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Old 12-12-2014, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Marco Polo

http://www.cnet.com/news/with-marco-...me-of-thrones/
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:56 AM
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It's also in 2160p, for those with the required equipment. Its PQ is good; not as jaw-droppingly sharp as The Blacklist, but very detailed in close-ups. I only watched about 10 minutes of the first episode, it being just shy of 2:00 AM here.

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Old 12-12-2014, 12:13 PM
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Looking forward to this. A nice unexpected treat while all my other shows go on hiatus. At the very least, it can't be any worse than Hemlock Grove. lol
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:42 PM
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4 episodes in and it's pretty fantastic. It's not a snooze fest like GoT. Set decoration and wardrobe are stunning. It feels very much like the made for TV epics but with the obvious addition of nudity and violence. Those additions are so far used in the correct amounts and not just because they can. The only thing that could make it better at this point is that flowery language of Deadwood.

TLDR: opium, brothels, Kung fu,
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:46 AM
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It may also surprise people how sophisticated they were in those days. I think the general public thought of it far less than is portrayed.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:01 AM
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It may also surprise people how sophisticated they were in those days. I think the general public thought of it far less than is portrayed.
So far no incest either.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:43 PM
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I caught the first two episodes last night. It gets off to a rather slow start as I've heard from many reviewers, but the eye and ear candy (cinematography, set and costume design, and soundtrack in DD Plus) are enough to carry you through. It's gotten a pretty low score on metacritic (47), as for some reason critics are comparing it unfavorably to A Game of Thrones. Comparing a historic period drama to a fantasy epic is like comparing Mad Men to Bewitched because both involve a handsome tall man who has a pretty blond wife and works at getting ahead in an ad agency. The user score on Metacritic, however, is 8.0 based on 79 ratings, which should tell you something.

The production quality of Marco Polo is simply amazing, fully immersing you in the world of 13th century China and Mongolia. And as the show progresses, the characters and story are getting more interesting as the pace picks up. You get the feeling you're being set up for something BIG.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:49 PM
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I caught the first two episodes last night. It gets off to a rather slow start as I've heard from many reviewers, but the eye and ear candy (cinematography, set and costume design, and soundtrack in DD Plus) are enough to carry you through. It's gotten a pretty low score on metacritic (47), as for some reason critics are comparing it unfavorably to A Game of Thrones. Comparing a historic period drama to a fantasy epic is like comparing Mad Men to Bewitched because both involve a handsome tall man who has a pretty blond wife and works at getting ahead in an ad agency. The user score on Metacritic, however, is 8.0 based on 79 ratings, which should tell you something.

The production quality of Marco Polo is simply amazing, fully immersing you in the world of 13th century China and Mongolia. And as the show progresses, the characters and story are getting more interesting as the pace picks up. You get the feeling you're being set up for something BIG.

On Reddit most of the hate is coming from GoT fanboys. Weird.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:45 PM
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It may also surprise people how sophisticated they were in those days. I think the general public thought of it far less than is portrayed.

Up to this point the portrayals of medieval Mongolians made them out to be a fierce, unlettered nomadic horse-people, kind of like the Dothraki in GoT. I never imagined anything like Kublai Khan's city and palace, more his brother Ariq's tent-city (or ger-city ), if actual cities at all. The genteel opulence of his palace and gardens, etc, don't at all match that impression. Of course, Kublai was the grandson of Genghis; cinematic depictions of Genghis' Mongolian horde are probably the basis of that impression in my mind. Genghis brought his tribal, nomadic people together to form the Mongol Empire, which Kublai inherited.

Like most such fictional accounts of historical events, this one has a lot of huge inaccuracies. Ariq gathered a strong set of political supporters who proclaimed him Great Khan and he and Kublai fought a civil war for 4 years, delaying Kublai's advance on the Song Dynasty. This story grossly simplifies their conflict and the resolution thereof.

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Old 12-16-2014, 04:10 PM
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The user score on Metacritic, however, is 8.0 based on 79 ratings, which should tell you something.

On RottenTomatoes.com only 22% of 23 critics gave it a positive review but 88% of 147 viewers liked it. There are plenty of things that critics and viewers and viewers can agree on, that critics love but viewers hate and that critics hate and viewers love; this is obviously in the latter category .

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Old 12-17-2014, 06:04 AM
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It's absolutely amazing the amount of historical, linguistic, and sociopolitical experts that have arrived since last Friday. Technology is awesome. So much hope for the future. All from a TV show no less.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:58 AM
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It's absolutely amazing the amount of historical, linguistic, and sociopolitical experts that have arrived since last Friday. Technology is awesome. So much hope for the future. All from a TV show no less.

It's fiction after all--the writers will take liberties in the interest of keeping the story moving. But it's interesting to know to know the real history that it's loosely based on.

Another indication of viewer satisfaction despite critical disdain is its page at IMDb where it's gotten an average 8.5/10 rating from 3500 viewer.

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Old 12-17-2014, 12:38 PM
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It's fiction after all--the writers will take liberties in the interest of keeping the story moving. But it's interesting to know to know the real history that it's loosely based on.

