This review contains spoilers.

In a miniseries like John Adams, also on HBO, careful attention had to be paid to showing certain moments of his life over others. For a man like Adams, a compulsive diary keeper who rose to the scene as a prominent Boston lawyer, and never reversed course in his involvement with burgeoning intellectual life and revolutionary ideals in the American colonies, there was plenty to work with: both a benefit and a curse.

Mare of Easttown’ s episodes are less standalone. Less attention is paid to making each episode thematically coherent, and instead it is about…


Debut Gone Wrong

In book three of War and Peace, Princess Marya Bolkonskaya and her father greet Prince Vasili and his son Anatole Kuragin at Marya’s father’s estate, Bald Hills. Marya spends the majority of her time in service to her father, whose routines and habits must be precise so that his work (whatever he does) is to be done. Prince Andrei’s pregnant wife has recently appeared on the scene, and moving from the cosmopolitan and upbeat city to the rural abyss has Marya redoubling her efforts to provide comfort and care. …


Esquire — Mare of Easttown — HBO Max

This review contains spoilers

Towards the end of the episode, Mare Sheehan lands in an academic writerly party where she in no way fits in. She’s offered duck liver pate as an hors d’oeuvre, and waits for passersby to keep walking before spitting it out. Rather than find a trashcan, like a normal human being, she hides the napkin in the couch. It is a beautiful couch with mustard yellow fabric, an antique to be sure. And Mare just ruined it.

What kind of a person is this? Well, as we saw in episode two of Mare of Easttown, this…


Entertainment Tonight Canada

Christa B. Allen, young middle school doppelganger to Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30 is turning 30 this year.

Rewatching this film with an adult hindsight, I marveled at the strangeness of the whole enterprise. I had a younger sister, we were close, and so DVDs like this were easy to come by in our household. 13 Going On 30 is one of many transformation movies both magical and pragmatic. Mean Girls is a transformation of sorts, in a similar way to when our main character in this story, Jenna Rink, betrays her next door neighbor Matt Flamhaff to…


HBO Max’s newest miniseries, starring Kate Winslet, is all about peaks and valleys.

Richard Ryan (Guy Pearce) is sitting at the bar when Mare Sheehan shows up. When he tries to pick Mare up, we happen to know that now is not a good time. In fact, the entire day has not been a good time, and we start to wonder how long it’s been like this. That morning, Mare was woken up early by an old and senile couple, resorting to her rather than go through the proper law enforcement channels, to warn her of a peeper looking at…


When you talk to people who do not play video games, the reasons why highlight the idea that things are too static. Players in a sports game look stilted, with dead eyes. Environments look blocky and virtual. The stories in games that play out, even from those that offer choice, seem to play out in similar ways. The idea of sitting down and playing something that looks so banal does not appeal to the person who appreciates the changing landscape on offer in our real world.

Even from a Noob, I think this kind of critique is more damning than…


Gamers are lucky to have their definitive experience last even a decade.

For readers of books, unless there is some disconnect between the editors and an author, the definitive edition will always be with us in text format. Reading Moby-Dick in 2021 is as incredible and accurate in its depiction as it was when published in 1851.

Unfortunately, nothing is ever definitive about games.

Not only had I heard in the month of April (the cruelest month) that the PlayStation 3 store would be closing its access, (note: Sony has since walked back this decision) but that The Last of…


Spoilers for the first episode.

HBO used to be the top dog when it came to primetime television. Most of their best work (Deadwood, The Sopranos, The Wire, True Blood), brought us just a taste of what the “golden age of TV” could really mean. Spice that up with Mad Men and Breaking Bad from AMC and it seemed all too likely that those who cared for the deep richness of character drama could disembark from the spectacle that was movie making, and saunter over instead to binge watching their characters make mistake after mistake. What we did not count…


There are two definitions of “anon” which are useful to the conversation surrounding conspiracy theories.

The first is “anonymous” which is the magic and terror that abounds in the ability to post content without reciprocity or subjection to scrutiny.

The second is “anon” which is an Old English term that was originally defined as “in or into one state, or course”. Which means that to say “anon” would mean that it would happen “soon”.

Can we imagine a more interesting combination?

Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. …


Outriders, People Can Fly

I have been watching coverage of the new video game from People Can Fly, Outriders, since its release on April 1st. After yet another disastrous launch due to “always connected” server requirements, once people were able to sink dozens of hours into the game, it seemed like players could not articulate when it came to their response besides a feeling. “Outriders is a hard to define game,” reads the title of one such Gamespot video. While some may dismiss it, the game has all-time highs in player count that rival some fellow games in the genre like Borderlands 3. While…

Colton Royle

Colton tries to picture a world in which nobody trusted their System 1 thinking. He is currently working on trying to be a better listener.

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