Fallout (Amazon)

Film Frenzy: Episode 10 - We discuss the fallout of Fallout

We share our thoughts on Prime Video's adaptation of Bethesda's beloved franchise, and how it has managed to become a near-unanimously loved take on the RPG series.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to, I think, this is our 10th episode, believe it or not, of Film Frenzy. The full gang is back in action today, we're all here and, well, we're gonna be talking about the current big topic of conversation, the thing that everyone's talking about right now, which is..."

Yes, apes. No, Prime Video's Fallout series. It's massive, it's doing- it's not just that it's doing well in numbers, it's- it's that it's really, really good, uh, and that seems to be a thing that not only fans but critics alike have agreed on, which is not something you see very often with video game adaptations, but everyone's liking it. It's- it's almost similar to The Last of Us in the way that it's being perceived right now, so quite an exciting premise, one that I would say, in many ways, is more impressive than The Last of Us because it is in a- it is a new product, really, you know, it's- as, uh, I can't remember who it was, maybe it was Todd Howard or one of the Bethesda executives said, it's like Fallout 5, but, um, yeah, I don't know. Have we all seen it over the weekend? I- I finished it last night."

"Um, I've not got all the way through it yet, um, I just wanted to- Mag, how was your birthday?
We missed you last week, did you have a good time? Are you recovered?
Um, yeah, yes, thank you. Well, it- it- it was- it was another, uh, it- it was just another one of those days where I- where we headed off to bed at, I think, a quarter to ten, uh, because we were so thrashed after dealing with the kids all day. Uh, Clara had a late meeting, so I was the one picking- picking them up from kindergarten daycare, she came home at about five, um, we ordered sushi, and then we watched, I think, the- the- probably one of the worst movies that I've watched, maybe my entire life, um, which was Five Nights at Freddy's. Oh, no. Speaking of video game adaptations, that was just- it was the most awful thing, I think, of perhaps, like, it- it was- it was a- it was a human catastrophe on a level that I have- that I've- have witnessed only a handful of times during my brief time on this earth, so in that particular regard, a bit of a letdown, but at least we got to the point where we could both laugh at it so hard that it became very, uh, entertaining in that particular regard. Yeah."

"Um, but the food- food was good, day was good, uh, glad to be back, and I'm glad to put that movie behind me, um, which has sort of severely, I think, shaken my faith in- in the human race's ability to survive and thrive, so, um, good to watch Fallout over the weekend as well, haven't watched it as well, so spoiler, uh, spoilers, Ben, uh, if you must, um, I watched, I think, we got through five episodes, but we had to catch up to Shogun as well. It's very difficult juggling those two at the same time, because they're both, I think, very good in different ways, obviously, but very- two very good shows, so, um, but we had to catch up on that, watched our five episodes of Fallout, and we're very, very pleased with it as well, which is nice. I did re-watch the- of- because it's from the same guy, Jonathan Nolan, I- I recently re-watched the first season of Westworld, so, which was, uh, I mean, season- season two, three, four, terrible, season one, some of the best telly I've seen, I'll stand by that."

