For the perfect Friday treat, look no further than the opening credits sequence for the Good Omens television series!
And the release date, of course. Which you’re probably more excited about.
The animation style is truly delightful, and takes us through all the pitstops on the road to Armageddon:
There’s plenty of imagery from the Bible and various apocalyptic stories, as well as several key plot points from the book itself tossed into the mix. The theme is an enjoyably bizarre little tune that really sets the mood. And these credits came with an extra announcement! Opposite Frances McDormand’s God will be a Satan voiced by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. Which seems an understandable side-step from Smaug the dragon, really.
Good Omens will be released on Prime Video on May 31st. Mark your calendars!
One of the themes of the second season of Discovery is fixing what was broken—or at least off-kilter—in the first season. Some of these are carried a bit too far. Honestly, I don’t need Pike not liking holographic communicators to “justify” why they didn’t have them in “The Cage” in 1964. (I also don’t need them to explain why the Enterprise used printouts in that failed pilot episode.)
But with this episode, they address one of the biggest fuckups of season one, the death of Hugh Culber in “Despite Yourself.”
First of all, full disclosure, this episode was written by Kirsten Beyer, who is an old friend of your humble reviewer.
Second of all, let’s address the elephant that has been taking up a lot of space in the room since “Despite Yourself” aired thirteen months ago. The solution to how Culber has been brought ...
A woman in New York City finds herself doomed to perpetually celebrate her early-mid-life birthday, cycling through the same rote interactions with friends and searching for a way to escape the pattern while struggling to convince anyone of what she’s going through. This describes the plot of the Netflix series Russian Doll, but it also encapsulates the essence of Alice Sola Kim’s short story “Now Wait for This Week,” which appears in Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams’ anthology A People’s Future of the United States and bears striking similarities to the show.
In Russian Doll, the protagonist, Nadia, resurrects in the bathroom of her birthday party every time she dies, which usually doesn’t take more than a few hours; in Kim’s story, the narrator’s friend Bonnie finds herself reliving the same week over and over, ending up back at her birthday, death or no. Both narratives build ...
Three takeaways from the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery:
1. The hell with the Picard series and the Section 31 series, I want the adventures of Number One starring Rebecca Romijn. She’s due for her own command anyhow. Get on that, CBS!
2. There are few things more conducive to making a subplot sing than to put Tig Notaro, Mary Wiseman, and Anthony Rapp in a locked room.
3. Doug Jones remains the rock star of Discovery.
Thanks to some unauthorized digging around by Number One (who apparently likes cheeseburgers with habanero sauce), they’ve managed to track down Spock’s shuttlecraft. Unfortunately, they’re snagged en route by a sphere that seems to attack the ship. Part of the damage to the ship includes engineering being locked off by systems failures, and the mycelial-network life form that attached itself to Tilly takes advantage of the chaos to take possession of ...
Popular and prolific novelist best known for The Shell Seekers and Coming Home whose work was particularly admired in Germany
In 1988 the 14th novel by a little-known 63-year-old British author was published in New York. The Shell Seekers, the 500-page story of a woman, Penelope Keeling, looking back on her life and loves during the second world war, took the US by storm.
The New York Times reviewer wrote: “Rosamunde Pilcher, where have you been all my life?” It sat in the bestseller list for 49 weeks in hardback and then tipped Tom Wolfe off the No 1 spot in paperback. The Shell Seekers was translated into more than 40 languages, selling around 10m copies.
I’m behind the curve when it comes to watching—and writing about—the new re-invention of She-Ra, whose showrunner and executive producer is the young and talented Noelle Stevenson (previously known for comics Nimona and Lumberjanes, for which she won Eisner awards).
I don’t have any memories of the original She-Ra: Princess of Power television show, or indeed of He-Man, of which it was a spin-off. I do have a memory of what must have been a chapter book or two that featured She-Ra—I must have been about four, and a girl hero left a strong impression on the mind of tiny me: an impression whose strength I only realised when I came to watch the rebooted She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Because something, some fragment of attachment, clearly stuck. I’m not sure what’s with the feeling of nostalgia, but it’s there.
After ordering a pilot last year, FX has finally given a series pickup to Y, the television adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s funny, grim, heartbreaking comic book series. Running from 2002-2007, the Vertigo Comics series followed Yorick Brown, the last surviving cisgender man on Earth following a plague that wipes out every organism with a Y chromosome (aside from his monkey buddy Ampersand), and the surviving women chasing him down for a dozen different reasons related to the survival of the human race.
