Posts Tagged ‘Graceland’

Graceland - Season 2

Graceland 2×13 ‘Faith 7’: A failed experiment

In the end, it was all kind of a mess.  Graceland really emphasized a plot-heavy structure for its second season, and while that resulted in some fun episodes like “The Head of the Pig”, for the most part, it was apparent that the finale was going to be a convoluted mess.  Graceland has never been […]

Graceland - Season 2

Graceland 2×12 ‘Echoes’: Convergence and divergence

Season 4 of Breaking Bad wasn’t its best season, but the end of the season was what elevated it above and beyond the rest of it.  “Crawl Space” took an entire season worth of build-up and brought it crashing down in the time span of about ten minutes, bringing us one of the show’s most […]

Graceland 2x11 Cover

Graceland 2×11 ‘Home’: Paranoia

In stories, there has to be a certain cohesive nature in which the elements of the plot come together.  Of course, in life, events aren’t ordered and neatly structured.  Often, things happen with a chaotic nature, and they come from some complex cause-and-effect pattern that we don’t necessarily understand.  Within stories, the writer has to […]

Graceland - Season 2

Graceland 2×10 ‘The Head of the Pig’: Cleaning up

Graceland has been spinning its wheels for a while now, and even though I’ve been fairly impressed by the vast majority of the show’s various plotlines, there hasn’t been enough forward movement on anybody’s front in order to make the narrative very exciting.  Some episodes have been fantastic, some stories have been fantastic, but as […]

Graceland 2x09 Cover

Graceland 2×09 ‘Gratis’: Above water

When you’re engaging with any sort of story, you have to look at the people involved as more than just pieces on a chessboard.  They have to feel human, like they have aspirations, fears, failures, successes, and relationships.  They have to feel like we feel about ourselves, as we acknowledge our own complexity and are […]

Graceland 2x08 Cover

Graceland 2×08 ‘The Ends’: Further down the river

Graceland has a plethora of ideas this season, more so than last season.  Not only do they have more in-depths ideas concerning plot so that the season can become more serialized, but there’s more thematic concepts at play here.  “The Ends” is a fairly self-explanatory episode, where the members of Graceland are getting in over […]

Graceland - Season 2

Graceland 2×07 ‘Los Malos’: Further down

There’s a lot about “Los Malos” that sets up interesting plot points and interesting ideas for future episodes, but there’s a lot that runs in place and convolutes the already problematic storyline.  Because of Graceland’s heavy emphasis on plot progression as opposed to character development (even though there’s certainly more character development than before), the […]

Graceland 2x06 Cover

Graceland 2×06 ‘The Unlucky One’: The strength to endure

Graceland isn’t on a roll, per se, but it’s certainly most interesting than ever.  It’s embracing the grit that it tried to embrace in the first season, but could never really manage to.  It’s taking the characters and subjecting them to this kind of grit in order to deepen their struggles, asking us how much […]

Graceland 2x05 Cover

Graceland 2×05 ‘H-A-Double-P-Y’: The fate of their love

Graceland operated fantastically last week, with every character’s story working in concurrence to show how they try so intently to deal with the problems in their life, only to still feel the weight at the end of the day.  “H-A-Double-P-Y” doesn’t quite work on that level, as some of the stories aren’t compelling enough to […]

Graceland 2x04 Cover

Graceland 2×04 ‘Magic Number’: How to deal

If anything, Season 2 of Graceland is focused.  The case-of-the-week elements have funneled themselves into the characters’ more personal stories, and those personal stories have become more interesting and high-tension than ever before.  And even though the serialized storyline weaving its way through the season hasn’t ramped up to any feverishly high level as of […]

Graceland - Season 2

Graceland 2×03 ‘Tinker Bell’: Becoming more

I’ve written quite a bit about serializing television shows, but I’ve never really dug into how the structural approach to storytelling affects the quality of a show.  It’s not necessarily that serializing a story makes it better, as shows like LOST and The Sopranos work in serialized elements while making many stand-alone episodes during their […]

Graceland 2x02 Cover

Graceland 2×02 ‘Connects’: High/low stakes

When it comes to raising the stakes in any story, a couple of things need to happen.  Firstly, the plot has to be fierce enough that the bad things that could possibly happen to the characters seem likely enough to cause the audience to worry.  Consider Game of Thrones, a show that features characters dying […]

Graceland - Season 2

Graceland 2×01 ‘The Line’: Within

USA Network has really been looking for more breakout shows ever since they decided to get rid of Burn Notice.  I mean, sure, they have Suits and Royal Pains and White Collar, but none of those shows get the kind of ratings or critical attention that competing cable networks like FX or AMC get.  I […]

Graceland 1x12 Cover

Graceland 1×12 ‘Pawn’: Tonal disparity

Of course Graceland isn’t going to be willing to make the dark descent it considered making.  It’s a show with a tonal disparity, one with a pull between goofy/fun weekly procedural without serialization and a darker violent drama with heavy serialization.  If “Pawn” decided to dive into the darkness instead of just dipping its toe […]

Graceland 1x11 Cover

Graceland 1×11 ‘Happy Endings’: Time to take sides

It may seem arbitrary, but there’s a specific reason that certain story elements are normally introduced in certain “acts” of the story.  If Graceland had waited until halfway through the season to introduce that Mike was investigating Briggs, the first half of the season would have seemed more hollow because it was lacking of any […]

Graceland 1x10 Cover

Graceland 1×10 ‘King’s Castle’: And the walls begin to crumble

Despite some issues here and there concerning occasional lackluster writing and some decent-at-best “bust of the week” plots, I’d have to nominate Graceland for one of the better shows of the summer.  Granted, it’s not like there’s that many good shows on.  Aside from yet another phenomenal season of Breaking Bad, The Newsroom is still […]

Graceland 1x09 Cover

Graceland 1×09 ‘Smoke Alarm’: Revelations and deception

Ever since “Bag Man”, last week’s episode where it was confirmed that Briggs was ODIN and things heated up between Bello and the Caza Cartel, it seems like Graceland has had a second wind pumped into its lungs.  The first seven episodes, while decent, never seemed to push very hard at the main storyline, always […]

Graceland 1x08 Cover

Graceland 1×08 ‘Bag Man’: Lies and blood

For the vast majority of the season, Graceland has used a “bust of the week” style to fill in some of the gaps around the main plot.  Most of the time, it’s a fairly obvious deviation from that main plot, as it doesn’t have a whole lot of substance and merely exists to fill running […]

contest slider

Win a Hulu Plus Subscription for Commenting!

At, we try our best to write reviews that invite discussion from fellow fans and critics. To end the summer with a bang, we’re giving away a gift card for one month of Hulu Plus (there’s also a one week free trial for new signups) to one lucky winner. The contest will last two weeks, until 9pm Pacific […]

Graceland - Season 1

Graceland 1×07 ‘Goodbye High’: The burden of truth

Graceland has some great ideas.  It often discusses what it means to live through lies, how lies impact others, and this episode even touches on whether or not the truth is just another burden to put on another’s shoulders.  It’s all great stuff and it shows how Graceland is so self-assured as it moves forward.  […]