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New Escapist Column! On “Poker Face” as an Argument for Episodic Television…

I published a new piece at The Escapist during the week. With the recent release of the first four episodes of Poker Face on Peacock, it seemed like a good opportunity to consider the show as a rare example of high-profile and prestigious episodic television.

For decades, episodic storytelling was the default model for American television. Around the millennium, mainstream shows started to shift toward serialisation, a trend accelerated by the arrival of streaming. Most modern prestige shows are heavily serialised, effectively telling a single narrative over the course of an entire season. Poker Face rejects this structure, embracing a “case of the week” format. However, the show is more than just an example of the potential of episodic storytelling. It’s very much an affirmative case for it.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On the “Superman II” as the Rosetta Stone of Zack Snyder’s DCEU…

I published a new column at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League this week, it seemed like an appropriate opportunity to take a look at the strange and enduring influence of Superman II on the DCEU, from Man of Steel forward.

Superman II is one of the cornerstones of the superhero genre. It was the first big superhero blockbuster sequel, setting the stage for the franchises that would follow. It was the first depiction of the urban devastation that has become a fixture of the modern superhero spectacle. However, what makes movies like Man of Steel and Zack Snyder’s Justice League so interesting is the extent to which they interrogate and explore the fantasy presented in Superman II.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.