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The Sandman on Netflix


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...heh. So, while greedily anticipating the new clutch of children of the night this series will doubtless inspire, a quick note...

Sweet Freya in Asgard, Neil's only gone and done it.

 

Admittedly, he'd learned a lot from personally showrunning Good Omens, and working on American Gods and Anansi Boys.

And pitched it with the highly experienced David Goyer to multiple networks and streamers, to the ones who were prepared to throw the most money and creative freedom at it.

 

Netflix took a punt on it: it's now #1 in over 100 countries and getting serious critical reviews. It is, as they say, a thing.

And the two best episodes...

Spoiler

...don't even have the mighty-cheekboned Tom Sturridge front and centre.

 

The series has been cunningly (re)structured in such a way as to pull off a kinda-sorta narrative that newbies and fussier home viewers can deal with.  Sure, there's a bad guy of sorts in The Corinthian, and a recognisable arc.  But it's also stuffing in many of the Sandman Greatest Hits from across the years.

 

Episode 5 is 24/7 - a combination of issue 6 "24", and issue 7 "Sound and Fury". In which John (masterfully played by David Thewlis) uses Dream's ruby to screw with the inhabitants of a typical roadside diner. Warning you now: it is Neil's nasty side on full view.

 

We then flip back immediately to Neil's nice side, with Sound of Her Wings - introducing Dream's delightful sister Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), and their shared bet/experiment on Hob Gadling (Ferdinand Kingsley). And some fat pigeons.

 

Some other notes:

  • Brit comedians Sanjeev Bhaskar and Asim Chaudhry kill it (and each other) as Cain & Abel..
  • ..and you are not emotionally ready for Gregory. His two minutes of screentime will Pixar you into blubbering submission.
  • There are few more reliable practitioners of Haughty British Evil than Charles Dance, and he naturally nails Burgess.
  • Jenna Coleman turns up as a stylish, snappy and substantially cleaner genderflipped Constantine (due to WB internal rights issues rather than Neil's whims), but who is just of much as a shambles as a human being.
  • And a surprise bonus of Patton Oswalt as Matthew, who serves not only as Dream's guide but our Everyraven asking pertinent questions (like "...why are we going to Hell again?")

 

Still working my way through the final three eps - which are basically The Doll's House...

...and I'm presumably about to get destroyed by Martin Tenbones. Again. 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver
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I like all of it, EXCEPT Patton Oswalt. I find him to not be funny, he's a rambler who punctuates swear words to get his effect.

 

I could have seen Eddie Izzard doing the part or Stephen Fry...maybe Billy Connolly. 

 

As someone who has zero experience with the Sandman series I am pleased with the story and cast. Gwendolyn Christie as a gender bender Lucifer wasn't too far of a stretch compared to Tom Ellis (supposed to be a blonde!!!) take on Lucifer.

But, really if Lucifer was a gender it would have to be a woman and Gwendolyns mannerisms were perfect at least in my book.

 

David Thewlis in his role is one creepy bastard, the diner sequence I think is worse than hell. 

I miss the days of Professor Lupin.

 

Overall I like it, it's different with a familiar yet unfamiliar mythology.

 

 

 

 

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I liked everything except Oswalt too, but I've disliked him in everything except MODOK, which he was born to play seeing as they're both giant floating baby heads. Other than that and the score being a bit much here and there, i thought it was very well done.

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I'm skipping this as I don't like Neil Gaiman's stuff.

 

My daughter and I tried Good Omens as Terry Pratchett can be funny , but we both just found it boring and unfunny.

 

And I tried American Gods because it has Ian McShane in it, but just found it aggressively bad and stupid.

 

It's just not the stuff for me.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, The_Warpact said:

Gwendolyn Christie as a gender bender Lucifer wasn't too far of a stretch compared to Tom Ellis (supposed to be a blonde!!!) take on Lucifer.

 

She's not-too-subtly called out Ellis in interviews and EPKs. Mischievous bugger... then again, I suppose that's in character too?

 

Fry is in this as well as Gilbert, aka Fiddler's Green. Haven't quite got to that bit yet...

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver
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6 hours ago, DougGraves said:

I'm skipping this as I don't like Neil Gaiman's stuff.

 

My daughter and I tried Good Omens as Terry Pratchett can be funny , but we both just found it boring and unfunny.

 

And I tried American Gods because it has Ian McShane in it, but just found it aggressively bad and stupid.

