Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Game of Thrones (Season 4, Episode 2 - "The Lion and the Rose")

by richmin3000

"killing a man at a wedding? horrid. what sort of monster would do such a thing?" - Lady Olenna

*my reviews/recaps will not have any spoilers as they relate to future events but will have many explanations or clarifications of events currently happening on the screen so if you want to figure it out for yourself, read with caution.

read my review of season 4, episode 1 ("two swords") - here

this episode, we spent a majority of our time in king's landing, especially during the second half. our time there mostly served to set up some new dynamics moving forward, including jaime's attempt to use his left hand, tyrion's extremely harsh rejection of shae, prince oberyn's veiled threats against tywin/cersei, a brief discussion between lady olenna and tywin about debt, and the eagerly awaited death of the beloved king, escape of sansa and subsequent arrest of tyrion.

we also caught up with stannis/melisandre on dragonstone burning some people (including the queen's own brother) for believing in the 'seven' (gods that is). we got a little backstory, including melisandre's poor upbringing and spent some time with shireen, stannis' daughter.

bran got warned about warging too much. my mom used to tell me if i ate too much chicken, i'd become a chicken. i think it works something like that. bran is now getting visions beneath the weirwood tree of dragons in king's landing and other freaky shit.

the most interesting (and yes, i am the only one who seems interested in this) storyline happened at the dreadfort (a new location this year), the seat of house bolton. we get more evidence of ramsay snow's brutality as he hunts down a poor village girl for sport. but for a house that's sigil is the flayed man and is headed by a man who just killed robb stark at a wedding, roose bolton certainly shows a lot of disdain for ramsay's treatment of theon (aka reek). roose's plan becomes all the more clear in this episode as he tells ramsay that they must take back the north from the greyjoys in order to stake his claim as the new warden of the north.

1. tywin lannister (last week, 1) - the war of the five kings may be over, but now his own grandson is the 3rd king to die. maybe joffrey's death should affect his standing, until we consider who is next in line to take the throne.
2. daenerys targaryen (last week, 3) - we didn't catch up with her this week, but after joffrey's death, dany's relative strength can only grow. it's like having a bye week in football and still moving up the standings when everyone else loses.
3. melisandre (last week, 5) - as i wrote last week referencing a scene last year when she burned three leeches representing the 3 false kings (renly was already dead). robb stark, dead. joffrey, dead. i forget who the other leech was for, but i'm sure whoever it is will be fine.
4. bran stark (last year, 9) - the theme here is that it's good to have special gifts... like being able to go into the mind of a direwolf (or birth dragons or demon babies) and seeing into the future. remember that bran (and rickon) dreamed of his father's death and now more visions.
5. tommen baratheon (last week, NR)- it's good to be next in line to be the king. this is just speculation but if ned stark and stannis taught us anything, it's that without any legitimate sons, the oldest brother is next in line to take the throne. plus there's a new actor playing tommen this year.
6. roose bolton (last week, 7) - he will be the warden of the north if he can take it from the greyjoys.
7. oberyn "red viper" martell (last week, hon. mention) - if you can stand face-to-face with tywin spewing not-so-veiled threats then you belong on this list. oberyn pretty much told cersei that her daughter myrcella is a hostage in dorne so yea, he's got some leverage here.
8. margaery tyrell/lady olenna (last week, 4) - well, margaery was ranked #4 last week, but that was before her bread ticket died (for the 2nd time!!). now, we don't know where things stand for her. but with lady olenna at her side, i doubt she'll fall too far.
9. mance rayder (last week, 6) - king beyond the wall. with all these kings dying off, he better be careful.
10. petyr baelish (last week - 10) - where is this new lord of the vale? i doubt we've heard the last of him.

off the list:

