Heresy of the Week

06 “Room 33” (American Horror Story: Hotel) [SPOILERS]


american horror story hotel

I’m getting so badly behind on these, it’s really not funny.

I can’t even blame it on the fact that I’m not enjoying the series, because on balance I am. It had a shaky start, but is getting its act together bit by sorry bit.

Most of it comes down to knowing where it’s going. Once it’s got that down, characters have a defined area to run around in, and themes can begin to emerge. Without that, you’ve just got a collection of horror tropes in a grab bag.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

05 “History Rhymes” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


defiance

One of the hardest things for a new show to do is to define itself within itself, rather than purely in reference to other properties. With Defiance, that tends to beFallout meets Farscape, when I’m explaining it to other people.

Which is a long way from a bad analogy, but we’ve reached the point where Defiance really needs to be coming into its own if it’s to get a few more seasons out of the concept.

I mean, I think that it certainly has the legs for it, but it needs to move beyond its initial hook. Given the brutal approach that the third season has taken, I wonder if that isn’t what the writers are doing, preparing for a new stage in the storytelling and the series itself.

Time will tell.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

Jurassic World – A Review


jurassic world

I’m of about the age that means the original Jurassic Park film was formative of my affection for films and dinosaurs. It is a pretty key piece of my cinematic education and psyche.

I’m also a bit odd, in that I don’t regard the sequel, The Lost Word as a complete catastrophe as everyone else thinks it was. Yes, it could definitely have done without the gymnastics, and it was weird that the back end of a Godzilla film got caught up at the end. But there was still a good film in there somewhere.

Jurassic Park III, mind, was an unadulterated disaster, start to finish.

So that’s the pantheon of Jurassic Park films. That is the scale on which Jurassic World be judged, but this blogger at least.

Read on…

03 “Broken Bough” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


defiance

The third season started, without wanting to include any spoilers, with a bang.

It’s odd that a series which is so good has somehow managed to evade popular awareness so far. It’s perhaps a bit niche, but post-apocalypse has a fairly widespread appeal. And Defiance has (For this viewer at least -Ed) managed to hit the nail pretty precisely on the head.

Maybe the third season will be where it finally breaks into the mainstream?

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

07 “The Gift” (Game of Thrones season 5) [SPOILERS]


game of thrones season 5

How many Game of Thrones viewers do you reckon have also read the books? A third? Fewer?

I don’t mean, how many started watching the series, picked up a copy of A Game of Thrones, and are presently marooned midway through A Clash of Kings, whilst the series picks over the bones of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

The truth is that, however good the books are (And they are very good -Ed) the fact that they tend towards the sprawling epic side of fantasy fiction (And they are epically sprawling -Ed) will always make a five-series-and-counting TV series more accessible to 90% of people. That’s a criticism of neither, but a fact of life.

The fact is also that the distance between the books and the show is growing with each season. There are several storylines in the TV series which do not, directly, stem from the books. Others are being truncated, abbreviated, accelerated, to make up for the fact that whilst George R.R. Martin can take as long as he bloody well likes to finish his story, TV execs are a lot less patient.

So if there seems to be a lot going on in Thrones, spare a thought for those still labour through the books (And waiting for the next one to be published, which to be honest takes the bulk of the time -Ed).

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

02 “The House of Black and White” (Game of Thrones season 5) [SPOILERS]


game of thrones season 5

It’s amazing what a phenomenon Game of Thrones has become. Even in our fad-ish world of viral whatevers, it really does seem to have taken over.

Especially amazing given that it’s a fantasy series about dragons and knights, packed to the rafters with sex and violence.

Actually, these days it’s more violence than sex. I like to think that the story has gotten so interesting and labyrinthine that even “sexposition” can’t untangle it. I shudder to think how impenetrable this would be to anyone coming in cold to the fifth season.

You know what, though? Good.

You wouldn’t come into a book at chapter seventeen and start complaining that you can’t immediately pick up the plot threads, so it’s a mystery quite why for years that same arguemnt was used to stop TV shows from having extended story arcs.

(Yeah, we may have stumbled on a bugbear that needs a whole blog post of its own, here. How about we just get on with the review? -Ed)

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

Heresy of the Week – Of course there are black Stormtroopers, morons


john boyega stormtrooper

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

“With the release of the new Star Wars trailer, a depressing number of internet-dwellers have crawled out of their caves to complain about one particular point. They mask their criticism in the clothes of fandom, but only to disguise the bigotry at hits heart. No, there is absolutely no problem with Star Wars having black Stormtroopers.”

Read on…

Heresy of the Week – Plot holes, even big ones, need not be fatal


prometheus engineer wakes

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

“Plot holes are bad, and big plot holes are very bad. Yet whilst they obviously aren’t desirable, there is no reason that a plot hole spells doom for a film or TV series.”

Read on…

Heresy of the Week – I don’t actually want a new Star Trek series


kirk and spock

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

“Every Trekie wants to see Star Trek return to its original and first home, on television, including me. But despite that constant desire, a new Star Trek series, now, born out of the J.J. Abrams films, would be neither the Star Trek we want, or the Star Trek we deserve.”

Read on…

Heresy of the Week – A Man of Steel TV prequel might not be a bad idea


krypton

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

“In the wake of Gotham‘s burgeoning success in bringing a pre-Batman world to TV screens, it seems that certain people linked to DC are considering a prequel series to Man of Steel, set on Krypton. And contrary to what the naysayers might thing; it really could work.”

Read on…