Netflix’s Marcolo Polo is so good you guys I’m crying:
- historically accurate enough where it hits the salient points and doesn’t make WTF decisions when it does deviate. it fleshes out the historical events so we can see personalities and psychological profiles. also makes use of existing history and doesn’t fall into making up unnecessary crap for the sake of drama. i think the stuff they do add ultimately serves for a better story overall
- completely focused on the time and place of the mongol empire and not euro-centric or all about the shenanigans that the protagonist gets into
- white male protagonist is NOT playing a hero trying to save the eastern barbarians with his western ideals but is only a fish out of water trying to learn and adapt to a foreign culture and observing the historical events that are happening around him
- multi-ethnic cast: kublai khan’s empire is not presented as having only mongolians but instead is shown to receive ppl from europe, the middle east, central asia, and east asia. they actually cast POC actors to play historical figures and ppl of the regions!
- multi-dimensional female characters: we have a queen who is kind and wise, openly challenges her emperor husband without repercussions or even a comment about how special that is, but also ruthless when her son is harmed, an imperial consort who plays both a femme fatale and tender mother, and a beautiful princess who has a touch of sadness about her but can ride horses and use a bow, who is vulnerable but tries to hide it
- kublai khan and ariq speak highly of their mother and pay homage to her. kublai khan compliments his son by saying that he is like his mother
- they have a very dark-skinned man playing kokachin’s body guard who is physically commanding and protective yet also does shit like put her furniture neatly back into place and GENTLY COMBS HER HAIR
- the values and practices of the times and cultures are presented without glorifying or demonizing or apologizing
- while the main dialogue is in english there are plenty of instances where other languages are used
- the choice of actors veers away from the uniform and conventionally pretty features you see in network and mainstream hollywood movies. there is a diverse variety of faces and age ranges.
- we have a female character (also mongolian princess) who approaches the male protagonist, gets him to engage her in a wrestling match, pins him down, and then PROCEEDS TO RIDE HIM ENTHUSIASTICALLY WHILE HOLDING HIS WRISTS. a little later she beats some other guys in wrestling and then saves the protagonist when he was losing in a wrestling match *SOBBING FROM THE AWESOME*
it’s horrifying to me that this kind of shit seems so novel but i am LITERALLY SO HAPPY THAT WE’RE FINALLY GETTING A TV SHOW LIKE THIS. it is SO rare to get something like this made with this level of budget *sobbing*
i hope it stays this good throughout *fingers crossed*
p.s. i keep thinking that marco polo is ewan mcgregor as obiwan kenobi bc they have a similar face and hair and also the jedi knights’ costumes all took cues from clothing of this periodig: @minie.ball