More Than I Can Chew: A Look Back

Image result for gum cartoon

For those who don’t know, two years ago I started writing an interactive blog story about two identical twins, one of whom had made a business out of selling gum to his fellow high school students. When one of his gum-selling employees decides to go rogue, a series of insane, potentially life-ruining events go down. No one is the same.

At the end of each chapter, there’d be poll that would allow the reader to decide which direction they wanted the story to go in. It was a good writing exercise: to write a cohesive story while staying true to the characters, despite having little to no control over the plot.

It had been a long time since I’d so much as thought about More Than I Can Chew, and what reading it over, a few things surprised me. So I decided to write a post about my thoughts on the project, almost two years after it ended, partly for nostalgic purposes but mostly for shameless self-promotion.

Click here if you want to read it!!!

1) Kathy is still cool.

I’m going to be honest: I had no intention of writing an older sister into the story for the first three chapters. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me until I realized that Wyatt was only 15, and he’d need someone to drive him around for this story to work. So I created Kathy, who was technically a plot device, but ended up being the heart of the story. (Or at least, I thought she was the heart of the story. Remember when she took the blame for something Wyatt did, even though she didn’t have to? That was sweet.)

2) A lot of the writing needed work.

There was a bit more telling than there should’ve been, and too many adverbs. I kind of want to go back to those posts and just revise everything, but I won’t. Because the past is the past, and it should stay that way. (Could I sell it as an ebook?)

3) Adrien wasn’t particularly likable in the beginning, was he?

He kept going on about how much he hated his brother, and I was like, “Damn, Adrien. Wyatt barely thinks about you at all. Move on. Get your own hobby.”

Adrien’s unlikeability can be boiled down to two problems:

  1. He was a big ol’ Mopey Gus in the beginning.
  2. He didn’t really do anything, at first. He just went to the bathroom, then got captured. I think Past Me realized this, because Past Me started giving him as much agency as the circumstances would allow, and I think it helped a lot.

4) Things went by a lot faster than I remembered.

So they were both in school, then Adrien gets kidnapped, now Wyatt and Kathy are driving to a park to pick him up. Now Adrien’s in the ER, Wyatt’s smashing furniture, and now Kathy’s managing to drive home, to the hospital, to the furniture store, and back home in record time. The whole story would’ve been about sixty pages long in book form, which is crazy considering just how much went down.

I’m not sure if this was a problem for anyone else, or if it only felt this way because I was reading it in on my phone, but things definitely felt like they were going by way too fast. Maybe that’s just my old age speaking. *shrugs*

5) The ending wasn’t as bad as I remembered.

It was a little abrupt, but not gonna lie, I think I’d be okay with this ending if I were just an unknowing reader. However, I’m a fan of ambiguous endings and most people aren’t, so I understand why some people may have been frustrated, and asking me questions like, “What happened to Diesel?” or “Was the money really counterfeit?” and “Is anyone going to jail? I feel someone should be thrown in jail.”

To which, I finally answer those questions, for those of you who are still around.

  1. Diesel was lying about his name the whole time. When he met Wyatt outside that hockey game back in ninth grade, he told him his name was Diesel because he wanted to see if Wyatt was dumb enough to believe it. Wyatt was. For several weeks prior to the start of this story, Diesel was quietly scheming his way to get the $10,000.
    • You may remember how, at the end, the characters decided to blame everything on Diesel? Well, the police were never able to find a Diesel, because no one in that high school had that name.
      • Basically, Diesel got away with everything.
  2. The money was not counterfeit. That was just Diesel being a criminal mastermind. It worked.
  3. Chances are, Fiona and Conner are going to have to do some community service. Fiona’s probably getting expelled, what with the whole, “organizing a kidnapping on school grounds” thing. I think James might be going to jail, because in order for Adrien not to get in trouble for almost killing him, he’d have to press charges on him for assault, and maybe kidnapping. The American legal system’s tricky, y’all.

All in all, I’m glad I wrote it; I just wish I had finished it within a reasonable amount of time. But hey, that’s my biggest flaw as a writer. I can’t finish. Even when I have the ending planned out, I end up losing interest and moving on to another project. Which, yeah, is a bad idea.

