the telethon runner

I watch TV and write about it. Sometimes I watch movies too.


October 2017

TWD: The Damned

Okay. Look, I don’t actually enjoy coming down on this show, especially now that they’re finally picking up the pace and giving us action and zombies and all that good stuff we signed up for 101 episodes ago. But damn if they’re not making it too hard not to, even if these first couple of weeks have been a major improvement on the filler episodes we got last season.

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Binge-watching: Mindhunter

Having just watched a couple of terrible movies simply because they came up on my Netflix suggestions, I was a bit wary of delving into its newest show about FBI agents in the late 70’s, who try to implement innovative techniques in their murder-solving process.

Then again, the fact that this is a story about the study of serial killers swayed whatever qualms I may have had. Plus, it’s a David Fincher project, so… sign me up.

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TWD: Mercy

Alright, so the TWD season premiere wasn’t half bad, after all. It wasn’t spectacular either, mostly because my suspension of disbelief sadly doesn’t extend to a willingness to gloss over things that doesn’t make sense.

(Also, because any TWD episode where the opening images involve Tara munching on twizzlers and wearing those ridiculous orange sunglasses isn’t a good sign.)

The season opener picks up a few days (weeks?) after we left things off in last year’s finale: Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom have come together to prepare for war against Negan and the Saviors, so naturally an inspirational speech is in order as they gear up for battle. And we got three!

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Dear TWD: A Plea

The Walking Dead Season 8 is almost upon us, but I’m not anticipating tomorrow’s season premiere with the same excitement I used to. After an underwhelming seventh season, I’m just not feeling it as much any more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to watch. I’ve invested too much time in this damn show to just rage-quit – and, since I didn’t back during the season 6 finale debacle, I guess I never will. But I lack my old enthusiasm. Maybe it’s me, or maybe it’s the show that’s been steadily declining in recent years.

And I hate to wait for it to start circling the drain before the masterminds at AMC consider pulling the plug.

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Gossip Girl, revisited.

It’s been 10 years since Gossip Girl arrived on the scene to change the way we perceive “teen” shows forever. Well, at least New York Magazine seemed to think so, and obvious hometown pride bias aside, I can’t say I disagreed with them.

At first glance, nothing about the actual premise of the show was terribly original – aside from the fact that its viciously nosy namesake narrator and frequent troublemaker is a blogger whose identity remains a secret until the final episode of Season 6.

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The Founder

I don’t normally go for biopics, because I generally find non-fiction boring, but The Founder was a story I was strangely drawn to, possibly because I had read the broad strokes of Ray Kroc’s story a while back and found it fascinating.

For a movie that lacks the major drama we’re used to expecting from biographical films, turning an anti-hero salesman into an interesting figure was a big ask. Still,┬áSiegel and Hancock’s adaptation of the history behind an unusual man who turned a revolutionary idea into the fast food empire we all know today rose to the chalenge.

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What a weird little movie this one was. And I mean in in the best possible way.

Its premise follows the same trope-y plot line many films of the genre do: creepy, lonely blue collar guy obsessed over girl way out of his league becomes her captor.

And then the predictable story gets turned on its head. It’s rare to see Dominic Monaghan play anything but a loveable teddy bear (or maybe it’s just been a while since I saw him in something other than the LOTR trilogy), and his performance as socially awkward, slightly unhinged stalker Seth was actually refreshing, not to mention impressive.

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Overrated movies: The Witch

It’s not often that I watch a movie that profoundly scares, upsets or disturbs me, but which is a tough one to recommend. Such was the case with Requiem For A Dream, for instance: I watched it alone, at night, in my dorm room, and it stayed with me for weeks. Although not a horror flick per se, it terrified me far more than any monster or haunted house movie ever could, because in the case of Requiem, the horror factor was all too real. It’s not for everyone, therefore I wouldn’t be quick to recommend it to a lot of people, unless they have the stomach for it.

Torture porn movies are also famously hard to recommend, even to a horror fan, because I realize not everyone shares my tolerance for gore. Yes, they fit the bill in that they’re scary, but they’re also quite disgusting, and a far cry from the type of horror flicks that seem to top ‘best of’ lists, such as The Babadook, Insidious, The Conjuring and every type of paranormal activity movie that usually leaves me cold. (The one exception to the rule was The Blair Witch Project, and only because of the is-this-real-or-not hype surrounding its original release, back when the internet and social media weren’t readily available to help debunk urban legends).

All of this is by way of explaining that, for me, what classifies a movie as ‘horror’, or at least good horror, is quite subjective.

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Gerald’s Game

It’s been a big summer for Mr Stephen King, hasn’t it? With It racking up rave reviews left and right, Mr Mercedes about to wrap up its first season, and now Gerald’s Game out on Netflix, it seems the King of Horror can do no wrong these days.

I’ve yet to see It (it was just released this week in these parts) and I’m holding off to binge-watch Mr Mercedes, but I did just see Gerald’s Game, and it didn’t disappoint.

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