Empty Calories – Problems with Narrative in Cinema and Television – Part 3

Part 3 – Iron Man 3 or Why Character Motivation is Important

 

The third film in the Iron Man trilogy, Iron Man 3, is perhaps the most egregious in terms of the narrative convenience over-riding any attempt at nuance or agreeing with the facts and themes as established in the diegesis.  Given the numerous plot holes and narrative inconsistencies, it is also the hardest to re-create a semblance of consistency in without rewriting vast swathes of the narrative.  However, the major sections of the film establish that Tony is experiencing PTSD following the events of invasion of New York in Avengers.  He is obsessively creating new suits of armour with increasingly specialist functions and abilities.  Aldrich Killian, meanwhile, is a research scientist who suffers from villain-itis and the need to enact a completely ludicrous, over-the-top, sure to fail, overly complicated, scheme which makes no sense, has massive holes, and the goals of which could easily have been achieved by setting a lab up in a different country.  But sure, creating a fake terrorist group to threaten the president so that you could then capture War Machine in order to kidnap the President, execute him on TV so that the Vice President could become president and change a law so that you could run experiments on humans… it is a plan.   Not a good one.  But it is a plan.  Alternatively, he could have set up a lab in a country that didn’t have those laws, or not allowed the subjects of the experiment to freely wander around without supervision, or, especially as he is apparently a murdering psychopath, simply killed the subjects of the experiment so that he could move on to the next batch.

 

Ignoring the genuine mess of the plot and the gaping plot holes, there are three main points that could be altered to create a more seamless, more heroic, film that would fit with Tony’s character arc as developed by the first two Iron Man films, and the repercussions of the Avengers film.

Iron Man 3

The first concerns the treatment of the Extremis soldiers.  This is perhaps the most egregious example in Iron Man 3 in terms of forgetting or ignoring what was established at the beginning of the film in favour of a simplistic, overly reductive, action set piece, and, consequently, unintentionally casts Tony as a psychopath.  The film is at pains to show Tony uncovering the mystery of the Extremis soldiers and shows them to be victims of Killian’s experiments.  Let me repeat that, they are victims.  Wounded veterans.  Killian takes wounded military veterans and experiments on them leading to them exploding uncontrollably when they cannot ‘regulate’.  There is no suggestion anywhere in the film that the Extremis procedure leads to mental instability, personality changes, violent fits, or anything of that sort.  So the film presents these wounded armed forces veterans undergoing an experimental procedure to regrow limbs, in effect, they have been promised a ‘cure’ for their battle wounds, and not informed about the consequences.  This is a classic example of an evil scientist taking advantage of good, honourable soldiers, and using them as guinea pigs.  They are victims of Killian’s unethical experiments with an unfinished and unproven procedure, and who have no control over what happens to them.   Yet, for no apparent reason and without any explanation, these victims suddenly become psychopathic, murdering, mindless, aggressive, evil foot soldiers for Killian in the third act whom Tony, Rhodey, and the Jarvis controlled suits are allowed to execute without any moral qualms.  Nothing in the film even hints at why we should change from regarding them as unknowing victims and pawns of Killian’s unethical and unscrupulous experiments that take advantage of them, to seeing them as psychopathic, disposable, foot soldiers, who can be killed by soulless AI controlled murder machines, with only a light hearted quip, and no remorse, on the part of our ostensible hero.

 

Oddly enough, this point is once again easily correctable with an exceptionally minor change to the script.  If the film had established those soldiers undergoing the procedure as being ‘bad’ from the start, this would not be as significant a hurdle that needed to be overcome.  The action set piece at the end would not need rewritten in order to ‘save’ the victims, but could, at least according to Hollywood logic, carry on with simply executing bad guys without any moral qualms.  Instead of these being wounded veterans who presumably (for all the audience knows) have sterling service records and were wounded in the course of protecting America, especially as this is implied when Tony meets the mother of one of the ex-soldiers, they could have been the dregs of the Armed services.  Soldiers who were part of a secret, unethical, kill squad, or soldiers who had been imprisoned for war crimes, or any number of corrupt military or paramilitary types to whom Killian makes an offer exchanging superpowers in exchange for service.  They didn’t have to be wounded veterans with whom the audience would expectedly build sympathy for.  By simply revealing these Extremis soldiers to have been evil or villainous from the start the audience is not left wondering why they are suddenly all evil.

