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The Queen’s Gambit | Netflix

  • 24-09-2020 12:57pm
    #1
    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil




    Netflix pumping out the trailers lately. I saw Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch a few years back. Wiki says 6 episodes, but IMDb says 7.

    First moves on the chess board start on Oct 23rd. They've certainly captured the era here, by the look of it.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ storker




    Netflix pumping out the trailers lately. I saw Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch a few years back. Wiki says 6 episodes, but IMDb says 7.

    First moves on the chess board start on Oct 23rd. They've certainly captured the era here, by the look of it.

    Just finished the whole thing and I'd say it's definitely lived up to its promise as well as being a very faithful adaptation of Walter Tevis's novel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭ cdgalwegian


    First episode very entertaining, with great acting all round. Very promising series.
    Minor quibble- the young Beth used to be
    gone for inordinately long periods of time, playing chess in the basement, with her absence hardly noticed
    . Hardly likely.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ storker


    First episode very entertaining, with great acting all round. Very promising series.
    Minor quibble- the young Beth used to be
    gone for inordinately long periods of time, playing chess in the basement, with her absence hardly noticed
    . Hardly likely.

    In the book she earned demerits from the geography teacher for being absent for 15 minutes during the first game (Scholar's Mate). I suppose they can't cram everything into the series.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,370 ✭✭✭ Cina


    This show is excellent. Best thing Netflix has put out in quite a while I'd say. Everyone should watch it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,308 ✭✭✭ Wombatman


    Through 4 Eps and really loving this. Hopefully it can maintain the quality till the end. Maybe it will help to make chess sexy again.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,533 ✭✭✭ pappyodaniel


    Didn't think this would be my cup of tea but 4 episodes in and it's very good.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    I've watched the first two and have been enjoying it. I did think it there was a touch of Forrest Gump at one point in the second one, but it escapes me now. I know little about chess, so that aspect is fascinating and a game with little equipment it has stood the test of time too.

    Troubling to see someone that young
    reliant on tablets.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,884 ✭✭✭✭ Liam O


    It was amazing. Enjoyed it from start to finish and a really satisfying end, came to a natural conclusion while feeling like you want more. Really satisfying watch and a great character study.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,497 ✭✭✭ auspicious


    Best thing I've seen in a while from Netflix although I'm only 3 episodes in.
    A coming of age drama in the 60s U.S. where the cultural position of women is suppressed in the dominant male soceity.
    A chance meeting with the school's somewhat muted caretaker propells Beth on a journey of potential and acceptance ( muted perhaps as failure to fully accept the female, especially younger, better than himself).
    There is a dichotomy between Beth and her new mother. The mother is suppressed by societal norms and an overbearing husband whereas Beth's insofar experience of society is nonexistent and such constraints don't necessarily apply. Her new guardian mother vicariously exploits her ability as means to greater fortune upon learning her talent. Though I hope I'm wrong.

    From what I've watched it is very worth watching.


  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭ Urethra Franklin.


    I enjoyed this a lot but I suppose a minor complaint would that the actress who is in her mid 20s was playing at one point a 15 year old who was passing as a 13 year old-it was just too unbelievable, I couldn't take the show seriously during that particular episode cause there is no way that actress would ever be mistaken as anyone under the age of 18, never mind 13.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,298 ✭✭✭ RedRochey


    Finished it last night and really enjoyed it, at the start it made me want to start playing chess but by the end I knew I'd have no hope :D


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 2,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Oink


    I really enjoyed it. They didn’t get everything right, but I’d call it a great show.
    I couldn’t believe that the story managed to avoid all the lazy clichés: I expected child abuse in the basement because that’s what happens in movies, and other things like that. Didn’t happen.
    Great show.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,804 ✭✭✭✭ extra gravy


    Oink wrote: »
    I couldn’t believe that the story managed to avoid all the lazy clichés: I expected child abuse in the basement because that’s what happens in movies, and other things like that. Didn’t happen.
    The part where she goes back to the school, finds the photo of them and then breaks down gave me a lump in my throat. It was beautifully acted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,201 ✭✭✭ Man with broke phone


    I always wonder who is recommending these films and if they are in the same target market or age group as me.

    So to save me the time is this a coming of age drama based on a teenage girl who plays chess and sticks it to the patriarchy?

    As a middle aged builder man would I be wasting my time?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,234 ✭✭✭ sodacat11


    As a chess coach myself I enjoyed the chess content and the fact that it will promote chess to a wider public but as a piece of drama I found it lacking in some areas. I thought that the main character was far too model like and unbelievable. As with all American series everyone has to look like a supermodel and wear designer clothes and everything just felt too glossy compared to the best European dramas which are always very realistic. I thought too that the storyline was shallow and predictable and that some areas which could have been developed more just weren't. By the end of it I was reminded of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act for some reason. I thought that the guy in the hat was a strong character as was the step mother but the main character was just too unbelievable. Having said all that , we did watch the whole seven episodes in one sitting and we did enjoy it so 7/10 would be a fair assessment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ storker


    So to save me the time is this a coming of age drama based on a teenage girl who plays chess and sticks it to the patriarchy?

