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Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Dec 24, 2019. 22 comments

At the end of a solid finale, His Dark Materials solidifies its first season as a missed opportunity (experts)

At the end of a solid finale, His Dark Materials solidifies its first season as a missed opportunity (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from future books,...

22 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Dec 24, 2019. 8 comments

His Dark Materials lets the action slow down in a muted finale (newbies)

His Dark Materials lets the action slow down in a muted finale (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

For an episode that promised heavy soldier action, much of the His Dark Materials finale is surprisingly muted and contemplative, as Lyra confronts her father and he tries to explain what he’s been doing.

It’s an explanation that rings a bit hollow once he gets to the point of murdering his daughter’s best friend to achieve his goals. If...

8 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Dec 17, 2019. 22 comments

His Dark Materials' suspect storytelling choices continue to muddle its compelling narrative (experts)

His Dark Materials' suspect storytelling choices continue to muddle its compelling narrative (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from future books, there...

22 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Dec 17, 2019. 14 comments

His Dark Materials takes a detour to armored bear territory, with mixed results (newbies)

His Dark Materials takes a detour to armored bear territory, with mixed results (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

It is deeply unfortunate that as terrible as Lyra’s mother is, His Dark Materials is at great pains to remind us that her father is…also bad. Is the man incapable of giving a hug?

But let’s get to that later. The majority of the episode is focused on Armored Bear Court Intrigue, and specifically unseating Iofur Raknison, the bad king of...

14 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Dec 10, 2019. 9 comments

His Dark Materials lets Mrs. Coulter shine in one of its strongest episodes yet (newbies)

His Dark Materials lets Mrs. Coulter shine in one of its strongest episodes yet (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

And like clockwork, His Dark Materials improves when Mrs. Coulter reappears. This episode was a real high water mark for the character, because so many of the actions she’s taken suddenly have an additional degree of nuance, from her bizarre relationship with her daemon to her stunted efforts to connect with Lyra.

It’s also an...

9 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Dec 10, 2019. 20 comments

His Dark Materials buckles under the weight of its missing daemons (experts)

His Dark Materials buckles under the weight of its missing daemons (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from future books, there will...

20 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Dec 03, 2019. 21 comments

A tragedy befalls one "Lost Boy" as His Dark Materials rushes to introduce another (experts)

A tragedy befalls one "Lost Boy" as His Dark Materials rushes to introduce another (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from...

21 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Dec 03, 2019. 17 comments

His Dark Materials builds on Lyra's sense of adventure, but trips up on its plotting (newbies)

His Dark Materials builds on Lyra's sense of adventure, but trips up on its plotting (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

The perpetual problem with this show seems to be a sacrifice of character development in favor of forward momentum. There’s so much that works so well in this episode, but it’s hamstrung by the need to shift pieces around.

The death of Billy Costa is very affecting. We’ve spent the last five episodes getting to know sweet Ma Costa, and...

17 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Nov 26, 2019. 24 comments

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn't the Lee Scoresby we remember from His Dark Materials, but he isn't meant to be (experts)

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn't the Lee Scoresby we remember from His Dark Materials, but he isn't meant to be (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Casting any literary adaptation is a minefield. Fans have built up versions of characters over years of reading and rereading the books, and fan art typically reifies certain versions of characters in the process. Even in circumstances where authors leave room for interpretation, any interpretation is competing with thousands of others,...

24 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Nov 19, 2019. 22 comments

The Gyptians give Lyra and His Dark Materials the final pieces of the puzzle to get moving north already (experts)

The Gyptians give Lyra and His Dark Materials the final pieces of the puzzle to get moving north already (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from future books, there will be a...

22 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Nov 19, 2019. 14 comments

His Dark Materials drops a dramatic reveal, but you probably already knew it (newbies)

His Dark Materials drops a dramatic reveal, but you probably already knew it (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

So was anyone surprised by the big Mrs. Coulter reveal here? In a show in which a lot of things are pretty confusing, that had been telegraphed heavily ever since Mrs. Coulter popped up on the scene, and then acted very very weird around Lyra.

It’s not clear how much it changes for Lyra herself, especially coming so soon on the heels of...

14 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Nov 12, 2019. 23 comments

His Dark Materials brings two reveals forward, but takes two steps back in the process (experts)

His Dark Materials brings two reveals forward, but takes two steps back in the process (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from future books, there will...

