Why is The Rings of Power Boring?
By Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 15, 2022 | In Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast
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Thomas Mirus, James Majewski, and Nathan Douglas discuss the new Amazon series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The show thus far is not so much offensive as it is bland in ways similar to much popular film and television today. This discussion attempts to understand why the show generally fails to move, focusing especially on its frequent small-mindedness or arbitrariness in characterization and writing, and on its habit of “telegraphing” or signalling emotion rather than genuinely conveying it.
(We apologize for the lip-syncing problems in this episode!)
Topics and timestamps:
3:27 The “Game-of-Thronesification” of character motivation
9:34 Galadriel, Valinor, and the elves’ artistic motivations
18:01 A graceless Galadriel and small-minded writing
29:02 Contrasting performances: Galadriel vs. Elrond
35:21 Failure to trust that virtue is interesting
37:59 “IT’S A SNOW TROOOOOOLL!” The “John-Wickification” of action
41:00 Generic tough girl face; telegraphing emotion rather than living it
52:44 Arbitrary conflict and fussy dwarves
59:06 Starting at level 1: the “video-gamification” of character development
1:06:00 Too much harfoot-talk: cliché TV dialogue with a hobbity skin
1:15:09 The political conversation around the show
1:25:40 Shallow and arbitrary diversity is self-defeating
1:37:07 Erasing womanhood in the pursuit of “strong female characters”
Read Nathan Douglas’s film writing here https://vocationofcinema.substack.com
Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com
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