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Ri S

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Everything posted by Ri S

  1. Marc - speaking personally, as a gay person... I can tell you that I would continue watching the show if it didn't change or update the LGBT representation. But I'd also be sad. I tend to agree that television and movies are often overly sexualized for purely profit motivation. And I *don't* think that Wheel of Time needs to be more sexualized. It worked great at the PG-13 level. But that's very different from LGBTQ representation. I read those books so much hoping to see some part of myself reflected in it. When you feel a part of something - especially something as big and expansive as Wheel of Time is - and then you feel like representations of you are barely present, aren't accurate, or are disrespectful, it's hurtful. That said, it's easier to excuse that in novels because novels are the work of one individual creator - the author. No one author can faithfully represent all of humanity, and I think Jordan and Sanderson did about as well as they could in representing a wide array of people within their humanly limited perspectives. But when you expand to a much, much, much larger creative teams of directors, actors, a dozen writers, designers, and more... there is a heightened expectation that that team will be able to better put forward a larger set of perspectives, so that everyone can feel welcome.
  2. Any adaptation is going to require significant changes. Wheel of Time was a very good, if fairly flawed, fantasy series. It was written over the course of several decades, where tastes in literature and cinematic styles changed quite a bit. To me, the key questions in front of the creative team are: 1) How do we cut the story down to it's core, so that it can be told over 50-90 hour-long episodes? Assuming it runs for 7 seasons of 8-13 episodes, that gives you essentially a maximum of 91 episodes. Given the budget considerations, Game of Thrones 71 episode count seems likely to be the upper bound of what we should/can expect. Personally, I never thought adapting WoT was a good idea for this reason - cutting the story down to around 50 to 70 hours of screen time is... IMO impossible. Further, you'll want the first season to feel relatively "capped" by the end, in case the show flops. Season 2 onwards, you'll have a better feel for renewal chances while breaking the story. This leans heavily in the direction of the season 1 finale being the Eye of the World finale sequence, as that works great. With a few tweaks, that could work well as an early termination point for a "whole" story. 2) How do we cut the cast list down to manageable proportions? Wheel of Time's biggest flaw, IMO, is the character count. There are dozens of "main" characters and hundreds of secondary characters. And you have to actually remember who they are. I've read the series from start to finish at least 3 times, and occasionally re-read individual books out of order and there are always dozens of characters I can't remember. In some of the comments regarding diversity, commenters pointed out LGBTQ characters. Most of those characters are characters I don't even remember! I can tell you, as a gay man who read the books while he was a teenager, the LGBT representation is fairly subtle in the books and by the time Memory of Light was published, was deeply unsatisfying. This is problematic for me, as a reader, because of the sheer scope of the series - a series that purports to cover such a racial diversity with so many characters can certainly find room for meaningful LGBTQ characters. And the way some of the characters (Aran'gar and Osan'gar) need to be updated quite a bit. A series with a narrower scope can get away with not representing certain human conditions (i.e. one more geographically or culturally situated), but that ain't this series. Game of Thrones did make quite a bit of progress demonstrating that television audiences can handle some cast sprawl - but if I were the creative team, I'd be thinking very hard about how I could collapse a lot of characters into each other. As a general note - anyone who wants the television story to "faithfully" adapt the series is going to be disappointed. Either it "faithfully" adapts the books - and effectively neuters it because any faithful adaptation of 4.4 million words into 50-90 hours is going to be condensed beyond the point where it's entertaining. Or it shifts the storytelling perspective. Television/movies don't do what books do well. They have different strengths in storytelling.
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