See: (Full Season)
November 9, 2019 11:53 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

One of Apple's premiere shows for their new streaming service, See takes place in a post-apocalyptic world several centuries after viral warfare has devastated mankind, leaving the few survivors and their descendants completely blind.

In this changed world people have formed into tribal societies scattered around central feudal kingdoms, all sharing the belief that vision was an evil that blighted humanity. Their balance of power is shaken when two children are born to a refugee after a chance encounter with a near-legendary man who is believed to be able to see… children who have inherited his gift, or curse.

(First half of the season has already been streamed, if there’s interest, I’d be happy to post the second season, since Apple has renewed the show).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Rather like Carnival Row, I found the world-building of See especially interesting, the adaptions to warfare in particular (See is at times a particularly violent show). The cultures are fascinating, although some concessions are definitely provided for the viewer: there’s no reason for the “bad guys” to be uniformly dressed in black, for instance. I’m also surprised that there’s been little to no advancement of echolocation as a navigation technique (granted, it would be less effective in a post-industrial environment).

It’s interesting to watch a truly post-racial society struggle with power dynamics, and the writing can, at times, be very good. Jason Momoa and Hera Hilmar are surprisingly strong in their respective roles. The first few episodes had me worried that the amazing Alfre Woodard was going to be cast in a Magical Negro role, but that concern has mostly passed. I'd be very interested to know what other Mefites think.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:03 AM on November 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

(Only 8 episodes for the first season?? I thought it was 10. Oh well.)

I have very mixed feelings about See. It's beautiful, downright gorgeous, for one. It's innovative and fascinating and does some really good world-building. The cast is pretty great. Overall I'm enjoying it.


It makes some shortcuts and weird decisions that require some serious suspension of disbelief, for one. In episode 2, there is an 18-year time jump in which the kids age and literally noone else does and that just made me scratch my head. Like, sure, I get it, and I get why, but come on, this feels a bit ridiculous. In episode 3 the kids are looking at a map and mention that they are nearby Pittsburgh or something, with the PNW nature in the background, which again, come on.

Then there is just stuff that makes no sense. In episode 3, Momoa's character is revealed to be a former slave trader and him burying that part of himself and now he needs to become That Person again and then he goes and kills a bunch of people to get his kids back but like? I don't see what changed in him? He was already a warrior?? Killing people is normal?? Especially since he kills a bunch of people again in episode 4 to (rightfully) protect his family.

The whole thing also feels ever-so-slightly slow, like the show is just not quite justifying the length of its episodes.

Overall, I have a lot of issues with the writing and there are no signs that it would improve. But I'll keep watching because at the end of the day, I really enjoy it. It's just a shame that it's dragged down by (in my eyes) mediocre writing.
posted by KTamas at 5:59 AM on November 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

I really wanted to like this, but without some sort of mutation that allowed human echolocation to develop, it's implausible enough that I can't enjoy the show.

There are probably extant people with a sense of hearing/ pressure sensing good enough that were they forced to rely on it, could do reasonably well, so it's not entirely impossible for echolocation to develop over time. But probably not well enough to maintain much of civilization by themselves - and survive without a civilization.

Could have made for some interesting situations where if you want to sense your remote surroundings, you have to generate sound and other people can detect you passively.

The show tries a little, such as specialized people who are either particularly good at hearing, or hearing particular things.

However, the amount of effort it would take to build that wall in ep 1 is staggering to do without sight or some sort of DAR with a decent wavelength discrimination, that would represent generations of work - from finding all the rocks, moving all the rocks, the memory/ book keeping to know which rocks are where when you need a particular shaped one...

The show tries. The different calls and counter calls during the fight so everyone knows who's still alive and where they are, like a snapshot of the situation.

They also try with the fighting, like in hand to hand one tries to maintain contact with an opponent and know which body part you're contacting. But just about everything else was unbelievable. More people would die of their surroundings than by each other.

Nice, bringing back quipus/ knot-writing.

Might keep watching, but not a priority. Might end up being an interesting allegory on faith and transcendence. Or not.

By the middle of ep 1, the plot seems to be completely phoned in, or is there an interesting twist later?


This could have been an opportunity to explore hairstyles if no-one was sighted, like the new-style helmets.

Colours, too. Missed opportunity to have really jarring mismatches of colours. Given the lack of sight, there's much less reason to dye any materials for clothing and everything would just be their natural colour (albeit getting dirty over time). Missed opportunity to have someone with a huge food-related stain that was cleaned but the colour not removed.

Ornamentation is handled not great also, but lots of beadwork that could be tactile. But I'd have expected ornamentation would have evolved into something pretty alien to current society.

Apologia for the "bad guys in black" - there's a fitness reason black colouration exists; for example, feathers and hair that appear black is actually mechanically more wear-resistant. It's possible that people have figured out what's more wear-resistant by feel and has a higher value - and the bad guys have more resources?
posted by porpoise at 7:33 PM on November 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just watched the first two episodes and I love the concept. I'm willing to look past some of the incongruities, but the dialog is so stilted. Everyone is so arch, even the good guys, and it’s so excessive it pulls me right out of the story. And while they really thought through some things (string maps in villages and as doorbells) I wish they would have just dived fully in and, yes, had outfits with mismatched colors rather than people in actual matching colored uniforms.

