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"I’ve watched 3 episodes of “Turn” so far" Topic

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923 hits since 19 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 7:24 a.m. PST

My latest tv watching fad is binge watching long episodic series.
I've gone through 24, Homeland, Stranger Things, House of Cards, Dexter, Ray Donovan…..
I happily pay for Comcast Xfinity on Demand and Netflix.
I am at the point with this habit that I resent having to wait a week between episodes of current series.

I'm currently working on a HUGE unit of Queen's Rangers, at least 3 bags of Old Glory figures plus cavalry. I haven't done so many of one unit since my Trenton game 12 years ago where each Hessian regiment had 70-90 figures.
The catalyst for this? A gift of 6 Hussars. (Thanks Bill!) Since there were maybe 20 in the original war, and I already had 2 Hinchliffe, that argued for small figure/man scale.
I have 12 Highlanders in kilt. I was shot down here when I asked about the red "McNab" kilt. Thinking like Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle ("You can't tell ME what to do!"), I decided that since my gaming scenarios tend towards Hollywood anyway, I'll paint them red!
Head transplants gave me Simcoe, mounted on some Old Glory general or other. Google Simcoe justifies, sort of, this head transplant. It also showed a rather villainous Simcoe from the tv show Turn.
When in Hollywood…

I just finished Ray Donovan, and needed a new series. There it is. Free on Netflix. (Technically not free, but Netflix is in my Xfinity plan. That's why I got it. And got paid for selling me the upgrade plan.)

I've watched 3 episodes so far. A few questions and observations.
Do all British have white facings? I find it likely they rented uniforms from the outfit that supplied Pirates of the Caribbean. Since Simcoe was in the 40th Foot at the time, that's OK.
Who is the burly American officer in blue and buff that orders Talmadge around?
Far too many tall handsome Americans to keep straight. Facial scars and uniforms help until you know the characters well enough to keep them straight.
Shouldn't Tallmadge take off his uniform coat when torturing British officers? Blood really sticks out on light blue. Not so much in red uniforms.
Rogers is exactly as I envisioned him from Kenneth Roberts' Northwest Passage.
Simcoe is a hoot. What a Snidely Whiplash villain! I can't reconcile the portrayal with the fine aristocratic gentleman in later Canadian history. I can't see this guy abolishing slavery. grin
Will I see African Americans in the QR soon? I did when Googling the QR. How many?

Anyway, it looks like 3 down, 37 to go. I prefer 2-3 episodes a night over having to wait a week. Maybe I'll start Breaking Bad next.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 7:35 a.m. PST

My other current AWI project is buildings. I'm taking notes.

axabrax19 Jun 2018 7:58 a.m. PST

Turn is fabulous. Ive watched it twice. At its best around season 3. I like the George Washington portrayal quit a bit and Simcoe is a great villain. Although it gets a bit outlandish at times, it generally strikes a serious tone and for Hollywood and the average clueless viewer it's probably more "historical" than you'd normally expect so long as you don't get too anal about the uniform details, which frankly only about 6 people in the entire world watching the show actually care about >;-D . I only wish it had gotten another season. Have fun!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 8:07 a.m. PST

I'm not being anal about the uniforms at all. I noted they got the 40th right. Indeed, only a figure painter or reenactors care. grin I'm certainly not expecting orange for the 35th.
Hey. Uniforms are expensive, and this is AMC, not HBO.
Google shows they got the QR "close enough", and for Hollywood, that's ok with me.
Contrast with "Tavington's" from The Patriot. ‘Nuff said.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 8:15 a.m. PST

As I research Continental officers, some of my hits involve ones who are characters in "Turn." Don't take it too seriously. In at least one case, they sent to an early grave a real person who lived to a reasonable old age. My feeling is that if you can't get that much right, you should invent you own people.

Parzival19 Jun 2018 8:44 a.m. PST

We gave up on it when the whole thing turned into a ridiculous, sex-obsessed soap opera. The descendants of the actual persons depicted as the main characters of the series should be appalled. Based on no evidence at all, the makers of that series turned these brave historical individuals into adulterers, murderers, sadists and torturers. And I say that regardless of whose side any of them were on. Pathetic.
I could care less if Hollywood gets the facings right. I can accept dramatic compression and a bit of derring-do added, and even the fictional character created as either a pastiche or just for story purposes, But slandering the actual people just so you can film some heaving bosoms? That crosses the line. Stopped watching, won't watch again.

