Godless: An Incident at Creede
November 22, 2017 6:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

When an injured outlaw shows up at her ranch, a headstrong widow sees that her life -- and the lives of those close to her -- will never be the same.
posted by Fizz (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm enjoying this show quite a bit. A very solid Western that has a diverse cast and some stellar actors. Add this to your MUST WATCH list.
posted by Fizz at 10:36 AM on November 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I didn't know this was on Netflix until it was posted here. It didn't show up on my front page. Checked out the first episode, then the second and wow will you look at that now I'm done.

What a surprise. What a treat. And so many great woman characters. Both Michelle Dockery and Merrit Wever are excellent and not what I was expecting at all, especially Merrit Wever's character and story. This show has all the typical western tropes but because of the addition of actual fleshed out women and fleshed out women's stories and not so stereotypical western women tropes it feels very fresh to me.

Thank you for posting. I really enjoyed this show.
posted by Jalliah at 1:19 PM on November 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

We've watched two episodes and will probably get through several more tonight. I know it's a very low bar but there are multiple women who are recognized to have interior lives so that's enough to keep me watching.
posted by TheLateGreatAbrahamLincoln at 4:46 PM on November 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

Thanks Fizz! It wasn't on my radar and I almost gave it a pass until I saw that Michelle Dockery is in it.

Getting a bit of a Deadwood vibe (a good thing) from this, but with the sexism that we assume/was prevalent in the era expressed via T&A instead replaced here with multiple complex female characters who have to deal with all that crap.

Really looking forward to seeing more exploration of the first nations grandmother and grandson who live with Alice, a childless single white woman who's a homestead's head. (Hopefully in more depth than the played-for-jokes granny disapproving a young handsome stranger routine and the translation coverup.)

Kind of interesting that the presumed 'protagonist''s bona fides as a non-threat-to-singlewhitefemale/still-badass are that he's gentle with horses!

I'm conflicted about the colour palette; for sure out in the wild/inside privileged private homes, of course there are spots of warm vibrant colours. But the generic washed out scenes are really too washed out on my monitor (especially the memory recall scenes).
posted by porpoise at 9:13 PM on November 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

This show's definitely piqued my interest, though I don't have much to say about it yet beyond that.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:17 AM on November 24, 2017

I didn't realise how much I'd missed Michelle Dockery's eyebrows until they were back on my screen.
posted by tracicle at 8:36 AM on November 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yeah, it seems to have snuck under a lot of people's radars. It's why I wanted to draw some attention to it. A lot of the Netflix Originals have been hit or miss, this one seems to be very HIT and I'm a fan. Also, once I saw Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels, I was sold.
posted by Fizz at 10:02 AM on November 24, 2017

I'm liking this series not least because it's accomplished the seemingly-impossible task of making Jeff Daniels terrifying.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:56 AM on November 24, 2017 [6 favorites]

Also, that opening shot keeps on expanding and adding layers as it pulls out and it hits you hard with all of this information and all without a single word of dialog. Very powerful cinematography.
posted by Fizz at 12:17 PM on November 24, 2017

It'll be interesting to see how fleshed out these western women characters will turn out to be. As was mentioned above, we've seen western women in the past but there are some definite tropes that often do not hold up and used too often and here's hoping that the producers here are actually interested in telling a story that allows these people to be just that, fully realized people and not just mere window dressing.
posted by Fizz at 2:59 PM on November 24, 2017

Fizz - do you have a schedule in mind for posting threads? I was going to limit myself, but this just keeps needing watching.

Will definitely be rewatching for discussion here.

/porpoise=Spoiler_Discipline (Strong)

Yeah, caught up with Late Show and Jeff Daniels was pitching this show on it recently. I have a vague name rec for Daniels (from Dumb and Dumber...) but never had a strong impression of him. He looks suitable for the role (and willing/able to do the arm thing) but I think this show (as seen in later episodes) will do his (and Dockery's) acting career a huge wallop of good.

Anyone have an opinion on Dockery's accent? I thought it was well done/acceptable (given the character's background).
posted by porpoise at 8:40 PM on November 24, 2017

With a few days off for the holiday, I finished the season yesterday. It's not perfect, but it is good. The women who are given space are great, but others are more quick caricatures.