 

It's just not the stuff for me.

Maybe the abstract beings having existential crises genre just isn't for you 😜

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Binged it last week. 

I thought it was brilliant. Brought back memories of the books, not exact of course (you can see where the suits pushed for "representation" and a bit of current popular agenda), but not enough to ruin it, so I didn't mind. It was really well done. I think I'll watch it again just to take in more of the art direction in each frame. It's amazing to have the technology to bring Gaiman's imagination to life, much more than what the graphic novels could.

@DougGraves Gaiman is an awesome author. But in the same breath, he's not for everyone. Moreover, not all of his work is that great (though personally I think most are). The Sandman series in my opinion is his best work. Coraline is another good one (which my daughter and I still rewatch--and she's 22 now). Good omens was a better read than a TV show, I think (and you're right: it should've just been Omens haha). I hope you give it a go and see.

Fiddler's Green and the Corinthian were superbly cast and played. 

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Overall 80% for me.

 

Episode 1 was meh.  Pacing was terrible.  Sadly the same for 24/7.

Christie didn't project enough menace for me.  Ellis could have done it (he does menace well), but it's not the blonde thing is the issue, it's the weight of an entirely different version of Lucifer he'd bring with him is the issue.  Pity he couldn't have done this first.

 

Definitely tops Good Omens. For me that show immediately tanked every time Tennant and Sheen were offscreen.  That doesn't happen with Sandman.

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13 hours ago, Mr. Vee said:

Maybe the abstract beings having existential crises genre just isn't for you 😜

 

Or even other abstract beings, for that matter.

(Oh, and Kirby delivered this bit brilliantly 😁)

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23 hours ago, The_Warpact said:

I like all of it, EXCEPT Patton Oswalt. I find him to not be funny, he's a rambler who punctuates swear words to get his effect.

Tell me about it, he was on MST3K the return as the TV's Frank replacement and . . . just no.

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21 hours ago, Darmian said:

For me that show immediately tanked every time Tennant and Sheen were offscreen. 

...or any time Jack Whitehall was on it, in my case.

 

Still don't know what they're up to with Good Omens 2. With that in final edit (wrapped in March) and Anansi Boys in post-prod, Neil's gotta be pretty busy right now...

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  • 2 weeks later

Waking up this thread: if you've finished Sandman already, Netflix sorta-by-accident dropped the bonus episode early.

It was supposed to be a treat for fans later in the year (Halloween or Christmas), but Still Watching got hold of the wrong preview clips. So...

 

Spoiler

It's two shorts that don't really fit anywhere else in the series, much like the books - Dream Of A Thousand Cats mostly made me want to pet all the things, but deeply affecting, a vivid dream. Whereas Calliope, which I hadn't read before, comes over like Tales Of The Unexpected: the genteel British cousin of Twilight Zone, though with darker overtones and things hinted at and best left to imagination.

 

For "bonus content", it's one hell of a cast and budget - animation of that quality doesn't come cheap. There's a large chunk of the audiobook cast and friends on voicing, whereas the reliably evil, sneering and spiteful Jacobi hands over to Darvill's nerd-turned-nasty for the live action.

 

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Thing I learned today: Encephalitis Lethargica, the Sleepy Sickness, is real. And has nothing to do with bottling naked goths.

(Not that that's a wise idea. We don't like it much. There will be glowering.)

It's also the disease Oliver Sacks treated at Beth Abram in the Bronx, which became the book and then rather good movie Awakenings

Didn't make that connection at all, but now..

 

We don't know much more about it - like the precise cause - since there hasn't, thankfully, been another major outbreak since the one that came on the heels of "Spanish" Flu in 1917-1921.

 

Mr. Gaiman does seem to be very well read.

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  • 2 weeks later
On 8/25/2022 at 5:53 PM, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Mr. Gaiman does seem to be very well read.

I believe I read Alan Moore credited Gaiman in the back of From Hell for helping him out with some historically-correct cursing by noting that "Neil Gaiman has a dirty mouth in seven centuries."

 

Great series, was very very pleased with it.  Really happy it's been so popular - maybe Netflix won't kill it after season two!

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1 hour ago, Clave Dark 5 said:

Really happy it's been so popular - maybe Netflix won't kill it after season two!

They do have to confirm an S2 first

 

It was #1 in several countries not just for weeks, but for the specific time window Netflix uses for evaluation. (It's slightly odd: for a subscription service and alleged breaker of conventions, they take a lot from the world of regular telly.)

