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Crusoe


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#1

Bookhouse Boy

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Posted Apr 2, 2008 @ 10:31 PM

NBC has announced their slates for 2008-2009, and one of the more intriguing new titles for the fall schedule is "Crusoe", which I'm going to presume is a TV revival of "Robinson Crusoe." In other words... it's "LOST" but with one guy and a sidekick instead of a whole plane full. Anyway... discuss !

#2

Dynamite Teddy

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Posted Apr 2, 2008 @ 11:02 PM

Sounds kinda interesting. I'm a huge LOST fan but I'll definitely check out the first episode. I'm actually kinda surprised now that I think about it that with LOST's success they didn't try this sooner.

#3

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Posted Aug 8, 2008 @ 3:28 AM

I'm actually intrigued.

This was one of my first "serious" reads as a kid. Seeing it done RIGHT would be great.

Obviously it has to be tweaked somewhat to action-adventurefy it, but I don't think that automatically ruins it if done with some intelligence. Yes, we'll see more people on the Island than Crusoe and Friday, but depending on WHO they are it doesn't necessarily invalidate the core premise.

And the flashback device obviously allows the story to be expanded beyond the Island without compromising what happens on it.

Here's the NBC minisite with more details: http://www.nbc.com/Crusoe/

#4

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Posted Aug 8, 2008 @ 11:53 AM

I'm actually kinda surprised now that I think about it that with LOST's success they didn't try this sooner.


I'm surprised as well, but think they purposely held off so that the comparisons weren't so obvious. Even though it's an older more well known story, they will not be able to escape the comparisons.

I am actually interested in the show, to see how well they tell the story while keeping with the book and the time period. The trailer looks pretty good, although some of the island scenes look like a campy sound stage which I don't think it is. Probably just how they decided to film the "adventure!!!".

Personally, I do not have any high expectations for this show and it's survival since it appears NBC doesn't even think it worthy of a good time slot. It has the Friday 8pm eastern/ 7pm central slot which means I will have to set the timer since I won't be home to actually watch it. When LOST premiered, it at least got the Wednesday at 8est/7cent, but NBC gave that slot to Knight Rider.

#5

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Posted Aug 8, 2008 @ 12:54 PM

"The love story between Crusoe and his wife Susannah..." What wife?? In the book, he wasn't married. He mentioned his parents and regretted the strained relationship he had with them before he went to sea.

I think of Crusoe as an eighteenth-century MacGyver, using items scavenged from the ship to create a life for himself. If they create an elaborate backstory with flashbacks, it's just not Robinson Crusoe. Of course, being TV, they need dialog and character interaction, blah, blah, blah, so the whole thing will wind up as flashbacks to this un-canon backstory. If he paints a face on a cocoanut and talks to it, we'll know what story they're really adapting.

#6

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Posted Aug 8, 2008 @ 6:31 PM

"The love story between Crusoe and his wife Susannah..." What wife?? In the book, he wasn't married. He mentioned his parents and regretted the strained relationship he had with them before he went to sea.

I actually think its an acceptable addition. Realistically, to grab a 21st century audience, and to cover 585 minutes of airtime, the story needs some expansion. Adding a wife simply adds another motivation for him to want to get off the Island.

Could it very easily be messed up? Yes. But I can also comprehend it working as well.

#7

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Posted Aug 28, 2008 @ 1:01 PM

Obviously it has to be tweaked somewhat to action-adventurefy it, but I don't think that automatically ruins it if done with some intelligence.


If they create an elaborate backstory with flashbacks, it's just not Robinson Crusoe. Of course, being TV, they need dialog and character interaction, blah, blah, blah, so the whole thing will wind up as flashbacks to this un-canon backstory.

As antithetical as it may seem, I see both concerns. Robinson Crusoe, IMO, was a great story. It's possible that tweaking it for an audience not as familiar with the classics may encourage them to read the original.

OTOH, I think it looks interesting from it's promos and trailers and I think it has an impressive cast. I'll be able to see it at an earlier time; and it may find an audience, although probably not gargantuan, of others who are home-bound or wait until later to go out.

I am actually interested in the show, to see how well they tell the story while keeping with the book and the time period.

I am too. It seems a refreshing change.

#8

Lector

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Posted Aug 28, 2008 @ 1:49 PM

"The love story between Crusoe and his wife Susannah..." What wife?? In the book, he wasn't married. He mentioned his parents and regretted the strained relationship he had with them before he went to sea.


There is a wife in the novel--RC marries her after he gets back from the island. I don't think she has a name, though. She also appears briefly in Defoe's sequel, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719).

ETA: Spoilered, because you never know...

Edited by Lector, Aug 28, 2008 @ 1:54 PM.


#9

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 2:08 PM

Okay, this review cracks me up and sort of makes me weirdly excited for the beefcake and the HoYay. And the hate. Sometimes it's fun to watch something we hate.

#10

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 2:20 PM

Thanks for the link! It sounds horrendous...and cheesy! I might just watch. Maybe next week Ginger and Mary Ann can show up to drive a wedge between the guys. Oh, it's not the CW. Never mind.

