FX's series Taboo is a fascinating watch in a lot of ways. It's a well-acted, well-written, well-directed affair of the gritty world of Britain in the wake of the War of 1812 with its former colonies in America. But as anyone who's watched it knows or will tell you, it's the protagonist, James Keziah Delaney, who … Continue reading Taboo and the Knowledge Gap
Change is integral to fiction, and the more powerful the change, the more powerful the reader experience. This is why redemption is such a gripping journey in fiction. Seeing a character transform before our eyes into a better person, atoning for their failures and mistakes, and overcoming the past to live for a better future fills us … Continue reading Redemption: Fiction’s Two-Edged Sword
My Inner Goddess is over in a corner protesting this post (and drooling slightly, for some reason). The trailers for the new Fifty Shades Darker movie have been popping up everywhere, and it felt like the right time to do this post. Fiction has had a problem in recent years with the portrayal of relationships. … Continue reading Fifty Shades of Toxic – The Framing of Unhealthy Relationships in Fiction
Over the holidays, I binged my way through the Netflix original series Stranger Things, an 80s style paranormal-mystery-horror-scifi-thriller-extravaganza, and was completely and utterly spellbound. It's cleverly written, well-acted, genuinely scary and heartbreaking, and one of the best shows I've watched period. That's probably not a big revelation to most of you who have seen it, … Continue reading Why I Hate Children (in Fiction)
After a slight drought of inspiration, I finally decided on a topic to blog about. I recently saw the movie Dr. Strange. While I enjoyed the film overall, it suffered from Marvel's usual "weak villain syndrome" (see previous posts here and here on that). Given little backstory or motivation for his goal, Kaecilius is just one of those villains … Continue reading What Measure is Forever? – Immortality in Fiction
Hello, and welcome to the second round of critical paddling thoughtful critiquing into The Magicians and why it failed to work for me. Last time, I talked about the concept of Set-Up and Pay-Off and the delicate balance it requires to get your audience invested and satisfied. This time, I'll be talking about a much … Continue reading Critiquing The Magicians: M for Mature?
Criticizing a book when you are as of yet unpublished seems to smack of tempting fate. But I wouldn't be the critical reader I like to think I am if I shied away from a controversial opinion. So for the next two posts, I am going to flagellate review Lev Grossman's book The Magicians and where … Continue reading Critiquing The Magicians: Set-Up and Pay-Off
Unless you've been taking shelter under a rock lately, you might have heard some unkind words circulating about DC's latest superhero movie, Suicide Squad. Having seen the movie and being the objectivist I am, I've decided to share my own thoughts. Spoilers, obviously. I'll start off by saying that I have no stakes in the … Continue reading Is Suicide Squad Suicide-Worthy?
There are times when the reactions of the fan community can be as interesting as the source material itself. In keeping with the theme of villainy and Game of Thrones from last post, it would be remiss of me not to touch on Cersei's competition in season 6, the High Sparrow, who made me ponder … Continue reading Sinners and Saints
Game of Thrones has always been a glorious example of grippingly realistic characters. Through its current six seasons on air, it has offered us a host of very flawed, but very engaging characters. Perhaps one of the show's most gripping characters has been Cersei Lannister. For a long time, she's walked the thin line between … Continue reading Villains are Made, not Born