The Sandman: Imperfect Hosts   Books Included 
August 6, 2022 12:24 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Morpheus summons the Fates, who inform him of the whereabouts of his stolen equipment. Morpheus sets off on his quest to retrieve his items with assistance from Matthew the Raven.

Streaming on Netflix.
posted by gauche (29 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just watched this one. This feels a lot more like the beginning of the story. I did feel like they nailed a Dream moment with "it's not fair" "No. It's not." It might be that I have a head cold right now but I didn't especially find that scene affecting, though.

The special effect of the amulet of protection called to mind the panel in the comic which showed what happened to Ruthven Sykes when he lost that amulet's protection, which I thought a clever inversion.

I felt like the dialogue between the Corinthian and Ethel Cripps was kind of dumb, in that I feel like a player of the sorts of games Ethel plays would have been gathering information from the Corinthian rather than shutting him down at every turn. It felt very first-draft-y.

I guess ... it feels like the whole thing is being shot in front of a green screen and the scenery added in afterwards, which, I get that's how a lot of fantasy television is made, but this show isn't, to my mind, taking a lot of pains to hide it. It feels airless and inconsequential to me.
posted by gauche at 6:09 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


This episode was… OK? I wish Ethel was a little more proactive. You think someone who managed to steal so much from an (apparently) dangerous man like Burgess would be a little faster on her feet. I liked the Cain and Abel appearance; I hope we see more of them. You think someone as attuned to ritual as Dream wouldn’t ask extra questions of each of the Fates; maybe he was hungover from all that time in the circle.

The series is getting the central element that, while Morpheus understands human dreams, he doesn’t understand any given human all that well, and he’s pretty crap with emotions and motivations, including his own. If Morpheus had decent emotional intelligence, The Sandman would be a comedy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:06 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Poor Gregory. It really isn't fair. I, too, want to see more Cain and Abel and Goldie.

I'm fascinated by Boyd Holbrook and his acting choices in this role. He's got this... aggressively normie thing going, almost? Conscious contrast to most of the other characters, even to his flatly American accent (sounds pretty Midwest to me, though I may just be hearing it through my own Midwestern ear) against all the RP? His light suits (in which, I may say, he looks damn good) against so many dark, many-layered costumes? His easy (faux-)affability against all the high-key angst? It's also clear to me that he (in full cooperation with the script and designers) is Making A Point about Arendt's banality of evil, and the demographic that most commonly embodies evil these days. And good for him for being willing to do that -- no, actually throwing himself into it.

So yeah. You go, Boyd Holbrook.
posted by humbug at 7:52 AM on August 7 [14 favorites]


Gregory and Goldie and Cain/Abel were always my favorite in the comic, and I felt they did a good job with the translation to screen. I've enjoyed what I've watched of this so far.

Made me want some Goldie merchandise. Like a Goldie plush or something. Why is there none available, Netflix? Seems a huge lost opportunity. The show is number 1 on Netflix across many countries, but they have nothing on their merch store. Wonder if that's a merchandise rights thing...
posted by gemmy at 10:58 AM on August 7 [5 favorites]


It's also clear to me that he (in full cooperation with the script and designers) is Making A Point about Arendt's banality of evil, and the demographic that most commonly embodies evil these days.

One of the things that I remember finding fascinating about the comics was the conceit that for most of the twentieth century, Something Was Wrong with the world. The Dreaming, the manifestation of the unconscious of existence itself, which has had to be painstakingly and at times brutally tended by Dream for basically all of his/its existence, was suddenly untended. For some seventy years (in the comics; over a hundred in the show), nobody was taking care of it. The unconscious was broken. I don't think I could defend this as a historical thesis, but I love the idea of it.

This connects to this comment about the show!Corinthian, in my mind, in a way I'm not sure I can entirely suss out. But from my perspective here in 2022, I do sort of feel like a nightmare has run rampant for at least a century, and having that nightmare be a pleasant and polite and normal-seeming white man (who eats with his eyes) seems ... almost too on the nose.
posted by gauche at 6:12 PM on August 7 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I kind of can't get over how much I enjoyed Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian through the whole season. Just excellent casting and acting there.
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:46 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Yep, Nthing everything about Boyd Holbrook's Corinthian. I was really impressed in a way, with his effortless affability.
posted by gakiko at 3:00 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


Made me want some Goldie merchandise. Like a Goldie plush or something. Why is there none available, Netflix?

Is it something about Gaiman properties? Or just "it's not a superhero, it won't sell" thinking from Hollyweird blockheads? There's minimal merch for Good Omens, too -- some Funko Pops, basically nothing else. I guess I don't hate that fanart communities see a little business because of it.
posted by humbug at 5:24 AM on August 8


Back in the day, DC did sell Sandman merch. I distinctly remember Goldie and Delirium plushes among other things. I guess it doesn't sell compared to busts, statues, and other "serious" art/merchandise.
posted by explosion at 7:33 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


... he doesn’t understand any given human all that well, and he’s pretty crap with emotions and motivations, including his own

You're right. You get a real feeling for Dream in this one, and it's not a nice one. That's good. What I remember most about Dream in the comics (which I decided not to read again) is that he was cold: not without feeling, but extremely detached and royal in the worst sense of the word. Some people think Sturridge isn't emoting enough in the role, but I think he's got that exactly correct.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:25 AM on August 8 [7 favorites]


A Morpheus who isn't tightly-buttoned-up emo with very rare exceptions just wouldn't feel like Morpheus to me; I also think Sturridge gets this right (and so do his costumes). He's also decidedly scary on the rare occasion Morpheus does fly off the handle, which is also quite right.

