Review: Game of Thrones (Season 6, Episode 2)

★★★★★ – Death, decisions and drama put the second episode of the series in a whirlwind of landmark events – all leading up to one of the most exciting endings yet.

This review contains spoilers.

Bringing the series back to its renowned nail-biting intensity after last week’s frustratingly slow burn; episode two of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season throws so many new storylines into the mix, that it’s hard to know where to start. With death, gore, and enough surprises to keep you reeling until next week’s hit: ‘Home’ offers Game of Thrones’ best qualities – and most importantly, answers the critical questions that have been plaguing us all for months.

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Review: River (Series 1)

★★★★☆ – A gritty and unique presentation of one man’s struggle with grief, love and death. Interesting and touching – albeit a little cheesy in parts.

BBC’s River is a tumultuous ride through pain, mental illness and grief. With Stellan Skarsgard at his finest, playing the emotionally crippled detective John River, the series takes us through what it is like to lose someone close to you – and how close you may have actually been at all. With compelling performances from the entirety of the cast, and a pervasive gloomy tone that sets the scene for a host of brutal crimes, River provides a hauntingly effective police drama. Whilst there are a few downfalls and faults that can effect the immersion of the series, there is no denying that Abi Morgan has written a truly intriguing piece – one that offers as many questions about ourselves as it does of the characters.

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Review: American Horror Story: Hotel (Season 5, Episode 1)

★★★★☆ – American Horror Story‘s major drawing point for each series is its fresh and original approach to classic horror tropes; and Hotel promises to follow in the show’s success so far.

The on-going success of the American Horror Story franchise continues; with the new season introducing new actors, new characters and a beautiful, yet deadly, new setting. With no Jessica Lange this season, there was some skepticism over how the series would pan out – but from the looks of the opening episode ‘Checking In’, there is plenty to keep fans distracted from the lack of AHS’s leading star. With sex, violence and enough blood to turn even the most hardened stomach, Ryan Murphy has once again distilled the qualities that make AHS so easy to return to – whilst keeping it fresh and original with the plot.

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Review: True Detective (Season 2, Episode 2)

★★☆☆☆ – Slow, arduous, yet still has potential. Waiting out this series seems necessary but disappointing – though this week’s episode shows a lot of promise in its dying breath.

This post will contain spoilers for True Detective: Season 2, up to episode 2.

Returning for its second series, the acclaimed True Detective seems to have lost its initial grip, grit and gore. Slow paced, bleak and with a lingering sense of gloom – it holds all the ingredients that made the first series so enigmatic and interesting; yet something just isn’t quite right. Reams of dialogue seem to fog the plot advancement and every character is sad and jaded – yet this leads to building the slow-burning, intense atmosphere that permeated the original eight part season. Even with an implacable change in tone that feels slightly disappointing – there’s still hope that these somewhat odd ingredients can combine to create something great once more. Whilst the second episode may not have revealed this straight away – the ending holds promise that we will eventually plunge head first into the intoxicating underground world of crime and drama that excited us so much the first time around; without playing out as a cheap imitation of its initial success.

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Review: Game of Thrones (Season 5, Episode 9)

★★★★☆ – With moments of haunting poignance, jaw-dropping tension and sheer amazement in the mix – this week’s episode is a fitting installment to ready season five for its bitter end.

As the penultimate episode in the series, this week’s Game of Thrones didn’t have much left to hold back and in true fashion for this episode; violence, shock and large-scale murder were rife throughout. Previously, episode nine has been the peaking point of each season: Ned’s decapitation, the battle on Blackwater, the infamous red wedding, and finally the wildling siege on the wall. It’s safe to say high hopes were to be had for whatever could be thrown at us next and then further intensified after the gut-churning ending of last week’s ‘Hardhome.’

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Review: Modern Family (Season 6, Episode 11)

★★★★☆ – A hilarious reintroduction to the show we all know and love, the mid-season opener of Modern Family won’t disappoint.

Modern Family is an American TV comedy that almost everyone has heard of. With its eccentric mix of characters and impeccable timing, the show offers a unique and hilarious insight into daily family life. The show also delivers scarily accurate representations of family members that almost everyone will know (whether it be fun uncle Phil (Ty Burrell) or control-freak mom Claire (Julie Bowen), grumpy grandfather Jay (Ed O’Neill) or bimbo sister Haley (Sarah Hyland)) – the concept is one that’s been done a million times before, but none come close to the quirk and charm of the critically acclaimed Modern Family.

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Review: The Following (Season 3, Episode 1)

★★☆☆☆ – Fans of the show will not be subjected to anything they haven’t seen before – the main positive of the episode is that the series can only get better.

The following review will contain spoilers on Season 3, Episode 1 of The Following.

As a “follower” of the series since its debut; the season three premiere of The Following felt like an unremarkable, if not boring, reintroduction to Ryan Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) eternal struggle with internal demons. Rehashing the same themes that the second series ended on, viewers are subjected to a couple of new cult members, some new love interests and a lot of the same old problems.

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