Category Archives: tv

Game of Thrones – Episode 1.5 “The Wolf and the Lion”

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Synopsis: Ned questions Ser Hugh’s death to Barristen Selmy. The King wants another joust so this time we get introduced to Loras Tyerll who challenges the Mountain. When the Mountain loses the joust he pulls out his sword, but the Hound protects Loras. Catelyn rides with her prisoner Tyrion. Bran is upset that Catelyn left him. Varys warns Ned that the King is in danger. Arya finds her way into the dungeons with dragon skulls. She overhears Varys and Illyrio having a secret discussion but isn’t quite sure what they mean, other than a threat against Ned. Baelish and Varys have a passive aggressive face off, both noting they are watching the other one. Yoren makes his way to King’s Landing and tells Ned that Catelyn has the imp.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 1.4 “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”

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Synopsis: Bran’s first dream of a three-eyed raven. Tyrion returns to Winterfell and has a less than positive reception from Robb. Despite this, Tyrion shares plans for a system to let Bran ride a horse. Tyrion also has words with Theon, taunting him about his status as captor vs. Theon’s belief he’s part of the clan. Samwell Tarly joins the training at the wall, but doesn’t make a strong impression. He’s a coward, Tarly admits. Dany and the Dothraki continue their ride with Dany growing into her status as the bride of the leader, and Viserys not loving his station. Dany questions Jorah about the history of the seven kingdoms and her part in it. Sansa still holds a grudge against her father. Ned begins his investigation into the death of Jon Arryn, tracing his last steps, and discovering a genealogy book from Pycell that Arryn looked into shortly before his death. Pycell shares Arryn’s last words “the seed is strong,” but no one makes sense of it.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 1.3 “Lord Snow”

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Synopsis: Ned and the girls arrive in King’s Landing just in time for his first small council meeting, which also includes Pycell, Baelish, Varys, and Renly. Ned has an antagonistic meeting with Jaime. Info dropped: this is where Ned’s brother and father were killed by the mad king as Jaime watched, before eventually killing him. Cersei starts to mold Joffrey into a king by giving him pointers on how to lead. Sansa still hasn’t forgiven Ned for his hand in the death of Lady. Bran awakes with no memory of his accident, and angry at his circumstance. Catelyn sneaks into King’s Landing, meeting first with Baelish and Varys. She shows them the knife that was used to attack Bran, and Baelish says the knife was his until he lost it to Tyrion. On the wall, Jon and others train to be men of the Night’s watch, which mostly consists of Jon besting everyone in sword fighting. Doesn’t win him any points with Thorne, and Snow isn’t making any friends with the others until Tyrion interrupts.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 1.2 “The Kingsroad”

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Episode 2: The Kingsroad

Synopsis: Tyrion slaps Joffrey in an attempt to teach him manners. Three slaps was apparently not enough. News of Bran’s fall spreads, but word is he will survive, which Jaime and Cersei are none too chuffed about. Cersei tells Catelyn about losing her first child, which may or may not be the truth. Jon gives Arya a present, a small sword she dubs “needle.” Jon says goodbye to Bran and heads to the wall with Benjen, as Ned and the girls go to King’s Landing, leaving Catelyn behind with Robb, Bran and Rickon. Catelyn’s affection for Ned is only matched by her hurt that he’s leaving. The last time he left he came back with another woman’s kid-Jon Snow. Ned promises to tell Jon the truth about his mother the next time he sees him.

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Game of Thrones – Episode 1.1 “Winter is Coming”

 

game101Since its debut roughly eight years ago, Game of Thrones has redefined television. It took a popular book series and turned it into a cultural phenomenon. Touchstone moments like the Red Wedding and the Battle of the Bastards brought urgency back to television. In a world dominated by Netflix binging, Game of Thrones made appointment television all the rage again. As its final season approaches, I decided to take a look back at the series, from the beginning, episode by episode. Because of how layered and intricate the storytelling is, I wanted to remember what had come before, and I also wanted to recontextualize the previous episodes with what I know now. Because I’ve binged some of the episodes before, some episodes haven’t sat with me long enough to really focus on the details.

So here we are. I am going to focus on one episode per day leading up and through the eighth and final season.

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Episode 1: Winter is Coming

Synopsis: We open at the wall and with the men of the Night’s Watch. A group discovers the remnants of the White Walkers, limbs and heads on spikes strewn about. And then they encounter the White Walkers for real, including a recently deceased little girl with glowy blue eyes. The violence and gore set up exactly what kind of show we’re in for.

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Top 10 TV 2018

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It’s been a great year for television, evidenced mostly by having too many good shows I can’t even catch (I will get to the Americans when I get to it). Pioneers like Netflix and Hulu continued streaming’s dominance by putting focus on writing and character. There may be tiny spoilers in the descriptions but nothing too major.

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Roseanne (2018)

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Over twenty years since the original ended and nearly a year since the reboot was officially announced, Roseanne has finally returned to the airwaves. Two episodes premiered back-to-back on Tuesday and focused on the return of America’s favorite blue-collar family. Right from the start, they addressed Dan’s death (which was revealed in the finale and ignored here) as Roseanne (dressed in the infamous chicken shirt) wakes him up from beneath his C-Pap facemask. It’s good that they did away with the dreadful final season completely (the Conner clan didn’t win the lottery either) but it was still a bit of a rough start.

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Top 10 TV 2017

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10. The Runaways

With the rest of Marvel’s TV series faltering this year (Inhumans and Iron Fist tanked, Agents of Shield is tired, Defenders and Punisher were okay but pale in comparison to the heights achieved by Jessica Jones and Daredevil), leave it to this mashup of the OC and the Avengers to bring a new twist on super heroic teen angst. While the comic was one of my favorites, the TV series has done a great job of broadening the scope beyond the basic premise of group of teens discover their parents are evil. Honestly, while the TV show has pretty awesome and faithful adaptations of the kids, it has done an amazing job of making the parents infinitely more interesting and adding a dose of mystery to keep things interesting.

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The Simpsons Took the Bowl

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Kind of funny how this and the last entry are both about the Simpsons when they really haven’t been relevant to me in over a decade (and in both cases, the focus of each project was on the first 10 or so years of the show), but here it is.

Last weekend I was able to see The Simpsons Take the Bowl, a live event honoring animations first family at the Hollywood Bowl. It was a three-night activation and I attended on the first night. Hosted, ostensibly, by Hank Azaria (busting out live his characters of Apu, Moe, and Wiggum, among others). He was joined by show creator Matt Groening who introduced the evening, and fellow cast members Nancy Cartwright (Bart, and others) and Yeardly Smith (Lisa). Guest stars included Beverly D’Angelo, Conan O’Brien, Jon Lovitz and more).
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My Favorite Simpsons Episodes

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With FXX doing their EVERY EPISODE EVER marathon, I’ve been seeing a lot about The Simpsons lately. I started watching the show when I just a little older than Bart. Now, I’m just a little older than Homer. I actually gave up on the show a few years ago, but for many years it was one of my favorites. I’d rather keep the joy I get from those early years (and we’re talking more than a decade here) than have the show continually tarnished by lackluster episodes. I still catch it every so often, but the lack of regularity has softened the pain that it is no longer at the heights it once was.

The heights were high though and because I love lists and reasons to critique things, I offer my favorite episodes of The Simpsons. There were so many more I wanted to include – Lisa the Iconoclast, Bart’s Girlfriend, Mr. Plow – but the following are some of the best the show has to offer.
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