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Old 08-12-2019, 09:31 AM
Athena is offline
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The Rook - the series on Starz and how it compares to the book.

I loved The Rook in book form, so when I heard that Starz made it into a series I was all over that.

I've watched 3.5 episodes so far and... I'm not impressed. The first two were strong, but now it seems that we've veered WAY off from the book. It's been a while since I read the book, but I don't remember any of :


- Myfanwy is SLEEPING with Gestalt? WTF?
- What's all this with EVAs and kidnapping them?
- Vultures? I recall the bad guys in the book, but these bad guys seem very different
- Overall, the plot seems to be going in an entirely different direction than the book

Regardless of if I'm misremembering the book, overall the series seems really slow and the acting - especially Olivia Munn - isn't great. So what do other folks think? Does it get better?
Old 08-12-2019, 01:23 PM
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Sunny Daze is offline
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Location: Bay Area Urban Sprawl
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I loved the book and its sequel. I have to say that the series is a disappointment. I agree with every point you mentioned in the spoiler box. They're definitely playing Gestalt wrong, and Myfwany. This seems more "inspired by".

I would be curious whether those who haven't read the book are enjoying it. I'm spending so much time thinking, "that's wrong" that I may not be appreciating the show on its merits.
Old 08-12-2019, 02:37 PM
Ellis Dee is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 14,695
I have a hard time buying into Myfwany being so awesome that everyone respects and wants her. She comes across as a no-account wallflower from accounting. Her assistant in the wheelchair is more dynamic than her.

For me it seems like Emma Greenwell just doesn't have any charisma, which is weird because she was fine as Mandy Milkovich (Mickey's sister) in Shameless. Not as good as Jane Levy, who played Mandy in season 1, but still fine.

In The Rook it's like she has negative charisma, and the few times her character has been allowed to demonstrate confidence and purpose it hasn't rung true to me. That's doubly weird because the defining characteristic of Mandy from Shameless is unwavering confidence. Mandy is low-rent and bitchy and not really a character you root for or fall in love with, but it's a character you believe other characters would give a wide berth to or at least show a healthy respect toward. In the Rook, it's hard to picture other characters trusting Myfwany to bring in donuts.

I'm about to start watching The Path on hulu, where she's billed 3rd after Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan, so I'll see how she does there. I'm assuming she's fine there because, again, she's fine in Shameless. There's just something about the presentation of Myfwany I can't suspend my disbelief for.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 08-12-2019 at 02:39 PM.
Old 08-13-2019, 09:19 PM
LVBoPeep is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 1,832
I think I would like the TV show better if I had not read the books but I don't think they go into the history/world building enough. That was the best part of the books. In fact, in the show, the Chequy is a modern creation where in the books it had been around for hundreds of years. They really could have mined that for all kinds of fascinating storylines. I think the actress that plays Myfwany is fine and I like what they did with Gestalt but do not appreciate the love interest angle. Still- its entertaining enough to watch though I would have really liked to see The Grafters and had more about what they actually do at the Chequy.
"One thing is for sure, sheep are not creatures of the air" Monty Python


Last edited by LVBoPeep; 08-13-2019 at 09:21 PM.
Old 08-31-2019, 06:01 PM
Ellis Dee is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 14,695
After a month watching only hulu stuff (free 30 day trial) I went back and saw the final two episodes. Loved episode 7, where we get the full accounting of what happened at the bridge. It was both clever and coherent, which is nice. You don't always get both.

The finale was fine, if a bit contrived. I ended up wondering how the vultures haven't already captured every EVA from the Chequey. We've seen EVAs out in the world before in the show, yet in this episode all it took to capture the scary dangerous Linda was to walk up to her in broad daylight carrying a shotgun.

Gestalt has no powers, right? My mind kept going to weird places all episode: Next season (if there is one) they HAVE to kill one of the Gestalt dudes, right? As a writer, you have to go there. But not too many; if you killed three of them, that would leave just a regular guy or girl, yes? Would the auction guys see any value in capturing and trying to sell a single Gestalt? As a spy (you have to torture to get info out of) maybe. For any kind of field work you have to have at least two, right? Or he's just a guy?

The Rook is a pretty good companion piece to Counterpart in terms of tone and production, though I think Counterpart was a much better show. It definitely felt like the same network produced both shows, though IMDb doesn't list any crew of significance in common. Not sure how much crew info IMDb tracks, though.

I liked the seeds they planted for next season. As of today, it has not been cancelled or renewed. Fingers crossed!

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 08-31-2019 at 06:04 PM.
Old 08-31-2019, 08:22 PM
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Sage Rat is offline
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I haven't seen any of the series, but I read the book a while ago. I don't remember any of the details, but I remember it reminding me pretty strongly of an obfuscated novelization of "Read or Die". So if the Rook TV series doesn't float your goat, you might try out ROD.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 08-31-2019 at 08:22 PM.


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