PDA

View Full Version : AMC's Turn



angeliz2k
04-11-2014, 03:38 AM
This is a new historical drama on AMC starring Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull, a spy during the Revolutionary War.

Did anyone else watch the premiere Sunday night? I watched it Monday since I was too busy watching Game of Thrones live (I like the show; my roommate likes it more; I'm fine with watching it live and saving Turn for the next day; so we watched that on the TV on Sunday).

I was very excited for this show, since I love historical dramas, the time period is intriguing, I was thinking of writing about a similar topic, it's on AMC (with its track record of quality shows), and it stars Jamie Bell (whom I've always liked). Honestly, I was slightly underwhelmed. I enjoyed it, but it seemed a bit lacking in vitality. I've seen a review or two that point out it's the anti-GoT in that it isn't a-murder-a-second. It's also the anti-Mad Men in that Abe, at least, is a good man and not an antihero. And I can tell that the intrigue is just getting underway.

But in spite of the fact that it's getting away from the insanity and moral ickiness of other shows (which I applaud), I wasn't as drawn in as I would have like. It seemed a little unfocused to me. If they're going to go with a thriller, I felt they needed to keep us aware at all times of the tension, which I didn't really feel. There were moments when I wasn't sure what was going on, exactly, until later. For instance, I had no idea what Abe was doing at night with his cabbages until he started talking about selling them quite a bit later--and I'm still not sure whether he just happened upon Caleb or whether Caleb was waiting for him there or whether Abe was directed towards Caleb before he even set out.

I certainly will keep with it. It feels like they're just getting things going, so I think I can be patient for a while. The acting was good, though the accents (or rather, the variation in the accents) was a bit distracting.

Anyone else?

Calla Lily
04-11-2014, 04:12 PM
We watched it. I was okay with the slow beginning because of all the characters they had to establish. I'm not exactly hooked by the MC, but the production values were high and to my eyes it looked pretty authentic. I get the feeling they're using a lot of reenactors, which seems to be working.

Yeah, the accents. I'm noticing that more and more in shows.

We'll certainly give it one or two more episodes.

angeliz2k
04-11-2014, 07:34 PM
Calla Lily, I was more drawn to Anna than Abe Woodhull (the MC).

I would be fine with British or ambiguous accents for these characters (after all, the idea of America as separate from Britain was just emerging at the time), but it was a little odd to have Abe speak in a Northern English accent (right?) while his father spoke American/Canadian English.

Gravity
04-13-2014, 08:43 AM
I tried to like it, but there's something in my brain wiring that heard most of the dialog as bunch of glottal mumbling. Maybe it's my dyslexia, but I threw in the towel after twenty minutes.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
04-13-2014, 12:00 PM
I was most offended by the MC's very hipster knit cap. I imagine there were things like knit caps around at that time, but it SO looked like something you'd pick up in a shop on Polk Street. I kept thinking he needed one of those wrap-around scarves...

Other than that I was neither amazed nor underwhelmed. With the Mad Men lead-in (or is it out?) I'll probably stick around for a few more episodes at least.

Mudcat
04-16-2014, 06:04 AM
I watched episode 1. Not the worst thing I have ever seen but I am pretty selective and am passing.

Sunflowerrei
04-16-2014, 07:49 AM
I watched the first episode last night and caught the second episode re-run tonight. I like it so far. I'm known among my friends as the one who doesn't watch TV, so I'll see if I stick with it. Interesting time in history, high production values, good acting. Based on a true story--I certainly never learned about the Culper spies in school.

Also, being from New York, it's fun to see Revolutionary era New York/New Jersey/Connecticut.

But yeah, the accents are throwing me off a little. I feel like I'll like Turn more on DVD when I can have subtitles.

angeliz2k
04-16-2014, 04:21 PM
I liked the second episode better. It was pretty strong and had me wondering what would happen next--Robert Rogers runs into our own Abe Woodhull. Good stuff there.

They're still not doing a good job of making it clear who knows what and why they're telling people what they tell them. We can only imply and infer--a little assistance from the writers would be nice. Still, it's worth my time!

