Sharp Objects Dirt Review

The second episode of HBO’s Sharp Objects – titled “Dirt,” and it’s now clear that each episode will be named after a different word we see carved into Camille’s skin – brought us much further into the mystery of Wind Gap, Missouri. After a gorgeous but inscrutable first episode, “Dirt” answers as many questions as it asks. Creator Marti Noxon and director Jean-Marc Vallée are building a world that’s as much about substance as it is style, meeting elegant, impressionistic editing with a tidy pace and plenty of plot momentum.

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The latest episode of Cloak and Dagger, “Lotus Eaters,” takes place inside Ivan Hess’ addled brain. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this episode is actually quite an inventive and stylized look at how it feels to endlessly ruminate, despite the answer to your problems literally being right at your fingertips. For Ivan, his answer was his daughter Mina’s cookie. But the cookie represents something much larger; it represents remembering who you really are and what you’re fighting for.

Let’s take a quick, non-ruminating look at this week’s episode.

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castle rock review

Welcome to Stephen King country. Castle Rock draws inspiration from the work of the Master of Horror, and crafts an engrossing, frequently scary TV series full of mystery and darkness. Here is a show for King fans, and fans of horror in general.

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the handmaid's tale the word review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

In the spirit of The Handmaid’s Tale’s spectacularly on-the-nose needledrops, I would like to compare the season 2 finale of the Hulu series, “The Word,” to John Mayer’s hit song “Daughters.” “Fathers be good to your daughters / daughters will love like you do / Girls become lovers who turn into mothers / so mothers be good to your daughters too,” Mayer croons in the sentimental pop song that tries so hard to relate to women through their standing as mothers, daughters, sisters.

The Handmaid’s Tale has had a complex relationship with motherhood. Its premise is centered around women who have had their identity and agency stripped from them — reduced to merely child-bearing vessels. Neither mother, nor daughter, nor sister. And yet, like Mayer’s simplistic understanding of gender norms, The Handmaid’s Tale has had trouble expanding its characterization of women beyond mother.

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Sharp Objects Vanish Review

Last night, HBO aired “Vanish,” the first episode in an 8-hour miniseries based on Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects. Flynn’s an executive producer of the series, along with show creator Marti Noxon and Blumhouse Production’s Jason Blum. The three creatives make something of a powerful triumvirate, especially when paired with episode director Jean-Marc Vallée, who’s responsible for every episode of last summer’s huge HBO hit Big Little Lies. With these bona fides, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Sharp Objects’ first episode is so deeply, immediately compelling, but it will still come as a relief to die-hard fans of Flynn’s book who feared the author’s fierce, unflinching voice might not translate to the small screen.

In short: it does.

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Cloak and Dagger Funhouse Mirrors review

It was a glib assumption by some that this series was only set in New Orleans because of tax breaks. This week on Cloak & Dagger, “Funhouse Mirrors” showed us just how big of a player New Orleans actually is in the lives of Tandy and Tyrone. More on that a little later, but right now, all you need to know is that this week we learned just how much of New Orleans history resides within our two main characters – and how much of the city’s future lives in them, too. Read More »

the handmaid's tale postpartum review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

The Handmaid’s Tale’s latest episode, “Postpartum,” just had me feeling depressed. Not because it was an almost-immediate return to the bleak status quo that this show is so fond of, but because it was another tonal and quality dip for the series after the breathtaking highs of last week’s “Holly.”

That’s not to say that this episode was entirely abysmal in tone. In fact, there were even some bursts of camp with the introduction of a guest actor whose appearance is always a pleasant surprise — and perhaps the fresh, invigorating addition that this show needs.

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sharp objects review

HBO adapts Gillian Flynn‘s Sharp Objects into a haunting, brilliantly constructed Southern Gothic miniseries. Director Jean-Marc Vallée deftly blends past and present, telling a hypnotic, engrossing story about a damaged woman who can’t escape her emotional and physical scars. At the center of it all is Amy Adams, giving one of the best performances of her already stellar career. Mild spoilers follow.

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This week’s Cloak & Dagger episode, “Princeton Offense,” threw a lot at us. And by “a lot,” I mean, A TON OF NAMES! And that’s not all that we were expected to catch at breakneck speed as if we were Tyrone trying to catch the basketball to shoot the winning shot. Let’s break it all down.

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the handmaid's tale holly review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly The Handmaid’s Tale review by answering one simple question: Who suffered the most?)

As bleak as this show has gotten, The Handmaid’s Tale will always remind us how impeccably filmed it is, and how stupendously acted. And “Holly” really is the epitome of that. “Holly” is an incredible showcase for Elisabeth Moss (who will definitely submit this one for Emmy consideration) and a realization of what The Handmaid’s Tale can be when it’s not aggressively throwing dreary imagery at us every few minutes.

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