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Spoiler Alert Thursday

In addition to repeated exhortations in comments to last week’s post, a student told me that I have no option but to watch “Breaking Bad.” The second half of the summer break is set aside to finishing “Prison Break.” Perhaps we will add “Breaking Bad” to that list. Turning to new television from the past week:

“Supernatural” The last episode was actually quite good, being told from the perspective of Castiel–this is only the second episode in the series that hasn’t been told from the perspective of Sam and Dean. (The other was from the perspective of Bobby and was also quite good.) The basic mechanism is that Castiel is confessing or praying to God and asking for advice: angels have never had free will before, he is the champion of free will in heaven, and he isn’t certain that angels are the sort of things that should have free will anyway. But, of course, the alternative to angelic free will is allowing Raphael to work towards freeing both Lucifer and Michael from hell thus allowing the apocalypse to unfold as it should. In order to defeat Raphael, Castiel has had no option but to form an unholy alliance with Crowley, currently the leader of hell. (Great scene when Crowley takes Castiel to hell for a conversation–now a never ending line in a nondescript government building; previously, hell was as most imagined it: fire, brimestone, and flayed flesh.) Astute viewers will no doubt notice that the absent God is to Castiel as the absent father was to Sam and Dean in the first season–a bunch of unanswered voicemail messages.

“Fringe” I’ll be crass: what a fucking letdown. Almost worthy of sincere use of the “r-word.”

“The Killing” Frankly, this show continues to be exceptionally boring–the nearly “wigger” (and Swede with an “American” accent) cop notwithstanding–and I have no idea why AMC hasn’t pulled the series.

“Game of Thrones” Another solid episode for the show, again largely expository this time focusing on much of background to the series: Ned reads old books about the history of the great families–especially their trademark appearances–and deduces that John Arryn may have been killed because he found one of Robert’s bastards working as an apprentice blacksmith in King’s Landing. There is also something up with Ser Hugh, formally Arryn’s squire, who is brutally killed in the opening match of the tournament in Ned’s honor by The Mountain, brother to The Hound (the personal guard of Prince Joffrey)–see pictures above and below. Mayor Carcetti is especially lecherous in that scene, first eyeballing the thirteen year old Sansa (if you couldn’t get mom, go for the eldest daughter, I suppose) and then telling her the brutal story of how The Hound came to have half of his face burnt off (short of it: The Mountain, as a child, picked up The Hound and held his held over a fire until the flesh bubbled cause The Hound had the audacity to play with one of The Mountain’s toys without permission). Sansa, presumably, is coming to realize the brutality that holds her society together. First, the unjust slaying of the butcher’s son (by The Hound) because she humiliated Joffrey and Joffrey, not wanting people to know he was beaten up by a younger girl, blamed it on the butcher’s son. Second, by finding out the vaguest details of what happened to her grandfather and uncle (Ned’s brother) when they were murdered by the Mad King. Third, the story of The Hound and The Mountain. And, lastly, The Mountain’s brutal and recreational slaying of Ser Hugh. We also begin to see a division internal to the ruling class between those who have actually fought for their positions–and I don’t mean mere politics–and those who have not. (This, however, does not explain the horrified looks on everyone else’s face. Presumably this is not their first tournament as spectators.) The fate of Ser Hugh–who has never fought a battle–is no doubt a premonition of what is to come for the equally naive recruits at The Wall. Also: what’s with fantasy movies/television shows/books and fat, clumsy and cowardly sidekicks with the name of Sam–in this case, a boy who had the option of being killed by his father in a hunting accident or joining the Black Watch; either way, a death of one sort or another. I’ve been pretty hard on Daenerys: she partially redeems herself this week for (1) managing to keep her clothes on for one entire episode and (2) beating the crap out of her brother with a necklace–two weeks, two humiliating beatings for Viserys. How long before Viserys really pisses off Drogo and is killed, preferably in a humorous and humiliating way? Catelyn’s arrest of Tyrion was impulsive and stupid, to say the least.

“NCIS” All of this and all that happens is that Franks dies? The other team better be dead because they were, like, the most irritating characters ever on a “procedural” cop show. Worth reading on everyone’s favourite ex-Mossad agent. Seems like a reasonable interpretation of her character.

“The Office” I haven’t followed any of the “who is replacing Michael” business, but I hope it is James Spader. Perhaps Captain Kirk could also join the show as some sort of executive and Kirk and Spader could renew their bromance.

Oh, and some asshats at Fox decided to cancel the only show in their roster that didn’t totally suck ass (i.e., “Human Target”).

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May 11, 2011 - Posted by | Spoiler Alert Thursdays

7 Comments

  1. Why can’t I think of what the r-word might be?

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | May 12, 2011

  2. That’s a good thing.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | May 12, 2011

  3. Yes, that’s the word in question.

    Unrelated: if Peter Dinklage doesn’t win “best actor in a dramatic series or whatever” at whatever award shows exist for TV (who watches them?), then a significant crime has been committed against common sense, decency, and all those good things.

    Comment by Craig | May 12, 2011

  4. Ah, I see. I was thinking of a word that was an action against the show, not a description of it.

    I have to admit to finding that word amusing when said with an overdone Boston accent.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | May 12, 2011

  5. So yeah, I’m glad House and Cuddy are broken up, seemingly permanently. The whole plotline seemed to be little more than an excuse to show a lot of her asscrack.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | May 12, 2011

  6. Game of Thrones: This may help.

    I watched seven episodes of Breaking Bad in the last three days, which made me a little queasy. I had to believe that they wouldn’t let Hank die, because I can’t think of a better potential scene than the one where he inevitably finds out the truth and confronts Walt.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | May 12, 2011

  7. I think you’d like Breaking Bad, Craig. It’s a decent show, although it doesn’t deserve half the praise it gets – last season in particular, it started loping off into the realm of camp, and looks to continue in that direction. I think the show it most resembles is “The Shield” – ludicrous plots made ostensibly Respectable by gratuitous violence and some surprisingly decent performances, plus a hefty dose of questionable politics.

    Comment by stras | May 15, 2011


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