Marco Polo


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A little bit of sex. A little bit of political intrigue. A lot of great acting. Actors of their race portraying characters of their race (for the most part). Swordplay. Gore. Horses.

If you're jonesing for Game of Thrones, this is a good holdover.

Think of it as Game of Thrones with less swearing and more kung fu.

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It's ok so far, doesn't quite have the Throne's gift for build and drama, but that's the nature of history. When it does try for that it fails a little because of the lack of credibility. I mean, the duel between Ariq and Kublai never happened, Ariq was pardoned and eventually brought back into the fold. The single combat notion was also very dramatic, a combination of not wanting the expense of battle in the production and preferring a high stakes mano a mano thing.

Also not that sure about the Kung Fu. I tend to think of that sort of thing as the legend, not the history. Whilst I'm all for a fictionalised account of this period which I find fascinating anyway (ala HBO's Rome) I think building a skeleton on real events adds to the story more than anything. This feels halfway between Wu-Shu and real history and thus a weaker mix of the two approaches.

I don't know, I like it well enough, probably going to follow it through to the end of the season. The production design is great and reports of bad acting have been greatly exaggerated.

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The only thing I'm calling it up on would be that the Khan killed his own brother in single combat, which seems vital to the plot of the show but didn't come close to happening for real. I mean, if you want to take real events and overlay your own motives and emotional content fine, but the guy conquers China. You don't need to make stuff up to find events worth exploring.

But it doesn't really matter. We'll see how it goes.

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The only thing I'm calling it up on would be that the Khan killed his own brother in single combat, which seems vital to the plot of the show but didn't come close to happening for real. I mean, if you want to take real events and overlay your own motives and emotional content fine, but the guy conquers China. You don't need to make stuff up to find events worth exploring.

But it doesn't really matter. We'll see how it goes.

The Chancellor of the Song Dynasty also never murdered his greatest soldier in hand to hand combat, and I'm willing to bet that his sister never killed three soldiers while naked, but I don't go to Netflix dramas for my historical relevance.

They also showed Kublai getting acupuncture which was highly unlikely considering it wasn't ever really used "legitimately" until Chairman Mao promoted it (and then never used it because he knew it was bullshit).

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Argh, oh god no. Episode 4 spoilers

Oh god no, the footbinding thing is something I've never been able to stomach. Just one of the most horrible things I'll watch all year. The Cricket Minister is one of the nastiest bad guys on TV.

Yeah, that really bugged me. I cringed a lot, and Megan's like, "don't you watch movies where people have knives slowly shoved in their eyes for fun?" That has always bugged me. Saw a documentary about it when I was pretty young.

Finished the show tonight. The ending was a little much, but I liked everything else. Great show. Looking forward to season two.

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