Television Archive

0

The Get Down is on a Frustrating Yet Rewarding Musical Mission:

Hip Hop is one of the weirdest cultural movements once you sit down to think about it. An eclectic mix of funk, spoken word, comic books, political rebellion and martial […]

Hip Hop is one of the weirdest cultural movements once you sit down to think about it. An eclectic mix of funk, spoken word, comic books, political rebellion and martial arts imagery that just downright embodies African American culture. It feels almost impossible and once you know how much of it was fueled by sheer happenstance and randomness (hip hop wouldn’t be what it is today without the ’77 blackout, let’s be honest) it really makes sense why it stands apart from other musical movements.

Hip Hop in its current form is not really like that, of course. As every art form, it has evolved into a different beast entirely, one that is quite hard to pinpoint these days. This isn’t a dig, of course, but simply an observation: current hip hop doesn’t feel as driven by a community so much as individual artists and their vision. You have Kanye trying to create gospel rap and Desiigner taking trap in a more gangsta, flow-heavy form. The Get Down definitely believes in the understanding of Hip Hop being exclusively a product of Harlem and the Bronx as a community that was being oppressed by real estate moguls and the City’s neglect. And it makes a very convincing case for that understanding and that vision in the first six hours and a half of its first season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Continue Reading...

0

My Hero Academia Reminds You Why You Love Superheroes

Japan and America both have a long history with the superhero genre but despite obvious similarities, the differences between the way the cultures have approached the genre make for some pretty […]

Japan and America both have a long history with the superhero genre but despite obvious similarities, the differences between the way the cultures have approached the genre make for some pretty different stories. One only needs to look at the Japanese Spider-man TV where our hero Tatsuya gets his power from an alien from the planet Spider, as well as a giant robot instead of a radioactive spider. Despite the massive differences between the way the two cultures treat the genre, there’s still an immediately recognizable core that makes a superhero. It’s something that makes My Hero Academia, the new anime adapted from the manga by Kohei Hiroshi and Hirofumi Nedi, a fascinating look at the evolution of the superhero genre as our fiction crosses borders at an unprecedented level. It doesn’t hurt that My Hero Academia also represents the best of what it means to be not just a superhero, but someone who loves them as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Continue Reading...

0

Video Games are not Films. They are TV.

The most recent trend in video game storytelling is releasing the games in monthly chunks that are entirely concerned with advancing a narrative. This trend, of telling stories in interconnected […]

The most recent trend in video game storytelling is releasing the games in monthly chunks that are entirely concerned with advancing a narrative. This trend, of telling stories in interconnected semi-regular releases is meant to emulate the feeling of TV. And yet, as of right now, TV has moved closer and closer towards using the season as the main unit of storytelling (versus “the episode”)

The argument could be made, especially considering Telltale’s resolution to continue both The Walking Dead and the Wolf Among Us in a format akin to a TV season, that the season is still a valid construct that could apply to the critical discussion of these games. However, the emphasis on the season on TV in recent years is quite different than the one exhibited by The Walking Dead or Life is Strange. Stories like True Detective’s seasons are more like volumes of a book series, while told on regular weekly installments (equivalent to a book’s chapters) each one to be interconnected into a bigger whole.

Read the rest of this entry »

Continue Reading...

0

Aesthetic Vs. Execution: On Andrew Jarecki and Robert Durst.

As of right now, we’re about to enter five days after the explosive finale of The Jinx, HBO’s documentary series reconstructing the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire who may […]

As of right now, we’re about to enter five days after the explosive finale of The Jinx, HBO’s documentary series reconstructing the life of Robert Durst, a millionaire who may or may not have killed at least three people in cold blood. And the ending is probably one of the most hauntingly powerful moments captured in film on the last two decades if not more so. It’s the product of careful and laborious craft, investigative work and sheer determination.

In many ways, I think that’s what’s so easily compelling about The Jinx. It’s a brilliant piece of manipulation on par with anything that Orson Welles would do by the end of his career in documentaries like F For Fake. However, the film has many problems, some of them are downright ethical while others are purely aesthetic. It is still, after all, the product of a filmmaker who gave us Capturing The Friedmans, a film that was willing to go the extra mile in order to craft a narrative (and that extra mile often involved the deliberate manipulation of information)

Read the rest of this entry »

Continue Reading...

0

Galavant Aspires To Great Things But Does Not Achieve

Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin […]

Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin with, but movies like The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and of course Monty Python and The Holy Grail have been cult classics due to how they play with the formula, the latter going into outright absurdity. Galavant is the newest attempt to join that list with one added twist. It’s also a musical with new songs in every episode. Such an ambitious idea alone is worth taking note for the month it takes up Once Upon A Time’s time slot.

The story opens with a song about our hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and how he’s gone off to rescue his one true love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) from the clutches of the evil King Richard. (Timothy Omundson) Unfortunately, when he comes to interrupt the wedding, he’s found that Madalena actually rather likes the comfort and privilege of being a queen. A depressed Galavant leaves the castle and proceeds to drink himself into a blind stupor. Two years later, he’s approached by Princess Isabella (Karen David) who needs her help to save her kingdom. With his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) with them, they head off to adventure and hijinks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Continue Reading...