The Minimum Effort Ep.11 IT and something about JJ

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Ben and Lewis dive into the latest movie and TV news this week, discussing (at length) the Star Wars director fiasco. And, having washed the brown stains out of his jeans, Lewis gives a brief review of the IT remake…

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Doctor Who – Insert Clickbait Here…

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So it was announced last week, although from what I remember rumours have been circulating for a while, that Peter Capaldi will be hanging up his TARDIS key at the end of the year, meaning the search for his replacement is on. But, before we jump into that, I want to take a look back at his time in the TARDIS…

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On the 4th of August Capaldi was announced as the 12th Doctor and I, for one, was pretty pleased with that. We were promised a more old school Doctor, not as unlikable as Colin Baker’s 6th, rather, more like the Grandfatherly figure of William Hartnell’s 1st doctor with a fashion choice to match. This is what I wanted. I wasn’t a fan of Matt Smith at the time (I’m still not, but I watch his last season more fondly now) and I saw Capaldi as a step in the right direction, getting away from the touchy-feely 10th and 11th Doctors (Hey, you leave David Tenant out of this- Lewis).

However, on the whole, I was pretty disappointed by Capaldi; in his first episode we saw some glimpses of the Doctor he wanted to be, but that was lost in the following campy -episodes and mopey characters. His character traits were often spoken about; an incredible over use of – “I don’t do hugs” – (which was often ignored) for example. It was clear that the writers were trying to tell us that this Doctor was an older, more distant man rather than try to show us, but that simply robbed this new trait of its impact. You see, you wouldn’t dream of hugging the older Doctors, which was exactly what I wanted to see in Capaldi’s episodes, and I honestly think that he wanted this characterisation too, but the writers were just too attached to the previous incarnations of the Doctor.  I can count the number of standout episodes from the Capaldi years on one hand- The Time Heist and the two-parter episode Under the lake/Before the Flood. Beyond that, the cast weren’t given much room at all to grow as Steven Moffat pleasured himself with the idea of sonic-fucking-sunglasses (Jesus, thank God he is leaving).

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Anticippointment (Anticipation followed by disappointment) summarises how I feel about Peter Capaldi’s time in the Tardis. I had high hopes for a different Doctor, but I think the show was let down by some really poor writing- what is new there? I would have really liked Capaldi to stick around for a few more seasons to see what he could do with a new writing team, but it just wasn’t to be. An issue may have been that I wanted to see a Malcolm Tucker- esque Doctor, which is obviously not ok for a broadcast shown at 7 O’clock on BBC one… so yeah, that has led to my anticippointment.

It’s strange though, because, looking at the numbers, the two Capaldi series have been the most successful yet in terms of viewing figures and critical reviews, which baffles me because most people I know have stopped watching the show rather than started it.

Anyway, it’s speculation time.

The precedent has been set with the Master so I honestly wouldn’t rule out a female iteration of the Doctor. Provided it isn’t as irritating as ‘Missy’ (another concept I’m sure Moffat tugs off to) I am open to a female Time Lord in the TARDIS, but who would I want behind the wheel? Well, looking through the current favourites, here are some options:

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Ben Whishaw 5/1 – An interesting choice, he was up there last time round. He would probably be a Doctor more akin to Matt Smith’s iteration. Whishaw made a very good Q in the last two Bond films, and he could make a very good Doctor.

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Richard Ayoade 6/1 – This would be bloody hysterical for two or three episodes, but after that I’m not too sure.

 

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Rory Kinnear 7/1 – Another Bond man, I like this choice- he’s more of a dad than a grandad, and not the type to be another ‘boyfriend’ Doctor. This is one of my preferred choices on this list.

 

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Miranda Hart 8/1 – No. Just No.

 

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Jason Flemyng 9/1 – Much like Kinnear, a Flemyng Doctor would be an intermediate between Capaldi and Smith, and to my knowledge he isn’t up to much which makes him free for long filming sessions.

