Thursday, May 12, 2016

A little Penny + Thrones discussion

Work's been a bit of . . . something recently, so as you can tell, I'm not getting my thoughts online the way I'd like to. Anyhow . . .

Last Sunday's episode of Penny Dreadful --

A mixed bag for a number of reasons. I found the reveal of who Dracula is to be a bit obvious. I know writers are limited in what they can do in a hourly show, and we can't drag things out forever, blah, blah, blah. But that just seemed sort of predictable to me. Plus, have we completely given up on vampire mythology now? Walking around in daylight, no aversion to crosses, and so on? I suppose it's more trendy to do them this way and everything in this show is a riff on the "old" themes, I guess I should have expected it.

On the plus side, we find that Kaetenay may call Ethan his son, but it's not in a benevolent way. He's looking to save Chandler from death only to prolong his agony of living with his crimes throughout a long life. That was interesting.

Not so interesting was the simple way he reached out to Ethan to speak to him via some sort of mystical/mental connection. meh

Again on the plus side, I liked how the last remaining witch that had been tracking Ethan helped him escape his captors and seems drawn to him as a source of power in this world. That might make for an interesting love interest since Ethan wants to save Vanessa from being around him. Perhaps he wouldn't be as worried about the witch.

The bit where we saw where Dr. Jekyl works -- an insane asylum/prison, and how his potions work on madmen to tame them was okay. But his line about how that part of the prison also houses those who've attempted to assassinate the queen -- "If you're going to attempt an assassination, make sure you're successful!" was pretty cute.

While Brona and Dorien's slaughter at the fetish club and subsequent rescuing of the unfortunate girl there was okay, I'm still not sure why it was done. Perhaps there will be more explanation in future episodes, I just didn't get the impression that they were out to rescue hookers and the like. It's going to be a tough sell to turn what was initially a threat of unleashing terror on mankind has now morphed into flipping society on its head ala the recent various Occupy protests.

All in all a decent episode.

As to Game of Thrones --

I don't want to go on ad nauseam about the dialog this season, but this episode seems to me just another example of what's missing from Martin's writing. He's supposedly an advisor to the show, but I'm wondering how much effort he's putting into that role.

The scene where Jon Snow faces the Night's Watch men who mutinied against him and are waiting to be hung was screaming for some awesome dialog. Instead we get a pregnant moment when the one guy tells Snow he'd do the same thing again. And the young boy who Snow befriended -- just an angry stare from the boy and nothing from Snow? A wasted moment.

I did like how we now see what the three-eyed raven is trying to do for Bran -- showing him the true history of Westeros, not the legend, so that he can better understand the world he may come to help rule one day. Hopefully they won't drag that realization out all season.

The scene at the small council seemed oddly impotent. Cersei and Jaime walk in, everyone there walks out . . . and nothing. Perhaps that serves a purpose. Showing that even with the monstrous Gregor Clegane at their side, people aren't afraid of the Lannisters anymore. We'll see. If that's the case, that's a fairly subtle way to go about it.

We may also see the young King being turned by the Head Sparrow. Will he convert the weak-minded Tommen into a religious zealot? That would be an interesting twist. And would sentence Queen Margaery to the same walk of shame that Cersei had to endure.

In general - the show seems a little weak to me this season. And perhaps I'm just being bitchy over the book thing. Hopefully it will hit its stride soon and work towards an ultimate finale that doesn't seem contrived.

I'll keep watching. I'm #NeverTrump not #NeverThrones. heh

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