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 02, “Subtle Beast”

The first episode was intense, packed with information and events. The second is a slow inhalation, and feels much more like a traditional series establishment: here’s the system, the major players and some hint at their motivations. Here, too, are the various mundane procedures which accompany a murder. “Subtle Beast”‘s opening scene covers territory we saw … Continue reading

The 100, Season 03, Episode 03, Ye Who Enter Here

This episode opens a week after last episode, practically in real time. And then everything escalates quickly. At the beginning of the episode, I guessed Bellamy’s girlfriend would be dead within three episodes. I overestimated. All four major arcs here (Clarke/Lexa, Bellamy/Octavia/Echo/Pike, the summit including Abby and Marcus, and the newly established Arkers in the … Continue reading

The 100: Season 03, Episode 01, Wanheda Part 1

Starting the episode off exactly where it left of in S2, and with Murphy – whose story was mostly ancillary the last couple seasons and whose ending was not really crucial to any plots so far – felt like quite the bold move. Murphy putting the gun to his chin immediately followed by something life-saving … Continue reading

Lost Girl: Season 05, Episode 14, “Follow the Yellow Trick Road”

Lost Girl has nodded to The Wizard of Oz before, and “Follow the Yellow Trick Road” opens seemingly in the middle of it. The ending of last episode [as the ‘previously on’ reminds us] suggests this cold open is a switch to Bo’s internal POV; ie, her dream, hallucination, or however you interpret The Wizard of Oz. … Continue reading

Title Sequence: Elementary

Elementary‘s title sequence presents us with a Rube Goldberg machine, something both straightforward and convoluted. Like the show itself, the sequence is not all chronological with clear cause-and-effect, but it includes pieces we’re familiar with: mouse wheel, rising bell, pulleys; procedural tropes, situational lying, criminal types, a figure trapped in a cage, etc. The machine includes potential elements of … Continue reading

The Wrong Mans: Structure, Storytelling, and Trope Usage in Episode 1

Dale and I wrote a long thing about The Wrong Mans and how it does all sorts of things really well. You can read the whole thing at TVquila by clicking here, but here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite.  Warning: The first episode of The Wrong Mans doesn’t deliver anything particularly new. It doesn’t even do anything … Continue reading

House of Lies: Overview

Is that not one of the most ridiculous promo shots you’ve seen in a long time? Down to . . . is he holding a phallic, rolled-up affidavit!? Wait does that mean their ties . . .  House of Lies – the smart, fast, fast-talking Showtime melodrama – recently began its third season. If you’re wondering … Continue reading

Lost Girl: Season 4, Episode 10, Waves

Open with one ‘surprise’ opening scene and one fake-out, all before the credits roll. Ah, the credits, where Bo and Kenzi are still the Dynamic Duo to end them all. One day they will be reunited. As with almost every episode this season, at least one cast member is missing; in this case, Tamsin, Hale, … Continue reading

Shot Details and Framing in Wentworth

Wentworth is an Australian prison drama, actually a remake of the show Prisoner. It’s dark and tense and manages some nice plot turns, it’s got a very teal and gray palette but breaks it up with reds and greens, it’s well acted, it uses slo-mo and occasional fantasy sequences to great effect. But you should discover that for yourself. I’m here to just talk about some details in the framing of shots.