So I’ll end this post with some advice to all those beginner writers out there: finish your damn manuscripts. I don’t care how bad your first draft is, or if you just came up with a better story and you want to write that instead. Get it doneor you will be a failure, and you will die sad and alone in a tiny house in New Hampshire while everyone you ever loved will have nothing but contempt for you. Or your writing just won’t improve. Whichever’s worse.

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I Finally Saw the New Star Wars Movie and it Was Glorious

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Star Wars. I watched all of them multiple times as a kid, and I read the surprisingly-really-good novelizations for all of them. But then I lost interest around seventh grade and I’ve barely thought about them since. I watched a bit of Attack of the Clones a few months ago and had to turn it off, because those Anakin/Padme scenes were just so painful to watch. 

And then I found out that The Force Awakens was supposed to play in December of 2015, and I just sort of shrugged at the news. I had stopped caring about that franchise a while ago, and this new movie would need to be really, really good in order to get me back into it.

I remember seeing the first teaser for it, and I honestly thought it was a joke trailer at first. For a few reasons, really:

  1. For some reason I had trouble imagining a legitimate Star Wars movie with a black guy as the main character. I’m not sure if this says more about me or the franchise, but I’m ready to admit that I was a tad bit somewhat kind of extremely wrong.
  2. I figured that the stormtroopers were all clones of Jango Fett, so it was impossible for any of the stormtroopers to look like non-Jango Fetts. As it turns out, I was totally wrong on this regard. (Abysmal, my Star Wars knowledge is.)
  3. BB-8 looked like an adorable soccer ball, and when I saw him I started to wonder if this was some sort of advertisement for FIFA.
  4. Also, something about the music made me doubtful.

Then I watched the main trailer, and I was feeling pretty meh about it until that score started playing. You know the one. (Da, daaaa, dah duh daah, duuhhhhhh. Duh daaah duh da dah dadadaaaahhh.) And suddenly I was hyped.

“I will watch this movie,” I said to myself. “For the music, mostly.”

The soundtrack was beautiful, by the way, but that wasn’t even the best part.

No, the best part was this little guy:

I was rooting for this guy the moment he showed up on screen. He was just so loyal, and sweet, and hilarious. He’s like a dog, except smarter and cooler and significantly rounder. The only droid who’d give him a run for his money is R2D2, so that scene where the two of them interacting was one of my favorites in the movie. 

The second best part of this movie was Rey:

Image result for rey star wars

This girl was great. So great, in fact, that she started leaning towards a Mary Sue pretty early in the movie. Oh who am I kidding, she totally was a bit of a Mary Sue. She’s great at everything, doesn’t have any real flaws, and she can hold her own in a lightsaber duel with a trained Jedi despite having no actual training herself. (Or does she?) 

I don’t even care though, cause she was fantastic the whole way through. There’s a whole bunch of theories regarding her parentage, but I for one am hoping she’s not related to anyone important. This whole, “Every major character is the parent/child of another major character,” thing is getting old real fast.

And then there’s Finn. Finn was likable and funny the whole way through, although I must say that I find it weird that he doesn’t seem to have any guilt after all those stormtroopers he kills during the movie. He knows that these are people who’ve been taken from their families when they were young and programmed to fight for the First Order, just like him. Some of them may be feeling the same things he felt in the beginning of the movie, but they don’t know how to get themselves out because unlike Finn, they didn’t have a handsome smooth-talking pilot dude nearby to help them escape.

He should’ve been a bit more conflicted, I think. This is a man who’d been conditioned since childhood to serve the First Order without question. He shouldn’t be able to break free from that so easily without any lingering doubts.

I don’t give a hoot, though. Because all of the main characters were decently well-written, likable, and well-acted, which is more than I can say for any of the prequel characters. And I think we should all take a moment to appreciate the fact that there is now a Star Wars movie centering around a woman and a black guy. This shouldn’t be impressive, (#nowomenofcolorinsight) but it sort of actually kind of is. 

This movie was also something that the prequels totally forgot to be: it was fun. So much fun. I was enjoying myself from the very first scene to the very last, whereas the prequels just sort of dragged on forever and ever. The movie was apparently 2 hours and 15 minutes long, but it felt closer to an hour and a half for me, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. 

Overall rating: 9/10.

Keep in mind that I’m easily impressed.

