Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

The 2020 quarantine time has encouraged a lot of TV binge-watching, with people either catching up on shows they’ve never seen or getting a chance to re-watch some old beloved shows. My wife started listening to Joel McHale and Ken Jeong’s podcast The Darkest Timeline, which is a blend of medical info, observations on the dystopia we’re currently in, and nostalgia for the television series Community. My wife and I started re-watching Community, and to our delight, the cast reunited recently for a table read of one of the season 5 episodes.

One of the hallmarks of Community was its meta-referentiality. Although not necessarily a rule, episodes would often be constructed on pop cultural properties: nods to The Right Stuff, Star Wars, Spaghetti Westerns, Mafia movies, zombie outbreaks, all can be found in exemplary episodes of Community. The show was excellent at adapting pop culture for engaging storylines about seven study group misfits at Greendale community college.

Coincidentally, one year ago Game of Thrones had its finale. The bulk of my blogging career hobby has been writing about Game of Thrones (or the source material, A Song of Ice and Fire) and when I get a reason to write about Game of Thrones, I do. Even if the reason is extremely thin. Bear with me. Also, spoilers for Community will be in this post. If you haven’t seen the show, reconsider reading further. I must emphasize that you would be much better served to stop reading this and watch Community. All of Community. Even Season 4.

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Game of Thrones is over, but that shouldn’t stop us from talking about the show or the logical consequences of what might happen going forward in this fictional universe. Particularly in regards to politics, because the political situation in Westeros was a topic that we could all (mostly) discuss with our family at Thanksgiving, without fear of being written out of the will or something.

Arya: Cowards! Challenge your Republican relatives to Trial by Combat!

The final storyline in the show, after Season 8 dealt with the White Walkers (Arya took care of business by stabbing the icy Night King), dealt with the treacherous Lannisters (Daenerys Targaryen brought the Red Keep down on Cersei and Jaime Lannister), dealt with a Daenerys who was tired-of-not-being-taken-seriously (Jon Snow took her seriously and pulled an Arya on her), was the show dealing with the question of who would be on the Iron Throne at the end.

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While Game of Thrones was on the air, I was fortunate enough to write about the show over on the excellent show-centric website Watchers on the Wall. But, even though the show has concluded, there are still books due to be published. Over on the WotW site, I have a new feature that largely involves book speculation. Sort of.

In the post, I speculate that Bran Stark’s book storyline might act as a reference to the failed ambitions of his grace, King Stannis Baratheon.

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In Defense of the Witcher

Posted: January 1, 2020 by patricksponaugle in Opinion, TV
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This post will be about the Netflix show The Witcher. Full disclosure, I’ve only seen four episodes, and I will totally be dropping spoilers about what I’ve seen roughly halfway through this post. I will give a warning when things are going to get revealing.

I’m calling this post In Defense of the Witcher, but there’s very little that needs defending in my opinion. It’s a good show; but your mileage may vary. And early on in its release, the show might have needed some defending.

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Game of Thrones does not always give you what you want. Anyone who has seen the latest and penultimate episode “The Bells” knows what I’m talking about.

The wonderful people over on the Watchers on the Wall fansite have kindly given me the opportunity to discuss the decisions and actions of one of the main characters, Daenerys Targaryen. And what exactly she might have wanted as part of the Stark/Targaryen coalition fight against the Lannister faction holding King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

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Judging Jaime

Posted: May 9, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion, TV
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Tonight is the penultimate Game of Thrones episode, of the season and of the series. Right down to the wire, the good folks at Watchers on the Wall graciously allowed me to publish a feature article about last week’s episode, talking about one of the more controversial characters. The Kingslayer.

Ser Jaime, like John Shaft I can dig it) is a complicated man.

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In the Endgame (of Thrones) Now

Posted: May 4, 2019 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion, TV
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Without giving too much away on this page, the recent episode of Game of Thrones took an unexpected turn in the battle between the living and the dead. For those who haven’t seen the episode, stay away from this page. For those who have seen the episode, the fine folks at Watchers on the Wall graciously published a feature article of mine, discussing the fallout of the battle and the stakes for the upcoming final three episodes.

Big things are going to happen in these last episodes.

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We’re past the second episode of Season Eight Game of Thrones, and therefore we’ve seen 1/3rd of the final episodes. It’s going by so fast.

Soon we’ll only have our memories to sustain us. (And rewatches. And unpublished books. And people debating on blogs and Reddit for years.)

But speaking about memories … on the Watchers on the Wall website, I’ve just published another feature article talking about the recent episode, and specifically the exchange between Bran Stark and Sam Tarly where Bran asserts that he is the memory of the world.

The scene offered a lot to unpack and I only scratched the surface, to be honest. But I discuss what it means for the Night King to be targeting Bran, what an endless night might mean in this nuanced context, etc.

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Season Eight of Game of Thrones has finally started, and now our watch begins. The fine folks at the Watchers on the Wall are agreeably continuing to publish features written by yours truly, and my latest essay is on the site, talking about the events of the first episode of this final season.

The Night King is on his way, and it looks like our favorite Starks, Targaryens, and Lannisters might be too busy squabbling to resist him. And that’s okay.

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In exactly one week, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will be airing. I am probably not ready.

Sneaking in with one week left, the good people at the Watchers on the Wall site accepted a feature essay on Varys, the Master of Whisperers.

It was important for me to get any speculative piece written and published before the show aired and made my feature either redundant or invalid.

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