Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

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Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Pity » 22nd July, 2017, 3:19 pm

What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding Confederate, a show HBO bought from the showrunners of the incredibly popular Game of Thrones. Basically, the upcoming show is an alternate history of what present day would look like if the Confederate States of America (for the foreigners, this was the union of states that seceded during our civil war) won their right to secede. If any of you have seen Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, it will seem familiar. That show was about what would have happened if Nazi Germany had won and Japan and Germany conquered the world.

A lot of people are accusing the creators and HBO of being disconnected white people who wish to envision modern-day slavery and cruelty toward African Americans. Personally, I do not see this as being the case whatsoever and the show actually sounds really entertaining and interesting to see if it is anything like The Man in the High Castle. I actually think it is silly to have this opinion considering it is just a show.

What are your thoughts on this? Should they cancel the show? What changes, if any, should be made to ensure the show does not glorify or support slavery?

https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/21/1 ... s-new-show
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Dessy » 22nd July, 2017, 5:31 pm

I think at the very least, they should open a book. Nothing I read seem to suggest they know basic civil war history. One quote from an interview I can't recall have them talking about General Lee victory in the Battle of Antietam... only 1) they didn't know what the battle was actually call and 2) he didn't win that one.

I'm not really bothered by the idea of it being a Confederate show as much as what seems like a lack of understanding of Civil War history.
I'm also dismissive of the main characters(?) apparently being "good" slaveowners. I just don't understand the need or demand for such a show, but I seen stranger concepts I guess.
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Cobalt » 22nd July, 2017, 7:19 pm

You of all people would insist this isn't racist or tone deaf in any way. :grumpy:
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Knope » 22nd July, 2017, 8:19 pm

Putting aside any controversy stemming from the subject matter, I'm not very interested in watching because I'm sick of alternate history TV shows. Sure, some of the shows predicated on this general idea (like The Man in the High Castle) are well done and enjoyable enough, but I feel like as a concept it's been done to death. If you're insistent on making such a show/movie, at least consider doing something more unorthodox, or more technically challenging. 'What if the Nazis/Confederates had won' isn't very imaginative; you're not exactly pushing the envelope there. And while I understand not all TV has to be groundbreaking and innovative in order to be good, if there's something in your niche that's been done a million times to the point of cliche, why do it again? Maybe it's time to explore other possibilities.
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Pity » 22nd July, 2017, 8:52 pm

Dessy wrote:Nothing I read seem to suggest they know basic civil war history.


I don't really expect them to because I think a lot of studios hire historians to consult.

Cobalt wrote:You if all people would insist this isn't racist or tone deaf in any way.


I appreciate your significant intellectual endowment to this topic. Thank you for posting!

Knope wrote:I'm sick of alternate history TV shows.


I actually think there are too little. I am a little fascinated with alternate history, so I would really enjoy watching movies or shows about what would have happened if Britain won the Revolutionary War, if the Louisiana Purchase never occurred, if we annexed Cuba, etc. I don't know of any aside from The Man in the High Castle, so if you have any suggestions...
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby TheBrunswickian » 22nd July, 2017, 10:50 pm

Alternate history is always a interesting concept, and is one that will never stop being something that is written and made. The recent success of The Man In The High Castle was, I think, because of source material. For a good alt-history show, it needs a good source material to work with. While I think the idea of a Confederate alt-history where the CSA wins the Civil War has probably been worked with in many books. Peter Tsouras wrote "Gettysburg: An Alternate History" exploring that idea if I'm not mistaken. I think the show could be interesting if they worked with a good source material.

However, moving on to the race issue, its fraught with issues. If we look at a story like, The Handmaid's Tale, for example, its a story about the oppression of women, written by a woman. I think the main failing in a story about slavery in the United States is the white people making it. I don't know, it feels uncomfortable to think the main showrunners here are going to be two white dudes. If it were two African Americans working on it, perhaps the reaction would be different. And we've seen a lot of material recently about slavery in America, do we really need another one? One of the main points I've seen raised is that most of the stories about African Americans we're seeing in media recently is about slavery and the civil rights struggle. There hasn't been much that breaks that mold. So the reaction I've seen has been "really? another one? what about a story where black people aren't the subject of oppression?"
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby TheBrunswickian » 22nd July, 2017, 11:00 pm

Dessy wrote:I think at the very least, they should open a book. Nothing I read seem to suggest they know basic civil war history. One quote from an interview I can't recall have them talking about General Lee victory in the Battle of Antietam... only 1) they didn't know what the battle was actually call and 2) he didn't win that one.