My Ten Favorite Shows Ever (This List is a Doozy)

I’m pretty sure I’ve done a Top Ten Shows list, but if I did it must’ve been so long ago that I have lost all recollection of it. Plus, my list has probably changed since then, so here we are.

10) Phineas and Ferb

Oh, Phineas and Ferb. Quite possibly the greatest animated show of this decade. Of course, it’s the only animated show I’ve watched in the last year, so perhaps I’m not the best judge of these things.

Anywho, this show is technically a kid’s show, but it’s so smartly-written that people of all ages can enjoy it. Not to mention how rewarding it is to long-term viewers, with the inside jokes it sprinkled into every episode. The show’s basically like a children’s version of Family Guy, except, y’know, funny.

Favorite Character: Heinz Doofenshmirtz, due to his ridiculously tragic backstory.

9) The Leftovers

People like to hate on this show, because it’s written by the guy who wrote Lost. I’m not sure I fully understand why people didn’t like Lost, but I for one loved every moment of it, so when I found out the creator of that show was making a new one I had to check it out. Plus, the trailer piqued my interest.

I mean, look at the trailer. You see people crying, sexual content, more people crying, violence, more violence, more sexual content, all while this dark-yet-groovy song plays in the background. You can tell from the trailer that this is an angry, angsty show.

A lot of people criticize it because it’s too angsty, and depressing, and they do have a point. The show can be accurately summed up as “Sad people being sad.” But I liked it anyway, because of how it portrays grief and the ways characters handle it. (Hint: they handle it badly). Plus, the acting is amazing, from every member of the cast, and not to mention, the soundtrack is glorious. 

Favorite character: Nora.

8) Scrubs

Sure, the show got way too wacky near the end, but the first four or five seasons were a near-perfect blend of comedy and drama, as far as I recall.

A lot of people think of the show as a simple, light-hearted sitcom, but it managed to get pretty damn dark at times. In one episode a main character’s best friend dies and he hallucinates about him for the entire second half. One episode was basically just two main characters sitting in a room with a terminally ill patient, giving him comfort before he died. One episode started off with a voiceover saying “Out of every three patients admitted in the ICU, one of them will die,” as the three interns are introduced to three separate loveable patients. This has the audience wondering, “hmm, I wonder which one of them will die,” up until last few minutes when all three of them die, because fuck you, viewers, statistics don’t always match perfectly with the situations given.

And yet, the show still had times for scenes like this:

Favorite character: Elliot for the first three/four seasons. Then it’s Dr. Cox.

7) Game of Thrones

This would have been in top three a month ago, but after season 5 it’s slid down a bit. Mostly due to the fact that last season was sort of terrible, in most parts. That whole Dorne storyline was a complete disaster, and Sansa in Winterfell was a huge disappointment. (I had such high hopes for that storyline, too.) Also, it’s getting too depressing, and it’s pissing me off how Ramsay is apparently some sort of unstoppable supervillain incapable of making mistakes. Not to mention the unexplained disappearance of Ser Pounce.

But hey, the first season of show was perfect, in my eyes, and the second, third and fourth seasons weren’t too shabby either. So for that it makes the list.

Favorite character: Arya Stark

6) Doctor Who

A ridiculously inconsistent show, in which you’ll have a bad episode followed by an amazing episode followed by a terrible episode followed by an okay episode. When Doctor Who is bad, it’s very, very bad. But when it’s at its best, it’s truly one of the best shows on television.

Also, it’s been around for over fifty years, so I feel like I should give it points for that.

Favorite character: The Doctor, obviously.

5) The Walking Dead

The first episode of this show was brilliant, but I feel like it was all downhill from there. Season 2 was pretty terrible, and season 3 was fun, but it wasn’t particularly well-written and ended with the most anti-climactic finale ever. But then a new showrunner took over, and while season 4 was hardly perfect and the first half of season 5 was a bit of a mess. (Why did that character die again? What was the point of that whole storyline?), by the time we got to Alexandria the show was firing on all cylinders. The story suddenly went into a completely different direction, and the results were brilliant. I love Dark Rick, and Evil Carol, and Badass Glenn, and barely-in-the-show-anymore Tara. The Walking Dead has grown a beard, I’d say. (Don’t click that.)

Favorite character: I have a soft spot in my heart for Tara, who has been my favorite since the moment she was introduced. Though I do wish she’d get more than a few lines every couple episodes. Oh well. Hopefully she isn’t eaten alive next season.

