The title says it all, really. Last week I was watching the penultimate episode of Riverdale’s first season, and Liam and Regan invited me to join them to podcast about it. I was on their first podcast about a year ago when we discussed the Lost finale, which was fun. This was even more fun because Riverdale is a zeitgeist show, and we’d just found out who the killer was. About an hour after we finished recording, I posited that perhaps Nana Blossom was the one who killed Cliff, because it’s the kind of crackpot theory I can get on board with – I knew it was basically impossible, but crackpot theories are supposed to be fun. Anyway, you should give it a listen with the rest of the podcast. They watch mystery television shows and try to solve them. Next they’re watching a show called The Sniffer that’s on Netflix. From what they’ve told me it’s not very good. Let’s see where that goes.
I finally finished watching Lost a couple of weeks ago. A week before that I asked Regan Lloyd and Liam Smith if I could be on the Lost focused episode of their podcast, and they said yes! I’ve been in contact with Liam and Regan since about February or March when I found their podcast through the Late Nite Films twitter account. Late Nite Films is the production company behind The Wizards of Aus, and the day after I wrote my review of that show is still the best day for this blog in terms of views. So I downloaded the latest episode of a podcast called Teaves, which I presumed meant tea and television (I was correct). Each week Liam and Regan watch and review one episode of television. Most of the time this is a pilot or premiere, sometimes it’s based on a theme; Valentine’s Day was “Cooler” from season two of New Girl, featuring the Nick and Jess kiss. It’s good fun.
Anyway, I was on the Lost episode of Teaves, and I was incredibly nervous. I had no reason to be because Liam and Regan are lovely people, and I’d like to thank them again for having me on. I have no idea if Regan heard me yelp somewhere in the second half of the podcast when I accidentally closed the Skype call during editing. If you’d like to listen, it was released today! I don’t know if I’ll write an entire post about the Lost finale, but I’ll be linking to some of the pieces that really sat with me after the season finale. The one thing I wanted to make sure of was that I linked to this book by Alan Sepinwall, which is a fantastic resource for television fans. I have the first edition, the second edition was released last year after Mad Men and Breaking Bad had completed their runs. Alan Sepinwall has just finished writing a second book with critic Matt Zoller Seitz (author of this Mad Men book), which I have pre-ordered. Look for the rest of the links and some of my thoughts in an upcoming post.
I wasn’t planning on writing about this week’s Game of Thrones. I like to touch base every once in a while, but this episode was special for so many reasons. There are full recaps all over the internet, I just wanted to highlight a few things that may have gotten lost beneath that devastating conclusion. As several critics have pointed out, “The Door” (as well as next week’s episode) was directed by Jack Bender, who directed some of the best episodes of Lost, including “The Constant.” I haven’t finished Lost, but between Game of Thrones and Teaves podcast host Regan Lloyd (who just watched “The Constant”), this week is full of reminders that I need to keep watching Lost. There are spoilers for this episode of Game of Thrones, as well as some spoilers for this particular episode of Lost.
I spent today cleaning the house I was house sitting at and just got back home at 6pm, so I don’t really have much to write about just yet. The dog got in the car while I was packing, it was very cute. Here’s a picture of her, her name is Strudel and she’s a dachshund/whippet cross, which basically means she has longer legs than a regular dachshund.
Anyway, I’m super tired and pretty much just waiting on pizza for dinner, and I’ll probably go to bed straight after I’ve eaten. So here are the things I’ve been watching for the past month or so and haven’t written about recently. There are spoilers up to Episode 309 of Orange Is the New Black.
Because the television season is mostly over in the United States, I was at a bit of a loss on what to write today, I’m still figuring things out. I thought about the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, but Joanna Robinson has pretty much articulated my thoughts on the topic over at Vanity Fair, and on A Cast of Kings. The backlash she’s gotten over her thoughtful and articulated commentary on one of her favourite shows is completely unfair, and I may end up writing something later, I just haven’t decided yet. The other thought I had was to write about tonight’s episode of MasterChef Australia, which was really good (there’ll be a bit on it here, but not a whole post), so I’ve decided to leave some thoughts on what I’ve been watching on streaming and DVD recently. Continue reading
People seem to hate cliffhangers nowadays. In the era of binge watching and Netflix, people are able to watch the next episode or season of a show immediately after the previous one finishes. Lost is a show that learned how to deploy cliffhangers incredibly well: the first season ended with Locke looking down the hatch, the second with Kate, Jack and Sawyer kidnapped with the others, and the third with Jack in LA telling Kate that they have to go back to The Island. That’s a great cliffhanger, and I can only imagine how the internet speculated in between the third and fourth seasons. As someone who didn’t watch the show when it originally aired, I don’t have to deal with that, and I moved through the start of Season 3 fairly quickly. Since I’m watching it now, I know that part of the reason the third season started slowly is because Lindelof and Cuse were negotiating with ABC for an end date and overall plan for the show, and at least in the short term, that’s paid off. “Through the Looking Glass” is the best season finale the show has done, and that momentum carried through to season four.
