Review- The Crossing episode 4

Yes, this was an episode of television.
And to think I was really feeling the first two episodes, I wrongfully thought it would at the very least stay on that level.
It would have worked so much better to handle the main stories (Sheriff, Refugees as whole, and Lead Homeland Security Agent) every episode with ONE, ONLY ONE, of the D-list and lower stories at a time, per episode. Because having them all going at once is awful. You mow the yard, not blades of grass, and okay you might stop to grab the frisbee that Suzy left behind or the gaggle of rocks that Josiah stacked up but you’re still mowing the WHOLE yard.
This is one of those shows that feels like it’s one step from the lady on Dude Where’s My Car, you know the lady at the fast food window?
AN’ DEN?
A sheriff came.
AN’ DEN?
He was sad.
AN’ DEN?
But he’s Silly Steve Zahn.
AN’ DEN?
So he’s not sad for long.
AN’ DEN?
People washed ashore.
AN’ DEN?
They from the future?
AN’ DEN?
Everyone splits up and does things.
AN’ DEN?
Aren’t you bored?

The end of the episode was the best part. I saw it coming but it was still good.
I’m weak.
Onto the next!

Review- The Crossing episode 3

The highlight of the episode is Georgina Haig (FRINGE).
Okay, review over.
…Oh all right…
My notes while watching this one started out very optimistic and quickly went off the rails. The second episode really pulled me in and this one kicked me the hell out. There are so many things going on in this episode. It’d be like reading a book where every page is a different character.
EVERY PAGE.
I’m hoping this is just one of those episodes that comes along because things have to be set up or opened but as a singular episode… yikes. I mean they tried to put it all together. All the separate stories sort of converge around the halfway mark but then it gets worse. Some how. There’s literally no time to even register what or how I’m supposed to take away or feel from any given moment.
A lot of the episode features the sheriff with his young son who has come to visit. The kid clearly states early on what he wants and the father doesn’t let him have it and somehow the kid seems to have a good day. I guess that’s possible but it bugged me how the kid says “I thought we were gonna go fishing. I want to go fishing.” And the father says, “We will later, I promise.” Does later mean tomorrow? Because they never go fishing. They get ice cream and then it gets to be night and then the kid is kidnapped because we need a cliffhanger, okay.
It all could have been avoided if the father just did what the kid wanted. But then there wouldn’t be an episode…
Oh and there’s this really horrible neck breaking “stunt.” One character grabs another by the throat and snaps his neck, brutally twists it all the way around. Except there’s a hard cut in the middle. So she has him by the throat and twists. Hard cut. And he’s facing the other way now to make it “appear” like it went all the way around.
Please be better. There were a lot of these harsh cuts that just make me wince and turn away from the TV. Which is upsetting since there was a really decent car chase in the previous episode.
My eyes hurt just thinking about it.

Review- The Crossing episode 2

After the pilot, I had this idea that it would take a couple episodes to really feel like the show is moving and building on itself. I was wrong.
I try to be cautious about these things especially when it’s a new show, it’s hard to judge something off of one episode and now having watched two I can say that yes I am invested in this. This episode starts with a glimpse of the future and that glimpse continues throughout. It’s a story that does a great job of mirroring and also hinting and teasing things in the main story.
This is a show about family and I really like that they spent the pilot going hard at the plot but then peeled back the more important layers in the followup. This has a lot of heart and emotion. Throughout the episode I kept finding myself surprised and hooked by the level of compassion and emotion present.
I love the aerial transition scenes. For some reason I feel really sucked in at those moments. They do a good job of making it all seem real.
I’m not saying this is the best show on TV currently but for a small show that I’m sure won’t last beyond a second season— if it gets a renewal at all. These kinds of things tend not to last, especially on ABC. But it’s one of those things that you have to know going in.
The last ten minutes of the episode were great because I kept thinking the show would end and it would keep going. There were so many moments that would have worked as great cliffhangers and yet they didn’t use any of the ones I expected. It wasn’t just one time that I was surprised that the show kept going and showed what came next.
It’s really impressive how the show is able to keep a pretty brisk pace and also allow for time to feel the emotions of it all.
Then I watched the third episode…

A kind of communion: my review of Mr Robot season 3 (mild spoilers)

