WTF Did I Just Watch A.K.A. Thoughts On ‘Taboo’


I made it through the entirety of Tom Hardy’s television series, Taboo. Believe me, it was a struggle, but I managed to finish the first season. Taboo has an interesting premise. It is a Victorian era drama about James Delaney (Tom Hardy) a man presumed dead in Africa. But to the surprise of everyone, James returns to England after his father’s death to claim his shipping empire.

I am a huge Tom Hardy fan, so of course I was going to watch this show no matter what. Tom is a fine actor and I was impressed that he created the concept for the series with his father, Chips Hardy. I also enjoy Victorian dramas quite a bit as they are usually dark and gritty. Taboo does well to depict the grim realities of life in the Victorian age. But unfortunately as a whole the show is messy and a huge disappointment.

The biggest problem for Taboo is the character of James Delaney. He is the protagonist of the show, yet he has no redeeming qualities. He often references how horrible he is and the horrible things he has done. He sees everyone around him as a tool to be used. He doesn’t seem to care about money, yet he is willing to do anything and to kill anyone to have possession of his father’s shipping company. Delaney doesn’t even care about his own son! He says he cares about his sister, Zilpha, but his actions say otherwise. It is impossible to connect with Delaney or to care what happens to him. As a result, it is impossible to care about anything that happens on Taboo.

Oona Chaplin as Zilpha Geary.

There is one character on Taboo that I have sympathized with: Zilpha Geary as played by Oona Chaplin (Whom I will never forgive for ruining Robb Stark). Now, James and Zilpha have had a complicated relationship. It isn’t fleshed out very well (as nothing is on this show). But it is revealed that at one time they had an incestuous relationship. Zilpha did not want to be with James though and married another man while James was in Africa. When James comes back to England his mission, other than obtaining his father’s shipping empire, seems to be to win Zilpha back. Yes, the fact that it is incest makes the whole scenario icky. But James’s love of Zilpha is the only human quality he possesses, so I accepted it.

Zilpha kills her husband after he puts her through an extremely disturbing exorcism in an attempt to exorcise James from her mind. Zilpha finally gives in to her desire to be with James. But he rebukes her. I have absolutely no idea why he rejects her (seriously someone please explain this to me). James’s rejection of Zilpha crushes her. So the season finale opens with Zilpha committing suicide.

WTF!!!!! Why?!?!?!?! It makes no sense to me to build this character up throughout the whole season. To have her struggle with herself and against her bastard husband. To then just unceremoniously kill her off. Zilpha was immensely important to the show. James Delaney as a character has no redeeming qualities. His love of Zilpha is the only emotion he ever shows. Even though their relationship was sick, I was rooting for them. It gave me something to hope for. Zilpha was the only character on the entire show to be fleshed out at all. She was sympathetic, a quality that is much needed in a show filled with horrible people.

James has such little emotional capacity that even Zilpha’s death gets hardly any reaction from him. He sits and mopes and grunts, but that’s it. THIS WAS THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE. But Taboo quickly moves on to explosions and shootouts because who needs character development???

Tom Hardy as James Delaney.

Taboo never explores the issues that might elevate it above forgettable melodrama. The incest issue is given next to no consideration. Zilpha struggles with it, but James doesn’t give it a second thought. Until he rejects her. Then there is the mystery of James’s son. Is Zilpha the mother? Why does James not care for him? (That’s easy: James doesn’t care for anyone). Also is James crazy? Or does he really possess some voodoo magic? Again we will never know! All that the writers want to focus on is James’s battle against the East India Company, which is the least compelling element of the show.

I have been ambiguous about Taboo for the most part. I have watched every episode neither glued to the screen, nor completely bored. That is until I watched the season finale. It enraged me so much I wanted to turn the television off and ‘Eternal Sunshine’ this show from my memory. What a huge waste of time Taboo is.

James Delaney is a problem that I don’t believe the show writers will be able to fix if there is a second season. The writers had enough sense to kill off about two thirds of the cast in the last 10 minutes. But that won’t be enough to save this mess of a show. Don’t waste your time on Taboo. 3 top hats out of 10


  • One thing I do love is Taboo’s title sequence. Beautiful imagery and music.
  • Why is the show so visually dark? I understand it’s the Victorian era, all dark and smoky, but I can’t see anything!
  • I also can’t hear anything. Tom please speak up and stop mumbling!
  • Can we talk about the King and his horrible makeup/fat suit? Laughably horrible prosthetics.
  • Tom does look awfully cool walking around in a top hat though.
Tom Hardy as James Delaney.

