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The Sandman (Netflix, 05 August 2022) - Date Announcement Trailer


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2 hours ago, LazyPiranha said:

Three episodes in.  Still liking it quite a bit, but I will say I feel like Patton Oswalt is not the best choice for Matthew.  


Watched two before the wife went to bed. First episode was flawless. Second episode was still very good but as a book reader it’s a tad bit jarring. I do think all the changes(nothing overly huge) they’ve made to help create a cohesive narrative are very clever and make total sense. 

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I just got to the Death/Robert Gadling  episode, and I think that's the most it's felt like the comic to this point. It's pretty well done so far. I like it a lot better than the adaptation of American Gods, which I thought was kind of a trainwreck.

 

On the point of Patton Oswalt being a weird choice for Matthew, I agree, and I also had a pretty specific idea of how Dream sounded in my head reading the comic, and the voice Tom Sturridge is doing is not quite it. But it doesn't ruin the whole thing for me.

 

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I’m not saying it ruins anything, or even that I’m disappointed that it doesn’t match an imaginary voice in my head.  It’s just Patton Oswalt being Patton Oswalt.  It feels distractingly recognizable, like if they got Dana Snyder to do the voice and it was Master Shake but a raven.  

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7 hours ago, Ricofoley said:

I just got to the Death/Robert Gadling  episode, and I think that's the most it's felt like the comic to this point. It's pretty well done so far. I like it a lot better than the adaptation of American Gods, which I thought was kind of a trainwreck.

 

On the point of Patton Oswalt being a weird choice for Matthew, I agree, and I also had a pretty specific idea of how Dream sounded in my head reading the comic, and the voice Tom Sturridge is doing is not quite it. But it doesn't ruin the whole thing for me.

 


Episode 1 and Episode 5 are pretty damn on point for nailing their perspective stories. 
 

Mathew is literally the only thing I’m not a huge fan of so far and even that it far from a deal breaker. I don’t mind Patton Oswald as Mathew, although in my head I think I imagined him sounding like he was on the sopranos. But I just don’t like his increased role. ESPECIALLY the way he helped Dream in the “duel” that straight up annoyed me. 
 

But I LOVE everything else. Some changes are bigger than others but all of them have made sense and work. None of them have ruined any stand out moments from the books so far. The dude playing Dream is crushing it. I feel like he’s kinda doing an impression of McAvoy’s Dream the way Henry Cavill is sorta doing an impression of the video game Geralt. It’s not the same but it’s close enough that I dig it. I think they nailed the Diner. Next one im super curious about is the Convention, I really hope they lean into the absurdity of that story haha

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My wife and I already binged the whole thing. I am an enormous fan of the comic series and I've read the comic series in full (I just re-read the first two acts from the audiobook last summer) and my wife has not read it, but is very familiar with Gaiman and has seen American Gods and Good Omens. Overall, non-spoilers: show is pretty great. It's probably the best adaptation one could really hope for, more or less. Is it as good as the comic series? No, it's not, but it's an admirable adaptations whose changes (of which there aren't too many) all make sense. Everything across the board is mostly well done, from the cast and acting to the dialogue and tone and atmosphere. It's a lavish (but not completely slavish) adaptation and after hearing about getting an adaptation since the 1990's this was probably finally the right time and place to make the show, since the structure of the comic with an overall plot but many episodic stories fits perfectly for streaming TV. The show seems to be doing well, it absolutely needs a season 2 renewal. My wife really liked it too, coming at it as a neophyte, which is a good sign that the show can bring in comic fans and newbies alike. Now, on to the spoilers across all ten episodes:

 

Spoiler

I was very satisfied that the show included a number of things that I was worried that a lazy adaptation would just skip, such as keeping in Cain and Abel and the gargoyle story, Morpheus meeting Nada and turning into Kaickul, Squatterbloat, the nature of the "battle" between Morpheus and Lucifer (loved how they handled this correctly), Johanna Constantine, and more. Hell, I thought the show might even skip the Hob Gadling story, and the show crushed that story I felt.

