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 The Man in the High Castle

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MrBill60

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PostSubject: The Man in the High Castle   Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:21 pm

I'm doing a first watch on this series on Prime.  It's an interesting premise about an alternate reality where Germany developed the Nuke and the Axis powers won WW2.  It's set in the 60's and shows the US  as being ruled by Japan in the west and Germany in the East, and the Rockies are a neutral zone. There's distrust between Germany and Japan and it looks like there's a conspiracy brewing to start a war between the two powers.

I'm about three quarters of the way through the first season.  The first half of the season was a little sketchy and sometimes silly - "the Marshal", for example,  but it seems to be picking up.  They haven't revealed "TMITHC" yet and I'm curious to see who he is and the mystery of the films, and maybe continue on to S2 if it continues to improve.  

The Films:
 
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Hodgepodge



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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:47 pm

Loved, loved, loved, this one MrBill! yay scrd

And you're right, the alternate outcome to WWII is the most interesting thing about the whole series.

Something else that was very interesting was how some of the Americans bought into the Axis powers, and even joined the SS.

I finished seasons 1 and 2, but didn't/haven't watched the next one.

By all means, post your thoughts while watching S1, I'll comment.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:10 pm

@Hodgepodge wrote:
Loved, loved, loved, this one MrBill! yay scrd

And you're right, the alternate outcome to WWII is the most interesting thing about the whole series.

Something else that was very interesting was how some of the Americans bought into the Axis powers, and even joined the SS.

I finished seasons 1 and 2, but didn't/haven't watched the next one.

By all means, post your thoughts while watching S1, I'll comment.

Yeah, After 20 years it's a fascist and racist controlled society and the only way people get jobs and survive is to play their game.  There doesn't seem to be much of an organized resistance.  They haven't really mentioned Europe or the rest of the world to see how far the Axis empires extend.   I'm actually expecting some time travel component to set things straight. Or maybe it was just a giant Transporter malfunction that put the world into the "Mirror Universe". 55
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vonnegut

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:40 pm

I really, really liked this show. I've watched S1 and S2, haven't started the new one yet.
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vonnegut

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:42 pm

For one thing, though, Frank Frink. How are you going to name a character that. I instantly started calling him Frankenfrinker in my head and I still do.

And, Kido's glasses are the best thing in the entire show. i <3 Kido.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:33 pm

Frank Frink.   I felt sorry for him for the torture he endured and his loss and I understand his anger issues, but the way he treats other people in mid-season 1,  someone really needs to punch him in the face, lol.    The Marshal of Canon city is another character.   Without his shotgun, I think he would just blow over since that was apparently his "superpower".  Juliana could have easily kicked his ass.   So why didn't they take his shotgun away when they knocked him out?  lol. I guess he could have an arsenal stashed away somewhere and he is a high ranking Nazi officer who has apparently seen too many westerns.



Last edited by MrBill60 on Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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vonnegut

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:40 pm

I always wanted to punch him in the face.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:50 pm

Season 3 was the best Jerry... THE BEST!

S1 was a little uneven and I really had to work to stay with it. S2 things became more cohesive and I really started grasping where they were going.

S3... just finished. To me this season was a slam dunk. 

I won't discuss it yet because... 



bit it was really solid
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:32 pm

Ok, this has been excruciating and normally I wouldn't have lasted this long, and it's taken me midway through the second season for my interest to be piqued and the possibility of making it through the 3rd season.   Some interesting developments with Joe Blake, the Smith's and Tagomi.  I still don't understand what makes Tagomi special in that he can "travel".  Apparently he's not the only one since the films make it through.   Berlin is known for its "underground" cultural movements, so the LSD club for the Lebensborn to unwind was kind of interesting.  

