House Logo
Explore categories +

Pilot (#110 of 3)

The Deuce Recap Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

Comments Comments (...)

The Deuce Recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

Paul Schiraldi

The Deuce Recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

Fans of David Simon’s The Wire won’t be surprised that the pilot episode of The Deuce lacks a singular inciting event designed to ensure audience retention. In the place of narrative hooks, the episode thoroughly maps the ecosystem of vice that was 1970s New York City, and beckons us to explore a ruinous Times Square alongside a sprawling cast of vibrant characters.

The Leftovers Recap Season 1, Episode 1, "Pilot"

Comments Comments (...)

The Leftovers Recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

HBO

The Leftovers Recap: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”

In the beginning, at least, The Leftovers sounds familiar. The clamorous white noise of modern living hangs in the air, keeping time for the passage of an ordinary autumn day: a crying infant, telephone conversations, the tumbling dryers of a suburban Laundromat. Indeed, what will eventually mark October 14th as the dividing line between “before” and “after” is a brief and surprising silence, the pause that precedes the uproar of alarms, screams, and collisions accompanying the “Sudden Departure.” Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta from the latter’s eponymous novel, the series imagines a world in which two percent of humankind has vanished, but the premiere evinces admirably little interest in an explanation. The questions The Leftovers poses are rather more prosaic. What does it mean to be awakened not by sound, but by its absence? Why do we wait until what we hold dear is gone to acknowledge what it meant to us in the first place? Where do our regrets go when “before” becomes “after”?

Caprica: "Pilot"

Comments Comments (...)

<em>Caprica</em>: “Pilot”
<em>Caprica</em>: “Pilot”

While some felt that Battlestar Galactica’s finale repudiated much that came before it, both thematically and in its execution, others (like myself) felt the story had come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion. Either way, disgruntled or devoted fans of the show—and even those who’ve never seen it—will find its new soapy spinoff, Caprica, of interest. Like its predecessor, which was couched in Bush-era “War on Terror” parallels, the show alludes to present day tensions stemming from Obama’s promise of change, something I discussed at length in a piece I wrote back in April after watching an early DVD release of the pilot.

“Caprica: 58 Years Before the Fall” reads the opening title card to the two-hour debut. The Fall refers to humanity’s near extinction at the hands of their robotic Cylon creations in BSG’s premiere. This prequel explores the fateful forces which led to their creation and rise to prominence. It begins with two young girls perishing in a terrorist attack orchestrated by a monotheistic cult known as the Soldiers of the One (the seed for the Cylon belief in one God; contrarian in the polytheistic society of Caprica). The girls’ respective fathers—Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz), a Bill Gates/Steve Jobs-like billionaire genius looking for the missing link in his robotics research, and Joseph Adams (Esai Morales), a Michael Corleone-type attorney reluctant to join the family (as in Family) business—are our portals into this show’s world.

Graystone and Adams also serve as doubles tied together by their very different reactions to the possibility that their daughters can be resurrected. Graystone sees it as a matter of science and intellect. If he can bring his daughter Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) back to life by imprinting her personality into a machine prototype he’s created, then why not? Ironically, it is his overwhelming emotional regret that blinds this intellectual to the unpredictable repercussions that shall ultimately play out. The earthier and more instinctual Adams comes to grasp the moral implications of trying to revive his own dead daughter. Paradoxically, it is his pragmatism that allows him to step back and view the situation dispassionately.