"The First Men called us The Children, but we were born long before them." The line that gives the Season Four finale of Game of Thrones its title comes from my least favorite storyline in all of George R.R. Martin's sprawling epic (which we will get to in due course). But, nestled as it is in this episode, something about that image also strikes me as terrifically resonant, and terribly sad. These people are called "children," but they are not: they are old, older than we would think by looking at them, older than we can possibly know. Continue reading
Back in Two Weeks
Just a quick announcement that The Unaffiliated Critic is officially on vacation until after the July 4th weekend. To those of you have been waiting—breathlessly, no doubt!—for my write-ups on the final two episodes of Game of Thrones and Orphan Black, I sincerely apologize: I've been trying to catch up, but unanticipated delays, personal matters, and the obligations of my real job have made it all but impossible. Now we've run into my actual vacation, which I've been planning (and needing) for some time, so I'm regretfully admitting that nothing new is getting posted until I get back. Continue reading
Because this is how movie geeks do this...
Tonight my partner N. (known in these parts as The Unenthusiastic Critic) and I celebrated our nine-year anniversary as a couple, and it seemed as good a time as any to take care of some unfinished business. Being a tremendous movie geek, I decided to do this in a montage…
(Inexplicably, she said yes, but she was pretty drunk at the time, so we'll see if that lasts.)
Variable and Full of Perturbation
Last week I posted my longest review of an Orphan Black episode so far, and this week's will be my shortest. Some unavoidable travel forced me to more or less take the week off from my extracurricular blogging, and I don't want to fall another week behind trying to catch up. So this will really be just a placeholder where a proper review should be. Let us all enjoy the break from my long-winded over-analysis, shall we? Continue reading
The Mountain and the Viper
The tricky thing about the whole concept of a "trial-by-combat" is that it presupposes the existence—and willful intervention—of a just god. That, to me, is a big leap of faith. I could be as innocent as a newborn baby, but if you put me in a ring with The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) I'm going to have about as much chance of winning as a newborn baby would. Unless "the gods" see fit to strike Gregor Clegane down with a thunderbolt—or, more likely, a laughter-induced choking fit—that trial is going to end in a guilty verdict, whether I'm innocent or not. Continue reading
Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motions of Things
I began my reviews of Orphan Black saying that I wasn't quite sure whether the show had an overall theme or agenda, which now seems painfully obtuse. I don't think this was entirely my fault, however: the show's first season built a strong foundation for the series, but there was so much groundwork to lay, and so many complex plotlines to set in motion, and so many thought-provoking ideas to introduce, that it was hard to predict where exactly the show's thematic center might lay.
By now, however, Season Two has made it much more clear what this show is really about: it's about misogyny.