    As a middle aged builder man would I be wasting my time?

    It's a drama about the dangers from within that can come with genius.

    Although her opponents are 99% male, it has nothing to do with the patriarchy. The main character is interested in chess, not her own gender and in fact gets irritated when stories about her focus on that aspect. She wants to talk about chess, not sexual politics.

    From the novel (repeated almost verbatim in the series):

    “[...] it’s mostly about my being a girl.”
    “Well, you are one.”
    “It shouldn’t be that important,” Beth said. “They didn’t print half the things I told them. They didn’t tell about Mr. Shaibel. They didn’t say anything about how I play the Sicilian.”


    If it's feminism, it's the old fashioned kind and not the more recent victimhood-focused kind. In that sense, the series can be viewed as a breath of fresh air.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,015 ✭✭✭ Greyfox


    Just finished it, easily this years best tv series. My girlfriend enjoyed it even though she doesnt know how to play chess, it helps if you know the basic chess rules. superb performance from Anya Taylor joy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 175 ✭✭ wetlandsboy


    One of the best series I’ve seen on Netflix for quite some time. Just oozes quality in every respect - acting, script, production design and direction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,840 ✭✭✭ GSPfan


    Brilliant show. So enjoyable. As someone mentioned earlier it manages to side step orphanage tropes and just plays out this girls love for chess in an unusual setting with unusual circumstances.

    It’s whimsical at times and the lead character flirts with being unlikeable but you just want her to succeed.

    Something that bugs me about great shows is how little the score will get mentioned. This has shades of Battlestar Galactica and Westworld. The chess tournament sequences are set to some thrilling pieces and it ramps up the tension perfectly.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,618 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Hyzepher


    Great show and even more remarkable that the key matches are actually famous matches from history. Even the correction she is told about after the state championship was a real debate in the chess world when that match was played


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭ cdgalwegian


    One of the best series I’ve seen on Netflix for quite some time. Just oozes quality in every respect - acting, script, production design and direction.
    On top of that it has the feel of a stylized biography, with great effect. Everything about it is stylish, with great attention to detail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ storker


    On top of that it has the feel of a stylized biography, with great effect. Everything about it is stylish, with great attention to detail.

    SPOILERS BELOW




    I got the sense that the production was something of a labour of love, particularly with regard to the novel. I know that criticism of the series should be on its own merits, but when you've read a novel before seeing its screen version, it's hard to put it out of your mind. That said, the series stands on its own well, and it could even be said that if you've seen the Netflix version, you don't really need to read the novel - although I'd still recommend it. A lot of the novel finds its way into the series almost word for word. Because the novel can be a little light on dialogue, much of the narration is delivered via the actors, for example, descriptions of games delivered by the narrator in the novel are given voice by actors during or after the games, for example Beth describing the Mexico City game against Borgov to her mother, or the British radio commentary during the tournament in Moscow.

    The narration-as-dialogue approach isn't limited to the games, for example Benny's disparaging comments about the lack of attention given to the U.S. chess championship are actually Beth's own thoughts in the novel: "They were the highest-ranked players in the country, assembled here in a single room, but it had the feel of a high school tournament. If it were golf or tennis, Benny Watts and she would be surrounded by reporters, would be playing under something other than these fluorescent lights and on plastic boards with cheap plastic pieces, watched by a few polite middle-aged people with nothing better to do."

    Mr Shaibel's funeral: "Nobody cried. They looked like people waiting in line at a teller’s window at the bank." In the series we get this from Beth and Jolene. The awful fish: "But you had to eat every bite, or Mrs. Deardorff would be told about you and you wouldn’t get adopted." Netflix has this delivered by Jolene's sidekick instead.

    There is one occasion where this approach just doesn't sound right and that is when Beth talks, rather bitchily, to Matt and Mike in Mexico City about Mrs Wheatly and Manuel. Again this is lifted from the novel's narration, but in this case it sounds awkward.

    The Netflix production contains a lot of little details from the novel that would have been very easy to leave out, and which in truth don't matter all that much, but it's nice to see them all the same, for example the flames on Harry's car or the Heinz cardboard box containing his chess books. Likewise some of the brand names that appear e.g. the Ripple wine, or Benny's "Chock Full o' Nuts" coffee cup. Also fair play to the series makes for making the orphanage fish dish look every bit as unpalatable as it was described to be by the author.

    The reproduction of the 50's/60's feel alone must surely deserve an award e.g. the cars, the beer cans with the reinforced bottoms and seams down the sides, interior decorations that are sometimes an assault on the eyes and sometimes very nice, and the look of the department store in particular.