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David Harewood 10/1 – I am game for this one as well, however he is involved in Supergirl which could interfere with filming commitments.

 

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Helena Bonham Carter 10/1 – So we would basically have two ‘Missys’ in the universe- I would find it pretty unwatchable.

 

 

Olivia Coleman’s name has also been mentioned, and she definitely has the comic ability/acting chops that would make her a very good Doctor, and considering the new show-runner wrote Broadchurch I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coleman at least get offered the role. Idris Elba is also on the list but with the upcoming Dark Tower film it looks like his Hollywood career is really starting to get going (Unless it’s, regrettably, a flop- Lewis), besides, I would much rather he be the next Bond than the next Doctor. Another element to consider when picking the next Doctor is the show’s new popularity in the US, which means the show runners are more likely to give the role to a bigger name rather than taking a punt on an unknown.

So that about wraps it up, a few of my opinions about the Capaldi years and a brief run through of some of the favourites to replace him. But what do you think? Who do you want to be the next Time Lord?

Please leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

Rebels Review S3E4: Hera’s Heroes

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Ben: So in this week’s Rebels instalment we’re given another personal adventure (-ish). This time Hera takes the lead as we go to her home planet of Ryloth…

Lewis: Indeed, and we’re reintroduced to Cham Syndulla and his resistance. I liked the exploration of Twi-Lek culture in this episode, but honestly it felt a bit secondary to the Thrawn plot point.

Ben: I think the Twi-Leks were vital to properly introducing Thrawn. In the books, and now in the show, he studies the culture of a race not just their tactics. The Twi-Leks are the easiest way to explore this side of him as we’re already familiar with Cham and Hera.

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Lewis: I agree, they were essential to building his character and the various themes that are explored in the novels, but let’s discuss some of those later. Shall we talk about Cham and the fact that, while he is one of the best tacticians in the Rebel alliance, Thrawn outplayed him?

Ben: Cham proved himself a brilliant guerrilla warfare tactician during the Clone Wars, and ran rings around the Imperial officers on Ryloth- It is only when Thrawn takes over that the tide turns. Says a lot about Thrawn to be able beat an experienced commander on his own turf.

Lewis: Exactly, they’re slowly allowing us to see just how much of a badass Thrawn is, and just how much trouble the Rebels are getting into.

Ben: But not a fighting badass; he out-thinks his opponent and then gets others to out-gun them.

Lewis: Although he did demonstrate that he’s handy with a weapon when he stunned Ezra- neither Hera nor Ezra saw that coming, and he looked pretty quick with that blaster. I think he’s proficient in the use of weapons but prefers out-smarting his enemies.

Ben: I suppose that is true, but it really stems from him out-thinking the rebels and knowing that they “Always have friends rushing to the rescue.”

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Lewis: What did you think of the little side-plot of the distraction?

Ben: Ah yes, the side-adventure that gives the other crew members something to do. I mean, it was ok- fairly forgettable. I did think the Twi-Lek with the rocket launcher was going to miss the AT-ST and sell Cham and the others out for a second, but that was quickly put to bed.

Lewis: I had that exact same thought. Also, seeing as we saw Kanan blow up an AT-ST at the end using a rocket, surely it would have made more sense to actually hit the thing? Anyway… Like you said, it was enjoyable enough, and it did actually manage to build a sense of tension. Given that we’re talking about how the others were risking their lives on this mission, I had a bit of a problem with Hera’s motivations; I don’t think the art piece was enough of a reason to go on the mission.

Ben: I suppose it means a lot to her culture, but in reality it was just something to show Thrawn’s thought process more than anything.

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Lewis: For me that was a bit of an issue because they should’ve focussed a little more on Hera rather than just using her to set up Thrawn. Shall we talk about the aspects of his character that they’ve begun to develop in this episode?

Ben: I guess you’re right, but ultimately the show’s point of view is focused on the rebels, they won’t shift perspective to develop Thrawn. And yes, beyond being a bloody genius, he has to deal with a certain amount of prejudice from other Imperial officers.

