5.15 - The Joker

Rate The Joker

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19
68%
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4%
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4%
5
2
7%
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4%
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0
No votes
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Total votes: 28

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Frankymole
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Post by Frankymole »

Lhbizness wrote: I really won't comment on the "international appeal" bit, which is just far too subjective and impossible to determine to be worth argument (and kind of insulting).
Don't take it personally. A lot of the British subversive elements got toned down at the US backers' request, it's a matter of record. Also, Batman and other "kooky" US shows of the time undoubtedly had an influence in making the show more "comic booky". It's just part of making the show have more mass appeal than to the "Chelsea set" that had been going on, at a different rate, from the middle of the Cathy era.
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Post by Lhbizness »

Well, I kinda do take it personally when it's implied that a preference for an episode is less valid because it was supposedly toned down for an American audience. It seems to argue that the vague authority of production circumstances supersedes the actual experience of the show and that, therefore, the opposite opinion is wrong. It's insulting to assume that American viewers just don't get the British subtlety, or that the show was therefore "dumbed down" for an American audience.

Nor do I think that The Joker was reduced from Don't Look Behind You - the mis-en-scene was simply changed, and the actress's performance was obviously different. It still has the same layers and, for my money, is enhanced by a more expansive use of the house due to the use of film vs. live television.
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Post by Frankymole »

Lhbizness wrote:Well, I kinda do take it personally when it's implied that a preference for an episode is less valid because it was supposedly toned down for an American audience. It seems to argue that the vague authority of production circumstances supersedes the actual experience of the show and that, therefore, the opposite opinion is wrong. It's insulting to assume that American viewers just don't get the British subtlety, or that the show was therefore "dumbed down" for an American audience.
Now you're inventing straw men to rail against. That wasn't what I said at all. Cultural differences don't mean one culture is smarter than another, just that things suitable for one local audience of one particular demographic aren't suitable for all audiences around the world. This also ties in with the imperatives for other internationally-dictated changes, what they thought they were doing bringing in Bryce and then bringing back Clemens, later.

You see "expansive", I see brightly overlit, less moody/scary, and more pedestrian. We each see what we want to, I guess.
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Post by Lhbizness »

That's exactly what I mean - you're implying that due to American backers, the show was made more pedestrian and that American audiences would miss the subtlety. You cited an authority (the "well-known" demands of American backers) which reinforced your view of the episode as the "correct one", rather than actually looking at the episode as an episode. In the end it should really not have any bearing on whether or not one subjectively views the episode as successful in its project. Americanized or not, The Joker can stand or fall on its own merits. Weirdly enough, I'm an American and I love the Cathy Gale series. I know many Americans who do. I've always enjoyed those kinds of homegrown British things.

I'm just not going to respond to "production circumstances" comments any more. Discussion of an individual episode turns into competing citations of authority, rather than expressing an opinion that can be agreed or disagreed with.

In any case, I don't hate Don't Look Behind You. I just think it was limited in terms of mis-en-scene, cinematography, etc. I thought The Joker developed the same script differently and, in my view, with greater expansiveness of both character and visual aspects. Both have their merits, and whether the slightly comic book nature of The Joker appeals to you or not, Rigg's performance in itself stands out.
Last edited by Lhbizness on Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Lhbizness »

paulpdjh wrote:The variety of styles over the years is one of the great things about The Avengers. People are drawn to different aspects of the show - I'll probably never get the love for season five, just as, no doubt, you're baffled by my love of season six (which, for me, it's up there with season four as the two best Avengers seasons).

My opinion on this episode is also hugely coloured by the fact that I find the character of Cathy Gale much more interesting than Emma Peel. Cathy's relationship with Steed intrigues me far more than any of his other partnerships - just when I think I've worked it out, something happens that makes me question my conclusion.
Nope, don't get the love for Season 6. But then I don't get how anyone can see Emma Peel and think she's uninteresting. That's just me.

I'm with you on the Steed/Cathy relationship, though. It's a complex and fascinating one - I find it on par with Steed and Emma. I don't think the relationships are competing, though; just different.
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Post by Frankymole »

Lhbizness wrote:That's exactly what I mean - you're implying that due to American backers, the show was made more pedestrian and that American audiences would miss the subtlety. You cited an authority (the "well-known" demands of American backers) which reinforced your view of the episode as the "correct one", rather than actually looking at the episode as an episode. In the end it should really not have any bearing on whether or not one subjectively views the episode as successful in its project. Americanized or not, The Joker can stand or fall on its own merits. Weirdly enough, I'm an American and I love the Cathy Gale series. I know many Americans who do. I've always enjoyed those kinds of homegrown British things.
* sigh *, never mind.

Fans today are not the mass audience sold to in the 1960s, btw. For a start, the Americans chose not to buy the Gales (I'm not sure about Canada). They also chose not to buy lots of other British VT drama, which Canada did buy. US buyers often underestimate their audience, like the ones who claimed "Licence Revoked" would not be understood as Americans would get the word "revoked", and why "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" had to have its name changed for US audiences. If anyone's underestimating them, it's the American studios/channels/distributors.

Lots of US buyers also claimed The Prisoner would be hated in America unless the central character won every week. "Americans don't like a loser", it was claimed. As I said, cultural differences. That's why the American studios commented on the colour episodes' scripts and suggested changes. It wasn't done for giggles!
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Post by Lhbizness »

I'm objecting to the implicit use of authority to justify your perspective and dismiss an alternative one, not whether or not those production circumstances existed (I know they did). As I said, regardless of whether The Joker was an Americanized version of Don't Look Behind You or not, it still has merits (or lack thereof) as an episode.

It also seems that you're claiming that those kinds of changes resulted in turning the series into something with less depth than previous seasons - that appealing to American audiences meant a reduction of the intellect or layers of the series. I disagree with that and I do find it an insulting conclusion to come to, from a personal perspective. But again, it does not matter what the production circumstances were. In terms of an opinion or analysis of an episode, they're trivia.
Last edited by Lhbizness on Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by anti-clockwise »

Frankymole wrote:
Lhbizness wrote:That's exactly what I mean - you're implying that due to American backers, the show was made more pedestrian and that American audiences would miss the subtlety. You cited an authority (the "well-known" demands of American backers) which reinforced your view of the episode as the "correct one", rather than actually looking at the episode as an episode. In the end it should really not have any bearing on whether or not one subjectively views the episode as successful in its project. Americanized or not, The Joker can stand or fall on its own merits. Weirdly enough, I'm an American and I love the Cathy Gale series. I know many Americans who do. I've always enjoyed those kinds of homegrown British things.
* sigh *, never mind.

Fans today are not the mass audience sold to in the 1960s, btw. For a start, the Americans chose not to buy the Gales (I'm not sure about Canada). They also chose not to buy lots of other British VT drama, which Canada did buy. US buyers often underestimate their audience, like the ones who claimed "Licence Revoked" would not be understood as Americans would get the word "revoked", and why "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" had to have its name changed for US audiences. If anyone's underestimating them, it's the American studios/channels/distributors.

Lots of US buyers also claimed The Prisoner would be hated in America unless the central character won every week. "Americans don't like a loser", it was claimed. As I said, cultural differences. That's why the American studios commented on the colour episodes' scripts and suggested changes. It wasn't done for giggles!
Franky weren't you the one that told me that Randall and Hopkirk Deceased originally had a different name here because they assumed the US audience would not know what deceased meant? or some such craziness? :lol: :lol:
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Post by Lhbizness »

Poor, stupid Americans.
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Post by darren »

anti-clockwise wrote:
Frankymole wrote:
Lhbizness wrote:That's exactly what I mean - you're implying that due to American backers, the show was made more pedestrian and that American audiences would miss the subtlety. You cited an authority (the "well-known" demands of American backers) which reinforced your view of the episode as the "correct one", rather than actually looking at the episode as an episode. In the end it should really not have any bearing on whether or not one subjectively views the episode as successful in its project. Americanized or not, The Joker can stand or fall on its own merits. Weirdly enough, I'm an American and I love the Cathy Gale series. I know many Americans who do. I've always enjoyed those kinds of homegrown British things.
* sigh *, never mind.

Fans today are not the mass audience sold to in the 1960s, btw. For a start, the Americans chose not to buy the Gales (I'm not sure about Canada). They also chose not to buy lots of other British VT drama, which Canada did buy. US buyers often underestimate their audience, like the ones who claimed "Licence Revoked" would not be understood as Americans would get the word "revoked", and why "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" had to have its name changed for US audiences. If anyone's underestimating them, it's the American studios/channels/distributors.

Lots of US buyers also claimed The Prisoner would be hated in America unless the central character won every week. "Americans don't like a loser", it was claimed. As I said, cultural differences. That's why the American studios commented on the colour episodes' scripts and suggested changes. It wasn't done for giggles!
Franky weren't you the one that told me that Randall and Hopkirk Deceased originally had a different name here because they assumed the US audience would not know what deceased meant? or some such craziness? :lol: :lol:
Lol, wasn't it something lame like 'me and my partner, the ghost'.

Cult audiences are very perceptive but it's understandable that Joe Public needs help if a series is to be successful. If a series costs money it has to earn the finance by being successful.

An issue I have with both episodes is the design of the houses. Not in terms of look as they are both wonderful visually but in terms of layout. The DLBY house was designed for live TV and the limitations there in (the cameras circle the ... circumference of the set with only one camera on the upper floor. No more than two cameras per room as the other three are needed elsewhere to capture the ongoing action etc) but it makes no sense as a proper house, one bedroom, a nursery behind the dinning room but entered from upstairs. A very strange layout.

Then in the Joker a lot if it is upstairs but the upstairs is above a part of the house that has no downstairs.

I think The Joker is the one if the big successes of season 5A. It's one of my favourite comfort watches. Diana carries the action and silences well just as Honor did. Sidney Hayers does his best bit if directing for the show, really having fun with the camera angles. Sally Nesbitt as Ola is suitably bonkers and Emma's bemused reactions are funny until her bonkersness becomes deadly. Ronald Lacey is amusingly twisted. He really should have guested more. And Peter Jeffrey is very season 5 bad guy as apposed to Martin Goodman's more disturbing casual menace. And John Stone appears in the flesh after voicing two roles in season 4 (the fashion show in Two's a Crowd and dubbing Alan Carter in Man-Eater of Surrey Green)

10/10
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