Marcus Dean

Marcus Dean

Television enthusiast, film fanatic and serial procrastinator.

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    Latest Articles

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    Film
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    45
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    Latest Topics

    5

    Life Under Lockdown on Screen

    With many countries all over the world experiencing lockdowns and other imposed ways of living – what films have shown this life best? Contagion? 28 Days Later?

    • It would also be worth considering those films that do not ramp up the fear factor, but instead deal with self-imposed isolation, either by choice, social imposition or an underlying mental of physical debility. For instance, how would this worldwide lockdown affect Japan's hikkomori - those who have become recluses. Also consider closed religious orders and communities that do not generally mix with 'outsiders.' A lockdown is only a lockdown if we choose to view it that way. For some it can act as a release from daily toil and stress at work etc. The only real prison is in the mind. – Amyus 7 months ago
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    • I would say the film that best depicts the effects of isolation is It Comes At Night (2017). The film makes fantastic use of Point of View to make the viewer side with the main family since we only see what they see, and their extreme paranoia in the face of this unknown virus comes across as palpable on the screen. It's legitimately hard to watch. – LoganTaylor 7 months ago
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    The Best Standalone Episodes

    Having recently finished watching Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, I was struck by how my favourite episode was #5 Dark Quiet Death – a standalone episode that featured two completely separate characters. It got me thinking of other examples, like a similarly video-game focused episode of You’re the Worst, and countless others.

    So thought it would be a great idea to accumulate these into an article, or perhaps even analyse why audiences respond to these episodes (as Dark Quiet Death is the highest-rated Mythic Quest episode on IMDB by far).

    • Another example that might fit: among the three best-rated episodes of Stargate SG-1 on Imbd, two of them can be considered as standalone episodes: Window of Opportunity and The Fifth Race. The monster-of-the-week episodes of The X-Files might also belong in such an analysis. There might also be a difference between standalone episodes in more ‘procedural’ TV shows (such as SG-1 or X-Files), where standalone episodes are a regular format), and TV shows where, no matter how good they are, standalone episodes stay an exception. (I haven't watched Mythic Quest, so I don't know in which 'category' it would go.) Could that issue be discussed in the same article or would that fact call for two separate ones? – Gavroche 7 months ago
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    5

    The Masked Hero

    With The Mandalorian being so successful, what other examples of a protagonist concealing their identity have really struck a chord with audiences? Obviously, an intriguing trait in terms of mystery, are there any other reasons why this has been successful in The Mandalorian? Moreover, what’s the purpose of using a masked hero? What changes when the main protagonist is unmasked? Is there a downside?

    • I think you may want to touch on what it is about a masked hero that makes audiences intrigued. What is necessary for them to have since one cannot see who (or what) they are. Great topic idea! – majorlariviere 9 months ago
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    • Off the top of my head the only character I can think of right now is 'V' from 'V for Vendetta' (2005). It's interesting how that Guy Fawkes mask even struck a chord with those who haven't seen the film or read the original graphic novel. – Amyus 9 months ago
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    • I think what draws us to the Mandalorian in particular is his willingness and really desperation to remain masked. Even when his remaining masked threatens his life, he is adamant to following the code. It would be interesting to examine how his strictness regarding his mask/suit plays against his rebellious nature (against the bounty hunter guild) throughout the first season – erinouye 9 months ago
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    1

    Bucking the Trend or Rinse & Repeat?

    With the continued success of anthology series like Fargo, American Crime Story and many more, do TV shows have more of a chance if they remain with the same formula that found them success? Or by changing the cast and locale and telling a similar story once more. This could be particularly interesting with the re-emergence of True Detective after a couple of years. Would it have had its season 3 much earlier if it remained with Rust and Marty?

    • I think this may not be as extended a discussion as you would like, perhaps reconsider the wording of what you really want to examine. The issue is that formulaic TV is a norm, an accepted format that most TV is structured on - it is either considered serialised or procedural - this means it is either like Fargo, where it is has one long running story arc (serialised) or it is like NCIS where there is a clear formula to every episode (procedural). Perhaps have a listen to the Nerdist Writer's podcast to consider more fully the manner in which TV is written. The second question you have raised considering the use of ongoing characters versus the break from original characters, such in the Fargo and True Detective series, could actually be a more interesting discussion as this is a contentious area. – SaraiMW 3 years ago
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    How Many Times Can We Get Them To Buy It?