Lewis: No, which is why I think they were a tiny-little-bit clumsy in using Hera to build up Thrawn… that being said, I really do appreciate them giving us a villain who actually has some realistic motivations and personality (unlike the inquisitors of the second season…). The racism and prejudice that they’re showing this season is the most interesting part for me. It’s a part of the Empire we haven’t really seen so much in the canon material (it was substantially explored in the EU), and it’s cool that they’re comfortable going into those themes in this show- it also makes Thrawn an almost sympathetic character.

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Ben: Yeah I found that, I actually quite liked him- even if it felt bizarre to actually like a Rebels villain. He definitely has more depth than all of the past adversaries they’ve faced, and through that depth we’re being shown the real dark side of the Empire. In the films all we really see is them running around after the Rebellion, but this story emphasises the need for the Rebellion in the first place.

Lewis: I don’t think I could say that I like him, but I really like his character- as you said, he has depth. The characterisation in this episode made him even more interesting, and I think it’s just going to get better as the season goes on. The issues of the conflict and the true nature of the Empire is certainly turning the Civil War into a more realistic/developed idea.

Ben: “Like” may be the wrong word, but I appreciate his character, and you do in a way feel for him. This season is definitely adding an extra dimension to the Civil war.

Lewis: And I’m liking this dimension- it feels more grown up than the last two seasons, what with the spiritual exploration with the Bendu, and the introduction of the Empire’s racism and ruthlessness with Thrawn and that little segment in Wedge’s episode when Skerris destroys the unarmed transport. Shall we talk about the conclusion of the episode? I particularly enjoyed chopper getting up to his usual hijinks…

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Ben: Ah yes, the prisoner exchange turned demolition of the house, it was fairly impressive. Where did all those thermal detonators come from though?

Lewis: In the end Hera had to sacrifice her family’s legacy in order to save her friends. I thought they found the armoury and just used the equipment from there?

Ben: Oh yeah. So after they destroyed the house, Thrawn let them go again.

Lewis: I wonder how many times he’s going to let them go before he decides to finish it once and for all? I mean, I appreciate the fact that it makes his character more interesting than the average Imperial Officer, but surely that trick is going to get a little old?

Ben: I think he will keep letting them go until he finds the entire Rebel fleet, or he will capture the crew once he knows the strength of the Rebellion in an attempt to draw them out- I think this will continue for a bit longer.

Lewis: He’s certainly learning a lot about them, and that will most likely lead to their downfall if they aren’t careful. So, overall, what did you think of this one?

Ben: I liked this episode, it may actually be my favourite so far. I know that Hera is a bit neglected in exchange for Thrawn to be developed, but I am sure we will get another chance to see Hera in action.

Lewis: I enjoyed it too, and the glimpse of Thrawn’s true character was certainly one of the highlights of this season so far. Although my favourite of the season is still The Antilles Extraction for its focus on the pilots of the Rebellion… I guess we’ll call it there then?

Ben: I guess so, bring on the next one.

Again, as usual, if you feel like we missed anything, or simply want to let us know what you thought of “Hera’s Heroes”, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below. And if you, somehow, liked this piece, why not give it a favourite or share it?

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Rebels Review: S3E2 “The Holocrons of Fate”

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Lewis: So after an interesting, but kind of middling season premiere, Star Wars Rebels brings back an old foe/friend for the second episode “The Holocrons of Fate”
What did you think?

Ben: I liked this episode, we got to see a lot of development in the relationships between Maul, Ezra and Kanan.

Lewis: Ezra and Kanan finally managed to break through the distance that had grown between them since the end of season 2, although I’m not entirely sure it’ll last very long…

Ben: Yes it still seems a bit uneasy; Kanan has changed his perspective since his blinding while Ezra has begun to depend more on his ‘saber and aggression. I think we can expect to see further strain on the relationship.

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Lewis: Although Kanan used to be like that too to an extent… I don’t know, it just seems like it was all healed too quickly for it to last.

