Tea & Review: The Leftovers – The Book of Kevin

“You’re home.”

These are the words that close out the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers, spoken by Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) to her partner Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) when he returns to his half-makeshift family after coming back from the dead in a town about to succumb to the chaos engendered by the Guilty Remnant.

Both seasons of The Leftovers thus far, but especially Season Two, have been at least partially about how great tragedies turn disparate groups of people into families, and how the idea of home hinges around those families.

Obviously, this isn’t a profoundly new idea; its novelty and beauty is in its context. The characters on this show exist in a world torn apart by inexplicable loss—loss that we in the real world may not be able to fathom—and have managed to find love and companionship despite this.

But is it sustainable?

Continue reading Tea & Review: The Leftovers – The Book of Kevin

Virago: Part the Tenth — Expiration

First chapter: Fire & Rain

Previous chapter: Dreams

“We are all monsters. It is the ones who deny that who end up being the most monstrous of us all.”

Kelsey couldn’t remember where she had heard this quote, but she liked it. She had come to terms with the fact that she was strange a long time ago. But boring people like her coworker Josh and her sister Hannah were the sort of people who would never admit to their own private monstrosities. Perhaps Barbara was one as well.

Kelsey chewed her lip. She wasn’t keen on accusing Barbara of anything. Especially if she didn’t have anything but a bad dream to go on. But Barbara had been popping into her life lately, and it couldn’t have been pure chance that Kelsey ended up in Barbara’s yard one rainy evening. It could have been any other nutcase neighbour.

Grabbing her hoodie, she stomped downstairs. Arthur was midway through a greeting when the front door slammed in his face. Kelsey pulled the drawstrings tight around her face and shoved her hands deep into her hoodie’s pockets. It wasn’t a long walk to Barbara’s. But it was cold.

Continue reading Virago: Part the Tenth — Expiration

Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 2

Last week we glimpsed the freedom of harlotry, where this week we faced its perils (the foulest of which being death).

Margaret Wells (Samatha Morton) is in desperate need of seed money, so she invites a friend to consider her business as a potential investment. This friend, Nathaniel Lennox (Con O’Neil),  makes it clear however that his greatest interest is in Margaret herself.

Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) faces a far more heinous proposition from her own patron across town. Justice Cunliffe (Richard McCabe), who is both a judge and a customer in Golden Square, visits Quigley and requests that she kidnap a virgin.

Continue reading Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 2

Tea & Review: Attack on Titan: Season Two – Beast Titan + I’m Home

Attack on Titan‘s Season 2, Episode 1: Beast Titan throws us back into the hell behind and in front of the wall.

It has been four years since the Attack on Titan anime debuted in America and fans have been hungry for development since we last left Mikasa, Eren, and Armin.

Eren is still healing from his epic, Titan throwdown with Annie. But just because our main characters aren’t the focus of the season opener it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything happening.

Following the battle, it is discovered that there is a Titan built inside one of the protecting walls. We saw this at the tail end of the first season but seeing it again is still kind of freaky. Like, how long has the Titan been in there? How exactly do you build a wall without seeing a giant Titan? It seems unlikely. It also opens up the door of possibilities that the Titans have a deeper, more insidious relationship with the humans.

Continue reading Tea & Review: Attack on Titan: Season Two – Beast Titan + I’m Home

Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 1

The things we wear to go whoring: ‘Harlots’ and costume

Season 1, Episode 1

Lucy Wells’ blue dress and blonde hair is sufficiently Alice-like for her trip down the rabbit hole (Harlots, Episode 1)

Rejoice, Harlots has arrived on Hulu! It’s a female-centered period piece, which focuses on the entrepreneurs who own and operate brothels in London. Through a feminist lens, and overlaid upon feuding dynasties, this series explores themes of family loyalty, social status, ambition (particularly that of females), sexuality, and gender fluidity.

While I would love to chat about every clever and nuanced decision on the part of the creators, writers, designers, actors, and directors of the show, I thought that (for today) I would comment on costumes.

Continue reading Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 1


They had first met at a coffee shop on a Tuesday morning. Sam was sitting at the table in the corner looking at her phone and sipping a latte when she suddenly felt eyes on her. She looked up slowly and saw a handsome man with slicked-back hair, his hands in his pockets, his eyes smiling, and his mouth with a barely visible smirk.

