Kingdom Series

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything.)

Kingdom, one of Netflix’s original South Korean dramas, couldn’t be streaming at a more apt time. 

The drama is, on the surface, a zombie show. It’s intriguing in how it puts the classic zombie trope into a historical drama format—the zombie outbreak has occurred during the Joseon Dynasty. But despite its classic zombie horror trappings and lush historical sets and costumes, Kingdom is a story about how a disordered society—one focused more on greed and status rather than the good of all people—can cause a pandemic to quickly grow out of control. 

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watchmen dr. manhattan reveal

It’s been several days since the latest Watchmen episode, “A God Walks Into Abar,” and I still can’t believe that this series was able to top itself after the last big reveal of Will Reeves being Hooded Justice. But top itself it has, and in the most unexpected way possible.

How many of us are still trying to pick our jaws off the floor from the revelation about Dr. Manhattan’s identity? At this point, I really don’t know where the show will take us in its final two episodes, but I can only imagine how rocked we’re going to be by the number of reveals there are left in store for us. But with that said, what sense can we make from what we’ve witnessed in this episode? How does Dr. Manhattan’s appearance change anything going forward? Let me try to put my brain back together and suss out what we can glean from this monumental reveal.

Spoilers ahead. Read More »

Watchmen and Race

It’s been over a week since I watched the Watchmen episode, “This Extraordinary Being.” I’m glad I took that time to digest what I watched before I sat down to write this piece, because this episode is, without a doubt, one of the best television episodes of this year. Maybe the entire decade. How writers Cord Jefferson and Damon Lindelof crammed that much social commentary and emotional power into one hour is beyond me. Congrats to the writing team for achieving the same level of impossibility and layers of social context that the original Watchmen text achieved in its day. 

What was so great about this episode, you might be asking? Well, frankly, it’s hard to know where to begin breaking down the various levels this episode was speaking on. However, I’ll start with this: I highly recommend you read multiple people’s takes on this episode, especially Black writers. Not all Black writers think the same, and we’re bound to find different things from this episode to speak to.

This post contains spoilers for Watchmen.

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Rorschach and Looking Glass

When I watched this week’s Watchmen episode, “Little Fear of Lightning,” I slowly realized I was going to have a more difficult time analyzing the deeper messages of the episode than usual. Not because the episode was bad. Indeed, it was a fantastic character study of Looking Glass while providing us necessary information as well as the action that tips the story’s chaos from “quietly simmering” to “about to break loose.” What gave me trouble was that I could feel this episode was trying to give us a lot of philosophical material via the character of Looking Glass – and allow us to take a deeper look at the comic book character of Rorschach through Looking Glass’ life and actions. 

Sure, you can watch this series clean, without having read the graphic novel, and come to some conclusions with merit. But I do feel strongly that if there was any time to have read the source material, it’s when watching this episode. There is so much that ties Looking Glass to Rorschach, and by knowing about Rorschach’s life and ultimate demise, we might be able to glean what could happen to Looking Glass in the next episode. We might also be able to suss out why Looking Glass’ fate could be different, despite how the ending of this episode made things appear. 

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Watchmen Lady Trieu living room

This week’s Watchmen episode, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own” nearly threw me for a loop. It took me a while to figure out what the big connection was this episode, and it all starts with those eggs. This episode gave us some major keys to figuring out how this series is going to shake out: something’s going on with cloning. We still don’t know how cloning figures into Lady Trieu’s Millennium Clock, or how Will and Angela play into Lady Trieu’s master plan. But somehow, cloning will take precedence. Here’s a deeper dive at what we learned this week. 

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Watchmen masks episode 3

This week’s episode of Watchmen, “She Was Killed By Space Junk,” was a very unique episode in this series. Admittedly, this is only one of three episodes to air thus far. But what made it unique is how it utilized the traditional “character study” episode to not only push the story forward, but also reveal the show’s thesis statement. Here’s what I uncovered. Read More »

Watchmen and Race

I didn’t know what I was expecting when I was settling in to watch the first two episodes of Watchmen, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” and “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship.” But boy, was I shocked. Consider me immediately entranced. 

I don’t just like the show because it’s entertaining. As a thinker, I love that Watchmen has built a layered world in which so many of society’s ills can be examined and critiqued. I mean, the original comic book did the same about Reaganism, the Cold War and ‘80s excess, didn’t it?

So welcome to unnamed weekly Watchmen column, which is designed to examine some of the overarching themes within each episode and dissect them. If ever there was a show that needed a guide, it’s this one, and while I’m not claiming to be an expert on everything, I’m willing to put my best foot forward and provide some of my thoughts. These thoughts will, of course, be based on my own personal experiences, but I hope you can find something of use to take away and think about as you watch and re-watch the series yourself. 

So to kick things off, I decided to play catch-up and tackle the first two episodes at once, since both of them examine the complexity of being Black or otherwise oppressed in America. All spoilers from the first two episodes are on the table from here on out.

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Cloak and Dagger Season 2 Finale Review

We’ve finally made it to the finish line, everyone! With the last episode of this season’s Cloak & Dagger story, “Level Up,” we are left on a semi-satisfying cliffhanger that promises burgeoning romance for our two leads as they head elsewhere, away from New Orleans. It’s a fresh start for these two as they take their vigilantism on the road after defeating Andre and setting New Orleans free from his jazzy grasp.

We’re also led to assume that Mayhem and Father Delgado successfully cleared Tyrone’s name by hanging up Connors’ corpse in the police office and providing the police with the necessary documents to arrest Connors’ uncle. I would have personally liked to have seen how all of that played out instead of having it rushed past us as part of the denouement, but I have bigger fish to fry since we knew Tyrone was going to get cleared at some point anyway.

While this finale was great in that Tandy and Tyrone finally had to face themselves in order to kill Andre, it also made me wonder about some things regarding the overall story this season tried to tell. Here’s what made me squint my eyes and stroke my chin as I watched the episode.

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Cloak and Dagger Blue Note Review

Okay, so after all of my complaining over last week’s episode, I am happy to say that this week’s Cloak & Dagger episode, “Blue Note” was actually very good. I still have some issues, which maybe just more of a personal thing, and my personal qualms will be the basis for this week’s review. With that said, let’s dive into what worked and what still made me uneasy this week.

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Cloak and Dagger Two Player Review

Okay, Cloak & Dagger fans—we need to talk.

This week’s episode, “Two Player,” is the episode that finally rubbed me the wrong way. Let’s quote what I said last week:

“I have a lot of questions that I hope will be answered next week. But there is one thing I hope Auntie Chantelle’s death doesn’t lead to—Tyrone and Evita’s breakup…Yes, I know Tyrone and Tandy are supposed to end up together anyways, but I don’t want Tandy pushed into Tyrone’s arms because of Auntie Chantelle’s death. I want her death to mean more than just being a mere plotpoint for teen romance.”

And guess what? The episode did exactly what I didn’t want it to do. It did use Auntie Chantelle’s death as the catalyst for Tyrone and Tandy to come together by taking Evita out of the equation. This is just one of the many things I found annoying about this episode, so let’s discuss.

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