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New Escapist Column! On “The Witcher: Blood Origin”, and What Happens When Television Becomes a Six-Hour Movie…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this week. With the release of The Witcher: Blood Origin on Netflix, it seemed like a good time to discuss an unsettling trend in modern television: the idea that modern shows are really just super-extended movies, and the consequences of that.

Blood Origin demonstrates what happens when a studio treats a television show like a movie. The series was written and filmed as six episodes, but was horrible cut down in the editting bay. Two whole episodes were stripped out of the show, leaving it incoherent and nonsensical. In many ways, this was exactly what happened with Joss Whedon’s cut of Justice League, which was similarly cut down to have a runtime of under two hours. If television shows are just films now, they are subject to the same sort of meddling.

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

New Escapist Review! On “The Witcher: Blood Origin” as a Bloody Mess…

I published a new piece at The Escapist earlier in the week, a review of the upcoming Netflix show, The Witcher: Blood Origin. It is a live action four-episode miniseries spinning directly out from the streaming service’s fantasy hit, The Witcher.

Blood Origin has had a famously troubled production, with the show being cut down from six episodes to four in the editing bay, and undergoing fairly involved reshoots to work around this truncation. The results are as muddling and disheartening as this back story suggests. Blood Origin is a show that is filled with lore and backstory, but with no interest in its characters or their motivations. It’s a frustrating mess, a show that has clearly been hacked apart and reconstructed to hit a pre-determined runtime.

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

New Escapist Video! “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf – 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 The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, which is releasing on Netflix tomorrow.

New Escapist Column! On Uncanny Valley of “The Witcher” Between Prestige and Tradition…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine the week before last, looking at the Netflix streaming show The Witcher.

There are a lot of interesting things about the eight episode introductory season of The Witcher, which is adapted from two books of short stories and which seems to exist largely to set the table for more impressive seasons to follow. However, what is most immediately striking about The Witcher is the way in which it exists in the uncanny valley between modern prestige television and a more traditional model of episodic storytelling, looking like a hybrid of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Game of Thrones. To be clear, this is not a bad thing.

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

New Escapist Column! On “The Witcher” and True Monstrosity…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine last week, looking at the Netflix streaming show The Witcher.

The Witcher is an interesting show, the story of a monster hunter who drifts through a magical world that seems caught on the cusp of war. The first season is very broad and largely episodic, but it does have a clear thematic through line. The series plays with the tropes and conventions of the fantasy genre, but most pointed with the idea of monstrosity. The Witcher is the story of a man who kills monsters, but also a story about how sometimes true monstrosity comes in human form.

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