five stars

After three brutal, beautiful, dreadful, rewarding seasons, Review has come to an end. This tragedy cloaked in comedy is the best vehicle yet for Andy Daly, that master of cloaking anguish, corruption, and madness in affability. Jeffrey Blitz (of Spellbound fame) gives the direction an uncanny documentary realism that belies its absurdity. The unforgiving rhythm of Review, of Forrest’s rise and fall, hope and despair, lends it a depth that surpasses any comedy and most dramas. “Cryogenics, Lightning, Last Review” honors that depth.

Review finale double screenshot

If you ever doubt the importance of direction, cinematography, and framing to the tone of a narrative, just remember these two Review screenshots, seconds apart. A tiny tweak of perspective separates freedom from damnation, separates life from this simulacrum of life Forrest inhabits, separates NEVER REVIEWING ANYTHING EVER AGAIN from REVIEW ANYTHING. You can read my review of Review‘s uncompromisingly excellent series finale here.

if you don’t see

I’m well satisfied with the opening paragraph of my review of tonight’s American Horror Story: Roanoke. For the entire run of American Horror Story: Roanoke, I’ve pointed out its fictionalized images of real horrors visited upon black Americans, some for centuries and some more recent. And for the entire run of the installment, some readers have told me I’m imagining a significance that isn’t present in the show. In “Chapter 9,” where a police officer asks a screaming black woman if she’s survived “a lynch mob,” and where much of the footage comes from police body cams, if you don’t see that underlying theme, it’s because you’re determined not to see it.

text: “For the entire run of American Horror Story: Roanoke, I’ve pointed out its fictionalized images of real horrors visited upon black Americans, some for centuries and some more recent. And for the entire run of the installment, some readers have told me I’m imagining a significance that isn’t present in the show. In ‘Chapter 9,’ where a police officer asks a screaming black woman if she’s survived ‘a lynch mob,’ and where much of the footage comes from police body cams, if you don’t see that underlying theme, it’s because you’re determined not to see it.”

I’ll be donating my payment for tonight’s review to The ACLU, because we woke up to a true American nightmare, and I’ll do what I can to make it easier and make it end.