planet or w/e. That could work and and still manage to stick to modern-ish morals and messages, if only by virtue of the main character having them and him being small-time enough that his opinions don't really affect anything.

    That could work, but the same can be achieved on any type of setting. It'd be a bit of a waste to acquire the rights to 40k for that. Might as well be watching *Insert any recent SW TV show here*.
     
  12. Odran

    Odran Fourth Champion

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    My condolences to any GoW fans. I expect he will bring out his own fanfiction again to the fore.
     
  13. Celestin

    Celestin Dimensional Trunk

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    Safest yes, but I wouldn't play it safe and start with the Horus Heresy with Cavill as either Emperor or Horus. Let's start with the very best and most epic and then if it's popular continue and if it's not at least we got the best.
     
  14. FlyingOctopus

    FlyingOctopus Third Year

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    I heard about this elsewhere and I just don't understand why? There's no reason for it, the new GoW games are basically a playable movie/tv series anyway. It seems they're just going to redo the game for TV but anything they make can't possibly be better then the game already is.

    If it's for a new audience I wonder how they're going to explain the first games then.
     
  15. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Tbh, HH has a lot of amazing highlights, but is also incredibly contrived and nonsensical in many pivotal places and moments. And also, afaik there's still some books missing, so unlikely in any case.

    I wouldn't call HH the best of 40k, or particularly adaptable to the screen.
     
  16. Othalan

    Othalan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    If I remember correctly, Cavill has stated in interviews that Eisenhorn would be his dream role. I think he also made noises about possibly playing Constantin Valdor since he's a Custodes player, but Eisenhorn was his first choice. I'm not sure how much - if any - creative input he's going to get, but if they listen to his preference at all, we'll probably get an Eisenhorn show long before we get anything from the Horus Heresy.

    EDIT:
    There would probably be some outcry, if only because it's totally unnecessary. Taking your example of a black lesbian Inquisitor, I can't recall a single Inquisitor's story where their sexuality is even mentioned beyond a passing thought about the attractiveness of x-character (thoughts which a television audience would not be privy to). As for her gender and skin color combination, it depends on context. Is she portrayed as a Mary-Sue style figure who's never wrong and always has the moral high ground, even when she shouldn't? What is the makeup of her retinue? How many white people, particularly males are even present, much less portrayed as upright, strong people? If the only representation of white males is as side characters who are A) harmlessly effeminate, B) corrupt, C) evil, or D) weak and ineffectual, then yeah, there's probably going to be some frustration on the internet. Even if it's never commented on directly, it's an issue of pattern-recognition.

    Because the government is just part of the setting, and to touch on pattern-recognition again, we're not currently inundated with preachy political statements about the evils of fascism, because everyone's more-or-less already on the same page about it. As for hot-button issues, well, it's right there in the term. "Hot button" means it's a contentious, controversial political issue in the real world, which means that if a piece of entertainment takes a concrete stand on the issue and specifically sets out to bring attention to that, then it has become a political statement that is guaranteed to alienate a very large portion of the audience due to the fact that for anything to be controversial, there have to be lots of people on both sides of the issue.

    Nope. First of all, every setting technically permits political statements. That doesn't mean writers should go out of their way to make them. Second, there's a big difference between choosing to not shove "political issue #76748" into people's faces, and choosing to shove the opposite viewpoint on that issue into their faces. The first approach simply leaves it alone, letting the audience imagine how that would play out in the setting for themselves, if they care to insert their politics into their own head-canon. The other forces a contentious viewpoint on people, which is the whole issue.

    Not to make too many assumptions about you, but this sounds like the kind of sentiment that could only be expressed by someone who's never had an irl political viewpoint they strongly disagree with forced into their entertainment before. If you disagree with the fundamental assumptions of the political statement they're making, then making it a seamless part of the setting just means that you find yourself disagreeing with the fundamental assumptions of the setting. Forcing irl ideology into it at all (at least, ideology beyond what nearly everyone in the target audience already agrees on) is the problem, not how smoothly they did it.

    Imagine that you're watching a show that operated on the basic assumption that Trump is a righteous leader who never lies and always makes the right decisions based on thoughtful statesmanship and selflessness. Would you find that any less irritating or jarring if they worked it "seamlessly" into the story, rather than ham-fistedly shoving it in your face? Or would you say "Yeah fuck this noise, I'm out" either way, because the core concept is so gratingly contrary to basic reality that it becomes offensive all on its own?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2022
  17. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

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    @Othalan - They might not be points anyone sane in the West would really argue or need to have reinforced for them, and yet the existence of unironic Imperium stans itself proves otherwise :V

    But if you don't engage with these topics in some way, you can quite easily slide into forgetting that in-universe propaganda is still propaganda. Happens with players all the time. Your own post kinda touches on how "a lot of awful shit is actually kind of necessary"...but that's part of the tragedy inherent to the setting of 40k: how the stacking of petty cruelty on petty cruelty have created this crapsack universe where this is how things are despite not needing to be.

    Now, you can tell awesome stories in that backdrop. A lot of 40k media is just cool. Even on the fanfiction side, Master and Commander on fiction.live, for all that it is a smut fest, it also just a great Imperial perspective that doesn't shy away (for example) from the horrors of a press gang to gather menials to man an Imperial warship. But there is absolutely politics baked into the very act of presenting that stuff, and I think it's just wishful thinking to call that non-political or idealize good presentations of it as non-political.

    Or to put it another way, if you're telling a story in 40k, you have to appreciate thatMadhousecan be a story about 6 lunatics, not just 5 - and that presentation is going to be inherently political.


    As for the announcement itself...lots of potential, skeptical they will realize it, hope they don't fuck it.
     
  18. Othalan

    Othalan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I doubt that. Ask those "unironic Imperium Stans" if they actually want to live in the Imperium, and I can almost guarantee their answer is "no." This is part of the problem with the hyper-politicization of entertainment media. It inculcates this idea that if you are a fan of a fictional character or faction, then you must be fan of what they stand for irl. That's just not true. If it was, then we would already be living in a fascist state considering how much more popular factions like Star Wars' Galactic Empire or Sith Empire are compared to their good-guy counterparts. If supporting a villain faction in fiction was an indicator of real-world political sensibilities, we would be absolutely awash in genuine jackbooted fascists. We're plainly not, so your whole premise is highly questionable.

    That's a pretty drastic mischaracterization. While there are occasional stories where the cruelty and evil of the Imperium turns out to be totally unnecessary, there are many, many more where it was absolutely necessary. And even then, most of the ones where it turned out to be unnecessary relied on some macguffin nobody understood until it was too late, or on circumstances being just right when nobody knew what those circumstances were ahead of time. Or they relied on things like people uncritically believing the word of a daemon, something which almost always ends in horror so you cannot reasonably blame them for not taking the thing's word at face value.

    I have to disagree, even if I think it's mostly just a problem of you applying too broad a definition of "political" in this case. Is saying "germs cause disease" an inherently political statement? No, because everyone already understands that and agrees. No one's worldview is challenged by that statement anymore. 200 years ago, that would have been an incredibly controversial statement to make, and any story that based itself on that premise would be inherently political in nature due to the fact that it was touching on real world political strife. There's no strife in saying "cruelty is bad" or "tyranny is wrong" or "enslavement is evil." No one (in the Western World at least) is challenged by these ideas, or finds them contentious or objectionable in any way. These are political topics, but they are political topics that have already been resolved and agreed upon in our culture, at which point they ceased to be actively political and have become just general truisms.

    The problem arises when entertainment companies and creators treat their very contentious, highly controversial ideologies and political stances as though they have already achieved the status of "general truism," when nothing of the sort has been agreed upon in society. Not only does that alienate viewers who don't think the same way the creator does, it can even alienate viewers who do agree, but are just sick of hearing about it and were looking for an escape from that kind of thing.
     
  19. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    40k itself avoids becoming political by being entirely satirical and a parody on multiple levels, while at the same time playing it completely straight, and gives everyone something to grab on to. Because yes, the Imperium is deliberately modeled as horrible, dystopian and cumbersome, but at the same time it is also true that it is the least terrible option and humanity's only hope. Which of course has more layers if you care to look for them, etc.

    40k is all about suspension of disbelief. Attempts should not be made to translate or explain or change the setting. It's just how the setting is.
     
  20. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

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    No, I'm not saying being a fan of something means you're a fan of everything they stand for irl. I'm saying not engaging with things critically does influence our opinions irl. Is that controversial? That we're influenced by the media we consume and how we consume it?

    Look what they've made of our dream. etc etc

    Despite my note about being careful not to take in-universe propaganda out of universe, I'm gonna go ahead and say that Guilliman's outburst there is pretty summative about the state of 40k, and it's not at all a mischaracterization. We can tell stories, even relatively light-hearted ones, against this backdrop. But the backdrop is shit. That's part of the fundamental premise.

    All you're saying here is that the things you consider truisms, you aren't counting as political. "Germs cause disease" may not be political, but it isn't a story. In a story, a character has to act on "germs cause disease" and the way they do so, how other characters react, blah blah blah - yes, it's all gonna be political.

    To use the example you're discussing with Steelbadger: Cain and Vail is ~non-political, but switch to your hypothetical Rogue Trader and a female Inquisitor - is it suddenly inherently political? Apparently so, because "general society" hasn't actually accepted this truism?



    I honestly think it would be harder to write a show that doesn't look for them than otherwise, unless you truly limited the scope of your story to combat and careful curtailed how much worldbuilding you did for your audience. Once you go beyond that, you're gonna have to make some decisions as a story teller that probably have some level of politics involved.
     
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