Ben: I think that is where the tension rises from- They have both become very different people.

Lewis: Now I guess Kanan has to guide Ezra towards becoming like him, before he goes down a different path. Speaking of different people, how about the Bendu though? He seems like more of a benevolent creature now.

Ben: He is an interesting guide for the two of them to have.

Lewis: I’m liking him more and more, he’s sort of a Yoda character but dare I say a little more interesting because of his nature?

Ben: He is a grey Yoda, and like we said last week, the Bendu scenes are not action packed but the character and his nature makes his scene some of the most interesting.

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Lewis: Mmmmm, I hope they do a lot more with his character. I particularly liked the moment when Kanan takes Ezra’s ‘saber away before he goes in the cave, and Bendu is confused as to why- It was a nice call back to Empire, and it showed, again, how differently the Bendu thinks compared to other characters we’re familiar with. Also, I take back what I said, he’s not more interesting than Yoda, I don’t know why I said that, but he’s a good character.

Ben: Shall we move forward and mention how rubbish the crew of the Ghost were this week?

Lewis: They were a little lacking… It felt like the only reason they were there was to progress the plot for Kanan and Ezra.

Ben: It was a very force-user heavy episode, but I’m sure they will get their chance to be in the spotlight.

Lewis: Well it looks like Sabine will next episode, and Hera has her episode coming up too.

Ben: One thing this episode did was show how powerful Maul is; following the escape attempt he recaptured the crew without breaking sweat.

Lewis: I liked that part, but it felt as though the Ghost crew would be a little harder to recapture than they were. Anyway, Maul was very impressive this episode I wonder when we’ll see him again?

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Ben: I reckon he will appear now and again, I expected this episode to be the first part of two to be honest.

Lewis: Same here. Until the last five minutes I thought it would be a two-parter, which I suppose is why the last act felt a little rushed. I guess if we’re talking about Maul reappearing later in the show, should we move on to what he and Ezra saw in the vision?

Ben: Well I think it is pretty clear the two of the saw Tatooine and Obi-Wan.

Lewis: Well I thought that as well, and I do think that Maul meant Obi-Wan when he said “he lives”, but we don’t know whether they saw the same thing. And Maul said that he was looking for hope when he looked into the Holocrons, so would that mean Obi-Wan? I think they might both have seen Luke and Tatooine, hence the “hope” reference. Maybe Maul will go to Tatooine hoping to recruit Luke and instead find Obi-Wan protecting him?

Ben: Potentially, if they did see different things Maul may have seen his brother, although I am pretty sure Savage is dead.

Lewis: That’s definitely a possibility, but I feel like that would be a bit cheap considering that he seemed very dead… You could say the way Palpatine killed him was pretty… savage

 

Ben: I definitely feel that we are heading towards a show down between Obi Wan and Maul which would be really cool, however for it to fit into continuity Ezra and Kanan cannot be there.

Lewis: I would very much like to see that- finish the fight once and for all. Although Maul didn’t seem angry when he saw the vision, he seemed more excited/shocked So do you think he might feel like he and Obi-wan are sort of even now after Satine and he just wants to see him? Go for a pint? And I think they could work around Kanan and Ezra meeting Obi-Wan, but it would be difficult.

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Ben: Nah, I think Maul is going all out to kill him. Alternatively he could have figured out who Vader is and we could have a pretty cool Vader vs Maul fight. I mean they could work their way around the continuity, but they I think it would cheapen it with Kanan and Ezra just conveniently not being around.

Lewis: That would be pretty sweet, but I think the emotional pay-off would be greater with the Maul-Obi Wan showdown. Although that does scupper my plans in terms of the Boba Fett- Obi Wan movie I’ve been hoping for. And yeah I guess you’re right about it cheapening the story, but if Kanan and Ezra die eventually then there won’t be a problem…

Ben: I was thinking that- if they die or turn away from the Jedi order then you are right, there is no issue.