Frank Frink's arc is the downside for me and I have no interest in the characters.  He has this death wish and instead of having the balls to take himself out, he doesn't mind dragging his poor sidekick dupes into his suicide missions.  I would feel sorry for his sidekicks if they weren't such morons.   I picture Frank on his knees shaking his fist at the world and yelling, "Why doesn't someone kill me!?"  There's been plenty of opportunities.  Frank goes to Kido and admits that he's the assassin of the Crown Prince.  Kido just smiles at him and lets him go.  Didn't understand that since Kido could have had a two-fer for the price of one and had no qualms about gassing Frank's sister and family.  The second time was admitting to the Yakuza boss that the 80k medallion is a fake that he designed and essentially ripped them off.  With the knife at his throat, the Yakuza chief changed his mind.  Sorry Frank, you just can't get yourself killed.  Maybe you'll have better luck next time.  


In spite of that, I'm interested in finding out what this "Traveling" is about and see if Smith and family will perhaps do a Von Trapp (minus the singing).  Will Joe Blake flip again?  I also like Kido (I guess it's his Samurai attitude and sense of duty even though misguided), he looks like he may be coming to his senses.  I'll feel a bit sad when the whole lot of them are hanged for crimes against humanity (hopefully).
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:48 am

Just finished S2 and I'm pretty impressed with the outcome.  It appears that Frink's wish finally came true.  In typical form he missed his primary target but took out everyone else with him.    The Smith's are definitely not singing "the sound of music" and it's very sad about their very brainwashed son deeming himself as "a useless eater" and volunteering to be euthanized.   There's an interesting reveal about Juliana and her relationship with the multi-verse and an inventive use of the Bikini H-bomb test film to try to stop a war.  Pretty good stuff.  

On to S3.
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:45 pm

S3E4

Did anyone else yell at their screen, WTF?

S3 Spoiler:
 

What's wrong with Juliana?

Spoiler:
 

Tamiko (the artist in the park) is most likely Kido's spy assigned to Tagomi.    The thought that she could be a traveler assigned to Tagomi for some purpose has also crossed my mind.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:24 am

S3E5 - The final scene.. Holy crap! I did not see that coming.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:43 pm

S3E9

Question:
 

I see the Alt U and doppelgangers coming into play big time.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:09 pm

***S3 spoilers ***

I finished season 3.  It was very good, particualry the last half of the series and it left me with a lot of questions and possibilities.   I don't remember if Traveler Trudy gave details about her life in her world, but it is obviously not the same world that Tagomi vists where Jules is alive and well and married to Tagomi's son.  Jules can't go there since there's no open slot. I think we're in Sliders territory where she could wind up in a world similar to the one she's left, or where the Bay of Pigs led to the destruction of both US and Russia. Anything's possible, but the films probably indicate that she's gone to a parallel world with the fascists still in power.        

The show did a great job of creating an oppressive world of fascist rule and builds tension to the point that in almost every scene you feel that a door will be broken down and the gestapo or kenpeitai will come marching in.   It also highlights the hypocrisy and double standards in the spread of the Nazi goal of ethnic cleansing and building a "master race" where even the disabled with a terminal illness or genetically transmitted disease are euthanized. (Historically it was sterilization unless you were considered "sub-human").  Smith comes to the conclusion that it's fine if it happens to someone else's child but not to his own child, but like a good Nazi he's forced to publicly accept it.  His wife, not so much.  
I thought Hitler and Himmler were pretty well cast and aged appropriately.   Given the films,  what happened to Joe Blake was a nice twist - wow.  

They also did a good job with the Japanese (controlling the Western US), where the Japanese consider themselves as culturally superior.  It seems like a place that has comparatively more freedom however if you're not Japanese you're a minority. All of the business ,housing and commodity preferences are given to the Japanese first.   Unfortunately they have adopted some the Nazi practices of executing Jews and others that they deem as undesirables and the justice system is swift - squeeze information then execute.  To survive,  the non-Japanese must adopt Japanese customs and etiquette. I found Robert Childan one of the most interesting characters.  Through Childan, we see what it's like for someone who has adopted Japanese customs to survive and make a living, but faces extreme discrimination. The dinner scene with a newly arrived Japanese client comes to mind, whose only purpose of the dinner was to practice their interactions with "gaijins".  Childan is very interesting character when he's not tagging along with Frink.   Juliana has also adopted Japanese customs and enjoyed martial arts (which she uses effectively) and meditative practices.  Kido is also portrayed very well -such an intimidating character. His meetings with Gina were like walking on a tightrope over spikes on the ground, and yet we still get to see through some of that and see an almost real person with a lot of frustration over unanswered questions.

