Television Show Review: The Last Man on Earth: Season 2

The Last Man on Earth Season 2

The Last Man on Earth: Season 2 created by Will Forte (Si Fi Company, Lord Miller, 20th Century Fox Television) Starring Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Sudeikis, and Boris Kodjoe. *SPOILER ALERT FOR PREVIOUS SEASONS* Can the End of the World Last? The extermination of humanity shouldn’t be funny. Yet, Season 1 of The Last Man on Earth took a high-concept premise about a future dystopia in the wake of a global pandemic and weaves a humorous story about self-centeredness and the need for other people. While much of its success emerges from its premise, the longevity of the series was my lasting question mark. Is it even possible to tell a… Read More →

Book Review: The Children’s Hospital

The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian

The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian (San Francisco: McSweeney’s Books, 2006. 615 pp) Chris Adrian is the author of Gob’s Grief, The Children’s Hospital, and The Great Night. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Florida and an M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He completed a pediatric residency at the University of California, San Francisco, studied at Harvard Divinity School, and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Enough Already No matter your origin, chances are you’ve encountered a flood story. Judeo-Chrisian households have Noah’s ark, but that’s not the only world-destruction narrative. Despite the myriad of… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Last Man on Earth: Season 1

The Last Man on Earth Season 1

The Last Man on Earth: Season 1 created by Will Forte (Si Fi Company, Lord Miller, 20th Century Fox) Starring Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, and Mel Rodriguez. The Death of Network Comedy Ever since the cancellation of Better Off Ted, I’ve sworn off network television. What’s the point investing in a series when it will get cancelled? It has felt like a gradual slide toward mediocrity, as if anything daring or complicated might alienate too many viewers. Shows need to be just fine. If the quality isn’t up to par, nobody watches and it gets cancelled. But on the other end, if the show is too ambitious, it’ll get the axe because it didn’t get enough viewers. So… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Walking Dead: Season 5

The Walking Dead Season 5

The Walking Dead: Season 5 created by Frank Darabont (AMC, Circle of Confusion, Valhalla Motion Pictures) Starring Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Chad L. Coleman. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Seasons* Execution You can have the greatest ideas in the world but if you can’t execute, what’s the point? Millions of businesses start with a great idea. The ones that last are the ones that follow through on it. The dreamers need a balanced team capable of filling in the details of the plan. The Walking Dead has always suffered from this fateful issue. Season after season, the writers attempt to balance violence and action with the… Read More →

Film Review: This Is the End

This Is the End

This Is the End written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Columbia Pictures, Point Grey Pictures, Mandate Pictures, R, 107 minutes) Starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson. Signifiers of Comedy Is humor the only signifier of a good comedy? When it comes to giving a recommendation, humor is certainly a critical component of advocating for such a film. I certainly recommend Anchorman, even if it’s an onslaught for jokes without much depth to any of the characters. But I would argue a comedy could go deeper than the humor component. My favorite episodes of The Office—American style—include depth to the characters. Michael Scott is a caricature of an oblivious boss,… Read More →

Book Review: MaddAddam

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

MaddAddam: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (New York: Nan A. Talese, 2013. 416 pp) Born in Ottawa in the autumn of 1939, Margaret Atwood grew up in Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She attained her B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto and her M.A. from Radcliffe College. Atwood has written more than 50 works of poetry, children’s fiction, fiction, and non-fiction. While she is most known for her many novels, her book, Blind Assassin, received highest acclaim winning the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Currently, she lives with Graeme Gibson in Toronto. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Books in Effect* On Believability It’s somewhat humorous, but there’s always a requirement for believability no matter the narrative. If aliens are attacking earth,… Read More →

Album Review: Amok

Amok by Atoms for Peace

Amok by Atoms for Peace (XL Recordings, 2013. 44 minutes) Atoms for Peace is an experimental rock super-group consisting of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M. and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco. Still Ok Computer It all started with Ok Computer, perhaps the most iconic and acclaimed record of the 90s. In an era where the Internet and computers in general began to emerge as a dominating force in everyday life, Radiohead and Thom Yorke embraced technology with open arms. They said “ok” to these advances and their music reflected that response. Where the band used to record music in the general style alternative rock, everything post OK Computer… Read More →

Album Review: Silver & Gold

Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10 by Sufjan Stevens (Asthmatic Kitty, 2012.) Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter born in Detroit, Michigan and based in Brooklyn, New York. Stevens has released many albums of varying styles but is perhaps best known for Come On Feel the Illinoise, a concept album based on the state of Illinois. Stevens collaborates often with a variety of musicians and his work has received much critical acclaim. A Magical Time of Year, A Complicated Time of Year Isn’t December a magical time of year? The air seems to fill with the spirit of the season. People buzz around grabbing gifts, attending holiday parties, imbibing in spirits, and viewing Christmas lights. There is a… Read More →