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New Escapist Column! On How “Mythic Quest” Understands the Creation as a Collaborative Process…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With Mythic Quest wrapping up its second season next week, it seemed like a good time to take a look at what is quietly one of the best shows on television.

Mythic Quest is a workplace sitcom about a video game studio. It is also one of the most insightful studies of the creative process ever made. A large part of this is down to the fact that Mythic Quest understands that creation is an inherently collaborative process, that it does not happen in a vacuum and that it involves lots of people working together towards the same ends. It’s a very mature reflection on how creativity works.

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

New Escapist Video! “Luca – Review”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a three-minute film review of Luca, which is released on Disney+ this weekend.

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “Is ‘In the Heights’ a Summer Highlight? “

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Stacy Grouden for the nineteenth episode of the year, to discuss Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights. We discuss everything from the musical maximalism to the Broadway casting to the box office autopsies taking place. It’s a fun and broad discussion.

You can listen to back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Escapist Column! On “WandaVision” and “Loki”, and the Challenges to the MCU Canon…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist earlier this week. With Loki delving into the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s interesting to wonder why the modern stage of the MCU seems so preoccupied with its own history and continuity.

Black Widow will be a prequel. The Eternals will chart the secret history of a corner of the larger universe. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will potentially retcon Iron Man 3. On top of that, Spider-Man: Far From Home teased the possibility of a multiverse, while WandaVision warped reality. As such, it seems like the franchise is building towards something – but what could that be and what does it mean for the shared universe’s canon?

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

New Escapist Column! On “Loki” as a Fugitive From Continuity…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. Following the premiere of Loki, it seemed like an opportunity to take a look at some of the meta-fictional aspects of the beloved trickster.

At its core, Loki is essentially the story of a character trying to escape their own narrative and wrest control of the story in which they’ve found themselves trapped. The title character of Loki has always been a supporting player, an antagonist or an ensemble player. Loki finds the character pushing his way to the fore, trying to figure out his own arc and his own place when he is no longer defined by the role that he has played for the past decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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

New Escapist Video! “In the Heights – Review in 3 Minutes”

I’m thrilled to be launching 3-Minute Reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a three-minute film review of In the Heights, which released in cinemas and on HBO Max this weekend.

New Escapist Column! On “Sweet Tooth” as a Fairy Tale About Fatherhood…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Sweet Tooth premiered on Netflix last week, and it seemed like a good idea to take a look at the streaming series.

Sweet Tooth is a post-apocalyptic fairy tale, the story of a little boy who wanders off into the wilderness to have an adventure. However, it’s also a fairy tale that understands the purpose of such stories, how these fantastical narratives allow audiences to deal with complex fears and anxieties. However, what makes Sweet Tooth so interesting is that it reflects paternal anxieties as much as childish ones. It is a story about the fears of a parent watching their child try to navigate a chaotic and hostile world, knowing that there is only so much that they can do to keep them safe. It’s a beautiful, moving approach.

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

 

New Escapist Column! Reviewing “Loki”…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. I took a look at the opening two episodes of Loki.

Loki arrives as the third and final of the first wave of live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe shows on Disney+. The opening episode suggests that it is burdened with “glorious purpose”, featuring one of the cinematic universe’s breakout characters while also introducing the Time Variance Authority to the cinematic continuity. The result is an interesting mix, something with a great deal of potential that also feels curiously cautious and overly familiar in places. Still, there’s a lot to like in the show.

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

New Escapist Column! On How Loki Twists the Campbellian Archetype…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With Loki arriving on Disney+ on Wednesday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s God of Mischief and what makes Loki such a compelling character.

There are lots of reasons why Loki has succeeded where other Marvel Studios villains have failed. Part of this is undoubtedly the casting of Tom Hiddleston. However, part of it is also down to the way in which Loki offers an interesting twist on the classic Campbellian archetype. Arguably more than any other character in the MCU, including his own brother, Loki is defined by has complicated and contradictory relationship with his father.

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

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “Does Army of the Dead Bite Off More Than It Can Chew?”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Lee Murkey for the eighteenth episode of the year, to discuss Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and the perennial debate over movie lengths.

You can listen to back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.