TV Review – Tales from the Loop Season One, Episode Six

Tales from the Loop (Amazon Prime)
Season One, Episode Six – “Parallel”
Written by Nathaniel Halperin
Directed by Charlie McDowell

Tales from the Loop continues its trend of taking a previously supporting character and making them the protagonist of their own episode. This time it is Gaddis, the security guard that works the gates of the Loop. We spend some time in the first act getting to know him better and quickly realize Gaddis lives his life in lonely sadness. He has friends, like Loretta and her husband, but he doesn’t have any intimate relationships. There is a brief flirtation with a new man in town, but Gaddis’ insecurities get in the way. Instead, he focuses his time on repairing an old tractor in a field near his home.

Continue reading “TV Review – Tales from the Loop Season One, Episode Six”

The Best of Moonlighting Part One

Moonlighting is a show that doesn’t often enter the modern discourse on television, but I’m here to argue that it is a remarkable television achievement that opened up the door for other hour dramas to be comedies and to experiment with their format. Moonlighting allowed flights of fantasy to take over the show and engaged continuously in Fourth Wall-breaking and meta-conversation about being a television show. 

Continue reading “The Best of Moonlighting Part One”

TV Review – Tales from the Loop Season One, Episode Five

Tales from the Loop (Amazon Prime)
Season One, Episode Five – “Control”
Written by Nathaniel Halperin
Directed by Tim Mielants

Tales from the Loop continues its interconnected anthology structure with a chapter that touches on events from episode two, yet you don’t have to watch that one to understand what is going on. In fact, I think you could watch this series on shuffle and still have the same experience as the connections are so light. There is even a brief reference to episode three that you don’t need to fully comprehend to follow the story being told here. The theme for this episode is Grief and how people work through that process while feeling powerless to do anything.

Continue reading “TV Review – Tales from the Loop Season One, Episode Five”

TV Review – The Outsider

The Outsider (HBO)
Written by Richard Price
Directed by Jason Bateman, Andrew Bernstein, Igor Martinović, Karyn Kusama, Daina Reid, J.D. Dillard, and Charlotte Brändström

HBO’s The Outsider does not ease the viewer into its story. It explodes in the first ten minutes with the inciting crime, the brutal murder of an 11-year-old boy. The audience doesn’t see the act, but we are with the local man walking his dog, who comes across the crime scene. In a quick succession of camera shots, we see the mutilated remains that look like an animal savaged the poor child. Thus begins the first two hours of this adaptation of the Stephen King novel. I have to say, these opening two parts are amazing and had me riveted to the screen. Major props to Jason Bateman on directing and bringing such a simmering, tense atmosphere to the project.

Continue reading “TV Review – The Outsider”

TV Review – Tales from the Loop Season One, Episode Four

Tales from the Loop (Amazon Prime)
Season One, Episode Four – “Echo Chamber”
Written by Nathaniel Halperin
Directed by Andrew Stanton

The director of Finding Nemo and Wall-E is the filmmaker behind this entry into the Loop series, which is much less science fiction than it is a profoundly human and grounded story. “Echo Chamber” examines death and mortality against the fantastic landscape of the series. Yes, there is a technological wonder of the echo sphere, a hollow metal sphere where your echo reveals how much longer your life will last. But that’s just a background element to the relationship between Cole and his grandfather Russ (Jonathan Pryce).

Continue reading “TV Review – Tales from the Loop Season One, Episode Four”

TV Review – Tales From the Loop Season One, Episode Three

Tales from the Loop (Amazon Prime)
Season One, Episode Three – “Stasis”
Written by Nathaniel Halperin
Directed by Dearbhla Walsh

We’ve all had those moments in our life that we wistfully drift back to from time to time. There’s a very distinct emotion we feel when thinking about them, a yearning to go back there, and our senses recalling smells and sounds that further recreate the scenario. More likely than not, if we were to have a way to be in that moment perpetually on closer examination, we would discover flaws & incongruities with our memory. Emotion has such a strong ability to cloud the mind and create false pasts that feel better, editing the problematic parts.

Continue reading “TV Review – Tales From the Loop Season One, Episode Three”

TV Review – Devs

Devs (FX)
Written & Directed by Alex Garland

How do I know I am making a choice to type these words right now? How do I know that I chose to watch all eight episodes of Devs? Are these actions free choices of my own making or merely preprogrammed behaviors, following a path I was set on by some cold, indifferent force of nature? Devs explores these ideas in its roughly eight hours and is my favorite of filmmaker Alex Garland’s work to date. I’m reasonably positive about Ex Machina but found myself underwhelmed by Annihilation. I think long-form mini-series may be the structure that best suits Garland’s style of pacing and cerebral storytelling.

Continue reading “TV Review – Devs”