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Game of Thrones presses pause on tragic deaths, What to Watch, and sticking up for True Detective S2.

Tuesday May 31st 2016

The Watercooler

Some people felt let down that this was a Game of Thrones episode that laid the groundwork for multiple storylines, but I don’t think I could have handled another episode like last week’s. Plus book readers got confirmation from the showrunners of something we’ve suspected for about 15 years, and the show got back another Stark!

Speaking of those north of the Wall, here’s some details on those images that Bran saw that went by too fast to press pause on. Most we’ve seen before, but some are new.

“This wasn’t her. This wasn’t her fight. Her fight was back across the Narrow Sea, where her family name was being dragged through the mud, where her enemies continued to cling to power. As she says to the victim she spares at the last moment, her father is waiting for her. She watched him die so very long ago and she ran from her pain. Now, having stared into the abyss, having understood what it means to be no one, she reclaims Needle, her physical connection to the family she left behind, and she abandons assassin school. She is not no one. She is Arya Stark of Winterfell.” Slashfilm has their week's 10 most important moments.

Vox has the winners and the losers, and for once the winners come out ahead.

“For those counting, it’s now been five episodes since we’ve seen Dorne, which on the one hand means we don’t have to sit through Dorne, but on the other means Ellaria was all hot to trot for apparently nothing. Does she really mean to go to war with the Lannisters? Find out whenever the show gets around to her again, I guess.” The A.V. Club’s newbies recap got a B- this week, while the experts gave it a B+, and didn’t mention Dorne at all, because some of us are trying to forget that entire storyline ever happened.

"There have been some terrific Dany bits here and there throughout Game of Thrones' run, but she tends to function as a character who's perpetually about to do something — namely, invade Westeros — rather than a character who's actually accomplishing much. She's the ultimate "When are we gonna get to the fireworks factory?" character (so named because of a famous Simpsons gag about an Itchy and Scratchycartoon that promises an explosive good time at a fireworks factory the characters never get to because they're derailed by other things)." THIS. I know she's important, but these speeches are getting kind of stale.

“Jaime Lannister is on his way to Riverrun. Brienne of Tarth is on her way to Riverrun. And somewhere, Tormund Giantsbane's heart breaks just a little bit, though he know not why. So in this particular triangle, Brienne is to Angela Chase as Jaime is to Jordan Catalano as... Tormund is to Brian Krakow?” I really hope all three get an awkward scene together at some point.

“It’s been so long since Jaime and Cersei made out that it was weird to see them kissing, but I thought it was also sort of nice to see they still loved each other. Then I quickly remembered they’re brother and sister and that made it much weirder.” Speaking of awkward couples.

“The first thing to notice about the dinner is that it uses exceptionally fast cuts. In 6 minutes and 22 seconds, there are 134 individual shots, meaning that on average, each one is about 2.85 seconds long. Average shot length is a crude (and boring) metric the same way any average is, but it can give a general idea of the pace of editing—and 2.85 seconds is more typical of a car chase or sword fight than a meal.” Slate breaks down the editing for the super uncomfortable Tarly family dinner.

Because Ramsay Bolton was off doing whatever this week, The Waif is this week's worst person in Westeros. Seems like leaving Walder "Red Wedding host" Frey off the list was an oversight.

“Such an ending would also be uncharacteristically simple for a series that kills off beloved characters as easily as it allows its monsters to live—a series that delights in reversals and asymmetry, a.k.a. people not getting what they want or deserve. Meaning it’s possible Ramsay won’t die at all—or if he does, he could succumb in the most anticlimactic way possible. (Deadspin’s Tom Ley has bet that “Ramsay gets whatever Westeros’s version of the Spanish Flu is and dies in his bed.”)” People are really hoping Ramsay Bolton gets offed in a really nasty way sooner rather than later, but a totally ordinary death would be amazing.

Here’s a ranking of the 11 most heartbreaking moments on the show, in case you still haven’t recovered from last week.


The Business
Starz has decided that there’s room on Sunday night for their shows too, so get ready for an even more packed night of TV. They will start in July with the premieres of Power and Survivor’s Remorse.

Netflix has ordered G.L.O.W., a series from producer Jenji Kohan about a female professional wrestling league in the 1980s. Oh man, the hair is going to be amazing.

Epix has ordered a series based on Get Shorty, but sadly it won’t be set in 1995 so we can laugh at how baggy the suits were.

Hulu has ordered Harlots, a drama about rival brothel owners in the late 1700s. Samantha Morton and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey’s Sybil Crawley) will star.

AT&T’s Audience Network (Wha? I am quickly losing track of all the places making scripted TV.) has ordered a 10 episodes straight-to-series of Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes. Anton Yelchin and Brendan Gleeson will star. 

Casting: Rupert Grint, Nick Frost and Don Johnson will star in Sky’s Sick NoteJohn Ratzenberger will play the father of Whitney Cummings on HBO’s comedy pilot A Lot. 

Cancellations: I for one, am super bummed that CBS cancelled Limitless after only one season.

