the telethon runner

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

GoT Season Finale: The Dragon and The Wolf

Here’s a tip for anyone vacationing while their favorite show is drawing to a close: don’t make plans to travel on the day when you’re supposed to be watching the most awaited episode of the season.

Luckily, I was able to hold off on checking out social media and didn’t get spoiled before I could finally sit down and watch The Dragon and The Wolf, and even though a hell of a lot of ink has been spilled discussing the supersized season finale, I’m back to share my ramblings with you.

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GoT: Beyond The Wall

Well… In the words of Sandor Clegane, f*ck me sideways.

Leave it to Game of Thrones to deliver a big second-to-last episode of the season that is simultaneously utterly predictable, intensely satisfying AND majorly frustrating. We got to see some insane action, deeply emotional scenes, an ICE DRAGON for f*ck’s sake…
But also gaping plot holes, the usual wonky timelines we’ve come to expect lately, bad decisions, worse advice, and two fan favorites who may or may not be regressing to their former annoying selves.

You know it’s going to be a long, rambling post when the opening paragraphs merit not one, but two f*cks. Suffice it to say there’s a lot to unravel, so here goes nothing:

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GoT: Eastwatch

I must admit, I’m torn.

Is Game of Thrones really building on its continuing momentum this season or is it more of a rush-job? Are we just being constantly asked to stretch our suspension of disbelief almost to the breaking point? Are certain events being skipped in order to bring everything together and hit major plot points by the season finale?

On a lesser show, the plot holes would be gaping right about now, and we’d be up in arms about how little care the showrunners are taking to at least provide some semblance of consistency. But this isn’t a lesser show; and even though we’ve come to expect nothing but the best when it comes to GoT, we’ve also been subjected to the excrucuatingly slow passage of time in Westeros over the past 6 seasons.

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Lannister BBQ, anyone?

You know, I could start listing everything Game of Thrones got wrong this week, nit-picking at the plot holes and gaps in logic in excruciating detail: the inexplicable “jet-packing” we’ve been scoffing at all season, the awkward Stark reunion, Bran’s general creepiness, matched only by Littlefinger’s own, the epic battle that resulted in major casualties but zero main character deaths…

But I won’t, because this episode was so damn amazing. We finally got the dragon attack we’d been waiting for, and in true GoT fashion, we weren’t even really sure who to root for. It was spectacular, it was emotional, it was the biggest thing we’ve ever seen on television – such a far cry from the bad CGI Drogon Dany climbed onto in the pits of Meereen a couple of seasons ago. And to think it was all directed by someone whose resume consists mainly of a few dozen episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia! It just goes to show what a phenomenal job Benioff and Weiss have been doing ever since they realized they’d be flying solo for the show’s last two seasons, writing material that’s essentially fan fiction of the highest level, and what a stellar crew they’ve assembled to work on this juggernaut of a show.

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GoT: The Spoils of War

Naturally the biggest episode of the season airs right as I’m traveling to my wifi-less island home and I can’t delve into my usual ramblings as I’m wont to do.

Fear not though – long post coming soon!

Let’s kill off some GoT characters, shall we?

Game of Thrones wouldn’t be the delightful melange of sex, intrigue and violence we’ve all come to love over the past seven years if it didn’t feature plenty of gruesome and unexpected death scenes. As wonderful as this penultimate season of the show has been so far, it feels like something is missing: we haven’t had a huge shocking death since Jon was stabbed – and that doesn’t really count, because he came back to life two episodes later. Where’s the jaw-dropping head-chopping of Ned Stark, or the horrible massacre that was the Red Wedding? Where’s Oberyn’s skull-crushing final scene?

It’s well known that ‘no one is safe‘ when it comes to Game of Thrones, often to the point where the show feels downright sadistic in crushing our expectations. With the end of the series only 10 episodes away, and given how much fan service we’ve been getting in these past couple of seasons, it’s only natural to expect big twists and impactful deaths coming our way, no?

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GoT: The Queen’s Justice

What an amazing episode. Even without leaning too heavily on action (the narrated battle was almost like an afterthought), it packed such a tremendous punch that it actually rivaled the show’s best episodes to date. We not only got a few of the scenes we’ve been anticipating for years (Dany and Jon!), but the dialogue was so spot-on, that I doubt George RR Martin could have done it better had he written it himself.

In fact, I submit to you what might be a controversial (sacrilegious, even!) opinion: ever since the show moved past the written material it is based on last season, it has become so much more concise and well structured. Gone are the days of the one- or two-character-centric episodes of season 5 which dragged on forever; we no longer have to wonder about characters that have been absent all season long (*ahem* Bran); there’s more action, the plot has picked up the pace, there’s little (if any) filler.

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MasterChef AU finale: favoritism much?

I have disagreed with the judges’ decisions on MasterChef in the past, but never so much as in the last few weeks of this season, culminating in a finale decision that has many fans, myself included, outraged by the result.

Rigged? Possibly, but that’s not my main issue. Yes, it was suspiciously convenient that the winner was ultimately decided by the final vote of the final judge – and when that single point difference gets the winner a quarter of a million dollars, it’s a bit tough to swallow. But that’s the name of the game, I guess.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Diana. She seems to be a fine cook and, like every other contestant, perfectly likable. Although I was rooting for Ben, this is not a case of me simply identifying with the runner-up and being a sore loser. It is, rather, a viewer (and home cook)’s indignation over the huge discrepancy between the judges’ comments on the final dishes, and the points they awarded the two contestants. And even more than that, it’s a case of obvious and blatant favoritism, for whatever reason, towards Diana over Ben.

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A few random, vaguely similar movie reviews

I wish I were one of those people who rush to see every new movie (or at least the ones who appeal to them) as soon as they hit the theater, or like those who check out every new show that looks promising. Binge-watching has spoiled me when it comes to TV, so aside from the few shows I follow regularly, lately I find myself preferring to just wait and binge on slightly older shows or just focus my attention on mini-series I can watch start-to-finish over a weekend.

As far as movies are concerned, I go through phases. Some weeks I don’t even have the attention span to sit through a whole movie; others I refuse to invest the time unless it’s a must-see. Over the past few months, the only “new” movie I saw was Nocturnal Animals (loved it).

Then there are times when I try to dig up a handful of movies of a certain genre and watch them back-to-back. So, given my recent disappointment in 13 Reasons Why, I figured I should get my teen drama/rom-com fix wherever I could get it, so I picked a few films off of random recommendations:

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