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Old 19 February 2018, 04:13 AM
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Cure the Blues Cure the Blues is offline
Join Date: 31 July 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,038

I've been watching Counterpart on Starz, with J. K. Simmons starring in a Cold War-style espionage thriller. Basically, it's a parallel world scenario where something happened in Germany 30 years ago, and it triggered split realities with the lone crossing point in an East Berlin UN building, The Office. Everything in the building is low tech, probably deliberately to keep Crossers from knowing how the Other Side is doing. They still have ancient CRTs, Polaroids, and dot matrix printers. Also I think I saw some pneumatic tubes, and the whole setup reminds me a bit of Terry Gilliam's Brazil. While both versions started out exactly the same, small alterations in both sides eventually magnified into large differences since both worlds are speciating. This also leads to the Cold War aspect, where each side tries to get information about what's going on with their twin. There's a neat scene in The Lost Art of Diplomacy in which representatives from both sides meet for a horse trading session, and it was interesting to see what was considered to be valuable data. The location of oil deposits was a no-brainer, but census data is also considered to be sensitive, possibly moreso than the oil. Plus there were small jabs here and there, like when Earth Prime's ambassador said his side's oceans were cleaner. Which may be true, but could equally well have been a bluff so his opponents would think the Prime world was doing better than they expected. Anyways, Simmons does a fantastic job at differentiating both versions of Howard Silk. It's easy to tell which Howard I'm looking at just by how Simmons carries himself. I also really love the title sequence. I thought maybe it was Elastic, who does the titles for Westworld and Game of Thrones, but it's Karin Fong's production company Imaginary Forces. They really did a brilliant job at capturing the mood of the show.
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