Review: Poker Face, "The Stall" and "Rest in Metal" | Season 1, Episodes 3 and 4
In which Charlie delves into the worlds of barbecuing and heavy metal.
“The stall is where a kind of alchemy takes place.”
It’s rare to wish for a TV show to be longer. We are not just in the middle of Peak TV; we’re in the middle of Peak TV Length. The standard used to be that sitcoms were 22 minutes plus commercials, and dramas were 44 minutes plus commercials. HBO and other ad-free channels would air longer episodes, but not much longer than the typical half-hour or hourlong length, depending on the title and genre.
The advent of streaming has expanded episodic length beyond belief – a sitcom might run 35 minutes or 20 minutes or anywhere in between, and a drama might well be feature-length (consider the recent season of Stranger Things or the pilot episode of HBO’s The Last of Us). The irony is that the freedom of length in newer shows is often an albatross; the lack of tighter run times extends an exhausting absence of brevity to even the best shows.
So there are some things you wish for and some things you don’t. And yet, here goes: I w…