This post contains spoilers for the season 5 premiere (naturally), but also the season 4 finale.
Last season’s finale of The Magicians was a doozy for fans; Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), one of the main characters of the show, dramatically sacrifices himself in order to save his friends and bring magic back into the world. Death, especially in fantasy, can be an impermanent state of being. But showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara made it clear at the end of Season 4 that Quentin would very likely remain dead and gone.
Unsurprisingly, the impact of Quentin’s death is a major force in Season 5, and not only to those who loved Quentin and are grieving his loss; Quentin’s death also released an unprecedented influx of magic into the universe, and Earth as well as Fillory must now deal with the consequences. The last few minutes of the Season 4 finale touched on some of those potential consequences: Margo and Eliot are trapped in Fillory 300 years in the future; Julia gets her magic back because of her pain from Quentin’s death; and the now-broken Library is seeking help from a grief-stricken Alice. The beginning of this season builds on these developments and more—read on to get a spoiler-full take of what happens in Season 5’s first episode, “Do Something Crazy.”
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I’ve done long movie marathons before; horrifically long ones that lasted more than 30 hours, in fact (and you can read about that Marvel marathon here). So when the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood partnered again with Nerdist to host a 24-hour Star Wars marathon, I eagerly signed up. I was a pro at this, I told myself. Watching the nine movies that comprised the Skywalker Saga would be a breeze.
Spoiler alert: a 24-hour movie marathon is still a very long time to sit in a movie theater chair. But, armed with my movie marathon survival kit (in addition to toiletries, a blanket, two travel pillows, ear plugs and an eye mask are the core items) I still enjoyed myself even though two days later, my body still hates me.
This piece will chronicle the highlights of the marathon—the highs and the lows of spending many, many hours with other Star Wars fans eagerly awaiting the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Perhaps this will make you eager to brave a super long marathon on your own. Or perhaps not.
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When The Expanse was cancelled by SYFY, a core group of fans, lovingly called the Screaming Firehawks, worked hard to find it a new home. In May 2018, Jeff Bezos responded to everyone’s efforts, which included flying a plane with a banner that said “Save The Expanse” over Amazon Studios’ main office, by announcing that Amazon Prime Video was picking up the show. Fans and cast and crew alike were ecstatic, and all have been waiting for the new season, which dropped on December 12th.
The fourth season is a great one (read /Film’s spoiler-free review is live), and while the core of the show remains the same in its new home, there are some noticeable differences that came with the move to Amazon. Read on to learn how the move to a new network has impacted the viewing experience of the show.
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Fans of the television series The Expanse likely know that the show is based on the books written by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of co-authors Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham. Each season roughly follows the story from one of the books, and Season 4 is no different; the main plot of the show taken from Cibola Burn, the fourth book in what’s expected to be a nine-volume book series (the eighth book, Tiamat’s Wrath, was published this year, and the final book is expected to come out in 2020).
Like most television adaptations, there are necessary differences between the source material and what we see on screen. The Expanse is no different in this regard, and there’s a lot pulled in and taken out from the books in season 4. “At the end of a season, [co-authors Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham] and I will start talking about the plan for the next year,” showrunner Naren Shankar told /Film. “I will often have my feelings about how we should adapt it, what changes we should make, but the three of us talk about those things.”
Read on to learn about some of the differences these three creative minds agreed upon for the show, including Shankar’s perspective on why some of them were made.
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The Expanse fans weren’t the only people who rejoiced when Amazon saved the much-loved series from SYFY’s cancellation; the cast and crew, who have a strong bond with their fans, were ecstatic as well, and eager to take the show to new places. “It’s exciting for us as actors and also for fans to get a new version of their favorite show,” Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi Nagata on the series, told /Film. “Obviously it still has all the things you know and love, and the characters you know and love. But there is a widening of perspective.”
Tipper’s description is an apt one—The Expanse is thriving in its new home. Not only has Amazon Prime Video given the show significant promotion in the lead-up to the drop of Season 4 on December 12th (a day earlier than advertised, no less), but also in terms of the quality of the actual show. If you haven’t watched the new season yet, check out /Film’s non-spoiler review from a couple weeks ago, which explores why this season is just as good as the ones before it, if not better.
