The Walking Dead: "First Time Again" (Season 6, Episode 1)

The real Walking Dead is back. Just in time to make to demonstrate why "Fear the Walking Dead" pales in comparison. Things like scope, pacing, tension, deftly drawn characters with economy of scene. etc. You know,  writing that allows spectacle to achieve its full effect.

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The Martian

Come home, Ridley Scott. All is forgiven for Prometheus.

You don’t often see an awesome movie about competence. But that’s what “The Martian” is--a stirring tribute to not just science, but to the oft-maligned soul of the supposedly unimaginative ideal of competence. To the belief that details matter, that it’s important for a person to have some actual idea what they’re talking about.

Hear, hear.

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Fear The Walking Dead: "A Good Man" (Season 1, Episode 6)

Lots of zombies tonight, with the requisite carnage. It doesn't really have much bite, though, because the whole plot is arbitrary and capricious. There is no attempt to make sense out of jamming our disparate clumps of characters back together. At least the end promises to get them out of Los Angeles. That can only be an improvement at this point.

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Gotham: "Knock, Knock" (Season 2, Epsiode 2)

Holy Writer's Guild, Batman! Gotham's producers may have honest-to God figured out how to tell a story. A violent, depressing story, to be sure, but still one with some style, verve and actual élan. I'm not sure they can keep it up, but this wasn't bad for television.

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