3%: Future dystopia at its best

In the near future, most of the population lives in slums in the Inland. But every year, all registered twenty-year-olds get one chance to join the elite 3% who live in the well-appointed Offshore. In order to do so, they must make it through the Process, a gruelling set of challenges which will cost many participants their very lives. Continue reading


Sports Night

Whilst most people were enjoying The West Wing back at the end of the nineties, few noticed that around the same time, another Sorkin show was airing – Sports Night. Doomed to air for a paltry two seasons, Sports Night focused on the trials and tribulations of a financially struggling TV network, and their sporting news show, the titular Sports Night. Amidst relationship issues, sporting ups and downs, and a general lack of money, the cast and crew of Sports Night had to come together by 11pm each night to air a mostly seamless hour of sporting entertainment. Continue reading

The Sopranos: the most eccentric, manipulative and downright sociopathic characters

My viewing companion and I have just finished watching The Sopranos. It’s a brilliant series, albeit packed to the gills with death and bloody violence, and of course that ending. As you might imagine from a show about mobsters, everyone is pretty much out for themselves; more than that, however, some of them are just downright emotionally manipulative borderline sociopaths. In this article, I run down some of the worst offenders. Continue reading

The Top Ten Most Disturbing Criminal Minds Episodes

There’s no way that a TV show about profiling serial killers can help but have more than its fair share of creepy moments, and Criminal Minds is no slouch in that department. Over the show’s ten seasons, it seems to have set itself a goal to make each season more disturbing than the last, and coming from a series that has featured paedophilia, cannibalism, people being forced to kill each other, and pictures painted in blood, that’s saying something. What follows are the ten episodes which stuck in my mind as being particularly dark. No doubt I’ve missed a few obvious ones – in which case put a case forward in the comment section below! Continue reading

Breaking Bad: Marie Schrader’s Light Fingers

Yes, I know I said I was going to blog about Star Trek next, but that’s going to be a big post, so I thought I’d slip in a shorter one first. In this post, we’ll be venturing back to the rich playground that is Breaking Bad to discuss one of the storylines that never felt like it was quite played to its fullest, namely that of Marie Schrader. Cast somewhat into the background by her brother-in-law Walter’s sociopathic tendencies, Marie nonetheless had some interesting developments of her own, and a quick delve into her character would hardly go amiss.

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Not Too Clever to Get Caught: when deception doesn’t work out

Some of our TV heroes do morally questionable things. Dexter is a serial killer who satisfies his urges by killing people who escaped legal justic. Jackie Peyton of Nurse Jackie is secretly addicted to pain medication. Walter White of Breaking Bad manufactures crystal meth. These are all secrets that they need to keep from their nearest and dearest, yet much of the tension and drama comes from the fact that they ultimately fail to conceal their secrets. In this post, I delve into our favourite TV shows once again to reflect on the success and failure of keeping secrets. Continue reading

Breaking Bad: When Nice Guys Don’t Want to Finish Last

Walter White, age 50, was a nice guy. Downtrodden, put upon, taken advantage of, but a nice guy nonetheless. He slogged through days of teaching high school chemistry to uninterested students, only to then go and work a second job at a car wash just to make ends meet. His family consisted of a wife who quit work to pursue a career as a writer, a teenaged son with cerebral palsy, and an unexpected second baby on the way. He co-founded a company with his best friend, only to pull out and sell his share right before it became worth billions of dollars. He was the kind of guy macho men and alpha males like to taunt and walk all over. And to top it all off, life gave him one more punch in the stomach – Stage IIIA lung cancer.

That was the Walter White we met at the start of Breaking Bad – but it was not the Walter White we knew by the end of it. Continue reading