CW Week in Review 10/9/17-10/12/17

Supergirl 3.1 – Girl of Steel

National City has recovered from last season’s Daxamite attack, but Kara still has some healing to do. She hovers over the city, daydreaming about Mon-El, until a crime snaps her from her reverie. But instead of the normally cheerful crime-stop and rescue, with Supergirl comforting and being friendly with the people she’s just saved, she clinically takes off into the sky as soon as the action is over. Even Wynn’s post-crime banter does nothing to shake Kara’s stoicism.

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BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE (2017) So Long, Old Chum

It is impossible to review Batman vs. Two-Face without acknowledging it as the last performance of Adam West as Batman before his sudden passing on June 9th, 2017. This is the end of his over 50 year tenure in the role, which he brought to life with a constant effervescent camp and square-jawed sense of justice and righteousness. Batman would not be the character he is today without Adam West, whose performance turned a simple comic hero into a multimedia icon.

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Rick and Morty Season 3: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?

From its first episode, Rick and Morty has consistently been one of, if not the single smartest show on television, with every episode recontextualizing its audience’s’ relationship with the tropes and other narrative devices the show often deconstructs. The two most prominent of are the show’s relationship with its own canon, and Rick himself. Season three, and it’s finale in particular, continue to evolve Rick and Morty’s relationship to its audience, and refine its position on fiction as a reflection of reality.
Rick and Morty is almost stubbornly episodic, regularly creating in-universe reasons to deploy negative continuity and ignore the impact of the immense multiverse it continues to build should have on its two main characters. Rick and Morty’s indifference to it’s own universe is firmly established in the season one episodes “Rick Potion #9,” where Rick and Morty leave their universe for a new one after rendering it uninhabitable; and “Rixty Minutes,” where Morty explains the events of the previous episode to his sister, Summer, concluding that “Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV.”

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Arcs, Loops, and WESTWORLD

The negative reception to the recent Assassin’s Creed movie has gotten me thinking about why it’s proven so difficult to adapt videogames into movies, even as movies and television begin to resemble videogames more and more.

And I don’t just mean in terms of CG or action direction, or other things mainly focused around aesthetic. I’ve been noticing that a lot more narrative media is borrowing the narrative mechanics of videogames, and it’s not just limited to stuff like Superhero movies where at least the two share the broader traits of power-fantasy. But even as this confluence seems to be blurring the lines between dramatic-narrative and ludo-narrative, I think it’s important to understand the limits each has to storytelling.

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Black Mirror Season 3 – Mini Reviews

Before we get into the new season, I thought I should give just numerical scores for the previous episodes of Black Mirror:

The National Anthem – 4/5 | Fifteen Million Merits – 3/5 | Be Right Back – 5/5 | The Entire History of You – 5/5 | White Bear – 3/5 | The Waldo Moment – 2/5 | White Christmas – 5/5

And now on to Season 3:

Nosedive

Nosedive was not a great opener to the season. But we’ll start with the good.

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The Get Down and Modern Mythmaking

~Spoilers for The Get Down~

The Get Down is the best show Netflix has ever produced.

I loved Jessica Jones and Lady Dynamite and Stranger Things, among others – but The Get Down is in a league of its own. Besides being the sort of visual spectacle that only a director like Baz Luhrmann can provide (as showrunner and director of the first feature-length episode), amazing acting and singing talent, and overall well written, and broadly human characters; The Get Down is a successful exercise in modern mythmaking. And I don’t mean that in the same way that The Lord of the Rings or Jack Kirby’s Fourth World involve making new pantheons and worlds.

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Straying From the Source: The Advantages of Looser Adaptations

~This post contains spoilers for Batman v Superman, and The Flash~

As a comic book fan, I realized long ago that I am winning the current pop-culture landscape. It seems that every day there is a new adaptation announced of these characters and stories I love, from the almost sickening amount of big-budget blockbusters released since 2008, and scheduled for release through the end of the decade, to almost every channel on television looking for their own comic to adapt. And as I consume more and more of these new films and shows I find myself wanting these adaptations to stray further from the source material.

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