Missed a review this weekend? Here are some links:
Banshee, “Ways to Bury A Man”
The second season of Banshee‘s been a little more heavy-handed than the first: with less time spent digging into Hood’s violent past and a bigger focus on character emotions and motivations, the show’s just felt a little more serious (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Not “Ways to Bury A Man”, though – from the pen of writer Doug Jung comes the most fun episode of the show so far this season, a witty, adrenaline-soaked hour that feels a lot more like the show’s best episodes of season one, with the tighter writing and plot development of season two layered on top.
True Detective, “Haunted Houses”
There’s been plenty of allusion as to what happened between Rust and Marty in 2002 that fractured their partnership in the first five episodes of True Detective, which raises a simple question about the events that unfold in “Haunted Houses”: did we really need to spend the entire hour on it? Sure, there are some vague hints towards the larger conspiracy Rust’s been chasing for the last ten years, but the overwhelming majority of “Haunted Houses” focuses on the death of Marty’s marriage, and does so in predictable fashion.
The Walking Dead, “Claimed”
Although it doesn’t appear to be a lasting stylistic choice, the fractured nature of The Walking Dead‘s first three episodes of 2014 has certainly breathed some creative life into the show. Showrunner Scott Gimple is trying to do something very difficult: walk the tightrope of audience expectations (for a massive audience, let’s not forget) while addressing the obvious fundamental problems of the show. Some of these problems – like the repetitive character beats, or sexualized female characters – may never be fully solved, but the changes to the show’s core formula are already paying off dividends in “Claimed”, continuing to develop the character of Michonne and injecting some much needed, light-hearted personality into the proceedings with the introduction of Abraham and Eugene.