Friday, 26 March 2010

A Game of Go

A while ago when I was going through Freebase where I'm occationally doing some edits in, I came across with this reference. It is about a TV series from the 90's called Jag (Judge Advocate General), and particularly an episode of the said series. It's the 10th episode of the second season called "A Game of Go".
I had never heard of this series before, and since I was pretty much interested to know how it depicted a game of go, I went and digged up (or googled) all the info I could find of it and even went searched and fetched the episode for viewing. (Fair warning: I suggest you use adblock and/or NoScript if you decide to visit the link. I have no idea what kind of malware could leap out at your browser there.)

Here's what Wikipedia says about the episode: "Harm [Lt. Harmon Rabb] and a Colombian drug lord [Carlos Estruga] play a high-stakes game of "Go", with the prize being a Marine that was left behind during a covert mission."

As I watched it I thought it was faintly familiar, as if I had seen it before, but I don't really think that's possible. Maybe it was some episode of McGyver or Miami Vice I've seen earlier instead. After all, this was just a typical episode of a typical 90's crime drama, all that bland and boring stuff from the 80's recycled, with even more bad acting, dialogue and plot lines. I was pretty much disappointed. But that's all for the quality and the acting. So how was the game? Well. I took some screengrabs for show.

Not long into the story, some negotiations take place over the phone where Carlos Estruga, the drug lord asks the western officials if any of them plays the game of go, while he places stones on his board. The first move.

Here's the stone, right in the center of the board:

I didn't catch the second move, but the third (and the other visible) stone here seems somewhat off the grid:

Here the game has eventually progressed into something, don't really know what it is, and I would think the upper right white stone is very badly placed. At least there are no empty triangles yet. Looks very random, with nothing resembling a proper joseki.

Moving on. Here's where it suddenly gets "interesting". Carlos is here playing one of his solo games. He always plays alone, no wonder, he's a drug paron with no friends. Notice how the stones are suddenly in the squares instead of the line crossings. (Makes me think this scene is filmed before someone noticed that's not how the game is really played. Of course it would be already too late to fix by then.)

Btw. Isn't that just a wonderful board? Nice. See how he holds his stone.

Harm (Epic concentration.): "Ah! A sente, no... 'atari' or what's it called?"... "I think I have him now."

H: "Ta-da! Whatcha think about that?"

Carlos: "Hah, that's too small. I knew you can't play!"

C: "This is how this game is played. Eat this!"
(Hey did that ring just jump to another finger?)

H: "You wish. Check Mate!"
C: "Oh noes! How'd you do that?!"

So I wish I could recommend this series to anyone, but It seriously looks as though it really isn't worth it. However, it doesn't really matter the depiction of "The Game of Go" was poor (though it would've helped, after all it was the name of the episode for crying out loud), I would've definitely liked to see some quality acting and a good plot line with even a remotely genuine sounding dialogue. But maybe it's just too much to wish for in series like these. Well, at least I got a good laugh at Hollywood. Again.

Uh. I think that concludes this day's webisode. I hope you liked it. I'll be doing the previously promised self-review on this weekend. See ya all soon! gg! ^^

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