Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Trailer Thoughts

As I continue my efforts at middle-form blogging, I’m also going to unearth some critical writing from another source — correspondence with a friend of mine. I wound up writing at length about Penny Dreadful at some point, so I went back and unearthed it for this quick blog about the just-released trailer for the comeback series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. 

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‘Cauldron’ Adaptations and FX’s Fargo (Season Four Trailer Thoughts)

Adaptation is a magical and powerful device. At least it can be. I think a lot of fans — me included — have gotten burned by bad adaptations of their favorite written works over the years. Those bad adaptations can, I think, make us forget how powerful a good one can be.

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Tony Lazlo’s Thoughts on The New She-Ra

Netflix’s She-ra series got me thinking about the different approaches to reboots.

I’m stating the obvious here, but there are a few ways to go about revisiting old material. Until recent memory, the most common way to reboot a property was simply to remake it. (I’ll discuss the current definition of reboot—as I understand it, at least—in a moment.) More often than not, studios remade old properties that had some brand recognition (The Ten Commandments, Ocean’s Eleven, Sabrina). Whether or not these properties could benefit from being remade was immaterial. Opting to produce (or re-produce) a familiar property no doubt felt and continues to feel like a safe bet for Hollywood suits.

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The Six Seasons of Twin Peaks

A comprehensive look at David Lynch and Mark Frost’s seminal TV series that breaks the show down into smaller, more easily digestible servings of garmonbozia.

We’ve been watching Twin Peaks the wrong way all these years. Let me explain:

Until the release of Showtime’s 18-episode revival, we’d been engaging with Lynch and Frost’s series as two wildly uneven seasons—the first a perfect nine hours of suspense, surrealism, and shocking reveals, followed by a front-loaded and sprawling second season where the wheels come off. After the release of The Return, we were forced to cram another sprawling season of television onto the end of the previous two. This time, instead of the maddeningly uneven second season, we were given 18 short films. It looked like a season of television, but it didn’t feel like one. Most important—and frustratingly—those 18 short films, as wondrous as they occasionally were, didn’t feel like a continuation of what came before.

But what if they were a perfect continuation of what came before, and what if we hadn’t been watching three seasons all these years — but six?

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Black Mirror, The Fountain, Film Crit Hulk, and The Need For Happy Endings

It’s time to talk about Black Mirror. Charlie Booker’s remarkable and disturbing—remarkably disturbing?—new show just dropped its third season on Netflix, and as with its first two outings, the reaction from across the critical spectrum is about the same: this show is messed up, but it’s one of the greatest shows of all time. 

But there are some dissenting voices among the awestruck masses. Some critics—good ones, I might add—are growing tired of the show’s persistently downbeat tone and endings.

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