Sunflowerrei
04-22-2014, 07:28 AM
Did anybody see the third episode? I think it's moving along a lot better, though the special FX of Caleb at the end of the episode looked SO computer-generated.

angeliz2k
05-09-2014, 04:48 PM
Has anyone else been keeping up? I think the show is really picking up speed. I'm really liking Robert Rogers, who seems not to be admirably free of the hang-ups of both Patriots and Redcoats. (I mean, he's a mercenary, so . . . )

I enjoyed the reveal of George Washington, and that Rogers referred to him as Georgie.

I also was very interested in the story of the slaves (Abby and her son) getting underway. I think it might be the most interesting storyline for me so far. This show has some flaws (pacing, for one), but it does NOT shy away from moral ambiguity. Our heroes own slaves, but the British who are "freeing" them are barely less exploitative than the slave owners. It's all quite messy and quite true.

msza45
05-13-2014, 04:52 AM
I am writing a story in this period, so I was thrilled to get wind of this. I didn't find out about it until the second episode. I'm actually not enjoying it very much, but from the perspective of a period writer, it's very helpful!

Belle_91
05-22-2014, 11:04 PM
I was really excited about this show. I love this time period, and thought this would be a show I could get into.

For me, I had trouble following it, and I didn't find it interesting at all. For a person who loves history and this time period, I feel like that's kind of bad for the show. I thought it was too slow, and have only watched two episodes.

I HATE the way all of the British are portrayed as these two-dimensional villains. For me, the show was sort of like a mini-series for The Patriot, so I haven't been keeping up with it.

bluelight
06-17-2014, 07:14 AM
I HATE the way all of the British are portrayed as these two-dimensional villains. For me, the show was sort of like a mini-series for The Patriot, so I haven't been keeping up with it.

Yeah, all of them but Andre are portrayed as pretty awful human beings. I didn't like The Patriot at all but by the end of the season I really got in to Turn. Does anyone know if it will get a second season?

angeliz2k
06-17-2014, 05:03 PM
Uh, are we watching the same show? The only British soldier who's portrayed as being at all "bad" is Simcoe, and he's one of the more delightful characters on the show because he clearly doesn't give a crap--he's ruthless.

Mr. Baker is portrayed as a decent guy, as is Hewlett. Robert Rogers is a mercenary s.o.b. but we end up rooting for him because he doesn't have the kind of racial/social hang-ups as some of his contemporaries.

And nor are the Rebels portrayed as saints. There's uncertainty about the cause and a few less-than-honorable actions.

I have issues with the show--the direction is a bit off so that it's hard to tell what exactly a particular character is thinking at any given moment, the pacing is bad, etc.--but they do offer what I consider a pretty even-handed portrayal of events.

bluelight
06-17-2014, 05:49 PM
I think it's more that none of the Red Coats are remotely relatable, so we therefore don't sympathize with them. Hewlett's not bad, but he's a far cry the scrappy heroes we're presented with on the patriot side, and a far cry from sage old General Washington who we got a glimpse of early in the season.

I like Andre because I like the actor, the character's quite intelligent, and I know his ultimate fate, which makes me predisposed to sympathize with him, I guess. Even Ensign Baker was never very sympathetic to me because, while a nice guy, there was never much more to him than that.

And I agree. None of the rebels are portrayed as saints either. Abe was actually one of my least favorite characters throughout the first season. I found him pretty annoying most of the time. Haha I guess I should have prefaced all of this by saying Ben, Andre, Rogers, and Anna are the only characters I care about on this show. Abe's wife is looking pretty interesting right now too though. After the finale, I have to say I like her style. :D

JGL101
06-27-2014, 02:38 AM
And the verdict:

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/06/23/turn-renewed-season-2/

Marlys
06-27-2014, 03:01 AM
Not gripping.

Lillith1991
06-02-2015, 01:07 PM
Bumping the thread even though it's been dead for a year!

