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

Fairy Tail: Villain to Friend in 0 Steps

Does anyone else who watches the anime Fairy Tail sometimes feel slightly uncomfortable with how willing the characters are to forgive just about any other character of any other crime? Warning, general spoilers ahead!

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Vacation’s End

This is not an “official” post, as I am still deciding what my next subject of analysis will be.  Originally I was planning to do a wrap-up article on True Blood, and then a weekly analysis of Breaking Bad, but life has been a little busier than I expected.

I would like to point out, however, that in the final episode of True Blood this season Bill directly addressed the issue I discussed in my Conflict Analysis Part I: the lack of trust between humans and vampires, and the rocky relationship between the two groups since vampires “came out of the coffin.”  (He mentions it briefly during his TV interview regarding the book he wrote about his experience possessed by(?) Lilith).

As an avid Breaking Bad fan, I have been struggling to decide what conflict(s) I would like to discuss from that series.  There are a lot to choose from, but the internal and psychological conflict of Walter White is probably the best and most important to the story overall.  On the other hand, the series has ended now and I might focus on a more relevant story, whether a book, movie, or television show.  Then again, Breaking Bad was an amazing series and we should be talking about it for a long time, in my opinion.  So, I guess you will just have to wait and see what my next post will be about! I’m sure everyone reading this is just trembling with anticipation, so I will do my best to get it finished ASAP.  Until then, take care!