"I think season- season one is just- it's just fucking fantastic television through and through, and I don't think it falls quite off a cliff in season two, because most of it- most of it, at least, is at the- is in the park, and explores some of the same themes, some of the same sort of central characters, um, but even though I think Tessa Thompson's character is- is very bad, very badly conceived in every way, and the more screen time she gets, the worse it gets, um, but yeah, Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, obviously very good at what they do, somehow, uh, two very different things, yeah, so- so, uh, it's- it's- they obviously have- have something going on for them, which is- which is great, so. Are we all in agreement, by the way, that Fallout is great, or are there- no, I think- You want me to be, like, the woke garbage guy, sit here and say, like, I can't believe- yeah, yeah, okay, there's a woman in it, so, didn't really like that, also, yeah, people of varying races, not really what Fallout's about, guys, come on. Yeah, yeah, and I mean, obviously, it's a- the fact that Maximus is a black person is obviously part of the woke agenda, which is- which was just sad to see for many of us, yeah, yeah, it's like Hollywood hates male actors now, which is something that I've felt very strongly for for a couple of years, yeah, but I can't even get- I can't even get myself through it, people like 180, you saw, like, all the people who were, like, after the trailer came out, they were like, it's woke garbage, guys, and when they watch it, they're like, oh, it's actually quite good, yeah, um, but they can't say they're wrong, because that never happens, in spite of woke, in spite of woke, it's nice, I think, Alex was good, in spite of woke, in spite of woke, it is nice to see, though, that Walton Goggins is, like, getting a lot of attention for what he does, because he's- he's, like, been one of those actors throughout the years that's done all these really weird- yeah, he's been doing all these weird supporting roles throughout his entire career, and all of a sudden, he's playing the ghoul, who is- actually has a proper name, but, you know, we're calling the ghoul for ease of- Mr. Ghoul, yeah, Mr. Ghoul, actually, that's his full name, yeah, Sir Ghoul, um, no, um, no, he's excellent, he plays the role fantastically, and the thing is, as well, is he doesn't just play the ghoul, well, he plays, like, the actual human version, if you know what I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, the- the- the cowboy, uh, from the show's opening segment, uh, which is sort of- it's- it's the tie back to just before or as the bombs hit, so he's a very, very important character for a number of different reasons, but he's been good so long, I mean, this is essentially just all kind of a 2.0 version of the character he played through Justified, speaking of a show that kind of falls off a cliff, but does have a really couple of strong couple of seasons when the premise is still fresh, um, he's very good, he's one of the, sort of, the bearing elements of that show, and it's the same sort of, uh, uh, brutal, hardened, sort of, western character under different circumstances, very, very nice there, um, but he's very- I agree, he's- he's- he's good in almost everything, one cool thing as well is that even though that the Tomb Raider reboot wasn't very good, he's very good in it, so he also shines in spite of his circumstances, in spite of woke, he's still good, yeah, yeah, yeah, Lara Croft is a female now, I liked it, I liked it when- when Lara Croft was played by a male character, that's his tradition, so, yeah, so- so, yeah, and he's- it's- it's nice to see him, uh, come to the forefront like this, as is that Aaron Moten guy, who- is this his first role? Because I haven't seen him in anything else."

"No, I- I- I wouldn't be able to tell you anything he's been in before, and neither. No, no, not- well, yeah, Alex can try the googling, I thought he was- he came off very strong, particularly in the first- first episode, it's like- like great range, he has great presence on the screen, even- and I just- he- he was completely new to me, I mean, that's not the case with both Ella Purnell or, uh, or Walton Goggins, so yeah, it was nice to see that those- from those three central pillars, it's just really, uh, like really a high ceiling with- with- with those three characters, that's- that's a good start."

"Yeah, and- and I think the really interesting thing about the show as well is that it's- it doesn't just do justice to Fallout, but they've actually created a really interesting and coherent plot that follows the story. Right. And I know you haven't finished it yet, so I won't go into spoiler territory, but I will say the ending is really, really good. They've- they've done a really good job to- to- to piece it all together. It's- look, I- I can see why some of the, again, not quite woke culture, but why some of the Fallout nerds have come out and been like, you know, oh, that breaks canon."

"I mean the anti-wokes, because, you know, you've got to understand, Ben, woke is bad and anti-woke is good.
Well, yeah, well, whatever category you want to put them into, good or bad, the Fallout nerds that some reason pick apart- like the same thing that happens with every adaptation, right? When it doesn't quite, like, you know, conform exactly to the- the lore that's been set out in the thousands of other bits of- of, you know, stuff that's been put out there in the past, and then, you know, something's not quite lined up with the way that their timeline works, like, then they go mad. Like, yeah, there's probably gonna be a few discrepancies, but guess what, right? Who cares? Who really cares? Because, guess what? Fallout isn't real. It's not real. It's all fake. Don't say that. Don't say that."

