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Television: The Dresden Files

I finished watching the The Dresden Files on Hulu last night. It was fairly entertaining, although the main character's pronounced accent (as compared to most other characters on the show) didn't make much sense. At first, I thought perhaps he'd adopted it to fit into the neighborhood where he lives and works now, but no: in the flashback with his uncle, he still broadcasts what I believe is supposed to be a blue collar Chicago accent. We're to believe he was exposed primarily to his uncle and Bob, and neither of them fit that accent profile. His father's accent wasn't pronounced, and even if it had been, Harry was taken away too early for much of it to last. I know of what I speak: I have an English cousin who moved to the States at about the age that Harry went to live with his uncle.

Despite that flaw, which could be specific to the television show, I was mostly entertained. I thought Valerie Cruz's performance as Murphy was kind of flat, but based on the difference in her portrayal of the character in the pilot episode as opposed to the rest of the series, I think that might've been the director's decision rather than the actor's.

I'm interested in reading the books at some point -- just about everyone I know says they're better.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
I didn't really notice the accent that much, but then I'm familiar enough with Paul Blackthorne to know he's English and I'm always impressed when a Brit can do a good American accent since most of the time I hear American's fake a Brit accent, it's kind of awful. So maybe I didn't pay enough attention to what kind of accent it was.

The books are much better than the series, but I will say I liked the series a lot, and some small touches I thought it improved on the books. I like how in the tv show Harry uses hockey and drum sticks as makeshift staffs and wands, but in the books he has more traditional magical staff and "blasting rod" that are made of special, rare wood and covered magical runes etc etc. It seems to me that a guy like Harry Dresden, who barely scrapes by (especially in the novels) is much more likely to make due with what he can get his hands on. Also Bob is a much more fleshed out character (literally and figuratively) in the tv show.

I will say that the books take a bit of time to really get rolling. I enjoyed the first two ok, but they were the author's first two published works and it kind of shows. I've heard different stories about people having to force themselves to slog through the first two, though I found them easy enough to get through, but the general consensus that I've heard is that book three is notable improvement and it only gets better from there.
Nov. 12th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
Totally agree - I'm a huge fan of the Dresden books, but yeah, just go ahead and start at book 3, Grave Peril. You won't miss anything - the author does an excellent job of catching you up on the stuff you need to know. (In fact, I just finished re-reading book 3 after having read the most recent book to come out, #13 - Ghost Story. It's just so fun to revisit the characters at the beginnings. Butcher does a phenomenal job of carrying forward a lot of people's stories. His pacing and plotting are also remarkably tight.

Nov. 13th, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
You know, I've rarely seen so much consensus of opinion ... like I told jasondemotte, everyone with whom I've spoken seems to agree about the first couple of books. :)

I think Butcher's Codex Alera novels sound interesting, too. Have you read any of those?
Nov. 13th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
I liked the hockey stick and drum stick, too -- I thought that was a nice way of conveying Harry's resourcefulness: he improvises solutions based on what he's got to work with, and preserves the masquerade for the normal world in the process.

I'm sorry to hear that Bob is more fleshed out in the show - I liked the character.

Everyone with whom I've talked seems to agree with you about the first couple of books. Indeed, that's partially why my husband advised me to watch the show, first ... he thought having the additional information from the series might make it less of a chore to get through the first two. :)

Thanks for the additional information!
Nov. 13th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Well, Bob does get fleshed out (so to speak) and undergoes some growth and some changes, but it takes some time for that to happen in the series. I'm thinking of book 7 (Dead Beat) and the most recent book (#13 Ghost Story). Can't really go into more detail without spoilers though, but we do get a more thorough history of Bob and we do see him as much more than just a magical reference.
Nov. 13th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I should clarify, those two books are the ones were we see some changes to Bob, but he's present and part of the plot (and just as irreverent and witty) in every book.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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