Tom Hardy proves he is LEGENDary


Even though I haven’t been blogging lately that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been watching anything. I saw Sicario, The Martian, and finally started watching Game of Thrones. But nothing has really intrigued me enough to write about it. Until last night when I saw Legend, a film about London’s infamous Kray twins.

Legend itself isn’t a very good a film. It’s okay. The main problem is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. A gangster film or a romance? It really fails at the romantic elements, but the gangster bits are good. I think that if they had cut out almost everything to do with Frances (Emily Browning) the movie would have been a lot better (and shorter, it’s a tad too long). I had no sympathy for Frances and just found her annoying. Oh, woe is me, I married a gangster and he does gangster stuff and leaves me alone at night. Didn’t see that coming! Everything about Frances has been done before and it was just plain boring. I understand that the writer wanted to create this struggle between Frances and Ronald over Reggie, but it just doesn’t work.


But the Kray twins, Ron and Reggie (both played by Tom Hardy) are quite a bit of fun. In this film, Tom Hardy proves yet again that he is one of the best actors of his generation. I had some doubts back when I watched the trailer in May. I thought maybe Tom was overacting, especially as Ronald. But it turns out that I was very wrong. Tom is able to create these two very distinct and different characters. They are both fully formed and interesting. Reggie is suave, smooth, the brains of the operation. Ronald is chaotic, awkward, and all over the place. They are both oddly charming in their own ways. The thing that amazed me the most was I completely forgot that it was Tom Hardy playing both parts, I was just so absorbed in these characters. There is only one moment where Tom sort of wavered for me as Ron since I felt like his voice was going into Bane territory. But other than that he is superb as Ron, I loved all the little mannerisms. And Tom was also surprisingly funny in both roles.
Legend gets 7/10, but Tom Hardy gets 10/10.


Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) AKA The Movie My Boyfriend Didn’t Want to Like Because Tom Hardy is in it But Grudgingly Had to Admit is Awesome


This is a mostly spoiler free review. I love Tom Hardy, so my boyfriend feels the need to hate him. How can anyone hate Tom Hardy? Look at him!

No, seriously….


But, really….


Ok, enough of that. Fury Road has quite a simple plot. In a post-apocalyptic world Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) team up to escape the wrath of the grotesque Immortan Joe.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a film unlike any other. Well, except for maybe the other Mad Max films (which I have not seen). It manages to be extremely heavy on the action without ever losing the audience’s attention or the focus of its plot. This film is lean and mean in the best sense. There are no confusing subplots and every detail and action feels necessary. The screen play and the direction of this film is outstanding, all thanks to the vision of George Miller. Fury Road is an example of a director totally unleashing his creative talent with no impediments. And it pays off big time. Warner Brothers gave Miller all the money and time he needed and it resulted in one of the best action films ever made. The visuals are stunning, this is the best film I’ve seen in 3D.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of Fury Road. Furiosa has a goal, get the wives away from Immortan Joe, and Max is just kind of along for the ride. The film handles gender politics very skillfully. Miller doesn’t hit you over the head with feminism or really any philosophy. He just lets the world and its characters exist and the audience can infer from there what the movie’s message is. It’s a subtlety that I really appreciated. Furiosa is a great creation of Miller’s that is made even more amazing by Charlize’s performance. Furiosa feels like a real woman, something that Hollywood often has a difficult time representing. Furiosa is tough, capable, but she is also extremely vulnerable and maintains a sense of femininity despite her buzz cut.

The plot is completely owned by Furiosa as are the more emotional aspects of the film. But Tom Hardy still does a great job as the titular character, even if he is more of a supporting character. Tom shines with the physicality of the character (a defining trait for the actor in all his films). He excels in the action sequences. But the most enjoyable aspect is his somewhat surprising comedic abilities. Another reviewer likened Tom to Buster Keaton. And I have to agree. His mannerisms, facial expressions, and grunts were often hilarious. Tom brings some much needed levity to a film that otherwise would have been very heavy and too serious. Tom has a great gift for comedy, it would be great to see him show it off more.
Mad Max: Fury Road has everything I personally want in a film. Key word being ‘personally.’ This will not be a film for everyone, it may be too overwhelming for some and not have enough dialogue. But it completes my checklist. There is gasp inducing action sequences that dominate the film. There is a simple plot with a powerful message of redemption as well as an examination of our society. There is a strong, well rounded, realistic woman. And there is Tom Hardy with his gorgeous face and joyful sense of humor. This film has to be experienced on the big screen and preferably in 3D. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best, most enjoyable and thoughtful action films I have ever seen 9/10

