Game of Thrones Kissed by Fire

<p>Oona Chaplin and Richard Madden in "Game of Thrones."</p>Credit: HBO

The latest episode of Game of Thrones, “Kissed by Fire”, didn’t have a big event at the ending like the last two episodes. Instead, there was a series of excellent scenes that advanced the plot in important ways. When Game of Thrones is at its best, it moves confidently from place to place, leaving no dead spots during which we wonder what else we could be seeing. “Kissed by Fire” was one of those episodes.

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Orphan Black Conditions of Existence

Credit: BBC America

I was worried after last week’s episode that the mythology of Orphan Black would begin to consume the series. The latest episode, “Conditions of Existence”, deepens the mythology but not in a way that concerns me too much, yet. Sarah learns that Paul has a role in the central mystery other than innocent bystander and Allison starts to wonder if her husband is playing a similar role.

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My Return to Boston

A "Model" Fenway Day Brian Talbot via Compfight

This past weekend I made my first trip to Boston in almost twenty years. This probably doesn’t seem strange to those of you who have never been to Boston or who can’t think of a reason to go to Boston, but for me this is strange. I grew up about three hours from Boston and I have been devoted to their sports teams since the late Seventies. (The Patriots are not exactly a Boston team, either in name or location.) There was a time in my childhood when I assumed that if I lived in a big city one day it would be Boston. Instead I have spent most of my adult life in New York and also a large chunk in Atlanta.

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The Company You Keep

Robert Redford opens the 2009 Sundance Film Festival qbac07 via Compfight

When Robert Redford is not out trying to take credit for writing someone else’s screenplay, he sometimes can be found directing often poor, sometimes good but never great movies. To date he has directed nine movies ranging from the pretty good Quiz Show to the disappointing A River Runs Through It to the unwatchable The Legend of Bagger Vance to the excruciating whatever came after The Legend of Bagger Vance. One thing all the movies that Redford has directed have in common is that none of them are as good as the best movies in which he only acted. I wonder if there is anyone big enough in Hollywood to tell Redford to stay in his lane.

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The Americans The Oath

Credit: FX

Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings have lived as a married couple in the US, but are not married. Clark is one of Phillip’s aliases and he is now married to Martha. Elizabeth, who only recently saw something in Phillip that she didn’t realize she was looking for, has to attend the wedding as Clark’s sister and Claudia, their KGB handler, attends as their mother. So goes my favorite marriage on television.

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Normal Service Will Resume

Manhattan Bridge : ps70 MrOmega via Compfight

I took last Friday off to travel to Boston for the weekend and then I took today off to recover. I figured that I would post some things while I was away and I went through the trouble of bringing my MacBook only to have it sit in my bag until today. So I apologize for not posting or providing advance notice that I would be away.

One feeling I had while I was away and not online was that I was missing something. I did take time to go through Twitter and to tweet a little but I didn’t get to do the deep dive and follow all the interesting links. Of course I wasn’t really missing anything, aside from work (which I am missing only in the sense of not being there).

Still, maybe there are those of you out there that missed me while I was gone and not posting. I endeavor to do better in the future. I have a bunch of posts that are nearing completion and I hope they will make up for my absence.

Thanks for reading.

Top of the Lake Review

Credit: Sundance Channel

Almost immediately after Top of the Lake finished its run on the Sundance Channel, it became available on Netflix streaming. Based on reviews from the TV critics that I read regularly, I decided to watch the series and then write about it. Everything went well over the first two episodes; my wife and I watched an episode in the evening and I wrote about it the next day. Then came the weekend and we binged on the remaining five episodes, which means I can’t possibly do a post for each episode. All that’s left is my overall thoughts.

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Mad Men To Have and to Hold

Mad Men Season 6 Episode PhotosCredit: AMC

In his Power Rankings yesterday, Tim Goodman wondered if the loss of glamour on Mad Men is hurting its allure. “I’ve never been a big believer in the legacy of Mad Men having anything to do with the clothes or the culture, but damn if all the drinking and whining and unlikeable things are less tolerable with bad clothes, bad hair, and a full eight TV years of not learning a damned lesson.” It is the last part of that quote that is on my mind after watching the latest episode “To Have and to Hold”.

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Orphan Black Effects of External Conditions

Credit: BBC America

The fourth episode of Orphan Black, “Effects of External Conditions”, reveals more about who is pursing the clones but doesn’t get us any closer to an answer. In the final scene, a man wearing a ring that has a connection to Killer Clone Helena as well as to Clone Beth’s shooting victim, picks up Helena and puts her in a van. As I mentioned previously, my worry with this show, and any show with a central mystery, is that it will disappear up the ass of its own mythology. I hope that the man with the ring doesn’t mark the beginning of this.

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Hannibal Potage

Credit: NBC

It is always interesting for a movie or TV series to take well-known characters and put them into new situations. There is an apparently endless appetite for superhero origin myths and prequels can be as common as sequels. On Hannibal, we already know how things turn out for Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter but the story the series is telling is how they got there. If it is done right then it will make us think again about what we already know.

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