ROUND UP MAY 29-JUNE 4, 2017

I'm sneakily back-dating all of my round-up posts. This time, I did three pieces in one week for PopMatters!

"Sense8 has always been about family, and the last few episodes crystallize and expand on the various meanings and iterations of family that have been presented in the show: good families, bad families, flesh-and-blood families, and found families. The connection the Sensates share, despite being the sudden source of complications and danger in their lives, has also been the source of incredible joy and feats of strength. Even though most of them have never met in person, they’re the most beautiful kind of family, because they will always love, help, and support one another."
"Overall, the concept of The Sacred Era set my expectations high—perhaps a bit too high. Yet despite the intermittent poetic beauty of the language Aramaki uses, what he uses this prose to describe is often confusing, half-baked, or downright unpleasant to read. The blankness and emptiness of his protagonist, while helpful to the reader early on, soon grates, and the mystery becomes less intriguing and more of a slog as the second half continues."
"Yet the key difference that sets Mary apart from women like Amy and Mathilde is the purely altruistic core to nearly all of her actions: with one exception, every cruel move and betrayal Mary makes is to provide for and protect Bunny. The aforementioned exception is a simple and understandable one: Mary’s winding path with Bunny towards security and safety leads, at one point, back to the only man she ever loved, the heir to a Kennedy-esque clan she’d fallen for years prior. After all, for most of the story Mary is in her late teens and very early 20s, and despite her successful attempts at playing the role of a grown, sophisticated adult, she still holds dear the kind of grand romance found only in the fantastical stories she tells Bunny. Once a relationship fails to resume the way Mary hopes it will, her return to a purely transactional approach to love and intimacy is genuinely affecting. We as readers know, at this point, that she is capable of much deeper, honest, vulnerable feelings—another contrast to Amy and Mathilde."