Author Archives

Max Bledstein

Max is a freelance writer, musician, and world-renowned curmudgeon. He writes on all things culture for a variety of fine North American publications. His highly anticipated debut novel will write itself one of these days, he assumes.

Blindspots: The Night Of ‘The Call of the Wild’ (Recap)

“For supposed ‘prestige TV,’ ‘The Night Of’ is simply lazy.”

Extraneous Evidence: The Night Of ‘Ordinary Death’ (Recap)

“Chandra goes from being a charming ingénue to a woeful bastion of ignorance even more secluded from society than the eczema-plagued Jack.”

Red Herrings and Strange Bedfellows: The Night Of ‘Samson and Delilah’ (Recap)

“Zaillian and Price find themselves with quite a bit of ground to cover in the series’ final two episodes.”

Heroes and Villains: The Night Of ‘The Art of War’ (Recap)

“Naz is both incredibly lucky and liable to have his luck run out at any minute.”

Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Skin Condition Was In: The Night Of ‘A Dark Crate’ (Recap)

“There’s nothing more indicative of the flaws in HBO’s ‘The Night Of’ than Jack Stone’s eczema.”

The Agony and the Eczema: The Night Of ‘Subtle Beast’ (Recap)

“Beyond racial insensitivity, the opening hours of ‘The Night Of’ have been marked by attempts at complexity which end up doing little to give characters depth.”

Chekhov’s Dogma: The Night Of ‘The Beach’ (Recap)

“The episode stumbles by dogmatically adhering to Chekhov’s gun more than is necessary or beneficial, but the talents of Zaillian, Price and the cast still give ‘The Night Of’ an excellent start.”

American Crime Story: ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’ Is the Missing Chapter of ‘O.J.: Made in America’

“‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’ exposes the intersection between the powerful forms of marginalization which shape the O.J. trial, as well as, more broadly, contemporary American life.”

Long May She Reign: Game of Thrones ‘The Winds of Winter’ (Recap)

“Where ‘Battle of the Bastards’ stumbled by offering simplistic resolutions to complicated problems, ‘The Winds of Winter’ soars by reveling in the dark ambiguities of Westeros’ violent brutality.”

Violent Vengeance: Game of Thrones ‘Battle of the Bastards’ (Recap)

“Game of Thrones has long thrived on the ambiguous moralities and complex psychologies of its anti-heroes, but ‘Battle of the Bastards’ pushes its current season towards culminating in a jarringly tidy climax.”

At a Juncture: Game of Thrones ‘No One’ (Recap)

“After the emotional revelation of the origin of Hodor’s name, HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ has been in a bit of an awkward place.”

Another Return: Game of Thrones ‘The Broken Man’ (Recap)

“One can only hope that Game of Thrones has exhausted its season quotient of character reappearances ostensibly designed to catch us some degree of off-guard, but perhaps future cold opens are coming.”

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Game of Thrones ‘Blood of My Blood’ (Recap)

“After the twin climaxes of last week’s Hodor reveal and Daenerys’ enflamed emergence in the preceding episode, it was only natural for HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ to need a bit of a breather.”

Seizing Power: Game of Thrones ‘The Door’ (Recap)

“Jon Snow may be the one who comes back to life, but it’s the women of Westeros who are increasingly shaping the direction of Season Six.”

The Unburnt: Game of Thrones ‘Book of the Stranger’ (Recap)

“And just like that, things are looking up for Season Six.”

Post-Resurrection: Game of Thrones ‘Oathbreaker’ (Recap)

“Will the execution weigh on Jon as he experiences life beyond the Night’s Watch?”

Rebirth: Game of Thrones ‘Home’ (Recap)

“As good as Game of Thrones can be at revealing shades of grey in ostensibly irredeemable characters, the show is equally adept (if not more so) at making its villains as detestable as can be.”

Exposition Is Coming: Game of Thrones ‘The Red Woman’ (Recap)

“There’s a lot of expository detail, and little development in the singular arcs beyond the exposition.”

Belief in Justice: American Crime Story ‘The Verdict’ (Recap)

“It’s hard to tell from the show what exactly Alexander and Karaszewski believe about Simpson’s guilt, but that doesn’t keep them from being any less interested in him as a human being.”

Tempering Irony: American Crime Story ‘Manna from Heaven’ (Recap)

“However much we’ve laughed at the characters in the preceding episodes, ‘Manna from Heaven’ focuses on understanding why they act as they do.”