Author Archive

Source: AMC

Halt and Catch Fire 3×05 ‘Yerba Buena’: Down into the abyss

This season has been dealing intently with the notion of fear, how taking chances causes excitement as well as terror, how progress is inevitable but instills fear that those who have made waves are vulnerable to being outdated. But it’s dealing with more than just fear. It’s dealing with what people are afraid of as […]

Source: USA

Mr. Robot 2×10 ‘eps2.8h1dden-pr0cess.axx’: In over their heads

Mr. Robot really is at its best when it decides to become a thriller.  Part of me enjoys when the show digs into the existential crises associated with living in the world today, but Mr. Robot has never really nailed that.  Sometimes, it absolutely excels at it, such as when we see Darlene struggle to […]

Source: AMC

Halt and Catch Fire 3×04 ‘Rules for Honorable Play’: Social irrelevance

If there’s one thing that this season is communicating better than anything else on television, it’s that people are terrified of becoming irrelevant, useless, and impotent.  Society deems people useful based on certain criteria; capitalist countries do so based primarily on money, but we also do so based on appearance, on specific kinds of talent, […]

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Fear the Walking Dead 2×10 ‘Do Not Disturb’: Becoming the villain

The issue with poor character development isn’t necessarily that it makes for a poor episode of television.  It’s that it puts a television series at a deficit, where it has to make up for lost time and reverse decisions surrounding characters that are inconsistent or messy.  The second season of The Walking Dead was one […]

Source: USA

Mr Robot 2×09 ‘eps2.7init5.fve’: Conflicting personalities

I don’t usually assess an episode of television by my emotional response to it, but that response is an important part of how we look at art.  When I watch The Leftovers, I connect with it on a very personal level, as it reminds me of the loss that I’ve experienced and how difficult it […]

Source: USA

Mr Robot 2×08 ‘eps2.6succ3ss0r.p12’: Circling the drain

There are a couple storylines that work well for Mr. Robot at this point.  The best one of these is the slow deterioration of fsociety after the FBI and the Dark Army continue to target them.  It’s the most realistic story the show can tell, as the 5/9 hack wasn’t going to save the world, […]

Source: AMC

Halt and Catch Fire 3×03 ‘Flipping the Switch’: The fear of irrelevance

There’s a certain unique feel that runs through great television shows, almost like a pulse that makes it feel alive.  The Leftovers has this pulse, an empathy and connective nature that imbues words and action with an additional meaning.  Breaking Bad has this pulse, an urgency informed by an existential need for control over one’s […]

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Fear the Walking Dead 2×09 ‘Los Muertos’: From death

The issue with spinoffs is that they rely on the original story to give it life.  More often than not, people see them as a moneymaking tactic, and in the case of The Walking Dead, they’re probably not wrong.  It’s not like AMC has many series with high ratings; Halt and Catch Fire is fantastic […]

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Halt and Catch Fire 3×01 – 3×02: The drive to innovate

I’m not sure I can think of a television series that has improved as much as Halt and Catch Fire.  The first season, or at least the first half of the first season, was not particularly great, mostly because it focused intently on the mystery of Joe’s character, exploring it in a way that took […]

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Fear the Walking Dead 2×08 ‘Grotesque’: A sense of community

Welcome back! Fear the Walking Dead has been off to kind of a bumpy start. The first season was relatively interesting, but the second season has been horribly boring with only small bursts of energy punctuating through the tedium. None of the characters really came into their own; Chris at least had a story arc, […]

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Mr. Robot 2×07 ‘eps2.5h4ndshake.sme’: All an illusion

Oh, plot twists. Sometimes they’re a great way to inject some excitement into a storyline, to say something new and interesting about the thematic ideas at play. Other times they’re a sad attempt to keep the story interesting, a gimmick more than anything else. Good twists usually elicit some sort of “whoa” reaction; they go […]

Source: USA

Mr. Robot 2×06 ‘eps2.4m4ster-s1ave.aes’: Necessary compromise

Mr. Robot had such a concise first season, not only because it just had ten average-sized episodes (minus an extended pilot), but because it had enough plot to fill all of those episodes. The more I watch this second season, which has now reached the halfway point, the more I’m realizing that it’s not just […]

Source: USA

Mr. Robot 2×05 ‘eps2.3logic-b0mb.hc’: Ceding control

This has really been the first point this season that I’ve felt the jitters I had when I watched the first season of Mr. Robot. There was something particularly exciting about watching Elliot try to navigate some sort of high-tension situation, about watching him deal with a moral issue like those he dealt with in […]

Source: USA

Mr. Robot 2×04 ‘eps2.2init1.asec’: Hopes of a dreamer

I really don’t want to spend the entire review griping about the runtime of this season’s episodes of Mr. Robot, but since last episode wasn’t an isolated incident (this episode was VERY long, clocking in at 65 minutes without commercials), I have to talk a little more about it. Television is a medium that thrives […]

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Mr. Robot 2×03 ‘eps2.1k3rnel-pan1c.ksd’: The fallacy of control

Do you guys remember Sons of Anarchy?  That biker show that was pretty good for a few seasons, but went insane when it hit Season 6 because Kurt Sutter’s scripts were so obnoxiously self-indulgent?  Well, this episode of Mr. Robot kind of reminded me of Sons of Anarchy, not because of any of the content, […]

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Mr. Robot 2×01 – 2×02 ‘eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc / eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”: The impossibility of revolution

If there’s one concern I’ve always had about Mr. Robot, it’s that it sometimes keeps its head in the clouds without coming down for a reality check.  There’s something true about its criticism of the way that technology infects our lives.  We’re dependent on it to keep us deluded, we look at news that reinforces […]

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Game of Thrones 6×10 ‘The Winds of Winter’: The more things change…

It’s shocking, but it all makes sense.  People are part of cycles, of waves in history, and while they like to think that they can stake their unique claim to a portion of history, often enough they’re filling a role created by somebody else.  That realization is difficult to have because it reminds us of […]

Source: HBO

Game of Thrones 6×09 ‘Battle of the Bastards’: The price of power

Tyrion isn’t wrong.  Death really is abstract when it isn’t you that is dying.  It is why the slavers are so confident when they come up against Daenerys, up until the point they know that they’re done.  It is why Daenerys is willing to torch all of these cities until she gets them back.  It […]

Source: HBO

Game of Thrones 6×08 ‘No One’: Who you are

Game of Thrones has been spending the whole season digging into notions of identity.  Characters have pieces of themselves stripped away until theyre not sure what is left.  Other characters further define themselves in the wake of having lost so much, building themselves back up from the ground.  As we move closer to the endgame […]

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Game of Thrones 6×07 ‘The Broken Man’: The cruelty of reality

“The Broken Man” is a massive leap in quality from the previous episode, not simply because Sandor Clegane is back (even though that is ridiculously exciting), but because the episode as a whole cohered into something more complete than the last. This episode revolves around the idea that people are often the source of their […]