GEEK OUT! HOW WESTWORLD HAS RE-INVIGORATED SCIFI TV

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This post contains spoilers!

Serialised story-telling in science-fiction TV really took off – we would suggest – in the early 1990s with Star Trek: The Next Generation and Babylon 5. The success of these space operas resulted in a flurry of similar type series, including two from the Star Trek franchise viz. Deep Space Nine and Voyager and the successful re-imagining of the Battlestar Galactica (BSG) movie franchise into a edgy, thought-provoking drama that reflected the times succinctly.

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GEEK OUT! WESTWORLD SEASON ONE EPISODE THREE

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“THE STRAY”

Curiouser and curiouser. As more revelations are brought to light, we begin to understand why the Hosts are beginning to ‘malfunction’ on a regular basis. The fact is that Bernard Lowe has been having clandestine meetings with Host Dolores Abernathy and stimulating her evolution towards sentience – whether intentional or not. Dr. Robert Ford also provides backstory as we are introduced to ‘Arnold’ – his former partner, who may have introduced the coding that is causing the problems experienced at Westworld. Of course, Dr. Ford has his own mysterious agenda as well.

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These insights are provided alongside a prolonged look at a plot line involving Dolores and her ‘love-interest’ Teddy Flood which now includes a new dark sub-plot with Wyatt, a former army colleague of Teddy’s who has gone all psychotic (if Hosts are not real, why should we care?). In addition, two Westworld staffers (Ashley Stubbs and Shannon Woodward) encounter a stray Host (hence the title) which predictably goes crazy on them, with consequences surely to ripple throughout the series.

It’s all rather ponderous and stretched out but at least the story is being developed at a deliberate pace rather than being rushed through to the inevitable moment when the Hosts rebel against their makers. And what about the Man in Black??

More info at IMDB 

… still there’s more …

GEEK OUT! GAME OF THRONES SEASON FIVE DIGS A DEEPER HOLE FOR THE STORY TO GET LOST IN

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By now, it becomes abundantly clear that George RR Martin and the writers of Game of Thrones have no clue what to do. Instead of intriguing plot lines and character development, the TV series is a sequence of scenes with maximum shock value to incite internet buzz and cultivate some kind of false belief that Game of Thrones is one of the best TV shows ever.

It’s not.

Remember LOST? A series that began almost perfectly before getting entangled by too many convoluted plot lines that were thrown up just to keep interest at fever pitch but without any intention of resolving anything? Well, that’s happening with Game of Thrones. Too many plot lines going nowhere. Instead of character development, shock deaths, loss of limbs, blindness, rape etc are dumped on characters to generate sympathy and create the illusion of edginess.

Season 5 proves quite conclusively that the TV series is as clueless as the books in trying to tell a coherent story. The abuse of Sansa Stark, the immolation of Princess Shireen, the public shaming of Queen Cersei, the blinding of Arya Stark, the overthrow of Queen Daenerys Targaryen, the deaths of Mance Rayder, Stannis Baratheon and even Jon Snow (above) is simply shock overdrive in order to mask a lack of narrative ideas.

Remember the finale of Season 1? Daenerys turned the tragic death of Khal Drogo into an epiphany with the birth of her three dragons but even that promise proved hollow. Every subsequent season has delivered disappointment after disappointment as one by one, main protagonists are killed off until there’s hardly anyone left to root for in this abysmally, depressing story called Game of Thrones. 

Now, when is Season Six?

GEEK OUT! GAME OF THRONES FAN THEORIES AND PREDICTIONS

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With Game of Thrones well into its fifth season, the popular HBO television show is going strong and holding its audience captive every week with its unpredictable story and multi-layered characters. Considering the intricate twists and turns it takes, it is no surprise that fans have formed various theories about their favorite characters—no matter how absurd they may seem! Here are just a couple of those theories:

The Identity of Jon Snow’s Parents (The R + L = J Theory)

“R + L = J” literally translates to “Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon,” meaning that Jon Snow isn’t Ned’s son, but the product of an affair between Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. This theory gained steam during this season’s episode “Sons of the Harpy,” when Stannis commented that it was out of Ned’s character to defy his wife Catelyn. If this birth equation is true, it means Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne.

