Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Girls Season 5, Episodes 9 and 10, “Love Stories” and “I Love You Baby”

What a marvelous pair of episodes to close out this season of Girls. I was particularly moved by the penultimate episode, which had emotional breakthroughs for both Hannah and Marnie, and to a lesser extent Shoshana, but the finale was also excellent, particularly Hannah’s open mic story and Adam and Jessa’s scary fight. Each of the characters did a lot of growing up this season, courtesy of a series of experiences that made each of them reflect on the choices they’ve made.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 9, "Nailed"

It’s been an interesting experience to watch the creative team behind Breaking Bad apply the same storytelling acumen and suspenseful trappings to a story with significantly different premises, particularly Breaking Bad’s slow, deliberate pace and attention to detail. In both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, these qualities often manifest in an emphasis on processes, particularly characters concocting and executing plans, and then dealing incrementally with their ramifications (or perhaps more accurately, their fallout). Rather than Breaking Bad’s drug world, in Better Call Saul it’s (mostly) the legal world; in season one, rather than showing the humble beginnings of a meth empire and drug kingpin, instead it’s the origins of a crooked lawyer who cuts corners and is “colorful,” as Jimmy McGill has described himself.*