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Dark Winds on AMC and AMC+ (1 Viewer)

jayembee

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Dark Winds is a new(-ish) show on AMC (cable) and AMC+ (streaming). It started just a few weeks ago. The episodes debut on AMC+ on Sundays, and a week later on AMC. It's based on the Leaphorn & Chee series by Tony Hillerman. Robert Redford and George R.R. Martin are Executive Producers.

I've not read any of the books (nor seen previous adaptations), but I'm enjoying it quite a bit. My wife is a big fan of the books (and the continuations by the late Hillerman's daughter) and she's enjoying it, too. The mystery is intriguing, and the cast is solid, especially Zahn McClarnon -- who I'm familiar with from Fargo, Longmire, and Westworld -- as Leaphorn. There are six episodes for this season, and they've apparently already ordered a second season.

Anyone else watching?
 

NeilO

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I had first thought it was exclusively on AMC+, but then I saw a listing for it. Luckily I was able to get the first episode On Demand and set my DVR to record the series from there.

While I was watching it had a familiar feel. I then looked it up and saw there was an adaptation on PBS in 2002 of some of the same books. The series there was "Skinwalkers: The Navajo Mysteries." Anyway, looking forward to seeing how this first 6-episode series develops. It has been good so far.
 

jayembee

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There was also a previous Leaphorn/Chee film released in the early 1990s: The Dark Wind, adapted from the novel of the same title. It also had Robert Redford as a producer, and Errol Morris(!) as director. I haven't seen it, but I've heard nothing good about it. My wife has seen it, and she thought it was awful. It had Lou Diamond Phillips as Jim Chee, which I think was probably a good choice at that point in time. But Leaphorn was played by Fred Ward (WTF?!)
 

usrunnr

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We're enjoying "Dark Winds". Having read all of Hillerman's books, this new series feels less authentic than the previous films. The previous films were: "A Thief of Time", "Skinwalkers," and Coyote Waits", all of which were excellent and starred Wes Studi as Leaphorn and Adam Beach as Chee. Graham Greene also starred.

"Dark Wind" starred Lou Diamond Phillips as Chee and Fred Ward as Leaphorn. Gary Farmer also starred. This film is very interesting. I read that the Hopi tribe had issues with the way ceremonies were portrayed. Post production was not finished, and this shows in the film, which is, however, still watchable and well photographed (as are the other films).

The current "Dark Winds" is not filmed in the Navajo Nation and apparently the Native actors, as good as they are, were not coached properly in the Navajo language. A burial sequence is not authentic, costuming is not accurate, and talk of witchcraft would not be bandied about as casually as it is in the series. You could say that this was filmed for a white audience, not a Native audience. The scenery (along the Rio Grande puebloes) is outstanding, the story telling drawn out. But I'm still glad it is being filmed. Tony Hillerman and his daughter's books are outstanding. It's a beginning.
 

NeilO

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I thought that Rainn Wilson was listed as starring in it, but I did not spot him in Episode 1, he was in a brief advertisement on a TV in Episode 2, but in Episode 3 he appears in the opening sequence. I guess he will be more prominent in the remaining episodes.
 

NeilO

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Just saw last night's finale on AMC. It was a good one. Nice series. I hope there will be more.

I think Rainn Wilson only had one real scene that wasn't part of an opening sequence. Maybe 10 minutes total for the whole series? He really was in the show a lot less than I expected for his billing.
 

usrunnr

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What happened to "Listening Woman". That is the book the series was based on. Episode One began with her as a blind witness to the murder. But by the end of the series, she was not even mentioned. Disappointed here.
 

NeilO

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What happened to "Listening Woman". That is the book the series was based on. Episode One began with her as a blind witness to the murder. But by the end of the series, she was not even mentioned. Disappointed here.
Bernadette got key information from her in Episode 5 which basically wrapped up her part of the plot.
 

usrunnr

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"AMC video"! has issued DVD and blu-rays of the series. The blu-rays are about $35.00 at Amazon.
 

Bernard McNair

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I have not read the books but enjoyed the series on AMC very much.
Very well acted and written.
I look forward to Season 2.
 

NeilO

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New season starts this weekend. AMC has a short 5 minute or so preview that appeared on my DVR earlier this week - it is probably in youtube or somewhere else.

The review in The Washington Post is basically the continuing page lead - "The word of 'Dark Winds' is more compelling than its plot in second season." I think I can still enjoy that.
 

jayembee

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After watching that promo piece (which also popped up on our DVR), my wife and I are are a bit dubious about this season seeming to be leaning into more action set-pieces. I dunno...maybe that was the compromise needed to get a second season.
 

NeilO

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First episode aired on Sunday. No mystery as to the villain, just his motives at the moment. It appears the whole series runs over 6 days climaxing in the scene opening the first episode.
 

jayembee

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Just finished watching the first episode. Not too action-packed...certainly no more so than S1 was. Good to see the characters again.

Interesting that a Blu-ray for S2 has already been announced, to be released on 10/24.
 

NeilO

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Just saw the season finale last night. I was satisfied with what we learned and how we are set up for any future seasons. The first two seasons, while quite different in tone, together seem like a whole.
 

jayembee

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I agree. It was a satisfying end to the question of Leaphorn's son's story. I was rather surprised that the feather that Leaphorn made out of his son's belt buckle went to Bernie. I figured that he was making it for Sally's baby, as a way of passing on his son's spirit to the next generation.

Haven't heard of a third season yet, but if you want to see more of McClarnon in a "Native Cop" role that's vastly different from Leaphorn -- and is hilarious to boot -- check out Reservation Dogs on Hulu.
 

NeilO

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This past Sunday there was a behind the scenes special in the timeslot. "Show Me More Dark Winds." Luckily my DVR recorded it even though I didn't know it was coming. This is the second time I've seen AMC air a BTS special. The first was "Lucky Hank" which had a 2-hour finale timeslot, one hour the finale, the other the special.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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Thanks, guys, for alerting me about the release of Dark Winds S2. Really enjoyed the first season when I caught up with it earlier this year, and am liking this one just as much so far (finished episode 2 a few nights ago). The writers have changed some character dynamics/backgrounds from Tony Hillerman's source novels (which are great reads, BTW). For example, Chee is a sergeant with the Navajo police in the novels, no affiliation with the FBI and certainly never a P.I., Bernie a lower-ranked officer when she starts out several books into the series, etc., but the changes work well in the show itself, and I like the casting of the three main cop leads very much.
 
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