Now that I have Netflix, I’ve found that it’s much easier to find time to watch things. I no longer need to put in a DVD to watch Lost legally, and since my 30 day free trial is up today, I also haven’t had to pay anything just yet. I watched the first half of Lost’s third season very quickly when I had a day off work, and from what I can understand, that was much better than having to go through the ordeal of those first six episodes weekly, then a long break before the good stuff even started. It also meant that the Nikki and Paolo episode felt out of place, but it was just the episode that was on after the stunning “The Man From Tallahassee”. Like the “Jack’s tattoo” episode (which stands out as the least essential episodes of all of Jack’s flashbacks) coming just after “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, “Expose” came after another great episode of the show. Maybe they should have switched those around, I don’t know.
If you are in Australia and have just gotten Netflix (not the US one through a proxy), congratulations! You have a lot of media at your fingertips, which makes it impossible to know what to watch first, second or even third. So with this in mind, I’m writing a guide to the things that are currently on Netflix Australia (as of April 11, 2015 for anyone counting). What I’m putting in this list are a number of US television shows that I’ve actually seen some or most of, and I’ll definitely write about some British and Australian shows as well. House of Cards is not on this list because I saw the first season and the first two episodes of the second season, and I didn’t like it that much. Things that are on my Queue that I haven’t had a chance to watch yet are Marvel’s Daredevil, Bloodline (I’m not sure whether I want to watch this one), Arrow and Vikings. I’m also planning on starting Spartacus fairly soon. On with the shows!
I have a strange history with Lost; I watched the first half of the pilot with my family in 2005 (Channel 7 are very good at promoting new shows during the Australian Open), but they didn’t really like it very much, so I stopped watching it. I have no idea what time it was on, but I didn’t like it enough to keep watching at the time. While it was airing, I saw a few episodes, but found it impossible to keep up because I didn’t have an income. The other episodes I saw were “Tabula Rasa”, “Numbers”, “Every Man For Himself” and “Flashes Before Your Eyes”. As it turns out, “Numbers” and “Flashes” were important episodes in relation to Lost’s mythology, but I didn’t know about it at the time. I knew there were numbers, and that was about it. At that stage I didn’t know that the Island was a mystery, but I did find out that there was more than one island. So when I found out that The A.V. Club was going to be covering Lost as part of the “TV Club Classic”, I was thrilled. Finally I had a chance to catch up on this show that was apparently great but also disappointed a lot of people with its ending. It wasn’t like I hadn’t had an opportunity before, but being able to follow along with reviews is something I like to do.
My history with television is slightly strange. I only really started getting into television after the first two seasons of Community had aired, so I have a lot of catching up to do. Luckily The A.V. Club has its “classic” reviews that give me a chance to catch up on things I’ve missed. So when Todd VanDerWerff announced he was covering Lost last year in May/June (then when he moved to Vox, Myles McNutt took over), I was glad of the opportunity to catch up. I had seen the first half of the pilot, the first Kate episode, “Numbers”, “Every Man for Himself” and “Flashes Before Your Eyes”. That’s a strange bunch of episodes to have seen. Last week saw the beginning of The A.V. Club‘s season 3 coverage, and because I was home by myself on Thursday, I ended up watching ten episodes instead of two.
I understand that fans weren’t fond of the first part of season 3, but I didn’t think it was too bad. Admittedly, when I binge on a television show I watch it less critically than when I’m watching it week to week. Furthermore, from what I’ve read about the way the episodes aired, there were six episodes, then a three month break before the rest of the season, which is just bizarre. Given the way that television writers tend to build arcs through various parts of a television season (the second season of Scandal is the best example of this, with the brilliant “Defiance” arc over the first 13 episodes, then dedicating the back 9 to another storyline), this is what should have been done with Lost in this scenario. I can understand why people complained about stalling, because that’s what happened. If it had just been a 6 episode arc in which Jack, Kate and Sawyer tried to escape from The Others’ island, that may have worked. Given the size of the cast however, we had to go back to Sayid, Jin and Sun as well as the rest of the castaways on the beach, and sadly not all of it worked.