Trailer Review: Legend


I’m a Tom Hardy Admirer, so long story short, I’ll be seeing his turn as the Kray twins in Legend. I’m liking most of this trailer. My only problem is surprisingly Tom Hardy. I think he is playing Reggie fairly well, he looks so suave and cool. But the other twin, Ronald, he seems to be over playing. I think he is trying to give the twins very different mannerisms in order to easily distinguish the two. But Ronald’s constant sneering just seems like over kill. The music for the trailer is great, very evocative of the time and place. I’m also excited to see how Taron Egerton does after his wonderful turn in Kingsman. Legend could propel him as the next big thing. Mob movies are really hard to do well these days, but hopefully Legend adds something new to the genre when it hits theaters September 11.

Trailer Review: Child 44


“Murder is strictly a capitalist disease.”

Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman are teaming up yet again for Child 44. I think this is collaboration #4? This time they are embroiled in a murder mystery within Soviet Russia. Noomi Rapace, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel are also in the film based on the novel by Tom Rob Smith.
I think this looks like a good, gritty film. I’m not really excited for it because the subject matter is depressing as hell. Children being murdered? I had enough of that shit in Changeling (seriously, that movie has traumatized me). I will be seeing Child 44 though as I am a huge fan of Tom and Gary. Noomi not so much, I wish they had cast a different female lead. I am also extremely interested in Russian history, so I’ll be there opening weekend. The music in the trailer is great, very dark and dangerous feeling (other than that annoying Inception BAAAAMMM used in EVERY TRAILER). And I think everyone nails the Russian accent.

Your thoughts on Child 44? Have you read the novel? I wanted to, but probably won’t get to it before the movie comes out.

Trailer Review/Actor Analysis: Tom Hardy and Mad Max: Fury Road


Actor Analysis
My Holy Trinity consists of: Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy. These are actors that I will see in just about anything. They’re charismatic, incredible actors and they also take on risky roles.

My Holy Trinity all happened to star in Band of Brothers.
My Holy Trinity all happened to star in Band of Brothers.

Tom is at an interesting point in his career. He has recognition and acclaim from critics, filmmakers, and avid film viewers. He has done some great work in Bronson, Stewart: A Life Backwards, and Locke. Yet he hasn’t quite caught on in a big way to the general population. He came close as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. But his face was covered up and he was overshadowed by Heath Ledger’s legacy.

Oh, it's just Tom Hardy covering up his face again. The guy must hate looking into a mirror.
Oh, it’s just Tom Hardy covering up his face again. The guy must hate looking into a mirror.

Other than Mad Max Tom has quite a few intriguing projects coming up. Child 44, a gritty drama with Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace will be out in the spring. He’s currently filming The Revenant with Leonardo Dicaprio. Tom will be returning to the DC movie universe, this time as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad in 2016. Most exciting to me is that Tom has signed on to play Elton John in a musical biopic about the singer. Tom is developing such a diverse portfolio. I hope he can successfully balance character study dramas with big blockbusters. Although I don’t understand why exactly he wants to do Suicide Squad. Maybe if he was Deadshot, that I could understand. But Rick Flag sounds like a very minor character.
Mad Max is Tom’s first time carrying a movie, being the lead in a huge blockbuster film. He’s been in successful ensembles before (TDKR, Inception), but can he do it alone? If given the right material I’m sure he can. Is Mad Max: Fury Road going to propel Tom Hardy into super stardom?
Trailer Review
I enjoyed the trailers previous to this one. But this trailer feels…weird to me. I’m not sure what the tone of the film is or what exactly it’s about. The positive of that is the trailer doesn’t reveal too much of the plot (a pet peeve of mine). I don’t like the music, I find that it makes the film seem like too much of a comedy.
The emphasis of the trailer seems to be on everything but Tom Hardy. Which worries me a little bit, although I’m sure he must give a great performance. I guess the studio realizes that Tom Hardy isn’t necessarily a bankable name. Instead there is an emphasis on the action sequences (which look awesome) and Charlize Theron. I’m not a huge fan of hers, but she looks decent in the trailer. What really jumped out at me though was Nicholas Hoult’s transformation. Wow, I had no idea that was him. If he can give a stellar performance he might just steal this movie out from Tom.
I haven’t seen any of the previous Mad Max films, but none the less I will be seeing Fury Road opening weekend (May 15, 2015). What do you think of the trailer? Do you like the career choices Tom is making? And are you even a Tom Hardy fan? (The only possible answer is “Yes!”)