 

Alternatively, if the discussion of Extremis included dialogue that suggested a side-effect of the treatment was some sort of psychosis or change to the personality of those treated (making them aggressive, violent, and irrational), then they could still be seen as both victims, and as a danger that needed to be addressed.  As with Vanko in Iron Man 2, and Stane in Iron Man, there are several minor ways the representation could have been tweaked, with minimal interference with the scenes and story structure as established, that would have established a rationale for the villains, addressed Tony’s character arc, and supported a more consistent thematic story.  If they had been altered by the treatment, then we again could have had the heroes feeling resigned that there was no way to save them.  This would make Killian’s villainy all the more apparent as he turned good soldiers into evil monsters.  Tony and Rhodey could lament that there was nothing more they could do, and this would frame them as heroes having to make the tough choice.  Again, this was a chance to elevate their heroism instead of making it simply about killing mindless, nameless, featureless, CGI monsters with little or no emotional impact.

 

The treatment of the Extremis soldiers is made more egregious by the short, throwaway reference made in the concluding scenes of the film to ‘curing’ Pepper Potts a few days later.  As a result, this film portrays innocent military veterans, who have been experimented on and then turning villainous for no reason, being executed, when all it took for Tony to develop a cure for their condition was a couple of days thinking about it and caring enough about one of the victims.  A resequencing of the events could have seen Tony’s army of suits fitted with tranquiliser darts filled with the miraculous ‘cure’ for Extremis, thus the fight sequence could still have occurred, but this time, the victims of Killian’s experiments could have been saved.  By adding that all it took to cure Pepper was a few days, we, the audience, are immediately confronted with the thought that these soldiers died needlessly and in the name of expedience and Tony’s selfishness.  If Pepper’s ‘cure’ had been put off, and the audience were told that Tony had found a way to stabilise it and was searching for a cure, that would have been an easier pill to swallow.  As it stands, you only get cured if you are a friend or loved one of a hero.

 

While killing villains instead of incapacitating or capturing them and making them face justice has become a staple of action films, and we have all become somewhat numb to the ethical problems of slaughtering ‘enemies’, and the fact that action heroes exhibit all the tendencies of psychopaths and are rewarded from it, this film actually includes a moment that emphasises this problematic tendency.  The last significant plot point of the film that raises significant ethical questions, and again contradicts the character arc of Tony’s journey, concerns how he dispatches the guards at the Mandarin’s compound.

 

Bereft of his suit, technology, and superior weaponry, Tony knuckles down and improvises a set of weapons in order to take down the Mandarin (and by that we assume kill) in revenge for destroying his house and injuring his girlfriend.  Admittedly his reasoning could have been to protect America, but the film plays heavily on Tony’s inaction until his own personal property is destroyed and the vendetta becomes personal to him.  So once again the film inadvertently highlights that Tony is not a hero, and it is only revenge that motivates him to get involved, thus emphasising his selfishness and narcissism.  Again, sidestepping plot holes here, Tony improvises a series of weapons and then infiltrates the Mandarin’s compound.

 

At this juncture there has been no indication that the guards protecting the Mandarin’s compound are evil.  They are in causal dress, not uniforms or military tactical gear, and Tony has uncovered no information that these men are terrorists or evil, or, in fact, are involved in the Mandarin’s plans.  In fact, one of the guards, in what we assume is meant to be a moment of levity, surrenders and runs away as he doesn’t like working for the Mandarin and thinks they are ‘weird’.  Admittedly, none of the other guards get a chance to do this as Tony murders them all.  Long gone is any reference to Tony forsaking weapons and seeking to defend the world, to cover it in a suit of armour.  There is portrayed as straightforward vengeance, although the film would have you believe that this is justified and heroic.

 

Just to emphasise this point, one of the guards surrenders and runs away when given a chance because he is not a terrorist, he just works as private security for a presumably rich but very strange client, and has no idea what that client does.  If one of the guards feels that way, would not others?  Consistently we are encouraged to see the narrative solely from Tony’s perspective.  This focalisation ignores the fact that each of the other characters, even Nameless Surrender Guard, also have a perspective.  For all the audience knows, this could be a simple private security firm, that has done nothing wrong, and thinks that they are protecting a slightly odd cult leader, or wealthy foreigner.  Nothing presented in the film suggests that these initial guards are terrorists or willing participants in Killian’s plans.  Yet, Tony kills several of them with impunity, it is never mentioned that he faced charges for murder, or was even investigated for this.   At best this gives the impression that Tony is now careless as to whether or not someone is a bad guy, at worst it reaffirms that Tony is, in fact, a sociopath.

