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Star Trek: Discovery is back and ready for action Star Trek: Discovery is back and ready for action

Star Trek: Discovery’s second season premiere doesn’t waste much time. Within ten minutes, we’ve got our portentous opening narration; a flashback establishing Michael Burnham’s difficult relationship with her brother; and, in the present day, Christopher Pike beaming over to the Discovery from a severely damaged …

A Series of Unfortunate Events comes to an unexpectedly satisfying conclusion A Series of Unfortunate Events comes to an unexpectedly satisfying conclusion

“The End” is good. I’d go so far as to say that it’s very good. So good, in fact, that it makes me that much more annoyed at the failings of the episodes that preceded it. Unlike previous entries, this isn’t a two-parter, and it’s also not especially long—at just under an hour, it’s roughly average for the series as a…

A Series of Unfortunate Events reveals answers and blindfolds A Series of Unfortunate Events reveals answers and blindfolds

There’s a lot of good in the second part of “The Penultimate Peril.” We finally find out what happened that night at the opera, the horrible event that caused the schism which would ultimately bring down V.F.D. The Baudelaires decide to once and for all reject any hope of a safe home life, and Olaf is almost, but not…

The Baudelaires get into the hotel business in a convoluted Series of Unfortunate Events The Baudelaires get into the hotel business in a convoluted Series of Unfortunate Events

And here we find ourselves at the end—not “The End,” that’s still a couple episodes away, but the climax, the acme of the Baudelaires’ journey. Although, as usual, it’s not that simple. As Lemony Snicket has repeatedly told us, he has no idea where the Baudelaires actually are, so a happy ending with them living with…

Betrayal, moral confusion, and a dance recital on A Series Of Unfortunate Events Betrayal, moral confusion, and a dance recital on A Series Of Unfortunate Events

A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ two-part episode structure has been with the show from the start. It’s an artistic choice I’m not sure entirely works; a strict adaptation of the original novels would probably take more than a single 45 minute episode apiece, and yet none of them have enough content to justify an hour…

The Baudelaire sink to new depths on an exciting Series Of Unfortunate Events The Baudelaire sink to new depths on an exciting Series Of Unfortunate Events

All things considered, Mount Fraught wasn’t a particularly interesting place. Much of the pleasure of A Series Of Unfortunate Events comes from each new utterly awful location, and the combination of whimsically grim production design and Kafkaesque world-building helps to hold my attention even when the story and…

On an icy Unfortunate Events, titles can also be metaphors On an icy Unfortunate Events, titles can also be metaphors

I feel bad for Violet and Klaus. Oh, not because their parents died in a fire, leaving them orphans; and not because they’ve been shuttled through a series of increasingly unlucky caretakers; and not because they’re pursued by the villainous Count Olaf, who wants to steal their fortune. It’s because they have the…

The Baudelaires return for a final season of Unfortunate Events The Baudelaires return for a final season of Unfortunate Events

[Inset boilerplate rewording of “series of unfortunate events” here. I dunno, maybe try something that rhymes this time? Feels pretty hollow at this point. Eventually you really have to let a formula go, or else just double down and make a meal out of it, but I’m not really feeling either. Could go meta. That seems…

The choice is yours in Black Mirror's new special The choice is yours in Black Mirror's new special

This is not going to be a clever review. Oh, I thought about it. Black Mirror’s newest entry “Bandersnatch” is a choose-your-own-adventure story about a young man’s efforts to finish a choose-your-own-adventure video game based on a choose-your-own-adventure cult novel. It’s designed for trickery, and, to Charlie…

The Venture Bros. ends a superlative season with a relative twist The Venture Bros. ends a superlative season with a relative twist

So that’s what happened to the teleporter. All this time, I assumed the Monarch and Gary would’ve kept it to themselves for their own plans, but it turns out they handed the discs over to the Guild. Which makes sense; after spending last season trying to circumvent Guild protocol, the Monarch has spent season 7 being…

The Venture Bros. presents: The lawn dart, the bear, and the wardrobe The Venture Bros. presents: The lawn dart, the bear, and the wardrobe

Oh man, this is a good one. The whole season I’ve been reluctant to go above an “A-,” my standard “this is terrific, but I’m not completely convinced” grade I use when I’m hedging my bets. But I’m going all out “A” on this one. Objectively, I’ll try and explain why, but it’s probably best to be up front right here: I…

The Guild says goodbye to the past on an excellent Venture Bros. The Guild says goodbye to the past on an excellent Venture Bros.

Last week, Doc Venture (along with Billy and Pete) invented a teleportation device that could revolutionize the world, and the Monarch and Gary somehow managed to steal it. This week, that—doesn’t come up at all. Which isn’t a problem! “The Terminus Moderate” is an excellent episode, one of the best of the season so…

A new invention leads to old jokes on The Venture Bros. A new invention leads to old jokes on The Venture Bros.

Tonight’s Venture Bros. asks a simple but unexpected question: what happens if Doctor Venture actually came up with something good? One of the core principles of the series has always been Rusty’s basic ineptitude. He may walk the walk and wear the speedsuits of super science, but he’s never been able to live up the…

On The Venture Bros., everyone gets the nemesis they deserve On The Venture Bros., everyone gets the nemesis they deserve

Seven seasons in, and it’s impressive how the show still manages to feel fresh when introducing information that feels like it should’ve been established ages ago. Which sounds like a backhanded compliment, I guess; but it’s not like I ever needed to see the inside of Guild Headquarters or learn about the Big Villain…

The family heads home on an excellent Venture Bros. The family heads home on an excellent Venture Bros.

I’d be hard-pressed to imagine something closer to the platonic ideal of a late-season Venture Bros. episode. All “The Inamorata Consequence” is really missing is some obscure, vaguely janky film references; the closest we get is a discussion about the true nature of James Bond’s gun in From Russia With Love. (Not, I…

Dean goes to college on a funny, low-key Venture Bros. Dean goes to college on a funny, low-key Venture Bros.

After the tightly-plotted highs of the season’s three part opener, “The High Cost Of Loathing” slows things down… a bit. The episode is still jam-packed with stuff, following the adventures of the Monarch, Hank, Dean, and Rusty as they go about their various routines, intersecting in some places and not intersecting…

Preacher ends its 3rd season with some good, some bad, and some Nazis Preacher ends its 3rd season with some good, some bad, and some Nazis

The big moments are easier than the smaller ones, at least when it comes to storytelling. The beginning and ending of a story are when writers are able to make decisions that have lasting impact; decisions that either tantalize us with possibility or satisfy with a strong resolution. Which makes season finales…

Various things hit various fans in an exciting Preacher Various things hit various fans in an exciting Preacher

Well, that was unexpected. It was clear the conflict with the Allfather and his plans for Genesis was going to have to come to a climax soon, but I didn’t think it would happen before the opening credits. And yet, in “Schwanzkopf,” Jesse manages to take care of the fat man and his plans handily. It’s a welcome burst…

On The Venture Bros., you always need a bigger boat On The Venture Bros., you always need a bigger boat

I’d assumed the second part of the season seven Venture Bros. two-parter (which is arguably only a “two-parter” because the first episode ended with “To Be Continued”) would explain how Wide Wale got ahold of the Monarch in his Blue Morpho costume; but I hadn’t expected the whole episode would be focused on the…

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