If you watched all ten episodes, however, read on for a spoiler-full take on some of the major occurrences of the fourth season. This is your final warning: spoilers abound below, so read on at your own risk.
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Perhaps the most obvious change in the latest season of The Expanse is the show’s move from SYFY to Amazon. And yes, that move does come with a lot of changes: the show is now bingeable versus a weekly watch; episodes are streamed uninterrupted versus being broken up by commercials; and the characters throw out swears like they’re going out of style instead of the mere sprinkling of F-bombs when it was on SYFY.
These are all significant changes. A whole article could be written just about how the move from SYFY to Amazon impacted the show. But for this non-spoiler review of the fourth season’s first six episodes, the changes that are most important are the ones to the story, of how the activation of an ancient alien ring station opened portals to thousands of planets that could support human life.
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Disney CEO Bob Iger has his own style of leadership, one that’s defined by taking calculated risks that end up reaping significant financial reward as well as strengthening the brand of his corporation. Bob Iger also practices what he teaches when cultivating his own personal brand, particularly his credo on the importance of maximizing your presence across multiple channels to tell a cohesive, compelling story.
And Iger’s story is a compelling one; a tale that rests on how his leadership and business acumen made Disney into the IP-laden behemoth it is today. This story is directly told in his recently released memoir, and indirectly earlier this week with the rollout of Disney+.
This week, Iger has launched another personal brand-building endeavor: MasterClass, a platform that provides online courses from well-known experts from a variety of fields (Penn & Teller, Spike Lee, Shonda Rhimes and Christina Aguilera are just a few other famous MasterClass teachers) will now have Bob Iger on their roster. Iger’s MasterClass is aimed to teach aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs how to be as badass of a leader as he’s been during his tenure as head of Disney. The class offers some sound business advice, but also spends time on the four major deals Iger oversaw at Disney: the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and certain assets from 21st Century Fox.
Iger’s retelling of how he closed these deals are the most interesting parts of his MasterClass, especially for those who care about any of the properties Disney now owns (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much everyone). Read on for details on a few IP-specific anecdotes shared in Iger’s MasterClass course.
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There are a lot of obvious differences between HBO’s Watchmen and its source material, the 1986 comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. There’s also a lot of coverage out there about these differences, and I agree with the coverage that says these differences work more often than not.
But even though the TV show and the graphic novel are clearly different, there are crucial similarities as well. Both, for example, use the superhero trope as a metaphor to explore how power is often wielded in harmful ways, even if those in control think they’re doing the right thing. Both also tackle themes around identity (can someone in a mask really know what they stand for?) and the danger of creeping authoritarianism (who watches the Watchmen?). And both are, in my opinion at least, really really good.
If these concepts intrigue you, and you haven’t read the graphic novel, you should definitely do so. And if you’ve already read Watchmen and are itching for more material in the same vein, give these other comic book series a try.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Daybreak, Netflix’s foray into creating a snarky, post-apocalyptic high school dramedy, is ostensibly based on the eponymous graphic novel by Brian Ralph. The similarities between the show and the book, however, stop after the shared title, the post-apocalyptic setting, and certain characters breaking the fourth wall (for a couple episodes, at least).
The vast difference between the show and the graphic novel is not a bad thing, necessarily. But fans of the comic expecting a dark zombie story will find nothing of the sort in Netflix’s Daybreak, which focuses on a handful of kids trying to be witty while attempting to survive in a world where everyone over the age of 18 has turned into flesh-eating monsters (but not zombies…don’t call them zombies).
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The recent trailer for Avengers: Damage Control has Ant-Man telling the audience to “Make good choices.”
If you’re already going through the experience, however—an immersive 4-D VR adventure that involves strapping on goggles and a backpack before galivanting around a physical stage full of sensory effects—the joke’s on Ant-Man: you’ve already made good choices by deciding to spend the time and money (18-20 minutes and $39.95, respectively) to suit up and enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Avengers: Damage Control is the third time ILMxLAB has used The VOID’s VR platform to create experiences that leverage Disney’s ever-growing swath of IP. The first two—Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR—are also immersive and wholly satisfying experiences in their own right (especially the Star Wars one); Damage Control, however, was a year-and-a-half effort that resulted in a longer, more expansive, and more technologically sophisticated adventure.
Read on to learn more about the experience, including whether or not it’s part of MCU canon.
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