Oh yes, it’s going to be THAT kind of blog post today…
To save myself some sanity, I will generally not become too enraged if something is not mythologically accurate, as long as it still manages to be entertaining or make references to the actual myth. However, when you are specifically asked to portray something well and put sweat, blood, and tears into its creation and you come up so crazily inaccurate that even a child would call “bullshit” on your work, that leads to a lot of internal (or external) screaming of rage and horror on my part.
Face Off is one of my favorite shows on television. And before anyone asks, no it’s got nothing to do with the Nicholas Cage movie. It’s a competition show in which special effects makeup artists create monsters. Generally, it is enjoyable and fun, however, more often than not, their forays into the mythical world often fall short.
…Usually. Eric from Season 6’s Mummified Ra is still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life.
So for Season 7, Episode 12, I saw that the contestants had to create Greek gods and the head of a monster that they had slain. Ok, makes sense. Against my better judgement, I looked forward to what these artists would create. They had created some cool designs so far, (Nothing as WOW worthy as in previous seasons, but still some cool makeups). This, unfortunately, turned out to be a mistake.
Firstly, McKenzie, the host, lead the six contestants to a gorgeous room full of Greek columns and holding pillars topped with the weapons of the gods. She says that the competitors had to create an imposing and powerful god with the head of the creature they slew. Ok, I knew this. That sounds cool. She then relays the options: Athena, Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon, Hades, and Aphrodite. Nobody of course, has the guts to pick Artemis, because hell if I know. But who was suspiciously missing from this list? OH, right..
Pshhh, who’s this Ares guy anyway? What did he do? Oh, he’s only the most violent and “badass” of the Greek pantheon, nothing important. However, the confusion had only just begun. The artists picked their gods and went right to work, and immediately my mild disappointment plummeted to…well…to about the level of that gif that opened this post.
Firstly, there was the issue of Sasha not having any idea who Athena is. Maybe I’m just putting too much thought into this, but I thought that the artists were supposed to do some research and put thought into their designs. So she decides that “Since Athena had Hercules slay Medusa, that Medusa’s head turned Athena to stone and was now controlling her”.
Hercules, or, more appropriately, Herakles apparently did more than the twelve labors, including taking credit for Perseus’s kill apparently. And it wasn’t just poor confused Sasha that said this, the SYFY WEBSITE also makes this mistake: http://www.syfy.com/faceoff/episodes.
So of course she ended up eliminated. Not surprising.
While she floundered, the other artists began working. Stella made the newbie error of having Poseidon kill a Krake- oh sorry, an “octopus”. Right. However, a lot of things try to lump Krakety Krak into Greek myth, so I will let this slide.The design turned out pretty cool, though. It looks Poseidon-y at least.
George decided to make Zeus super skinny with plastic looking blue armor and a really doofy looking grin on his face.
Come get ‘im, ladies!
I have mixed feelings about Drew’s Hades. I think he looks a bit less “grim” and “stoic” and more “creepy old man who lives down the street”. That could actually work for Hades, since he is kind of…creepy in some myths. However, having him kill one of his minions is totally out of character for him. Hades is the Lord of the Underworld, but he is most certainly not a giant douchebag.
Dina’s Aphrodite was the clear winner out of this entire foray of stupidity. However much the Syfy website insists that Aphrodite is a goddess of the sea, Dina knows better. She knows her mythology. She knows that Aphrodite was born from Ouranus’s foaming balls, (literally). I was glad that this design won, it really shows that Dina did her research.
Why haven’t I mentioned the runner up yet? Oh, that’s because that was the design that pissed me off the most. Sasha’s Athena floundered because of her lack of knowledge, Cig’s Apollo…
Cig is a fantastic artist, but his neglect of who Apollo is caused me to really REALLY not like this design. When he chose this god to recreate, he SAW the famous lyre sitting atop the pedestal. Of course it was, Apollo is the god of many things. Of music and poetry, mostly, Also of light and the arts, the sun business came later, but throughout Greek mythology, it was Helios who held the most dominion over the sun. So what is the first thing that is said? “Apollo is the god of the sun.” Then, later on, there are claims that he is the god of plagues, (which is somewhat true, as he did rain down plague arrows on mortals whenever they pissed him off). But there was never ANY mention of Apollo’s famous musical talents in spite of the lyre being RIGHT there staring everyone in the face the whole time.
It is truly sad when SMITE’s Apollo, (who is absolutely fabulous, by the way) is more accurate than this design. And he attacks people by making finger guns and singing.
And so concludes the most ragey post of The Mythology Snob since the God of War rant. Next post will be more optimistic and actually deal with GOOD material. I promise.