"And it's a- it's a very much- it's very- it's an interesting and also, I think, more challenging way you mentioned The Last of Us, which is- which is- I'm not- I'm not gonna say The Last of Us is bad.
I actually thought it was- it was quite nice, but I would also say that it is definitely the safer way.
It is a safe IP because it's already very cinematic in scope, very character-driven, and it's very easy to cast actors that look like the in-game portrayals, in-game characters, and have them say versions of the same thing, and then set them loose in a linear, like, story-driven context. Whereas Fallout is not character-driven at all, at least in the direct sense. It's world- driven and lore-driven, so it's a much different prospect to try and- and take all of the interesting bits, call- cut out all of the RPG-ness of it, and sort of the- the first-person immersion factor away, and try to find a good red thread in that world. And I think for Fallout to be as good as it is, is- I'm not saying that it's luck, but it's- the stars align when you get something that is this good at grappling with really difficult source material, and then coming out on the other side with something very coherent, and- and very good, nicely put together. I think they- they really do deserve praise there. And also one thing, and it was actually- it was Clara, my girlfriend, that says that- that said that when we were watching, I think, the fifth episode last night. She said- she said, it's really nice that this is a very uncompromising piece of television. And I asked her what she meant by that, and I- she said that it allows itself to be weird, and immediately violent, and totally melodramatic, and really sort of oddball all at the same time. It's very much- it doesn't look like something that came out of a committee, or something where too many producers had to pull it apart in order to put it back together again. It's very- not auteur, perhaps going too far, but it seems like- it feels like a show where there is very centralized, creative control with what goes on screen, what stays off, which is very nice to see. Yeah, I think- I think it does that, yeah. And it's something that you get very rarely, particularly with television, where there are, like, big writers rooms, and a lot of producers, and a lot of people trying to, like, pull it apart, and massage it into something that they want it to be. And it's- it looks like it's very much Nolan's and Joy's beast. This is very nice. Yeah, I'm really enjoying it."

"I think it also does help, as well, that Fallout has those sort of stewards, right? It has, like, Todd Howard at Bethesda that's- that has the power to say, like, no, we're not going to do it the way that you want. We're not doing it with those people. Like, you know, we hear the story about the Elder Scrolls. Loads of people want to adapt it. Todd's like, it's not right. We're not doing it that way. We'll wait until the perfect opportunity comes. And I think that that's something that, you know, Halo, for example, has lacked. It doesn't have the brand steward. It doesn't have the person to say, I get what you're doing, but let's do it this way, or something like that. And I think that's why Halo comes across as, like, almost like a- what are they called?
The sort of- those sort of cheap superhero productions. The CW, is it? Like, it sort of comes across like- yeah, it comes across like a CW version of what Halo did- of what Fallout did, sorry. So, I think, yeah, as you say, the stars have aligned for this. I think that there's a lot of things that have come into place for this to work well. And the big question now, though, is going to be, can they keep up the pace? You know, can they do it a second time over and continue what they've done here and develop it into a second season? Well, it's one of the cool things about Nolan's part, like, the sort of shows that jump off after season two. Maybe that's gonna happen again. I don't know. Yeah, I think we're in a place where we just have to be happy that we got this first cool season. The same thing with Westworld. People can actually just watch the first season of Westworld and then go, well, that's it, that's fine. That's where the story ends. Yeah, that's where the story ends, and it ends with a bunch of mysteries, and you don't necessarily need to get all the answers. Just take a look at it like it is, and I think that's perfectly fine. But at the very least, one can say that while it utilizes all of the background and lore and sort of iconography of the Fallout universe, there is no set destination to the story. They can do whatever the fuck they want, basically. So I think that's definitely the good news. There's not even, like, real events that I think that it has to depict, because every Fallout game kind of has its own start and its own middle and its own end, and it doesn't have to... I don't think Fallout games... I'm not a Fallout expert, but I don't think they particularly pull on that event that has occurred in previous Fallout games. I'm not even sure that it does that. No, but that's where Fallout, this TV series, is going to stand sort of in its own way, because, again, I'm not going to spoil it, but I will say- I could say that this, in many ways, is going to be the most important piece of Fallout narrative we've ever seen. The ending is, like, a revelation in many ways. The characters are all important in how it works, but there's a lot of things that happen in the end, in the final episode of Fallout that sort of... Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, you are getting close now, as well. The nukes didn't go off and we're all living in a dream, is that it, Ben? Yes, that's exactly it! Yeah, it's actually crossed over with the Matrix, and we're all just, like, plugged into machines and stuff, yeah. But no, this is the point I'm trying to make, though, is that- The nukes were the friends we made along the way. Yeah, but no, the Fallout games are all, you know, never really ask the big question things, are they? It's just like, oh, like, you know, Fallout 4, oh, someone kidnapped my kid, I'm gonna go and find him, and then you find out your kid's, like, an old man or something, right?
It's like- Or is he? Or is he, yeah. Or is he? No. But, yeah, no, this TV series is very different in that regard. Again, I'm not going to go into actual spoiler territory, but it is very significant, should we say. And they've already, I only catch, I think, the headline of this, but they've already greenlit the second season, haven't they? I'm not too sure, actually."

