A Tale of Two Films with Gutsy Endings

I’ve recently seen both Call My By Your Name and A Quiet Place, which I loved for very different reasons. The real clincher, though, one of the things which sticks out in both films and which I submit is unusual today, is in the final moments. Final moments in films can be clever and quotable … Continue reading

Everything Sucks! is pretty adorable, actually.

It may sound like damning with faint praise, but the best adjective for this show is adorable. The young cast is adorable (and talented), the plots about innocent young love are adorable (and properly teenage-awkward), the set dressing is adorable (though its period budget is obviously less than, say, Halt and Catch Fire), you get … Continue reading

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the Cycles of Abuse

Under its primary colours and insistent optimism, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a psychologically complex show. Many writers have talked about its problematic handling of racial issues and how some of that is the very point, the way it deals with coming out of cult situations and sexual abuse, the way it addresses the aftermath of said cults, including … Continue reading

Here We Wait: Series 1, Episodes 1 and 2

For a long time, webseries have been a breeding ground for short-form and skit comedy with a healthy side of ‘talking to the camera’ style celebrity figures. That’s been shifting somewhat, as dramas have broken out, though they’re still more rare. Here We Wait, is its own beast, somewhat hard to classify. It cribs things … Continue reading

Glitch: Pilot

This is the first in a series of pilot analysis, where I review how the pilot works as such. Eventually if there’s enough interest I may pick up a whole series. First up is Glitch. A good pilot establishes; that’s almost its only job. It establishes the main story, the setting, characters, the look and … Continue reading

The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 08: The Call of the Wild

These episode titles have all been intentionally provocative; the finale’s is a treatise on nature, man’s animalism, and the ultimate inability to escape one’s basest instincts. Its “previously on” highlights Naz’s mother asking “did I raise an animal?” In the episode itself we have a Prodigal Son scene, a physical leper sitting across from the metaphorical one, and … Continue reading

The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 07, “Ordinary Death”

The very first line – in a stark, noir-y opening observed from the POV of a murder victim looking up at Box – is “what we have here is the same scenario as Andrea Cornish, would you agree?” Why are there no news trucks, he asks. Then the camera cuts to a black woman, answering his question. Then … Continue reading

The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 06, “Samson and Delilah”

At some point, Stone’s litany of absurd eczema treatments and extreme methods of dealing with a dead woman’s cat are going to collide into a grand epiphany relating to Naz’s case. The heavens will open, we will all realize the point to incessantly showing all minutiae of two wildly insignificant plot points which substituted for character development, … Continue reading

The Night Of: Season 01 Episode 05, The Season of the Witch

Cold open: closeup on blue lights lights flickering intermittently, an electronic hum in the background. It’s very horror-esque, until the camera pulls back to show a blue UV light aimed at Stone’s scaly feet. The episode ends the same way, in flickering blue light, only this time Stone is truly in danger, alone in a dark … Continue reading

The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 04, “The Art of War”

Like the opening closeup on flaming sheets, many shots in The Night Of feel experimental, almost like a film student applying some avant garde shots to a gritty crime master’s thesis. Actually, exactly like that. Then, cut to a mildly gross shot of Crisco being applied. When Stone’s conscience gets to him about Andrea’s cat, bring up the sound … Continue reading