The post The TV Room: Shogun, by Andrew Benjamin appeared first on Battleship Pretension.

Shogun is a brutal show to watch. It emulates that Game of Thrones style of television that is about showcasing graphic violence, political maneuvering, and overt sexuality. That’s not positive or negative. Just an observation. Beyond that, it does manage to create engaging characters that has lots of setups that will hopefully be delivered as the show continues in the coming weeks.

Based on James Clavell’s 1975 best selling novel, Englishman John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and his ship crew land off the coast of a small village in Japan. Taken prisoner, his ship and weapons are all confiscated by Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada). In Osaka, Toranaga is dealing with his political rivals who will do anything to get rid of him.

Episode one is an exposition dump. Be prepared to pay attention or you will likely get confused over who’s a part which clan, who is related to one another, and so on. If you stick with it, you will be drawn into this world and the characters who we follow. As of now the most interesting is Blackthorne who is essentially a fish out of water. While subtitles provide us with what the Japanese characters are saying we, just like Blackthorne, feel like outsiders. Jarvis captures that brilliantly,

In episode two things pick up and we explore more about Toranaga. Sanada brings grace and a tranquil dexterity to his character. What we get is man is who is always watching, always listening, and knows when to speak his peace. We get a little more of Lady Mariko (Anna Sawai) who also acts as the interpreter for Blackthorne. She is Japanese and converted to Catholicism when the Portuguese Jesuits made settlements in Japan. I feel like we will get more of her and what will likely be a romance between her and Blackthorne as the show goes on.

The show also looks great. Costumes look authentic and lived in. This isn’t a bright, colorful epic story. Many characters look grimy and dirty. One scene involves throwing rotten organs on prisoners and you can smell it through your screen. The cinematography looks great with what looks like a lot of natural lighting that shows off the beauty and earthy nature of seventeenth century Japan.

So far, the show is good and I am intrigued to see where the next episodes go. There are a total of ten episodes and with the pacing it’s going at, it should deliver sufficient character arcs and deeper storytelling as the show continues. 

The post The TV Room: Shogun, by Andrew Benjamin first appeared on Battleship Pretension.

The post The TV Room: Shogun, by Andrew Benjamin appeared first on Battleship Pretension.

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