Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, S2 E5, “Blackwood” (Dir: Alex Pillai) Review By Case Wright


First of all, it’s always so fun to read Lisa’s reviews.   I hope she wants to review another one of these episodes.  She always sees things that I don’t like HERE!!!! and HERE!!!!.  It has been a true pleasure working with/for her over these years.  This series is making me already plan for my October reviews!!!  Weren’t they awesome last October?! Yes…Yes…They were.

Is this season getting better? Yes, but that’s mostly because the first episode of the second season was so very unsatisfying and disappointing. The series seems to be evolving into a Tales From The Crypt over the top fest.  I loved TFTC, but that’s not what I expected Sabrina to become.  I saw this series as a scary in your face we’re mad as hell at the patriarchy and we’re not gonna take it anymore!  The feminism is still there, but it really hits you over the head with its agenda ….every….single…episode; It comes across as a PSA sometimes.  When done right, like last season, you root for the agenda, but now I’m lectured by it.  It’s kind of annoying when you already agree.

This episode was directed by Alex Pillai (Riverdale) and he did a fine paint by numbers job with the episode.  It got the job done….fine, not great, but definitely fine like the Chicago Cubs in the 2000s or Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw).  The episode was all about marriage, the loss of feminine identity, and misogyny…lots and lots of misogyny.  Really, this Church of Night is a bunch of knuckle dragging dirtbags.  I get the whole- we’re evil bit, but it doesn’t really work all the time.  The characters are mostly strong women and the constant subjugation that the Church imposes seems kinda silly that anyone would put up with it let alone these powerful heroines.   Also, the constant “for Hell’s Sake” “Your Unholiness” “Your Dishonor” just makes me laugh;  I look like loon when I’m on the elliptical watching this.

In the episode, Aunt Z is getting married and she’s all jittery and worried about being exposed for stealing one of the Blackwood babies.  Also, Father Blackwood is going full-on misogynist pig. He wants the church of night to go back to its old ways of chauvinism.  His plan is to write up the basic philosophy and give it to the Anti-Pope (Ray Wise). (Side Note: God, I love Ray Wise.  He’s awesome in everything he does and was the best devil ever in Reaper. Unfortunately, he’s only in the show for a couple of minutes.) Sabrina catches wind of Blackwood’s Misogynist plan because Ambrose tells her .

The Solution: Sabrina gets her Dad’s manifesto that’s all women and men are equal, witches should marry mortals, and powertrain warranties are bullshit.  Sabrina has Nick retrieve it from the bottom of the sea.  Just as the Anti-Pope will read it, Father Blackwood has him murdered and frames Ambrose for it!!! DUN DUN DUN!!!!  Basically, all of Sabrina’s plans fail: Aunt Z and Blackwood marry, Blackwood has Aunt Z walk behind him (bleh), Ambrose is jailed, Sabrina and Nick are expelled, and Aunt Hilda becomes lactose intolerant.  Bad all the way around.

I normally don’t get into subplots, but spring is in the air.  Ms Wardwell and Adam are falling in love. It’s really sweet.  She explains that marriage is a complete destruction of a woman’s identity. Wardwell looks at Adam expecting a fight, but instead he accepts her, her values, and just wants to be with her. It’s …well….sweet.  I was a bit moved.  Satan gets jealous and wants her to kill him, but instead she makes him a ring of protection.  I hope these crazy kids make it work.

The show is moving in the right direction, but the show seems to collapse under its own weight sometimes.  It has these big themes and plots, but can’t quite deliver them this season because of the campiness, clunky dialogue, and endless subplots that grind the suspense and gravitas to dust.  Maybe this is the way Riverdale is?  I never wanted to watch that show and now I really don’t want to.  My guess is that season 1 was Ruth Chris Steakhouse and season 2 is Red Robin and yes I did get food poisoning from them once.