Lewis: It’d certainly be interesting to just see them give it all up- but I can’t see them doing that as the characters they are at the moment. Our good friend Pete reckons that Ezra’s rashness will lead to someone getting killed- possibly Hera- and then Kanan turning against him and them killing each other or something along those lines.

Ben: I am not sure about that, I know there are some grey tones in the show but at the end of the day it is a Kids show. One of the crew could get injured but I doubt one of them will die and I cannot see them (Kanan and Ezra) fighting to the death.

Lewis: I think it’s a little darker than you give it credit for, and honestly I could definitely see something along those lines happening- maybe not the fight to the death- but something like that.

Ben: I am yet to be convinced that something like that will happen.

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Lewis: We shall see, we shall see. Although I believe someone involved in the show stated that these three seasons follow a similar tone pattern to the original trilogy, which implies that last season was the darkest/most serious the show will ever get, and that this one will be a bit of a let-down and involve teddy bears of some sort (I kid). Anyway, I think we’ve rambled for long enough What did you reckon of the episode overall?

Ben: Please, no Ewoks. I liked it- level with the first episode. I appreciate the investigations into alternative areas on the spectrum of the force and the vision was interesting.

Lewis: Agreed, a solid episode! And I’m very much looking forward to the next one, “The Antilles Extraction”…

Ben: Does that mean what I think it means? Will we get to see Wedge make his Rebels debut?

Lewis: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah.

Ben: Get in.

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Game of Thrones: Season 5 reflections

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CombinedpicLewis: Soooooooooo… Game of Thrones.

Ben: Game of Thrones. How do you want to do this? Character by character? Episode by episode? Or, alternatively, wherever the conversation takes us.

Lewis: I think if we talk about it character by character we can cover more ground in less time.

Ben: Righto, shall we start in the North and work down? Starting with Jon (I think we should say now that there will be spoilers)

Poor Jon…

Lewis: Yeah, there will be a whole lot of spoilers here

RIP Jon. The North remembers!

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Ben: I felt like he was really coming into his own this series, he became much more likeable and developed into the leader Westeros needs.

Lewis: For sure. He was becoming a lot more like good ol’ Ned (RIP). Unfortunately, GOT has a habit of killing off characters who begin to look like decent people… I do hope he comes back somehow. Everyone likes an underdog.

Ben: He was making good decisions (except for that Oli dickhead). Yes, hopefully they will bring him back, most probably using Melisandre.

Lewis: I don’t like her, but if she manages to bring Jon back she will gain my approval. It was pretty frustrating that Oli couldn’t see past the fact that Wildlings had killed his family, but I guess he is only 13 or something…

As for the Wildlings, I wonder what’s going to happen with them now?

Ben: I think everything is going to kick off between The Night’s watch and the remaining Wildlings, which will allow the walkers in.

Lewis: Hmmmmm, I hope it doesn’t turn out as depressingly as that, but then again it is GOT. Maybe Jon Snow will come back just as all hope seems lost, and he’ll unite the Wildlings and Night’s Watch in a glorious battle against the unending hordes of the undead. Then again, maybe not.

We also have the Boltons to worry about.

Ben: Yeah, the damn Boltons. Stannis burnt his daughter and his wife killed herself all for nothing! That’s my issue with GoT, everything is so futile. I would have forgiven Stannis for killing his daughter if it meant we would be rid of the Boltons, but we aren’t. The whole thing was for nothing, resulting in the loss of an anti-hero I could support.

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Lewis: Yeah, to be honest I actually quite liked Stannis, even if he was harsh. He always had The Onion-Knight to keep him in check though, so I think he would’ve been alright as a ruler.

Obviously my support for him dropped a little after he sacrificed his daughter… but you know, he might not be dead. We didn’t see the killing blow.

Ben: That is true, he was a bit harsh but he always seemed better than the alternatives. Bloody Brianne! Why does she always have to kill people that are ok, she should have been watching for the candle…

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Lewis: She’s a decent person but she’s always so self-righteous… do you think Theon and Sansa will get away?