I fucking love this show. The first season has a great, focused narrative and that’s what I think everyone missed about the second season but also there was too much deferring of gratification in the sophomore year. There’s a big question that isn’t exactly answered until the third season and I can see how that’s a problem. However, this show is clearly written on the multi-season scale. Each season isn’t meant to tell a complete story like say The Leftovers or any of the many anthology series’s that exist today. This is a long form narrative, like Lost.
I enjoyed the second season, a lot. The second half of the season opener is gorgeous. That first scene with Freedom Tower firm in the background, the music and the oddness of it all. That scene is season 2 for me. It encompasses everything that would follow, a little off kilter, a little smooth but all captivating. My favorite thing about season 2 is Dom, who is portrayed by Grace Gummer. There is so much depth to her, it’s entrancing. I love her strength and her weakness and how each are played against each other and in unison. With season 3, the most striking change to the show from season 2 to 3 is how it seems like everyone is given so much more to work with. Dom’s journey through the season is memorable, I’m equally terrified and excited to see what the future holds for her.
Season 3 is a sort of return to form, in that we find ourselves facing down the barrel of another nail-biting narrative, filled with juicy reversals and chewy revelations. Just when you think they aren’t ever going to tell us anything about Whiterose, a handful of scraps falls from the high table. It’s not much but it’s enough. At least for the moment, I think we’ll get more next season. Especially since it’ll probably be about the extremely fascinating and weird mystery that came up this season.
The scene in which Angela is sitting on the floor in front of the TV is haunting. And when she “explains” to Darlene is even more so. That’s going to stick in my brain for a long time.
At the start of this season, I was convinced that answers were a lifetime away and that the show just wouldn’t be understandable because everyone is constantly mysterious and after completing it, I feel the opposite. This season feels like the midpoint of the story. The faucet of answers has been turned on, ever so slightly and answers are trickling out or at least a semblance of understanding.
The main driving force behind me wanting to write about Mr Robot is what happens in 8th episode of the season, it’s a reprieve. It’s one of the “standalone” episodes of the season, which is a really great addition to the storytelling bag on the show. In keeping to my mild spoilers promise, I’ll only tell you that there’s some Back to the Future here. Elliot goes to see the movie (no not via time travel). I loved how characters within the show explain the movie, in different ways because it means something different to them. That’s the goal. To reach people on a level where it means something different to each person. The way it’s portrayed in the show is beautiful, I got a little choked up.
Sam Esmail, creator of the show, is a huge fan and it seems to me he wears his fan hat more than he wears his director or writer hat. There are so many hints and nods and references throughout Mr Robot to other shows and films and not in the typical pop culture reference manner. This isn’t like Buffy where people crack jokes that are both for the show and for the audience. This is communion with the audience. Scenes callback to classic scenes in classic films, there’s a scene in season 3 that made me think of the beginning of The Matrix when they come for Neo at work and Morpheus guides him out of the building. It’s never done in a way that is distracting or meant to steal or rip-off other things, it’s a subtle nod to the audience. Hey, have you seen _? It’s more like discussing your favorite films with a stranger or a best friend than anything else. I could list all the ones I’ve found within the show but that takes the fun out of it. It’s more fun if you find Waldo for yourself. I’m sure I’ve missed more than I’ve found, seeing as I didn’t realize there was a Blade Runner nod in the second season until it was pointed out for me.
In this digital age, where everyone wants to partake in a community on Kickstarter or Patreon, it’s really refreshing to have this kinship with a creator. It’s more meaningful. I feel like I’m watching it with someone even when I’m alone. And it makes re-watching the show every year a deeply rewarding experience.

Review- The Crossing episode 1

I came across this show via a fifteen second Youtube ad, that doesn’t sound like a lot but it was more than enough. The logo is intriguing and the ad was an extension of this. And it said “FROM THE NETWORK THAT BROUGHT YOU LOST” and I am a sucker, hook line and sucker. However that does come with baggage because I am a LOST nerd and I’ve been burned by clones a few times (that’s not a complaint, I’ve enjoyed tearing apart some clones). Though it has been some time. Promptly, I purchased the season from Amazon primarily because of its bargain price. Six bucks tells me that it is a short season so even if it’s no good I haven’t sunk much time into it.
THE CROSSING is about a group of refugees that mysteriously wash up ashore but there is not a ship, somehow they have traveled from the future escaping a mysterious war.
The opening shot of the pilot is underwater, bodies rising. It’s a really great tease. There are links to TWIN PEAKS because of the setting and the first main plot point takes place on a beach.
This show could easily fall into mystery for the sake of mystery and to be honest I think I would be okay with that. I do love LOST after all. I did really enjoy how one of my first questions was “Why is Steve Zahn the lead here?” and the first episode does a decent job of at least giving me some idea as to why he was chosen. I’m already invested because he is not just the typical small town sheriff that we’ve all seen a hundred times over. At first glance, you will underestimate him and that’s something the character and the show has already used to great effect.
Overall, it’s not something that I would call “must-watch” but based on the pilot alone, I’m very into it. I just hope they lean more towards TWIN PEAKS than the other obvious comparison of X-MEN. Though if it can straddle that line for a couple seasons I’d be happy and satisfied with that.