Weekly Reading Round-Up : 04/14/2019 – 04/20/2019

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Believe it or not, we’ve only got two first issue this time out, so we’ll start with those, and then delve into the other stuff —

Mary Shelley : Monster Hunter #1 hit LCS shelves this past Wednesday courtesy of the writing team of Adam Glass and Olivia Briggs and line artist/colorist Hayden Sherman. I suppose the conceptual and artistic triumph that was Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Providence was impetus enough for other creators to give the “famous writer who knew what they were talking about all too well” premise a whirl, and while I won’t pretend for a second this is anywhere close to being in that class, it was a fun and well-paced introduction to a world where — well, the title proves to be literally true. The story didn’t blow me away or anything, but the esteemed Mrs. Shelley comes off as being strong, likable, and

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Trash TV Guru : “Doom Patrol” Season One, Episode Ten – “Hair Patrol”

Trash Film Guru

With “Hair Patrol.” the tenth episode of the DC Universe original streaming series Doom Patrol, “showrunner” Jeremy Carver and co. have decided to go back and fill in some of the blanks — not only in terms of what everyone else got up to while Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan’s Cliff Steele and Diane Guerrero’s “Crazy” Jane were struggling to find their way out of the tormented and fragmented subconscious of one Kay Challis, but in a larger sense. As in — what, exactly, is the deal with Timothy Dalton’s “Chief” Niles Caulder?

Not that Eric Dietel’s script gives away all the answers, of course — not even close — but in the wilds of the Yukon Territory way back in 1913, Caulder had a life-changing experience. One that ties him in with an earlier version of the Bureau Of Normalcy, sees him match wits with a colleague-turned-enemy named Alistair (played…

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Check, Please : Liam Cobb’s “The Inspector”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Confession time right at the outset : I actively despise what’s generally known as “foodie culture.” Mind you, I absolutely appreciate the fact that there is a real artistry to good cooking and that restaurants which practice things like the so-called “farm to table” philosophy are certainly going about their business more ethically than, say, McDonald’s is, but let’s be honest : every goddamn chef thinks he or she (and it’s far too frequently a “he” — a major problem with the restaurant industry is the male domination of, and the resultant culture of misogyny inherent in, most kitchens) is at the very least a local, if not a national, celebrity; menus have become pretentious, ego-driven, and hideously expensive; wait staff act like they’re the stage performers a good chunk of them wish they were — the whole experience of eating out has become a nauseatingly garish production.

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Some 411 For 420 : Box Brown’s “Cannabis : The Illegalization Of Weed In America”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

As a matter of course, I’ve found the now-annual works of non-fiction cartooning from Box Brown published under the auspices of his deal with First Second to be enjoyable, if not exactly groundbreaking, and I’m highly (pun only slightly intended) grateful for the stability they no doubt bring Brown, therefore giving him enough financial “breathing room” to continue his ongoing Retrofit publishing program — so please keep all that in mind if it sounds like I’m damning his latest graphic novel, Cannabis : The Illegalization Of Weed In America, with faint praise.

Such, I assure you, is far from my intent. As with his “graphic biographies” of Andre The Giant and Andy Kaufman, and his historical overview of the Tetris video game phenomenon, this is a highly readable, often-times engrossing work, sensibly laid-out, agreeably illustrated, and convincingly argued in terms of advancing its point of view. But — and…

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Trash TV Guru : “Doom Patrol” Season One, Episode Nine – “Jane Patrol”

Trash Film Guru

I can’t decide if episode nine of DC Universe’s original streaming series Doom Patrol is so good it hurts — or if it just fucking hurts.

Playing it pretty close and tight with its Grant Morrison/Richard Case-created “source material,” this is “Crazy” Jane’s story all the way — they don’t call it “Jane Patrol” for nothing — and Diane Guerrero puts on an acting clinic manifesting personalities seen and hitherto-unseen (hello Driver 8!) when Brendan Fraser’s Cliff Steele (with an assist from the “Negative Spirit” inside Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk’s Larry Trainor) enters “the underground” of her subconscious to retrieve the Jane we know and love, who just last week collapsed within herself right at the moment her Karen persona was about to tie the knot. You thought this show was weird before? You really ain’t seen nothing yet.

Now, we’re used to Timothy Dalton’s “Chief” Niles Caluder and Alan…

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Tana Oshima’s “Vagabond” Heart

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Here’s the thing — most “indie” comics creators, and even most “indie” comics readers, fancy themselves as “outsiders,” to one degree or another. Not only do we work on, or take pleasure from, an art form that is on the “margins,” but one that is on the very margins of those margins, divorced entirely from the industry that most people think of when they even do think of comics in the first place. When the small press and self-publishers are your “bag,” then you are, by both definition and default, “way out there.”

I think that sometimes we romanticize this “outsider” status, as well — I mean, we probably have to since none of us are in it for the money. We speak a secret language known only to us, one loaded with references and terminology those squares out there in the “straight world” could never understand. We’re interested in…

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