It sounds to me like they're basing that idea off Timeline-191 by Harry Turtledove.

"The name is derived from General Robert E. Lee's Special Order 191, which detailed the Confederate States' Army of Northern Virginia's invasion of the Union through the border state Maryland in September 1862. Turtledove creates a divergence at September 10, 1862, when three Union soldiers do not find a copy of Special Order 191, as they in fact did historically. Historians believe their find helped General George B. McClellan of the Army of the Potomac prepare for his confrontation with Lee, and contributed to the Union's eventual victory at the Battle of Antietam."
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Togetik » 22nd July, 2017, 11:14 pm

An alt-history based on "what if the confederacy won" is mildly interesting as an idea, but this show seems more interesting in having that as it's premise than it does in actually researching or building upon it. This is going to be a "everything is pretty much the same but racist" world rather than one that actually explores how inept the confederacy was and the world they'd build if they bumbled their way into victory.

The moment someone in the writers room went "Oh hey our protagonists should be white guys who're GOOD slave owners, but the world is racist so it's ok for them to own slaves in the first place" the project should've been dumped in the trash, there is nearly nothing to be gained from this setting when your big main POV characters are white slave owners because anything they do and any waxing they have on the nature of the setting has already been done, and done better, in fiction about the actual real time in american history that slave ownership was commonplace.

Plus it's going to be a lame rallying beacon for alt-right white nationalists to clamber to just because of the concept at hand and does anyone REALLY want another work of media for them to cling to
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby ConnorM » 22nd July, 2017, 11:24 pm

Dessy wrote:I think at the very least, they should open a book. Nothing I read seem to suggest they know basic civil war history. One quote from an interview I can't recall have them talking about General Lee victory in the Battle of Antietam... only 1) they didn't know what the battle was actually call and 2) he didn't win that one.

I could be wrong, but I believe that you're referring to this quote;
[B]ut there’s a famous story of when Robert E. Lee was invading the North. Not the Gettysburg invasion, but an earlier one. And the set of orders got misplaced and were found by a Northern soldier. And it ended up ruining Lee’s invasion. A lot of people think if the orders hadn’t been lost, things might have been different: The Confederates might’ve sacked Washington, D.C., it’s possible the South could’ve won the war. So that notion of, what would the world have looked like if Lee had sacked D.C., if the South had won — that just always fascinated me. And history as a genre has always been interesting to me. That was really the initial thing. I wish I had a more specific trigger moment for you, but I don’t.

He's talking about General Field Order 191, the list of plans for the Antietam campaign, wrapped around two cigars, that were found by a Union cavalryman shortly before the battle of Antietam. Interestingly, a modern theory as to the placement of that order that I read about recently posited that the order was planted purposely as misdirection, but that the confidence of having the order allowed McClellan - who was a brilliant general whenever he didn't imagine he was outnumbered by two million or so - the confidence to use his tactical genius and win the battle anyways.

Now, when discussing this, I'll just mention that this is a trope that's been beaten to hell and back by speculative fiction writers. "Alternate history" clichés are "What if the Nazis won the war?", "What if Alexander the Great didn't die in 323 BCE?", and "What if the Lee won at Antietam/Gettysburg?".
Timeline 191, by Harry Turtledove, is a book series dealing specifically with that last one, and it eventually describes a course where the South turns into Nazi Germany to the United States' USSR, which leads to the nuking of Philadelphia and half a dozen Southern cities under the blatant copy of Hitler "Jake Featherstone". It's a pretty good series.
Another work of Harry Turtledove's is "The Guns of the South", which is what I'd prefer to see made into a movie - about the Confederates getting AK-47's by a bunch of white-supremacist South Africans from the Afrikaner WeerstandsBeweging using a stolen time machine, and the fallout from that, which leads up to a war between the CSA and the AWB fought with machine guns and assault rifles. It's pretty epic.