Michael Green (American Gods, Logan, Blade Runner 2049) and Aïda Mashaka Croal (Luke Cage) will serve as showrunners and executive producers; Vaughan will also be an EP, helping to develop the adaptation from one serialized medium to another. The pickup was announced at the Television Critics Association’s winter tour today, with the added news that the series is expected ...
This May, we’ll say goodbye to Game of Thrones. After eight seasons, one of fantasy fiction’s mightiest juggernauts will air a finale that’s sure to provide audiences with plenty of intrigue, a cracking script, some unforgettable visuals, and a disturbingly high body count.
And then what?
Well, there are certainly other compelling fantasy television series being made, and still others gearing up to go into production. But as great as shows like Stranger Things and The Good Place are, nothing has yet equaled Game of Thrones in its epic scale and ambition. Even with a new prequel series scheduled to begin shooting this spring, GoT is going to leave a massive hole in pop culture when it goes.
Fortunately for all of us, there’s another story waiting in the wings, perfectly positioned to fill that void. Enter Tad Williams’s fantasy novel trilogy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.
One of the difficulties with creating serialized dramatic fiction in a large universe is that you’ve got a lot of different hands in the pot over the years. Star Trek has been produced for more than five decades, with writing staffs far and varied and wide. Hell, all four show-runners of the original series (Gene Roddenberry, Gene L. Coon, John Meredyth Lucas, and Fred Freiberger) are now deceased, as is the one person who served as show-runner for each of the first three live-action spinoffs (Michael Piller). We’re talking about seven television series and thirteen movies produced by six different studios (Desilu, Hal Sutherland, Paramount’s movie division, Paramount’s TV division, Bad Robot, and Secret Hideout).
Given that, Star Trek has remained remarkably consistent. And their track record for addressing the inconsistencies has actually been pretty good.
I bring all this up because sometimes it just takes one slight makeup change ...
Caroline Kepnes’s thriller sees a man taking his pursuit of a woman to the extreme. But from Bridget Jones to Love Actually, romcoms often blur the line between seduction and stalking
Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy does everything he can to get girl. This is the structure of pretty much every love story, from fairytales to romantic comedies, from The Graduate to Love Actually. As a result, it’s the dynamic most of us have grown up as thinking as the norm, even the ideal: the man is the active subject, and the woman is the passive object, who must be persuaded into love.
Caroline Kepnes’s ludicrously readable 2014 novel, You, which has been made into a Netflix series, opens with a classic romcom meet-cute. Handsome bookstore manager Joe spots pretty Beck when she walks into his shop. They banter among the bookshelves, he teases, she ...
I admit this to you, dear readers, on the privacy of the internet: I am that person who did not want Scully and Mulder to get together. (Although, for what it’s worth, I am also that person who did want Will and Hannibal to get together.) When I was very smol, and watched Cheers, I loved Will They/Won’t They. But pretty much every subsequent iteration has left me cold. Things I hate: when a sitcom becomes about the tension between two people, because I don’t think that’s enough of an engine for an ensemble show; that until very recently the trope has been relentlessly heteronormative; the way Will They/Won’t They makes romantic love the prime motivator and ultimate focus of life; that it sexualizes everything in an already extremely sexed-up television world. But most of all, I hate the way this tension has ruined a lot of great TV friendships ...
If Netflix releases a Marvel series and it has no buzz whatsoever, did they actually release it?
After taking the world by storm with a superb first season of Daredevil, followed by Jessica Jones and Luke Cage doing likewise, Marvel’s street-level Netflix series seemed poised to do for TV what the Marvel Cinematic Universe had done for movies.
But Netflix seems to want out of the Marvel business. They cancelled Iron Fist, which surprised no one given the lukewarm reception to same, but then they cancelled two of their bona fide hits, Luke Cage (whose first season was so popular it briefly broke Netflix) and Daredevil (the thing that started it all). Worse, none of the shows’ second seasons created the same buzz and anticipation of their first, and the crossover series was flawed.
The unplanned part of the whole thing, The Punisher, taking advantage of Jon ...
After last year’s Outlander finale, which literally shipwrecked Claire and Jamie onto the shores of America, I was expecting a bigger cliffhanger ending to this season—that the letter the redcoats delivered to Jamie at River Run would be conscripting the poor Scot to fight on their side in the American Revolution. Then I remembered that it was only 1770, and that the next big war was a few years (or, I’m going to assume, one season) away. Instead, the season 4 finale, filled with resolutions both neat and messy, ends on Jamie getting a much more pressing, one-on-one assignment that reemphasizes this season’s enduring question: Can a good man do a bad thing and remain a “Man of Worth”?
