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Thread: 'The Expanse'

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW SciSarahTops's Avatar
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    'The Expanse'

    Is anyone else watching? For me it was a medium-slow burn, but now I am hooked in deep. Second season has just started.

    Set in multiple locations in a post-colonial solar system, it's a mystery slash thriller, with a cop show framework. The politics is intricate and that aspect of the show is getting very interesting.
    It looks great and I'm at the point where I like most of the characters (have crush on a couple).

    I have been on the edge of my seat for the last couple of episodes.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3230854/
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    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    I am a huge fan, but I'm a hard-SF girl at heart. I think it really kicked in around Episode 4 of the first season. Like any episodic story, it's going to have bits that work better than others, but so much of it is working really well.

    I've read the first of the books, and I have to say I like a lot of the small changes they've made for the TV show. In particular, in the book the Roci crew unites under Holden pretty quickly. The suspicions and tensions we've had on the show seem much more realistic to me. And Miller's obsession with Julie Mao works so much better for me on screen.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW SciSarahTops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    I am a huge fan, but I'm a hard-SF girl at heart. I think it really kicked in around Episode 4 of the first season. Like any episodic story, it's going to have bits that work better than others, but so much of it is working really well.

    I've read the first of the books, and I have to say I like a lot of the small changes they've made for the TV show. In particular, in the book the Roci crew unites under Holden pretty quickly. The suspicions and tensions we've had on the show seem much more realistic to me. And Miller's obsession with Julie Mao works so much better for me on screen.
    YES! Glad to see another fan. I've not read the books, and I probably won't now until the show is done.
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  4. #4
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SciSarahTops View Post
    YES! Glad to see another fan. I've not read the books, and I probably won't now until the show is done.
    They're combining some of the book storylines, which I also think is working well (and is a real advantage, I think, of the visual medium). Avasarala, for instance, isn't in the first book at all, so even though there's an arc in the first book that they haven't completed yet in the show, there's all kinds of things going on that I don't know anything about.
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  5. #5
    Forever learning TravelHat's Avatar
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    The Expanse is one of the few shows I watch live. That says a lot, as I don't watch much TV, and when I do it is usually news or Netflix.

    I am currently about a quarter into the third book, and it brings on a lot of new characters. Haven't "bonded" with them yet.

    Will keep watching and reading.

  6. #6
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    The Expanse is freaking fantastic and I love it to pieces.

    I've read ALL SIX books and they are putting foreshadowing in at the beginning of the series that will not be important until the end of the series, and that is how you do an adaptation!
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    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    I've read ALL SIX books and they are putting foreshadowing in at the beginning of the series that will not be important until the end of the series, and that is how you do an adaptation!
    This is really the key, I think. They're not slavishly adapting each novel, they're looking at the larger story and building it out as a visual whole. They are paying attention, and treating it with respect.
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  8. #8
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I adore this series, in print as well as television. They're doing a fabulous job of adapting it.

    This M/M space opera
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW SciSarahTops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    I've read ALL SIX books
    Quote Originally Posted by TravelHat View Post
    I am currently about a quarter into the third book, and it brings on a lot of new characters. Haven't "bonded" with them yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    They're combining some of the book storylines, which I also think is working well (and is a real advantage, I think, of the visual medium).
    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    I adore this series, in print as well as television. They're doing a fabulous job of adapting it.
    Okay, well this has convinced me to read the series. I'll finish my current two reads and shunt 'The Expanse' to the top of the pile...

    Edit to Add; Love that one of the books is called "The Churn" was particularly taken by Amos' phrase.
    Last edited by SciSarahTops; 02-14-2017 at 12:12 AM. Reason: additional comment did not warrant new post
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    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    Also, as a squishy SJW, I am so so so VERY happy with the casting. Like, everyone looks exactly like their characters! I read the second book before the second season started and I was like, "man! I do not envy the casting director who needs to find a six foot tall, muscle bound samoan woman who is also an actor."

    And, hey, it turns out that if you LOOK for people, you can FIND them! Shocking, I know!?
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    I finished the last 2 books just this past week. So much enjoyment, and so much love for Avarasala. Crissy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    "man! I do not envy the casting director who needs to find a six foot tall, muscle bound samoan woman who is also an actor."
    The casting is great, but I am not a fan of Bobbie's characterization right now. Is that how she came across in her early appearances?