(And, darn it, I had really wanted to see the Turtle in action. frown)

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 8:48 a.m. PST

News flash.
Hollywood treats "history" as raw material for scripts. It always has. It always will.
Tallmadge is a colorful character with a colorful career. NO "historical" drama can get by by slavishly following the known "facts". Each episode can have 42 minutes of action. That's an hour with commercials. It must come to a plausible end by the end of the episode. And each season will have 10 episodes.
Heck. I was just on a website that lists 42 characters that the tv series Game of Thrones has killed off that are still alive in the books.
Historical characters are mere ingredients in a Hollywood production. Savants will recognize names. If one gets killed off too early, we'll, they're dead anyway and can't sue.

I can't figure out who "General Scott" is. With blue and buff, I first thought he was supposed to be Washington. But then he got wounded behind the lines. What??? No. Can't be Washington.
So, they are making people up. grin

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

Hollywood produces a manufactured product.
So does ALL "art".
I just wish people would realize that. Steel manufacturers do not owe anything to the chromium Lobby……
Take it for what it is.

Sergeant Paper19 Jun 2018 9:35 a.m. PST

That kind of bone laziness on the part of Hollywood writing is why I dump TV series midstream when the writers screw off, and why I never bother with 'historical' dramas. If I wanted made up history, there's the History Channel.

jtkimmel19 Jun 2018 9:41 a.m. PST

Definitely a fun show to watch, though AWI is not one of my periods (others in my gaming group do that) so I'm not the best one to comment on the facing colors. Having been to Colonial Williamsburg twice while it was being broadcast (though sadly not during filming), it was neat to see how they used different areas of the town in the show.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 9:46 a.m. PST

Laziness? Seriously?
They have to make the parts fit within Episode and Season constraints.
Producing a tv series or movie involves much more than you can imagine.
"Real people" are raw materials in the manufacturing process.

That's why the already very long biopic of Alexander the Great eliminated two major battles and all the sieges. We're they missed? Only by Alexander fanboys or wargamers.

As I keep saying, we are NOT the target audience. Take it for what it is. If you can't be happy with 85% accuracy, go and paint something.

I for one will continue to watch. Damn the torpedoes!

Ferd4523119 Jun 2018 9:57 a.m. PST

Binging is my new, I'm retired, hobby. I have binged all the shows you have listed. Loved Turn as it was reasonably accurate. When done with Turn could I suggest you binge on Justified, Longmire and Bosch. Binge On. H

Parzival19 Jun 2018 10:07 a.m. PST

Winston, Winston, WInston.
You disappoint me.
General Charles Scott: link

Really, didn't take long to find that. Not sure how you didn't.

By the way, as I stated, my argument had nothing to do with uniforms, dramatic compression, pastiche characters, fictional characters, or even dramatic license. It had to do with inserting soap opera sexual relationships into events (and real people) that had none and which don't actually make the story any better. You haven't gotten far enough to witness it. But frankly, for me it lays a big Bleeped text in the story, and is part and parcel of lazy, melodramatic writing that is all too prevalent in TV and cinema.
Good grief, man, you *know* I defend dramatic license and other techniques in translating a story to film; they're absolutely necessary. What I don't defend (and indeed castigate) is poor writing. That's an entirely separate matter from anything you had to say. In short, the "dramatic changes" I am discussing are both insulting to the historical individuals and, frankly, just plain stupid.

Aside from that, I thought it was an interesting (if depressing) show.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

I don't have Turn on Netflix. But for it on HBO. It's a nice show. But I
only watch it when doing SYW (meh close enough)

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

Yeah, I stopped watching it when it turned into a brothel instead of a movie about the AWI.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 11:51 a.m. PST

You know, I don't recall people who stopped watching Dallas because it did not accurately reflect the lives of Texas oil millionaires.
I made it quite clear from the beginning that I was going Hollywood.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 12:20 p.m. PST

Absolutly enjoyed it. Cringed at times with some uniforms, with the paucity of the troops numbers… But still. Might have contributed to chosing AWi for Sharp practice.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 12:48 p.m. PST

Watched one or two episodes & felt it was just junk. Just my opinion.

Bill N19 Jun 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

Producing a tv series or movie involves much more than you can imagine.

