Sunday sure was a pessimistic downer when it came to TV. Over on HBO, ‘Game of Thrones’ reminded us that there’s nothing that show won’t do and no storytelling convention it won’t break. A few channels down the Comcast menu, AMC aired the two-hour premiere of the shortly-canceled-then-revived ‘The Killing’, which was just as sullen an affair as the instantly-infamous ‘The Rains of Castamere‘.
After much doubt and consternation from fans, NBC rather miraculously made a last-minute decision to renew ‘Hannibal’ for a second season after all. Because the series receives most of its financing from Europe, keeping it on the air is a low risk for the network, despite its ratings issues. The show will return in the mid-season early next year. In the meantime, it aired another terrific episode last week.
Well. Holy hell. A couple of our readers who are fans of the George R.R. Martin novels hinted in the Comments for our last recap that something big would happen in this week’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’. Even with that warning, I had no inkling that it would be this big. The whole trajectory of the show’s narrative has just been thrown completely off balance.
The summer TV season has begun. Last week, ABC rolled out its new detective series ‘Motive’ in a rather peculiar two-pronged approach, with a “Preview” episode on Monday and a “Premiere” on Thursday. Why not just call the first episode the “Premiere”? I have no idea. Stranger still, only the latter episode seemed to get any advertising, as if the network was trying to bury the pilot. If there’s a reason for that, I can’t figure it out. I saw no significant qualitative difference between the two episodes.
Before we dive into the season finale of ‘Bates Motel’, we should take a moment to send kudos in the direction of creator Anthony Cipriano and executive producers/writers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin for reimagining Hitchcock’s classic movie in a way that both honors the original story and opens up the mythology for brand-new horror. There have been a handful of poor attempts to reboot ‘Psycho‘ over the years, but ‘Bates Motel’ is the first time anyone has gotten it right.
You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of Lord Tyrion Lannister and Lady Sansa Stark. The ceremony will be followed by a reception to feature much feasting and imbibing of spirits, but sadly very little merriment.
Sadly, ‘Hannibal’ has not made NBC’s fall schedule. However, at the time of this writing, the network has not officially canceled the show yet, and even continues to advertise it in primetime, which is generally a sign that somebody there wants to give it a chance to find an audience. Although probably unlikely, there’s some small measure of hope that the series could be brought back as a mid-season replacement next year. I guess that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, last Thursday brought us an interesting, if not entirely successful episode.