‘Between’ Episode 2: Who’s the Boss (Recap/Review)

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Episode 2 of Between, titled Who’s the Boss, starts on day 14 with almost 7,000 dead adults. The Canadian Prime Minister tells the children in the quarantine zone that they must burn the bodies before the fence comes down. Adam survived the soldiers shooting at him when he attempted to escape and Wiley is not interested in the baby at all.

As interesting as this series could be, thus far it fails to convince. The “poor kids” are in a feud with the rich family who apparently own every big business in Pretty Lake. In the fortnight that things have fallen apart in the community, the streets look like a war zone. Abandoned vehicles, bicycles, rubbish, and shopping trolleys fill the streets.

The kids still text, tweet and Facebook each other in order to meet and exchange information. There is a murderer running about and Lana; the rich kid’s sister, has been shot and left in the woods. The killer tried to make it look like a suicide but M.I.T. Adam quickly worked out that it was not. Someone hacked off Mrs. Marshall’s finger to remove an expensive ring and Amanda almost burns down the supermarket.

Despite all the things going on peripherally; murders, theft and bad feelings between certain factions, Wiley is almost burnt to death after mistakenly being put in the “dead” pit and Adam finds what he believes to be the start of the killer plague, the dead are collected and set on fire per the PM’s mandate. According to her, the fence will come down as soon as the dead are disposed of.

Mark (played by Jack Murray), apparently the only prisoner under the age of 22 in the local jail, has been let loose and he repays the equally young prison guard by knocking her out cold. The Pretty Lake kids all help in lighting the “adult” bonfire. The viewer is meant, by this time, to feel badly for the surviving children but instead, one wonders about the lack of cohesion in the story.

There are too many questions unanswered that no one really cares about. The inclusion of a murder in the mix, signposts clearly that the newly released Mark will be accused. Of course the two “redneck” brothers may become the first suspects considering the existing animosity between the two families.

It seems that communication is beginning to be shut down, or at the very least controlled, when Frances gets a call from her auntie (who is outside the quarantine area) and mid-conversation the signal breaks up and fails. The main problem with Between is the lack of agency interaction. There are no CDC types running around (or the Canadian equivalent), no biohazard suited technicians ever appeared to help the locals deal with all these unexplained and age targeted deaths.

Sadly for Jennette McCurdy, her character was saved from a hideous death and now she will have to limp along with this show until its conclusion. The one thing that could save this series would be characters that one can really get behind and empathize with. Annoyingly, everyone, even Goody-Two-Shoes Gordy, are not given the chance to be fully developed and become someone we really car about.

The rich kid’s family, even with the seemingly obligatory “handicapped” sibling just seem like a variation on a stereotype. The best that can be said of the show so far is that McCurdy has been allowed to cease her Juno impression.

29 May 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

American Legends: The Life of John Wayne by Charles River Editors

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The Life of John Wayne by Charles River Editors is a fine read for the novice John Wayne fan or for members of the “younger” generation who have heard of Wayne and do not really know who he was and what he stood for.

This is really a sort of “Readers Digest” encapsulation of Wayne’s life, career and politics. Some of the information is open for debate; as the name that he was christened under and the subsequent change. Despite evidence that shows he was born Marion Robert Morrison which was changed to Marion Michael Morrison after his brother Robert was born, the book states that Duke’s name was changed to Marion Mitchell Morrison. This name was the one that Wayne laid claim to and indeed if you google this name it will take you to the actor. On a side note, so will Marion Michael  Morrison.

Another bone of contention was the liberal use of quotes from a 1971 Playboy interview with Wayne that is used to imply that he was racist. It is fair enough to utilise interviews and press statements released by Wayne to show his rabid anti-communist views and actions that he took during a lamentable time in American history; it’s another thing entirely to accuse the man of prejudicial and racist views.

The book finishes, appropriately enough with Wayne’s death and then lists his film credits. Not a book to write home about by any means but, as I said earlier, it is a fairly good starting point for the curious. I am not what you could call an aficionado but I knew a lot more than what was included in this book.

At just over 2 pounds, the price will not break the bank, but for a little bit more you can read books that deliver a lot more information about the legendary actor and his life, his politics and his work in Hollywood. It could be just what the average commuter is looking for; that certain something to keep their mind occupied during the daily mendacity of work travel.

It appears to me that Charles River Editors has found what they perceive as a niche in the market and are taking advantage of people who don’t feel they have enough time to read “proper” books about topics that they have an interest in. While I would not go so far as to provide a negative review for this book, I would recommend that you look a bit further if you really want to learn about John Wayne.

A 3 out of 5 stars only because they have tried to put quite a bit of information in the least time possible, but not worthy of purchase if you are already a fan of Duke Wayne.

Cropped screenshot of John Wayne and Angie Dic...
Cropped screenshot of John Wayne and Angie Dickinson from the trailer for the film Rio Bravo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)