  • joffrey baratheon (previously ranked #2) - how we'll miss your smug, arrogant face. click here to see his bitchiest moments
  • sam tarwell (#10)
random notes:
  • so who killed joffrey? so many theories. 
    • here's what we know. joffrey's a prick. he ate some dry cake with doves (dead?) inside, drank some bad wine and chocked to death. his facial color and blood would indicate some poisoning, which we've been told is a method used by women and eunuchs. the only eunuchs we know about in king's landing is varys. there are a lot of women though. 
    • motive? prince oberyn hates the lannisters but is this his style? sansa too. hell, most everyone there hates joffrey and/or the lannisters. maybe there's a motive we haven't considered just yet or one that lies beneath the surface if we dig deeper. who benefits from joffrey's death? his brother? cersei? tywin? margaery? stannis? 
    • here's what else we know. dontos obviously knew about the crime since he was so quick to get sansa out of there as soon as the deed was done. 
    • there are clues abundant if you watch closely enough and pay attention to the "next on" sequence.
  • tyrion and jaime have always had a close relationship. i wonder how that will be affected with recent events especially in light of jaime's relationship (or lack thereof) with cersei.
  • does brienne love jaime? i think she just loves the man he could be.
  • this is at least the 2nd time the iron bank has been mentioned on the show. i think the first was when tyrion was appointed the master of coin and he realized how in debt the kingdom was. now tywin is saying he's not worried about the iron bank. 
no hyperbole allowed ratingA

as much as this episode was about joffrey's death, it was equally about the interactions between a lot of the various cast members at the wedding event of the season! cersei and brienne; tywin and oberyn; olenna and sansa. now that most of the characters are making their way home (except those starks), we are being rewarded with a lot of interactions we haven't had in awhile. even jon and sam are back at castle black together. stannis and family are hanging at dragonstone. bolton, new wife and bastard son are at the dreadfort. and the entire lannister family is celebrating in one place.

i appreciate any comments or feedback to help structure these posts for next season. you can write to me at nohyperboleallowed@gmail.com, or via twitter @hyperboleNOT, or on our wall on facebook at facebook.com/nohyperboleallowed, or just write something in the comments section below.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Game of Thrones (Season 4, Episode 1 - "Two Swords")

by richmin3000

"i grew up in king's landing." - maester aemon (targaryen)

*my reviews/recaps will not have any spoilers as they relate to future events but will have many explanations or clarifications of events currently happening on the screen so if you want to figure it out for yourself, read with caution.

**due to several recommendations, i will be discussing some spoilery stuff at the tail end of the review so please pay careful attention.

read my review of season 3, episodes 6-10 - here

as i stated last year, i changed the format of these recap/reviews to make it easier for me to keep up with the writing and perhaps easier for everyone to follow. last year we went through the different houses, but this year we will go with power rankings.

1. tywin lannister (last year, 1) - the war of the five kings is over and tywin celebrates by melting down ned stark's old sword, "ice" into two swords (hence the title of the episode!), one as a gift for his newly returned son, jaime.
2. joffrey baratheon (last year, 4)- it's good to be the king. joffrey seems quite content after the failures of stannis and robb to take his throne. he has no problem talking shit to his uncle/father/captain of his kingsguard as he prepares for his upcoming nuptials to margaery tyrell.
3. daenerys targaryen (last year, 2) - went from almost dying in the desert to messiah for all the slaves in essos (lands across the narrow sea)... plus bigger dragons!! maybe her dragons being too big for her britches takes her down a notch. plus, she still seems far away from the action in king's landing.
4. margaery tyrell (last year, 3) - went from a sexless marriage to being the influential wife-to-be of an actual king... she wants to be the queen. lady olenna, margaery's grandmother, certainly deserves a nod here as well.
5. melisandre (last year, 5) - like margaery above, she's got the ear of a king and knows how to use what her mother gave to her.. like a lady. plus she burned three leeches and robb stark, the usurper, died. i forget who the other two leeches were for, but i'm sure it wasn't important.
6. mance rayder (last year, 8) - king beyond the wall.. he has an enormous army that really wants to get south. we didn't see him this episode, but we did meet the thenns, a clan of wildling warriors, who the other wildlings are even afraid of.
7. roose bolton (last year, 6) - went from extra on the set to warden of the north and all he had to do was backstab his king and let loose his crazy bastard son.
8. bran stark (last year, 7) - i know i know, there's no way a stark can be on this list, let alone a stark who can't walk. but let's be real.. dany has dragons, melisandre has demon babies, but bran not only has a direwolf but is able to mind control it along with a man-giant whose only verbal ability is to say 'hodor' in comical fashion. this kid is legit.
9. petyr baelish - went from lord of harrenhall (which never really materialized) to lord of the vale.
10. sam tarwell - he's the first person to kill a whitewalker in a thousand years.

honorable mention:

  • arya stark (last year, n/a) - she's really into the slow kill. i certainly wouldn't want to get on her list. she's a little too small to crack this list, especially in the grasp of the hound, but her dedication to revenge makes us take note.
  • oberyn "red viper" martell (last year, n/a) - there's a lot of talk about paying debts and i don't think he's referring to last month's beer tab. he has a thing for lannisters, especially after his sister, nieces and nephews were murdered by the lannisters (the mountain) after robert baratheon's rebellion. remember that the mad king's son, rhaegar, was married to elia martell, before running off with lyanna stark (ned's sister and robert's wife-to-be), which started robert's rebellion and led to the mad king killing ned's older brother and father.  
  • yara greyjoy (last year, n/a) - we left off with her setting sail with 50 ships to go save her brother.

off the list:  lord commander mormont; robb stark; catelyn stark; theon greyjoy; jamie lannister (sans right hand) and the rest of the lannister children whilst tywin is in charge

random notes:

  • tyrion seems to be hating life right now, stuck between duty, honor and desires. he's the master of coin, for sure, but his father, nephew, sister, wife and the martells couldn't show him any less respect.
  • brienne still seems to be keen on her mission to protect the stark girls, and avenge renley's death. how is she not in jail right now?
  • myrcella lannister is in dorne in case you don't recall her leaving on a boat way back in season 2. it was for her protection during the expected violence in king's landing.
  • sansa stark got a pretty necklace from former knight, sir dontos, the same fella she saved in season 2, episode 1, after telling joffrey that it was bad luck to kill someone on your name day.  
  • jon snow is lucky to be alive, but his fate, along with the rest of the night's watch, seems highly at risk. recall that sitting at the night's watch table in judgment of jon is the former city commander, janos slynt, who was sent to the wall by tyrion lannister in season 2.

no hyperbole allowed ratingA-

i appreciate any comments or feedback to help structure these posts for next season. you can write to me at nohyperboleallowed@gmail.com, or via twitter @hyperboleNOT, or on our wall on facebook at facebook.com/nohyperboleallowed, or just write something in the comments section below.


- so much to look forward to this year.
- howland reed? i've read some theories about him. they sound promising
- joffre...cough cough cough
- oberyn makes such a big entrance, alas, his quest for vengeance is short lived.
- moon door!
- coldhands!
- stoneheart!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Recap: Game of Thrones (Season 3)

by richmin3000

as we embark on a new season of game of thrones, it's probably a good idea to spend a few (25)minutes recapping what happened in season 3 just in case you forgot where arya, tyrion, cersei, jon, dany and the rest were at the end of last season.

don't forget that i'll be reviewing every episode this year using our new power rankings format!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Facebook Pet Peeves

by James Maloney

A few months ago, one of my friends shared an article from the Huffington Post entitled, “7 Ways To Be Insufferable on Facebook.” In short, the article was tremendous, contained hilarious examples and I could not agree more with the overall theme of it.  It states that good Facebook posts do something for the reader, while annoying Facebook posts are self-serving to the author.  While I have some friends who post stuff that is humorous and deserving of being posted, the vast majority of what people post is material that is self-serving and makes them come across as arrogant or trying create a particular image of themselves.  It says something when I run into somebody (in person) that I have not seen in years and when a name of a mutual acquaintance comes up we both roll our eyes and laugh about the narcissistic nonsense that said acquaintance bombards everyone with on Facebook.

The Huffington Post article finally gave me the motivation to publish and expand on a list of eight pet peeves that I have regarding Facebook usage.  I made this list back in May 2013 when talking to the wife of one of my best friends.  We share a group of friends and immediately agreed on each item in the list and laughed non-stop when we came up with examples of people we know displaying these agonizing practices.  About a month later, I had another friend from a completely different circle try to guess the list of eight items I had come up with and within fifteen minutes had guessed at least seven of them.  This serves to show that these practices are pretty much universal on Facebook.  And of course we then proceeded to roll our eyes and laugh at our mutual acquaintances who display these on a regular basis.

So without further delay, here is a list of eight pieces of wisdom (in no particular order) I’d like everyone to consider before they make their next post on Facebook:

1. Under absolutely no circumstances does anybody give a shit about your Crossfit workout.  I am amused to no end by people who post videos, pictures or even descriptions about their Crossfit workouts, or any workout in general.  But let’s be honest, the insufferable Crossfitters are the absolute worst.  What is the purpose?  Oh, I get it.  You’re trying to craft the image that you are in great shape, have a great body and are now a stud athlete.  The funny thing is, nobody whom I played high school or college sports with that was a good athlete is posting stuff about their workouts.  It’s usually the people that were never any good at sports or just watched from the sidelines.  Athletes work out because it is something they do more or less every day to stay in shape and perform on the field.  They don’t talk about their workouts because it is no big deal.  As one of my friends once posted, quoting Kenny Powers in response to the Crossfit Nazis: “No thanks. I play real sports, I’m not trying to be the best at working out.”  But I’m not trying to throw the fact that I play real sports in somebody’s face, after all I’m not the one posting videos of myself.  However, the fact that people do post pictures or videos of themselves doing Crossfit most likely shows they are insecure and trying to create a newfound image because they have recently stumbled onto this new phenomenon of exercising, probably after having been fat and lazy most of their lives.  For the silent majority of people who work out, we don’t talk about it on forums such as Facebook because it is not a big deal and something we’ve done for years.  But keep the videos and pictures coming.  I’m thrilled by the fact that you are thrilled you can now do a pullup or lift a marginal amount of weight.  I am proud of you, too.  Those of us that have been working out for years can probably lift more weight than you and outperform you in 99% of physical activities.  We just realize that nobody cares and don’t bombard people with information they don’t give a shit about.

2. Nobody wants to hear about how good you are at your job or how important you are because of your job.  Again, what is the purpose?  You’re arrogant enough to think that several hundred people really want to hear about why you’re the shit because you work in sales and you sold more pieces of gum than your co-worker?  It goes back to the image crafting thing again.  “I need to tell everyone about this to show them I’m successful.”  It goes without saying that you’re also insecure because you have to have to tell everyone how good you are.  If you’re really good at your job, somebody else will recognize you for it and others will hear about it.  Those who talk up themselves, you’re insecure at best, arrogant at worst.  Either way, everyone else has enough to worry about at their own job to care about how many erasers you sold today.  By the nature of the job I have I end up seeing and being involved with some pretty notable things that are newsworthy, but the next time I brag about something that happened at work on Facebook will be the first.  And you know what I like to do when I’m not working?  Not talk about work.  If somebody does it’s the sign of a boring person.

3. There’s no need to provide real time commentary or updates on sporting events.  When you’re doing this, it is not to inform the public what is happening in a game.  It is a self-serving move to prove to everybody that you are a huge sports fan and you have so much knowledge of the sport that you are doing everybody a service by sharing your opinion and insight.  But in actuality this is not the case.  Nobody cares about your opinion enough that we need 20 status updates regarding what is happening in the Bruins or Patriots game.  You know what?  If I cared enough about the game, I’d probably be watching it or listening on the radio.  Even if I am shut out from those two options, I’ll follow the game on ESPN gamecast.  If you want real-time updates, you can read the blogs of professional reporters that are paid by major newspapers to be at the game and give updates and share inside information from their sources.  The thing that makes this even better is the people who tend to do this never actually played the sport on which they feel the need to provide commentary, or if they did they definitely never played it at a high level.  A lot of the times some of the stuff they say is incredibly foolish and laughable.  Several of my friends played sports at the collegiate level and a few played professionally and none of these people feel the need to force feed their opinion or game updates to their friends.  The people that do are just trying to create an image and are again being self-serving.  You are not providing information that anybody actually cares about.  How about watching the game and getting off your phone?  “My team just scored!  Better tell all my Facebook friends about it so they know how I serious I am about this team!  Hey guys, look at me!  I’m watching this game otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to post this within five seconds of them scoring!  I’m such a big fan!  Look at me!”  Anybody that cares about the game is watching it and not reading your Facebook updates.

4. If you write messages on your significant other’s wall and then communicate back and forth for the whole world to see, you should be kicked in the head.  Hard.  This amuses me to no end.  There is no logical explanation on why somebody would do this unless the purpose is that they want everybody else to read what they have written.  They are either doing this because they are insecure and want to portray to everyone that they have the perfect relationship or maybe they are trying to piss off an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.  Or maybe they’re just trying to convince themselves that they have the perfect relationship.  Anyway you look at it, you’re being self-serving once again and are probably a huge douche.  However, instead of getting your desired result, hundreds of people are laughing at you and how stupid you look.  Think about it.  If you have something to tell somebody you are close to, you could do the following, any of which would be a better and less douchey option that writing it on their Facebook wall:

a)  send them a private message on Facebook
b)  send them an e-mail
c)  send them a text message
d)  place a phone call to said person
e)  tell them whatever the fuck you need to tell them in person

Those are five options that are more appropriate than posting on Mary’s wall that you miss her so much while you’re at work and you can’t wait five hours to see her later that day.  Then make sure you comment back and forth for everyone to see just how much you love each other and insert pet nicknames for effect.  In doing so, you have proven to every one of your friends that you are a loser and the world would be better off without you.