Spoilers for Outlander season 4.
The thing is, it’s difficult to care too much about Jamie being ordered to hunt down Murtagh on behalf of Governor Tryon, because it seems too ...
The last few episodes of Black Lightning have been quite a ride.
Since the end of the first season, young, talented, and defiant Jennifer Pierce has been struggling with the revelation that she’s the daughter of the one and only Black Lightning himself, and dealing with all the additional complications that stem from that revelation. You know, like almost being murdered by the ASA, struggling not to light things on fire with her complicated energy-based powers, and learning that the boy she loved was actually a deadly henchman for Tobias Whale—the wealthy and conniving mastermind responsible for killing her grandfather and trying his damnedest to kill the whole Pierce family on school grounds. Since then, she’s been cooped up at home, kept away from those who may try to harm her family again.
Then, Khalil Payne, also known as the venom-slinging Painkiller, came to Jennifer’s window a few episodes back, ...
Turns out that Captain Pike is so hot for the Prime Directive, he will literally jump on a phaser and die rather than interfere with a culture’s natural development. Except when it comes to giving out space batteries. Space batteries are fine. The point is, on some level Pike’s actions in the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery — “New Eden”—might scan as hypocritical. But, that’s not exactly Pike’s fault. Maybe General Order One, better known as the Prime Directive, is inherently hypocritical.
Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 2, “New Eden.”
For diehard Trekkies, the Discovery episode “New Eden,” was a classic Trek premise insofar as it presented a classic ethical dilemma, with an interesting twist. Members of Starfleet aren’t supposed to interfere with the natural development of pre-warp cultures, but what if those cultures aren’t indigenous to the planet they live on? In “New ...
He was not only the first Trek actor to direct a TV episode, he became one of the best, and now is one of the most in-demand TV directors around. More followed in his footsteps, and some became just as in-demand (Roxann Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill, ...
The Wheel of Time, Amazon Studios’ forthcoming television adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series, will go into production starting in September 2019, according to the trade publication Production Weekly. Wheel of Time fan site The Daily Trolloc acquired a sample issue of the weekly publication from December 20, 2018, which lists the series among over a hundred other projects currently in development. Another notable detail is the location: the series will shoot at least in part in Prague, Czech Republic.
The fantasy epic is set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists, but only women can use it. The story follows Moiraine, a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with ...
If you’ve watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, it has probably occurred to you that keeping families on a starship is a questionable practice. The Enterprise-D is constantly heading into dangerous situations, and while we can assume that there are protocols in place to keep the kiddies feeling safe and cared for, you have to wonder who thought this was such a brilliant idea to begin with.
Turns out the answer is: probably the Federation?
Over at the Daystrom Institute on Reddit, user thx712517 had a theory as to why the Family Aboard program existed at all in Starfleet. It started with pointing out one key factor in recruitment: if you have a society in which all your needs are tended to and life is pretty grand—free healthcare, endless opportunities to study and learn, holodecks to let you travel just about anywhere with a few words of input—why would ...
The very first Star Trek character that Gene Roddenberry ever wrote was Captain Christopher Pike. As played by Jeffrey Hunter, Pike was a solid, stolid leader in the Hornblower mode, one who was world-weary and thinking about retiring in the flashbacks of “The Menagerie,” using footage from the unaired pilot “The Cage.” As played by Bruce Greenwood in the alternate timeline of the BadRobot movies, Pike was a wise mentor, an understanding authority figure.
Anson Mount debuted his interpretation of Pike on the second season premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, and it’s a fascinating mix of Hunter and Greenwood, and a role that’s written with the knowledge that it takes place several years after “The Cage.” It’s also a delight, a welcome shot in the arm to the show which delivers its best episode yet.
The writers room for Amazon Studios’ The Wheel of Time TV series is coming together! Showrunner Rafe Judkins has devoted various #WoTWednesdays to introducing different writers as they join the epic fantasy adaptation, and this week he had two introductions to make: twins Michael P. Clarkson and Paul T. Clarkson have joined the staff.
Michael, a writer/director, and Paul, a scientist and writer (as described in their Twitter bios), join Patrick Strapazon, Celine Song, and the rest of the Wheel of Time writers room. The twins have also served as consultants on the His Dark Materials ...