Under the Dome
Created by: Brian K. Vaughan and Stephen King
Based on: Under the Dome by Stephen King
Recommended? Not even remotely.
It was such an intriguing premise. A small town, and its surrounding farmland, is suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an impenetrable dome. My mind reeled with possibilities and questions. Can they learn to live sustainably? Will they do away with conventional government and currency systems? Will they form collectives? Will they organize by consensus? I have a crapload of laundry to do — will I at least have an entertaining binge watch while sorting and folding? The answer to all these questions was a painful no.
Should you wish to share my pain, or judge for yourself, Under the Dome is a CBS series readily available on CBS.com, Amazon Prime, and DVD. Be warned though, this show is just good enough in its early episodes to make you keep watching for a long, life-sucking ride.
Continue reading Under the Dome, Seasons 1-3
Surviving San Diego’s Comic-Con is kind of like whitewater rafting. To navigate the tumult of over a hundred thousand nerds being desperately marketed to you half steer, half go with the flow.The cool thing is that the rapids sometimes carry you to some little island of pop culture you weren’t planning on seeing but turns out to be pretty awesome. That’s how I ended up at the panel for “The Man in The High Castle.” Continue reading The Man in The High Castle: A First Look at Comic-Con International 2015
1984 – 1986
Program creator and writer: Richard Carpenter
Bechdel Test? Probably not.
England is a paradox. It’s repressive, class bound, notoriously racist, and practically synonymous with colonialism. It’s also a hot bed of left wing intellectualism, the adopted home of Kropotkin, and the country that made punk global. Its not surprising then, that at the height of Thatcherism, with The National Front killing South Asians on the street, one of the hottest shows of television was about an unrelenting anarchist militia fighting colonial power in the name of an indigenous nature spirit.
Continue reading Robin of Sherwood
from an editor: this opinion piece, co-written by two new AGR authors Dylan Fox and C.A. Hawksmoor, contains spoilers for both the Game of Thrones HBO series and the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin as well as discussion of sexual violence.
Continue reading HBO Decides That What We Really Need is Yet More Rape
Creator: Jason Rothenberg
Based on books by: Kass Morgan
2014-2015, The CW
You don’t come home from war.
You don’t get to kill people and stay the same person.
There’s this idea about war and brutality and struggle as a kind of thing the bourgeoisie can keep their hands clean of — or at least just dip into for short moments, like tourists on a war safari.
Maybe the clearest articulation of this problem I’ve ever seen is in “The Epic Pooh,” Michael Moorcock’s ruthless dismantling of The Lord of the Rings. In that essay, presents us the idea that the hobbits represent the middle- and upper-class of England, off to go have an adventure — in which they largely don’t have to do anything unpleasant like kill people since there are other people who can do that — and then return home safe and sound to the Shire. Despite being rather a fan of Middle Earth, I think this is pretty defensible as an interpretation of the text.
Continue reading The 100 (seasons 1 – 2)
The Walking Dead, seasons 1-4
Recommended? If you’re going to watch epic amounts of TV, then yes.
Rooting for The Walking Dead isn’t exactly rooting for the underdog, I know. It’s apparently the most-watched show on cable. But, after binging my way through four seasons, I’ll say this: I’m glad it’s so popular.
As a warning, this review is going to assume you’ve seen the show or don’t care about spoilers. It’s light on specifics, though.
The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic zombie drama set primarily in rural Georgia, based on a comic series I haven’t read. When it first came out, I gave it a shot but got kind of bored after a few episodes.
You see, the protagonist is a cop. The second-in-command? Also a cop. This isn’t a really good way to hook me. In fact, throughout the whole first season, I basically felt like the screenwriters were good-cop/bad-copping me: good cop is so good! Bad cop is so bad! Therefore, we need more good cops!
Continue reading The Walking Dead, seasons 1-4
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010-present)
created by Lauren Faust
Recommended? Hells, yeah.
Bechdel Test: Every episode passes with flying rainbow colors and the occasional “sonic rainboom”.
I have a not-so-secret secret, which is my great enthusiasm for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. If I was a more bashful person, I’d be embarrassed about my borderline obsession. But I’m not. You’ll find me talking ponies to the dudeliest of dude-bros, defending my love for a kids’ animated television series about magic, friendship, and little horses. And I’m not the only adult on board; there a plenty of “bronies” to back me up.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the latest iteration of the My Little Pony franchise. Having been a girl growing up in the ’80s during MLP’s first major reign (rein?), I was attracted to the new show for nostalgic reasons and due to a smattering of good reviews from fellow nerds. I started watching it while recovering from a mean infection, and it quickly became my source for cheer, energy, and optimism. A year later, I re-watch episodes when I’m feeling down, because Friendship is Magic is, well, magical.
Continue reading My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010)
Vikings, Season 1
2013, The History Channel
It’s a show called Vikings. It’s a drama. The protagonists are vikings. They hit people with swords and axes and they sail around in longships and kill Christians and take slaves. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the acting is remarkable. The writing wavers from good to great. The historical accuracy is not particularly high but is better than some people are giving the show credit for.
And it’s about vikings.
You’re either going to want to watch the show or not based on that. There’s little I would want to do to convince you otherwise.
What’s the show about? As I watch it, it’s a show about death. It’s not gory like a war film. The death in it is not by large glorious, not even gratuitous. But the show is about death, and the emotional toll of death, viewed from outside the Christian/Atheist lens chosen by most of the media we’re presented with.
Continue reading Vikings, Season 1