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

Legends of Tomorrow – Witch Hunt

“I hope you’re feeling morally superior!” I’m not doing episodic reviews of Legends, but how this show went from the Hawk-driven disasterpiece that was Season 1 to being the best show in the Arrowverse fascinates me.  The opening Ray exposition [RaySposition, TM] scene appears to be a result of writers competing for “most ridiculous contraption … 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

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

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