Ben: She is incredibly self-righteous, it is like they are desperate for us to like her. She killed the Hound though, so I can never forgive her.

I kind of hope so; Theon is starting to redeem himself in my books. However this is Game of Thrones, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were caught.

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Lewis: I hope Theon has to sacrifice himself for Sansa…

It’s hard not to feel for the idiot though; he has been through a lot. Speaking of people who’ve been through a lot (nice segue, huh?), Cersei is finally getting what’s been coming to her for a long time.

Ben: Yeah that would be a nice touch, provided Sansa gets away…

Very good, but has she though? Yeah she has been ridiculed, but she now has The Mountain to carry out whatever she wants. And being ridiculed isn’t enough, she has to die and soon.

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Lewis: The Starks shall be avenged, Ben. If I had it my way, the Hound would come back and face off against the Mountain in an epic fight. That probably won’t happen though…

She also still needs to have her trial, as do Margaery and Loras

Ben: Ideally she will be killed off next series. It would be epic to have the Hound back. He was one of the most likable characters in the whole show.

The Tyrells were pretty much forgotten by the end of the episode.

Lewis: Yeah, I was a little peeved about how they didn’t really mention them in the later parts of the episode.

What do you think will happen to them?

Ben: I can imagine that Loras will be killed; further fuelling the Tyrell/lannister feud. The Queen of Thorns is a pretty solid character. In a show filled with blood and sex she is one of the few that possesses a quick mind and a sharp tongue, making many of her scenes very funny. Particularly ones where she slags off Cersei.

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Lewis: You know, out of all the houses, the Tyrells are really the only ones who aren’t complete arseholes most of the time. If anyone ends up ruling at all they’d be a good choice. Olenna is definitely one of my favourite characters in the show. Which leads me to think that she might meet a horrific fate at the hands of the Lannisters (or someone associated with them).

Ben: Especially now that Cersei has The Zombie Mountain at her side, they may not last long. The High Sparrow wants them punished for their sins too, I think their only hope is a war between the faith and the Lannisters

Lewis: Hmmmm I can’t imagine Cersei allowing her trial to go ahead. Her plan definitely backfired on her.

I suppose we had better talk about what’s been happening outside of Westeros though

Ben: We shall have to wait and see, Kings Landing is far too complicated to predict. What about Dorne?

Lewis: Yeah, will Jamie turn that ship around and get Myrcella the antidote in time? I have to say, even if he can be a real piece of shit, I do like Jamie.

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Ben: I think Myrcella is as good at dead, why do all the wrong Lannisters die?

He goes through phases does Jamie, starts off a bellend, then ok for a bit, then a dickhead again. He has been ok this series, paired up with Bronn, I like Bronn. I got a bit scared when he almost died.

Lewis: Unfortunately, that’s the fucked up world they live in. Yeah he’s a complicated anti-hero for sure.

Bronn is awesome I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous over the show than when he started to have that nosebleed… I think things in Dorne are going to become very complicated next season.

Ben: It just isn’t fair. I was shouting “No, no, no, no” when he was having that fit. I don’t know what I would do if he died. Yes, there will be some political manoeuvres and I’m slightly nervous for the ok-guy in the wheelchair. I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of the Sand-Sisters.

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Lewis: Crazy sisters… I guess Bronn was right about the fucking and killing bit.

Speaking of killing, looks like Arya’s in a tight spot too (another sweet segue), I wonder if her blindness will be permanent?

Ben: He was indeed.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Arya story. It was quite slow, but I suppose it comes with the training she is doing but for me it was a bit Bran-ish. And then when she did start fucking shit up it backfired spectacularly… typical Stark…

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Lewis: I have to agree with you there. It was interesting, but out of everything that’s been going on it was the weak link.

Ben: You could have easily cut bits out and not know the difference. I doubt she will be permanently blinded. Hopefully it will just be a temporary thing until she learns her lesson. And then she can avenge hers family.

Shall we move further through Essos to The Mother of Dragons?

