Tag Archives: Bill

Big Love – “Blood Atonement”

“Blood Atonement”

February 21st, 2010


In one word, that’s my reaction to “Blood Atonement.” I’ll save the rest of my words for after the break.

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Season Premiere: Big Love – “Free at Last”

“Free at Last”

January 10th, 2010

Big Love is a show that’s all about high stakes, although it’s a show where its idea of high stakes tends to oscillate. As I wrote about on Sunday, my relationship with the show is very new, and somewhat mixed: I appreciate many parts of the show, but I have my concerns with how it balances its various story elements. When the stakes are high because of nuanced character interactions and slowly-building plot elements, the show is television drama at its finest; when the show defines its stakes in terms of Juniper Creek’s particular brand of insanity, or with any sense of comic zaniness, the show feels false in a way that does it no favours.

Unfortunately, the season is starting on a sour note, as “Free at Last” is a sad irony of an episode: no one is actually free, and the sheer volume of contrivances necessary to achieve that lack of freedom has weighted the show down considerably. There is some potential in these stories, but the episode glosses over so many issues in the early going that any sense of momentum or coherency coming out of Season Three has been damaged coming out of the gate, even if the show might eventually be able to turn this chaos into something substantial in the season to come.

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Season Premiere: True Blood – “Nothing But the Blood”


“Nothing But the Blood”

June 14th, 2009

I may not be a “real” critic, but there are times when I feel pressure to cover a particular show based on my position as a reviewer of television. There are shows that I don’t watch that don’t bother me in the least if I don’t discuss them, but there are others that present a particular challenge. When the entire internet, and many of my twitter followers/followees, became entranced by HBO’s True Blood, which was unexpected considering that I had watched the show’s pilot and had seen little reason to continue watching, I felt like I should at least be willing to give the show another shot. The first time around, I just wasn’t on board: the show was not living up to its admittedly intriguing concept, and that was enough during a busy fall for me to give up on the show.

But then some things changed: the show added a number of guest stars of interest (Alexander Skarsgaard (Generation Kill), Michelle Forbes (Battlestar Galactica), Lizzy Caplan (Party Down), amongst others), the ratings grew, and the hype for Season Two seemed to be legitimately beyond “It’s about vampires, so it’s awesome!” As a result, I spent part of this evening reading some recaps (although considering they were from Television Without Pity they weren’t so much about plot), and then watching the repeat of last season’s finale – yes, just earlier today I said I wasn’t going to blog about the show, but I grew bored and had some time to kill this evening.

The result is that I went into “Nothing But the Blood” still somewhat confused about what people are seeing, a lot confused at just how whacked out this universe is, but intrigued enough to be willing to see how this premiere would turn out. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, I leave just as confused about everything, and just as disappointed that this isn’t the show I wanted it to be when it first premiered.

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