True. It also involves things that we can readily comprehend. My wife went to school with several people who went into the business. I have had a chance to talk with them about this. It has nothing to do with the need to fit the story into a movie or TV show. It may not even have anything to do with the logistics of making the movie or show. It is instead the way these people think.

For example ask these people why they inserted historical persons into the story and they will tell you it is for authenticity. Then ask them how it promotes authenticity when the roles are written so the characters bear no resemblence to the historical persons and they will tell you that nobody knows who those historical people are. They see no contradiction between these two statements.

The best explanation I have is that movies and TV shows are made for people who make movies and TV shows.

42flanker19 Jun 2018 3:11 p.m. PST

Often the truth is much more interesting than the versions cooked up for popular entertainment. Nothing wrong with dramatic licence but unfortunately, it is easier, quicker and cheaper, to write formulaically. Nobody ever got poor by underestimating the public.

14Bore19 Jun 2018 3:57 p.m. PST

I should have given it a chance, seen a few episodes but no more.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 5:55 p.m. PST

Don't sit next to Simcoe at the dinner table

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jun 2018 10:44 p.m. PST

I watched the whole thing and enjoyed it. Of course, I wasn't expecting a history lesson, just an entertainment show.

I don't live that far from Setauket, so the Long Island parts were of special interest to me.

If you're watching TV or movies and expecting a history lesson, then prepare yourself to be disappointed.

skinkmasterreturns20 Jun 2018 3:31 a.m. PST

You need some hot Tory chicks in the background for the Brits to ogle when they're not fighting for King and Country. Well,you did invoke Hollywood…

Virginia Tory20 Jun 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

I had to "Turn" it off after the first couple of episodes. Way too ahistorical for me. I realize YMMV on that, but anyhoo.

The film Sweet Liberty was sooooo accurate re: Hollywood's approach to history.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2018 9:03 p.m. PST

I find it hard to believe that Charles Lee would get all that bothered over a tavern wench being ….. disrespected.
He's too much of a loathsome toad.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 7:38 a.m. PST

Only watched the first season. As far as uniform stuff went, I just got tired of watching the guy always awkwardly having to fight on foot wearing his dragoon helmet. One aspect I liked, which was historic, is the fact that the colonists were all still British citizens and not everyone supported the revolution. I'm sure the soldiers (just like in the show) at some point got tired of trying to figure out who was a rebel and started treating everyone like an enemy. I think there are some similarities to our Vietnam experience in this show.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2018 7:43 a.m. PST

I gave up on turn. Although I did watch the last episode just to see who won the war. I think the Americans did. I actually thought the series was boring.

They deserve kudos for getting SOME of the uniforms correct (not all though). It was a spy/soap opera story not a war story. So naturally most wargamers hated it. If they had the soap opera for ratings then it apparently didn't work.

Everyone is so afraid of history, that the networks believe they have to sex it up to get an audience. If you are going to do that, then do it on HBO so you can sex it up properly.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

A Great Man, who often posts on American Revolution here and also produces fine figures, once said "If it has tricornes and muskets, I'm there."

I may have been 10 years old when I first realized that Hollywood did not produce "history". But Johnnie Tremaine sure had a cute girlfriend. I still have a crush.

Hollywood treats history much like it treats a novel. George RR Martin asked a very pertinent question. "How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have?" It all depends on whether you read the book or watch the movie.
History is material for a script. Which is then "interpreted" by the actors and director. Sweet Liberty is indeed a fine model for how Hollywood works. I love how Michael Caine's character insists that "That's not how Tarleton would have behaved!" Well, yeah. He would. But Caine's character was a pompous actor who always acted as if his character was heroic.

Simcoe needs to have a moustache to twirl and railroad tracks to tie virgins to. And I'm sure that a historical figure who freed the slaves in Canada would not behave that way. But he's great fun to watch! And that's the whole point, isn't it?
Yes, I laughed out loud at the chronology of the Trenton Princeton campaign as it unfolded. But I didn't rend my garments. I got another beer.

Was it Goldwyn or Meyer who said "If you want to send a message, use Western Union."
If I want to see Real History, I'll watch a documentary. And it will be boring as hell.
If I want to watch an entertaining show with tricornes and muskets…
I'd just like to see some green or yellow facings. Other than that, I'm ok.

42flanker22 Jun 2018 1:08 p.m. PST

No reason why a quality documentary or a classy period feature film should boring.

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