23 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Nov 12, 2019. 18 comments

Lyra learns not all prisons look like prisons in a menacing His Dark Materials (newbies)

Lyra learns not all prisons look like prisons in a menacing His Dark Materials (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

“I don’t think I understand any grown-ups at all,” says Lyra near the end of this episode of His Dark Materials, and after everything she’s been through, it’s not hard to see why. There’s not a single adult in her life who’s proven to be trustworthy in recent days. Even before the revelation that Asriel is her father, it’s not like he...

18 Comments

Baraka Kaseko Baraka Kaseko Nov 11, 2019. 3 comments

On tonight’s His Dark Materials, Lyra arrives in London on a mission

On tonight’s His Dark Materials, Lyra arrives in London on a mission

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Monday, November 11. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

His Dark M aterials (HBO, 9 p.m.): Last week’s His Dark Materials premiere was a fairly successful, faithful introduction to Philip Pullman’s beloved fantasy world, satisfying both those who are familiar with the trilogy , and those who are not . In this week’s episode, directed by Tom...

3 Comments

Lisa Weidenfeld Lisa Weidenfeld Nov 05, 2019. 18 comments

His Dark Materials kicks things off by depending on its actors to sell a lot of exposition (newbies)

His Dark Materials kicks things off by depending on its actors to sell a lot of exposition (newbies)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to His Dark Materials, a show with a frankly mystifying title! Who’s he? What are his materials? What makes them so shady? That’s what we’re here to find out, though the pilot offers few clues on that particular mystery, and an abundance of scene setting. By the end of the first episode, the show has introduced a series of power...

18 Comments

Myles McNutt Myles McNutt Nov 05, 2019. 21 comments

“Lyra’s Jordan” gives His Dark Materials readers hope the second time’s the charm (experts)

“Lyra’s Jordan” gives His Dark Materials readers hope the second time’s the charm (experts)
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Welcome to The A.V. Club’s “Experts” reviews of HBO’s His Dark Materials. It is written from the perspective of someone who has read all three books in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, and intended for an audience of viewers who have also read these books. While the main review will not actively spoil details from future...

21 Comments

Nov 01, 2019. 24 comments

His Dark Materials provides a respectful, if rarely revelatory, adaptation

His Dark Materials provides a respectful, if rarely revelatory, adaptation
TV Reviews All of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Of the many strengths of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, the most important is arguably the easiest to overlook. Pullman’s thematic ambition, grasp of pacing, and deftness with character are all clear from the outset, but while these elements are crucial to the books’ success, the one that makes the first, and most...

24 Comments

Randall Colburn Randall Colburn Oct 04, 2019. 7 comments

Lyra sails toward the northern lights in latest His Dark Materials trailer

Lyra sails toward the northern lights in latest His Dark Materials trailer

We’re roughly one month from the premiere of His Dark Materials, HBO’s spin on Phillip Pullman’s beloved fantasy series, and today brings with it a new trailer, presumably the last before the premiere. In it, Dafne Keen’s Lyra ventures to the Arctic, where she meets polar bears, adventures with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and grapples with the powers that be.

Though many are framing the...

7 Comments

The A.V. Club The A.V. Club Sep 21, 2019. 23 comments

The A.V. Club’s 17 most-anticipated shows of fall 2019

The A.V. Club’s 17 most-anticipated shows of fall 2019

With autumn upon us, it’s time to harvest the benefits of studio executive sessions, production deals, and in certain cases, years of storytelling. The A.V. Club has looked out at the ever-widening TV landscape—where networks are doubling their pleasure by launching proprietary streaming services—to put together our most-anticipated fall debuts (and returns). There’s something for every TV...

23 Comments

Sam Barsanti Sam Barsanti Sep 12, 2019. 6 comments

Get on your polar bear: HBO's His Dark Materials has a premiere date

Get on your polar bear: HBO's His Dark Materials has a premiere date

It looks like HBO finally awoke from its post-Game Of Thrones slumber and is once again ready to talk about other big-budget sci-fi/fantasy adaptations it has in the works. We just got some very enlightening details on Watchmen a few days ago, and now it has revealed the premiere date for its His Dark Materials show. As announced in a tweet from the show’s official Twitter account, His Dark...

6 Comments

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