I am curious to see a making-of, though, to see to what extent they consulted with people who are blind. For that matter I’d love to here a discussion of the show and the ideas in it from people who are blind.
posted by antinomia at 2:53 PM on November 11, 2019

Oh and I loved the haka in the first episode!!
posted by antinomia at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2019

Stuck with it through a standard 3 ep tryout...

I'm going to stick with it. The pacing gets better, I'm able to dismiss the implausibilities (hydroelectric dam surviving this long without major maintenance, run by people who can't see gauges, much less have hydroelectric engineering degrees).

As long as I can turn my brain off, this isn't bad. The show keeps trying, and a few details are kinda neat, but overall it's incredibly implausible.

Mamoa is a great physical actor, athleticism out the wazoo, but I feel that he's really working on his emoting game.

I give the writers a ton of grief, but '1984' being one of the curated books for the kids? The "in-house" villains being too closely related to have healthy children? The hereditary Queen position that had social engineered (perhaps initiated generations ago, but distilled over time) a caste that will eat them out whenever they wanted to "pray" (read: come up with some excuse to make her subjects do what she wants, or just whenever she wants to get off)? The post-apocalyptic scenes of run down amusement parks/ hydroelectric dams?

These are my people, if only they'd let me lead them with science/ realism.

The slaver fight in ep 3 with sown rocks and sown blood splatter - contrasting with the insistence that people can't feel upcoming obstacles without a feeler - is incongruous and annoying, but, I have to admit, the fight looked cool.

Completely sympathize with Haniwa - if you can see badness and can see in order to put an arrow in them... why not? Why not would be the lack of wisdom in a judge/ jury/ executioner combo ... in the long run.

The "sight is bad" that's in-universe kinda mirrors "privilege is bad" - but in a kinda shallow way, when privilege is totally the thing to do, if you can swing it - so of course anything threatening your privilege is Tots Bad.

That the head slaver (Baba Voss' dad? nah, couldn't be) didn't just kill the boy (Kofun) to hurt Baba was dumb.

My current One Weird Thing is - what are the standards of beauty without vision? I'd imagine it to become less physical shape/ form but willingness to engage in intimate touch? Be pleasant to intimately touch? That scarification is so prominent and obviously significant (Baba has a similar temple tri-scar as some other slavers, but his has been crossed out by another scar), touch is obviously an important part of social life, but the show doesn't go there.

The lack of much much much more touching is another wth, writers.
posted by porpoise at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2019

oh yes I forgot to shout about this



I know why it makes narrative sense but it felt extremely stupid.
posted by KTamas at 8:27 AM on November 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

After episode 6 I am sad to conclude that my personal $0.02 is that this is just not a good show. I will watch the last two episodes but I don't have much hope anymore.
posted by KTamas at 12:53 PM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ugh the last episode was just full of cliches.

I hate that I am emotionally invested enough that I might watch Season 2.
posted by KTamas at 10:14 AM on December 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I do have to give the show some credit, watching e08 (season finale).

Sylvia Hoeks does crazy very very well (but I'm an absolute sucker for crazy, apparently. qv Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines). But impressive performance by someone who's background started as a child model.

I want to see Jason Momoa succeed as a "serious actor," if that's something he wants to pursue.

He's well on his way.

The writing/ scripting is just Not Good. But given the last episode, I'm wondering if there was interference from Production/ Corporate to not include certain things (ie., people still use language like "watch" and "see" for activities that don't require vision, etc.), but the sighted kids wanting to sleep together rather than in separate rooms (partially) allayed a previous criticism of mine about "wouldn't there be more touching?"

Hoping that it's just less experienced writers who need feedback from their work and have the capacity to improve.

But that raises the question of why the original re-sighted person got the idea about sleeping in separate rooms. Presumably, we was at least birthed by a sightless parent and raised long enough for him to have the chance to survive on his own.

To give the writing credit, the overall premise and story arc is interesting. They raise at least three interesting questions on human nature in the last ep.

Brutal, for sure, and icky to the extreme - but interesting questions. KTamas, agreed, I'll end up "hate watching" this show... because it shows promise.

That beginning of the end fight sequence with Baba gives me a lot of hope that they learned a lot more about the subject matter (sight/ sightless) during the process of producing s01 and can improve on it in s02.

The end of the fight sequence? Yes.

But yeah, writing again - too many (sticky) idiot balls being flooded into every scene and an entirely implausible scenario/ worldbuilding and plot line.

There's a nice shoutout to the Dewey Decimal System, though, so that scores a lot of points with me. Don't know if it was a coincidence or if they cribbed it from a John Wick movie, but hardbound book as brass knuckles is something I've been thinking about since undergrad when PubMed was in its infancy and virtually nothing was available (in its entirety) online and I had to drive 20 interstate minutes to a State University academic library and find it in the stacks to make a photocopy - sometimes having to drive 40 minutes to the other State University from the first one if the online catalogue of what was in the stacks wasn't accurate. Then drive 20 minutes back to campus (private liberal arts college).
posted by porpoise at 6:19 PM on December 7, 2019

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