Renewals: The Americans got two more seasons from FX, which is great news. The show will now end as planned, in 2018. Amazon ordered a fourth season of Transparent. Peaky Blinders has been picked up by the BBC for two more seasons.


People Talking About TV

“Each episode returned to this gliding view of California’s knotted arteries over and over, day and night, and only rarely to connote actual travel by the characters. They were used as mood-setters, transitions — part of the show’s visual language, like George Lucas’s Kurosawa-indebted wipes in the Star Wars films.” In defense of True Detective season two. (Good luck with that.) Mostly it's praise for how the show looked, and the score, which makes me think someone should do an edit of the thing and cut out all the dialogue. Speaking of the show, it sounds like it will not be back for a third season. Pizzolatto still has his deal with HBO though.

“My surroundings undoubtedly skewed more toward Highlander than Bel-Air, but through The Fresh Prince, I finally saw people who looked like me, who lived like me—as rare black faces in a predominantly white place. Besides giving me a vault of quotable punchlines, Will and the Banks family taught me countless lessons. The Hollywood Reporter may have initially said the series was “far from a revelatory experience,” but The Fresh Prince powerfully showed me how to embrace my blackness, irrespective of situation or location.” Finding my identity via The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Love this.


What To Watch

The Peaky Blinders, which I’ve often described as Boardwalk Empire but with harder to follow accents, arrived on Netflix today. Here’s the trailer. Seriously the cast, and the sets/costumes on this one is amazing. It’s like Downton Abbey but with guns.

Maya and Marty, NBC’s latest attempt at a variety show also starts tonight. Expect plenty of cameos from SNL alumni.

Cleverman, a drama on Sundance, starts tomorrow, and it looks like Australia’s answer to District 9, but instead of aliens, they are using Aboriginal legends. Sounds interesting. Here’s the trailer.

OK, so as promised I am going to talk about Preacher. While I have no idea if it’s the next Walking Dead, I do like it. It doesn’t really feel like anything else on TV, except for maybe Banshee? (Which ended already, so not it’s not currently on TV, but the small town, big characters, big violence, feel similar.) It feels more like it came from a comic book than all of the other shows based on a comic book, which I mean in a good way. If you liked the pilot, There’s a director’s commentary over here.

So the new Top Gear started this week and it’s….weird. Mostly because they barely changed anything. Other than the hosts, and a new route for the new improved reasonably priced car, it’s the same, even the wording for the introductions is the same. Everything sounds like it should be coming out of Clarkson's mouth, and it isn't. So t’s like bizarro world Top Gear. Jalopnik’s post about the premiere is titled “What the hell, Top Gear?” Meeting expectations like this is no easy task. 

Are you watching the new Roots? It started airing simultaneously on basically every cable channel last night. This positive review says it pulls less punches than the original, as it should.

Inside Amy Schumer is now on Hulu, and new episodes are available a couple weeks after they air. They have the old episodes too, so now you don’t have an excuse for not watching the 12 Angry Men episode. Seriously, you should really watch that episode.

The season premiere of Comedy Bang Bang is available to watch right now, ahead of its premiere later this week.

I finished the first season of Hulu’s The Path, and it turned out to be a slightly weirder show than I was expecting hidden inside a “prestige family drama." But in a good way. I am very interested to see where they are going to go in season two. Todd Van Der Werff has some interesting thoughts on the season, if you are all caught up.

Need a new show? Uproxx ranked the 50 best shows currently available right now on Netflix. I can’t however sign off on The Walking Dead ranking higher than Friday Night Lights, so let’s just pretend the numbers were chosen at random.

Here’s everything that’s new on Hulu, HBO Now and Netflix this month. 

Decider made a very handy list for when all of your favorites are returning this summer. Remember when there was only crap on in the summer?

Odds and Ends

Io9 ranked all of the various plans for world domination from Pinky and the Brain.

SNL’s Weekend Update has 28 years of Donald Trump jokes. Fusion put together a list fo some of the best.

If you like Silicon Valley, you might as well watch 4 minutes of outtakes of T.J. MiIller’s Erlich Bachman insulting “Action” Jack Barker. He gave the editors 75 different options for calling him old.

In honor of Penny Dreadful's newest addition, TVLine ranks the top 10 TV Draculas.

Trailers: Lifetime’s reboot of camp classic Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? looks like you’d expect, except for the lesbians and vampires. The Little Prince will finally find a home on Netflix on August 8th. Looks cute. Well, Roadies really looks like a Cameron Crowe project, so Showtime spent that money well. BoJack Horseman may not be a fan of critics, lots of them are excited about its July 22nd return.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a bunch of Stormtroopers Vogue, then Britain’s Got Talent has you covered.

Someone unearthed a video of how the score for Seinfeld was written, and even though there was a lot of thought put into it, I am still not a fan of slap bass.

If you want a constant stream of tourists on your doorstep, and you love it when your friends have to circle the block 47 times to find a parking spot, and you have a spare $4 million dollars, then you might be interested in buying the house from Full House.


That’s it for today, but I will be back on Thursday with more. Oh, and if you know anyone who should be a subscriber, send them over here. Thanks for reading!


-Alana Cloutier

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