I just recently started watching this, and was wondering if anyone else still watched it. This is a time in history and subject that really interests me, and I wasn't disappointed. I know other people aren't all that fond of the slow start it had, but I thought it was nice. And season two isn't certainly more fast paced than season one was. The accuracy is splendid as far as TV shows go except for a few points in the show, and I've got no issue understanding people.

angeliz2k
06-02-2015, 04:31 PM
*Raises hand* I'm still watching. I think I'm less fond of season two, which is certainly faster-paced but maybe too much so. They're actually taking a lot of liberties with history, afaik. For instance, the painter lady at the opening of the season who is--gasp!--murdered (the real Patience Wright was spoken too sternly once or twice for having Patriot opinions, but she died at an old age after breaking her leg), and the nonsense with Washington and his slave (I highly doubt the very reserved general would have ever spoken that way with a slave, ever). And the stuff with Hewlett being tossed in a stockade to freeze to death (officers were not treated that way!) and Simcoe being stabbed in the gut . . . Keep in mind, these were real people. They seem to have upped the violence rate to make it faster-paced.

BUT, I am enjoying it. I also just rewatched the miniseries John Adams, which is a masterful look at the time period (and later). An interesting contrast.

mayqueen
06-02-2015, 05:04 PM
I watched Season 1 on Netflix, but I don't feel like paying for episodes from Season 2. It was mostly just something to watch for me. I really wanted to like the show. War! Spies! Intrigue! But it was really, really boring to me. I agree that the British characters all felt really flat, which made it hard to sympathize with them. And the one true villain, Simcoe, just bored me. I hate when characters are just mercilessly bad for no good reason that I can tell. I found Abe extremely boring and not that sympathetic. I liked him in the first episode. I liked the portrayal of a guy trying to do the right thing in a bad situation. But after that, he just seemed really, I don't know, petulant (?) to me, like he was doing everything just to piss off Dad.

I'll probably watch a couple of episodes of S2 when it comes on Netflix.

Lillith1991
06-02-2015, 05:25 PM
Oh, I agree they take liberties. But they take far less of them than other TV shows do when trying to recreate a historical period, especially most that take place during the Revolutionary War. It was refreshing to see both sides shown without half as many of the strawmen that normally come along to bolster the Partriot cause, as if it even needs the sort of bolstering normally given. I'm hoping that if they do a third season, the pacing will finally settle down into the just right zone.

On another note... does anyone else find themselves liking Major Hewlett? He's grown on me rather quickly, and just seems to get more and more endearing as time goes on. John Andre too for that matter, because damn that many really really does actually love Peggy. He looked like he was going to be sick when asking her to stay in Philidelphia, and then he looked ready to cry right after she left. Normally I don't feel much sympathy for the British because of how they're written, but this show makes me feel for both sides.

Lillith1991
06-02-2015, 05:40 PM
I watched Season 1 on Netflix, but I don't feel like paying for episodes from Season 2. It was mostly just something to watch for me. I really wanted to like the show. War! Spies! Intrigue! But it was really, really boring to me. I agree that the British characters all felt really flat, which made it hard to sympathize with them. And the one true villain, Simcoe, just bored me. I hate when characters are just mercilessly bad for no good reason that I can tell. I found Abe extremely boring and not that sympathetic. I liked him in the first episode. I liked the portrayal of a guy trying to do the right thing in a bad situation. But after that, he just seemed really, I don't know, petulant (?) to me, like he was doing everything just to piss off Dad.

I'll probably watch a couple of episodes of S2 when it comes on Netflix.

I don't think the British characters fell flat, or not the ones we spend the most time with I should say. Hewlett came and still comes across as a rather awkward man, who isn't as good as others at human interaction. I personally find his strong friendship that can at times border on old-married-couple with Richard Woodhull endearing during season one, because he really does seem to care for Richard. Simcoe is pretty much pure evil and revels in it, but he also is in love with Anna Strong. He's creepy as all hell with how agressive his advances are, but for all that creepiness only wants her to love him back. John Andre is an ass and former womanizer, who falls in genuine love during season two.