"Maybe. Probably. I hope so. I'm pretty sure that I've read that, meaning that it seems that Prime Bit- It would seem, at least, at the very least, that Amazon is happy, and they're all happy about the good reception, and seems to be doing the numbers. So this could also be, like, a big, like, a big central bet for Amazon. And I also think, interestingly enough, for us that likes games, as well as movies and TV series, could also be a big, like, green light or thumbs up for Amazon to continue down the path of doing these adaptations. Because they also, I think, are the ones stewarding the God of War thing. Yeah. So it's definitely, I think, for them, proof of concept that this can work. Yeah, for sure. For sure. I think with Fallout, I think, if I'm right in saying, it hasn't been officially greenlit yet, but they have that, like, tax reduction for where they're moving the film in from Atlanta to California, and they're getting, like, a $30 million tax reduction for a second season, if they film it. Which is basically, like, a surefire answer that, yes, they're going to film a second season over there. But I would assume that we'll get, like, a full green light within a couple of days, though, like, at the rate that this is going. Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It seems to really dominate the conversation online as well. So I would be very, very surprised if it's not, like, doing real numbers here. And Amazon, while they do have massive hits, they are also, it seems like that with Rings of Power and The Boys, they are really trying to create a hub of, sort of, franchises that they can rely on. So I think if Fallout ends up doing as well as they think that it's going to, well, then they want to bet big on its future going forward as well."

"So I think there very much is, like, with HBO's The Last of Us, it very much has a natural end point where they can't do anymore. It all depends on how much they can stretch the events of that one game, because it doesn't seem like they're going to go beyond that. Whereas with Fallout, there, again, no backstop. So it just feels like that this could go on for a while, and that Amazon is going to back it fully. Yeah, and the interesting thing is that, you know, Amazon also have, like, Invincible, another one that's doing really well."

"Oh, true, yeah, true.
But at the same time, not all of the things they do are actually sure-fire hits. Like, they spent ridiculous amounts of money on that Citadel TV show, where they was going to create the Citadel universe of spies and all that. And it just, it was just terrible. It was just absolutely terrible. Oh my god, yeah."

"Yeah, and I mean, and they are known for, like, putting a lot of money behind the concepts that they feel like can work. And it's always, even if the TV show is shit, it's always sad to see these sort of big plans with all of these people invested and hired in to do decades of work, only to see it completely, like, fall flat on the first season. So, but it seems that, like, I'm not going to try and say I defend Amazon as a company of all things, but I will say that they, but they do seem like that the people that are running Prime Video do seem like that they get some good ideas and that they're backing some cool things here and there. So I want to, I really want to see more of what they can do with Fallout, particularly if Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy retains the control that they've been able to exert here, which it would seem like that they would want to stick with them, like, totally and fully. You'd think so. I wonder if it gives Bethesda any sort of encouragement to sort of fast-track development on a new Fallout with the way that this is going. Not saying it'll be like a Fallout 5 or something, like. Darkfield first. You know, I just wonder whether it's finally time for them to give Obsidian a chance to do a Fallout New Vegas sequel or something like that, you know, just something to capitalise on it."

