Zack Handlen's posts - German uPOST

Michael risks it all with little reason on Star Trek: Discovery  Michael risks it all with little reason on Star Trek: Discovery 

Last week, I praised Star Trek: Discovery for how it handled a crew member’s death. While not making up for the show’s frustrating reluctance to develop its secondary characters, “If Memory Serves” at least offered us a chance to care about Airiam before shooting her out of an airlock. Not everyone agreed with me, and…

Game Of Thrones is doing what its source material couldn’t: Coming to an end Game Of Thrones is doing what its source material couldn’t: Coming to an end

Eight years after the release of A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire remains its last. Martin has been promising the follow-up, The Winds Of Winter, to readers almost since he finished Dance, but in the time since, the questions and answers have taken on a certain rote…

Star Trek: Discovery learns a lesson in control in a standout episode Star Trek: Discovery learns a lesson in control in a standout episode

I went into “Project Deadalus” determined to keep an open mind. My reaction to last week’s episode was a legitimate one—I didn’t decide to get frustrated with the unnecessary call-backs and weird pacing just so I could yell about something for several paragraphs—but it can be easy to lean into a particular view of a…

Spock returns on a frustratingly familiar Star Trek: Discovery Spock returns on a frustratingly familiar Star Trek: Discovery

“If Memory Serves” opens with something of a tease. In a handful of clips (introduced by the Netflix logo, which briefly made me wonder if I’d loaded the wrong screener), the episode attempts to recap the plot of “The Cage,” the unaired Star Trek pilot that featured the original version of the Enterprise crew,…

Burnham heads home for an awkward family reunion on Star Trek: Discovery Burnham heads home for an awkward family reunion on Star Trek: Discovery

There’s a moment midway through “Light And Shadows” that typifies much of my problems with the show. Chief Engineer Stamets beams on board a shuttle in the middle of a time anomaly. He’s there to try and rescue Captain Pike and Ash Tyler with his advanced navigation skills—spore drives and tardigrades and what not.…

Saru goes home on a shallow Star Trek: Discovery Saru goes home on a shallow Star Trek: Discovery

Be careful what you wish for, I guess. “The Sound Of Thunder” spends nearly all of its running time focused on a single story, and it’s one of the most frustrating episodes of the season this far, full of big crowd-pleasing moments that make little to no sense and rash decisions which always manage to work out for the…

Realities collide on a fast-paced Star Trek: Discovery Realities collide on a fast-paced Star Trek: Discovery

Five episodes into its second season, and Star Trek: Discovery is still working on getting the balance of serialization and standalone right. I appreciate that—it’s a tricky model to work with, and the show’s continued interest in offering smaller stories inside of its larger one is a point in its favor. Yet the…

Space blobs and a death sentence on an emotional Star Trek: Discovery Space blobs and a death sentence on an emotional Star Trek: Discovery

So the first good news is that even though a couple of characters speak Klingon in “An Obol For Charon,” no actual Klingons appear in the episode. After last week (thanks, Alasdair!) that’s a relief. The other good news is that Jet Reno is back! God bless her. And she’s immediately at odds with Stamets, which is a fun…

Star Trek: Discovery continues to go boldly, not wisely Star Trek: Discovery continues to go boldly, not wisely

“New Eden” finds Star Trek: Discovery offering its own take on a classic Trek archetype: the theme planet. When Tilly (with an assist from Burnham) comes up with a way to track the the red bursts, Pike orders the spore drive back online for a jump that takes the ship halfway across the galaxy, or near abouts. There,…

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…

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