(That's right, that movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson where he is a tough football player but has to deal with the frilliest and silliest of all things, a little girl! There's a bulldog wearing a tiara! [I actually just randomly thought I would check out which movie was number one right now to point out how retarded everything is, but, like, I never expected to be as perfect a point-maker as this movie. I guess people felt a bit of a whole inside when The Pacifier left theaters.])
First of all, the focus on the "golden compass" itself is insane. In the book, it's never even referred to as a "golden compass." In fact, I think they just randomly picked that name because the real, British title "The Northern Lights" was too obscure or something for American audiences. It's not like it's actually a compass- in the book, it's called an alethiometer, and even though there is a scramble to get it, it's not like the focus is just on the damn compass like it is on the ring in Lord of the Rings, a crappy franchise they seem intent on ripping off. The alethiometer is an actual object and all, but its significance is largely symbolic, and the book doesn't feature every character screaming, "Give me the golden compass! WHERE IS THE GOLDEN COMPASS???"
Lastly, why the hell is the whole focus on how evil Mrs. Coulter is, and Lyra rejecting her? Her father, (Lord Asriel, in case you didn't know) is also hella evil and weird, but the entire plot just seems focused on her, perhaps because she is played by the movie's biggest star, the always bland Nicole Kidman. I can't believe it shows a clip of Lya screaming, "You're not my mother!" or whatevs like that is what the movie is about. Clearly the evil in these books stems from a large, religious (mostly male) authority, and this film makes it look like there is mostly one evil character, and of course she is some ice queen-type, even though the literary Mrs. Coulter is pretty complex. The book is about Lyra, but she barely even seems to be part of the movie. (Which sucks, because young, female, non-sexualized heroines are few and far between.)
In conclusion, I can just imagine this series glossing over all the controversial, anti-religious and even gay undertones in the books, and just making it some typical overblown fantasy. Is Hollywood really going to stay true to a core theme that rejects both original sin and the Garden of Eden myth? Plus, I have and will always imagine Lee Scoresby played by Tom Skerritt and Tom Skerritt only.