4) Lost

I feel like the reason a lot of people hate on this show was because they were only watching it for the mystery aspect. They took a show with amazing characters, storylines and themes and subtext and they watered it down to a list of questions they wanted answered. And I feel like that’s a terrible way to watch any show, especially this one.

Sure there’s a lot of mysteries, and some of them are never answered and others are answered in unsatisfactory ways, but for me the show was never about the mystery. I just wanted to see what beloved characters like Jack and Sawyer and Desmond and Claire (loved Claire for some reason) were up to, and I just wanted them to have a satisfying ending. And they did.

That’s right, the ending was in fact, a great ending. Flawed, but still great. I said it, and I will stand by that decision for the rest of my life.

Favorite character: Desmond.

Holy shit is Walt terrifying

3) Breaking Bad

The story of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, this is one of the rare TV shows where each season was better than the one before it. In terms of writing and cinematography, this show is pretty much flawless. I have only one complaint about the show, but I can’t get into it right now due to spoilers. (Please ask me below, so I can rant accordingly.)

Favorite character: Mike. I’d like to pet his oddly shaped head.

2) Orange is the New Black

While yes, objectively speaking, this show does not deserve a higher rank that Breaking Bad, but I’m going to give it one anyway, if only because I find the show much more enjoyable to watch, even though it gets very dark and emotional at times. BB was great and all, but it was so tense that I found it painful to watch for the majority of the show’s run. Each episode was like having an hour long minor heart attack. OitNB, meanwhile, is significantly less exhausting, while still maintaining a high quality of writing.

Oh, those glorious characters. From the heartbreaking and hilarious Crazy Eyes to the clinically insane yet still lovable Morello*, every one of the many characters on this show, characters you rarely get to see on television, are wonderful in their own way.

Favorite character: Taystee, due to her love of books.

1) The Wire

It’s amazing how a show with no soundtrack, except for that one tune they play in the final five seconds, can be my favorite show. Usually, the show’s soundtrack is the primary factor in how I pick my shows (see: #9), and yet this show has none. But that’s okay. The Wire doesn’t have a score, because it’s too busy keeping things real.

Every heartbreaking tragedy hits hard, because you know that things like this have actually happened to people and are still happening today. This is a show that can make a marker stain on someone’s couch end up being the saddest thing ever, and make a man walking up a staircase a hugely celebratory moment. The show plays with your emotions without even trying.

Other things this show has going for it:

  • Morally ambiguous characters.
  • Subtlety.
  • Ridiculously talented child actors.
  • Ridiculously talented adult actors.
  • Humor!
  • Insights on the human condition.
  • Diversity.
  • More diversity.
  • Realism.
  • Multiple storylines that interweave seamlessly.
  • Social commentary.
  • Themes.
  • Motifs.
  • Parallels.
  • Non-gratuitous violence.
  • Chris Partlow. (The most terrifying male character on television?)
  • Snoop. (The most terrifying female character on television? She shoots people with nail guns, people. Stay away.)
  • Cool camera angles.
  • Badass moments.
  • A critical look at the war on drugs.
  • A critical look on politics
  • A critical look at the education system.
  • A critical look at journalism.
  • A critical look at whatever the hell season 2 was about. (I think it was about boats, or something?)

I admit, readers, season 2 of The Wire was a bit weak compared to the rest of it, but it was still better than 90% of everything else on television.

Basically, if you could go through your life having only watched one TV show, let it be this one. Even if you’re not hooked on the first few episodes, keep watching anyway. You won’t regret it, or I’ll give you your money back.

Favorite character: Rhonda Pearlman. She was chill.

*Is there a specific reason why Morello isn’t in a mental hospital instead of a prison? She should really be getting some sort of psychiatric treatment.

_____

So, that’s my list. What do you think of it? What are your top ten favorite shows? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Are you surprised that Sherlock isn’t there? Because I admit, by this point I’ve forgotten that show’s entire existence. What was it about again? Something about baking, I believe…

Game of Thrones: The Wars to Come: Review

Warning: There will be spoilers abound, for both this episode and any episode preceding it. In fact, there will be spoiler immediately after this warning.

However, nothing that hasn’t yet happen in the books will be spoiled, so that’s nice.