 

Now, were there changes? Many - the introductory prologue, explaining things ahead of time for viewers via the Corinthian, whose role isn't so expansive in the comic (but made sense to help new viewers along) and accelerating the Burgess' story. Other changes included combining the Rose Walker and Cereal Convention storylines with the dream baby storyline, but I think these changes all actually made sense to have a bigger climax for the season than the comic series would have provided. I think the one change I'm somewhat ambivalent on is Lucifer themselves battling Morpheus as the demon's champion, rather than Choronzon themselves doing it. The reason this is a bit strange is Lucifer losing so publicly (rather than Choronzon losing publicly) creates a far more antagonist relationship between Morpheus and Lucifer. The end of the season hints that Lucifer is still going to do what they do in the comics, so it may not matter, but it was strange to see such hostility between them when that's not really how it plays out in the comic. I assume it's to give Gwendoline Christie's Lucifer more to do before season 2 but it was one change that rang false.

 

But back to the good stuff: Tom Sturridge is killing it as Morpheus. He had really big shoes to fill given how iconic the character among comic fans and how good McAvoy played him in the audiobook. Sturridge seems to be channeling the comic character via McAvoy's vocal interpretation and it works. Sturridge is able to emote an enormous well of emotions from how his eyes water differently from different scenes - it's exactly the kind of subtlety required of Morpheus' slow change from goth emo boy to . . . less goth emo boy. :p I thought the whole cast was terrific - Thewlis was excellent as John Burgess, same with Tywin as Roderick Burgess, Christie as Lucifer I need more time with but I like it, but Boyd Holbrook absolutely killed it as The Corinthian. Riz Ahmed's vocal performance was solid but one of the weak parts of the audiobook and Boyd took things to the level The Corinthian demands. He has a lot more scenes here than in the comic series, which makes sense because he would be working as hard as he could to stop Morpheus from destroying him, he's a lot less pro-active in the comic. 

 

I do feel some of the subtlety and depth and nuance of the comic has been lost, but I realized that that's just how good the comic series was and the show is doing its best to adapt it. As good as the VFX is there's an acid trip like quality to the comic series, especially when in realms outside of the waking world, that simply isn't there most of the time in the show. I feel that while the show is well directed, everything feels a bit flat from time to time, or stagey perhaps when things should be bending and twisting and contorting. Desire's realm, for instance, visually is accurate, but in the comic series the angles it's portrayed from, the lighting, etc. evoke something far more surreal and strange and unsettling than what the show shows us, which feels pretty straight forward. But, again, this is really the best adaptation we could have hoped for - the fact I'm getting a Sandman adaptation with a budget of this level, and for TV and not a movie which would try to cram too much, whereas here every comic issue gets pretty much its own episode - hell yes. Now, if the show really has balls, they'll adapt the side story issues that seem unrelated to the main plot, like Nada, being a cat, and the fairies leaving the human world. The fact the show included the William Shaxberd stuff (which hasn't paid off yet) and Death mentioned fairies might be leaving are good signs. Hell, this show included Martin Tenbones! I thought all that stuff would be skipped. 

 

TL;DR: the show does the best it can, and while nuance is lost, it's a really well done adaptation overall and everyone should watch it and hope for a season 2 with an even bigger budget.

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Halfway through. Some initial quick thoughts in no particular order.

 

It's about as good as a live action TV adaptation could be absent dumping just buckets of money on the thing, so no objections there.

 

I've still not gotten around to the audio version (shame on me) so the two main disconnects between my headcanon of Dream and what's on this show are:

 

1) I always assumed his voice was higher and a bit more ephemeral

2) I don't know that the text supports this per se, but in my head Dream was a bit more Geralt like in that he very obviously looked different, not just "goth," and that people always kind of bounced off him unless they looked right at him. It's still a bit weird that he's... a pretty normal looking guy, especially since he gets MORE "normal" looking once he gets his gear back

 

Neither of those are complaints at all, just thoughts.

 

The camera lens / perspective is weird and I can't always tell if it's used to good effect.

 

Some stuff (his day with Death, relationship with Hob) I think was really very well done. Some stuff didn't have a chance to land... I've no issue with Patton Oswalt as Matthew in general but him "interrupting" the fight with Lucifer felt like they mishandled the moment, as did letting some scrub ass demon pick fucking Lucifer to fight his battle. They've got ten episodes so they can't linger on every thing, but the modern day Constantine stuff felt rushed. So did the resolution with John Dee. Again if you're not going to let those moments breathe I think they did okay... those moments are just so impactful in my mind having read the comic a bajillion times during my formative years.

 

The casting is excellent although I'd have preferred an older Constantine. Lady Constantine, yes, all for it, but I think any incarnation of that character is missing something when he/she isn't grizzled.

