Television Show Review: Silicon Valley: Season 2

Silicon Valley Season 2

Silicon Valley: Season 2 created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky (HBO, 3 Arts Entertainment, Judgemental Films Inc.) Starring Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Amanda Crew, Zach Woods, and Matt Ross. *Spoilers for previous seasons… You’ve been warned!* 30 Minutes of Funny When we collectively think comedy, the 30-minute sitcom immediately emerges from the simmering sea of consciousness. Thumb through the channels on any given night and you’ll find comedy, whether new programming or syndication. No matter the show, the average viewer can board and depart the comedy train at any point. The average episode of comedy blends three plots—1 major and 2 supporting—into something funny and enjoyable. Certain narrative structures exist from… Read More →

Television Show Review: Game of Thrones: Season 5

Game of Thrones Season 5

Game of Thrones: Season 5 created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO, Television 360, Grok!) Starring Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, John Bradley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Alfie Allen, Aidan Gillen, Conleth Hill, Jerome Flynn, Gwendoline Christie, Ian McElhinney, Stephen Dillane, Natalie Dormer, Carice van Houten, and Iwan Rheon. *Spoilers… You’ve been warned!* The Moment of Twitter broke during episode 9 of Game of Thrones: Season 3. The carefully divided audience between book readers and non-book readers encountered “The Red Wedding.” This event involved the full-scale slaughter of the good guys. OUT OF NOWHERE. Book readers had been anticipating the event for years, awaiting the vivid scenes that were so surprising in… Read More →

Television Show Review: Girls: Season 4

Girls Season 4

Girls: Season 4 created by Lena Dunham (Apatow Productions) Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Seasons* Vocation When millennials think about work, the question of pay arises among a crowded group of factors. In many ways, the millennial generation grew up observing its parent’s generation reaping the rewards of capitalism. These baby boomers operated behind the Friedman philosophy of profit maximization. For many of the millennial generation, this philosophy rings hollow. In its place, we see the rise of social enterprise; we encounter philosophies around multiple bottom lines and stakeholder theory. There’s more to business than a dollar; there’s more to work than a paycheck. For most of the Girls storyline during its… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst directed by Andrew Jarecki (Home Box Office, Blumhouse Productions) Starring Robert Durst. Must-See TV In the age of ubiquitous Internet, there’s nothing much left that constitutes must-see television. The bigwigs of scripted television measure more than just standard Nielsen ratings. People, you see, have altered their viewing habits. Many have cut cords, focusing on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, et al. Others keep cable but stash shows on DVR so they can live their lives well. The only thing left that demands live viewing seems to be sports. Sure, you can DVR a game as well, but it seems as if sport has developed the tyranny of the now. Fans watch to… Read More →

Television Show Review: Togetherness: Season 1

Togetherness: Season 1

Togetherness: Season 1 created by Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, and Steve Zissis (Duplass Brothers Productions, Home Box Office) Starring Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zissis. Searching for Identity Divorce, the unmentionable. Much like Fight Club, the one rule about divorce is that you never mention divorce. With so many families rendered asunder, it seems wise to never bring such a topic to the table in good times or in bad. Intuitively, such thoughts are self-fulfilling. One doesn’t mention divorce if he or she is happily married. Thus, the mere mention of it necessitates its action. Even though divorce represents a common occurrence in the American household, our idiot boxes don’t root for it. The narrative trends on… Read More →

Television Show Review: Getting On: Season 2

Getting On

Getting On: Season 2 created by Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine, and Joanna Scanlan (BBC Worldwide Productions, Home Box Office, Anima Sola Productions) Starring Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, Niecy Nash, Mel Rodriguez. Death and Taxes All that’s guaranteed in life is death and taxes, neither of which are funny. Yes, this statement rings true. You can count on receiving a paycheck much smaller than you expected once the government gleans its share. And long term, you should expect your life to degrade into the sweet sleep of eternity. Both of these aspects of life flat-out suck. So why joke about it? Well, Getting On suggests we joke about death because it can actually be funny. Death Profits Season 2 of Getting… Read More →

Television Show Review: Boardwalk Empire: Season 5

Boardwalk Empire Season 5

Boardwalk Empire: Season 5 created by Terence Winter (Home Box Office, Leverage Management, Closest to the Hole Productions) Starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Kenneth Williams, Shea Whigham, Stephen Graham, Michael Shannon, Jeffrey Wright, Gretchen Mol, Vincent Piazza, Anatol Yusef, and Kelly Macdonald. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Seasons* Nuclear Daydream What would it take to desensitize your soul? How many times must the dice roll the wrong way before you feel somnambulant, checked out, indifferent to anything? I’ve always felt like there’s a precipitous cliff involved with sporting interests. When your favorite team is really good, you care extensively. As the team gets worse, you care even more, as if your rooting energy and support can somehow will the team into a… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Leftovers: Season 1

The Leftovers Season 1

The Leftovers: Season 1 created by Damon Lindelof (Warner Bros. Television) Starring Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, and Carrie Coon. Dream State Are you a dreamer? Do you spend those hours before sunrise drifting in the lightest sleep states while your mind explores surreal connections between ideas, people, and objects? How about those moments after you’re awake, stumbling to the shower hoping for the cascading water to rouse your slumbering soul? These moments can be confusing. Truth and fiction have little meaning. Your body reacts slowly as your brain works to restore consciousness. You probably have heard funny stories from others about the crazy things you’ve said in these states. For example, my… Read More →

5 Questions about MaddAddam and HBO

MaddAddam HBO

On Believability Two of my favorites look to be joining forces. HBO announced a partnership between Margaret Atwood and Darren Aronofsky to bring the MaddAddam Trilogy to television. Atwood, best known for The Handmaid’s Tale, writes poetic yet horrifying speculative fiction. Perhaps the most accessible works in her catalogue, the MaddAddam Trilogy imagines a post-apocalyptic world drowned by the hubris of multi-national corporations. Aronofsky has made a name for himself directing movies that sit on the fence between auteur and the blockbuster. Fresh off his hit, Noah, will MaddAddam be the next canvas for his dark and brooding vision of humanity? I truly hope this series comes to fruition. But while we wait, there are a few questions that linger…. Read More →

Television Show Review: Silicon Valley: Season 1

silicon valley season 1

Silicon Valley: Season 1 created by Mike Judge (Home Box Office, 3 Arts Entertainment, Judgemental Films Inc.) Starring Thomas Middleditch, T. J. Miller, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods, Josh Brener, Amanda Crew, Christopher Evan Welch, and Matt Ross.  Inside the Incubator Incubators possess critical importance. They bring life and vitality from the perilous threads of existence. They are also extremely limited in scope. What begins as sustenance can soon become a cage without proper perspective. Even worse, when an incubator becomes a world to itself, it becomes an echo box of delusion as people dream big but touch so little. From the house of our protagonists to the seclusion of technology permeating the Northern California valley of silicon, Silicon… Read More →