Shadow and Bone: Shadow and Bone   Books Included 
April 26, 2021 3:15 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

I haven't read any of the books myself, but I was reading the Vulture recaps as I watched the season this weekend, which are so full of book-to-show information that I don't think I can participate in a show-only thread without going off-topic eventually. But maybe we can keep the Six of Crows Duology spoilers to a minimum, since it's my understanding that the bulk of the events from those books weren't covered in this first Netflix season, just the introduction of its characters.

Anyway, I enjoyed this. I thought it was pretty exposition-heavy, and yet at the same time I don't know that I would have gotten a handle on the geography of things without reading the recaps. And the plot was very coincidence-dependent. But I liked the casting and the visuals, and I hope they make more seasons.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:26 PM on April 26

I am only up to Episode 2 so far. At this point, some of the changes from the book version of Shadow and Bone work well, such Alina having Shu heritage. Some of the changes don't work well, such as having her burn the maps (I get that it gives the character more agency, but it also makes her seem kind of stupid and self-involved.)

The changes from Six of Crows are, of course, far more extreme, but I am nonetheless having much the same reaction that I did to the book - namely, that nothing in the world could possibly make me care about Kaz Brekker or anything he does.
posted by kyrademon at 4:45 PM on April 26

I first heard of the "Grishverse" series from the Netflix teaser for the series. My wife and I read in rapid succession Shadow & Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, and then started on the King of Scars Duology. In short, we were hooked.

I liked the 'completeness' of the S&B books - not only was it exciting and well written, it had an ending of sorts, though the door was open for more stories. And then SoC took and expanded the world Leigh Bardugo was building - not just a rehash of first series, but a different but connected story that was different yet the same. I think I liked SoC even better, tbh.

So, we are both enjoying the Netflix series. The S&B parts are exactly perfect - the way the Grisha act, the clothes, the grit and grime of the first army, the glamour of the Little Palace. Yet we can also see where things were cut back or changed to fit the series. I'm struck with how sparsely populated the castles are - not a lot of money for extras? We saw a huge crowd of Grisha in the throne room scene, and then hardly any after. It's elaborate and sparse at the same time - there are lots of conversations between two characters, but few crowd scenes.

The Six of Crows parts, however, are full of people but they made the biggest changes to that story. They grafted the book plots onto a completely new plot thread, leaving reflections of the book coming out at different angles. And it feels shoe-horned in. We don't learn much about Kaz and his team - their motivations and back story - instead we are just asked to accept them as-is out of the gate, with little explanation as to who or what or how they are. I can fill in a lot of bits because I read the books, but I'd think anyone coming in cold would be kind of confused on who they are and why they act how they do.

We are half-way through the show, and while we are enjoying it we also see the seams and thin parts. Hopefully it'll be a big enough of a hit that a second season will be made. I'd rather they focused on S&B exclusively, and pick up SoC after, but overall I'm impressed at what they have on the screen, I just wish there was more meat to the story.
posted by jazon at 6:39 AM on April 27

I'd rather they focused on S&B exclusively

Milo is the true hero of the story.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:56 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed the whole thing, even with Kaz's crew grafted into Alina's plot. The Apparat was more creepy than sinister, and like the books, the Nina sections always seem to detract from the main story (particularly in this season where there is no payoff; in fact the only time I found her separate story not distracting was the last bit of Rule of Wolves).
posted by Marticus at 4:07 PM on April 27

I binged all the books last year, and loved them. The show is really good too, although I'm only on Episode 6 so far - trying to make it last.

Changing Alina and making her half Shu is brilliant, and really helps make her a much more compelling character. I was also happy with her having some more agency, and I find the Darkling a lot less creepy than in the books. They did a great job in translating this to the small screen, I think, even though the Crows storyline felt slightly grafted on.

Best character so far is Milo. But Jasper and Inej are up there. The video Kit Young posted of their first day on the Crow Club set is so great, makes me so happy. I really hope this show gets another season.
posted by gemmy at 8:08 PM on April 28

I know nothing of the books, and ran across the series on Netflix over the weekend. It looks pretty interesting, though it also has a certain GoT vibe about it that makes me a bit nervous about jumping in.

I originally started watching GoT, back in the day, but noped-out at the end of the first season because it felt like it was mostly bloodshed porn. Am I in for another trip through ultraviolence and gore if I jump into this show?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:55 AM on April 29

The source material is YA, so no, probably not a whole lot of extreme on-screen violence.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:47 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]

The show is actually pretty violent and gory - plenty of death, gross methods, gross sound effects, etc.
posted by prefpara at 10:59 AM on April 29

I didn't find it particularly gory - certainly way less than GoT. There are deaths by knife, guns, and magic, but nothing that struck me as excessive torture-porn.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:16 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]

It's way less rapey, at least. (I too noped out of GoT. And Outlander. And X, Y and Z, but I found this mostly ok? Except for one or two scenes here and there.)
posted by Coaticass at 1:33 PM on April 29

The number of times I found myself wondering "Wait...where are they and how did they get there?" really ruined the show for me. I never had a sense that there were stakes to people going places, or that anything was happening on a schedule, or how much time had passed between people being grievously injured and then appearing somewhere seemingly fine.

It didn't really do it for me, and the characters all just felt jarringly absent self-awareness or competence, which I guess makes sense when characters are supposed to be 17. It just feels weird when these teenagers are somehow soldiers but are more concerned about writing to their bestie than like, surviving an obviously life-threatening situation? And they're played by people in their mid-20s?

And so many characters with so little relevance to a central conflict in this season. I get that they want to set some stuff up for later, but it left me feeling like I was waiting for a unifying plot that never materialized and then the season was over.
posted by wakannai at 3:52 AM on May 6

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