The Good Lord Bird: Meet the Lord
October 4, 2020 8:34 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

(I haven't read the book this series is based on, but, I figure the show-only/books-included tagging isn't really necessary when it comes to historical fiction.)

Anyway, I agree with the positive reviews. Looking forward to seeing Daveed Digg's Frederick Douglass in episode 2.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:41 PM on October 4, 2020

The soundtrack composer is a family friend I have known since he was a kid. He borrowed my dad's banjo a while back; my dad swears he heard it on the show.

So I am proud and a bit biased. But I did think this was wonderful, although I had difficulty following the course of events at times.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:02 AM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, I'll have to add a Showtime subscription to one of my streaming services for a couple months. I loved this book, and I think it'll be a great show. James McBride is a fantastic writer.

Next someone adapt Fire on the Mountain, please and thank you.
posted by the primroses were over at 1:29 PM on October 5, 2020

My roommate put this on while I was sitting in the livingroom trying to do chemistry homework. I made him pause it and wait 20 minutes so I could finish and watch it with him. I was smitten from the very beginning. It's much funnier than what one would expect, but it never makes light of the situation. Enjoying this immensely
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:29 AM on October 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

The book was excellent, though I have a hard time buying Ethan Hawke as John Brown. I think the best possible John Brown ever would have been the late great Sterling Hayden. John Brown and Jack Ripper had a lot in common. I’m going to have to hold out for when this inevitably reaches wider streaming circles. SHO isn’t in my menu.
posted by hwestiii at 6:33 PM on October 11, 2020

Started the third episode and I'm liking this show a lot. It has a lot of feels. A good amount of them of the not-bad variety.

John Brown - a delusional and oft-violent Quixote-ish, but righteous, character - feels well served by Ethan Hawke; but I have not read the book.

Will concede that I'm a huge Hawke fan and I love the way he speaks (Hawke's reading of 'Slaughterhouse Five' is a masterpiece).

Henry/ Henrietta/ Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson) is intriguing; the tension of his situation is almost always present and the fallout can be expected to be fatal in the most unpleasant ways.

Sets and costuming are scrumptious.
posted by porpoise at 7:16 PM on October 21, 2020

I haven't watched episodes 2 & 3 yet, though I plan to get caught up (this weekend?), now that Lovecraft Country has wrapped up.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:31 PM on October 21, 2020

Mod note: One removed for spoilers -- future episodes go in those threads!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:24 PM on October 25, 2020

My participation in fanfare is now limited to coming back and saying when, on rare occasion, I loved a show. (For the benefit of someone scanning the archives here and wondering if a show is worth it. I appreciate finding that here.)

And yeah, by the end of this it was one of the best things I've seen lately. Joshua Caleb Johnson and Onion the character were both really good, landing just right as the viewer's proxy. (I assume this device came straight from the book.) It would be really easy to do a merely competent job with that from a writing or acting perspective but the character was perfect, and maintained a grounded, slowly widening emotional through-line that offset the grandiosity of some of the other elements! By the end I cared more about each character as they grew to care more about each other.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:53 PM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

Shamefully, I never did get caught up on the season - I did record them all, so hopefully over the Christmas holiday week I will finally plow through. You should post a finale/full season thread, having it out there would be a good motivator to finish the watch.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:53 AM on December 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Something I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else: every single white person sees Onion in a dress and assumes he's a girl. Every single black person sees Onion in a dress and immediately wants to know why he's in a dress except Frederick Douglas.* It's like Douglas is too well off, too removed from the plight of the slaves to see what's right in front of his face.

*and his wife
posted by nushustu at 6:43 PM on June 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

late getting to this. Just dropped in to say I loved episode one. Brimming with the kind of righteous, good humoured energy that keeps one going through overall grim subject matter. With regard to that energy, it reminds me of one of my all time favourite movies -- Little Big Man. And it also occurred to me that there's a lot of Huck Finn in the Onion character.

And Ethan Hawke is something of a revelation. I've never really seen him carry something the way he carries this.

Great stuff.
posted by philip-random at 9:10 PM on October 26, 2021

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