The end of season four left with a lot of questions. Where is Tyrion going to go? How will Jaime and Cercei react to their father’s death? Where oh where is Ser Pounce?

You know, Ser Pounce, Tommen’s cat, AKA the breakout star of season four?

The Wars to Come answers roughly two thirds of these questions. The episode starts off with a flashback of Cersei Lannister, played by a girl who looks more like Lena Headey than Lena Headey did at that age. She and an unnamed friend visit a surprisingly attractive witch in a hut, who as it turns out can tell the future, and it is not pretty. A younger, more beautiful woman will take her place as queen, and all three of her children will die terribly. I think. I couldn’t make that last part out. 

I like to think that Cersei went her whole life afterwards trying to convince herself that the prophecy was false. But after the events of last season, with Joffrey dead and Margaery continuing to gain power and influence, she’s now stubbornly trying to stop it from coming true. Is it a spoiler to say that there’ll be a bigger focus on Cersei’s storyline this season? Because it totally shouldn’t it be.

Is it just me, or is Tyrion completely adorable in this picture?

Meanwhile, Tyrion is stuck in what is probably the worst period of his entire life, and yet he manages to keep a somewhat good humor about it. Sort of. That whole scene with Tyrion drinking the wine, vomiting, and then pouring himself another glass is exactly the sort of black comedy you’d find on Breaking Bad. Suspiciously so, in fact. 

*puts on detective hat*

Aha! The director of this episode also directed thirty episodes of Breaking Bad. Mystery solved.

*takes off detective hat*

Tyrion and Varys talk for a while, and I just need to say, every scene where these two are together is pure gold. I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be an entire season of them talking to each other on a tiny sailboat as they journey to Meereen, just the two of them.

Meanwhile, Jon is given the task to convince Mance Rayder to bend the knee to Stannis, in a scene I loved because it might just be the most meaningful scene Mance Rayder’s had in the entire show. Which isn’t saying much, because I feel like he’s barely been shown since his introduction. 

Also, Melisandre not-so-subtly hints that she’d like to have wild, crazy fire sex with Jon on the elevator ride up to the wall. When this happened in the books I found myself thinking, “No Jon, don’t do it! She’s evil!” But here I just shrugged and thought, “Eh, go ahead. I wouldn’t blame you.” Melisandre is one hottie with a body, if I dare say so.

Then there’s the Daenerys storyline, which might actually be my favorite one of the episode. Which is weird because as I recall from the books, her storyline in ADWD feature about seven chapters of mostly dullness followed by three chapters of epic shit happening. It appears that the show is heading towards those last three chapters (and beyond! *ominous music*) as soon as possible. 

It helps we got to see Daenerys’ actual emotions, instead of her simply acting queenly, which is all she did in season four. I think Emilia Clarke is a great actress when it comes to personal, vulnerable scenes (like when she’s talking to Daario or visiting her chained up dragons), but when she’s making grand, “badass” proclamations (I’m going to break the wheel, anyone?) I think she falls flat. 

Also, her eyebrows do not match her hair, and that’s been bugging me since season one. 

Other things of note:

—Margaery gives the most terrifying “perhaps” I’ve ever seen. I bet the moment she said that, Cersei suddenly felt a chill run through her body, though she did not know why.

—Speaking of Tyrells, I’d like to speak to whoever came up with the idea to have an exposition scene on the geography of Dorne via birthmark on Lora’s leg. Not sure I’d call it genius, but it was definitely inspired.

—Also, I find it hilarious how close Brienne and Sansa were to meeting. Poor Brienne. Oh,and poor Podrick. 

—I have no idea what Sansa and Littlefinger are up to, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

So all in all, I think this was a good premiere. It was slow, and nothing amazing happened, (Arya unfortunately never got to murder anyone this time.) but it carried a lot of promise for the season ahead. 

Rating: 7/10. Points taken off for Daenerys’ eyebrows.

So, what did you think? Did you enjoy the episode? What’s your opinion on Stannis? What wacky hijinks do you think Sam will get up to next? Is the Hound really dead? Is Tywin really dead? Is Jon really alive? Have you ever tried the sweet teas at McDonald’s? Because they’re only a dollar and eight cents and they taste surprisingly good.

Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments below. Or you could just comment on your thoughts of the episode. Or you could do neither of those things. No one’s forcing you to.

