I Love Fleabag

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

‘Game of Thrones’ Was Unpredictable To The Very End

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 Bells – Game of Thrones’ Ozymandias

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

Game of Thrones and the Limits of Prophecy

In “The Long Night’s” Game Revealed featurette, Kit Harington remarks of Arya being the one to kill the Night King: “I was pissed that it wasn’t me.”

It’s the easiest thing to imagine, isn’t it? Jon Snow coming back from the dead, becoming King of the North, turning out to be the heir to the Iron Throne then going on to defeat the Night King. So easy it’s almost too good to be true.

I think that’s the problem. Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ The Long Night – A Brutal Exercise in Survival Horror

Sunday’s “The Long Night” was BY FAR the most stressful 80-minutes of television I have ever experienced. I’m going to lead with that, because, whatever complaints people may have over certain prophecies “unfulfilled,” or improper flexes of the term “Mary Sue,” or overall body count; Game of Thrones’ latest is still a breathtaking exercise in medieval survival horror. So fine-tune those TV presets (turn OFF motion smoothing/auto-motion plus AND set your sharpness to 0; you’re welcome) and let us begin. Continue reading