Also, @Jesse, goddamnit you posted while I was still typing this up
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby ConnorM » 22nd July, 2017, 11:55 pm

Pity wrote:I actually think there are too little. I am a little fascinated with alternate history, so I would really enjoy watching movies or shows about what would have happened if Britain won the Revolutionary War, if the Louisiana Purchase never occurred, if we annexed Cuba, etc. I don't know of any aside from The Man in the High Castle, so if you have any suggestions...

If you'd like to read more alternate history (I find it a tragedy, myself, that 1632 hasn't been made into a series yet. I want German ironclads and Ottoman zeppelins, damnit!) I've got quite a few to recommend.

SM Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time, also known as the Nantucket trilogy is excellent. It's the first of the "town displacement" series', and was highly influential, being a major contribution to all of the later series that I'll mention. In short, the island of Nantucket, as well as the USCGS Eagle get sent back in time to 1250 BCE, just before the bronze age collapse. Along the way, a psychopath Coast Guard lieutenant, William Walker, escapes from the island to build his own empire. It's a fantastic story, and involves things ranging from zeppelins made from cannibalized puddle-jumper aircraft bombing Mycenae to the most badass lesbian couple in fiction.

SM Stirling's Conquistador is about a US veteran from WWII fucking around with a radio and discovering a wormhole portal to, of all things, a world where Alexander the Great didn't die, which led to the stagnation of Europe and blah blah blah - there's only indians in California and the bastard creates his own fucked up little kingdom that regularly kidnaps US citizens, mostly cops, who try to dig too deep into the files of a mining company that serves as the fiefdom's front in the real world. Along comes two US forestry service officers who get involved after they find a living Dodo bird during an exotic-fur trafficking bust.

Now, my favorite book series of all time is 1632, by Eric Flint and about a hundred other authors. In short, the fictional town of Grantville, West Virginia, gets teleported to an alternate Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years' War, where they have to fight and expand simply to survive, with enemies like Cardinal Richelieu, and allies such as Gustavus Adolphus, the Swedish Lion of the North.
Over the course of the series (not to spoil too much, but they are on like book 20. Also, as a side note, there's six "mainline" books that advance the story meaningfully, whereas all the other books and short stories written by guest and up-and-coming young authors are sideline stories, such as the effects of it on Portuguese colonies, and the Wild Geese mercenaries from Ireland, and a couple of "popular" girls from the American High School befriending the Austrian nobility. It's a very wide-ranging setting.
But in any case, yeah, Ottoman flame-throwing steam tanks and Zeppelins fighting US/German rifle and machine-gun armed infantry supported by piston-engined fighters is a welcome development in any work of fiction.

Of course, all speculative fiction owes its life to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which is a must-read, and which, ironically, deconstructs the very tropes that the (much) later books are based on.

As for alternate history works that aren't novels, there's The Final Countdown, which is an 80's movie about a nuclear powered Supercarrier getting dragged back in time to just before Pearl Harbor. It's an odd one.
Last edited by ConnorM on 23rd July, 2017, 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Pity » 22nd July, 2017, 11:58 pm

I'm so glad you included a television work. I don't read!
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby ConnorM » 23rd July, 2017, 12:35 am

Pity wrote:I'm so glad you included a television work. I don't read!

I was going to say "What are you talking about? Given the amount of research papers you must read coming up with your racism threads-" And then I remembered that you've never actually read the papers you link to.
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Pity » 23rd July, 2017, 1:13 am

ConnorM wrote:
Pity wrote:I'm so glad you included a television work. I don't read!

I was going to say "What are you talking about? Given the amount of research papers you must read coming up with your racism threads-" And then I remembered that you've never actually read the papers you link to.


I read the abstracts and results of the research papers; that counts!
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby ConnorM » 23rd July, 2017, 1:16 am

Pity wrote:
ConnorM wrote:
Pity wrote:I'm so glad you included a television work. I don't read!