For me, Merritt Wever stole the show, and I'd happily watch an entire season centered on her.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:16 PM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Liked it so far, as it took its sweet time establishing the relationships between all the main characters, but the tight rectangular straw bales in MD's barn kicked me out of the story for a few minutes. While it's true that primitive baling machines existed in the 19th century, the notion that she has one out in the middle of nowhere, and thta it made those neat bales, is ridiculous. It'd be like seeing a Model T parked next to the house. A disappointment, in the face of all the other great set dressing.
posted by Mogur at 7:02 PM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I liked the first episode, but I gotta say, for a show about a town where almost all the men died, it sure did feature a whole fuck load of dudes duding around and almost no women. Does that change? I hope it changes. After I pitched the premise to my husband, he said, "Would you watch pretty much any genre of show if in the first scene all the men were killed?" (Answer: yes.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:39 AM on November 26, 2017 [11 favorites]

Very excited for this.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:41 PM on November 26, 2017

This is starting to turn into a "full series" thread, so I'm going to go ahead and say it -- the "town of all women" is beginning to look like a marketing ploy. With the exception of Merrit Wever's storyline, which cannot and must not be replaced, the rest of that background could have been any excuse for the mine to be closed up to and including "the five or six key miners got killed and nobody else has the technical skills" and the main characters would not have changed at all. It's disappointing, but the rest of the show is still basically worth watching. Just not earthshattering, is all.
posted by Mogur at 5:21 AM on November 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

This is starting to turn into a "full series" thread, so I'm going to go ahead and say it -- the "town of all women" is beginning to look like a marketing ploy.

Leaving out any specific scenes and events to avoid spoilers, I agree with this. There was a lot of screen time for dudes that could have been spent on the women in the town, and the series would have been better for it. Jeff Daniels' character is obviously important and deserved the screen time he got, but the character of Callie Dunne (Tess Frazer) in particular deserved way more screen time, which could have come from any of several uninteresting male characters; I would argue the same for a number of the other women as well.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:23 AM on November 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've heard that the series started out as a film screenplay that got expanded to seven hours, and it makes sense. I felt like at least some of it was really padded.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:15 AM on November 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Fizz - do you have a schedule in mind for posting threads? I was going to limit myself, but this just keeps needing watching.

I was thinking an episode each week. But if someone wants to just go for it and post a bunch, feel free. It's almost been a full week since release so the Netflix like nature of this series will let us just jump in and discuss at any time because its all out there.
posted by Fizz at 11:37 AM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

And I just read Mogur's comment. So if its easier to just keep this as a full series thread, we can do that also. I leave it up to all of you.
posted by Fizz at 11:38 AM on November 27, 2017

Yeah... the show had a ton of promise but it... stumbles (cringingly sometimes) a bit.

Still, totally worth watching.

N-thing Merritt Wever, such a promising role and well acted from the first scene.
posted by porpoise at 1:17 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have posted this at least a few times in FanFare, but here it is again:

Merritt Wever gives the best Emmy speech EVAR.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:10 AM on November 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

fwiw, not Fanfared Frontier (with Jason Momoa!) scratches some of the same itches as Godless, but set in Hudson Bay Company-era Canada - it's pretty good (middle of the second season so far).
posted by porpoise at 5:06 PM on November 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm just a couple episodes from the end but enjoying the hell out of this. I like when the scenery is one of the characters; am enjoying the slow pace of the story, the love-to-hate bad guys and the complex relationships.
Michelle Dockery's voice is just....some kind of buttery velvet cello timbre that just kills me every time she speaks. i might have to watch Downton Abbey just to hear more.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:48 PM on December 5, 2017

This show is amazing but I hope there’s a full season post to talk about the nuances.
posted by corb at 12:03 AM on December 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

So I finally got around to watching Godless and um...well.

The most sense I can make of the series is that it isn't actually set in the American old west, but in some weird post- apocalyptic setting with a western motif. Maybe "1875" means the years after the nuclear war, or in Season 2 we'll just casually pass by the wreckage of the colony ship.