Lewis: Yes… good ol’Danaerys

I know she’s an alright person, and I know she’s a bit naïve, but goddam is she frustrating sometimes.

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Ben: She has become a secondary character in her own story arc. It is all about Tyrion and my personal favourite, Jorah.

Bless him, Captain friend zone.

Lewis: Ah yes, Mr. Mormont It’s not looking too good for him at the moment. He’s either going to die from the Grayscale or Dario is gonna kill him out of jealousy.

Ben: Poor old Jorah. He has always had her best interests at heart. Another issue I have with that story arc is that it has literally gone nowhere in the last 5 series. Danaerys started off with the Dothraki, then ended up in Quarth, and then on to slavers bay which is all character building stuff but now she has ended up back with the Dothraki thanks to the work of Drogon (that fight in the penultimate episode was pretty cool). The whole story has gone round in a big circle.

Lewis: Well hopefully that circle will have some kind of meaning behind it, but I get what you mean, it does feel like it’s stalled somewhat.

Ben: She was learning lessons in slavers bay that would help her rule Westeros, but going back to the Dothraki almost seems like an effort to get another book out her story if you see my meaning. The constant stopping and starting is getting frustrating.

Lewis: Yeah I understand what you mean, but who knows, maybe she can gain the support of the Dothraki?

Ben: Maybe. I kinda hope so, just so she can get rid of the bloody Lannisters. What do you reckon of Tyrion being given the control of Meereen?

Lewis: I think Tyrion’s been given a chance to come into his own. He’ll do very well, and to be honest, if Dany now has Tyrion as a permanent advisor, she’s going to more than capable of ruling. However, as the series goes on I just can’t see anything good happening to anyone in the Seven Kingdoms… I think it’s just as likely that everything will be destroyed

Ben: I agree which brings me to my final point if you are finished?

Lewis: I am indeed! This sounds exciting.

Ben: I wouldn’t be. My point is this…

I am tired of the emotional manipulation this show puts me through season after season. Not only do all the evil bastards survive while every good character and anti-hero is killed off in increasingly disturbing ways, when you do get to the point, when you, as a viewer, think you may get some redemption for the death of all your favourites, the evil fuckers like Ramsey Bolton prevail at the last minute. Or by some miracle, out of nowhere you develop some form of sympathy for people like Cersei Lannister. I know it is almost the point of the show and the books to throw the reader and the viewer off at the last minute, but after seasons of this bullshit I am tired of feeling depressed after every finale. Good guys had better start surviving because I cannot take the emotional turmoil much longer. End of rant *as I wipe a tear from my eye mourning the death of Ned, Robb, The Hound and all the others*

Lewis: Bloody hell, do you want a tissue?

That was quite the rant. However, surely the fact that the show can manipulate you in such a way is an indication of its quality and the quality of its characters? Yeah it’s depressing, yeah the good guys don’t win very often, but the bad guys do get their comeuppance. It’s the “grey” characters who manage to survive most often in that world. All the very “good” (like Ned) and very “bad” people fair pretty terribly. It’s just a matter of sticking it out until all the “bad” guys are gone.

Ben: Yeah I would agree that it is testament to the actors and the writing that it can invoke this reaction. But the issue is that even the “grey” characters are dying while the bad guys continue to survive. I accept the premise of killing off the “good” guys, but it has got to the point where we are 5 seasons in and we are even further away from the ending we wanted than we were then at the start of season 1. The Hound, Stannis amongst others are the ‘grey’ characters that should be surviving but instead we are left with Brianne who is the most forced and most dislikeable good guy on our screens. We also have the Sand Sisters, who, despite having my support in avenging their Father, are more concerned with killing innocent bystanders. We are now onto season 6; we have to start having some happy endings. Please, I am begging you.

Lewis: Didn’t Ramsey himself say something about happy endings that’s been adopted by fans to describe the series?

“If you think this has a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention.”

