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TV Review: Taboo 1.4 “Episode 4”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 104 Header1

Taboo
Episode 1.4 “Episode 4”
Written by Steven Knight & Emily Ballou
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 31st, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

Tom Hardy‘s passion project, Taboo entered its 4th episode Tuesday night. Through its 1st three episodes, Taboo certainly created a unique world, a dark and dirty 1814 London full of interesting characters, sordid pasts, and intriguing and devious motivations. But while the show is rich with potential, there has been something missing. I’ve been reluctant to use the word “boring” in my review because as a history teacher by day, I am totally intrigued by the period and pacing. However I am not blinded to the reality of how slow paced and convoluted the intertwining plots are. After all, trade disputes between 19th century shipping companies is not everyone’s cup of tea. Add to that, that the show is very long, 80+ minutes an episode and has yet to live up to the name, “Taboo”, especially on the network (FX) known for crossing the line to the extremes in shows like American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy.

James Keziah Delaney escaped an assassination attempt, and ensured another will not happen. He has had papers drawn that give his bequeathed assets, namely Nootka Sound to the Americans if he perished; much to the dismay of the East India Company and Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce). He is caught between issues with his half sister, and former lover Zilpha (Oona Chaplin), and his father’s estranged new wife, actress Lorna Bow (Jessie Buckley).

Spoilers below.

...continue reading »
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TV Review: Taboo 1.3 “Episode 3”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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FX's Taboo Starring Tom Hardy

Taboo
Episode 1.3 “Episode 3”
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 24th, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) is at war with the British East India Company over a small piece of land between Canada and the United States. A trade war between competing shipping companies doesn’t seem like the most intense of topics for a show, especially on the FX network, noted for its risky hard-hitting series like American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy. But there is much more than meets the eye here. There are assassination attempts, love triangles, battles over inheritance, and the issue of Delaney’s mysterious past. He was thought dead, but is very much alive and full of visions from his journeys throughout Africa and maybe his Native American mother. We left Delaney off, having been wounded while surviving an attacker’s blade, while a strange actress showed up to contest his claims to his deceased father’s company.

...continue reading »
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TV Review: Taboo 1.2
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo Episode 1.2 FX TV series

Taboo
Episode 1.2
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 17, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

Last week we were introduced to the latest bizarre series from FX, a series years in the making for star and co creator Tom Hardy called Taboo. Hardy plays James Keziah Delaney, who was thought dead, drowned en route to Africa. Unfortunately for those who look to profit from his father’s death, Delaney is very much alive and the sole inheritor of his father’s trading empire and possession of a crucial piece of land, Nootka Sound, located between British-controlled Canada and the United States. Being that this is 1814 and the War of 1812 is entering its final stretch, this land is important, especially to the British East India Company and its head, Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), who tries unsuccessfully to buy the land from Delaney. Delaney has other ideas, some of which include finding out who poisoned his father, and also a possible rekindling of things with his half-sister Zilpha (Oona Chaplin).

...continue reading »
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TV Review: Taboo 1.1 “Shovels and Keys”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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FX's Taboo Starring Tom Hardy

Taboo
Episode 1.1 “Shovels and Keys”
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 10, 2017

“Forgive me father, for I have indeed sinned.”

FX is known to push the boundaries on cable television. This is the channel of such provocative hits as American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, The People vs. OJ Simpson, and It’s Always Sunny of Philadelphia. When I first saw the previews for Taboo that aired during AHS Season 6, I was immediately hooked. I mean, Oscar-nominee Tom Hardy starring in a series involving indigenous lands and customs”¦ I’m in.

The show opens in 1814, London. England is at war with the U.S. and in pursuit of land and trade routes that will continue their path towards global empire. Into this walks James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), a man long thought dead, whose appearance at his father’s funeral draws audible gasps from his half-sister Zilpha (Oona Chaplin) and looks of consternation and disgust from everyone else. Their father was long mad, the only one it appears who still thought his son alive. So much so that he bequeathed him in his will the small piece of strategic and contentious land, Nootka Sound, that lies between British controlled Canada and the U.S. in what we decipher is western Canada. This is described by his father’s lawyer as follows: “If America was a pig facing England, this is the pig’s asshole; nothing but rocks and Indians.” Delaney’s response: “But those are my rocks.”

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