One tiny miscue I wish they'd fixed -- the Corinthian isn't scared enough of him when they meet up in Berlin in Episode 1. Holbrook's line readings and body language don't quite do it for me there; he should be pissing his pretty pants terrified, but he doesn't come across that way to me. The Corinthian's more than smart enough to know that Morpheus can't be reasoned with or affabilitied out of destroying him.

Acheampong as Lucienne, actually, is good at projecting that Lucienne's deference to Morpheus is partly based in fear. Not wholly, she does genuinely care about and (mostly) respect Morpheus, but partly.
posted by humbug at 9:37 AM on August 8 [7 favorites]


Back in the day, DC did sell Sandman merch.

I still have a Death action figure, complete with peachy keen umbrella.
posted by Foosnark at 11:03 AM on August 8 [5 favorites]


Some people think Sturridge isn't emoting enough in the role, but I think he's got that exactly correct.

Ironically, one of my small qualms on first watch of the series is that Sturridge's Dream was *too* emotive, heh. Seeing him weep over the death of Jessamyn in the first ep, a number of small fliches and starts, the fact that he would visibly breathe and had eyes that weren't just black vortexes sprinkled with stars... I eventually came to terms with the fact that if he portrayed it as written in the source material, Dream would be downright alienating to much of the audience for his absolute bastard coldness. Learning to overcome that was a theme of the original series, as well as learning just how much he *couldn't* change without completely becoming a new entity... but that wouldn't come up in the tempo of a televised adaptation until like season 3/4.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:58 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Seeing him weep over the death of Jessamyn in the first ep,

Jessamy, if you please. MeFi’s own is both hale and hearty at last report. Long may she librarian.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:55 AM on August 9 [13 favorites]


Back in the day, DC did sell Sandman merch.

My Sandman tarot deck can confirm.
posted by Molesome at 6:44 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


Slight derail, but I am sure I am not the only one - can you share details of said tarot deck?
posted by Megami at 9:01 AM on August 9


I thought it was a Vertigo deck, not just Sandman.
posted by bleary at 9:43 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


(I admit I'm now imagining MeFi Jessamyn getting into scrapes because of the Endless... and I am grinning.)
posted by humbug at 5:09 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


It is indeed a Vertigo Tarot, but The Endless mythos was always sort of first among equals in the imprint. If there is someone whose most favourite Vertigo line was, say, Blood and Shadows or Kid Eternity, they have yet to reveal themselves to me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:47 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]


The series is getting the central element that, while Morpheus understands human dreams, he doesn’t understand any given human all that well, and he’s pretty crap with emotions and motivations, including his own.

This is where I think the voiceover in the first episode was a missed opportunity to help establish this. In the books it's made clear - via the comic's own "voiceover" technique - that a lot of the reason that Morpheus stays imprisoned for so long is that he doesn't really understand or care about the passage of time. He's one of the Endless, he's been around forever, decades or even centuries mean nothing to him, so he's willing to just wait the humans out - eventually someone will make a mistake and he'll get free. If it takes years and years and years, *shrug*. Makes no difference to him.

I don't feel like this was clearly expressed in the first episode, so they missed a chance to lay the foundations of how disconnected he's become from the realities of the human lives he's supposed to be shepherding through the world of dreams. He's lost perspective on how long a century really is, and how crucial time is to the experience of being human.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:52 AM on August 10 [4 favorites]


MeFi’s own is both hale and hearty at last report. Long may she librarian.

This has lead me into a daydream where I'm imagining what it would have been like if Jessamyn had been cast as Lucienne, or better yet, if Jessamyn was Lucienne.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:43 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Not gonna lie, the whole Episode 1 and 2 framing of "resolute, skilled, smart, loyal librarian holds the line as best she can in a realm that's inescapably falling apart" did things to me (also a librarian). All the way in my feelings about what Lucienne's been through.

Also I want each and every single one of Lucienne's tailcoats. All of them. Gimme.
posted by humbug at 10:27 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


This has lead me into a daydream where I'm imagining what it would have been like if Jessamyn had been cast as Lucienne, or better yet, if Jessamyn was Lucienne.

Have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:00 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]


I do not forgive the loss of Gregory. What the fuck.

(Obviously I have not read the source material. I paused the show to yell at my boyfriend, who should have warned me at least.)
posted by the primroses were over at 6:08 PM on August 10 [7 favorites]


I get a real sense of self-flagellation from this Morpheus, even more so than the comics. Much of his coldness and refusal to seek the help of others seems to come from a sense that he deserves to suffer. The scene in ep. 4 when he meets someone from his past really solidified that for me.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:52 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the dude has a bit of martyr complex, for sure. And much of his aloof manner is due to a fundamental discomfort with articulating his own feelings. It takes...a lot of drama and a lot of time to get to the root of what he's feeling so awful about.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:54 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


I paused the show to yell at my boyfriend, who should have warned me at least.)

BookGregory lives. (BookSandman instead reclaims the twins’ letters of commission.)

I think it’s the right choice, narratively speaking, but it was quite the emotional sucker punch, and a hell of a cruel way to save money on CGI.
posted by zamboni at 5:36 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Oh, Cain and Abel, doing the same shit for eternity. Poor Abel.

Gregory (RI dust) and Goldie were adorable. Seriously look like dragons and not gargoyles, though.

Ethel making The Corinithan split apart was delightful.

God, dude, we said ONLY ONE QUESTION!!!!
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:53 PM on September 5


I remember looking at the cast earlier and being excited about Asim Chaudhry was in it, but then I forgot so seeing him was a nice surprise. I've only ever seen him in Taskmaster but he was great there, especially the time he made the 'hentai' comment that no one else took notice of.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:28 PM on September 26


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