 

A very simple remedy to this problem would have been to have the guards dressed in tactical combat gear and removing the moment in which one of them surrenders.  That, at least, would have given the illusion that they were paramilitary or active combatants. That they were probably committed to the ‘cause’, and that Tony could be justified in shooting first and asking questions later.  Alternatively, a simple bit of dialogue between the guards as Tony is creeping up on them could have revealed that they were all part of the Mandarin plot and worked directly for Killian.  A further alternative would have been when Jarvis is giving Tony the location of the base it could have mentioned that the base has a number of heavily armed guards, and that they match some of the individuals that attacked the house.  While none of these alterations directly change the fact that Tony murders a number of people in cold blood while on an assassination mission, it at least provides a moral fig leaf to hide the worst of the sociopathic tendencies from the audience.

 

This was an effort to try to use minimal correction to remove issues specifically related to character motivation, thematic consistency, and to preserve character development and character arcs without rewriting the entire films.  To correct plot holes and all the narrative contrivances would require much more significant changes and would radically alter the films and storylines, and would be, in effect, creating entirely new films.  From these very minor changes, and admittedly they are not perfect and do not address a number of the plot holes and narrative contrivances found in the films, you can see how the theme, tone, and subtext of the films was ignored, and how character motivation and psychological realism were contradicted or dismissed, in favour of spectacle, action set pieces, and the need for simplistic black and white characterisation.  In effect, the film makers appear to have assumed that audiences would not be smart enough to spot the flaws in the narratives because they were dazzled by pretty special effects, and that audiences do not care about the ethics of their heroes.  It is easy to blame this on bad writing, but given that Executive Producers, Producers, Directors, Writers, and even certain Actors, can have a significant impact on scripts and story arcs, it is impossible to know if any of these issues were raised and over-ruled, or who made the decision to have characters behave in certain ways.  We don’t know if explanatory scenes were left on the cutting room floor because the editor or the director needed to trim time and didn’t realise that those moments were the ones that filled out the narrative beyond empty spectacle, or ethically compromised visions of their heroes.  We don’t know if there were rewrites due to actors being unavailable due to scheduling.  We don’t know if any number of external or internal production factors dictated changes.  What we do know is that the narratives as produced missed opportunities to correct simple errors leaving the films less than they could have been, more confused than they could have been, and far less rewarding to watch.

 

 

Empty Calories – Problems with Narrative in Cinema and Television – Part 2

Part 2 – Iron Man 2 or Why Character Motivation is Important

During Iron Man 2 there are a number of issues set up that, over the course of the film, the audience is slowly let in on, as pertaining to Tony’s character.  He is slowly being poisoned by the arc reactor in his chest and is dying.  He is concerned about legacy (both his and his father’s).  He fears for the future of his company.  He is also concerned about who will take over the mantle of Iron Man once he is dead.  This fear of the future, and review of the mistakes of the past, is an acceleration and extension of the previous film’s emphasis on Tony changing his ways, rejecting being a weapon manufacturer, and wanting to see a better future.  In all, it makes a lot of sense as it continues the themes of the first film in a natural and logical progression.  However, Tony’s actions in the film, particularly with regard to Ivan Vanko, the ostensible villain, seem to run counter to the established character motivation and contradict the subtext and context developed in both Iron Man and this film.  This forms the crux of where the established subtext and character motivation are ignored in favour of narrative convenience, just as with Jackson’s use of Arwen in LotR.  The important point here is to remember that although much of Tony’s state of mind is revealed over the course of the film, it is meant to be present in his character from the start.

