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Escape at Dannemora (2018)
Although the acting & directing were often technically laudable, this series left me feeling sickened. I utterly failed to understand the point of this series. What did any of the characters want other than temporary gratification of base desires? Occasionally Sweat's need for freedom rose above the mediocrity of the script, and Paul Dano imbued his character with some empathy-I did want him to make it to Canada, but I could not connect to him or to any of the characters in this series on any level. With the exception of Sweat, they are all either loathesome, stupid, or both. The lack of pathos is astonishing, as is the absence of any humor, redemption, transformation, or pleasure. This story & its people are repellent, and I feel the hype this series is getting to be a deeply sad statement on our culture, on our times, and on us. "Escape at Dannemora" is yet another attempt at the apotheosis of 'white trash' and a complete waste of time. The forest is glorious, but everything else in this unremarkable series just a void.I would like my eight hours back, please!
Game of Thrones: Dragonstone (2017)
Not what it's hyped up to be . . .
I love "Game of Thrones", both the novels and HBO's series, and I have read and watched both five and seven times respectively in their entirety, with my most recent plunges during the past fortnight (and no, I have nothing better to do with my life as am terminally ill and bed bound). So one can easily imagine my level of anticipation for the broadcast of "Dragonstone", And that first seven at the Twins made the past year and a half of waiting and wondering seem worth those stainless days. Arya's artful extinction of House Grey was so perfectly crafted at such a high level of intensity that I knew it must be just the tip of the iceberg.
Unfortunately, it was the whole iceberg, for the rest of the episode sank beneath it and played like one very long preview for this irritatingly truncated season. We do see the Hound's humanity continue growing, but the episode largely consists of superfluous chin-wagging, and I include in that Sansa and Jon's public bickering, which did not appear to undermine their unity.
We received very little new information in S7E1, heard too much dialogue, and got precious little eye candy after so long a wait. Best bet back to killing off beloved characters--and a few deeply detested ones, too, GoT! And flying, fire-breathing dragons!!!