The Cutprice Guignol

The Sixth Year: American Sigh Story

Category: Television Review

The Scariest TV Scenes in History

So, a couple of weeks ago, my writing partner and I wrote an article over on our film blog, No But Listen, about the scariest scenes in movie history, and that got me to a-thinking. I love all things horror, and it seemed a shame to stop there when there’s so much freaky shit on TV to delve right on into. So while these may not be the scariest scenes in TV history, they’re certainly the ones that kicked the emotional crap out of me when I first saw them and the ones I most often bring up in therapy sessions. Time to rake over some traumatic childhood (and miscellaneous) memories!

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Russian Doll and the Loops of Compulsion

Wow, Lou, try writing about anything? Other? Than your mental health problems? I hear you cry, and I politely ignore you and write this article anyway. I’ve been watching Russian Doll over these last couple of weeks – which is ridiculous, really, because I could have gotten the whole thing done in an evening and had time to nip out for cat food afterwards. But honestly, rarely have I so uncomfortably identified with a character as I have with Alan Zaveri in Russian Doll, and I’m finally ready to take a prodding poke at this series as a whole and what it has to say about compulsion.

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True Crime, Voyeurism, and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

“Don’t watch “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” alone. Trust me on this one,” Netflix US tweeted out at the start of the weekend, when their latest true crime documentary hit screens. Directed by Joe Berlinger, and based around the interviews conducted by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth with Bundy before his execution in 1989. Promoted like a lurid horror film and breathlessly trailed as a fascinating look into the mind of a brilliant, sadistic murderer, I already had my doubts about it before I so much as sat down in front of the first episode.

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An Ode to the Cooking Show

For those who’ve stuck around at the Guignol since its inception, you may remember that time I was just really depressed and lay in bed all day writing about the cooking shows that happened to be on TV that afternoon and talking about how I wanted to fuck Guy Fieri (it was a dark time in my life, alright, we’re moving on). And, you know, I’ve always loved a good cooking show, even when I’m not hiding under the covers trying to figure out if I’m more anxious or more hungover. Considering this blog is all about my passionate love of television, I feel like it’s about time I took a little wander down a pathway that has lately brought me so much joy in some recent hard times.

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TV Crossovers I’m Mad Haven’t Happened Yet

Well, last week was all ooh, let’s be introspective about sobriety and ooh, let’s moan about Daleks and ooh, let’s talk about the Spiderman movie and its relationship to grief and frankly I’ve had enough. I want to poke my nose into something stupid and fun and entirely pointless, and so today we’re taking a look at all the TV crossovers I’ve ever suggested while munching chocolate at ten in the evening in front of my third Doctor Who rewatch of the year. To the list!

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The Worst TV Of 2018

What’s all this “cheer” and “optimism” business? That’s not very on-brand for the Guignol. No, let’s get all miserly in here, and take a look at the worst TV that hit our screens in 2019. Strap in for snark, and on with the list!

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The Haunting of Hill House and the Ghosts of Trauma

So, I’ve just recovered from watching The Haunting of Hill House a few weeks ago and boy, do I have some shit to say. From sensational performances, amazing cinematography, fabulous direction, and the only jumpscare that actually got my bowels to twitch in terror, this is quite simply one of the best horror shows I’ve ever seen in my life. No, scratch that – one of the best pieces of horror media I’ve ever come across. Following the interlocking stories of the Crane family, the show investigates both the past of the Cranes, living in the haunted Hill House as children and parents, and their lives after the haunting at the hands of the Hill House ghosts as adults. If you haven’t seen it, off you go and watch it now – spoilers ahead, and I don’t want to ruin anything for you.

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Doctor Who: Tumultuous and Random, Direction is Suspect

Well, I mean, uh…

This season of Doctor Who, Chris Chibnall’s first as showrunner, has often felt much like a panicked attempt to fit in every single little idea that Chibnall has ever had for his tenure on the show. And this episode, The Tsuranga Conundrum, is perhaps the primest example of that to date, in an outing that doesn’t offer the cohesive direction for the show that I’ve been craving.

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Doctor Who: Tender Adventure Restores Dependence in Series

Well, here we are: back for another season of Doctor Who. But this isn’t like the last time, or the time before that, or the one before that, when stepping into a season premier was the beginning of slowly feeding myself into a ten-week long meat shredder cranked by Steven Moffat himself. No, things are different now. And I’m excited.

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American Horror Story S8E2: The Morning After

If there was one word I had to use to describe this season so far, it would be “cavernous”. And that’s not just a reference to the enormous mansion where most of the action of these last two episodes has taken place (kudos to the gorgeous cinematography for conveying that dizzying sense of space, especially in this week’s outing), but because there still feels like a lot of dead space in this story.

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