Unfortunately, while the people who die may or may not have deserved it, the characters who do survive will be the right ones (if it turns out happily). If it turns out how I think it will (everything frozen over and barely anyone left alive), then I guess that’s the way it has to be and all this has been for nothing.

Ben: It has got to the point where I am actively rooting for the White Walkers to just cleanse Westeros which has become a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Shall we leave it there then?

Lewis: Hey, maybe that’s actually their purpose? But then again, that’s been done before.

Yeah I’m happy to leave it there, I think we’ve covered most of what’s going on Just as a final thought though, were you happy with this season?

Ben: Erm I suppose so. I think it was better than last season, despite the traumatic ending. I felt it was more evenly paced and the result actually meant something. How about you?

Lewis: I’m not too sure I definitely enjoyed it, and it was as good as Game of Thrones should be, but there weren’t many stand out moments for me, I wasn’t very thrilled by anything…

Except maybe for Stannis and Jon’s storylines.

Ben: I think in comparison to the last season there were many more standout moments. Apart from the death of Joffrey nothing else memorable happened. The series before that had the Red Wedding and nothing else. This series we had the attacks of the White Walkers, the return of Theon and Drogon, and many more important deaths. I take your point though…. perhaps it is a set up for next year.

Lewis: Maybe. We can only hope.

Coffee and Crap TV

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Benportrait1I don’t even like coffee, but that isn’t the point of this…crap TV is the point. You have to admit though, I shoe horned that Blur song in like a pro…

Now that my exams are done I honestly have nothing to do with my time, except for some writing and sending a few emails, but other than that there’s nothing else I can think of. This has resulted in me planning my entire day around crap TV. And it is crap, there is no other word to describe it.

I honestly think I watch one good TV show (Game of Thrones, if you were wondering) especially now that Gotham is finished (go watch that, it is really good). All of my other viewing has the E4 stamp of approval, which means… it is crap, normally American crap, which is the worst type of crap. I seriously plan my day around this stuff; I will wake up, have breakfast, watch a film (bit productive) and by that time I will be ready to head downstairs to watch 2 and a half hours of crap, kicking off with How I Met Your Mother repeats. REPEATS. It wasn’t particularly funny the first time I saw it, so why am I watching it again?

Due to a complete lack of effort I won’t move as The Big Bang Theory finds its way on to the tele’. Our remote is broken, so I have to get off my arse to change the channel. That is my excuse for sitting through it anyway. It just isn’t funny. The characters are some of the most irritating I have ever had the misfortune to watch, and how it ever got this far I don’t know. The acting is so wooden a door could and would do a better job. It isn’t that they are particularly bad actors, over time the cast appears to have become lazy and bored, resulting in dull and uninspired performances. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting manages yawn her way through every episode, acting with just two facial expressions… for crying out loud why do we watch this crap? I know it isn’t just me, there must be a few others that watch it.  At least How I Met Your Mother has a degree of character interest and invokes a bit of an emotional response (The Time Travellers Episode in Series 8 being one in particular). The Big Bang Theory only manages to irritate me, I do not know why I watch it.

BigBang

Finally, The Goldbergs will come on. I quite like The Goldbergs, for one thing it is something that isn’t repeats of How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory or Rules of Engagement (which even I, a connoisseur of crap TV, won’t watch.) on E4. However, the issue is that it is usually a repeat of the previous night’s episode, so why am I watching it again? As well as the E4 crap you can throw in a couple of episodes of Come Dine With Me for good measure, just because nothing else is on.

Why am I watching any of it?

I will tell you why I watch it, because it is switch off tele, that’s why. When I should be preparing for exams or lectures during term time it is nice to have that bit of time to sit, shovel food into my face, and not have to think about anything. Now I am finished for the summer I don’t have to think at all, so the only reason I can think for watching this crap is sheer damn laziness. I could be reading, I could go out (but I live in Portswood and that really wouldn’t be beneficial to my health), I could go to the gym, but it is easier to sit I front of our broken tele’ and watch something I have already seen 10 times before.

It is strangely fulfilling, you should try it.

– Ben