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GAME OF THRONES Season 2 Review & Episode Scores

Game Of Thrones Season 2 Review

In this series, we are building toward a ranked list of every Game Of Thrones episode by combing through the series one season at a time. The episodes are broken down to a granular level, with each storyline within each episode receiving a 1-5 score in each of the following areas: Story, Worldbuilding, and Entertainment. These component scores are then combined and used as the basis for the Episode Scores. The series will continue all the way through the Season 7 Review, which can be expected around the time of the Season 8 debut. As you rewatch the show in preparation for the final season, and re-listen to Binge Mode, you can also follow along here.

Previous Entries:

Introduction & Rationale

Season 1 Review

Without further ado…


Season One was an unforgettable introduction to the world of Westeros and beyond. The second season brought new characters to the fore, adding both depth and breadth, and culminated in a decisive battle in the War of the Five Kings. If this batch of episodes felt a little more unwieldy, slowing down the story by following characters headed in ever more disparate directions, it mostly made up for it with the sheer magnitude of compelling character pairings, expansive storytelling, and of course, the tension of a slowly building war culminating with the series’ first indelible battle episode.

[2.01] The North Remembers

The North Remembers

Episode Score: 80 Read more…

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Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu The Vampyre is an uncommonly soulful take on supernatural horror.

From the original 19th Century novel to the latest adaptations modern cinema has to offer, there are many iterations of the Dracula story. Herzog’s Nosferatu focuses on the tragic triangle that develops between Jonathan Harker, Lucy Harker and Count Dracula, filling out the story with other canonical characters including Renfield, Mina Harker and Dr. Van Helsing. Herzog adds a few twists, and shuffles the characters into slightly different roles in his version, but the general template of the a vampire’s real estate dealings going immeasurably awry remains. Read more…

GAME OF THRONES Season 1 Review & Episode Scores

GoT Season 1 Review Episode Rankings

Welcome to our Season 1 review of HBO’s Game Of Thrones! Great fantasies have humble beginnings, though it sure didn’t take Thrones very long to prove itself a heavyweight among screen sagas. This first season is where it all began: an expansive and captivating batch of 10 episodes that merely set the stage for even grander seasons to come. Here is a brief summary of the methodology behind the system used to score each episode:

Every story line in every episode has been scored from 1-5 in three areas: Story, World-building, and Entertainment. Why? Because those categories capture the primary elements that allow Game Of Thrones to deliver such consistently thrilling television! The scores for each story line were added up and normalized to a 100-point scale to determine each episode’s score. This process allowed us to not only determine the best season of Game Of Thrones, but also to create a definitive ranking of every episode in the series based on the three main factors that make the show so great.

Without further ado…

[1.01] Winter Is Coming

Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming, Jon Snow

Episode Score: 83 Read more…

SOLO

solo star wars story poster

A little more than thirteen years ago, when we were all waiting for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith to come out, I remember having a very specific idea of what I wanted out of that movie. I was in high school. A rather zealous Original Trilogy fan, and probably still working out some slightly more complicated feelings about Episode I and Episode II, I probably knew that what I wanted couldn’t have made any sense in the context of the prequel trilogy. What did I want? I wanted young Han. I can’t remember if I was specific enough to include the Kessel Run in my wish list, but some depiction of Han, Chewie, and Lando in their smuggling heyday was the object of my desire.

Against all odds, the Millennium Falcon AND Chewbacca actually did make it into Episode III. Needless to say, Han and Lando did not. Even with the promise of illuminating the last major shadows of Darth Vader’s past, I knew, even then, that the quasi-political mumbo-jumbo of the prequels was not exactly what I wanted.

Thirteen-plus years later, it’s pretty amazing that we now have an entire movie devoted to Han’s twenties (and possibly more to come). Now that we have Solo, here’s a quick look back at my personal hype cycle for Solo:

  1. 2005: Episode III, or: wanting Solo when I knew it was practically impossible
  2. 2005-2011: Pre-Marvel Interregnum, or: seriously considering that Star Wars might be dead as a movie franchise
  3. 2012: The Disney Purchase, or: fairly pumped, but expecting, rightly, that Star Wars would revert to a Force/Skywalker-centric episodes
  4. July 2015: First Solo Announcement, or: honestly, shockingly, kinda having a bad feeling about this
  5. December 2015: The Force Awakens, or: confirmation that Star Wars was not only back, but still good
  6. 2016: Rogue One, or: more specifically, when Rogue One became a hit, thereby validating the concept of producing a Star Wars anthology series
  7. 2018: Solo Release, or: rediscovering that Solo, no matter how many production issues it had, was exactly the kind of movie I’d wanted when I was 15

Pretty surreal. Anyway, after all that, is Solo even good? The short answer is “yes,” and the long answer is still, mostly, “yes.” Solo is a very different Star Wars movie than any that have come before. Like Rogue One, Solo offers little more than passing allusions to any of the mystical elements that drive the numbered films.

Read more…

Altered Carbon (Season 1 Review)

Altered Carbon Netflix Title Card

It’s well-publicized at this point that Netflix expects around $8,000,000,000 (that’s 8 billion) of original content to debut in 2018, beefing up its library. Altered Carbon is arguably the current face of this expansion effort. The flashy and expensive-looking cyberpunk noir debuted in February. Altered Carbon offers a glimpse of what the future might hold, not only as sci-fi tends to do, but in terms of what Netlflix, as a full-fledged entertainment producer, has in store.

As a work of world-building centered around a top-shelf sci-fi concept, Altered Carbon delivers in spades. As is often the case with cyberpunk fare, Carbon leans heavily into the Blade Runner aesthetic—flush with neon-drenched and rain-soaked surfaces. Despite the all of the future-tech trappings, the world looks grungy and polluted, with the majority living in squalor while the wealthiest live on lush estates high above the ground.

Speaking of the elites, the world’s wealthiest form a god-like clique resembling the Greek gods atop Mount Olympus. Are they really gods? Well, that boils down to your definition, for what the fat cats lack in divinity, they make up for in functional immortality and the utter lack of accountability for their actions. Immortality has been achieved through human consciousnesses being digitized and imbued within a cortical stack, a piece of tech embedded in the vertebrae. With enough money, a person can pay to back-up their stack, allowing them to revert to their latest back-up in the event of their death. “Real Death,” or “RD” as the characters refer to it, is no longer a concept the super-rich are required to reckon with. Read more…

Ranking The GAME OF THRONES Episodes (Introduction)

Game of thrones notebook

The Game Of Thrones finale (Season 8) is still more than a year away. Whatever shall we do in the meantime? How about developing a rubric and using it to rank every Game Of Thrones episode in existence, and by extension, the seasons? Yes, that’s what we’ll do. Read on for the introduction and methodology.

Seven seasons and 67 episodes in (and eagerly awaiting the eighth), Game Of Thrones has had a singularly amazing and inspirational run. It is a unique and wonderful entertainment experience for a number of reasons including memorable characters, a propulsive story, and immersive world-building, not to mention pure entertainment value, with the added spectacle of medieval fantasy.

A few other websites have compiled a ranked list such as what we will have forthcoming on this site. These lists are always fun to read and compare, but most of them don’t express any kind of methodology behind the rankings. They have ultimately inspired me to design a rubric of my own for ranking the episodes, and by extension, the seasons. Read more…