run review

There’s something magical about onscreen chemistry. It’s not easy to fake, and poor chemistry between two leads who are supposedly drawn to each other can badly sink an otherwise great premise. So when something comes along that appears to give off genuine sparks between its two main characters, it’s like watching fireworks explode across the screen.

Such is the case with Run, HBO’s smart, funny, and sexy dark comedy series that lives and dies by the chemistry of its leads. As a former college couple reunited after years apart, Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson are electric, and incredibly convincing. It’s easy to get swept up in their journey together, because we genuinely buy their attraction to one another.

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“Fighting for your life makes every other thing you ever did before seem extremely dull.”

This line is spoken by Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) in the penultimate episode of Ozark’s third season, which hit Netflix on Friday. It’s a line that cuts to the core of what makes Wendy, her husband Marty (Jason Bateman), and the show around them tick. In its first season, Ozark plunged viewers into the world of the Byrdes and their Missouri money-laundering operation. From the moment a Mexican drug lord knelt Marty down and put a gun to his head in the pilot episode, we’ve been watching him talk and scheme his way out of certain death.

Subsequent episodes and seasons have seen Wendy take on an increasingly prominent role within the criminal enterprise that is keeping her and Marty and their two kids alive (for now). Ozark lost some momentum in its second season as its pace slowed, but the show is back with a vengeance now, doing what it does best: namely, putting the Byrdes at the center of a volatile situation where things keep spiraling further out of control. This season, the dark drama pops with bigger emotional fireworks, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Wendy’s bipolar brother, Ben (Tom Pelphrey), who adds an unexpectedly moving human element to a show where characters regularly display an inhuman lack of empathy. Ben is the Fredo Corleone in this equation, ready to break his sibling’s heart and that of the viewer.

If you’re all caught up with your weekend Ozark binge, then let’s dive into the Lake of the Ozarks with spoilers.

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Westworld The Absence of Field review

Westworld season 3 seems to hit its stride with its third episode, “The Absence of Field.” It’s certainly the best episode of the season so far, featuring a killer performance from Tessa Thompson, and more insight into, uh…INCITE. We finally see what it is that draws Delores and Caleb together, and we also learn a bit more about what the hell new big bad  Engerraund Serac is up to. And those are just some of the things that happened this week on Westworld.

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tales from the loop review

In Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag‘s surreal paintings, humans are dwarfed by the eerie visions of a retrofuturistic future: a dilapidated mech with a cartoonish cat visage lays smoking atop an elevated freeway, a red-eyed robot tangled in cords looms over a lone farmer, blonde-haired children aim a device at a tractor without a pilot. They give a sense of another time and place — made all the more uncanny by Stålenhag’s method of using digital tools to create the illusion of an oil painting. Stålenhag’s haunting paintings makes us humans look insignificant, small, unimportant. And so, so lonely.

But in Amazon’s Tales From the Loop, inspired by Stålenhag’s and his 2014 narrative art book of the same name, humanity dwarfs everything else.

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Star Wars Deal No Deal Review

The latest episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues the adjustment of former Skywalker padawan Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) to her new station without the Jedi’s guide. She is temporarily residing in the underground of Coruscant, sheltered by the not-so-bright aspiring pilot Trace (Brigitte Kali) in a garage. After some hired pilots fail to show up, the shady Rafa (Elizabeth Rodriguez) enlists Trace, her little sister, who is miserable to learn she wasn’t the first choice, to pilot for a major job that could pay off Rafa’s debts to gangs. Rafa reluctantly permits Ahsoka on board, skeptical of the latter’s objections to her crooked business dealings. In turn, Ahsoka seeks to keep them out of trouble. 

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The Magicians The Balls Review

If you ever wanted to watch a musical version of an Oceans movies set in a hotel not unlike The Continental from John Wick: Chapter 2, then look no further than this episode of The Magicians. We start “The Balls” in the gang’s New York City apartment, where Marina walks everyone else through the intricate plan they must enact in order to steal the World Seed from The Couple’s stronghold in the Nave Hotel. 

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Steven Universe Future Mr. Universe Review

Steven Universe Future is racing toward the finish line. It’s difficult to watch how much Steven (Zach Callison) has grown out of his chipper childhood state, but the overwhelming hindsight of trauma has caught up with him. It doesn’t help that last week’s Future featured Steven at his first doctor’s appointment and reckoning that his childhood trauma—“trauma” was very much a new word for Steven and something rarely discussed in children’s cartoon—has ruined his function.

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Better Call Saul Wexler v. Goodman review

This week on Better Call Saul:

  • Mike gets back to work!
  • Nacho is back, too!
  • Howard goes to lunch!
  • Jimmy plays Kim!
  • Kim makes a jaw-dropping suggestion!

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The Magicians Be the Hyman Review

We only have three weeks left of The Magicians, and the eleventh episode, “Be The Hyman,” is one of those connector episodes, responsible mostly for setting the stage for what will be the climatic finale to the series. This type of episode is often enjoyable but not too meaty; what makes this one better than average, however, are not only some good moments and some fun cameos, but also the exploration about the lengths the gang will go to do what they think is right. 

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westworld the winter line review

After a strong premiere episode that felt like a soft reboot, Westworld returns to its roots with the second episode of season 3. And while some may welcome the return, the end result was a bit of a wash. The show is quickly falling back into old habits, dumping tuns of cryptic exposition on our heads and forcing Thandie Newton to call people “darling” every ten seconds. To the episode’s credit, it doesn’t keep us dangling for too long, and actually provides us with some answers – something past episodes have struggled with. But is that enough? Let’s find out what happened this week on Westworld season 3.

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