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    Kingdom, Ep. 1.10, “King Beast”: Are you strong or are you weak?

    The first season finale of Kingdom, appropriately titled “King Beast”, is more interesting for what it doesn’t do than what it does. Namely, that the episode contains no overreactions to the events of fight day. There is a complete lack of build up to the fights both Ryan and Jay have been working for months for which to prepare. Both fighters are loose at Navy Street during final preparations, if not totally relaxed. Jay is his usual sarcastic self throughout the entire day, keeping everybody around him in good spirits as the fights inch closer. Even in the stew room, surrounded by nervous family and friends, the tension doesn’t overwhelm the excitement of the battle. Ryan is visibly coiled up inside ready to burst but not in a way that overwhelms his chances in the ring, it is clearly just the way he prepares compounded by the nervousness brought on by his return after so long away. More

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    The Televerse #171- The Wire (Part 1) with Dennis Perkins

    Series are heading to their midseason finales, giving us fewer shows to discuss this week on the podcast. First we look at some of the comedies, including another holiday Bob’s Burgers and the return of Jane the Virgin. Then Kate talks some genre, including the much-hyped The Flash/Arrow crossover, and we round out the week […] More

  • The Wire pilot
    in

    The Televerse #171- The Wire (Part 1) with Dennis Perkins

    Series are heading to their midseason finales, giving us fewer shows to discuss this week on the podcast. First we look at some of the comedies, including another holiday Bob’s Burgers and the return of Jane the Virgin. Then Kate talks some genre, including the much-hyped The Flash/Arrow crossover, and we round out the week […] More

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    Kingdom, Ep. 1.09, “Cut Day”: Sweating out the madness

    The closest Kingdom has come to a bottle episode at this point, “Cut Day” is all about the conditions under which confronting one’s greatest fears and darkest moods is most likely to occur. Christina, whose demons are more than fully documented and discussed at this point, is not present for the first time since the beginning of the season, leaving the men and Lisa to reassess the state of things both emotionally and in regards to the gym. “Cut Day” coops all three fighters up together for the first extended period of time, puts Lisa in charge of the boys making weight while flying solo, and throws Alvey into a spiral while locked away in a hotel. Everybody is out of their comfort zones, and reckoning with mistakes and possible future choices is enough to send all of them into some bad places in their own heads.
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    The Televerse #170- Fans and Fandom on TV with Paul Booth

    Thanks to Thanksgiving, it’s a (comparatively) light week of TV on the podcast. First we kick things off with a little reality talk and a look at the comedies, including a marathon of Adventure Time, and then we talk genre and drama, including the aptly-titled episode of The Newsroom, “Contempt”. Afterward, Dr. Paul Booth joins […] More

  • Supernatural, "The Real Ghostbusters"
    in

    The Televerse #170- Fans and Fandom on TV with Paul Booth

    Thanks to Thanksgiving, it’s a (comparatively) light week of TV on the podcast. First we kick things off with a little reality talk and a look at the comedies, including a marathon of Adventure Time, and then we talk genre and drama, including the aptly-titled episode of The Newsroom, “Contempt”. Afterward, Dr. Paul Booth joins […] More

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    Kingdom, Ep. 1.08, “The Gentle Slope”: Why don’t we get drunk and…

    For an episode filled with a lot telling rather than showing, it is no surprise that “Gentle Slopes” feels slightly undercooked on many levels. The episode progresses from character moment to character moment with few through lines, any action serving more as tie-ins from previous installments rather than moving the story forward. Even the dramatic moments, like Lisa’s showdown with Alvey that closes the episode, rehash pre-established quarrels without escalating or diminishing the situation in any meaningful way. The twisted family portrait of Christina sitting on a couch in a party dress with Nate and his recent hookup smoking pot is included just for the sake of being included in the episode, to be provocative or weird on screen, not for any reason integral to the relationship between mother and son
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    Obsessed with Pop Culture: Best of the Week

    ‘Starry Eyes’: The feel disturbed movie of the year This film is at its very core a success story. A very demented, gory, horrifying and darkly comical success story – one with tinges of satanic cult horror wrapped in psychological terror. The plot follows a young aspiring actress, Sarah, as she is called back to […] More

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    Kingdom, Ep. 1.07, “Animator/Annihilator” finds everyone lacking a clear goal

    At the very least, Kingdom uses the questionable decisions made last week to its benefit during “Animator/Annihilator”, leveraging the Keith cliffhanger and the Joanna situation into more believable character moments, which is what it does best. The episode still feels incredibly disjointed and aimless, but watching the characters struggle through issues that have been building throughout the season offers focus on an individual level if not a broader one. Even so, there isn’t enough of a cornerstone in each of the existing plots to make either the escalation of conflicts or the resolution of issues feel momentous. Ryan’s struggles on the road to being ready for a fight is only as interesting as his most recent breakdown thus far, and his manic episode in the gym isn’t all that interesting or new until Alvey comes along. Christina’s motivations are still murky and so are Lisa’s true feelings about her, leaving that whole love triangle all but ineffective. It’s a problem that will hopefully resolve itself before the season finishes, but right now all the stories are up in the air in a way that doesn’t give a clear idea of who to root for. More

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    Kingdom, Ep. 1.06, “Please Refrain From Crying”: Forced family fun

    Until now, the approach to family issues on Kingdom has been to tackle them in theory rather than fact. The telling rather than showing tactic has worked to this point, giving the show a chance to flesh out most of the major histories of the characters before shuffling the pairings and forcing anybody to confront past transgressions head-on. This episode throws all the theory out the window and places everybody who could possibly be holding a grudge against somebody else in the same room for an extended period of time. Alvey and Christina, Ryan and Lisa, Jay and Alvey, Nate and Christina, Ryan and his parents, the list of potential time bombs goes on and on. As expected, it offers some additional insights into this family and their past, as well as a return to steadiness for the show after a discombobulated outing last week. More

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    The Televerse #167- Star Trek: Voyager with Caroline Siede

    Somehow, there are still new fall shows premiering, giving us plenty to discuss this week on the podcast. First we take a look at the comedies, including Too Many Cooks, last week’s Bob’s Burgers Halloween episode, and strong new installments of Key & Peele and Jane the Virgin. Then we talk a little genre, including […] More

  • Star Trek Voyager cast photo
    in

    The Televerse #167- Star Trek: Voyager with Caroline Siede

    Somehow, there are still new fall shows premiering, giving us plenty to discuss this week on the podcast. First we take a look at the comedies, including Too Many Cooks, last week’s Bob’s Burgers Halloween episode, and strong new installments of Key & Peele and Jane the Virgin. Then we talk a little genre, including […] More

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