The purpose of Joker is to be a Great Film; entertainment is secondary. However, it is not a Great Film. It barely even feels like a film. It feels like television. Bad television, albeit bad premium television. You know the kind. Any given Showtime show that stretches one episode of story into a season, or one of those weird Netflix things that horribly Photoshops its actors into the key art. … More Joker


If I had to choose just one emotion to describe Mindhunter, it’s “somber,” which is great, because I can’t think of any others. The show is emotionally reserved and its characters are emotionally intelligent. In a romantic subplot, there are a few instances where characters shrug off accidental slights that would’ve spiraled into a shouting match on other shows. Based on the commentary I’ve read on this season, this reservedness may be working against the show, clashing with what feels like a dip into the arch with Tench’s subplot. His adopted son was at the scene of a grisly murder, and has been socially regressing ever since, and more than one observer cited this for being too coincidental or too contrived. This is the show where the action comes from the dialogue, less like a Tarantino movie and more like math. Any plot contrivance feels like contrivance. … More Mindhunter

Better the Second Time

As a modern nerd, I can no longer make generalities about my nerddom experiences and expect everyone to nod along. In fact, I wouldn’t want to. Also, nerddom is a terrible term, as with anything which interpolates “nerd,” but with more severe affect, as it’s encroaching on connotations of royalty or domination, and that’s counterintuitive. But one thing I like to think of as a constant in nerddom is the arc of finding one’s nerd community. It was, for me, a near-lifelong process, dotted by false starts and curveballs and dead ends. It isn’t easy to bring the people you love into your sequestered world. It’s probably like the proverbial “bringing your boyfriend or girlfriend to meet your parents,” though as a nerd, I wouldn’t know. See? Nerds are having babies these days. … More Better the Second Time


They found Daniel dead on his boat just beyond the buoy. He may have been an older man, but nothing in his medical history suggested a heart attack was coming. He ate well, walked regularly. The coroner’s report was boilerplate, frustratingly simple enough to have incited all that followed. It wouldn’t have taken much. … More “Mythic”