SPOILERS for seasons 1-3 of The Good Place
I remember how I felt after the end of The Good Place’s amazing season 1 finale. It was that rare storytelling twist that was both surprising and the only outcome that made any sense. Of course the lead characters were in hell I thought, where else could they be? The angelic neighborhood architect played by Ted Danson was actually a malevolent demon this whole time, torturing our four main characters by simply setting them loose against each other. Eleanor’s dirtbag behaviour, Chidi’s indecisiveness, Tahani’s narcissism, and Jason’s… Jason’s being an idiot (there’s no nice way to put this), were perfectly suited to torture each other. This was done by thrusting them into familiar sit-com episode set-ups artificially created by Michael in an elaborate attempt to make them miserable without them ever realizing it. For an NBC network sitcom, this was without exaggeration, a genius conceit. It suggested that all a sitcom amounted to was a writer torturing their characters with the stresses of mundanity and the toxic combination of their wacky personalities. This was a brilliant direction for a show, it would take a lot to ruin it all. Unfortunately, they did.
Continue reading “How The Good Place Lost its Way”
Two big shows out now about assassins, and I actually like them both despite the fact that I’ve really grown sick of the assassin trope in fiction as of late. These killers for hire with hearts of gold that we’re supposed to sympathize with have gotten to feel stale and inauthentic. Obviously they should be written as morally complex, but often that complexity can feel self-indulgent, and sometimes even grating. Thankfully, these two shows, Barry and Killing Eve, avoid that by adding interesting twists to the characterization of their assassins.
Continue reading “Assassination Nation!”
Right now on Showtime, there is basically what amounts to a Donald Trump fanfic playing as a half-hour animated comedy titled Our Cartoon President, and as embarrassing as it is, I enjoy it. I uh, really like it, in a way that finally made me understand what it means to have a “Guilty Pleasure”. At its core, I always thought the term was dumb since simply enjoying something that isn’t actively harmful to others shouldn’t produce a feeling of guilt. Like, if you know something is dumb, and you enjoy it anyways, that isn’t really a guilty pleasure, that’s just finding the passion in a sloppily put together piece of art. This show though, is a different animal, because its subject matter is the menace that sits in the White House today.
Continue reading “God Help Me, I Really Enjoy the Cartoon President Show”
I’m about to watch The Crown on Netflix for the first time for a number of reasons beyond my control. I will say that before recent events, this show dramatizing the history of the British Monarchy seemed super boring to me. Like unbelievably so, but I’m at a place now where I’m in the mood to see pale British people fret about nonsense things that don’t matter to anyone anywhere. I wasn’t a Downton Abbey viewer for example, as just the thought of having to spend time with these rich Brits seemed vaguely nihilistic. Like, the idea of making the conscious decision to spend time with these people felt like a choice I would only make as someone who has absolutely given up. Here I am about to watch The Crown though, so make of that as you will. I have a lot of preconceptions and predictions about this show that I want to hold onto as long as possible, so I’m gonna record them all here and now before they’re rendered meaningless. Just gonna list these off in point form…
Continue reading “My Guess At What the Crown is About Before I Watch It”
I recently finished watching Marvel’s: The Punisher, the Netflix TV series starring Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, and boy did it surprise me. I’ve had my fill of Netflix Marvel shows less because of their quantity and more because of their quality as of late. Daredevil‘s second season disappointed me, and Iron Fist and The Defenders were met with critical failure. Still, if there was one good thing about Daredevil‘s second season, it was Bernthal’s Punisher, and seeing a show revolving around that character had its appeal for that alone. Make no mistake though, I did not have high expectations for a number of reasons.
Continue reading “Thank God ‘The Punisher’ isn’t About ‘Punishing’”
Game of Thrones is a show that’s famous for a lot of things, but one of them is its huge stable of characters. There are a ton of them and it was hard whittling them down enough to make a top ten list. My criteria for this list isn’t just who I personally like the most (because if it was, Walder Frey would slither his way into the mix), it’s also who I feel has the most depth, who’s most entertaining, and who is consistently compelling. That last part is important because if the show has any problems, it’s that it has a ton of storylines for a lot of the characters and much of the time, these characters spend a season or two being super boring. The very best characters on this show are interesting more often than they’re not, and when each of the principle characters are often doing wildly different things, that’s hard to maintain.
Continue reading “The Top Ten Characters on Game of Thrones”
It’s been a while since I’ve last done one of these, but it’s about time I start writing about some of the things on my mind these days. These Mind Spill articles, much like the current US government, is an assortment of losers in a way. They’re different ideas and thought trains that I think are interesting, but not quite so interesting that they deserve to be developed further into their own article. So here are some things I’ve been thinking about that you now know I believe aren’t worthy of more than a few seconds of your time.
Continue reading “Mind Spill: August 27th 2017”
I’ve written before about how The Good Fight shares problems with The Good Wife, so I thought it’d be only fair if I went over its strengths, and since it’s me, I’ll also sprinkle in some criticisms here and there because every positive note to this show seems to be a double-edged sword if you analyze it as excessively as I do.
Continue reading “How The Good Fight Shares Strengths with The Good Wife”
Unsurprisingly to my most loyal blog followers, I watched The Good Fight‘s first season (the new spin-off series to The Good Wife) every week, and for the most part it was a very entertaining show. Unfortunately though, there was a creeping sense that disaster was just around the corner. The original Good Wife managed to be phenomenal for 5 seasons, and that’s truly impressive, but the problems that eventually overwhelmed it were always there, lurking in the background, festering. We tried to ignore them, we tried to write them off as growing pains but the same problems kept popping up until eventually, it was too late. Worryingly, I see them in The Good Fight too, perhaps not as pronounced as they were during the latter days of The Good Wife, but enough to have me worry.
Continue reading “How The Good Fight Shares Problems With The Good Wife”
An adaption of Agatha Christie’s masterpiece and perhaps the most famous murder mystery of all time: And Then There Were None.
I love murder mysteries. I love them in movies, I love them in books, I love them in videogames, but most of all, I love them in TV shows. I’m not talking about a simple case of the week, I’m talking about a single, significant case that permeates the season of a TV show and is given around a dozen or more episodes to develop and expand and twist and turn, all leading to the inevitable reveal of whodunit. A good season long murder mystery has led to some of the greatest TV seasons of all time, like with the first two seasons of Veronica Mars, a series I believe perfected the season long murder mystery arc. Nothing feels quite like the rush of putting together the clues and solving the case yourself, and seeing your suspicions confirmed in the electrifying murderer reveal, a moment that should always be a highlight of a show’s season. Unfortunately there are shows that don’t quite grasp this, that completely botch the killer reveal and leave you feeling deflated. Two recent shows that come to mind are Riverdale and Trial and Error. You may think, wait a minute, Trial and Error is a comedy, why does it matter if the killer reveal is good? Well, because revealing a murderer should be powerful no matter the circumstances. Murder, killing another member of your own species, is one of the most human things out there. You can draw so much emotion, and yes, even humour, from it. The taking of another life and why the mastermind of the crime chose to act the way they did should be explored on a character worthy of such exploration. Every murder is a story, and botching the murderer is like botching the protagonist. Since shows seem to be screwing this up recently, I’ve decided to write my own criteria for how to properly handle a murder mystery through the use of 5 important, absolutely correct, inarguable rules that without a doubt must be followed.
Continue reading “The 5 Rules to Murder Mystery Culprits”