    I also think the casting skewed younger than I expected. Based on everyone having a history, the crew of the Roci should be a bit older. Maybe not Alex. Amos definitely feels too young for being off earth so long.
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    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    Bobby's character, in the book, is introduced after the tension between Earth and Mars simmered down. Her being more aggro now does make sense - but as per usual, a lot of the characterization hinges on the development.

    If they keep the same trajectory for Bobby, Holden, and other characters as they did in the books, then things will be good.

    If they fuck it up, then everyone is on fire forever.

    Also, for the skewing younger...nah, the Roci always seemed to be mid to late 20s. Plus, medical technology in the future is pretty swank.
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    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    Bobby's character, in the book, is introduced after the tension between Earth and Mars simmered down. Her being more aggro now does make sense - but as per usual, a lot of the characterization hinges on the development.
    The Martian crew seems a bit...volatile right now. And wow, she does mouth off at her superior officer. Politely, of course, but he's giving her an awful lot of leeway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    Also, for the skewing younger...nah, the Roci always seemed to be mid to late 20s. Plus, medical technology in the future is pretty swank.
    Holden is the only one that I have a wee bit of trouble buying in the part. No offense to the actor, who's clearly good, but he's way too young and skinny for the Holden I pictured. He is, however, young enough to be as unrelentingly idealistic and stupid as Holden is, so there's that.

    Love the rest, Miller in particular. Like I said above, I find his character so much more interesting on the show, and I think that's down to the actor. Being told that the guy's a run-down alcoholic with nothing to live for is one thing, but the actor makes it work without saying a word. He's been deteriorating very credibly.
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    practical experience, FTW SciSarahTops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    Love the rest, Miller in particular. Like I said above, I find his character so much more interesting on the show,
    Also love Miller, as soon as they started showing backstory with Semi, and him manipulating the belters to his own ends he became so interesting. Not just a guy with a weird crush. I am also finding I have an inexplicable crush.

    I love Avasarala. Husband finds her overdone but I love that lady who plays her with the beautiful husky voice, she's unusual, and a beautiful older woman, and I love the recent stories with her spinning wheels to survive, both personally and on a solar scale.

    Big crush on Amos because biceps and eyes, but also because there's more to him than meets the eye. (I hope!)

    Holden I find a little hammy in places, but I love his backstory and I can easily let it slide. He is extremely skinny since thew radiation exposure but I guess that's about right.

    Love the Martians so far. Love the "is Frank a butcher, a terrorist or a humanitarian" aspect of the show.
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    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    To be fair, my tolerance for ham is extremely high - I'm a huge fan of Babylon 5, after all.

    SO!

    LATEST EPISODE!

    It's the first time where a change from the book to the show has left me less satisfied. So, there's this big twist at the end of the latest episode which is an amazing pants-shitting holy crap moment in the book...and they didn't QUITE have the same punch as in the novel.

    Because in the novel, the moment comes with fantastic dialog that they removed from the show for reasons, I'm sure. I just can't think of any.
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    Willing to Learn MythMonger's Avatar
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    Interesting to find this thread. I had just watched the first episode, but a few things about it rubbed me the wrong way and I wasn't going to watch any more.

    Since you all speak so glowingly about it, I'll give it a few more episodes. We'll see.
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    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MythMonger View Post
    Interesting to find this thread. I had just watched the first episode, but a few things about it rubbed me the wrong way and I wasn't going to watch any more.

    Since you all speak so glowingly about it, I'll give it a few more episodes. We'll see.
    Curious what problems you had with the first episode, because I too found bits of it problematic. I had the same issues with the book, and I stuck with the series mostly because a) ooo, pretty!; b) the book made me forgive the problematic bits - eventually; and c) people I have some respect for have said that further along in the series some of the issues I have are treated with far more nuance.

    Specifically, my problems were (I'm going to spoiler, even though I'm talking about the first ep of the first season):

    1) Gratuitous sex scene is gratuitous.
    2) Ade's entire character, and her death as some kind of Deep Emotional Motivation for Holden. Classic fridging stuff. (I also have to say the nuking of the Canterbury was far more horrific and chilling in the book, but to be fair, I don't think they could have translated it to the screen that way and had it work.)
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    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    There is one justification for that sex scene, and it is SUPER stupid!

