I don’t often find a lot I enjoy on TV. There are notable exceptions. I loved Battlestar Galactica and Sons of Anarchy, enjoyed a few seasons of Game of Thrones, Justified and Banshee, and dabble in Star Trek: Discovery.
A few years ago though, I was absolutely blown away by the first season of Westworld. Physical distancing has given me a bit of extra time and in Canada Westworld is on Crave premium, so I rewatched season one, blew through Season Two and found to my delight that new episodes of Season Three are appearing weekly.
What is it and why am I talking about it on Black Gate? It’s probably the most scientifically faithful science fiction I’ve ever seen on TV or the big screen, and yet it has the powerful literary and narrative qualities you’d expect in an HBO series. There is no hand-holding here for the viewer and no clumsy exposition. It’s keep up or go home all the way — the series treats you like you’re smart enough to keep up, which really means that Westworld has enough depth of character and story to leave you turning it over in your mind for quite some time.
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A while ago E.E. Knight posted a nice review of the two-season run of HBO’s Rome, calling it: “about 25 hours of what I consider the best Sword and Sorcery I’ve seen in about the same number of years.” Knight goes on to point out just how this historical epic satisfies the S&S itch, and I recommend that both fans and those unfamiliar with Rome but interested in bloody good adventure go check out Knight’s review.
It’s been more or less an open secret that Rome was headed for a big screen follow-up for some time (Knight’s review is from June of last year, and a commenter mentions just this fact), but a recent article from Entertainment Weekly has brought the rumors back to life and appears to indicate that Bruno Heller has finished the script for the film, and regulars Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson will be back. EW erroneously goes on to say this is a surprise, since both Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo appear to be dead at the end of the show. This was picked up by nearly every other reporting agency running this story — apparently not many of these entertainment reporters have bothered to watch the entertainment they report on, as a living, breathing Pullo is walking down the street at the close of Rome, and the off-screen death of Vorenus is ambiguous enough to suggest he lives on in hiding.
Anyway, whether or not this item is strictly news is open to debate, but it is ‘good news’ regardless, and it gets me interested to see how the film will develop. Now, if only they’d do the same for Deadwood, a show that met the same ignoble fate as Wild Bill Hickok in the Number 10 Saloon . . .
Reading James’ post on Wednesday about the fan angst surrounding George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (and some of the unnecessarily blunt backlash), I started thinking about just how much I know about this hugely popular saga which I have actually never read. Indeed, having not even read it, I can say I am predisposed to already like it but, as Dave commented on James post, I’m also one of those people who tends not to buy into series with no end in sight.
However, with the announcement that Martin’s A Game of Thrones is being seriously considered for an HBO series, with a pilot already in the works, that rule is going to have to get chucked out of the window.
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