Category Archives: Articles

Modern Classics: Kyoto Animation’s “Hyouka”

What makes something a “classic”?

Whether it be film, book, video game, or TV show, every form of media has what is referred to as a classic. Filmophiles will look to Metropolis (1927), for example, as a classic of the science fiction genre.  Book lovers might consider The Lord of the Rings (1954) a masterpiece of literature, while video game and television classics may be The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991) and Twin Peaks (1990) respectively.

What is it that all of these so-called “classics” have in common? Is it their decades-old age? Or is it their lasting appeal–they’re ability to perfect, to innovate, and to influence? Classics are seen, read, and played by many, and are known of by even more.

But does a particular movie, book, game or TV show become a classic as it ages, or is it born one? Some may claim that yes, its enduring popularity after many years is what determines whether or not something is a “classic.” But there are some that say that because it is a classic, it remains popular despite the passage of time. In other words, is its lasting appeal the cause or the effect?

It’s an unresolved debate, even now, but it’s a debate that makes classics classic, after all. For so long as we’re still talking about them, the high pedestals on which we put them remain deserved.

Continue reading Modern Classics: Kyoto Animation’s “Hyouka”

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Orphan Black Spotlight: Welcome to Clone Club

I sat down one night to start a series I bought on Black Friday, thinking blithely to myself, “I’ll just watch the pilot, throw up a brief review, and call it good.” Three episodes later, I’m sitting on my couch at 3 am wondering how in the world I could persuade my thumb to hit the off button. Damn it, BBC America, how do you do this to me??

Orphan Black (2013–) is a heart-stopping spiral down the rabbit hole, except that instead of disappearing cats, you get doppelgangers. Some of them want to figure out the conspiracy just as much as you do; some are just out for your blood.  Continue reading Orphan Black Spotlight: Welcome to Clone Club

Showstoppers, Showstarters: My Top 10 Television Intros

You’re sitting in the library, quietly not studying. All around you are towers of faded-yellow books, standing–leaning–in ways that aren’t full-on Pisa, but definitely precarious. Suddenly, a familiar tune finds its way to your ears despite the drone of far-off conversation. You know this song, of course you do, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. And then you do, of course you do, because how could you forget? It’s time to start the show.

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Television Watchlist: Smooshed Brains and Good Eats

While The Legend of Korra is the only TV show I talk about here on a weekly basis, I don’t want you to get the idea that that’s the only show I watch. The idea I want you to get is that I’m a pot-bellied couch potato who leaves the sofa only to roll my way to the fridge for another double-shot espresso and a tub of pistachio gelato. Just kidding. Maybe. But honestly, I do spend more time staring at the television than doing anything else. Pathetic? Probably. Do I care? Probably not as much as I should.

Continue reading Television Watchlist: Smooshed Brains and Good Eats

Swimming Is Truly Outrageous: Free! Eternal Summer!

Yeah alright, I watched the first season of this, so go ahead and judge me. But hey, there are far, far worse things to come out of Japan than this Goddammit Kyle. I could have talked about a really good show like Hyouka or Space Dandy, but I lack the mental depth to do either justice. So in lieu of them, we’ll go with buff swimmers. Try to keep your clothes on.

"GOOD GRIEF, HE'S NAKED" - Plankton
“GOOD GRIEF, HE’S NAKED!” – Plankton

Continue reading Swimming Is Truly Outrageous: Free! Eternal Summer!

A Rain-Soaked Namesake: Reminiscing on 3 Seasons of the Killing

Linden: “So you think Homicide’s gonna be any different?”
Holder: “Well, at least you got a bad guy.”
Linden: “Yeah? Who’s that?”
Holder: “Is that why you’re running away, Linden? ‘Cause you don’t know no more?”
-Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

In honor of the fourth and final season of AMC/Netflix’s The Killing (to be released in its 6-episode entirety in under just 15 hours ohgodI’mhyperventilating) this week’s Throwback Thursday is all about The Killing. I apologize ahead of time for sounding like a crazed fanboy in this post that’s because I truly, truly am. Let’s warm up with one of the greatest scenes in the history of television:

Continue reading A Rain-Soaked Namesake: Reminiscing on 3 Seasons of the Killing

The Expanse TV Series: In Defense of SyFy

James S. A. Corey’s science fiction saga The Expanse is my favorite book series of all time. It is, as of now, still unfinished, but I trust the authors enough to believe that no matter what direction they take the next five books in, it will be expansive and epic.

Which brings me to the main point: SyFy is developing a 10-episode TV Series adaptation of the books. Although I’m crazy excited for this, I’m also very wary–SyFy hasn’t made a truly “classic” science fiction adventure since Battlestar Galactica. With their recent efforts at serious sci-fi proving mediocre at best (Stargate Universe, in my opinion, was rather lackluster–although original Stargate creators have been given the greenlight to develop a new trilogy of big-screen Stargate movies–more on that later), SyFy has fallen back on its reality TV line-up and cheesy,  low budget sci-fi horrors (the latter, admittedly, can still prove entertaining).

But because of SyFy’s remaining in its comfort zone, many have decried the network’s picking up of The Expanse TV Series. Apparently, it’s got some people feeling like this. People have lost faith in its ability to make something great. They think SyFy has lost it’s “mojo” and will be unable to handle a universe that is both blockbuster and deep, like The Expanse.

Well, I say that these are reasons to get excited for SyFy’s commission of The Expanse pilot season. Its doing so is a declaration that says, “We know we’ve been screwing up lately. Let us make it up to you.” And I hear it loud and clear. No, SyFy is not the most wealthy of networks. It isn’t a Netflix, or an HBO, or a Showtime. But it has shown that it is capable of some truly amazing and memorable adventure, and despite its recent missteps, all signs point to SyFy becoming a good home for The Expanse.

And, if you don’t buy anything I just said, you can simply hope that the first season is a lukewarm dud, it gets picked up by HBO or a similar network, becomes as big as Game of Thrones, fuels research into space travel, and in thirty years we’re all living on Mars and the Asteroid Belt. But, you know, one thing at a time.

The Expanse is slated for a 2015 premiere on SyFy. The TV adaptation is being written by Academy Award-nominated Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men and Iron Man, respectively). Authors David Abraham and Ty Frank (together known under their pseudonym James S. A. Corey) are also involved with the script, and will serve as executive producers.

Official website here.