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

The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 03, “The Dark Crate”

This episode has even more literal and figurative closeups than the prior two. Closeups on grimy tiles, directive signage, broken windows (get it?). Closeups on  the monotony, the paperwork, Naz hyperventilating, newspaper front pages in the lawyers’ nice briefcase, stone lions in Naz’s neighborhood. Slow scenes revolving around diets based on religion, washing of hands, cops having to … Continue reading

Theme Songs and Title Sequences: True Blood

True Blood has devolved from a delicious, mystery-driven, Southern Gothic evisceration of societal mores to a lukewarm pool of bloody literalism. When you ditch the metaphorical drugs, religious persecution, and prejudice (obvious though they may have been) for literal manifestations of a vampire goddess, fairy godmothers, and televised vampire-a-thons, you have jumped the alligator. Relatedly, … Continue reading

The Newsroom Episode 8: The Blackout Part 1: Tragedy Porn

If you have to subtitle your ‘Part Ones,’ you may have a hubris problem. ‘Print journalists play it fast and loose with exclamation points.’ It’s a good line. The unnecessary ‘it’ there is an interesting choice. Did they not think the viewer would get it without an additional beat? Am I reading way too much into this? Lorelai … Continue reading