Sunday, December 9, 2012 re-imagines Game of Thrones as a CW-style soap opera

As part of the magazine's year-end round-up of the best and worst everything in pop culture, Entertainment Weekly created a clever promo for Game of Thrones, if the epic aired not on HBO but on the CW.

While highlighting the pairings of Ygritte and Jon Snow and Daenerys and Ser Jorah was the obvious way to go, I quite enjoyed the way EW took advantage of the excellent chemistry between Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill to imply a somewhat plausible romance between Tyrion and Varys. Plus, the Tyrion/Varys (Varion? Tyrys?) pairing would leave the door open for an excellent love triangle between the Imp, the Spider and poor, loyal, left-out Bronn. Spin-off series, anyone?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Girls season 2 trailer is here

The sophomore season of Lena Dunham's much-discussed series is heavy on the Shoshanna (yay!), but generally lacking in Donald Glover.

Zosia Mamet and Alex Karpovsky of Girls.
I had something of a complicated relationship with the first season of HBO's Girls. (Of course, given the endless discussion that surrounded the series, having an uncomplicated relationship with the show would have been almost impossible). The series got better and funnier as the first season came to a close, but I still had some real issues with the way Dunham portrayed issues of sex and relationships among twenty-somethings, issues that kept me from ever fully connecting with the titular girls and their many awkward and hilarious problems.

The just-released trailer for the second season, however, got me excited for Girls' return by smartly emphasizing the comedy and allowing the audience to laugh at Hannah and her friends' often unrealistic expectations and world-views. Plus, it highlights the series' greatest asset: Zosia Mamet, whose Shoshanna was the funniest, most likeable and most criminally underused character of the first season.

The trailer demonstrates a couple of notable blindspots: Shoshanna and Ray telling Marnie (Allison Williams) that she's pretty, but not beautiful enough to be a model, rings false to anyone with eyes, and the blink-and-you-missed-it appearance by Donald Glover doesn't do much to generate excitement over  the Community favorite and actual non-white person making an appearance on a show that came under so much scrutiny for its lily-white cast.

However, these two misses are made up for by the myriad of funny lines and mocking character insights that the clip dishes up. From Adam's (Adam Driver) incredibly creepy song and stalker-y text messages, to the sight of Shoshanna and Ray repeatedly getting it on, to Marnie's oblivious self-obsession and the zen veneer Jessa (Jemima Kirke) uses to mask her naivete about her marriage to Thomas-John (Chris O'Dowd), there's a lot of promise in this two-minute spot. Now we'll just see if the second season can live up to it.

The best lines and moments from the Girls trailer:

  • Seriously, how hilariously creepy is Adam's break-up song?
  • "This is what happens when you break up with a sociopath." Truer words, Hannah, have never been spoken.
  • "You tend to overthink things, and that's an issue for you." On the one hand, overthinking things is definitely an issue for Hannah. On the other hand, Jessa married a smarmy investment banker without even knowing his address.
  • "And I know that I always said he was murdery in a sexy way, but what if he's murdery in like a murder way?" Adam does have a kind of charismatic serial-killer vibe to him.
  • The re-appearance of The Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone as a sexually aggressive artist is as improbable as it is funny.
  • "What are you wearing?" "Oh, a shirt!" It's mostly Dunham's inflection on the last line, not to mention her absurd neon mesh tank top, that sells this one.