Iron Man 2

Before getting into the details of this, let us first consider who Ivan Vanko is and how he is presented in the film.  As the MCU films clearly have no difficulty in taking inspiration from the comics but have no desire to adapt specifics or storylines faithfully and are perfectly happy to change, subvert, invert, or discard aspects at will, we don’t need to consider the comic history of the ‘villain’.  This is solely focused on the character created in the film.    Vanko is presented as the angry, bereaved son of a brilliant scientist who co-invented the arc reactor with Stark’s father, Howard Stark.  Yet, where Howard became a multi-billionaire, Vanko’s father was denied any sort of monetary recompense for the invention, thrown out of the country, and died in penury.  Vanko himself is dirty, poor, and Russian.  His hair is lank and greasy, his skin covered in tattoos, and his teeth aren’t the pearly pieces of perfection that are flashed in Tony’s well practiced smirks.  Apparently that is all we need as an audience to believe that he is a polar opposite (at least visibly) to Tony, and that is enough to establish him as a villain.  However, he has a justifiable reason for ‘revenge’ (which is usually the motivating factor for a superhero origin).  His father was not recognised as the co-inventor of the arc reactor, and has been written out of the history books.  He didn’t receive even a fraction of the money that Stark’s father received.  So we are presented with an origin story that in many ways mimics Tony’s journey in the first film.  With minimal equipment he designs and builds an amazingly powerful weapon, just like Tony, from scratch, using and refining the arc technology.  He is doing it, not out of a need or desire for money, but to right a wrong, at least as he sees it.  Again, the traditional revenge motivation of a hero origin and that closely mimics Ton’s own origin in Iron Man.

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Empty Calories – Problems with Narrative in Cinema and Television – Part 1

Part 1 – Iron Man or Why Character Motivation is Important

 

Psychologically understandable character motivation within narratives has not always been prevalent in storytelling, especially as it ties to underlying themes.  One need only read The Three Musketeers to see plot contrivance trump psychological realism when d’Artagnan immediately forsakes his hithertofore, lifelong held belief that Cardinal Richelieu is a good man because some random guy in a bar tells him so.  It is a volte-face of such extreme that most modern readers would get whiplash and cry foul.  Psychological realism was not necessarily the style of narrative at the time, so contemporary audiences were fine with it, the fact that it promoted the plot was more than enough justification for that moment.  For the modern audience, however, we tend to expect a much greater deal of psychological realism (or believability) in our narratives.  Yet, there seems to be an increasing trend that when it comes to modern narratives that we are far more willing to accept plot convenience, or at least to acquiesce to plot convenience, as a more dominant factor than psychological realism, coherency of narrative subtext, or agreement with theme.  In fact, we seem far more willing to forgive completely insane character decisions for the sake of visuals, aesthetics, or some plot driven reason.  But plot, story, and character, are held together by subtext, motivation, and themes, and when they are ignored, contradicted, or circumvented (none of which is the same as subverted) the resulting story often feels shallow, hollow, and empty, as if it is bereft of true substance.  This can be across whole narratives, but often we can see it most clearly in specific scenes within a narrative that speak to the bigger problem.

 

A prime example of this can be seen in Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring in the scene with Arwen, Frodo, the Black Riders, and the Ford of Bruinen at Rivendell.  In the book, Arwen is not present.  Aragorn and the hobbits are met by the elf lord, Glorfindel.  Glorfindel gives Frodo his horse and sends him riding toward Rivendell via the Ford of Bruinen.  Pursued by the Riders, Frodo is injured, weakened, and constantly tempted by the One Ring.  He makes it over the river and faces off against the Riders.  They tempt him.  The Ring tempts him.  But even in his weakened state, even with his wound from the evil Morgul knife, and even with the power of the Ring calling him, Frodo refuses them.  He shows courage, stoutness of heart, and fortitude.  Frodo falls to the ground, just as the river rises up and washes the Riders away.  It is arguably for this reason, his strength of character, that the Council of Elrond agree to let Frodo journey into Mordor accompanied by the rest of the Fellowship.

LotR Banner

In the film version of this scene, Frodo (badly injured with a Morgul knife) is unceremoniously dumped over Arwen’s saddle.  Arwen then carries him, much like a sack of potatoes, pursued by the Riders.  She then crosses the river with Frodo barely conscious, and presumably a bit bruised and battered from the ride.  When the Riders approach, Arwen refuses their temptation with the slightly clumsy line, “If you want him, come and claim him.” Arwen then summons the power of the river, the waters of the river rise up, and the Riders are washed away.  End scene.

 

Substituting Glorfindel with Arwen makes little difference to the story.  In fact, the earlier animated adaptation substituted Glorfindel with Legolas, and that made sense as one elf lord is pretty much the same as another, especially when Glorfindel isn’t really in the rest of the story, so you might as well use the one that is going to be there for the next thousand pages.  But what the animated adaption kept was Frodo riding away from the Riders on his own.  The reason for this is that this was the important part of the encounter.  Frodo refused the Riders and the Ring at his weakest, on his own, injured, with no support, and no protector.  He demonstrated his strength of character and proved himself to be a trustworthy ringbearer.  Unfortunately the Jackson adaptation completely misses this point.  If anything, following Jackson’s scene, the Council of Elrond should have sent Arwen on the quest (with or without Frodo… perhaps in a large sack slung over the back of her horse).   For all of Jackson’s attention to detail in adapting The Lord of the Rings, he seemingly missed the entire point of this scene.