Tyrion Lannister is Really a Targaryen

Another heated debate in the Game of Thrones realm is who the real father of Tyrion Lannister is. Some fans believe it to be King Aerys Targaryen after he forced himself on Tyrion’s mother, thus making Tyrion Lannister a Targaryen. The theory continues that Tywin, being enraged at the situation, used a drug on Joanna Lannister to abort the baby. While this attempt failed, it can explain the dwarfism in Tyrion.

Dragonglass is Actually Dragon Poop

This one reads more like a biology lesson than a fan theory, but it is still interesting to consider nonetheless. A Reddit user hypothesized that dragonglass is nothing more than dragon waste. The theory goes that dragons tunnel through the ground and eat sand. This sand then enters the dragon’s fiery stomach and heats up and forms glass. Once this molten glass exits the dragon’s body, it cools and the people forge great weapons out of it.

Jon Snow is Azor Ahai

“The Prince That Was Promised” has long been a mystery to Game of Thrones fans but some feel they know the true identity of the great Azor Ahai. Melisandre’s theory is that it is Stannis Baratheon who is the true Azor Ahai but readers have noticed that her visions of Azor Ahai are not a clear cut as she thinks. A growing faction of fans are speculating that it is actually Jon Snow who matches the red priestess’ visions. Though it is also possible that Azor Ahai is three people after Daenerys’ vision where Rhaegar claims that “the dragon shall have three heads.”

Syrio and Jaqen H’ghar Are the Same Person

Is Syrio dead? That seems to be the heart of this fan theory. When Syrio was last seen by fans, he was about to face off against Meryn. In the end, it is Meryn that walks out alone and we assume he is victorious. However, no one actually sees Syrio die, which is the fuel that perpetuates this theory. The connections between Syrio and Jaqen H’ghar may not be the end-all to the argument but take a couple factors into account: the similar phrasing when they speak, the special attention paid to Arya, and even the ease in which Jaqen figured out Arry was actually Arya Stark. It makes you think!

Game of Thrones is full of surprises, and there is no sign that it will stop anytime soon. Some of these theories may seem a little ridiculous but given the plot twists and shock factors of the past seasons, nothing seems impossible. Make sure you keep up with the show on HBO Go or DTV up until the season finale later this month for more of this excitement!

(Maria Ramos)

DAVE GROHL PROVES HIS HEART & SOUL ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE WITH SONIC HIGHWAYS

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It’s easy to get a lil cynical about Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters‘ marketing their upcoming new album Sonic Highways by way of a eight-part documentary series on HBO. But the cynicism will evaporate when one watches the first episode as Grohl and co record in Chicago and proceeds to pay tribute to the Chicago musicians who made a difference – from Buddy Guy to Cheap Trick to Steve Albini to Naked Raygun. This is done with a love, respect and fervour that demonstrates once again that Grohl has his heart and soul in the right place – he’s one of us…

Check out the complex yet visceral opening track from Sonic Highways, “Something From Nothing”….

GEEK OUT!

HBO’s The Leftovers has polarized both viewers and critics with an unflinching look at the impact of loss on a small community. The main supernatural factor of the series relates to the critical event of the Sudden Departure – similar to the Christian concept of The Rapture.

In ten episodes, the series delved into the response of the town folk of Mapleton, New York, the individuals most affected and the social phenomenon that developed to make sense of it all, specifically The Guilty Remnant, a cult group whose main purpose is to ensure that the Sudden Departure is never forgotten.

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TRUE DETECTIVE (Starring Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey & Michelle Monahan)

From the epic surrealistic opening credits, it’s clear that HBO’s new series True Detective is going to be something different. However, the moment one sees the first murder victim, one’s mind is immediately cast to the first season of Hannibal! In addition, for some bizarre reason, McConaughey’s Rust reminds me of an Americanized Sherlock Holmes (i.e. Benedict Cumberbatch).

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