5. If you post a status update and then like it, then you probably don’t understand how to use Facebook.  Ok, you just took a few minutes out of your life to update the world on whatever very important matter that is taking place in your life such as a trip to the local bar, that great talk you had with a friend that is of no consequence to anybody that is reading your post, or that snack you just ate.  If you are taking the time to post something, then of course in you feel that this event is all important.  After all, the world revolves around you!  There’s no need to go ahead and like your own status, actually it’s pretty stupid.  You posted it, so yeah, I guess you’re gonna like what you post.  Most people don’t post stuff they think sucks or is insignificant (but everyone else probably does), so it is kind of implied that you like what you have to say.  The absolute best thing that can happen is when somebody posts something and likes it and then a day later they are still the only person who liked their own post.  I guess your post kinda struck out there, Champ.  Better luck next time.

6. Those people who provide multiple status updates a day need to get a life and get over themselves.  Number one, I think it is hilarious that people think they have such important news to share that they need to provide multiple updates in one day.  Going to lunch here!  Great lunch, back in the office!  What a terrible meeting!  Going home now!  Wow, traffic sucks!!!  Finally home!  Going to the gym!!!  Fortunately I can block you from my news feed otherwise I’d probably shoot myself in the face.  Again, this hits at the underlying theme of narcissism and the poster’s strong belief in his own self-importance.  Why would anybody want me to give them a play-by-play breakdown of my day?  They don’t.  Get over yourself.

7. People that post photos of their meals should be tortured and/or executed.  Nobody gives a shit what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  And I really don’t care what beer you are drinking or that questionable drink with an umbrella you just posted.  Do you care what I had for dinner tonight?  For the record I had chicken.  Isn’t that fucking exciting!  I better take the time to tell everybody because I know that they are just dying to know.  The world revolves around me, I must tell or show everybody this meal I am about to eat.  It’s from a fancy restaurant so look how successful I am that I can afford this!  No wait, I cooked this myself so look at how great I am at cooking!  This picture that I am posting will show everyone what a great life I have and can be self-serving to my interests!  Look at me!!!

8. Use of hashtags makes you look like an idiot (most of the time). People that use them presumably fall into one of two categories:  1) people that are serious when they use hashtags or 2) people that are trying to be funny by using hashtags.  I will admit that there are a few people that can come up with some fairly creative hashtags and for that reason I have slightly softened my stance on hashtags and dropped this topic on this list of hate.  But those of you with the humorous hashtags are a distinct minority.  A lot of the time these are pretty stupid and the sign of somebody trying too hard.  So if you’re going to use them, make sure it is funny or don’t use one.  People that use hashtags in a serious manner in an effort for others to come across their posting on a particular topic are the worst type of people.  Again, this is the sign of a self-important douche who is in love with what they have to say and wants to attract others to their opinion and maximize self-exposure.  Really?  Subjecting all of your friends to a post wasn’t enough?  You want to slam your material down the throat of people that don’t even know you too?  Very well.

Now by the chance some of my friends have taken the time to ready this list (I am not arrogant enough to assume everyone cares enough about me to read this), I fully expect to be de-friended by all those who are offended.  Fire away.  In actuality, this list was done in fun as I do not hate anybody that is on my friends list, but think about some of the garbage that you are posting and how it makes you look.  Instead of boosting that self-image you are trying to create and project to your friends, it is probably just makes you look foolish.  Think about it.

But if you do not de-friend me I look forward to knowing what you have for dinner tomorrow and the video of you doing box jumps at tomorrow’s Crossfit session.  My life would not be complete without knowing this vital information and more importantly if we are not “friends” anymore, then now you have one less person to whom you can forcefeed that image you are seeking to create.  So don’t de-friend me, you actually kind of want me around.  You need me.

Editor's notes: Jim obviously spent a lot of time on this and I have to assume it was cathartic for him to type it all out. I thank him for contributing to the blog. Incidentally, one of my facebook pet peeves is when people complain about what others post on facebook. If you don't like it, just hide it or ignore it! Also, Jim has chicken for dinner every night, so no one is wondering about that. Lastly, liking your own posts is the coolest! Especially when you're hilarious and you know it. #yougogirl