30 November, 2019

Dark Crystal TV Show

Edit: I have changed my mind drastically about this show. I plan on writing a follow-up sometime soon, but after watching the rest of episode 1, I watched the remainder of the series in 1 day. I found it to be excellent.

I tried watching the Dark Crystal tv series. I made it about 25% through the 1st ep. and shut it off. I was surprised to then see huge amounts of critical praise for it .

- The whole background of the world is changed. I suppose it's possible that some kind of 'reveal' would have the tv show background turn out to be some kind of ruse by the skeksis, but I doubt it. The revised history of who the skeksis are is not nearly as interesting, and is just dumb, right off the top. "They're from space!" takes a high concept and turns it into a cheap low-ball.

- The population of the gelflings is segregated into a cheesy 'X number of cities, each with it's own bluntly simplistic character' system, like a video game or a 2000s YA novel. Another hack device.

- One of the last scenes I watched was a fly-through shot of some kind of library or scriptorium. A great deal of screen time was lavished on this space that felt like the set decorators got started on it, but didn't have time to finish. Comparing it with similar classic Henson spaces, it feels positively empty. There was also no point to the very long fly-through, except showing off the created space. This felt very unlike classic Henson and the Dark Crystal, where the awesome environments were there in support of what was going on, rather than being the point in themselves.

- The very last scene I watched was this same sort of thing again. Scene of characters talking about leaving one location and why they were going to a different location. Extended shot of them leaving, showing off creature movement, but nothing else going on. Same, from another angle. Same, from another angle. Same, from another angle. I get you worked really hard on these things, but that does not mean you give them screen time compared to how much time you spent making them. You give them screen time appropriate to the story and what you're getting across. A fail.