DOLLHOUSE and the Unconventional Pilot

Joss Whedon’s / Eliza Dushku’s Dollhouse had a lot going for and against it. Whedon had some blank checks to cash, Dushku had a deal with FOX, the premise was fascinating, and one actor playing multiple roles week to week is always a juicy prospect. Whether because of marketing, timing, direct competition in an era … Continue reading

Pilot Season: ATLANTA

Donald Glover’s Atlanta is unique in many ways: it plays with style, tone, and ancient mythology while still staying mostly grounded in reality; it evokes a hyper-specific place* but with characters you could imagine living in most US cities; it hits a dark notes most US half-hours won’t come near; it clearly utilises Glover’s experience … Continue reading

On the Unique Joys and Upcoming Trials & Tribulations of Saint Ted Lasso

Like the buoyancy of its titular character, the exact vibe of Ted Lasso is hard to pin down.       It’s a family comedy with sex and swears, a deceptively simple drama about people trying real hard, dotted with very American jokes and thoroughly English sensibilities. It’s the weird characters and team-microcosm-within-a-specific-organisation-within-a-specific-town of Parks … Continue reading

Inside the Fast Turnarounds and Wild Stories of Live-Shoot K-Dramas

The more k-dramas I watch, the more impressive it is to know how the sausage is made. Part of the fun in movies and TV is studying how they write and shoot; in the case of k-dramas, some are fully pre-produced, but the ones which aren’t are usually still shooting the middle episodes when the … Continue reading

Looking Good for Cheap: Directing Marvel’s Agent Carter

While Marvel is tearing up the big screen, DC – in form of the Arrowverse and an assorted hit-or-wide-miss offering every season or so – owns the small screen, with two major exceptions: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. The former has several seasons and loosely connects to the films, and for my money the … Continue reading

Person of Interest: Analysis of a Silent Scene

I’ve been rewatching Person of Interest this year. While after its original run I was prepared to call it one of the best network shows of the decade . . . now I’m quite confident it’s full-stop one of the best TV shows of the Aughts. Does it have a rough start? Does it often … Continue reading

Gilmore Girls and Writing in Others’s Book Margins

A few months ago on Twitter: Then I saw this thread about MMM, which brings up whether the show is ‘good’ but particularly if it and its titular protagonist are self-aware and . . . well, here we are. A slew of thoughts about writing, responsibility, depiction of reality versus fantasy, etc. A mini-treatise on … Continue reading

Ocean’s 12 – Expectations and Editing, Cliches and Conventions

The way Ocean’s 12 reverses your typical Gather The Team montage, and specifically Ocean’s 11‘s version, by having Andy Garcia track down all our original scallywags to threaten and extort them into the movie’s heists. None of this is ‘new’ or ‘fresh,’ it’s a setup we’ve seen a hundred times. We’re watching to see how … Continue reading

Introducing: for the love of k-drama

I’ve recently taken the k-drama plunge, and I’m writing a series of short (well. so far) posts delving into their storytelling, visual techniques, genre and trope uses, unique production management, and more. You can catch all this and more over on the new venture from friend-of-blog and k-drama aficionado Chelsie: ramyeon and chill! My first … Continue reading

In Defence of Nate Heywood

In a rogue’s gallery of runaways and billionaires, clones and scientists, ex-assassins and not-ex-thieves, nerds and stoners, demons and reformed government bureaucrats, Nate Heywood is the worst. Among examples of ever so slowly growing and learning and improving, he is also the best. Legends is the wildest, zaniest, most diverse show on television. It’s as … Continue reading