By the time Silo’s action builds to a crescendo in its back third, it causes a deep ambivalence. On the one hand, after episodes of fastidiously building to this moment, it is akin to arriving at that fireworks factory. Conversely, there is a certain sadness in disrupting the series’ strange, contemplative tone. Continue Reading →
Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches
AMC’s newest installment in Anne Rice’s ‘Immortal Universe’ may not blow you away, but it’s intriguing enough to warrant a longer look. With the Disneyfication of mainstream television, it’s a relief to know that some networks are still willing to take a risk on a less well-known franchise. While not as much as a household name as its predecessor Interview With the Vampire, Mayfair Witches presents a slowly unraveling southern gothic, whose promise far outshines its performance. Continue Reading →
Interview with the Vampire
When I got to my first advanced writing course in college, our professor, a large woman with a positively terrifying intellect, asked us all to tell the rest of the class what our favorite book was. I, at barely 19, told a room full of adults that I loved the writings of Anne Rice more than anything. I’d read and reread The Vampire Chronicles many times since I was fifteen, and the Lives of the Mayfair Witches since I was twelve. To say these books had a significant impact on my adolescence and young adulthood is an understatement. In those pre-internet days, I’d satisfied my love of storytelling by filling entire notebooks with my Anne Riceaverse Fan Fiction. It’s what made me want to be a writer. So you can imagine how mortified I was when Professor Arl, barely holding back an eye roll, told me that, yes, Anne Rice was very popular with teenage girls but was—at best—escapist beach reading. Continue Reading →
What is it about living through cataclysmic times that makes us crave apocalyptic entertainment? Are we just clinging to the hope that humanity gets plucky and figures shit out before it’s too late? AMC’s new sci-fi adventure Moonhaven, an uneven but…well, plucky creation of Peter Ocko tries to answer just that. Set some 200 years in the future, Moonhaven shows humanity at two very divergent stages. While things like climate change, war, famine, and plagues continue to rage on unchecked on the Earth, it’s forever Opposite Day on the Moon, where a small chunk of humanity has been living under the protective eye of IO, an artificial intelligence tasked with helping those people fix Earth, somehow. Continue Reading →
The Ragdoll Killer of the new AMC+ series may be meticulous in making a cadaver assembled from several bodies. They may have been painstaking in their planning, in the series of clues they left behind. Unfortunately, Ragdoll lacks the same level of rigorous attention. Continue Reading →
Kevin Can F**K Himself
The formula isn’t a new one: the hot, hyper-competent wife who gave up her master’s track to marry the boorish, underachieving man-child. Just add three cameras and some annoying in-laws/neighbors, and you could be watching King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, or (God forbid) According to Jim. Some shows have put a unique spin on the formula, the most successful being Gloria Calderon Kellett’s One Day at a Time reboot. But overall, when you see a three-camera sitcom, you usually know what you’re getting. It’s like gas station coffee or dinner at Applebee’s. It’s just there. Continue Reading →
Dispatches from Elsewhere
Jason Segel gives us an energetic journey with compelling characters to balance a campy premise.
About halfway through the first episode of AMC’s Dispatches From Elsewhere, Simone (Eve Lindley), one of the main characters, exclaims: “I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s freaking fun!” This phrase just about sums up this new show, created by and starring Jason Segel. While Dispatches is scripted entertainment, it's based on the documentary The Institute, which explores the hybrid alternate reality game and performance art piece by Oakland based artist Jeff Hull.
From 2008 to 2011, Hull “inducted” thousands of people in the San Francisco Bay Area into the Jejune Institute. He created multiple “episodes” for inductees to participate in, giving them missions with instructions as silly as dancing at a phone box to things as grand as leading a parade. Segel moves the action from San Francisco to Philadelphia but retains the ridiculous and almost cult-like nature of its source material in depicting the on-screen Jejune Institute and its rival the Elsewhere Society.
In the first episode, we are introduced to Peter, an average joe working a dull job. Intrigued by flyers with nonsensical adverts for dolphin communication and human forcefield testing, he calls a number and is invited to an office building downtown. He’s soon roped into a world of intrigue just below the surface of our everyday world, where two entities, the corporate Jejune Institute and more radical Elsewhere Society, frantically search for Clara (Cecilia Balagot), a mysterious inventor whose talent promises to liberate humanity from societal shackles. Continue Reading →