Game of Thrones: First of His Name Review

(Caution: Spoilers for all Game of Thrones episodes up to this point. But none for anything that has yet to happen in the books.)

Well that was pretty satisfying, wasn’t it? While the first three seasons seemed to make a habit out of killing off all the beloved characters, this season seems to be (finally) killing off all the despicable ones. The ones we love to hate. First Polliver, then Joffrey, and now Owen Harper’s twin (Korl), Nicely Bearded Man (Locke) and the rest of those raping, baby-sacrificing mutineers. By this rate, Cersei, Ramsay, Tywin, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Lysa Tully, Janos Slynt, and Alliser Thorne should all be dead by the end of the season. Though I’m sure if that happens, the show will simply add a bunch of new despicable characters to the mix.

Also, poor Hodor. While Bran using him to kill Locke-the-hand-cutter-offer was a necessary—and really cool—move, it was still messed up, taking over someone’s body against their will. Hodor looked pretty damned confused and upset when Bran left his mind, and that just makes me confused and upset. Oh well, at least Bran can continue on his way to the three-eyed raven. I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a Stark reunion, but I couldn’t see how such a thing could happen without Jon taking them back to the wall, and no one wants that.

Meanwhile Lysa Tully and her son are just as warm and cuddly as they were back in season one. As in, not at all. Although I did get a good chuckle out of Lysa’s screams after the wedding, as even Sansa from her separate room could hear her. What? I’m immature.

It’s also revealed, in an extremely clunky exposition scene, that Littlefinger was basically behind everything that happened in the entire series so far. Betcha didn’t see that coming, huh? Littlefinger might have even surpassed Varys (whose gotten about ten minutes of screen time this entire season) in sneakiness. Now if only he wasn’t so much of a sex-offender, I might actually come to like him.

I should point out that if no one gets pushed out of that moon door, I’m going to start swinging. I believe a wise man once said about storytelling: If a gun is shown in the beginning, someone better fire it by the end. Similarly, if a door leading to a six hundred foot drop is revealed, someone important better be falling out of it. Personally, I hope it’s Lil’ Wayne. That guy needs to go.

Meanwhile, Daenerys realizes she hasn’t done nearly as good of a job at freeing Slaver’s Bay as she thought she did, and so she makes the decision to stay in Meereen and do what Queens do—she will stall. Just get to Westeros already, sheesh.

Meanwhile, Cersei is being sympathetic lately, but I think it’s an act. She’s totally just manipulating the judges for Tyrion’s trial. The judges are Tywin, Oberyn, and Mace Tyrell (Margaery’s father) and she is coincidentally acting nice to them all of a sudden. Letting Mace Tyrell know she’s actively trying to make his daughter a queen will surely put him on her side, and letting the Red Viper know she doesn’t approve of the whole “murdering little girls” thing certainly couldn’t hurt.

Some other thoughts:

  • I found it hilarious how Margaery was all, “Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it,” when it came to marrying Tommen. Ha, good one, Marge.
  • I feel terrible for Sansa right now. First she’s betrothed to Joffrey, then to an eight (nine? ten?) year old kid who still breastfeeds. Speaking of which, are there any people left who still hate on Sansa? There better not be.
  • Neither Jaime, Davos or Tyrion got any lines in this episode, yet I didn’t notice their absence at all.
  • Jojen’s visions were perhaps the most intriguing part of the episode, and a marvel to look at. Go Team Bran! I’m rooting for you now.
  • Arya’s sword moves were extremely well-choreographed. Is Maisie Williams some sort of dancer in real life? I wouldn’t be surprised. Also, it should go without saying that every scene with her and the Hound is pure gold, despite the fact that they don’t advance the plot at all.

Rating: 8 out of 10. Good, but I don’t want to rate it too high unless a better episode comes along. (Reminder: my ratings are worthless.)

So what did you think of the episode? Did you like it? Did you kind of like it? Or did you hate it more than Joffrey? Comment below, unless you don’t want to.

Game of Thrones: Oathkeeper Review

Caution: Spoilers for every GoT episode up till this point. But no spoilers for anything that will happen later in the books.

Game of Thrones has always been dark and depressing, but never too much for me to handle. When Ned’s head got chopped off, I thought, “No biggie.” When Talisa Stark got stabbed in the uterus a bunch of times, I gritted my teeth but carried on, and when those guys at Craster’s keep were drinking from Mormont’s skull (which had weirdly perfect teeth, I might add), I wasn’t bothered at all.

