Archive for March 2012
Today’s the day they take it all away from us.
Have you ever discovered an awesome restaurant or bar right before it got shut down. Maybe it had financial problems or it just didn’t have what it took to be a successful establishment. But a month before it closed, you found out they serve the best Chicken Vindaloo you have ever had. That’s never happened to me (but I might have to get some Indian food soon, just in case), but I imagine that it would feel a lot like the end of Luck. Just when the show has become something that I could really get excited about, something that I would bug all my friends who “don’t watch TV” about, it gets pulled out from underneath us. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, Natalie, Mad Men is back and what a joyful romp of a two-hour premiere! The boiling tension just below the surface, the promise of drama and intrigue to come, but all held slightly off center so we could just get to know each other again over a tea-smoking good party. I hadn’t realized how much I missed this group of snarky, caddish louts until I saw them all assembled, some better or worse for wear, figuring out their way into the brave new world of the mid-to-late 1960s. I couldn’t figure out the exact date of our launch, but context clues and a few google searches suggest spring/summer of 1966, a little more than six months from where we left off (for example, we left Joan a few months pregnant (not even showing) and her baby is clearly just a few weeks old). Oh what a difference a half-year makes! Read the rest of this entry »
To all….Well, it seems that each season ends in flames–the blast from the CDC in season one, and, now, the flaming farm at the end of this season. And the secret that Jenner whispered to Rick is out…”Whatever it is, we’re all carrying it.” We’ve been speculating for a couple of weeks about the unbitten zombie transformations, and now we know that no one can escape the zombie transformation. Of course, Rick’s revelation sets off anger amongst the group about why he withheld the news from them. Their trust in Rick as the leader is quickly dispelled just as Rick declares the “end of democracy.” Just that statement made me wish that Shane had beat Rick to the draw. (Obviously, Lori was feeling a bit of the same.) Read the rest of this entry »
I know that this is not the finale – we still have one more episode to go – but with the news that HBO is probably going to cancel the show (they have at least suspended filming season 2, which does not bode well), it is hard not to start thinking of ends. Knowing that they had already begun filming the second season also means that they aren’t intending this season to have a real end. So we can expect to be left hanging next week, without the promise of final resolution. In a weird way, it might be appropriate to our characters to realize that nothing does conclude neatly. As the Pick 6 four have realized, luck does not change your life; it just sets you on a new pattern of decisions and consequences that don’t have an end until the very end. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m a bit pressed for time tonight, so I’m going to cut right to the chase. First, while we still haven’t hit the high of two weeks ago, the show continues to improve, by culling and characterizing, in ways that provide some room for hope. Second, a few theories on this new development with the zombifying virus.
First: improvements in the show. The single best thing The Walking Dead can do is kill off some people. This is so not only because it raises the stakes, but as I said a few weeks ago, thus far TWD is not a show blessed with a talent for developing realized characters, and so an ensemble approach is death to any momentum it possesses. I haven’t been a fan of Dale for a long time, but I thought last week’s episode worked, for the most part: while Dale has generally functioned as a mouthpiece for the moral dilemmas the writers wanted to introduce, his campaigning for Randall’s life had a nice urgency to it. It finally gave him a real purpose (unlike divining Shane’s abandonment of Otis, or arbitrarily hiding guns in a swamp), and it revealed the moral inertia of the group he was up against. Conversely, Shane’s character had really lived out his usefulness, but seeing him go at Rick’s hand took TWD to a new, very dark place. This is especially so when read against the attack on the walkers in the cold open, which was staged to look very much like a gang taking out its rivals in a turf war, and those terrifying shots of ravening walkers juxtaposed within the frames of Rick and Shane’s struggle. The downside to all of this, though, is that the barrel of interesting characters is pretty shallow here – are they going to give T-Dog something to do? Carol? The most promise here is with Andrea, I think. Read the rest of this entry »
So this episode felt like there was a bunch of setting up future events in it. Not that there weren’t things happening, but it seemed primarily about characters preparing themselves for what is coming next. This seems to be fairly typical for HBO shows as they near the end of a season (it’s crazy that we have only 2 episodes left right?).
Let’s start with our gambling buddies: Read the rest of this entry »
I’m in two minds about this episode. I know we’ve all been frustrated by the writers’ insistence on telling rather than showing what is going on – but this was an episode that seemed to require lots of words. After all, its whole purpose was to get us to reflect on the power of words vs. actions vs. thought, etc., and all the ways in which words can justify (or condemn) a man. Of course, it still felt heavy handed (a few times I expected someone to reference 9/11, burn a Qur’an, or start chatting about those pesky WMDs…at the very least I wanted Shane to command the group to “stay the course,” not “cut and run”). And as usual, I can’t say these discussions revealed anything about the rule of law, the problem of torture, or the dangers of pre-emptive strike that I hadn’t thought about before. They simply performed the dynamics of the debates without adding anything to them. But at least this time the words themselves were a form of action – an alternative to the types of quick decision making that can lead to regret. Read the rest of this entry »