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Gretchen Felker-Martin


The Line Between Art and Carnage in Hannibal

“You no longer have ethical concerns, Hannibal,” says the famous cannibal’s abducted psychiatrist Bedelia du Maurier, “Only aesthetical ones.” She might as well be talking about the show. Bryan Fuller’s adaptation and expansion of author Thomas Harris’s novels Red Dragon and Hannibal is one of the most sensuously beautiful shows…

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FEATURES

All the Rest is Gravy: Deadwood’s Heartbreaking Farewell

Swearengen: New baby in the camp? Trixie: Lovely baby boy. Swearengen: As he would be, coming from his mother. What is the future? Is it smoke and thunder roaring through a tunnel in the mountain? Is it new wrinkles furrowing familiar faces? Is it telephone poles? Children? Open road ahead…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 6 Recap: “The Iron Throne”

“Love is the death of duty,” says Jon Snow, quoting the late maester Aemon, another Targaryen who chose servitude over the throne. “Sometimes duty is the death of love,” the imprisoned Tyrion replies. He’s trying to convince the stalwart Northerner to murder the woman he loves, to do as Jaime…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Recap: “The Bells”

“Do you want to be like me?” asks a man who will be dead in minutes, burned alive in his brother’s arms. His expression, forever twisted by the melted-wax burn scars that cover half his face, is tender, almost fatherly. It might be the calmest we’ve ever seen Sandor “The…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Recap: “The Last of the Starks”

Since its first moments, Game of Thrones has been a show about the nastiest depths of human pettiness, the worst failures of those who lead lives circumscribed by duty. It’s a show about the ways in which the personal lives of the powerful crush and reshape the world around them, a…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 Recap: “The Long Night”

What if Lord of the Rings had been a horror movie? What if the heart-stirring charge of the Rohirrim had been a fiery midnight ride into pitch blackness? What if the women and children hiding in the caverns behind Helm’s Deep had been torn apart by shrieking ghouls? “The Long…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Recap: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” isn’t the tightest episode of Game of Thrones ever aired. Nor is it the most thrilling, or the saddest, or the most visually accomplished. For a season with six episodes it feels oddly like it’s marking time, running out the clock on the last…

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FEATURES

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Recap: “Winterfell”

“Winterfell,” the premiere of Game of Thrones’ six-episode final season, is much like the show’s previous table-setting season openers, shuffling the winnowed-down cast into their new positions and setting up the season’s conflicts. If there’s a whiff of sentimentality to the episode’s parade of happy reunions and dragonback joyrides, it’s…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 7 Recap: “The Dragon and the Wolf”

“The Dragon and the Wolf” is the show’s longest episode to date, but it doesn’t feel it. From the all-star meetup at the Dragonpit, the ruin where the dreams of the Targaryen dynasty withered away to nothing, to the tender fairy tale sex scene between Jon (Kit Harington) and Dany…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6 Recap: “Beyond the Wall”

“Beyond the Wall” is the most straightforwardly high fantasy hour of Game of Thrones to date. Its initial rush of conversation is at times inelegant, but it does little to detract from its many shots of startlingly empty natural beauty and the silent, monolithic horror of the army of the…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5 Recap: “Eastwatch”

When a man and his son, defeated in battle, refuse to kneel and are burned alive, who is responsible? When their hair catches fire and the stench of their burning flesh rises up from the blaze, who has done it? When their bodies collapse into ash, who made that fate…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4 Recap: “Spoils of War”

“Spoils of War” is a nightmare of ash and cooking flesh. As a genre, horror aims to elicit a physical response from its viewers, and few sights can compete for raw, appalling disgust with the charnel house Drogon and the Dothraki make of the banks of the Blackwater Rush. Add…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3 Recap: “The Queen’s Justice”

Conversations between the high and mighty have been a part of Game of Thrones since its inception. From Daenerys’s (Emilia Clarke) culture clashes with the grandees of Slaver’s Bay and the Great Grass Sea to uncounted staring contests, squabbles, and idle conversations in the solars and throne rooms of Westeros,…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 2 Recap: “Stormborn”

“When I was a child I lived in alleys, gutters, abandoned houses. You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people.” Lord Varys’s (Conleth Hill) spin on his history of serial treachery is at least in part a bid to…

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REVIEWS

Game of Thrones Episode Recaps

Seasons 7 & 8 of Game of Thrones featured some of the most climactic action of the entire celebrated series. Our extremely talented writer Gretchen Felker-Martin as recapped all episodes from each season and we’ve compiled them here for your convenience! Season 7 Episode 1, “Dragonstone” Episode 2, “Stormborn” Episode 3,…

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LISTS

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 1 Recap: “Dragonstone”

“Yesterday’s wars don’t matter anymore.” Jon’s (Kit Harington’s) assertion that the old grudges and hatreds of Westeros’s people must be set aside, delivered just minutes after his sister Arya dons Walder Frey’s face and tricks his entire brood into toasting their own deaths, is as desperately true as it is…

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REVIEWS

Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories and the American Grotesque

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have been household names among stoners, dirtbags, and outsider comedy aficionados since their breakout success, 2006’s Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Their straight-faced bathroom humor and surreal local access aesthetic are tremendously influential, their imprint visible everywhere from Andy Daly’s pitch-black Review to…

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FEATURES

Star Wars and the Pitfalls of Telling Adult Stories in a World Built for Children

For the last four decades Star Wars has been caught between the children who’ve loved it since its days as an unexpected sci-fi sensation and the adults into whom they’ve grown. From “the prequels suck because they’re for kids” to “George Lucas raped my childhood” there are entire legions of…

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FEATURES

Love and Psychosis in Channel Zero’s The Dream Door

In many ways, The Dream Door is Channel Zero’s weirdest season. The synth score, the clear influence of oddball 1980s drawings-become-reality flick Paperhouse, the one-liners; it’s a challenging season of television, looping from white-knuckle terrifying to goofball black comedy and back around to moments of almost unbearable vulnerability. In its…

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FEATURES

Insanity, Class, and Cannibalism in Channel Zero’s Butcher’s Block

In Channel Zero’s third season, the show pulls back from the claustrophobic focus of its first two and sinks its teeth into the rotting underbelly of American class warfare. Butcher’s Block is broader, bloodier, and funnier than either Candle Cove or No-End House, but while its lens may be wider…

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FEATURES