Category Archives: Television
Netflix’s The Witcher starring Henry Cavill arrives at an opportune time when many viewers are looking for a new medieval fantasy series to get into. At eight episodes, The Witcher’s first season is a bingeable mix of monster hunting action, sorcery and lust aimed at an adult audience. Henry Cavill is a great fit as the titular gruff-voiced, anti-hero Geralt of Rivia and Anya Chalotra is very good as the anguished mage Yennefer. Rounding out the main cast is the talented young actress Freya Allan as Princess Cirilla (or Ciri) whose mysterious destiny is closely linked to Geralt and Yennefer.
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.
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.
“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.
As a calm before the storm episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” offers plenty of feel-good moments. In a typical season, the early episodes lay the groundwork for the big spectacle event, usually episode 9. In this final shortened season, episode 3 will be epic, so “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is a quiet prelude with many plot points to set up. Fan reaction is very positive, even more so than the premiere. I personally enjoyed it but because I’m not super sentimental the heart-felt moments didn’t resonate with me as much as other fans.