Spoilers for the latest Better Call Saul after the jump:
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Thursday, December 23, 2021
As was the case in 2020, the race for album of the year in 2021 was all but over early in the year: The Weather Station's Ignorance is every bit the generational masterpiece Fiona Apple's Fetch the Bolt Cutters was. I've already written about that album and many of its most brilliant tracks ("Heart" is unquestionably my favorite song of the year), so those won't feature here. What will? Hopefully a fairly good cross-section of great songs, spanning a solid cross-section of genres (though I haven't really kept up with much in the way of metal this year, I'll admit).
Monday, May 10, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
I began my journey through Hades unsure of whether I'd ever be able to win a single run. One of my favorite combinations of boons early on, as someone who found (and still does, though I've gotten better at it) the fast-paced combat of the game particularly difficult when fighting enemies in close quarters, involved Athena's Divine Dash to deflect projectiles and a heavily upgraded Poseidon cast that did a ton of damage and complemented whatever Infernal Arm I happened to be using. (It remains my preferred cast whenever possible, mainly due to how much it can trivialize many of the tiny rooms in the Styx region if leveled up correctly.) The game allows you to build a combo like this on the vast majority of your runs by simply selecting the keepsake of your preferred god, then swapping it out for a different one later in the run. You may of course still not get the specific boon you want, but with three to choose from*, I found much of the time I did.
(* Of course, an option on higher difficulties can reduce your choices.)
The downside of this strategy, however, is that other, potentially more powerful keepsakes sit unused for most of the run. It's also, frankly, a little boring and means the game loses the sort of improvisatory spirit that made fellow roguelike Slay the Spire one of my favorite games ever made. I love getting a particular card or relic in that game and having to design my build around it—sometimes it ends in failure, but it's amazing when it succeeds and you discover a fantastic new (and sometimes wildly overpowered) way of constructing your deck. The best option for replicating this feeling in Hades, I've found, is to use Persephone's Pom Blossom once you've unlocked it, as it lets you randomly level up boons after every few encounters. Add in the additional power-ups you get along the way, and your boons can become incredibly leveled-up. Meanwhile, not favoring a specific god means you can try out tons of new combinations. At this point I pretty much always use the Pom Blossom all the way through Elysium before switching to Skelly's keepsake (the one that gives me an extra life) before the last region. It's become by far my favorite way to play the game.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Monday, June 10, 2019
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
And ultimately . . . I kind of did, to be honest. At the very least the first few entries on this list are shows that, to me, fell just a hair's breadth below the "great" threshold I usually like to see. I have basically no honorable mentions, other than perhaps You're the Worst, whose all-timer of a finale was so good that it retroactively made me like the (merely solid) rest of the season leading up to it a lot more. Perhaps Bob's Burgers would also count, were I current on it; the episodes I've seen of its eighth season, while reliably entertaining, would just miss the cut as well. It just wasn't that strong of a year. But . . . it was enough, largely on the strength of a set of dramedies—including several that premiered just before the end of the season—that have managed to carve out a place in a TV environment that's somewhat lacking its usual strength (or at least lacking its usual depth, as there still are a few standouts) in the realm of both the more traditional sitcom and the drama.
Omissions? Well, a few, including a couple ones that some folks would consider significant: Better Things, What We Do in the Shadows, Barry (I really did not click with the parts of season one I watched but I kind of feel it deserves another chance at some point), and Ramy are perhaps the most notable, in terms of shows that probably could have made a legitimate run at a spot. But I didn't get to them in time, alas.
Anyway, let's get to the main event. As usual there are spoilers but none that I personally would consider all that significant. (I'm not generally too much of a spoilerphobe though, so if you are, take that with a grain of salt.)
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Monday, June 4, 2018
Thursday, May 31, 2018
It's entirely possible this feeling won't last, and I could end up right back here next year doing more of the same. If not I'm sure I'll do an abridged version of it of some kind on Twitter. As for movie writing, I'm sure I'll still occasionally have things to say on Letterboxd about particular films, and I do plan on continuing my annual horror movie marathons over there in some shape or form, too.
I'm not calling this the end of the blog or anything, because I truly don't know. But that's where things are going at the moment. So thanks to everyone who's read stuff over the years—especially you, Jose, if you happen to be reading this. Your comments on a lot of my early writing meant the world to me.
Read on for part one (with mild spoilers... next week's top five may have a few somewhat more significant ones) after the jump: