The Watch: Twilight Canyons   Books Included 
January 18, 2021 4:22 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The Watch visits a senior living facility, Twilight Canyons, in their pursuit of Carcer and Gawain.
posted by miss-lapin (8 comments total)
Interestingly, the end credits appear to have misspelled the name of the Torch Singer at the end (it's Inge Beckmann, but the credits I saw on AMC+ read "Beckman").
posted by hanov3r at 7:09 PM on January 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Not a fan of this version of the goblins. Canonically a very minor "nuisance" species, they only got fleshed out near the very end of the series (in the last The Watch book) and it's a tearjerker and a Vimes-centric story. The Marxism references shoehorned in are cute though.

I guess they felt they needed to toss in "Vimes' Boots Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness" somewhere. Vimes ponders that in the second The Watch novel. 'Men at Arms' is very good and very humanistic (but not as amazing as 'Monstrous Regiment').

Very much do not appreciate this version of Igor. showCheery is filling out some of the roles of the Watch's bookIgor (who's a fully modern Igor bucking some traditions from a long line of Igors, some of whom might still be a part of him). Igors are from Ɯberwald and Angua should be familiar with them. Igors were fleshed out relatively late in the series.

DEATH, ok. It was probably written by some people who do actually like the character DEATH but probably superficially only the more comical aspects. I feel this DEATH lacks dignity.

Carcer getting taken to the place with the filing cabinets. I think that is a reference to The Auditors who show up a few times around the middle of the series. They're responsible for making sure things happen the way they're supposed to. They don't like life because life complicates things. They first try to mess with DEATH in 'Reaper Man' so all living things die, but are rebuked. Then they go after 'The Hogfather' (santa clause) but Death's granddaughter rebukes them. They then try to pull a 'show13 Monkeys' and try to destroy time but Susan gets in the way again in 'Thief of Time.'

When the show was first announced, the promise was a police procedural set in A-M; I was expecting an early- to mid-story The Watch ensemble cast solving an A plot with some B plot(s) going on the side, maybe ending a season with a book plotline.

When Carcer was announced, I had no idea what was going to happen. I guess they ended up doing a punk remix of the entire The Watch run - I can't imagine a second season based on these choices. Nor from ratings (I don't know what the viewership is).

There are four The Watch books between the 'Guards! Guards!' and 'Night Watch.' All really strong. After that, there are only two more The Watch books but they're Vimes-centric and deal more with Discworld politics and the big picture than A-M crime.

I think this team might have had better success remixing the Moist von Lipwig novels (while 'Going Postal' has already been done, there are two more after that one (steam power, modern finance). I'm still keening for a good stab at the Tiffany Aching/ The Witches stories.
posted by porpoise at 8:07 PM on January 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

This interpretation of Death continues to be my least favorite aspect of the series. They miss what made me really love the character, which is his fascination and care for humanity. Having him be bored with his job is just the opposite of that.

But I LOVE Matt Berry as Wayne "Gawain."
posted by miss-lapin at 8:58 AM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

We can but hope that if they get a S2 that it becomes more of a procedural, and they bring in Nobby & Fred.
posted by Marticus at 1:09 PM on January 19, 2021

We can but hope that if they get a S2 that it becomes more of a procedural, and they bring in Nobby & Fred.

When the series was first announced in 2018, it was described as a six-part miniseries. Unless something's changed, I wouldn't expect a "series 2".
posted by hanov3r at 2:07 PM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

I will say I also found the love theme ham handed in way I never experienced when reading the Discworld novels (although that may be because I was a younger reader at the time).
posted by miss-lapin at 4:33 PM on January 19, 2021

iirc, Sybil saw the good person legitimately inside the drunk and had to work on Sam over time, and it took making him love himself before he could admit to actually being respectfully and head-over-heels in love with her? But his love and respect for her and their son becomes an enduring theme. "WHERE IS MY COW!"

iirc, Angua was totally in anguish over desiring the upright-to-a-fault Carrot and it ended up being kind of sweet (although Carrot kept on being too sweet-to-a-fault)? It also took a few novels, too, until Angua took care of her family shit and was able to love herself enough to truly love Carrot.

The show did a massive shorthand and the love thing is completely unearned. Should have just left it out.
posted by porpoise at 6:58 PM on January 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ok, sorry, but everything about boots is annoying me.

showSybil is rich, fine. But it doesn't define her (assassinated parents do?). bookSybil is rich, and it defines and constrains her - and she finds her own ways to try to escape those confines.

In the show, I never got the feel that Vimes ever really was impacted by Sybil's wealth and his own relationship with money. Sure, showSybil has a big house with booby traps (a nod to later series, but it's Vimes' traps, not Sybil's). But Vimes venting/ understanding that being poor is expensive doesn't fit into the moment.

The context of the 'Boots Theory' is that Vimes understands that he's poor and grew up poor (buying clothes from shonky shops [I suspect there's an allusion to non-white owned second hand shops, and how they add value and help the community]) but there were those who were even poor-er (those that resorted to buying from pawn shops [I suspect there's an allusion to white owned second hand shops, and how they're exploitative of the community]) and Vimes was raised indoctrinated to look down on those poor-er people, but grew up to understand the even greater systemic disadvantages affecting them, leading to his general philosophy and the Boots theory - because he's analyzing the economic strata(s) above him.

I'm wondering of Sir Pratchett regretted using the word theory, but it was used in the vernacular meaning rather than the technical one where it rubs shoulders with hypothesis and conjecture and law.

Not sure if I should be giving credit, but the boots theory talk was precipitated after Sybil got a sneak distraction by having a sympathetic goblin wear her stiletto boots as an auditory distraction*. Followed by a "witty" about how they were breaking the boots in for her. The "my feet are killing me" and the background transphobia sucked. (mild, I suppose. but lazy nonetheless and stereotypical drawing from old crossdressing and transvestite jokes - the show did nudge-wink that it's "1985")

bookSybil would never ever need someone else to break her boots in for her. That's a total bs 1990-2010 thing where stupid rich guys would buy expensive boots and pay labourers to wear them while labouring to break the boots in and scuff them up. "All hat boot, no cattle." Fucking poseurs.

Not only that, but stiletto boots would be entirely antithetical to bookSybil in the first place. bookSybil has enough class (through breeding and childhood indoctrination - of which she is abundantly aware of) to know what footwear to wear for which occasion; big sturdy well fitting heavy boots are her thing, since she spends most of her time in the stables with her swamp dragons, with muck up to her ankles.

She's also descended from ... warriors. That's what nobles are - people who were born from really good murderers. A long line of really good murderers. Sybil is a big woman, who has been genetically selected to be good at murdering people and surviving being attempted-murdered back. Being big-boned, heavy muscled, wide-shouldered, and having lots of fat padding is really great for all that. Being prodigious is also genetic from her maternal side; able to gestate babies strongly and capable of surviving birth of big babies and enduring breastfeeding those babies.

Typically serially.

Which, iirc, is the impetus for Vimes thinking about boots in the first place? iirc, he's kind of hot about those sturdy boots of Sybil's.

*I suspect that the writing staff/ showrunners trend rather younger; there's enough minor details with goblins that I suspect that the last novels were more influential than the middle ones to them.

That and dim tossers with trust funds. Which might be the only way something like this ended up being made at all.

posted by porpoise at 2:55 AM on January 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

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