#11

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 7:40 PM

I'm not even gonna front.

I'm mainly checking this out for the prime eyecandy of the dudes who play Crusoe and Friday. I mean you gotta guy who looks like the offspring of Sean Bean and Julian Sands, plus another cutie who kinda looks like a mixture of Dule Hill and Woody Strode. Oh yeah, and there's also an adorable Border Collie on the premises.

Well I'll be damned. Look who they cast to play Crusoe's daddy!

Edited by binturite, Oct 17, 2008 @ 7:43 PM.


#12

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 9:05 PM

At least there are hot guys and HoYay, because well thats about all it has going for it. I didn't think it was that bad though, could be a good way to kill an hour :D

#13

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 9:16 PM

Well I'm prepared for this to be cancelled in about three episode because I actually enjoyed it. It was campy fun and a nice escapist hour.

And as to the aforementioned HoYay. More please!

Not enough Sean Bean though. Even so, I'll tune in again. Even if just to watch Phillip Winchester stand around and look pretty.

#14

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 9:38 PM

I really enjoyed this as well. I hadn't read any reviews or opinion pieces, so I went in with a clean slate. Besides the pretty, I thought it was lovely to look at, scenery-wise. There's a good cast, the actors did a decent job, and I decided right at the beginning after I caught myself wondering how the hell he got the zipline strung, or whether it was customary in that era for men to wear wedding rings, to just let all that roll off and enjoy it for was it is. Of course, that means I've cursed it.

Sweet deal for Sean Bean and Sam Neill though. If they're confined to flashbacks (which I thought were fairly well integrated and didn't take over the show) then they probably only had to put in a few days work for all the episodes that have so far been shot.

Edited by Ananayel, Oct 17, 2008 @ 9:39 PM.


#15

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 10:07 PM

My one major problem was that way too much of it was played for laughs, like the initial traps the pirates fall into and the one that got hit with an arrow being executed. Yeah, Robinson's in some pretty grim circumstances and we'd need some of it from time to time, but he and Friday had some good banter that didn't feel forced, and should have been enough. Also, it made the transitions to the constantly deadly serious flashbacks pretty jarring.

Other than that, I liked it a lot. Read the book as a kid, and even with the additions it seems to capture the same spirit.

#16

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 10:20 PM

My one major problem was that way too much of it was played for laughs

I agree. I thought they were heavily laying on the Pirates of the Caribbean vibe and not really pulling it off.

I admit I was intrigued by the disappearing/reappearing blindingly white shirt Crusoe (sometimes) wore. From scene to scene it came and went, and no matter what happened in the scene before, it was always pristine during its next appearance. Truly remarkable.

It was kind of fun, but I can't figure out how they're going to come up with a full season's worth of stories based on an island population of two. If too many ships wander by bringing new faces, the island is not so deserted.

#17

wheeler

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 @ 11:46 PM

It was kind of fun, but I can't figure out how they're going to come up with a full season's worth of stories based on an island population of two. If too many ships wander by bringing new faces, the island is not so deserted.


You beat me to it; I was about to post the exact same thing. I now see that it isn't a full series, but rather a 13-part mini-series (though they don't use that term on the NBC site) but still...

Without a lot more flashbacks and some looooong talks between Crusoe and Friday, I don't see how they're even going to get 13 episodes. But I have a feeling that we'll see more of what we saw tonight: plenty of guest stars finding their way to the island, yet leaving without taking Crusoe with them. Which, when you think about it, is almost the exact same premise as Gilligan's Island. (In fact, after seeing Crusoe's treehouse and all of the gadgetry in it, it looks like The Professor is already on the island...)

#18

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 12:41 AM

Watched this on a lark but ended up staying for the whole two hours and was mostly entertained. The tree house was spectacular (a little Swiss Family Robinson vibe, the one with young Jesse Spencer), loved McGuyver Crusoe's wacky inventions, and the hint at Friday's warrior past. That pirate girl is definitely coming back to the island and so am I!

#19

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 12:47 AM

I found this quite enjoyable as well but then I'm partial to long-haired blonde men who find themselves stranded on islands. And Sean Bean is just an added bonus. I too hope Judy the Pirate makes a return to the island. To heck with Susannah. Crusoe needs some...er, more sword fighting.

#20

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 1:03 AM

I liked it. I could see the potential for exploring different story avenues due to the non-linear storyline. It's all action/adventure, really, but there was enough wit to the dialogue that it sure as hell beat watching any episode of the Knight Rider remake, which I suppose is the low bar that I have a post-strike TV season.

I love Lost, that story owes a lot of debt to the original version of this one, so I don't mind a reboot of Crusoe's story that owes some small debt to Lost for its flashback structure.

#21

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 7:27 AM

I'm with you that I was really excited to see Sean Bean. Great casting Crusoe looks a lot like him. Very nice to look at. I stopped on it last night because nothing else was on and ended up watching both hours because it kept me interested. However, I kept turning to my husband and saying - he can build all that, why can't he build a boat???? Seriously.

