OK, so define a “good” show. I know, I know, we don’t truck with that kind of talk around here. But even in the annals of subjectivity and whimsical pleasures and not needing movies to be good, Hemlock Grove is a bad fucking show. Like, really bad. Like super awful holy-shit-was-this-written-by-12-year-olds bad.
And yet. And yet.
I guess I don’t need TV shows to be good, either. Hemlock Grove's first season really does feel like it was written in crayon on the back of an 8th-grader's paper bag lunch, and is so slapdash in its execution that if you told me a bunch of film students made it on a weekend in Thunder Bay with whatever they had lying around, I'd believe you. (There is a key wig in the last three episodes that looks, without hyperbole, like it was bought at Shoppers Drug Mart four days after Hallowe'en.)Read more
There are actors for whom one simply has no use, and for me Halle Berry has always been one; these performers can usually be identified because there’s always one performance that I absolutely adore, an exception that proves the rule. With Berry, Cloud Atlas seemed to fulfill that requirement, but having now watched Monster’s Ball I have to re-examine the whole set of assumptions, because there’s no denying that she is bloody phenomenal in that movie, and as is often the case when an actor really impresses me, I sort of want to watch everything they’ve done all of a sudden. If 2014 has been calling upon me to consider the function of empathy in cinema (and television, per last week’s DAM), Monster’s Ball functions almost entirely because of the sophistication of its empathetic interplay between Berry and Billy Bob Thornton, both of whom have complete, independent story arcs which only – as if by pure happenstance – intersect.Read more
In which Orphan Black is the best show on television, and television is the new movies. Read more
Game of Thrones continues to vault upwards, season by season, and its fourth (just completed) has been its best yet. If the season’s ninth episode (traditionally the placeholder slot for the major fireworks) was a bit of a dud thanks to the visual boredom of a nighttime fight at the Wall, the season’s finale – “The Children” – was a clockwork perfection of bloody payoff to all the capital the season, and the series, has accumulated so far.Read more
1. If that’s the roster for Season 2 above, have at it. Three ladies to two fellas, and one of the fellas is Agent Triplet.
2. There has never been a more welcome return than Patton “Billy Koenig” Oswalt. H/T to the A/V: I hope they kill him every week.
3. There has never been a more welcome blowing-up-of-a-dude than Bill “Crazy Eyes” Paxton.
4. It was an episode light on feels, but don’t get me started about when Fury called Coulson an Avenger. Oh shit here I go again
5. Suck it, haters, I think Skye’s the best character on the show and Chloe Bennett’s the best actress. That said, I won’t turn down a lot of Hermione/Trip action next season.
6. One presumes Agent Carter may now preoccupy itself entirely with the early, idealistic foundation of S.H.I.E.L.D. - “protection” - while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deals with Protection 2.0. (Did I mention I am really looking forward to Agent Carter.)
7. “You were never on top.”
8. “I know what it does.”
ICYMI: it’s your weekly content recap! And your weekly status check: HANNIBAL is still the best show on television.
Screening reminder: Shorts That Are Not Pants on April 17, featuring 2 films starring me
Podcast: The Mamo Summer Box Office Contest is open!
Column: In a particularly heavy week for film criticism, I wrote about whether any of this online writing is worth anything anyway
Blog: About the closing of that Chapters at Richmond & John
Watched: In which I get into it with Noah and Nymphomaniac
Blogging the Next Generation: Closing in on the end of season five with "The Inner Light"
All this and more can be found at tederick.com.
In lieu of pouring out a shot, my personal piece of Letterman heaven: the hypnosis of Biff Henderson.
On the magnificence of DEADWOOD, a.k.a. The Best.
Do we have a show? You bet your britches we have a show. We talk Big Kahuna and Movie Club, Carrie and The Descent, Oblivion and Gravity, Agents of SHIELD and TV, rep cinemas and the future of exhibition, and maybe some other things too. Mamo is like Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop.