Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Primitive times on TV

Bert pointed me to Riese, a new web "TV" series.

I'm not sure, immediately it did not appeal too much to me. I ran into the problem I've had so many times before: the primitive people living in stone age conditions look fake. I don't know, maybe they just look too healthy, comfortable... well fed. Even if they made their faces dirty, they simply look like dirty modern actors, not people who have lived their whole life without safety, good food, good bed, health care, heated houses, dental care, etc.
I must admit I don't know how I'd solve the problem if it were me. But it never convinced me.


Bert said...

You do hit a recurring problem right on the head! This is rarely handled properly (imho), and when it is, this leads to mixed feelings. I remember my girlfriend asking "where could they find so many ugly people?" while watching The Name of the Rose, many years back... still brings a wide smile on my face every time I see one of those actors in a "normal" setting.

eolake said...

Not the least is the teeth. From living here it England where not everybody has taken to good dentistry yet, it's clearly how much dentist work it takes to have a beautiful, white (often too white by far) smile. And to see that in a person supposedly from the sixteenth century is laughable.

Monsieur Beep! said...

I have the same feelings when I go to Renaissance Fairs, which represent life in the medieval age, yet where the clothes of the actors almost always seem to have come just out of the "washing machine" or factory. Rare are the good actors who play their role convincingly.

doug churchill said...

You find the same thing with military re-enactors, Beep. They have uniforms in far better condition that any soldiers from back in the day would have worn.

As for the teeth, though, there are some people who are blessed with naturally straight teeth. Also in an age before refined sugar, you did not have the kind of problems you do today. People in England in the 16th century may have had better teeth than the English of the 21st century.

That said, it must be remembered that Ramses II died of a tooth abscess.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Well, maybe it's all meant in a parodic spirit. You know, like the Flintstones, but subtler.
Like "Year One, Meet your ancestors", starring your lookalike Jack Black and Pearl Sparrow. (I made that latter one up, matey. ;-) A couple of Neanderthals banished by their clan wander and meet Adam and Eve.
[Review: "Biblical blasphemy has never been so funny!"]

Doug Churchill makes a very valid point: sweets were far less available and consumed in these days. Especially among children.
Bad breath was quite commonplace, though.
Especially if you ponder that the first toothpastes were made using urine. Really!

"That said, it must be remembered that Ramses II died of a tooth abscess."
Ha ha ha, I didn't know that!
Quite ironic, innit? Especially since Ancient Egyptians were reported to have relatively advanced medical science. Slicing an abcess open shouldn't have been too complicated!
Note that the bloke who died from the typical consequences of eating too many sweets was the richest feller in the land. Ipso facto...

"yet where the clothes of the actors almost always seem to have come just out of the "washing machine" or factory"
Yes, but still, the picture of Henry VIII wiping his greasy mitts on his lapel is a gross caricature of a myth. King's clothes vere very expensive and rare, so one would have been a little careful with them. You know, like, they didn't have those "extra delicate fabric detergents" you saw in commercial theatrical breaks during the intermission of Shakespeare's latest blockbuster.