Season eight of Game of Thrones has been a wild ride. The spectacle has never been greater. It pushed what ‘TV’ can be to new heights, but at the same time it was in such a hurry to wrap everything up that all the character moments felt forced and out of place. I will not spoil who wins, but I don’t think it was the audience.
A lot of people have been saying the reason season eight wasn’t what they wanted was because David Benioff and D. B. Weiss no longer had any books to work off of. Just a bullet pointed list of what was going to happen in the books. My guess is that Benioff and Weiss didn’t really like all the spectacle and action. They liked all the dirty politics and intrigue, but with a zombie army and an impatient queen with dragons there wouldn’t be any time for that, so they just pushed through all craziness to the ending. For better or worse.
In the end season eight wasn’t the best of what Game of Thrones has offered, but it wasn’t near as bad as Twitter is saying it is. Even with this truncated and fast forwarded season, this show still gave us seasons three through six, which was some of the best television ever, and that is something to be thankful for. Maybe your player didn’t win the throne, but we still got dragon battles and a zombie army, which is pretty sweet.
As someone who has not seen seasons one or two of True Detective, I cannot say how season three stacks up, I can only say that it is filled with great performances and a lot of silence. It is the slowest of burns. It is worth it to stick it out to the end, but it is not in a hurry to get there.
In season three, two children go missing while on a bike ride, and small town detectives Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) and Roland West (
Deacon Frost Stephen Dorff) do their best to find them. Even though they do everything they can, this case will follow them for the rest of their lives.
From what I gather, True Detective season three is a little less strange than one and two, and it has the unique hook of taking place along at least three different timelines, but really the hook is that it has Mahershala Ali. His performance makes this show. Dorff and the rest of the cast do their best, and they are all good in their own right, but Ali makes it must watch TV.
I did enjoy that everything fit together really nice, there are no major plot holes, but the best part was the way season three played with the audience’s expectations. We know how these things are supposed to go, but how things worked out in True Detective season three was constantly surprising. Not in a cheap way, or just to pull something over on everyone, but as a reminder there is more than one way these things can shake out.
All that said, it is slow. Not that everything needs to be action packed, but sometimes if things take this long to burn the fire may have gone out. Though between the clever story and Ali’s fantastic performance, True Detective season three is still well worth watching. Just don’t fall asleep.
Titans probably had one of the worst advertising campaigns around, and I had no real interest in it, but then something strange started happening. People on the internet started saying that it was not that bad, and its RottenTomatoes.com score pulled out of a nose dive and pulled itself up to an 84%. Which for TV these days isn’t too far out of the norm because there is soooo much good TV, but considering the reviews started off negative, it is quite the feet, so when DC Universe had a sale on subscriptions I decided to give it a try. Titans was well worth the price of admission.
In Titans, Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) has given up being Robin. The violence is taking its toll on him, so instead he decides to put his detective training to use and join the Detroit Police Department. Just when he thinks he has given up the cape and the leggings for good, he gets mixed up with a young girl who has strange and dangerous powers named Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft/Raven). She is on the run from her father who wants to use her for her powers. As they run and try to figure out what is going on they will also meet up with Kory (Anna Diop/Starfire) and Gar Logan (Ryan Potter/Beast Boy). Not to mention a few other superheroes.
What is great about Titans is that it takes its time. There aren’t like two intro episodes then they move to Jump City and are now chillin’ in Titan Tower. After eleven episodes they are still nowhere near the superhero team comics lovers know they will be. Dick is trying understand what his life is supposed to be ‘post Robin’, Kory is trying to recover her past, Gar is just now exploring the outside world, and poor Rachel just wants to get a handle on the actual darkness inside her, so the whole first season is just these people trying to deal with their issues while also trying to deal with each other. Which are problems that you just can’t superpunch away.
What I also love about this first season of Titans is that it has taken on a horror vibe, and given Rachel’s powerset, it is a smart choice. There are so many weird and creepy moments in this show. It is not something a lot of other superhero shows, or movies for that matter, have tried, but Titans really goes for it. I will say that it starts off poorly. It doesn’t really get good until about episode three or so, but it is great once it gets going. I also don’t like that they ended the show on a cliffhanger. I like it better when shows have a complete arc for a season, and I guess that season one did, but once they got picked up for a second season they moved episode twelve to be episode one of season two.
Slow starts and cliffhangers are forgivable sins. Titans is not that first show to suffer from them and probably will not be the last. Thankfully everything else about the show works. From the creepy atmosphere to the talented young cast. If you are in the US and can spare eight bucks for a month of DC Universe to watch this show, you should. Outside the US it is even easier because it is on Netflix, so just queue it up. Then wonder with me what will happen when Titans returns this October.
The thing I remember thinking while watching A Very English Scandal was that this couldn’t be real. That the BBC and Amazon must have fudged things to make this show more insane, but in looking up the facts for myself, it turns out they even left a few other crazy things out. All of which makes for an interesting show to watch, and one carried by fantastic lead performances.
A Very English Scandal is about the Jeremy Thorpe Scandal. Where Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal Party, attempted to have a homosexual lover killed, so that he would not be exposed as gay. Which sounds dark, but this show ends up being more of a dramady. Mostly because of how crazy all the characters in the show are.
The writers did a great job on the script, but Hugh Grant as Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as Thorpe’s former love interest Norman Scott really make this work. They manage to ride the line between playing their characters over the top while still being believable perfectly. It is no wonder Whishaw won a Golden Globe, and I am sure will be in the running for a BAFTA and an Emmy.
A Very English Scandal is not visually graphic, but it is verbally, so keep that in mind before watching it. Otherwise it is a fun three hours of British history, and one you probably will not soon forget. You can watch it now on Amazon Prime Video or the BBC iPlayer.
I have been hesitant to watch season eight of Voltron: Legendary Defender for a couple of reasons, someone spoiled the ending and I didn’t want it to be over. Voltron has been better than I ever could have imagined, and this final season was mostly great. I mean the original series exists in this Voltron as a fictional retelling of what happened. How cool is that?
If I have any qualms about season eight, it is that they didn’t really have time to explore everything that they brought to the table. Ideas would be brought up and then resolved almost instantly, but at least they resolved them.
While season seven was mostly just buildup and then a lot of explosions, season eight was about finishing character arcs. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of explosions, but all the moments with the biggest impacts were story beats, and that is the way it should be. The fact they were able to bring back so many characters from the earlier seasons and give them interesting conclusions was fantastic.
While the ending was spoiled, it was still satisfying, and it worked better than I thought it would, so if that is putting you off, I don’t think it should stop you the way it did for me. Voltron: Legendary Defender is how all reboots should work. With respect for its source material, but never shackled to it. Use the original as inspiration for something better. I love the Voltron from my childhood, but the Voltron from my 30’s is much, much better.