HBO's Chernobyl |OT| Do you taste something metallic?

Oct 30, 2017
528
I'm trying to watch this but having a really hard time keeping track of names. I'm normally bad about names in movies/tv shows in general, but, probably because of the lack of familiarity with russian names, I'm having an extra hard time here. Anyone else have that problem?
SmiteofHand made a couple of useful images to help just this.

I made a reference image.

(I left Legasov off for now as might as well do a state / committee follow up image as things move forward.)

Sasha/Sacha is used as a shortened form of Aleksandr (think like Richard -> Dick) and is used interchangeably in accounts of what happened as well as the show.

 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
15,691
thanks y'all, that makes it way easier to understand, I'm about to start episode 2 now.
 

MilesQ

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Oct 25, 2017
2,000
Loved the last episode, seeing everyone and their flash at the end was a great idea.

The firefighters wife had a crazy hard life, but I'm happy she was eventually able to have a son.
 

Jokab

Member
Oct 28, 2017
597
Kind of incredible that the man that wrote these pisspoor movies went on to create and write this masterpiece. Identity theif may well be the worst movie I have ever watched

 

Ravelle

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,134
I had no idea this was a 6 episode mini series, I knew it woudn't be long but they wrapped up the show real quick with episode 6.

Fantastic series with some of the most haunting soundtrack and phenomenal acting.
 

BuckRogers

Member
Apr 5, 2018
206
I liked the show a lot, and I think the podcast adds a ton to it. I really enjoy Mazin discussing exactly what's true and what's not, and when they've made stuff up, why. I've seen a few articles complaining about some of the fictionalization, but I think the discussion in the podcast really explains why those bits are there, what true thing they're referencing, and why they had to change it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,906
Sweden
The last episode really wrapped things up neatly.

In the first episode, when they introduced Stellan Skarsgårds character as ”Boris”, I thought he was supposed to be Jeltsin.
 

Knurek

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,256
these rule, thanks! Pardon the ignorance as well, but just to clarify, are those surnames first? In russia, are you referred to by a family name?
Actually, in Russia you are referred by both family name and your father's name.
Władimir Władimirowicz Putin - Wladimir, son of Wladimir, family name Putin
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
15,691
I laughed when the miner asked for a cigarette then pocketed the entire pack.
 

Birdseye

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Oct 27, 2017
9,955
Craig Mazin's path of work:
From Reddit:

Here's the thing - Mazin has been an in-demand screenwriter for nearly two decades. He is paid literally millions of dollars a year to write scripts for major studios. He co-hosts one of the most popular screenwriting podcasts in the world, which has over 400 episodes. He was asked by the creators of Game Of Thrones directly to give notes on their pilot, which they then went and completely remade. His skills and knowledge are highly valued in Hollywood, even if this is the first project he's had true creative control over. The Hangover and Scary Movie franchises were extremely successful. Generally the rule of thumb is for every script he got paid to write, a screenwriter is lucky to have a ratio of 1:5 actually get produced. In other words, Mazin has been successfully writing scripts in every regard... Except for how critics have rated the movie. Which would be nice, but writers aren't writing for critics. They're writing for producers, financiers, directors, actors and audiences. Good critic reviews are just the rare icing on the cake.
 

Shugga

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Oct 25, 2017
15,806
I got confused during the show about who gorbachev is. I thought the old dude who made a speech in the emergency meeting room at the power plant in ep1 or 2 was him, so who was that ?
 

vrcsix

Member
Oct 29, 2017
321
No I know who Gorbachev is because we see him plenty, but the old dude who made a speech about how cool the USSR is yada yada I have no idea who that is, thought it was gorbachev at first.
That dude is referred to as "Zharkov" in the credits. I have no idea whether that's a real name / person.
 

LakeEarth

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,222
Ontario
I got confused during the show about who gorbachev is. I thought the old dude who made a speech in the emergency meeting room at the power plant in ep1 or 2 was him, so who was that ?
I think that's supposed to illustrate the power and respect Russians gave to the elderly "old guard" type people. I'm not sure if that person was real or not.
 

Duxxy3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,308
USA
Kind of incredible that the man that wrote these pisspoor movies went on to create and write this masterpiece. Identity theif may well be the worst movie I have ever watched


This is roughly how I envisioned his writing Chernobyl. Used all of his best efforts in one spurt and then back to normal.
 

TheRulingRing

Member
Apr 6, 2018
2,658
Just finished the finale, what a goddam show. I love it when shows genuinely try to be historically accurate, and the show had great cinematography to go with it. The writing was almost universally good too, and I thought they did an incredible job keeping all the jargon simple while still getting us to understand the technicalities and what led up to the incident.

They also did a great job getting their messages across about the workplace culture and government censorship/pride without going too overboard and beating us over the head with it.

I have to say though I still think I really dislike the choice to go with english actors and accents - it sometimes made it hard to get in the moment and get immersed. I would have much preferred if they had the actors speaking Russian or whatever with subtitles, Narcos style.

Yes that might be less authentic for the few local Ukrainian viewers and allow them to get uppity about regional accents (like we see with all the smartasses when it comes to Narcos), but let's be honest almost everybody watching the show wouldn't be able to tell a lick of difference.

Ultimately I don't think the show quite deserves the spot of best show ever or 9.7 IMDB, but it was an experience I would absolutely recommend to everyone.


Edit: Oh yeah I didn't like how they condensed all the work of the many scientists into Khomyuk's character. It kinda trivialised the amount of work it must have taken if, in the show, one character was able to do it alone. I wish they would have shown it as a whole team with some of the scientists getting plucked off at random for daring to speak out and showing their sacrifice.
 
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bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
329
I just finished. Fantastic show.

Did you guys already talk about them doubling down on the "bridge of death" in the epilogue text scroll? When the show first aired I remember the tone in the r/AskHistorians thread was pretty unanimous that that whole scene and the implication that all those people died was some Hollywood sensationalism.

The actual text they used was quite ambiguous as well. "None survived." Like did they all die of cancer 40 years later or something? Was wondering if anyone had any idea where they might have gotten the notion for the "bridge of death."
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
15,691
Damn, those 3 volunteers who drained the water basically saved a quarter of the world.
 

Krejlooc

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Oct 27, 2017
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Like I said earlier, the scene where the coal miner asked for a cigarette then took the whole pack made me laugh.

that dude was pretty great, weiner flapping and all.
 

Arkestry

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,737
London
Watching the last episode I was constantly reminded of Michael Lewis' Fifth Risk, which looks at the breakdown of government competence and oversight as a result of the Trump presidency. If a Chernobyl level event ever happens in America, now is the most likely time. If you want a great/terrifying companion book to the show, I highly recommend it.

I think Netflix is turning it into a documentary series, too, as one of their Obama-led programs.
 

bill crystals

Member
Oct 25, 2017
329
I just finished. Fantastic show.

Did you guys already talk about them doubling down on the "bridge of death" in the epilogue text scroll? When the show first aired I remember the tone in the r/AskHistorians thread was pretty unanimous that that whole scene and the implication that all those people died was some Hollywood sensationalism.

The actual text they used was quite ambiguous as well. "None survived." Like did they all die of cancer 40 years later or something? Was wondering if anyone had any idea where they might have gotten the notion for the "bridge of death."
Answering my own question: confirmed 100% Hollywood sensationalism, as all the historical experts initially asserted. Very irresponsible of this otherwise very well researched show to double down on that pernicious rumor.