    With recent repacking and re-releases of old titles, what are the most egregious examples of bringing out the same versions of games for that yankee dollar?

    • Final Fantasy X. I own that game four times over. First PS2 disc got scratched, so I bought another (nothing to do with corporate greed, but it explains the four); I bought the remaster on PS3 then a couple of years later got it again for ps4. – AGMacdonald 3 years ago
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    0

    Will an Audience Still Want to go on the Road with David Brent?

    With his first film in a while, Special Correspondents, coming out on Netflix this week, could look ahead to Ricky Gervais’s next film project, the revival of David Brent in Life on the Road. Is there still an apetite for it? Admitting he was swayed to do the film because of the success of the Alan Partridge movie, will this attempt suffer in comparison to the original? Considering there is no Stephen Merchant involved and that his later online skits of Brent on youtube weren’t as successful, can the movie recapture the formula that made The Office so successful?

    • I don't know if the audience that actually 'get' The Office will appreciate it. Of course the fact he's doing it at all could be a big ironic statement on how Gervais is perceived. He's clearly smart enough to know that it's an unpopular choice to egg out Brent's character but that might well be the point. – JChic 5 years ago
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    Twin Peak(s) TV

    A look at the upcoming series of Twin Peaks and how it could differ from the old series and how it fits in with this current era of ‘Peak TV’ and will that have any bearing on how the show looks or how we consume it?

    • Revisiting something as postmodern as Twin Peaks might cause a ripple in the space/time continuum. At this point Twin Peaks has come full circle and is more reflective of 1980's entertainment impressionism. But good topic, definitely. – Jason052714 5 years ago
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    Actors Changing Characters

    I recently read an interview with Stephen Falk commenting about the second season of You’re The Worst and he commented that Chris Geere’s character of Jimmy was not intended to be British but the character was specifically altered after seeing his Audition. This surprised me as a Brit because a lot of Jimmy’s humour is so quintessentially British that I thought his character would have had that running through all of the early scripts. So an interesting article could be how much a certain actor can influence changes in their character, a few more examples springing to mind are Morgan Freeman in Shawshank and Mackenzie Crook in The Office. Could be Film or TV.

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      Latest Comments

      Marcus Dean

      Really interesting piece, know you mentioned early on how this wasn’t a piece on cancel culture. But would sure like to read one from you that is!

      Problematic Creators: How Do We Interact With Their Work?
      Marcus Dean

      Positives from it then! Some good came from it at least

      Getting to the Airport and Other Actions That TV Completely Misrepresents
      Marcus Dean

      What films/TV get it right? I’m trying to think of more realistic ones

      Getting to the Airport and Other Actions That TV Completely Misrepresents
      Getting to the Airport and Other Actions That TV Completely Misrepresents
      Marcus Dean

      True that! It’s part of the DNA in Doctor Who and it needs to exist within it. And they sort of have fun with it too.

      Gosh, the Main Character Is Dead!? So, When Do They Come Back?
      Marcus Dean

      Thanks for the help in editing Emily, appreciate your input lots.

      Completely agree on those two examples, it’s so utterly eye-rolling in BvS but the slight alteration on it in The Dark Knight Rises actually adds so much to the film, as we’re with him in the struggle and we can see how difficult it is for him.

      Also, great mantra for writing! It’s definitely no fun if all the characters are living un-tormented lives

      Gosh, the Main Character Is Dead!? So, When Do They Come Back?
      Marcus Dean

      Made me consider Weeds and MLP in a new light. Like a good article should, it made me learn something and fed a new interest. Good job!

      Dear Mr. You Dances With Weeds
      Marcus Dean

      This film made me super sad and I think you captured the essence of that. He found somebody, who to his limited knowledge anyway, was unique and then he treated her the same way that he treated everyone else, got her to stamp out the habits he didn’t like and then was disappointed when she turned out to be the same as everyone else. He was and always will be the creator of his own downfall.

      Anomalisa: The Unbearable Monotony of Being