But seriously, I kind of stopped with the suspension of disbelief after a gang murdered everyone on a train and town. In the real West, simply robbing a train and killing a couple people would cause the formation of vigilance committees and posses; a crime at the scale of the first episode should have gotten the response of a small army of volunteers, not a desultory search by two people.

The only thing that makes sense is that there isn't really any government outside of the towns we see. Maybe there was a superflu that killed nearly everybody outside the territory. Maybe the towns are the only civilization on the planet.

I mean, really I know it's because the only research on the old west the showrunners did was to watch old Clint Eastwood films. But my brain keeps trying to make sense of it.
posted by happyroach at 12:02 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Can we treat this as a full season post? I've got things I want to say now that I've finished the series.

Think the series had some serious potential but couldn't decide what it wanted to be:
A: Revisionist western that subverts common Western tropes of masculinity/feminity and hero narratives.
B: A middle of the road western that follows many of the same tropes but also passes the Bechdel test and has a few female characters with agency.

Some of the story choices only feel satisfying if the viewer assumes that show is trying to subvert expectations, but some of choices only make sense if we suspend our disbelief and accept the regular tropes of standard westerns.

Sometimes this overlap works, but I feel like it fell apart by the end of the final episode.

The series felt too long and too short at different points and missed some opportunities hinted at in the earliest episodes. Some of the events of the final episode were surprising, not necessarily in a good way. I felt as though the writers needed more time to tie up some loose ends.
posted by Telf at 4:50 AM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

At this point I think it's mostly "Let's do a Western informed by Game of Thrones." As long as they toss in enough rape and violence, any problems with the script will be glossed over.
posted by happyroach at 10:40 AM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

At this point I think it's mostly "Let's do a Western informed by Game of Thrones." As long as they toss in enough rape and violence, any problems with the script will be glossed over.

Thanks for the reminder, when is Westworld back?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:00 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

You all weren't kidding about the rapes and the padding and weirdly passing over women to only explore the emotional depth the men. Setup of a town full of women on their own, but somehow it's gotta be about dads and sons. TBH even Merritt Wever started to grate as they wrote her into the dumbest romantic problems plot ever (then distressingly/weirdly she was just ignoring her particular lady friend after the battle), and there was the character of the hotel owner lady rival who just kept only making significant looks like someone who had a lot of scenes cut. And the Native American characters urgrrgh (though Ivoye's "I was aiming for the other eye" line is my favorite from the show.)

And no way does Michelle Dockery stick around for Scoot McNairy, instead of going off to California.

I think just about every narrative thread is messed up, almost every payoff botched. Scoot McNairy was teleporting around everywhere and his eyesight just like stopped mattering, like they got tired of writing it. They built up all this menace with the mining enforcer guy but had it fizzle out. The whole stupid showdown in Blackton (but it was "Whitey's" dumbass death that made the violin gal cry) . The final battle was horrible. And holy heck, all the flashbacks.
posted by fleacircus at 7:13 AM on January 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

For a show ostensibly about a town of all women ... there are an awful lot of men who the show definitely cares more about.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:47 PM on October 1, 2020

I'm not a western fan but came to watch this because it was written (and directed) by Scott Frank who also wrote Get Shorty and Out of Sight, the two best Elmore Leonard adaptations and he created/wrote The Queen's Gambit. I didn't know that the show was promoted as a "town run by women". So far, the first episode is a lot of slow-talkin' men and since I'm just not in the mood for watching a violent psychopath, I'll probably give the rest of it a miss.

But I was curious about one thing and came here to see if it played out...
The most sense I can make of the series is that it isn't actually set in the American old west, but in some weird post- apocalyptic setting with a western motif. Maybe "1875" means the years after the nuclear war, or in Season 2 we'll just casually pass by the wreckage of the colony ship.
...The envelope in Roy Goode's bible. WTH? The address was written with a felt tip pen and 21st c penmanship. "N.M."? Not New Mexico Territory? Apparently Atascadero wasn't even an established town until 1913, before that it was Rancho Atascadero. So I immediately thought time travel was involved and was willing to see if that played out. Reading the comments posted here, I guess not. So bizarre that all the attention paid to dim scenes lit by oil lamps and then something anachronistic like that.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:00 PM on March 5, 2021

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