05th Oct2016

‘Luke Cage 1×03: Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Bring da motherfuckin’ ruckus.” This show has a fucking soundtrack. Sixteen Marvel movies hit theaters every year and I’d be shocked if you could find someone on the street who remembered a single bar of original music used in any of them. Three episodes into Luke Cage and not only have we heard Charles Bradley, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Nirvana, Isaac […]

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05th Oct2016

‘Luke Cage 1×02: Code of the Streets’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“My woman was pregnant when I went in. Haven’t seen her or my son since he was thirteen. I have this nightmare that one day he’s gonna come to the shop, ask for a cut, sit in my chair… and I’m not even gonna know him.” “Code of the Streets,” Luke Cage‘s gorgeously shot and unevenly […]

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03rd Oct2016

‘Westworld 1×01: The Original’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

O, reason not the need: our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous: Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st, Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need, […]

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01st Oct2016

‘Luke Cage 1×01: Moment of Truth’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“UPS ain’t the only brown that delivers.” Actor Mike Colter’s guarded, injured, and ultimately good-hearted turn as Luke Cage was one of the few pleasures the first season of Jessica Jones had to offer. On his own and grounded in a much more immediate and organic sense of place and moment, he doesn’t disappoint. Luke Cage, adapted from the […]

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23rd Sep2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×10: The Winds of Winter’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Promise me, Ned.” Olenna Tyrell sits all in black in the water gardens of Dorne, surrounded by beautiful women bent on revenge. “Cersei stole the future from me,” she tells Ellaria. Her enemy’s crime is so vast, so terrible that it cannot be described as the destruction of places or people. Instead it is the transformation, […]

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22nd Sep2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×09: Battle of the Bastards’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“I lived with him.” Violence is a form of intimacy. To cut into another person’s body, to reveal the secret machinery of their existence, is an incredible violation, yes, but it’s also about the closest, physically, two people can be. The dead of the Battle of Winterfell form a hill together, a single massive edifice […]

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21st Sep2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×08: No One’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“He died fighting.” The Blackfish dies offscreen in a lonely stairwell, his last words a wry observation that he hasn’t been in a proper sword fight in years and that he’ll most likely embarrass himself. The Waif dies in the dark under Braavos, skewered by the girl she tormented and beat, her face given to […]

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07th Jun2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×07: The Broken Man’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Violence is a disease.” Possession, loss, reclamation; these are mile markers on the endless circuit of war down which great houses and their hapless draftees trudge, marching ever lower on a corkscrew path like a frozen whirlpool, like a huge mouth sucking up men and spitting out corpses. But why? Why keep fighting even, as […]

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31st May2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×06: Blood of My Blood’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“It’s not an easy thing, admitting to yourself who you really are.” Fanatics, dragonriders, face-peeling assassins, and the walking dead. ‘Blood of My Blood’, the sixth episode of Game of Thrones‘ riveting sixth season, spent its hour marrying intimate moments of introspection to towering spectacle as deftly as the High Sparrow facilitated his erasure of the […]

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23rd May2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×05: The Door’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Hodor.” It feels strange to learn something so grave and so terrible in a scene less than a minute long. The Children of the Forest made their own destroyers, sacrificing men on the roots of their heart trees and giving them a new and awful life as the White Walkers, a bitter sword forged to […]

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16th May2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×04: Book of the Stranger’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Don’t you wish we could go back to the day we left?” The human desire for catharsis is primal and powerful. Hurt, we want succor and revenge. Slighted, we want justice. ‘Book of the Stranger’ is a complex portrait, sometimes lovely, sometimes gruesome, of what those impulses mean and how they impact our lives. In […]

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09th May2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×03: Oathbreaker’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“I fought. I lost. Now I rest.” Alliser Thorne dies steeled with the conviction that, torn between his oath to his Lord Commander and his love and loyalty for the Night’s Watch itself as he sees it, he did the right thing. His dilemma is hardly unique. It’s a permutation, after all, of Jaime’s infamous […]

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02nd May2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×02: Home’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“I wasn’t drowning, I was home.” Bran Stark stands among the dead. Watching his father, uncle, and aunt at play through the power of his second sight, he is bewitched by the idea of returning to a family lost to him forever. But when he returns unwillingly to the waking world he is confronted at […]

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25th Apr2016

‘Game of Thrones 6×01: The Red Woman’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“All I could think about when she died was what would happen to her now. every day, every night, what does mama look like now? Has she started to bloat? Has her skin turned black? Have her lips peeled back from her teeth?” Cersei’s monologue about her childhood obsession with her mother’s corpse is ‘The Red […]

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20th Apr2016

‘Better Call Saul 2×10: Klick’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“DON’T.” The unknown messenger’s letter to Mike is a road sign as plain as any you could ask for. Passing it means oblivion, the annihilation of the self through the act of murder, and in the end Mike is still, for now, the man who can’t pull the trigger. He has maybe ten lines in […]

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19th Apr2016

‘Vinyl 1×10: Alibi’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Whatever happens tonight, I remain confused.” Vinyl closes its first season by cutting back and forth between Richie and Zak across a crowded room. It’s meant to remind us that the two men share a few too many secrets, and that the burden of guilt on Richie’s shoulders is far from lifted. It’s also almost completely […]

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13th Apr2016

‘Better Call Saul 2×09: Nailed’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Who’s the guy who won’t pull the trigger?” You can’t change the consequences of your actions. You can’t uncrack your brother’s skull or drag a kind-hearted stranger whose face you never saw out of his unmarked desert grave. Whatever joy you had before from the actions that led you to that one un-take-backable moment is tainted […]

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12th Apr2016

‘Vinyl 1×09: Rock And Roll Queen’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Stop covering your cock!” A fistfight in an elevator, a rock ‘n roll threesome, an indoor bat hunt, and some literally balls-out photography gave ‘Rock And Roll Queen,’ this week’s swing-for-the-fences episode of Vinyl, more than its share of lustful life. It’s an episode that bucks blandly traditional band narratives, tossing aside the dull idea of […]

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06th Apr2016

‘Better Call Saul 2×08: Fifi’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Oh, and point me to your best copier.” Better Call Saul is a filmmaker’s delight, a showcase for more cinematic tricks and techniques than most major motion pictures. Director Larysa Kondracki brings us into ‘Fifi’ with a continuous four-minute shot following a smuggler across the Mexican border, through customs, and into the embrace of the […]

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06th Apr2016

‘Vinyl 1×08: E.A.B.’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“That’s a skeleton. Everybody’s got one.” There’s a good show buried somewhere inside the increasingly clunky heap that is Vinyl, a program currently wasting what has to be the steeliest performance of Olivia Wilde’s career in between leaden celebrity lookalikes and unexceptional scenes of rock ‘n roll bravado. ‘E.A.B’ has moments of fun, from a great opening […]

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06th Apr2016

‘Dark Age’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Don’t you want to come into the sunlight?” Julia Gfrörer’s Dark Age is an anxiously intimate comic. Bookended by starkly sexual images of cave formations, the slim pink volume follows two young lovers living in a pristine wilderness near the dawn of humanity. One day, frustrated by the antics of their peers, they descend into a cave […]

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30th Mar2016

‘Better Call Saul 2×07: Inflatable’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“It’s exactly what I would have done.” So that’s where his suits come from. Jimmy’s odious wardrobe, part of a calculated campaign of self-sabotage meant to force Cliff Main into firing him without cause so that he can keep his fat corporate signing bonus, are a master class in how to connect the dots between […]

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