    There are some additions to and changes from the novel, but none of the hurt the story, and may even help. One example is the pre-game bender Beth goes on in Paris with Cleo. In the novel Beth is in good shape for that game and plays her best chess ever, and Borgov still beats her, but I found that that the alternative version still works. Possibly the biggest change is Beth's mother's back story, of which there is pretty much none in the novel. The only thing we know about here is that the young Beth remembers: “Wipe yourself,” Mother would say in the bathroom. “Be sure to wipe your c**t.” This doesn't seem to tally with the version of her mother that we see in the series, but the new version works anyway.

    There were a couple of small things which I was hoping to see that were left out. In the novel, at the conclusion of the meeting with Allston Wheatly and the lawyer when Wheatly complains about it being too hot in the house, Beth responds "You could have taken off your coat." Pow. That really should have been left in. Another is when we see a glimpse of a more human Borgov, that in the series isn't revealed until the final game: "He ignored her as usual, and she ignored him, but he was not as frightening with a teacup in his hand [...] When the director came to escort them to the stage, Borgov glanced at her just before he left the room and raised his eyebrows slightly as if to say, “Here we go again!” and she found herself smiling faintly at him."

    My biggest criticisms would be for the ending, and the way in which Beth's Jolene-led recovery is portrayed - much too quickly. In the novel this involves visits to the gym many squash games and a change in diet. In the series, it's like Jolene flicks a switch and Beth is all better. In the novel it's a slower process: "But when she opened the refrigerator to find something for breakfast, she saw stacks of TV dinners and suddenly thought of the way Mrs. Wheatley’s pale legs had looked when she rolled down her stockings. She shook her head in revulsion [...] When she opened the cabinet to look over the canned foods, there were three bottles of Almadén Mountain Rhine sitting in front of the cans. She hesitated and closed the door. She would think about that later."

    Lastly, the ending, although again very true to the novel there a couple of changes that stretch credibility, the first being Townes turning up in Moscow - in the novel she doesn't see him again after Las Vegas, and there was no Roger. The author gives the impression that Beth and Townes never got it together because Townes just didn't pick up on the attraction Beth felt for him - or possibly because of her age. From their photo-shoot in his hotel room: "She did not want to play this game with him. She wanted to make love with him.", but Townes plays on, seemingly oblivious.

    The second is the presence of Beltik and Mike and Matt in Benny's apartment during the Moscow tournament. Even forgetting about the novel we know Benny is aware of Beltik, but there is no suggestion that they are friends or why Beltik, from Kentucky, should find himself at Benny's apartment in New York, much less the other two or how they are qualified to assist with the analysis of Beth's adjourned game. Their presence, and that of Townes, gives the ending a bit of a Four Weddings/Love Actually feel that it doesn't really need.

    But these are, I suppose, just quibbles. The Queen's Gambit is a great production that does justice to a great novel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,096 ✭✭✭ storker


    Hyzepher wrote: »
    Great show and even more remarkable that the key matches are actually famous matches from history.

    Analysis of the final game against Borgov:



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,673 ✭✭✭ jam_mac_jam


    I always wonder who is recommending these films and if they are in the same target market or age group as me.

    So to save me the time is this a coming of age drama based on a teenage girl who plays chess and sticks it to the patriarchy?

    As a middle aged builder man would I be wasting my time?

    No, it's not really like that. It's more about the chess and a lot of the struggles she faces could apply to men or women.

    There is no real sticking it to the patriarchy she just happens to be female. I think a middle aged builder man would enjoy it.

    It's very good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,728 ✭✭✭ Nigzcurran


    No, it's not really like that. It's more about the chess and a lot of the struggles she faces could apply to men or women.

    There is no real sticking it to the patriarchy she just happens to be female. I think a middle aged builder man would enjoy it.

    It's very good.
    I’m an absolute oaf of a bloke and me and the moth loved it, one of the best things we’ve watched in a long time and highly recommended


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,951 ✭✭✭ Ficheall


    Hyzepher wrote: »
    Great show and even more remarkable that the key matches are actually famous matches from history. Even the correction she is told about after the state championship was a real debate in the chess world when that match was played
    They had Kasparov has a consultant, so not so hugely surprising. And probably easier to use famous matches than come up with new chess games which people wouldn't analyse to death afterwards.


    I enjoyed the show, though some of the aspects to make chess interesting (and to make the show viewable) were a bit OTT. Every game blitzed, staring at your opponent every move, no draws, no agonising for an hour over a move (aside from the adjournments), banging every piece down on the board emphatically as though it were a decisive move..

    It was grand though. There are some better shows on Netflix, but many, many worse ones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,318 ✭✭✭✭ 2smiggy


    Just finished it, found it excellent. One of the best things I've watched this year


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,470 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    just watched first episode last night, don't know anything about the book or story, enjoyed it. will fire it up again later when the kids go to bed


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,540 CMod ✭✭✭✭ spurious


    Very enjoyable I thought. I liked how it treated the audience as grown-ups who didn't need every little thing explained to them.


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,326 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil


    Just bought the book on Kindle for £0.89.


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