Better Call Saul: Art of the Montage

Like Breaking Bad before it (but better in almost every way – fight me), Better Call Saul loves an out-of-context cold open, a seemingly inconsequential detail or character beat which will come around in a few episodes or seasons, and a long montage. In fact, like this groundbreaker before it, Better Call Saul brings us … Continue reading

Legends of Television

Legends of Tomorrow is one of the most absurd, progressive, genre-bending shows going. In addition to pop-culture referential, anti-Nazi, time traveling fun, it gives us the emotional tools of the dozen therapy appointments we can’t afford or actively avoid. (As does Elementary with different tools . . . but that’s another blog post.)  We might want … Continue reading

Elementary – Using Direction to Elevate the Procedural

I wrote recently about The X-Files being restored, and why some procedural (or ‘procedural adjacent’) shows are more equal than others. While Elementary isn’t in the pantheon of Prestige Shows such as copycat-spawning LOST, groundbreaking The Sopranos, or even genre-and-plot-soaked cult fun of Dollhouse, I argue it sets itself apart from most current TV procedurals … Continue reading

The X-Files: Preserving One of TV’s Biggest Procedurals

Recently The X-Files has been remastered in HD and with the potential of 4k, which involved ingesting and preserving hundreds of hours of footage, changing aspect ratios, and more. A fascinating peek into the technical aspects is here, but I want to focus on why The X-Files of all the network procedurals. Sure, genre classification … Continue reading

Game of Comparison

It’s been over 24 hours, so we have at least 24,000 thinkpieces about Game of Thrones finale / final season’s compressed narrative, character inconsistencies, political absurdities and lack thereof, etc. Your mileage may vary, but I say season eight had 2.5 Great/Good Episodes out of six. Much of the Great exists despite the compressed timeline, … Continue reading

Doctor Who “Resolution” Shot Study – Crossing the Line

A month ago I was on a feature film shoot, ready to go into a take. The 1AD had called turnover, everything was slated, and the DOP jumped up, startling everyone, waving his arms. “Wait! Is this a line cross!?” They don’t always wait until quite so last-second, but a line cross is a DOP … Continue reading

Shot Study – Doctor Who “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”

The first episode of the 11th season of NuWho has Very Big Expectations. It has to stand up to many recent introductions of The Doctor and/or companions, some of which arguably rank among the best episodes the show has done. It has to act as a pilot of sorts, because even though we know this … Continue reading

Use of Framing to Visualise Characters’ Thoughts and Feelings in Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire is never afraid to go for broke with its direction. While sometimes (especially in Season 1) this leans too hard into melodrama or Dutch tilts, overall, the direction makes any given episode stand out. (To read a fantastic piece on the show’s use of colour, in the episode after the one … Continue reading

Everything Sucks! is kinda 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

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