I was going to say "What are you talking about? Given the amount of research papers you must read coming up with your racism threads-" And then I remembered that you've never actually read the papers you link to.


I read the abstracts and results of the research papers; that counts!

Pick up a book and read it, please. It'll do wonders for everyone.
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Pity » 23rd July, 2017, 1:19 am

ConnorM wrote:
Pity wrote:
ConnorM wrote:
Pity wrote:I'm so glad you included a television work. I don't read!

I was going to say "What are you talking about? Given the amount of research papers you must read coming up with your racism threads-" And then I remembered that you've never actually read the papers you link to.


I read the abstracts and results of the research papers; that counts!

Pick up a book and read it, please. It'll do wonders for everyone.


I'll begin with my favorite book...

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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Togetik » 23rd July, 2017, 1:47 am

Pity wrote:I'll begin with my favorite book...


Don't defile that genuinely good series like this Pity
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Pity » 2nd August, 2017, 12:46 am

Today, it has been announced that Amazon is releasing another alt-history show called Black America. The project was announced in February, but they had not decided on the premises or name of it. They decided to announce their production of the show after all the debate over HBO's upcoming Confederate. "It envisions an alternate history where newly freed African Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama post-Reconstruction as reparations for slavery, and with that land, the freedom to shape their own destiny. The sovereign nation they formed, New Colonia, has had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with its looming “Big Neighbor,” both ally and foe, the United States. The past 150 years have been witness to military incursions, assassinations, regime change, coups, etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the U.S. and unprecedented growth, an ascendant New Colonia joins the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance."

This show looks very entertaining and interesting as it appears to be from a totally new perspective and I will be sure to watch it when it is released. Yay for alternative history!

http://deadline.com/2017/08/black-ameri ... 202139504/
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Cobalt » 2nd August, 2017, 1:41 am

Pity wrote:
Cobalt wrote:You if all people would insist this isn't racist or tone deaf in any way.


I appreciate your significant intellectual endowment to this topic. Thank you for posting!

Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't aware this was in ID. Thanks though. :rolleyes:
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Togetik » 2nd August, 2017, 2:52 am

Pity wrote:Today, it has been announced that Amazon is releasing another alt-history show called Black America. The project was announced in February, but they had not decided on the premises or name of it. They decided to announce their production of the show after all the debate over HBO's upcoming Confederate. "It envisions an alternate history where newly freed African Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama post-Reconstruction as reparations for slavery, and with that land, the freedom to shape their own destiny. The sovereign nation they formed, New Colonia, has had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with its looming “Big Neighbor,” both ally and foe, the United States. The past 150 years have been witness to military incursions, assassinations, regime change, coups, etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the U.S. and unprecedented growth, an ascendant New Colonia joins the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance."

This show looks very entertaining and interesting as it appears to be from a totally new perspective and I will be sure to watch it when it is released. Yay for alternative history!

http://deadline.com/2017/08/black-ameri ... 202139504/


This is actually a pretty interesting premise and i'll check it out to see if it's my thing hen it's out.

I guess the best possible marketing for amazon was to release information about their show amidst the backlash against what's pretty much going to be an objectively worse thing in the same genre
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Re: Thoughts on HBO's upcoming show, Confederate.

Unread postby Dessy » 2nd August, 2017, 4:28 pm

Pity wrote:Today, it has been announced that Amazon is releasing another alt-history show called Black America. The project was announced in February, but they had not decided on the premises or name of it. They decided to announce their production of the show after all the debate over HBO's upcoming Confederate. "It envisions an alternate history where newly freed African Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama post-Reconstruction as reparations for slavery, and with that land, the freedom to shape their own destiny. The sovereign nation they formed, New Colonia, has had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with its looming “Big Neighbor,” both ally and foe, the United States. The past 150 years have been witness to military incursions, assassinations, regime change, coups, etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the U.S. and unprecedented growth, an ascendant New Colonia joins the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance."

This show looks very entertaining and interesting as it appears to be from a totally new perspective and I will be sure to watch it when it is released. Yay for alternative history!

http://deadline.com/2017/08/black-ameri ... 202139504/


Now this can get my money.
(I'm still ain't subscribing to them)
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