BUT THEY CROSSED THE LINE WITH WHAT THEY DID TO HODOR!

Hodor is easily the kindest and noblest man in this entire series. When it comes to honor, Ned Stark and Davos Seaworth don’t hold a candle compared to him. Taunting and stabbing Hodor with a spear is just as terrible as sacrificing an innocent baby to the White Walkers. Which the show also did.

*headdesks*

Anywho, I don’t think Game of Thrones is nearly as depressing as people make it out to be. The only moment when I felt it was too dark to keep watching/reading, was during the Red Wedding, when it felt like all the good guys have either died or were stuck in hopeless situations. But what I like about this show is that whenever there’s a good moment, it is truly satisfying, because the characters (and the viewers) had to go through hell to get that one moment of happiness. So when Joffrey died an extremely painful death at his own wedding, or when Arya got to stab Polliver while repeating his past words to him, it made me happier than any Doctor Who episode could, which is a little disturbing if you think about it.

Also, I’d like to apologize for when I accidentally spoiled something in my last review. I read way too much into that Littlefinger/Sansa scene, and accidentally spoiled the necklace twist. And by the way Petyr pointed the necklace out, it’s clear that that was meant to be a big surprise. Not only am I sorry about that, but I’m a disappointed in myself for becoming the very thing I hate: that obnoxious book reader who spoils things for the show watchers. I promise I’ll never spoil anything again—

BRIENNE AND DAENERYS FALL IN LOVE!*

Sorry, I did it again. I am just out of control, aren’t I?

But hey, at least I didn’t spoil the whole “The Queen of Thorns was the killer” reveal. (God, I hope I didn’t read too much into that scene as well.) I thought it was impossible to like the Tyrells even more, but gosh darn-it, it looks like I have. This also lead to Margaery sneaking into Tommen’s bedroom in a scene that would be a hundred times more creepy if the genders were reversed. (#doublestandard) Still, well done, Margaery, and good luck getting back to sleep, Tommen.

In other news, Dany conquers Meereen within five minutes into the episode. Personally, I’m surprised the scene didn’t come with a staples’ easy button. But I did enjoy her decision to crucify one hundred and sixty-three masters, not because I agree with it, but moral ambiguity is the best.

Meanwhile, Bran and Co. get captured by those jerks at Craster’s Keep, which gives me mixed feelings. On one hand, poor Hodor, but on the other hand, the potential for a Stark reunion is suddenly very high. But on the third hand, I can’t imagine a situation where Meera isn’t raped, and I really don’t want that to happen, and on the fourth hand, Bran’s storyline is finally getting interesting.

(Notice how I keep saying that Bran’s storyline is finally getting interesting, despite the fact that I’ve been saying that since the second half of season 3.)

I think my favorite part of the episode was Pod’s face (see below), along with the fact that he and Brienne will be having a bunch of wacky adventures. I hope they meet up with Arya and the Hound, and start their own mystery-solving gang.

  • Ser Pounce made an appearance! I was so happy when that adorable cat showed up, since I thought for sure the show would cut him out of the story. You know how I said Hodor was the most noble character in the whole series? I lied. Ser Pounce is.
  • Speaking of Ser Pounce, “He [Joffrey] threatened to skin him alive and mix his innards up in my food so I wouldn’t know I was eating him.” That is such a Joffrey thing to do.
  • That guy who cut off Jaime’s hand is now traveling along with Snow. Combine that with the White Walkers, the freezing cold, the fact that Bran’s captured and Owen Harper’s evil, identical twin leading the mutineers, so many things could go wrong with this plan.
  • That final scene was certainly… interesting. Also, that was the most adorable white walker we’ve seen so far.

Final Rating: 0/10, for what they did to Hodor. (Don’t take my ratings seriously.)

*No, this hasn’t actually happened in the books. Yet. *crosses fingers*

Game of Thrones: Breaker of Chains Review

Caution: There will be spoilers in this review (duh) for every episode up to this point in the TV show. But nothing in the books will be spoiled, because books are for NEEEERRRDSSS!

