xtitsx: (Default)
( 28 May 2017 04:03 pm)
The Man In The High Castle is a TV show on Amazon, which is a store on the internet where i buy my used school textbooks.
i don't know what the fuck made an internet store think it could or should go into the television production business but i guess it's the same logic that made them go into the drone business or the newspaper business.
i can only assume Amazon is following the business model of the megacorporations that run everything in dystopian fiction, like Omni Consumer Products or Weyland-Yutani.
still, if some retail outfit had to try their hand at the TV business i'm glad it's Amazon who i generally have a positive experience with rather then, say, Wal-Mart, who would just make season after season after season of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo until we all die of cultural diabetes.

Amazon's business model is different from regular TV producers who will either make a season of TV or they won't.
Amazon decided to just go ahead and make the first episode then let the customers vote with their dollars to decide if the rest of the season gets made.
i watched the first episode back when the PSE and i lived in Austin II, though, i stole it off the torrents like i do everything i watch, so i guess my vote never got counted.
but apparently over the past year and a half enough people decided that they like seeing Nazis in charge of America that they elected Donald Trump.
har har har! political jokes!
apparently enough people like seeing Nazis in charge of America that the people at Amazon felt secure making two seasons worth of The Man In The High Castle at least.

The Man In The High Castle - Season One:
Season One of The Man In The High Castle follows the book as i remember it, at least for the first part.
a girl from Imperial Japanese-occupied San Francisco gets handed a film reel from her sister who is in the West Coast American Resistance and told to take it east to a town in the Rockies in the narrow neutral zone between Japanese and Nazi-occupied America.
in this town in the Rockies this girl meets a handsome young man who was sent by the East Coast Resistance to also carry a film for delivery to the eponymous Man In The High Castle who collects them for some reason, but, we find out in the first episode that the handsome young man is really a Nazi agent.
the two hang out and flirt for a while, though the girl has a boyfriend back in San Francisco who, we find out, has his own troubles.
the Boyfriend's sister and her kids are rounded up by the Japanese Secret Police and gassed to death to try to get the Boyfriend to tell them where the Girl has run off to with the film reel.
when the guy is finally released he makes himself a gun in a factory where he works making fake guns and sets off to assassinate the Japanese Crown Prince who has come to town for a visit but before he can pull the trigger, somebody else shoots the Crown Prince.
we find out at the end of the season that it was a Nazi agent hoping to instigate a war between the superpowers, but the Japanese Secret Police suppress that evidence because they know Japan cannot win a war against the Reich.
in the end the Girl decides to help her Handsome Young Nazi love interest escape from the West Coast Resistance instead of helping her actual boyfriend who has been with her for years and nursed her through her troubles and Who Is Not A Fucking Nazi escape the Japanese Secret Police because this girl is a fucking ditz, the end.

Season One of The Man In The High Castle, like the book if i recall correctly, is a lot more about atmosphere then story.
there is stuff going on, but the main attraction is Look! Nazi Flags In America!!!, not so much a very compelling or engrossing narrative.
after a few episodes the PSE tapped out, saying she couldn't be arsed to care about what's going on, but i stuck with it because i have ore of a patience for TV then she does.
still, i did not look forward to each new episode.
for being an interesting-enough premise and little else, for being big on ambiance and light on story that i give a shit about, and for failing to get me excited about what was happening, Season One of The Man In The High Castle earns a 4.5/10.

The Man In The High Castle - Season Two:
Season Two of The Man In The High Castle sees the main characters from Season One divided.
the Girl takes w wild fucking gamble and defects from the Imperial Japanese-Occupied West Coast to the Nazi-Occupied East, just so she can meet up with some dude she thought she might have seen in a film clip she saw for a second or two.
she spends the rest of the season hanging out with Nazis, learning Nazi ways.
meanwhile, with nothing else going on, the Girl's long-suffering Boyfriend finally decides to join the West Coast Resistance and undertakes to detonate a bomb under Secret Police headquarters.
the Handsome Young Nazi goes off to Berlin to meet his father who he didn't know he had who turns out to be the mastermind behind a coup to unseat Hitler, take over the Reich and launch a war on Imperial Japan that will kill several million people.
he is stopped in the last episode by the head of the Japanese Secret Police in the Americas working with the head of the Nazi party in the Americas, with a film that the Japanese Trade Minister who spent most of the season in the real timeline America during the Cuban Missile Crisis because i guess he can travel between realities.
he doesn't seem all that amazed by his ability to jump between realities, he just kinda goes with it in stoic Japanese fashion.
the end.

Season Two of The Man In The High Castle is slightly more interesting then Season One.
things are happening and you want to like some of the characters, but you can't because you have to remember that they're all Nazis, or members of the Japanese Secret Police and, by their very nature, they have the blood of dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of people on their hands.
i guess you could root for the Resistance, but the Resistance is really never portrayed as much more then a plot device for the Girl and her estranged Boyfriend to be doing different things.
you never really get a good look into exactly how the fight to kill Japs and Nazis is being orchestrated.
the Girl and the Boyfriend, too, are wasted characters with both of them seemingly going out of their way to make all the wrong choices at all the wrong times for all the wrong reasons.
the girl moreso then her Boyfriend, but they are both pretty much unlikable.

for being a more interesting season then the first but for not offering any significant characters you can root for, for being an entire season where the only likable character is a Japanese Trade Minister who spends the entire season vacationing in a different dimension, Season Two of The Man In The High Castle earns a 4.9/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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