Another indication of viewer satisfaction despite critical disdain is its page at IMDb where it's gotten an average 8.5/10 rating from 3500 viewer.
A weird coincidence is I just started getting the Shogun TV series on DVD from Netflix. Looks like the rest of the year is historical dramas for me. Over on Reddit most of the hate is from GoT superfans which is weird given that Marco is a historical drama vs a more pure fiction. Another thing that separates GoT from MP is the use of soap. I guess dragons and incest didn't leave much time for the finer things.
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:51 PM
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Yeah, I don't see the basis for comparison of this to GoT. I think that it started because it's been so expensive to produce, an average of $9M/episode and only GoT comes close, so analysts have been calling it Netflix's GoT. (I don't think that it'll be nearly as expensive to make in subsequent seasons).

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Old 12-17-2014, 01:58 PM
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A weird coincidence is I just started getting the Shogun TV series on DVD from Netflix. Looks like the rest of the year is historical dramas for me. Over on Reddit most of the hate is from GoT superfans which is weird given that Marco is a historical drama vs a more pure fiction. Another thing that separates GoT from MP is the use of soap. I guess dragons and incest didn't leave much time for the finer things.
Funny you should mention that. In my bewilderment over the comparisons with GOT, I kept thinking if anything Marco Polo should be compared to something like Shogun. I guess most critics these days are under the age of 30.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:49 PM
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Funny you should mention that. In my bewilderment over the comparisons with GOT, I kept thinking if anything Marco Polo should be compared to something like Shogun. I guess most critics these days are under the age of 30.
Here's a really, really odd thing - I sat down a little while ago to watch the first episode. First words out of any character's mouths is in German. I checked the language options and English is not an option. There several European languages, but absolutely no ENGLISH ! I'll admit we have German influences here in Wisconsin - we drink a lot of beer, eat Bratwurst and sing Christmas carols in German, but my fluency in the spoken language is very poor so I'm unable to translate in real time. Guess I'll have to contact Netflix and see if they can explain this and fix it.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:32 PM
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Here's a really, really odd thing - I sat down a little while ago to watch the first episode. First words out of any character's mouths is in German. I checked the language options and English is not an option. There several European languages, but absolutely no ENGLISH ! I'll admit we have German influences here in Wisconsin - we drink a lot of beer, eat Bratwurst and sing Christmas carols in German, but my fluency in the spoken language is very poor so I'm unable to translate in real time. Guess I'll have to contact Netflix and see if they can explain this and fix it.
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The same happened to me but English is there at the very top of the list. I chuckled that is started in German.


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Old 12-18-2014, 05:35 AM
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The same happened to me but English is there at the very top of the list. I chuckled that is started in German.


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After posting this last night, I jumped to Netflix on my computer, bound and determined to find the English language option. This time, English was easily viewable in the audio options list. Encouraged, I went downstairs to my home theater room and tried it again. I didn't see it at first, but then noticed I could navigate upwards, and found English. I still think it is really odd that the program defaults to German, which if I remember correctly, was on or very near the bottom of the list. Maybe I should put "brush up on my German" on my 2015 New Year's resolution list.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:08 AM
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On RottenTomatoes.com only 22% of 23 critics gave it a positive review but 88% of 147 viewers liked it. There are plenty of things that critics and viewers and viewers can agree on, that critics love but viewers hate and that critics hate and viewers love; this is obviously in the latter category .
I almost always ignore the RT critic ratings and go with the user ones, haven't been disappointed much.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:33 AM
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Here's a really, really odd thing - I sat down a little while ago to watch the first episode. First words out of any character's mouths is in German. I checked the language options and English is not an option. There several European languages, but absolutely no ENGLISH ! I'll admit we have German influences here in Wisconsin - we drink a lot of beer, eat Bratwurst and sing Christmas carols in German, but my fluency in the spoken language is very poor so I'm unable to translate in real time. Guess I'll have to contact Netflix and see if they can explain this and fix it.
Auf wiedersehen
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Aha! It's not just me. We should report it as a "problem" because my setting for language on my Netflix account is for English. This started happening on episode 6.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:44 PM
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:52 PM
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I have enjoyed this series so far. I am in the 6th episode. In college I wrote a paper on the mongol empire, so it has been interesting to see some of the things I wrote about come to life (and a lot of fluff).
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:09 PM
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I discovered this new series while cruising this forum. I've now watched the first four episodes and have been very impressed with the production values, the complex story and characters and, of course, the excellent acting. Benedict Wong, especially, is superb as Kublai Khan. The only issue that I have is that the image is very dark a lot of the time. I've had to jack my brightness level up when watching the show (my Panny plasma was beautifully calibrated by Chad B so I almost never have to adjust any of the primary video settings). Aside from that, however, this series is another example of how Netflix is now a major player in terms of original programming.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:48 PM
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The cast is very good except for Zhu Zhu who plays the "Blue Princess". Her acting seems stiff and I see her background is some films including "Cloud Atlas" and hosting MTV China. Maybe she didn't feel comfortable with the role.

The German language thing was fixed last night and back to English.
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Old Today, 12:56 AM
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I'll say this at 5 episodes in and this is simply great stuff, I'm loving it
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