11.22.63: Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald
March 22, 2016 1:57 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

It's October 1962, and the gathering storm of threats in Dallas continues to build. Jake must take drastic action to establish the full dimensions of the threat to Kennedy. And amidst it all, he's hit with an unexpected death and a bitter betrayal from one of those closest to him.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (6 comments total)
I'm pretty meh on this one. We don't get a scene where he really explains who he is or what he's doing and the show just jumps right over Sadie dealing with most of the trauma of her experience.

This is an example of how even if you have almost nine hours in which to adapt a single book, you still can end up with something that feels like it's missing things, that it's scattered. To some degree, this is the result of trying to split the difference between a very faithful and complete adaptation or a more focused and distinct take on the source. You'd think that if you have nine hours, that you'd be able to manage pretty much the former project. But I think that what happens is that you get caught up in particular scenes and events and those expand to fill much of the available time, ultimately forcing you to cut big things out, anyway.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:04 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I feel like the love story between Jake and Sadie was so much more vital to the original story than you would have expected, and it's definitely being shortchanged here. I wonder if I hadn't read the book if I would be buying the depth of his feelings for her at all.

I suppose it was about time to bring back a yellow/orange/red/black/whatever card man, assuming this version ends at all like the book, which is probably a big assumption on my part.

I'm trying hard to separate my feelings about the adaptation from my feelings about the book, but I'm obviously struggling. There are things missing, and parts that are falling flat compared to the novel, but maybe they'd be okay with me if I hadn't read it. Other King adaptations have fallen short by being too faithful to the original, so I am all for making cuts and changes in service to a new medium. But still, something seems off to me.
posted by terilou at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2016

Yeah, I don't actually recall the book terribly well -- I was lukewarm on it, anyway, and I've discovered to my annoyance that hitting 50 and reading a great many books each year (I've always been a voracious reader and now I don't work) has badly taxed my ability to clearly recall what I've read (it's super-annoying because previously in my life I've had unusually strong retention of what I've read and I'm discovering I took this far too much for granted).

Anyway, I'm not much attached to the book and don't remember that much, so I'm inclined to think that I'm not being too terribly influenced by having read it. I think the show has featured Jake and Sadie's relationship prominently and I find it convincing, but I do somehow also agree that some of what is lacking has to do with it, though I'm not sure how.

I read only the first couple of chapters of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and yet I felt similarly -- but much more strongly -- that the adaptation failed in that it was very disjointed. In that case, it felt very much to me like despite the fact that there were six episodes or whatever, it was made up of very disconnected vignettes. Throughout I had a strong sense that I was skimming. This wasn't because I'd read the book, because I hadn't. And people who had read the book, which were almost exclusively those who participated in the FanFare thread, didn't seem to have as much trouble with the show as I did. So sometimes it can work the opposite direction -- having read the book, you unconsciously fill in some of the gaps. Or it least it seemed that way to me.

In this case, I did read the book, and this adaptation isn't nearly as flawed, but it nevertheless feels to me that it suffers some of the same problems.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:22 PM on March 23, 2016

Terrible episode.

I've been increasingly P.O.'d that I got a Hulu subscription just to see this show. And this episode put my displeasure as high as Sadie's nitrous oxide levels in the OR.

First, it was shot with such odd camera angles, and poorly edited and acted at times. Evidently the shoddy storytelling didn't inspire any of the other creative or tech folks.

Second - dramatically I understand why they took the easy route, to give the sole protagonist someone to bounce off of by introducing Bill. But it's like Bill's story took over. And then they had to figure out a way to get rid of him - for almost an entire boring episode.

I don't recall the book in detail. But I do feel major plot points and nuances of Jake's life and relationships, and even the way he studied Oswald, has been messed with.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:34 AM on March 25, 2016

Yeah, I don't remember Bill being in the book. I just assumed the show's creators said, "Well, without a voiceover we're kind of lacking in ways to let Jake tell the audience what he knows, so we need a stand-in ... for about seven episodes. Well, hell. What do we do to get rid of him once he has served his purpose?"
posted by komara at 7:08 PM on March 29, 2016

I've been increasingly P.O.'d that I got a Hulu subscription just to see this show.

Fargo Season 1 is on Hulu, so if you haven't seen it yet, it's a worthwhile way to justify the fee.
posted by mochapickle at 7:56 PM on April 5, 2016

« Older The Magicians: Homecoming...   |  Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Josh Has ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments