Hannibal, Television

Hannibal: “Tome-wan” Review (Season 2 Episode 12)

Hannibal - Season 2

(Again, this was written many months ago. Against all better judgement – given my crazy schedule – I’ve decided to start writing again. I’ll most likely be picking up Better Call Saul when that begins to air, and will play it by ear from there.)

Bedelia Du Maurier is Will Graham. She is a version of Will Graham that wasn’t strong enough to resist Hannibal’s seductive persuasion. This is brilliantly revealed to us following her return in “Tome-wan”, the penultimate episode in Hannibal‘s intoxicating second season.

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Hannibal, Television

Hannibal: “Kō No Mono” Review (Season 2 Episode 11)

Hannibal - Season 2

 

(This review was written months ago – I’m not just pretending I watched it recently)

Is it really surprising that Will was playing Hannibal? I mean, it would have been absurd for Hannibal to hamstring itself by removing one of the show’s chief conflicts (Hannibal Lecter versus Will Graham); no, it isn’t very surprising. And yet the reveal at the end of “Kō No Mono” still feels bafflingly important, a true turning point for the season and the show as a whole. Coupled with the unstable wildcard of Mason Verger being added to the mix, and it’s looking more and more likely that Hannibal‘s second season is going to stick the landing.

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Classic, Deadwood, Television

Deadwood: “Deadwood” Review (Season 1 Episode 1)

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Louis O’Carroll: I spent a lot of time humming and hawing over the opening passage of this review; there’s an innately human fixation on beginnings and endings when it comes to any type of fiction, and, given Deadwood‘s distinct lack of a conventional ending, it wouldn’t make for a great start if I were to miss the mark on the beginning of what is often considered to be one of the most important pieces of scripted television ever.

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Game of Thrones, Television

Game of Thrones: “First of His Name” Review (Season 4 Episode 5)

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Having seen the entirety of this season of Game of Thrones, I would single out “First of His Name” for being the one episode of the season which I would be unable to identify at a glance – and that’s a compliment, as disingenuous as it may sound. Game of Thrones has (as pointed out in this article – which contains spoilers for the entire season) always been about enamoured with its big, ‘flashy’ moments, and in this season that was taken up several notches. Looking at the last four episodes, it’s easy to point out the major events of each – and not always in a flattering light (I’m looking at you, Breaker of Chains). “First of His Name” is by no means uneventful (which we see when we take a gander up north), but it does something that Game of Thrones has proven – with frustrating rarity – itself to be very good at when it wants to be: methodical, purposeful place-setting. Too often we see the show falling into the trap of a lack of showy events grind that episode’s momentum to a halt, and “First of His Name” – for the most part – avoids that.

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Hannibal, Television

Hannibal: “Naka-Choko” Review (Season 2 Episode 10)

Hannibal - Season 2

In a season of risky moves, “Naka-Choko” stands out as possibly the riskiest episode Hannibal has ever done. As I (think) I have said before, holding back your protagonist’s (or your show’s emphatic centre, which is becoming less mutually exclusive with shows’ protagonists in this era of the anti-hero) motives is a potentially disastrous thing, and can force the writers into an inextricable corner. It’s too early to tell (that’s a lie, I’ve seen the rest of the season), but if Will’s actions this episode are part of a Will Graham Long-con™, it will be one convincing enough to rival the likes of Walter White’s in “End Times” and “Face Off”, at the end of Season 4 of Breaking Bad. That I’m even comparing Season 2 of Hannibal to that masterclass in television is a testament to its quality.

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Television, The Americans

The Americans: “Yousaf” Review (Season 2 Episode 10)

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Elizabeth and Philip Jennings probably aren’t very good for each other. Even if they weren’t a pair of Soviet spies, I doubt that they’d be a healthy match. In the opening scene of “Yousaf”, Philip is awake downstairs, unable to sleep after the violent tirade he subjected Paige to. Elizabeth enters the room and consoles him, telling him that he did the right thing. We as an audience know that he didn’t really, but that what he did was understandable given the circumstances; Elizabeth, with all of her fanatical devotion to Mother Russia, sees his brutal outburst as a step in the right direction. As the walls start closing in, and the Philips’ identities are put in danger, what will be most fascinating to see will be whether this toxic relationship will be strengthened or weakened as a result.

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News

Summer Schedule

As spring – arguably the most exciting season for fans of TV – comes to an end, and the long summer lull begins, I want to outline what I will be writing about over the summer.

I will be without internet access for the first three weeks of July, but, disregarding that, I have a few projects planned for June, July, and August, once I catch up on my HannibalThe Americans, and Mad Men coverage and Fargo and Game of Thrones end their seasons (in four and two weeks’ time, respectively):

  • First of all, I will be continuing my coverage of Breaking Bad, which I promptly dropped when things began to get hectic.
  • Secondly, My friend Sam Kilian and I will be covering the one (the other two being The Wire and The Sopranos) of HBO’s big three that I haven’t seen: Deadwood. Sam thinks that House of Cards is not only good, but great (hahahahahahaha), and he also claims Twin Peaks to be the best show of all time (an outrageous thing to suggest), but apart from those two minor (read: major) blips, he’s got pretty good taste, so it will be interesting to see what we think. We still haven’t fully sorted out how it’ll work, but I imagine we’ll cover an episode each per week, maybe doing crosstalks for what we deem to be important or milestone episodes.
  • I may also do a recap of Veep – which is, for my money, the best comedy currently on TV – when Season 3 comes to an end next week, depending on how things work. I also have two requests to oblige, one being an episode of Mad Men, and the other being an episode of Doctor Who. If you have any requests, feel free to post them here.

 

That’s all. I’ve a reasonably academic year starting this September, so I’ll probably only be covering one show weekly, two max. I’ll have those delayed reviews up soon, and thanks again for reading.

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Fargo, Television

Fargo: “A Muddy Road” Review (Season 1 Episode 3)

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Now that’s more like it“A Muddy Road” is a fantastic episode of Fargo, and just a generally great episode of TV. It pushes its various subplots along until they’re pretty much all at an interesting place (last week’s dud, the blackmail operation, is the episode’s main plot, and benefits greatly from this), and also begins to weave these arcs together in an exceptionally satisfying way; if Fargo remains at as high a level of quality as it is currently at, it will doubt be recognised as a major feather in FX’s cap for years to come.

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News

I’m still here…

Yes, I’m egregiously behind, I know – and this time I don’t really have an excuse! I’ll have a Fargo review up ASAP, and now that The Americans and Hannibal are finished, and Mad Men is finishing, I’ll have a lot more time to focus on writing reviews instead of watching TV.

To tide you over, here’s a collaboration I did with PolarBearsWatchTV: a retrospective look on Season 2 of Hannibal.

Enjoy, and thanks for your patience – I’ll be back up and running soon.

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