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https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/nov/17/george-clooney-returns-to-television-for-catch-22-two-decades-after-er?CMP=soc_567

 

This could be good.

 



George Clooney will make his return to television in a serialised adaptation of Catch-22, Paramount Television revealed on Thursday.

Clooney, who left hit medical drama ER nearly 20 years ago, will direct and star in the six-episode series, based on US author Joseph Heller’s darkly comedic 1961 novel of the same name.

The series will begin shooting in early 2018 for Viacom Inc’s Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, but has not yet been acquired by a network for distribution.

 

Set in Italy during the second world war, Catch-22 follows a US soldier named Yossarian, whose army keeps raising the number of missions that a soldier must complete in order to be released from duty. In an infuriating bureaucratic paradox called a “catch-22” – a phrase coined in Heller’s text – Yossarian’s only way to avoid the missions is to declare insanity, but by indicating unwillingness to embark on dangerous missions he demonstrates a rational, sane mind.

Clooney, 56, will play Yossarian’s commander Colonel Cathcart, and direct alongside his producing partner Grant Heslov. The show has been co-written and executive produced by Luke Davies and David Michôd. No other cast members have been announced.

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You know, i got around to reading the novel by Joseph Heller about 7 years ago coz its always touted as one of those classic books you've just gotta read and I was really dissapointed. It made absolutely no impression on me whatsoever. Its supposed to be witty and satirical but I didn't find it funny or amusing or poignant or anything really. Can't even remember much about the story now!  

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40 minutes ago, Sartre84 said:

You know, i got around to reading the novel by Joseph Heller about 7 years ago coz its always touted as one of those classic books you've just gotta read and I was really dissapointed. It made absolutely no impression on me whatsoever. Its supposed to be witty and satirical but I didn't find it funny or amusing or poignant or anything really. Can't even remember much about the story now!  

 

*Nately's whore jumps out at you and chases you out of the thread*

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The sequel was published in The November 94 issue of playboy. I only know this because I bought it. It was a Pamela Anderson edition. Only issue I ever bought.

 

i bought it for the article on the unabomber...

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Finished this up tonight and I thought it was fantastic. It left out a lot of the book but that's understandable. The cast are really good, althought every actor is a little too handsome, especially the guy playing Yossarian. It looks superb and they've definitely spent a few quid on it - the planes and the base are really well done. I don't think it could be called 'essentail television' but it's superior stuff and another great Hulu show. 

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Looked for this thread after seeing adverts for the show everywhere today, given that Catch 22 is the greatest book ever written by a country mile (in my opinion at least) this is only going to be disappointing, isn't it? 

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Its a weird time for film & TV. The first TV show by George Clooney, based on a beloved book and no thread!

Anybody watching this? I'm about to settle down with episode 1 now. I'll let you know in an hour...

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I thought it was passable. Some funny scenes, some horrific scenes and some great performances though overall it was just kinda flat. My main problem was the guy who plays yo-yo just seems to lack charisma entirely, just like his character in girls. I liked all the supporting cast but he bored the shit out of me in this. I give it a solid 7.5 as it’s not bad per-say just not great.  

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I’m struggling with this. Catch 22 was my favourite book as a teenager, and I was really excited about this, but...

 

Yossarian is totally wrong. He should be gregarious, funny, mad, horny and scared. This guy is too quiet, too sensible. Orr isn’t mental enough. Cathcart is too confident and not paranoid enough.

 

In the book every character is pretty much unhinged, but this feels like it’s played way too straight like a standard drama. It’s a bit boring.

 

Also maybe I’m misremembering it, but I felt the first half of the book is just really funny and silly, with tiny flashes of darkness, so you really feel it as the tide turns in the second half. This has felt much more straight from day one.

 

I’m still finding it quite watchable, but it just feels like a different story and characters.

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On 02/06/2019 at 21:50, Silent Runner said:

Finished this up tonight and I thought it was fantastic. It left out a lot of the book but that's understandable. The cast are really good, althought every actor is a little too handsome, especially the guy playing Yossarian. It looks superb and they've definitely spent a few quid on it - the planes and the base are really well done. I don't think it could be called 'essentail television' but it's superior stuff and another great Hulu show. 

 

For the plane nerds, it was only two real B25s with the rest CGI’d in but it was damn hard to tell the difference. They also had a real Dakota and Junkers.

 

I enjoyed it but have never actually read the book despite owning it for ages. 

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I just finished it and I enjoyed it, though it's a very different beast to the book (at least in my recollection). Going to have to read it again now :)

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Sorely disappointing. The film was many times better than this and managed to capture the surreal essence of the book, where this failed massively in that respect. Almost every character was poorly cast and acted and the script missed the point completely. 

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I've never read the book or seen the film, but have just finished this series.

 

I loved it. Beautifully shot, great music, some really funny scenes. Amazingly tragic and sad, for me it really sold the insanity of war. The last 3 episodes really did me in too - the deaths, the acceptance of it all.

 

The general consensus seems to be that this pales in comparison with the original book, but if you haven't read that, perhaps give this a whirl. I didn't regret it.

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As another fan of the book, I am really enjoying this series, much more so than the film. I think untangling the timeline and grounding the tone was a great decision. It reflects the absurdity in a different way to the source. I just hope they haven’t excised too many of the remaining plot threads.

 

Based on the first few eps I expected this to get a better response than it has. 

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Yeah I decided to finish this and actually rather enjoyed it in the end. It’s so different from the first half of the book that I really struggled to accept it, but the second half felt much better. 

 

I still ill think it doesn’t really make sense to make a somewhat straight war drama from the book though. There are loads of war dramas, but Catch 22 is a pretty unique book. Why not try something more ambitious? Feels like they got a perfectly serviceable result, but missed an opportunity for something great.

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I haven’t watched this, and don’t intend to, but I think in answer to @MemoryLeak‘s point above I’m guessing that as a lot of what makes Catch 22 unique is Heller’s extraordinary command of language, and his ability to slowly let tonal shifts blossom by masterful play with the motifs and rhetorical devices he establishes throughout the book, to capture that in such a comparatively limited form as tv drama is all but impossible.

 

I’ve not seen the film either, so I don’t know if that manages the feat.

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59 minutes ago, ZOK said:

I’ve not seen the film either, so I don’t know if that manages the feat.

I think you in particular would like the film - it's more of a surreal, tone piece than a straight adaptation. Mike Nichols in his 60s-70s prime.

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Yes I’ve always fancied it, but I’ve got a bit of a fear of seeing it also - I hate having characters in precious books ‘re-cast’ in my mind by a film, if you get me.

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15 hours ago, MemoryLeak said:

Yeah I decided to finish this and actually rather enjoyed it in the end. It’s so different from the first half of the book that I really struggled to accept it, but the second half felt much better. 

 

I still ill think it doesn’t really make sense to make a somewhat straight war drama from the book though. There are loads of war dramas, but Catch 22 is a pretty unique book. Why not try something more ambitious? Feels like they got a perfectly serviceable result, but missed an opportunity for something great.

 

That's all I could think while watching the first couple of episodes. Playing it straight was a bizarre decision.

 

 

30 minutes ago, ZOK said:

Yes I’ve always fancied it, but I’ve got a bit of a fear of seeing it also - I hate having characters in precious books ‘re-cast’ in my mind by a film, if you get me.

 

The film at least tries to capture the atmosphere of the book and actually does a pretty decent job of it. The humour is there is flashes, as are the surrealism and head-fucking frustration of it all. Certainly worth a watch for fans of the book.

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