Sam adjusted her ponytail, even though she didn’t really need to. She pretended like she wasn’t noticing him walking toward her. He stopped next to her table and took a hand out of his pocket and gestured at the empty chair across from her, keeping one hand in the pocket of his black slacks.

“May I join you?” Sam then realized that it was Stephan Miles. His family practically owned the city. His father was the Mayor, so he worked with him. She wasn’t sure what his title was, but he had that look that emanated importance.  She wondered why he wanted to sit with her.

Sam nodded and smiled weakly, trying to not blush, even though she knew there was really no way to prevent it. He pulled out the chair and sat down gracefully, unbuttoning his suit jacket with the flick of his fingers. He stretched his hand across the table, offering a handshake.

“Hello, I am Stephan Miles.” His white teeth glowed as he grinned with his mouth slightly open. Sam had seen him on the local news before, in a fourth of July parade, and around town. He was known as the handsome son of the mayor. Sam had thought that Stephan Miles had a fake kind of politician-style handsome. But in person she saw that what she thought was a fake tan, was actually smooth, olive-colored skin. The grease in his hair slightly failed to keep the waves straight and she could see tiny curls at the nape of his neck. His long eyelashes nearly touched his thick eyebrows, framing his dark round eyes. His sharp jawbone and dramatic angular nose balanced perfectly with the softness of his stare.

Continue reading Queztalcoatl

Tea & Review: iZOMBIE – Heaven Just Got A Little Bit Smoother

The first episode of iZOMBIE‘s season 3 – Heaven Just Got A little Bit Smoother resumes immediately after the closing scene of season 2. While Liv (Rose McIver), Major (Robert Buckley), and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) discuss their cover story for the massacre at Max Rager, Vivian Stoll (Andrea Savage)(the Fillmore Graves military contractor and the zombie who’s purchased Supermax), tells them to take cover. Her soldiers then detonate the building. Neatly destroying the remaining evidence of the zombie outbreak. She smugly, and perhaps ominously tells Liv, Major, and Clive, “we think of everything.”

We discover more about Vivian throughout the episode. From the extortion endured by her husband and her promise to avenge the zombie-on-zombie crime to her plans for a schoolhouse on Zombie Island. We develop a respect for her intentions, but reservations for her methods. Stoll’s unwavering commitment to her family of zombies may be virtuous, but it may also make her a formidable enemy.

We also learn of the measures she’s taken to prepare for. As Vivian terms it, D-Day (aka Discovery Day). This is when humans en masse realize the existence of zombies). Keeping in step with the World War II reference are the posters hanging in the hallway. Reminiscent of Allied forces’ propaganda, catchy phrases caution zombies to conserve resources and act with care.

Stoll’s posters instruct, “Waste not want not,” and “Clip your nails, no epic fails.” Indeed, “Don’t be that guy, tan and dye” is the type of rhyming earworm we know all too well in “Loose lips sink ships.” Stoll is training soldiers for combat, but now we know she’s preparing the zombie civilian population too. But what did we expect? She thinks of everything.

Continue reading Tea & Review: iZOMBIE – Heaven Just Got A Little Bit Smoother

Tea & Review: Legion – Chapter 8

The season finale of Legion is a bittersweet experience. Lucky for us, though, we will definitely be getting a season 2.

FX’s Legion Season 1, Episode 8: Chapter 8 brings an end to the first installment of David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) journey.

Artistically, Chapter 8 is an homage to the visual style representing David’s mental state for the full season. It is the moment that David is the most himself and less connected to the Shadow King.

This episode didn’t have the fancy sequences of earlier episodes. This is because David is no longer in the jittery mental state. He is now has a decent grasp of reality. The creative shift will probably continue into season 2. Fans who may not have been impressed with the season finale, because of lack of artistic craziness, may a hard time adapting to the new mental status of David.

Continue reading Tea & Review: Legion – Chapter 8

Tea & Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast – Not Quite the Original

Beauty and the Beast (2017), stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast/Prince Adam.  It is the newest live-action movie by Disney.  

Belle is also the third princess made into a live-action and the words “third time’s the charm” definitely rang true.

Beauty and the Beast hits a unique spot for both being modern and nostalgic fans who grew up with the 1991 version.

Continue reading Tea & Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)