Television Show Review: True Detective: Season 3

True Detective Season 3

True Detective: Season 3 created by Nic Pizzolatto (Anonymous Content, HBO) Starring Mahershala Ali, Carmen Ejogo, Stephen Dorff, Scoot McNairy, and Ray Fisher. Dealing with Trauma Trauma is a wrench in best laid plans, the curveball life throws when we’re down two strikes. Nobody plans for it; nobody wants it. Even in scenarios where it seems likely—war or declining health—the human condition leads us to believe we’ll be different, that pain and suffering will elude us. But it doesn’t. And how we respond to trauma matters for our own well-being. We hold on to the spinning top that is trauma for as long as we can but when we let go we get flung in any direction. For some, that… Read More →

Film Review: Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade written and directed by Bo Burnham (IAC Films, A24, R, 93 min) Starring Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, and Emily Robinson. Time to Worry When I was younger, my mom would stay up until I returned home from whatever teenage exploits in which I had decided to engage. Early. Late. She’d be sitting on the couch reading, watching television, waiting patiently. Stubbornly, I often didn’t consider this sacrifice. Instead, it always bothered me—that somehow I wasn’t to be trusted. But, she would always reinforce that this decision wasn’t really about me. She couldn’t sleep with me in absentia. She needed the peace of mind about my safety before she could retire. Now, with kids of my own, I get… Read More →

Book Review: The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season by N. K Jemisin

The Fifth Season: The Broken Earth Book One by N. K. Jemisin (New York: Orbit Books, 2015. 512 pp) N. K. Jemisin is the first author in the genre’s history to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo awards, all for her Broken Earth Trilogy. Her work has also won the Nebula, Locus, and Goodreads Choice awards. She is currently a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and she has been an instructor for the Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops. The Holocene It snowed recently. The kids stayed home for many days. We had cabin fever. End of short story. But for the purpose of this review, let’s talk about weather and climate. Too often, commentary about the… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Good Place: Season 3

The Good Place Season 3

The Good Place: Season 3 created by Michael Schur (NBC, Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment, Universal Television) Starring Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Caden, Manny Jacinto, Marc Evan Jackson, and Ted Danson. SPOILER WARNING FOR PREVIOUS SEASONS Our Moral Obligation What do we owe each other? For the last few seasons, The Good Place has been asking us this question. As our systems and institutions become more intertwined where does the responsibility of one person end and the responsibility of another begin? A simple act of enjoying a song requires a laundry list of ethical repercussions. Is the artist a good person? If the artist isn’t a good person, is it the kind of “bad” that creates good art and is justifiable or just pure evil? Even if the artist… Read More →

Book Review: John Henry Days

John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead

John Henry Days: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (New York: Doubleday, 2001. 400 pp) Colson Whitehead was born in 1969 and raised in Manhattan. He attended Harvard College and afterward he began working as a reviewer for The Village Voice. Out of the gate, Whitehead’s fiction gained acclaim when his first novel, The Intuitionist, won the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. His work has earned him the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. Also, Whitehead has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. The Legend The legend of John Henry remains resonant after all these years. A man, at the peak of his occupational powers faces the risk and uncertainty of the… Read More →