Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld in danger of becoming repetitive

Take “Game of Thrones” as a quality example. Yes, last season sucked, but the show has always done its own thing – been a commentary on the unpredictability of chaos of war.

“Handmaid’s Tale” has given itself the burden of political commentary. In a sense, it needs to become effective art. The unfortunate side effect to commentary is that serial art (like television) needs to change – it must be broad.

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Is Dwayne Johnson a good actor?

I think so.

I never understood the judgment of actors when their quality of performance 95% of the time is dictated by the director and the written material they’re given.

Obviously it’s unlikey we’ll see Mr. Johnson wielding a gold statue anytime soon. “Fighting with my Family” directed by Stephen Merchant seems to have Globe prospects though.

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Spielberg’s laughably misguided views on award disposition

The great Steven Spielberg is terribly, terribly wrong and misguided here.

I’m a huge fan of Spielberg, but the statement he made to ITV News has to be one of the most elitist ones I’ve heard from a successful filmmaker:

“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically,” he continued. “And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”

The Academy seems to be struggling with a mundane conflict here. Let me break it down for them:

A movie – 1 to 4 hours to flesh out plot and characters sequentially and seamlessly.

A show – 4+ hours serialized episodically where plot and characters grow and change incrementally per episode.

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The worthlessness of Top 10 lists

The Media 10 name originated from me wanting to create a website of Top 10s.

It was early on in the decade just before Buzzfeed hammered “list” articles into the ground which subsequently perpetuated clickbait content across the web.

More clicks, more ad revenue. This isn’t rocket science. It’s also a plague transmitted by the consolidation of corporate media.

Anyway, I’ll lower my pitchfork and step down from my soapbox… for now.

So yeah, lists were everywhere. Not only were they a mine for ad revenue, but they were easy to write and easily digestible for the reader.

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Top 10 – Television Shows of 2017

Here are my personal top 10 favorite TV shows that aired in 2017:

Some quick honorable mentions:


Atypical – Season 1

This is one of the funnier new shows I saw in 2017. It has a strong heart without being overly sentimental. It’s funny, it’s endearing, and at times can feel all too real.

You’re the Worst – Season 4

This is one of my favorite modern comedies, but unfortunately season 4 was undoubtedly the weakest season. There are still some strong poignant moments that tackle the mental illnesses of the characters. I will always love watching these characters figure themselves out and compete with there neuroses.

Godless – Limited Series

They don’t make any great westerns anymore you say? Watch Godless on Netflix. If you’re a fan of the genre you will be deeply satisfied. Continue reading

The Weinstein Effect – The necessity of the Hollywood Purge

We are in the midsts of a historical year for the entertainment industry – there is no denying that. Victims, both women and men, suppressed by the lingering aura of those in power, are starting to feel comfortable speaking out and sharing their trauma.

Before I get into the meat of this post I have to give a shout out to these brave women and men. It’s easy for us on the outside to judge and critique public figures. You’ll often find in comment sections – “Why’d it take so long for you to speak up?”

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TV: 13 Reasons Why S1 – (3/4)

TV: 13 Reasons Why S1 – (3/4)

I didn’t know much about 13 Reasons Why going into it. Never read the book, but I was aware of the looming controversies it had accumulated with its depiction of suicide.

13 Reasons Why is a cold, cold series. A mystery shrouding an aura of doom and gloom. The acting is honest and emotional without falling victim to melodrama. There are a few moments that edge it though.

Does the show glorify suicide? That’s an understandable interpretation, but it really does depend on just that – your interpretation.

Will the show make your underage children want to harm themselves? It definitely won’t help if they’re already showing signs of sadness/depression. A show or movie will never start that conversation in someone’s head, but it can continue it. Please, talk to your children and loved ones and keep those doors open. All episodes warrant strong TVMA ratings for 17+.

The hardest thing when you finish that final episode, and make it through those harrowing and disturbing moments is the realization that the problem is identified. Normally a narrative solves it – these people needed to realize, whether it was brazen or quiet, that they killed Hannah Baker.

They learn their lessons, but then what? Nothing can change, Hannah’s death is a permanent stamp.

There’s nothing happy about 13 Reasons Why, but it does suck you into its mystery and then bashes you over the head with the simple life lesson – we can all be better people, and we should all try harder to be there for others.

Words and actions have power and you never know what effects your words or actions have on others.

As a show – shot beautifully, acted expertly. The plot device puts an annoying limitation on Clay. Sometimes you wish he’d just listen to the tapes already! But they find creative ways around that toward the middle of the season.

Another show where I’m divided on a second season. They didn’t tie all their knots so it’d be nice to have some additional closure. However, moving forward with further tragedies (their possibilities indicated in the finale) may tread all too close to exploitation.

Film: The Fall of Harvey Weinstein

Film: The Fall of Harvey Weinstein

It’s been everywhere.

Facebook, Twitter, Reddit… So you pretty much have an idea now that Harvey Weinstein is a despicable creep.

Along with these multiple allegations, we are learning more about the complicit behavior of a lot of performers and industry leaders alike.

This is not okay.

There is a poison in Hollywood. While the Hollywood elite preach their left-wing ideologies of inclusiveness; studios fail to employ female filmmakers at alarming rates, studio CEOs and production heads sexually harass men, women, children – whoever they want.

They believe they are power. That they can deliver dreams and therefore can control people – objectify them. It’s a truly despicable cognitive dissonance that is evergrowing within the elites not just in this industry, but in many industries in a country that has let unhinged capitalism and corporate greed run amuck.

In our country if you have money, you are above the law.

Harvey Weinstein will throw money at these cases. Retire peacefully and quietly. And those who were complicit, his brother, the board of TWC, and the many industry insiders who stood by and accepted this as normal or okay will clap the dirt from their hands with empty PR-filled apologies and sustained silence.

Hollywood is a dirty, dirty, despicable and hypocritical place.

We watch movies and shows for the escapism. For those fleeting moments of bursting emotion that we receive from them.

We all need to remember though, that the faces we fall in love with on screen are not the same faces in the real world. Separating the art from the artist is one thing, but we cannot condone an entire industry placing itself above the law and above basic human rights.

Be vocal, be supportive of those who have been victimized. These people are frightened to speak out, let them feel welcomed, let them know it’s okay to speak up.

Hopefully some cleansing of Hollywood can come from this, and the fall of Harvey Weinstein will put those elite bastards who haven’t been caught yet into check.

Emmys: My picks for the 2017 awards

Emmys: My picks for the 2017 awards

Thought this would be fun to do. I never really pick myself because I don’t feel like I watched enough. However, a lot of the Emmy voters likely watch as much as I do, if not less.

So here are my picks!

Outstanding Drama Series
The Handmaid’s Tale
Alt: The Crown

Stranger Things wasn’t strong enough for me which lead me to these two and Westworld. With Westworld I think the best has yet to come. I also, in contrast, believe these 2 shows (Handmaid’s Tale, The Crown) – we’ve already seen their best.

Handmaid’s Tale inches by! Continue reading