Catch-22

Wow, this is a lot darker than I expected it to be, my boyfriend said while we were watching the new mini series Catch-22. I thought it’s going to be a funny comedy like the book.
I told him the book is dark. If you don’t think the book is dark you haven’t really glanced through its humour to see its bloody, depressed, traumatised guts.
It turned out he hasn’t read the whole book and stopped somewhere past the first fifty pages. I shook my head and threw him judging glances as we continued to watch. The series is so short, we watched it over the course of a weekend. And while it is good and funny and brutal, it is very hard to adapt such a book for TV (or whatever streaming sites are calling their shows). It still did a fine job even if it leaned a bit towards the darkness, especially in the second half.


The show left out some of my favourite absurd dialogues that I remember even years after I finished the book, like this one:

“They’re trying to kill me,” Yossarian told him calmly.
No one’s trying to kill you,” Clevinger cried.
Then why are they shooting at me?” Yossarian asked.
They’re shooting at everyone,” Clevinger answered. “They’re trying to kill everyone.”
And what difference does that make?” 

The story about the soldier who saw everything double and Yossarian trying to act like him so he can stay in the hospital is also one of the best in the book and had me grinning at the pages. I wished the show had included it, but there were still plenty of fast, ridiculous dialogues, weird characters and absurd situations. The things the show included, it did well and it can be an enjoyable watch for both book readers and people who didn’t make it past the first few pages, because something else came up and they forgot to pick the book back up. Yossarian was a lot less silly than in the book and more serious. But he is the only sane man in an insane situation and sooner or later he cracks too.
As I was watching all I was asking was where was Snowden. In the book he is a weird presence since the beginning, but the shows saves him for last. And once he appeared I almost wished he hadn’t.

Did you read the book or watch the show? Did you like it?

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