‘The future is shit, just like the past’ says our favourite imp before throwing up his wine all over his host’s lovely outdoor patio. So begins Season 5 of Game of Thrones. And yes, the world has gone to shit, but that’s a pretty constant state in Westeros. With Tywin dead, there is absolutely no political stability in the seven kingdoms. I mean, when Stannis has the most power in the kingdoms, then you know things have gone sour. But there’s still hope. After all, Tyrion takes another swig. Death by wine is a long, slow process and before he dies he may be able to influence a changing of the tides. Continue reading
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10. Lisa the Iconoclast (7×16)
Ahh Lisa. If not my favourite character, then the one I relate to the most. She’s the main focal point for some of my favourite episodes of The Simpsons, including my very favourite. This is because the show always treats her efforts, passions and insecurities seriously, even if they start to bore or annoy other characters in her family and in Springfield at large. She’s also the focal point for many of my least favourite episodes because her earnestness can sometimes start to bore the audience as much as it does those around her. Continue reading
On a gut level, as a fan of the show, my enjoyment of Mad Men is determined by how the story treats its two protagonists: Don and Peggy. Do I care about Betty, Pete, Harry, Joan, and the rest of SC&P? Of course I do, but these characters are cyphers. They are made to represent characteristics of 1960s society, serving doubly as a representation of a certain personality type and a certain factor of corporate society. Continue reading
4×07 – Mockingbird
Nestled between ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’ and ‘The Mountain and The Viper’ is this curious little episode; a quiet interlude from the intense filibustering that proceeds it and the bloodshed that follows. It’s an episode intended to establish and re-establish the goals of our characters and set them on their intended path for the rest of the season. As such, without the distraction of epic battles and shocking plot twists (for the most part), one’s enjoyment of this episode is dependent on how much you relish spending time with each subset of character pairings.
Well, I certainly can’t say ‘The Runaways’ was uneventful, because…….no seriously what the fuck? For people who claim that Mad Men is all stuffiness and period decor, I will henceforth direct them to this episode. Was it a good episode? I’m honestly not sure. For any other prestige drama I would say a recurring character slicing off their own nipple because a giant computer is turning him gay might be a ‘jump the shark’ moment, but there’s so much subtle character work, fantastic acting and solid direction nestled around that truly bizarre storyline, that it’s hard to not just sit back and appreciate that after six and a half seasons, this show is still capable of both moments of pure brilliance and pure absurdity.
So I’ve decided to simply post 2 mini-reviews every fortnight for Game of Thrones. I know I called them mini-reviews last time and they were each about as long as a Song of Fire and Ice book, but this time I’m going try to be…dear God…..succinct (yeah, you’re right, it won’t happen). Continue reading
This wasn’t the easiest list to make, but limiting myself to the better, earlier seasons does mean that I have less to choose from and therefore less crap to wade through. The primary common denominator amongst these 20 is that the stories they tell feel rote or boring. I can handle stupid but funny, wacky but fun, but certain characters and situations are simply comedic deadweight.
Just like my ‘best of classic era‘ list, I’m defining the classic era as seasons 3-8. There’s no real consensus but that’s where I choose to draw the line. I’m not including clip shows for obvious reasons – they’re just the worst (despite my fondness for ‘The 138th Episode Spectacular’)
I’m not a religious man, nor am I especially blasphemous, but the only thing I could say after ‘The Lion and the Rose’ cut to black was:
Say what you will about Game of Thrones’ sometimes ponderous storylines, but the show is a journey, and if you stick with it, it will reward you and punish in unexpected ways as all great works of fiction should.
The world has gone and changed on Mad Men. I’m just not referring to the 60s of the show which is creeping towards its end as Tricky Dick is inaugurated midway through the premiere; I’m referring to the television landscape that Mad Men inhabits.
I could spend 500 words explaining the phenomenon of Game of Thrones and how pervasively it has entered the cultural zeitgeist and how the hubbub over the #redwedding forced the few who weren’t watching (including myself) to rush through a catch up, but I’d be repeating every second article written in the last week, so let’s talk season 4.
As per usual I will separate my comments and impressions by characters: