This semester is so busy I haven’t had much chance to write about my biggest passion, TV. So, ahead of the season finale, here are the thoughts on Westworld I’ve jotted down week to week (and a few on another recent favorite, The Last Ship). Here be spoilers.
First, I’m relieved to have found out that there will be a fourth and final season of this drama that is quietly one of the best on television. However, given the end of this season, I am a bit anxious about where it may be headed.
Judging from user ratings and critics alike, I’m in the minority of those who think the new original Netflix series Stranger Things is just okay instead of the Coolest Thing Ever. Look at any review and you’ll find a handful of references to ’80s movies such as E.T., Firestarter, The Goonies, and Poltergeist. The problem is, the show doesn’t add up to much more than an homage to such films, a loving pastiche, but a copy nonetheless. It’s like a cover song of an ’80s tune rather than a new song that uses ’80s sounds to make unique music. In our reboot culture, it’s somehow closer in tone and story to those films than an actual reboot with the same characters, despite the fact that the show’s story is original (in the most basic sense). Everything from the score and pop songs to the neon red title, promotional images, casting, and story elements is an ode to ’80s pop culture.
British detective show Marcella recently began streaming on Netflix, and I quickly signed on: I love a good mystery, and I love a competent woman solving a case. Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much mystery going on, and I was confused for far too long of the series.
(Forgive the silly title; for some reason, every time I watched an episode, the Rolling Stones’ “Miss Amanda Jones” came to mind, and then the movie Some Kind of Wonderful. It was a whole thing. #associations)
Some things to know about me that are relevant to these thoughts on Marvel’s Jessica Jones: The whole superhero explosion exhausts me. I’ve essentially abstained from watching the endless parade of adaptations and sequels, movies and TV both (the last superhero thing I willingly watched and enjoyed was Guardians of the Galaxy). Also, my reading of superhero comic book canon is light. You won’t see complaints about the show as an adaptation. Even if I did read more, I believe that every version of a text needs to work on its own as whatever it is (a book, a movie, a TV show, etc.). Easter eggs are cool; assuming my knowledge is not (nor the unnecessary crossover, as when Claire from Daredevil shows up).
One last thing: it’s not just–or even really–the saturation. It’s the lack of women superheroes put center stage.
When Jessica Jones arrived on Netflix, I thought, Okay, I could check that out. When I read it was not like other superhero fare, I moved it up the queue. When I quickly understood that it was TV noir, I was on fucking board.
I’d been planning to write my thoughts on the newest season of Orange Is the New Black since I finished watching a few days ago, but my emotions are overwhelming my ability to coherently describe them. So, warning for possible incoherence, albeit of the best sort: fangirl feels with a side of thinky-thoughts.
This is my favorite season of the show, although the season finales are such that, even though season 3 wasn’t the best, that ending with the frolicking at the lake gave me such a high I forgot about any gripes I had.
Last night, watching the season 7 premiere of Pretty Little Liars, I realized: this show now pisses me off more than it entertains me. This season is its last (the first half airs now, the second in the fall or winter), and in terms of mysteries and plot, it may be at least one season too much.