    ...it's showing the leyperson the connection between acceleration and gravity in a very eye-catching way!

    But I admit, I'm really reaching.
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  19. #19
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    There is one justification for that sex scene, and it is SUPER stupid!

    ...it's showing the leyperson the connection between acceleration and gravity in a very eye-catching way!

    But I admit, I'm really reaching.


    I think another justification is "first episode of new show let's snag us some RATINGS," and since it seemed to work (or at least didn't hurt them), I'm cool with it.
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    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    Nerd comment: It is amazingly refreshing to see a SF TV show that knows you don't need metrion cascades or xindi superweapons or nanophages to (effectively) destroy a planet.

    You just need ROCKS!

    It's The Expanse and Babylon 5.
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  21. #21
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    I started watching The Expanse recently thanks to my boyfriend. Seriously considering picking up the novels. Love it. Love the characters, the setting...and very inspiring for any budding science fiction writer.

  22. #22
    Willing to Learn MythMonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizmonster View Post
    Curious what problems you had with the first episode, because I too found bits of it problematic.
    I thought a bit of it was too ham handed for my taste. Specifically, the UN official's tickle fight with her grandson, which I thought was taking a shortcut to say "look, she's a good person because tickling!" Sure enough, she was doing involved in something horrible not long after that (gravity torture).

    The hat. I really hate affectations sometimes, and this is one of them. It made the show look B grade.

    I had mixed reactions about the navigator and the XO. The zero G sex scene implied the show is taking its science pretty seriously (I'm trying really hard not to say 'hard scifi' after talking about a sex scene, lol) but then there was the corny joke about thrust adjustment. Ugh. At the very end, had the same misgivings you did, lizmonster.

    However, watched episode 1 again, and glad I did. Started to piece some things together I had missed before, caught a few more jokes. Maybe I was just crankier the first time around.
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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW SciSarahTops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    There is one justification for that sex scene, and it is SUPER stupid!

    ...it's showing the leyperson the connection between acceleration and gravity in a very eye-catching way!

    But I admit, I'm really reaching.
    I didn't mind the sex scene, I had never considered sex in zero-g (I know! what kind of sci-fi fan am I anyway?)

    I also didn't mind the stupid hat, mainly because they have had to create a few very distinct cultures on the show and I think they've done an amazing job of that. Hats might be well be cool in the future, and also there is a story behind the hat that we see later. I don't see it as any different than the mohicans or tattoos people sport.



    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    To be fair, my tolerance for ham is extremely high - I'm a huge fan of Babylon 5, after all.

    SO!

    LATEST EPISODE!

    It's the first time where a change from the book to the show has left me less satisfied. So, there's this big twist at the end of the latest episode which is an amazing pants-shitting holy crap moment in the book...and they didn't QUITE have the same punch as in the novel.

    Because in the novel, the moment comes with fantastic dialog that they removed from the show for reasons, I'm sure. I just can't think of any.
    I was chilled to the bone by the revelation at the end, and that was after watching half the ep one night and having to pick it up the next night (massive break in tension)

    I can forgive almost anything in The Expanse at this point. I honestly think it's my favourite thing I've ever seen on TV ever. I am, also watching "The Magicians", the book series is one of my favourites and I have been consistently disappointed by the show, although there have been some great episodes, on the whole it's a horrible superficial enactment of very nuanced books. So yeah, in comparison, this is GOLD/OXYGEN/WATER
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  24. #24
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    So funny this thread came up as I was ranting/complaining to a friend recently about the absence of any really good new science fiction shows on TV that aren't the mindless sitcom style writings like Big Bang Theory.

    She mentioned that The Expanse was something she'd just read about in People Magazine or some entertainment mag - a blurb in one of those said that The Expanse is one of the best shows you aren't watching (or something like that).

    I'd forgotten about it at the time until I saw this thread. Now I may have to check out the show! LOL
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  25. #25
    All the nopes. lizmonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBJason View Post
    I'd forgotten about it at the time until I saw this thread. Now I may have to check out the show! LOL
    I loved it from the start, but narratively I do think it takes a few episodes to settle in. The first and second episodes are largely setup, but after that the characters start to differentiate and the complexity of the storyline becomes more apparent.

    And it is all soooo pretty. Even the "largely setup" bits are gorgeous. This isn't clean, polished, "2001" space. This is grimy, battered, people-actually-live-here space.
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