 

Why would Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli support Frodo’s quest when thus far all he has done to their knowledge has either been to use the Ring and get stabbed on Weathertop, or be rescued like a sack of potatoes by an elf?  There is absolutely no reason to trust in Frodo or believe him capable of this quest at this juncture.  He has demonstrated no fortitude, no judgement, no agency, no power, and in fact had to be rescued in the first place because he was tempted by the Ring.  The characters are forced into this decision for plot reasons, not for any sort of narrative consistency, psychological realism, or earned status.

 

But to reiterate, this is not a problem with Arwen’s inclusion in the scene, as Arwen, Glorfindel, or Legolas, could all have been in the scene, but rather how she has been used, and how that ignores the subtext, theme, and underlying motivation that was in place in the original scene.  She completely robs Frodo of his agency and his power in that crucial moment.  If Arwen saved Frodo and was then included in the Fellowship this would be less of a problem in this specific sense, but that may create other issues, notably completely changing the make-up of the Fellowship.  Although, if she replaced Legolas and performed the same function, that would have been easier to explain than why Frodo is allowed to go in the first place.

 

So what we have here is a cinematic sequence, that looks great, that flows well, that is a fine action set piece, but that completely undermines the entire subtext of the scene and removes the major reason that anyone would trust Frodo to go on the quest in any capacity, let alone as the Ringbearer.  It ignores psychological realism in the characters involved in the Council.  It ignores the theme of the books and story that the strength of the individual, no matter what their background, can be enough to fight evil and change the world.  Jackson obviously had reasons for inserting Arwen at this juncture, but those reasons had nothing to do with character motivation or the necessary subtext created in that moment.

 

Character motivation and subtext can be a powerful tool in storytelling as it makes the narrative more compelling, more immersive, and more verisimilitudinous.  When directors, producers, writers, and production teams ignore the subtext and the characters’ motivations, that is when we find ourselves viewing something that can feel jarring or wildly inconsistent (depending on the severity of the infraction).  Viewers may not always realise why they feel that a character’s actions are out of place, or may not be able to exactly pinpoint why certain scenes felt unfulfilling.  But viewers are very vocal at expressing dissatisfaction when the finished narrative has not fulfilled their expectations.  So it is interesting that many filmic narratives and television shows seem to completely exclude the notions of subtext, character arc, psychological realism, and theme, when they are ostensibly trying to craft something that will please viewers.

 

Take the Iron Man trilogy.  Few would complain about Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark.  He seems to effortlessly portray a spoiled, narcissistic, genius, playboy and translate that to onscreen entertainment.  He has demonstrated time and time again that he also can portray the nuance of character on screen, and is occasionally given the opportunity to do so within Marvel’s juggernaut franchise.  But if we consider the character arcs created by the Iron Man trilogy (and the Avengers film that occurred between IM 2 and IM 3) we get to something of a stumbling block in which the character motivation seemingly vacillates and wavers for little apparent reason, themes get randomly changed mid-text, and the subtext strikes a strange discordant note across individual films and when viewed as a trilogy.

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In the first, Iron Man, leaving aside the problematic timing of Obadiah Stane, for no apparent reason, wanting to have Tony killed, Tony goes through a transformative arc.  He realises his weapons that he naively thought were being used to ‘protect’ American soldiers were actually being used to kill people.  For a genius that is a bit of a blind spot that is hard to swallow, but we will gamely soldier on.  As the film progresses he moves from a purveyor of weapons to wanting to protect.  He creates a suit of armour that will allow himto rescue people, to stop the bad guys, and to be a hero.  Okay, so he kills a few people, but they were bad guys and they shot first, or were holding hostages.  Oh, and he leaves a man to be torn apart by a mob.  But… yay for the good guys, I guess.  He could have arrested them, captured them, deposited them at the army base, incapacitated them and sent the co-ordinates to the allied forces, etc. etc. but vigilante justice is a problematic type of heroism that is wildly and widely promoted in the MCU, and Hollywood in general, as being good, just, and heroic.  No need to get into the double standards applied by heroes to important characters, and to the nameless chaff foot soldiers who can be incinerated with impunity, or the relative morality that is turned on and off like a switch when it is convenient.

