Rapid Fire TV Reviews

Quick TV / movie notes (avoiding spoilers, please avoid spoilers in comments):

– Age of Adaline (Netflix) – romance with magical (pseudo-science) concept — there’s a woman who stops aging at 29. Well-written, I enjoyed it, although there’s a twist halfway through that threw me for a bit of a loop. No spoilers. Blake Lively is lovely to watch, even if she basically always plays herself.

– She-Hulk is a delight, two episodes in. Funny, charming. On Disney.

– Moon Knight, Kevin and I both lost steam about halfway through, but intend to go back and finish, for completeness’ sake. It’s too bad; I was initially intrigued. Not sure what happened there.

– Sandman, we’re through episode 9, will finish it and the bonus episode tonight I expect. I’m enjoying it a lot, but I did also read the graphic novels, which they’re very true to. My only complaints so far is that they cut my favorite line in “The Sound of Her Wings,” which I liked so much I even used to own a t-shirt with it. I’m not sure why they did that. Bah. (Yes, it involved dialogue with a baby, but they could’ve figured out a workaround.)

– House of the Dragon — this one is complicated. You know I work with and am very fond of George, and I think he’s a pretty great writer. That said, this isn’t really George’s writing — they took background notes from Game of Thrones and used that to build this, with an emphasis on lots of sex and EVEN MORE VIOLENCE. Some specific other thoughts:

• A friend of mine thinks there should’ve been a content warning on the c-section scene, for those who have lived through traumatic c-sections.

• there’s lots of commentary already about all the graphic depictions of violence against women (even though the narrative is clearly attempting to critique sexism) — I don’t know for certain, but I suspect there aren’t a lot of women in the writer’s room or among the producers, because it just doesn’t feel like it has much input from actual women on that front.

• both GoT and HotD seem to want to rely on ‘but it was based on history’ to justify their depictions of racism, sexism, etc. And yes, but also. History is more complex than that. There are ways you can talk about historical sexism in a more complex, subtle way, that also doesn’t end up re-traumatizing contemporary women who are still living with sexism and violence. Okay, one could write an essay or several on this, so I’ll leave it there for now.

– Virgin River — I caught up on seasons 3 and 4 of this recently, and had a funny thought — in some ways, it’s a very Hallmark romance kind of show — traumatized city nurse practitioner comes to the country and learns a slower-paced way of life that heals her with the help of country values and community.

• But in the actual beats of the show, what happens in every episode, it actually reminded me of GoT and HotD, in that the characters are just brutalized, over and over and over again, with terrible things happening to them almost every episode.

• It’s not as gory as Westeros (mostly), but it’s cancer and stillbirth and car accidents and death and attempted murder and kidnapping a child and drug running and it’s all very dramatic, sure, you have a hard time stopping watching, so it’s effective storytelling in that sense. But is it really so different from what GoT was doing?

• There’s no space, really, for healing, because something else terrible comes around the next corner, and I start not buying that a big group hug at the knitting circle, or a heartfelt ‘I love you’ from the leading guy, is actually going to fix these issues.

No real conclusions here, but I was sort of surprised that I was finding Virgin River to feel very similar to GoT, so I wanted to try to tease out why. Emotional torture instead of physical torture (mostly, although there’s a bit of the latter too).

1 thought on “Rapid Fire TV Reviews”

  1. Moon Knight: Episode 5 was the standout, in my opinion. They really delve into the mythology, history and relationships that define the different personalities of Marc/Steven. It’s a mindtrip, and I loved it!
    Episode 6 on the other hand was a letdown. It just recedes into the obligatory showdown between the hero and the villain, and even that is not very satisfying because Marc has a blackout in the middle of the big fight.
    Overall, I liked the series; Oscar Isaac did a great job portraying the different personalities, and the show raises some interesting questions regarding the nature of the gods and the afterlife in the MCU.

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