 

Anyway, more to come but I'm pleased!

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Just finished it tonight. Loved it, I really don’t see how they could have executed it any better. 
 

Theres sooooo many cool weird things from the books that I can’t believe they included. They all made me so happy. Only one I really missed was Midsummer Nights Dream and I’m hoping they’re saving that for S2. 
 

Couldn’t be happier :)

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Finished just now. Overall I really liked it! I think most of the "issues" I have are that the impact of some scenes don't match up with my head canon. But at this point, like I said in my earlier post, I can't really divorce whether or not that's because the show misfired or because I read the comics so much when I was growing up that my memories are punching above their weight class. In any event it's a high class problem and considering what a minefield adapting this must have been, it's hard to complain.

 

I will say the one thing I think they did an actual bad job on was Despair. She's just... a big girl? That's pretty fucking grim. I appreciate that they're not going to have someone naked and filthy and borderline orcish like she was in the comic for the most part, but that casting felt pretty mean.

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2 hours ago, Kal-El814 said:

Finished just now. Overall I really liked it! I think most of the "issues" I have are that the impact of some scenes don't match up with my head canon. But at this point, like I said in my earlier post, I can't really divorce whether or not that's because the show misfired or because I read the comics so much when I was growing up that my memories are punching above their weight class. In any event it's a high class problem and considering what a minefield adapting this must have been, it's hard to complain.

 

I will say the one thing I think they did an actual bad job on was Despair. She's just... a big girl? That's pretty fucking grim. I appreciate that they're not going to have someone naked and filthy and borderline orcish like she was in the comic for the most part, but that casting felt pretty mean.

 

I mean, Despair is still cutting herself in the one scene they had, I imagine we'll get a lot more in season 2. I mean, she always kind of had to be a big girl, that's the character, no? 

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Just now, Greatoneshere said:

I mean, Despair is still cutting herself in the one scene they had, I imagine we'll get a lot more in season 2. I mean, she always kind of had to be a big girl, that's the character, no? 

 

I guess this is part of the thing, all the Endless in the comics look pretty different depending on the artist and who's perceiving them. Despair doesn't always look goblin-like, but she does in some appearances. So I guess if you're going to normal up Despair like they did to Dream, sure she'd just look like a big girl. But the manifestation of Dreams looking like a normal dude hits different than the manifestation of Despair looking like someone you wouldn't do a double take on if you saw her on the subway.

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5 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

 

I guess this is part of the thing, all the Endless in the comics look pretty different depending on the artist and who's perceiving them. Despair doesn't always look goblin-like, but she does in some appearances. So I guess if you're going to normal up Despair like they did to Dream, sure she'd just look like a big girl. But the manifestation of Dreams looking like a normal dude hits different than the manifestation of Despair looking like someone you wouldn't do a double take on if you saw her on the subway.

 

Yeah, I'm with you there - but they've clearly normal-ed things up for sure. I expected something more surreal for Despair as well, but as I mentioned in my review post, I think that's the one thing that's kind of missing from the show, which I figured would be the thing we'd lose. At least they kept the self-harm, I didn't think they would.

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I finished it about a week ago.

 

It's good, they did about as well as they could all things considered.  There are big changes and small changes, some of which I understand and some of which I don't.  Personally I didn't care for how the speech to the collectors went, mostly because the original was probably my favorite comic moment of all time and because this one lacks the more sinister edge to it.

 

I think it fails for the same reason a lot of these adaptations fail, The Sandman like all truly excellent comics works because it is a comic and understands that.  The world it creates, the way it tells its story, all of it is so intrinsically tied to being a paper book that you lose so much by changing the medium.  Panels blend together, individual cells form mosaics, ethereal objects don't look like props, etc.  To make matters worse, it's been such an influential work for so long that people have borrowed, stolen, and ripped off so much of it on the margins that it's just old hat for movies and TV now to some extent.  The worst thing you can say about the show is that the original comic is a landmark work in the medium, and the show is pretty good TV.  

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1 hour ago, LazyPiranha said:

The worst thing you can say about the show is that the original comic is a landmark work in the medium, and the show is pretty good TV.  

 

I think given how badly this all could have gone we should all be very grateful how well things have actually gone so far. Gaiman has clearly given it his complete seal of approval, which helps. 

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