Bald Move TV – The Romanoffs – 107 – End of the Line

This, by our estimation, is the second best episode of Amazon Prime’s The Romanoffs, but unfortunately, that’s not saying much about “End of the Line”. It features fairly engaging material involving a couple desperate to have a child engaging in grey-market adoption shenanigans in Russia, and the man and woman in question are appealing and sympathetic as leads. The script also approaches “crackling” in places, as these potential parents begin to fight over how far they’re willing to go and what compromises they’re willing to accept for their child, as the adoption environment itself plays on their paranoia and prejudice. Unfortunately, all this is betrayed by what has become as much of a Romanoffs trademark as it’s nebulous connection to the titular theme; uninspired directing and editing.

Game of Thrones – “Gods of Thrones” – Chattin’ Catelyn

Anthony and A.Ron continue their deep dive into the characters and themes from their new book, “Gods of Thrones”. Now available on paperback! Today we’re talking about a polarizing character among the fandom, Catelyn Stark. What are the essential differences between Book!Cat and TV!Cat? What is her worst move in playing the Game? Who would win in an all-female Houseoff? How vital is Lady Stoneheart’s arc to understanding Catelyn, and why does the show skip it entirely? We discuss and debate all this and more!

American Horror Story Podcast – 810 – “Apocalypse Then” – Instant Take

We’re not saying the latest episode of FX’s American Horror Story, “Apocalypse Then” is a disappointment, exactly. But it sure wasn’t a success. Honestly, we’d have rather gotten a “to be continued” rather than a slap dash climax with a too long and puzzling denouement that offers a breezy, cheesy Harry Potter “all is well” wrap up before immediately blowing it up. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Cordelia’s coven, and indeed Michael the Antichrist deserved better, to say nothing of Hawthorne’s School and their Exceptional Young Men. Midway through the season we just wanted more, more! And we kept getting less, and less. Ah well, that’s what we thought. How about you! Meet you back here in two so we can hash it out on the FINAL FEEDBACK FRIDAY of the season!

Bald Move TV – The Romanoffs – 106 – Panorama

Jim and A.Ron think this latest episode of Amazon’s The Romanoffs, “Panorama” is a mess. At best, it’s a mildly interesting yet gorgeous travelogue for Mexico City. At worst, it’s a poorly, written, directed, acted, and edited mess that seems to have no idea what it wants to say, and doesn’t know enough about the topics to offer any depth to the things it reaches for. The only thing that kind of works is the relationship between the two ridiculously photogenic protagonists, but they are also the least interesting of the premises. Our hope for this series is now that Weiner can make one really exceptional episode out of the next two, or the finale episode is truly “The One That Holds Everything” and somehow ties this all together.

Game of Thrones – “Gods of Thrones” – Talking Tyrion

It goes without saying that Tyrion Lannister is an extremely interesting character in A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones, but  you’d think he’d make a poor focus for our book on Westerosi religion. After all, he’s famously skeptical of superstition and faith in a world full of magic, physics defying creatures, and powerful gods. But it’s precisely that contradiction that makes him so fascinating in this context! Join Anthony and I for a deep dive into Tyrion, the events that have shaped him, and the journey that has brought him before a dragon goddess that he can believe in. Have questions or feedback? Send it in using the contact info below…

American Horror Story Podcast – 809 – Fire and Reign – Instant Take

Cecily and A.Ron declare the latest episode of FX’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse, “Fire and Reign” to be, at the very least, banging adjacent. Sure, there isn’t a lot here that is new, and it’s feeling more and more of a lock that next week is going to end with “TO BE CONTINUED”. But, there was a lot of entertaining action, fun world building with new wrinkles of witchcraft (allowing a Romanoffs crossover!), and we feel a bit more self-awareness in the jokes and Illuminati-fueled madness. Can’t wait to see what you all though on FEEDBACK FRIDAY!

Bald Move TV – The Deuce – 209 – Inside the Pretend

HBO’s The Deuce wrapped up it’s second season in fine style, with the finale episode “Inside the Pretend”. Simon and Pelecanos did an admirable job putting all their players in position to make the jump to the 80’s. The pimps seem on the wane, the porn industry is still waxing, but the men and women of the industry don’t seem to be enjoying their ascent as much as it would have seemed at this season’s outset. It’s hard to have a sunny outlook when people you care about wind up dead; that goes double when you’re the one doing the killing. Can’t wait to see how things shake up next year, we’ll see you then!

Bald Move TV – The Romanoffs – 105 – Bright and High Circle

The fifth episode of Amazon’s The Romanoffs has something to say, but we’re not sure what it is, if it’s worth saying, and if Matthew Weiner is the right spokesperson for the message, which seems to be; the worst thing you can be accused of is accusing somebody else of something they didn’t do. Regardless of how we felt about the themes at play, the presentation left a lot to be desired as well, featuring clunky dialog and either stagey acting and/or bizarre editing choices or both. You know, hallmarks of Mad Men, the series that made Weiner famous.