It’s often said that Stranger Things is a highly bingeable show. I totally agree. I watched multiple episodes of Season 1 and Season 2 at a time. For Season 3 I limited myself to only one episode per night and sometimes a few days break in between. I don’t know for sure if pacing myself changes the enjoyment level. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing to stretch out a great season over a few weeks. There’s also something to be said about allowing an episode to sink in and build up the anticipation for the next chapter like traditional TV viewing.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is a summer blockbuster that makes sense as a sequel and epilogue to Avengers: Endgame. Far From Home’s affable, good-nature isn’t exactly the Spider-man story that I find most compelling. It will take a 3rd or 4th installment in the franchise to build up and earn darker moments with emotional resonance. However, Far From Home’s light tone is perfectly in line with a teen-aged Peter Parker and what was previously established in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Putting aside what I personally want from a Spider-Man movie, Far From Home delivers a decent teen-comedy with ample comic-book action. Playing it relatively safe, director Jon Watts avoids the mistakes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and moves the franchise a step in the right direction.
After finding a huge audience with The Walking Dead, AMC wanted more horror based shows in their line up. AMC’s The Terror Season 1 is a great start to hopefully a successful horror anthology series. The Terror’s primary approach is crafting unique horror stories centered on real-life historic events that are shrouded in mystery. Because of the solid writing and steady pace, the tension is sustained throughout the 10 episode season. Further, the cast is fantastic, including recognizable actors from HBO’s Game of Thrones, Rome and Chernobyl.
When I heard that HBO and Sky UK were making a series called Chernobyl, knowing nothing about it, in my imagination I thought about a story set in an alternate universe sort of like Man in the High Castle which takes a fictional twist on history. Fortunately, the actual series is better than my idea for the premise. Real events can be more incredible than fiction. Chernobyl is a five part mini-series on the nuclear plant disaster that occurred in April 1986. Centered on the people dealing with the aftermath of the explosion, Chernobyl is a compelling and terrifying historical drama.
I wasn’t looking for another zombie apocalypse series but Netflix’s Black Summer is a decent diversion. Set in the early weeks of a zombie outbreak, a group of refugees make their way out of the suburbs towards the stadium in downtown where the military will transport them to safety. Rose, one of the main characters, is hoping to reunite with her daughter at the stadium. Anyone who dies becomes a zombie. The undead are pretty scary because they run fast like in 28 Days later.
Game of Thrones series finale is over. And now our watch has ended.
“The Bells” is representative of Season 8’s Game of Thrones. The 80 minute episode has the weight of an ambitious story coming to an endgame but some questionable writing choices takes away from a completely fulfilling pay off. Still, the season’s big budget and the extra time used to make it is evident in the visually impressive production values.
In these last couple of seasons, more than ever, HBO’s Game of Thrones is popular entertainment, aimed to please the masses. Now, there’s nothing wrong in offering viewers an enjoyable drama and fantasy to take our minds off our daily lives. But when HBO’s Game of Thrones was at its peak, it subverted our expectations in ways that were surprising yet also offered interesting angles to explore the plot twist’s significance. These story lines were also supported by well thought-out character arcs that made sense and therefore were satisfying.
Avengers: Endgame is one of the most anticipated movies in recent memory. From the start, Marvel Studios made fans aware that the movies were building towards an epic story as part of their ambitious, shared cinematic universe. Respecting the source material, Marvel Studios adapted a roster of comic book superheroes for a modern audience. As fans became more invested which each new franchise, including superheroes that were not widely popular, Marvel’s momentum continued to grow. With Endgame, not only has the anticipation greatly risen so has the expectation for an emotionally satisfying and meaningful conclusion to the Infinity Stones story line.
“The Long Night” deserved the extra long run time. It would have been painful if the episode cut off at the 60 minute mark and left us hanging for a week. Game of Thrones has delivered action-packed episodes before, but not one that sustained the intensity for this long, basically an hour and 20 minutes and without much dialogue.