Nirvana In Fire Episode 3

Check out our recap of Episode 3! The plots get plottier, the characters get charactier! The fun gets funner!  Join Meredith and Andrew as we discuss the Servant Boy, the status of Eunuchs, the Princess Ni Huang Marriage Tournament’s surprise participants, and of course, the ever-aloof man-of-too-many-aliases, Lin Shu as he furthers his plans to do…. something!

Nirvana In Fire: Episode 2

 

Meredith and Andrew’s recap of Episode 2 of Nirvana In Fire.  The Crown Prince and Prince Yu’s rivalry intensifies, Fei Liu makes a strong impression on the courtiers of Liang, and Lin Shu makes bold moves towards Princess Ni Huang.

Nirvana In Fire is a Chinese drama in a historical fantasy setting.  If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ll love the political intrigue and plots of Nirvana In Fire!

Nirvana In Fire: Episode 1

Do you enjoy epic dramas? Stories set in historical and fantastical settings? Are you suffering some serious Game of Thrones withdrawal? Then you’ll love Nirvana In Fire, a historical Chinese drama full of political intrigue and royal scheming.  Join host Meredith and co-host Andrew for a recap of Episode 1. You can find Nirvana In Fire on viki.com and dramafever.com.  Intro and outro music “God Knows” by Alfred Hui available on the iTunes store. Want to know more before getting addicted to a whole new TV show? Check out the show review on pollycarbonate.com!  Don’t forget to rate and review us on iTunes!

Kimmy Schmidt & the Breakable Truth

[Spoiler alert for anyone who has not watched the last episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Do NOT keep reading.]

Watching the last two episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was a somewhat painful reminder that the truth is subjective.  We all live in our own realities, and the Reverend was doing a great job convincing the courtroom that his version of reality was the same as theirs by positioning himself as someone who shared their values:

Last time I checked, faith wasn’t a crime in this country…so why am I being tried for my belief that the Apocalypse is coming?  …the only thing I’m guilty of is trying to save these girls from the End of Days! I just done goofed up and got the date wrong! Now, if being bad at math is against the law, well then lock me up! -Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, Episode 11: “Kimmy Rides a Bike!”

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Boys Over (Blood-Spattered) Flowers

Anger frequently plays a major role in conflict, especially violent conflict.  In one of my favorite stories of all time, Boys Over Flowers, almost every conflict that occurs throughout the story is driven by one character’s inability to express his anger in ways that do not involve assaulting people and/or punching walls.   Continue reading

American Horror Story: Sins are Invisible

This season on American Horror Story I am fascinated by the conflict between the carnival performers and the “normal” citizens of Jupiter.  While modern audiences are not at all surprised that someone who looks like Dandy could turn out to be evil, the citizens of Jupiter are still operating under the assumption that moral quality is reflected in physical appearance.

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Penny Dreadful and The Exorcist: Demons Are So Clingy

I am about to discuss an extremely creepy topic during a thunderstorm, in a dark room.  (Why is the room dark? Oh, wouldn’t you like to know, Theoretical Reader, wouldn’t you like to know!) This week I am blending two different stories that share a conflict: possession.  No, not that possession; I’m referring to the one that involves either extreme psychological phenomena or non-corporal-but-sentient-beings, depending on whether or not the characters believe in ghosts, demons, and/or spirits.  In Penny Dreadful and The Exorcist*, characters become actors in deadly conflicts that turn their bodies and minds into war zones.

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Penny Dreadful: Part 1

While there is plenty of internal and interpersonal conflict in Penny Dreadful, the plot is driven by the clash of mortal values and supernatural desires. The group of characters that I refer to as generally “Pro-Human” (Sir Malcolm, Vanessa, Ethan, Victor, and Sembene, and Dorian Gray) have personal goals that vary widely but are not incompatible. They are united in the search for Sir Malcolm’s daughter Mina, who has been kidnapped by mysterious creatures.  This is an example of a classic super-ordinate goal: mortals vs. evil non-humans, but this is only one layer of conflict woven throughout Penny Dreadful’s story. (Warning: there are more spoilers in this post than there are pale people in British period pieces).

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Ripper Street: My Imaginary Friendship

One of these days I will actually write about a book, comic book, or movie, instead of just TV show after TV show… but for now I’m going to talk about Ripper Street (starring Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Bronn from Game of Thrones, and this guy)

I watched the first three episodes on Netflix, and instead of focusing on the societal tension between a police force that failed to find Jack the Ripper and citizens who really wanted to not get murdered, I got distracted by the interpersonal conflict between Inspector Reid, the main character, and a journalist named Mr. Best (I didn’t catch his first name, and frankly it’s a miracle I figured out his last name since I cannot tell skinny white men with mustaches apart from each other). Continue reading