"I don't know how much of a spoiler this might be, but I have heard this online, so Mag, plug your ears. I'm going to remove the headset.
New Vegas is apparently like dead, right? Like they blew it up.
I'm not saying anything, mate. I'm not saying anything."

"I'm not saying anything. I cannot confirm nor deny.
I'm not going to confirm nor deny anything. You know, you can watch the show. You can find it out for yourselves. I will say that I understand where you're coming from with the rumours that have said that stuff, Alex. The New Vegas thing isn't like the monumental thing that I was teasing earlier, by the way. It's completely different to that. But yeah, watch the show. Finish it."

"Bethesda said, like, Bethesda's been pretty direct. Like, they haven't officially announced anything with a teaser or anything, but they've basically said that after Elder Scrolls 6, they're going back to Fallout because that's what they do, right? So we're still talking about a game that would then be at least a decade out, there or thereabouts, giving their sort of track record and pacing. So, I mean, for sure, speaking of stars being aligned, all being owned by Microsoft, wouldn't it be absolutely foolish to not put Obsidian, at least the one caveat is that Obsidian wants to do the Outer Worlds and they have no interest no more in doing Fallout. But still, it would be great. I mean. Oh yeah, there has to be some form of Fallout coming in the future because we can't wait a decade. We can't wait until 2034 or something for the next Fallout game. It's already too long to wait for the next Elder Scrolls."

"True, yeah. But it's also, I mean, I know games take a long time to make, but Bethesda's also, like, they are really slow at making games. So I'm very curious to see what's going to happen with the Fallout IP. The one thing that we obviously don't know is that maybe there's parts of it that's revealed already, but Fallout 76 could just also be just doing the fucking numbers for that company. I'm getting the sense that it's semi-popular and that it has a good set user base because otherwise they wouldn't be pumping it full of new content. But obviously, despite the fact that it was one of the hardest stumbles ever recorded in the game's business, IP business even, it's obviously going well enough now. So maybe that is, and it sounds sad when I say it, maybe that is our Fallout 5. Maybe that's Fallout 76 forever."

No, I get what you're saying.
We did it, guys. We did it.
It is funny though because you don't look at 76 as one of those games, like, you don't compare it to the other live service behemoths out there. You just sort of think like, yeah, it might be doing well, but you don't put it in the same breath as like an Apex Legends or a PUBG or something like that. You're like, it might be doing all right, but it's surely, surely we can't see another five years of Fallout 76. But I don't know, maybe if people are flocking to it because they just want to play any kind of Fallout at the moment. The alternative is Fallout 4 at 60 FPS."

Let's also shut down the biggest Fallout mod coming in, like, years. So like, oh, just in time for that release.

"Well, I love, did you see the official message that the Fallout London guys put out? Bethesda never changes. And it seems like, I'm sure they didn't time it to be malicious, but it's just, it's Bethesda again. It's just, it's just so fucking stupid. Like you're about to get a huge influx of players wanting to play the Fallout, like the London mod, and you break it almost seemingly on purpose. Yeah."

"It does make you think like, I wonder why they didn't give them sort of an inside track a little bit and help them along their way. Like it's Fallout 4, for God's sake, it's been out for nearly a decade. Like what secrets are we holding?
Well, also to remind you that they also stole the main narrative guy from the London team. So they obviously knew ahead of time that they were going to do something. But you know, again, as they said, Bethesda never changes. So let's just, let's pat them on the back and say, you guys really needed a win with the series and you got it. And it must, it feels good for the Todd, now that he's had to endure all the Starfield criticism for at least a year. So nice for him to finally, just finally just, yeah, to kick back a little bit."

"I think that's a good place to wrap up there, really. I mean, you know, Bethesda got a win, came at the cost of some unfortunate suckers and yeah.
Anyway, this has been episode 10 of Film Frenzy, I think. We'll be back next week for something else. I don't know what we'll be talking about. Maybe it'll be more Fallout, maybe something like that. I don't know. Who knows? Let's, we'll see what the future dredges up. But until then, that's been Magnus, that's been Alex, I've been Ben and yeah, thank you all for watching."

"See you in the next one."





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