I have been watching HBO’s The Outsider with cautious optimism. Because while the series is gloriously dark, moody, often chilling, and garnering praise as 2020’s first great TV show, frankly we’ve been here before. Last year’s True Detective Season 3 kicked off 2019 to a similarly strong start before it went out with a solid, if otherwise slow conclusion. The Outsider has nothing to prove as a debut miniseries boasting impressive viewership. But with one episode left in the chamber, can The Outsider succeed where True Detective S3 did not? (Light spoilers below.) Continue reading
Few comedians are as enduring or headline-worthy as Dave Chappelle. Many can nab themselves TV or movie deals thus prolonging their shelf-life i.e. Kevin Hart, Kumail Nanjiani, Michelle Wolf, Bo Burnham. But the return to the mic isn’t always seamless i.e. Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Daniel Tosh (and, depending on who you ask, Ricky Gervais). Dave Chappelle is the rare comedian who came back with a renewed comic lens and a welcome socio-political incisiveness that made his return such a sigh of relief. But if his last two standups Age of Spin and Equanimity suggested a pseudo-renaissance, then Sticks & Stones is an unfortunate stumbling block that otherwise slows the breakneck pace of his resurgence. Continue reading
Hello, my name is Adrian Manuel and I am addicted to Fleabag.
After weeks of seeing Phoebe Waller-Bridge pop up in a rolling stream of gifs, hearing endlessly about “that menopause scene,” and reading thirsty reactions concerning a “Hot Priest,” all with zero context whatsoever, I finally decided to see what the fuss was about— if only for context.
I was sold by the first cold open. (And, as of writing this, I have ordered a copy of Fleabag: The Play and am looking up various ways I can get “Phoebe Waller-Bridge” tattooed on my person. HELP) Continue reading
The great inevitability of stories is that as sure as they are to begin, they will end. A thing cannot keep going no matter its popularity or success. (This includes a much-hyped and very profitable era of the MCU.) The show must go on, then the curtains must draw for a close. That’s the bittersweet feeling Game of Thrones leaves behind—the knowledge that this could’ve gone on to Season 10 onward to 100 episodes. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss instead went bold in not only concluding one of the biggest TV shows in the world, but also in giving the show the cinematic ending it deserves. Continue reading
The preview for the Game of Thrones series finale has zero words, but pounds on images of the aftermath and the end as Daenerys marches forth into a world forged in fire. I thought of the last lines of Shelley’s “Ozymandias”:
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Much has been made about prophecies as of late. Shelley’s famous sonnet details its own prophecy, that of a great ruler’s kingdom reduced to an arid wasteland, prideful boasts notwithstanding: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings/Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” As the dust settles on Game of Thrones’ penultimate episode of the series, much has been made about whether Daenerys’ trajectory was earned. But looking back on Daenerys’ downfall from agency to entitlement and finally towards her manifest destiny, there was no other trajectory for her that could’ve seen to this completion. Continue reading