The Orville: “Home” (2019)

The Orville:
“Can There Be Star Trek Without Star Trek?” Seth MacFarlane’s new show on FOX, The Orville did not get off to a great start. Its pilot was wretched. Directed by the overrated Jon Favreau, “Old Wounds” (September 10, 2017) opens with Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) discovering his wife, Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) in bed with a blue ...

Black Mirror: “Bandersnatch” (2018)

Black Mirror:
“You Can Have Any Narrative You Want, As Long As It Is Netflix’s” There is a consensus developing among critics of Netflix’s new Black Mirror episode, “Bandersnatch” (Netflix, 12/28/18) that it is a show built on a mere “gimmick.” The story concerns a young computer programmer, Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), who in 1984 is developing ...

Holmes and Watson (2018)

Holmes and Watson (2018)
“The Game (of Genre) is Afoot, or Will Ferrell ‘a-starting’” In my course on academic film criticism, I critique popular reviewing as a “say nothing” enterprise; the practice often reduces to “the film was good [or bad].” The problem with such evaluative criticism is that without a methodology for determining what good or bad might ...

Mandy (2018)

Mandy (2018)
“The Sins of the Fathers” In The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (1973), literary critic Harold Bloom famously postulates a Freudian theory of intertextuality. Resulting from his study of Romantic poets, Bloom defines six potential relationships between new artists and their forebears. I propose using Bloom’s theory to study an actual father/son relationship, ...