I'll have to check out the music again but as far I know, it's set in 1962 and Rock n Roll doesn't exist in this fascist world.  It makes sense given the extreme censorship and book burning and all the other forbidden lifestyles and activities in that world. I guess Frank Sinatra and Jazz are Ok or whatever music passes through the censors. There's a very large boot on artistic creativity. The attention to detail is done well in that regard.  
Interesting fact: the song, "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", the Hitler Youth anthem sung at Thomas' memorial service, was actually written for the musical Cabaret in 1966, after the events of the series.  The composers were Jewish.

As you can tell, I never liked Frink, but I thought it was an appropriate end after he found some internal peace and settled down after all the erratic absurdity that came before.  Also his brief reunion with Juliana made it a good send off.  
:
 


Sorry about the novel - but I'm done adding / editing.
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Warthawg1

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:00 pm

I don't know if we see them all again in the alternate U's. I was happy with Frank's end as I am not sure what else they could do with his character.

I haven't commented much, but I've read your posts. I just agreed or didn't have an answer/reply I thought of...

S3 was the best by far... I'm pretty engaged in the show now. One thing I really enjoy is seeing the depth of these
characters that on the surface seem so good/bad. I'm listening to Dan Carle's Hardcore History podcast called "Supernova in the east" right now, and he is doing a great job explaining Japanese history and culture pre WW2
and it has sort of tied in to my understanding of the Japanese/American culture in this Alt-U where the Axis powers
won the war.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:49 pm

I just downloaded the PKD novel in Kindle.   I don't know if it's populated with the same characters as the series but it will be interesting to see how it compares.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:08 am

If I am not mistaken the show has gone far beyond the book.. very different.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:52 am

Have you read the novel?  Just wondering if it's worth it.  It's a bestseller, so I imagine it is. I understand that the ending is open ended and PKD was planning on writing a sequel but it never came about. We'll see how it goes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:26 pm

No I haven't.

I have read that some individual characters on the TV show are combinations of different characters in the book, and some of the relationships between characters are different.

There is also one very big difference..
Spoiler:
 
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MrBill60

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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:51 pm

Just started the first chapter and the good news for me is it opens with Childan in SF.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:06 am

I won't comment much about the book, but another difference is that the Reich has developed rocketry to the point that they're able to colonize other planets in this alt 1962.  Good ol' early 60's sci-fi.

The book is definitely darker in some of its themes in comparison to the series.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:49 pm

I’ll be careful what I read here since we’ve barely begun Season 3. It probably would make sense to binge this series since it’s so complicated to keep track of. But even when I can’t keep up with what’s going on, it’s always beautiful to watch. I read the book ages ago, and couldn't consistently follow what was going on, but the series seems very different from what I recall, and I think it passed by where the book ended back in Season 2. It makes sense for a tv series to make the clandestine objects movies, and it adds a special shudder in response to the Lebensborn glamourpuss' filmmaking.

I think there’s something unique about (ugh) Frink, that for some reason he is unkillable, despite his efforts. Tagami seems to be a meditation adept, which could be what enables him to slip between – should I call them alt-realities? Is there a more specific word for these types of variations? Juliana seems to be some sort of linchpin, that her importance is as an enabler rather than what she herself adds.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:10 pm

The book really ends in S2, Pi-O-My? Interesting, I guess pkd really left it open-ended with a lot of unanswered questions, then. That's a little disappointing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Man in the High Castle   Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:09 pm

My memory is that PKD began a sequel and never figured out how to proceed and so left the rest of the story either unfinished or never even begun. I don't remember the Smith family from the book at all, which makes me think they've beefed up that story line a lot. So I'm really curious where the tv series is going to go.
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