Starring: Morfydd Clark, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Markella Kavenagh, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Daniel Weyman
Warning: Reviews of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 will contain spoilers.
With the conclusion of Partings, we’re officially more than halfway done with The Rings of Power’s first season. Which makes it all the more frustrating that little has changed since the beginning of the season to now, and this week’s episode feels like a perfect encapsulation of that frustration. There are some moments to like, but overall, I can’t help but feel like the episode spins its wheels on virtually every front. I’m truly struggling to figure out what has changed from the beginning of this episode to the end, and coming up mostly short.
In my mind, Community is a show that has had a lasting footprint across the pop culture landscape, and feels a bit like an afterthought at the same time. The show essentially launched the careers of many big names still working steadily today, both in front and behind the camera. And yet, I don’t know how many people outside of my age group point to the show as one of the sterling examples of the Golden Age of TV that kicked off in the late 2000’s. So this season should prove to be an interesting experiment to determine where I land on the show’s lasting legacy. After the success of the back half of season one of the show, Dan Harmon had the wind at his back with season two, in spite of the show’s poor performance in ratings and the general lack of support from the NBC brass.
Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, Nick Offerman, Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, Priscilla Delgado
Three episodes watched for review
Listen: I’ve never believed that art is sacred, that a film or TV show or comic or book shouldn’t be re-made once it’s put out into the world. For a large swath of people, the prospect of transposing Penny Marshall’s 1992 classic film of the same name for a streaming service sounds borderline sacrilegious. For every Cape Fear or Solaris, there’s a thousand forgotten remakes of movies like Total Recall or Point Break or Bad News Bears. So what could be gained from remaking A League of Their Own?
Though I’ve done better this year at keeping up with television, notably absent from this list are some of the shows that tend to dominate the cultural conversation like Succession, Abbott Elementary, The Staircase, Hacks, Euphoria, Our Flag Means Death, Better Call Saul, and more. Nevertheless, here are some of the best series of the first half of the year.
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Vincent Macaigne, Adria Arjona, Devon Ross, Lars Eidinger, Vincent Lacoste, Jeanne Balibar
Four of eight episodes watched for review.
Before diving into Olivier Assayas’s newest project, I had multiple questions about what an Irma Vep television show would be (I had avoided watching any trailers). Would it be a simple retread of Assayas’s acclaimed 1996 film? Would it be a follow-up to the events of the film? How many of the film’s themes would make their way over to the small screen? Would Assayas even acknowledge its existence in the text? How much more does Assayas have to say about movie making that couldn’t have been done in, say, another film? Will the show be accessible for audiences that aren’t familiar with the film? Naturally, some questions are answered simply, and some are more complex.