#22

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 8:44 AM

My guess is that he isn't quite sure where the storm took him, and doesn't want to risk getting lost on the ocean when at least he has food and water and anything he can build on the island. Works for GI too, really.

#23

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 12:55 PM

Pirates are boring, but ridiculous impossible low-tech gadgetry and border collies RULE. The plot was overstretched and relatively boring, but with pretty (and EXPENSIVE!) scenery like that I'll definitely be watching next week. Where will the magic white shirt appear from next time?

Is Philip Winchester secretly Sean Bean's son? The resemblance is uncanny. I wonder which of them was cast first? At least Winchester can do a pretty decent English accent, unlike most of the pirate crew.

#24

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 1:17 PM

I liked it. Wasn't sure - I TiVo'd it - but next thing I knew I had watched all of it. Nice to have something new on Friday nights.

I seem to have had the same thought others have had:

It was kind of fun, but I can't figure out how they're going to come up with a full season's worth of stories based on an island population of two. If too many ships wander by bringing new faces, the island is not so deserted.


But I'm willing to go along for the ride for now, especially for shallow shirtless reasons and cool treetop lodgings.

NBC has an interesting video on building the tree house.

#25

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 1:55 PM

Is Philip Winchester secretly Sean Bean's son? The resemblance is uncanny. I wonder which of them was cast first? At least Winchester can do a pretty decent English accent, unlike most of the pirate crew.


So...every other show on network TV features a Brit/Scot/Irish person/Aussie/Kiwi (there must be one) playing an American. They hired an American to play a Brit in this. Go pretty boy!

Gosh, he's pretty. So is the black guy. It'll probably be cancelled next week....

What did they put on lead pirate's teeth to turn them bright orange? Maybe they should just get big placards they can wear around their necks with good guy/bad guy in big letters.

#26

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 2:41 PM

...I now see that it isn't a full series, but rather a 13-part mini-series (though they don't use that term on the NBC site)...

I didn't know that. That actually makes me hopeful we'll get all 13 episodes then.

It actually helps me like the series even more. I like the idea of an encapsulated series that doesn't renew. It's nice to have a fixed beginning, middle and end.

It also makes me understand better how they got Sam Neill and Sean Bean to agree to it. Especially since, based on last night, there was only a few day's work there for the two of them.

I agree with one of the reviews I read that the flashbacks are a bit jarring to the current action, but I like them too much to care.

I think they have the ratings to get to the 13 episode ending. It got better ratings at 9pm and since that's the normal time-slot it should get the necessary time to air all the episodes.

Edited by SanLynn, Oct 18, 2008 @ 2:47 PM.


#27

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 @ 7:11 PM

I definitely thought this had some tone and pacing problems, but like most of y'all, the pretty scenery and pretty beefcake will definitely get me to tune in again.

The Sean Bean resemblance really is uncanny, right down to the mannerisms and facial expressions...

#28

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Posted Oct 19, 2008 @ 1:18 AM

I agree with one of the reviews I read that the flashbacks are a bit jarring to the current action, but I like them too much to care.


I'm a veteran Lost viewer, so I was right at home with those. It's to the point where shows with 100% linear narratives kind of bore me. Being able to jump to any point in the past (usually with a cue in the dialogue that leads us from A to B in terms of what Crusoe is remembering and why it got brought up) opens up a much greater potential for story avenues that can be explored.

The Sean Bean resemblance really is uncanny, right down to the mannerisms and facial expressions...


Seriously! My wife and I were convinced we'd seen the guy in a movie before, and I pinpointed it and said, "Wasn't he in Lord of the Rings?", and then Sean Bean appeared in a flashback and I was like, "Wait, that's the Lord of the Rings guy."

#29

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Posted Oct 19, 2008 @ 8:33 AM

The show was ok. I didn't mind the cuts between present/past, I'm used to it from Lost. The two leads were fine, but the other actors (pirates) not so much. Great to see Sam Neil & Sean Bean. Now the film they used... well it's like they set it up to be cheesy even before any lines were spoken. Maybe it's just me but the film distracted me and some of the angle's/close-ups... any fancy location they used in the episode was diminished because of it.

The Sean Bean resemblance really is uncanny, right down to the mannerisms and facial expressions...


Totally freaky. The casting of the two is spot on. Someone should do a DNA test.

#30

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Posted Oct 19, 2008 @ 11:46 PM

I can't figure out how they're going to come up with a full season's worth of stories based on an island population of two. If too many ships wander by bringing new faces, the island is not so deserted.

I can already see all kinds of silly Gilligan's Islandesque situations, where people come and go but for various reasons either can't, won't or shouldn't be allowed to rescue Crusoe.

I thought they were heavily laying on the Pirates of the Caribbean vibe and not really pulling it off.

It's pretty hard to avoid that vibe when doing "Pirate" characters these days I guess.

Also, the "lady pirate" seemed like a cheesy concept in a whole other way.