 

Mary Sue spotted that a WGA credit for S2 has been put up, minus one writer from the original team (Lauren Bello - which would be a touch gutting, as she wrote the script for Sound Of Her Wings.)

 

HOWEVER: a lot of production houses will submit placeholder registrations if they think a sequel is inbound. And as we know from recent events chez WB, even having film in a can ain't no guarantee that a new series will happen.

 

As @neilhimself noted - he owns exactly none of the rights to the characters (and neither do Netflix if it came to a fight). DC do. But Neil owns the character's souls. It's a very peculiar vision and would need at least some of his blessing, which previous scripts didn't.

 

Showrunning Good Omens - which came out not just brilliantly, but on time and within a reasonable shouting distance of the original budget - also made Neil a bankable producer with a head for business, cinematic vision and entertaining audiences. So it makes sense to have Neil in charge.

 

That said. Netflix and WB are both in financial trouble, WB-D worse. HBO Max badly needs more hits to survive the reboot.  The books have been flying off the shelves and merch is coming.And David Zaslav is a hardnosed shark, not a creative. If Zaslav smells money in the water, and S2 isn't yet at least optioned, it might not be the easy layup you might think. 

 

Also, they have to pick which stories to tackle. The threats from Lucifer & Desire, plus Azazel's brief guest shot (oddly the only bit of CGI that didn't work so well)... they aren't just telegraphing. It's Neil jumping up and down with signal flags screaming Season Of Mists. But if they follow the path of S1, that's one half-season. They've already blitzed Preludes and Nocturnes and Doll's House, plus a couple of bits of Dream Country.

 

I would - and I doubt Neil is a visitor here, but here's hoping - politely ask for a couple of curveballs...

Spoiler
  • Use the plot theme of chaos in the spirit realm from Lucifer's unleashing the hordes of the damned...
  • ...to swing in Jill Thompson's At Death's Door. That's SoM told from Death's perspective, trying to figure out a new home for all these freed souls. She gets, er, help from Delirium, who we haven't seen yet, and has to deal with a lovelorn Edgar Allen Poe yearning for Despair.
  • I'd also like to see them tackle Ed Brubaker's Dead Boy Detectives, in which another Genius Loci like like Gilbert called "Free Country" shelters children (think a self-aware Neverland/Narnia), but is running out of power to do so...

Put together, that produces one more or less thematically consistent season, gives us more Death time and lets Neil spotlight some of his fellow travellers. He's nice like that.

 

Oh, and if there's room for a bonus episode: Midsummer Night's Dream, please, but a full-episode version. Would bet Andy Serkis is already sending begging letters for Puck.

 

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5 minutes ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

(oddly the only bit of CGI that didn't work so well)

I actually enjoyed that, but I did take note that when you don't have lips, "just talking teeth" never looks "right" (see Darkman, who has a line something like "have I become a monster?!", which you can't say if you don't have lips).

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Heh. I'm not sure it's supposed to look right, but it went from "unsettling uncanny valley" to "cartoon". Which seems odd, when they nailed a genuine gaaaaarrrggahaahhaaharrgghghh moment out of me with the Corinthian reveal, even though I knew it was coming.

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  • 1 month later

FYI: after much pointless speculation by Very Online people, Sandman has been renewed for season 2.

 

And while there’s a lot to be said for art and such, or people yapping about new models of entertainment, the reason it’s back is it kept butts on seats, just like movies and tv have for years. Per Deadline… 

"The Sandman", which launched at the start of August, was watched for 69.5M hours in its first week, doubling this in its second to 127.5M, scoring 77.2M in its third week and getting 53.8M in its fourth.

 

Aside from Netflix’s annoying habit of reporting streaming hours without the number of viewers, that’s still an awful lot of folks - and the kind of big bump in the second week from word of mouth studios kill for.

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On 11/3/2022 at 10:50 AM, Cancrusher said:

Good.  I really enjoyed the show.  Was afraid I was going to get pulled in and then get the shaft, like I did with American Gods.  

 

Still kinda steamed about American Gods. 😛

Still wondering what's happening with Anansi Boys.

 

Neil said in June that primary shoots and grading were done - but that post-production was going to take until June 2023...

...the hell is that boy cooking up? I guess Amazon aren't averse to major league SFX budgets these days, but it's only six standard-length episodes.

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