 

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Review: Deadhouse Landing (Path to Ascendancy Book 2) by Ian C. Esslemont

 

Review: Deadhouse Landing (Path to Ascendancy Book 2) by Ian C. Esslemont

 

Shorter Review:

If you liked Dancer’s Lament then you will love Deadhouse Landing.  Featuring the same story-focused narrative, albeit delivered with broader brushstrokes, Esslemont delivers another engrossing tale of the early steps in Kellanved and Dancer’s ascent to legend and godhood.  Once again providing a fascinating glimpse at the hithertofore mysterious past of two of the more engrossing and enigmatic figures from the Malazan universe.  Equally important is that knowledge of the wider Malazan meta-narrative is not necessary to enjoy the book… although it does add a lot.

 

 

 

Longer Review:

Deadhouse Landing picks up the story of Dancer and Kellanved shortly after their disastrous attempt to wrestle power from the Protectress of Li-Heng.  Not souls to dwell on past mistakes or failures, they set their sights on a new challenge, the piratical isle of Malaz.  Admittedly this ambition is perhaps more to do with happenstance than an outright plan per se, but when has a plan ever survived contact with reality?  Especially when these two are involved.  So when faced with a small pirate kingdom, rising tensions with the neighbouring sea power Nap, and, let’s face it, Kellanved’s individual approach to reality, Dancer has his work cut out trying to fend off knives in the back, cutlasses in the side, and monstrous teeth in the shadows.

 

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Erikson, Star Trek and Beyond

Erikson, Star Trek and Beyond

 

Not so long ago Steven Erikson penned an open letter to Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, the creative team bringing the new Star Trek series to the small screen.  While the response to this online has varied between abusive and dismissive, to thoughtful and considered, it did raise some issues that go beyond Star Trek itself, and it is that which has piqued my interest.

 

In his extensive letter (parts 1, 2, and 3, or the whole thing here) Erikson attempts to explain what he believes are some of the core principles behind the success and the longevity of Star Trek: The Original Series, and how the subsequent series of The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, and the prequel series, Enterprise, have drifted further and further away from the strengths of the original.  So below I am going to address my interpretation of what Erikson said and how it relates to what I consider a broader trend within SF and TV toward violence and conflict as action, and then, in turn, how that actually relates to a more significant general problem in terms of compromised morality.   Lastly, how I think this is related to a systemic and flawed understanding of narrative by producers and production companies.

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Review: Wynonna Earp (2016 – )

 

Wynonna Earp Poster

Review:  Wynonna Earp (2016 – )

 

Short Review:

A surprisingly entertaining supernatural, western-themed, weekly adventure show on SyFy.  Certainly an alternative to CW’s long running, more teen-focused Supernatural, but I fear it will not get the following or even half the longevity of its more established rival.  Worth checking out to see if it is your cup of tea.

 

Longer Review:

An adaptation of the limited comic series from Image Comics, Wynonna Earp diverges in a number of ways to appeal to a broader TV audience.   The unfortunate aspect of this is that due to Supernatural’s liberal borrowing from a multitude of sources and its long-established run, Earp feels a little derivative, despite being the earlier intellectual property.  Tonally the two shows are actually quite different, and certainly Earp is the more ‘adult’.  But in terms of production value, Earp has a long way to go, and unless there is a remarkable upsurge in its popularity, this show will never attract the kind of budget that will do it justice.

 

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Favourite Fantasy Books Part 5: Waylander by David Gemmell

 

Waylander Image 2

The Fantasy Equivalent of a Western Gun-slinger

 

Favourite Fantasy Books Part 5: Waylander by David Gemmell

 

 

 

This is a series of posts about fantasy novels that I love, or loved, and that really got me into fantasy.  Some of them have not really stood the test of time, some I grew out of, and others are still great.  But all of them fed into how I came to love fantasy and how I perceive the genre.

 

I know, I know, last week I was banging on about Legend by Gemmell, and here I am singing the praises of another of his books.  Honestly, there are a lot of books that will come up in this series of Favourite Fantasies, and it just so happens that a few are Gemmell books.  Although I think I will leave a bit of a break between this one and the next Gemmell that I want to talk about.

 

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