Don’t call it yet…

She said to the doctor, who had just turned his wrist to take note of the time. The time of death.

So it’s been about three months with no updates here, I’ve been busy with the third draft of my first novel. It’s going well and coming together. I should be finished with the draft next month and after that I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do. I did have a rough plan for the year earlier that was very ambitious, it included starting two new novels and finishing their first drafts this year. Yeah that’s not going to happen. The second half of this year is going to be a lot busier than the first half. I think editing and revising and getting the book into a presentable state for agents is going to be all I will be able to handle. And the more I think about it the more it makes sense to keep it simple in the writing side seeing as everything else is going to be hectic and overwhelming and I need to be present for it all.
Over the next week or so, I will be posting more content to get the ball rolling on the blog again. I have reviews of things in the works. First up is reviews of episodes of the new show THE CROSSING. As of writing this, I’m only a couple episodes into it (I’m about a month behind) but spoiler— I really like it so far. Tomorrow I will be posting at least the first. I also have a couple other things that are in the pipeline. I don’t think I’ll be doing book reviews nor will I be tackling big/popular things. I don’t feel the need to share my take on the latest blockbuster. I have a few ideas for things that are more popular but they are less reviews and more personal takes on things (could you be any more vague?).
The plan is as it was before to have more of presence here. I will be writing about different topics and things about my own writing process. I have one about my ideas on crafting a story that is coming.
Music is a big part of my life and I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to approach reviewing albums which is something I want to do.
Thinking about it now, I consume so many things.

Fun fact: it’s been three years since I completed the first draft of my first novel. And a year since I started the second draft. I wonder what next May will bring!

Thank you for reading.

27th October 2017

I had so many ideas of how to do it like I’m sure most people do. On the 26th I thought of doing it in this sort of little park nearby it. Park might be a strong word. It was a little spot with trees and a little fence and playscape, complete with a solitary streetlight. I could see us being there, coming home after a little light grocery shopping. I brought the ring with me but we came back a different way and there was no way for me to carry the bags and wrestle the little ring free. We always end up with more than we intended. See book store trips from September 2016. I was a little disappointed but it was that night I decided when I’d do it.
We had made plans to finally go up the mountain where the giant cross resides and I figured that was perfect. Because the ring looks better in the daylight and there’d be a memorable locale. Pretty much anywhere in Skopje, you can see the cross on the mountaintop.
Friday morning, we made our way up. Bus ride to the park where the cable cars reside, we rode the swinging things up. My first thought was damnit there are so many people.
We had lunch looking down at the countryside and I was reminded of the woods near my childhood home and all those times I’d sit and wish I had someone by my side. I looked at her and again for the millionth time I remembered how I never thought I’d be this lucky. Throughout my life I’ve gone through waves, for every great person that has enriched my life there’s a legion of others that make me embarrassed to be a person.
Most people I wouldn’t drive ten minutes down the road for.
On the mountain, I noticed an area that wasn’t so densely populated with strangers and I steered her that way. Because sure, I wouldn’t mind being that guy at the airport on his knee but she would. We found a place to sit and in my jacket pocket I’m fighting the little plastic bag the ring was in. I was quietly freaking out because plastic is loud and she’s going to hear and also WHAT IF I DROP IT CUZ THESE DAMN SWEATY PALMS?
IT’S SIMPLE. DO NOT DROP IT.
At the same time I’m thinking about this rock I used to sit on that was in the woods near where I grew up, it overlooked the street and in a way it felt like I was there again, but with her.
Then a new pang of fear: what if she doesn’t love the ring?
The only thing that saved me here was she was occupied by her phone. Finally, I got the ring out of the little plastic baggie. Godamn I should have thought this through.
Spoiler: She loved (and loves) the ring.
She was surprised and she didn’t notice my scrambling or the plastic bag trouble.

I love her. She’s worth traveling across the world for. Again and again. Until we don’t have to leave anymore.

When we finally rode our own cable car down, we waited so long because we wanted our own, our perfect day on the mountain became super perfect when we met this delightful gang of trouble.

But then the bus driver was late, just proof that there’s always a Richard around.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to my love. And to everyone else reading this too. Wait for the love you want, the love you deserve.