CrastersBabies
06-02-2015, 10:37 PM
I haven't watched it, but want to. I dread all of the history folks droning on about how that one type of button on someone's jacket wouldn't match the exact fucking time the story took place. A part of the world dies inside every time someone bitches about accuracy.

angeliz2k
06-02-2015, 11:14 PM
Honestly, things like costume, weaponry, etc., aren't a biggee for me. My main "accuracy" issues have been mostly about actions being a little "off" for the time period, e.g. the treatment of officers and old Georgey-boy going a little batshit with his slave. It only really bothered me in one episode. In the main, it's pretty decent, historically. :)

DancingMaenid
06-03-2015, 10:30 AM
On another note... does anyone else find themselves liking Major Hewlett? He's grown on me rather quickly, and just seems to get more and more endearing as time goes on. John Andre too for that matter, because damn that many really really does actually love Peggy. He looked like he was going to be sick when asking her to stay in Philidelphia, and then he looked ready to cry right after she left. Normally I don't feel much sympathy for the British because of how they're written, but this show makes me feel for both sides.

I like Hewlett, too! Though, I'm also a little biased because I like the actor, Burn Gorman, a lot.

Both Hewlett and Andre have gotten more characterization this season. I didn't really care for Andre last season, but I like him this season.

Simcoe is just so evil that he kind of gets on my nerves. Like, dude, could you have any more of a mustache-twirling villain? But Simcoe also makes me think a lot about the accuracy of the portrayal of some of the lesser-known historical figures on the show. Simcoe really did exist, and some of the stuff on the show does seem to be taken from his actual life, but I kind of have a hard time believing he was that unrepentantly horrible in real life, but then again, I guess you never know. I also have a hard time imagining how the Simcoe on the show could end up becoming an influential political figure in British-ruled Canada, since he seems like a pretty loose cannon.

I'm a little annoyed by Washington on the show. He comes across as very arrogant to me.

mayqueen
06-03-2015, 04:32 PM
I like Hewlett, but he felt pretty one-note. Probably because in S1, he did not, to my memory, have any scenes outside of the church/stable. And I agree with DancingMaenid that Simcoe is too much of caricature villain. I didn't get at all that he loves Anna, and even if he did, that doesn't give him sufficient motivation, in my opinion. I think that's my problem. I don't get his motivation.

Lillith1991
06-05-2015, 02:37 PM
I like Hewlett, but he felt pretty one-note. Probably because in S1, he did not, to my memory, have any scenes outside of the church/stable. And I agree with DancingMaenid that Simcoe is too much of caricature villain. I didn't get at all that he loves Anna, and even if he did, that doesn't give him sufficient motivation, in my opinion. I think that's my problem. I don't get his motivation.

Having recently watched the show, I can say he deffinitly did have scenes outside the church/stable. They mostly took place in Judge Woodhull's house though, and he has much more variety in scenage during this season. It's mostly outdoors, but it's deffinitly somethingthing! And I found Hewlett's scenes with the Judge telling in there own right, because he seemed comfortable and a bit less restrained in the Judge's prescence. I doubt that he would've let Abe off with just the oath if Richard hadn't suggested it, because it didn't seem to occure to him at all as an option without prompting. And then when it was an obvious option he practically jumped on it.

As for Simcoe's portrayal as a consumate villain? I think we need only look to history to prove that an evil person can love, and that they can govern well in comparisson to a good person who is bad at it. Being evil doesn't preclude leadership ability. I do however wish they hadn't been quite so heavyhanded though, because it makes his attraction to Anna seem like he's just stalking her and is liable to force himself on her at any second during season one. Which is contradicted in season two, because he actually admits straight out to being in love with her. Multiple times. The best I can gather is that we're supposed to think his stalking turned into love along the way, which is the only way his behavior to her makes sense when looking at both seasons. And that still makes for a very icky dynamic!

Also, anyone else dying to know what the hell is going on with Robeson? Rogers makes him a spy and Abe is supposed to care for him, but we never see Abe doing that. It's a missed opprotunity storywise.