(kidding)

First off, sorry this review is so late. In my defense, The Way Way Back aired on HBO just ten minutes after Game of Thrones, so I started watching that and it was so good I forgot everything that happened in this episode, (except for that one scene, but I’ll get to that later) so I had to watch it again.

A lot happened in this episode. To be more specific, a lot happened in this episode that didn’t happen in the books, which makes sense, I guess. Because I know about all the great, mind-blowing scenes that should take place in episodes eight, nine and ten (and maybe seven), but I don’t remember exactly what will take place until then. Luckily, I liked most of the changes, so this isn’t going to be a problem for me.

Let’s start off with the opening scene: Sansa and that fool Dontos are running away from the chaotic mess of a wedding while tense music plays in the background. And then they get on a boat with Littlefinger, that sneaky guy who’d probably be registered as a sex offender (or worse) if he lived in our society. After casually killing Dontos, Baelish then explains how the necklace was used to poison Joffrey. The audience now knows that either a) he was the mastermind behind Joffrey’s poisoning, or b) This is all just one hell of a coincidence. But that leaves the question of who put the poison in Joffrey’s wine (or was it in the pigeon pie somehow?) since Littlefinger obviously wasn’t there. I think it was Joffrey himself was the one who did it, if only to frame Tyrion for his death.

Tywin was the MVP of this episode, as he talked with Tommen about what makes a good king, not even attempting to hide his apathy over Joffrey’s death. (Speaking of which, did the actor playing Joffrey just have to lay down completely still for the whole scene? The poor guy.)

The one scene I really didn’t like was the one where Jaime raped Cersei. I’ve read about the showrunner’s intent with the scene and I at least know where they were coming from, but I still wasn’t a fan. Jaime’s supposed to be on a redemption arc, and his storyline is widely considered one of the best in the series because of this. And that one scene screwed the whole thing up. You can’t make a character likeable by having him rape his twin sister inches away from his dead son. One of book Jaime’s (and show Jaime’s, at least until now) redeeming features was his attitude towards rape. As in, he strongly disapproved, and he had at least one man beheaded for it. I feel like this scene betrayed his character, and that’s not cool.

It’s going to be very, very tough to make Jaime likeable after this scene. (Although admittedly, I would’ve said the same thing after he attempted murder on Bran in the first episode.) And I’d consider this to be the only big mistake the show’s made so far.

In other news, Sam is an idiot. In order to protect Gilly from possibly getting raped by other members of the Night’s Watch, he sends her to a disgusting, dirty brothel-like place that looks more like a meth den than anything else. You’d think after killing an ice zombie, he’d be a little more confident and bit less of a wimp. I still like Sam, after all he’s perhaps the most relateable character in the series, but it feels he hasn’t grown as a character at all.

Meanwhile, Ygritte’s helping a bunch of cannibals slaughter a village that seems to filled with mostly just women and children, Jon tells the Night’s Watch that those people at Craster’s might possibly cause some trouble, and Stannis is trying to take credit for Joffrey’s death.

Shut up, Stannis. You didn’t do shit. You just burned a bunch of people to death and complained a lot. The good news is, at least Davos has something to do, now that’s he’s sending a letter to the Bank of Bravvos. Would you care to let the audience in on your plan here, Davos? No? You’d rather just be all coy about it? Fine with me.

This doesn’t have a whole lot to do with this episode, but I find it funny.

In other news:

  • Tyrion has a sad scene with Podrick Payne, showing just how much better of a person Tyrion is, compared to just about everyone else in King’s Landing. He has a conscience! Love it when people have those. Plus it goes to say that Podrick was the coolest kid in Westeros, even before he turned out to be a sex god.* He’s like Duncan from The Way, Way Back, but just a little bit taller.
  • Arya and the Hound were just as entertaining as ever in this episode. Can they just start solving mysteries already, please?
  • Daenerys’ final scene was great (because symbolism!). I don’t know about you guys, but I like this new version of Daario. That may be because I don’t remember him at all from the books.
  • Those cannibal wildling people are creepy.

My rating: Probably around a seven. The Way Way Back was much more groovy.

So what did you think, reader? Were you surprised by the Littlefinger reveal? Were you mad at the Jaime-Cersei scene? Are you disappointed that Tommen isn’t an obese eight-year old, and he doesn’t have a fondness for kittens? I know I am.

I want Tommen to look like this kid!