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Return of the Western - EP 317

Episode 317 of The Harold & Maudecast: Return of the Western. Sarah and Jake examine the resurgence of Westerns, the efforts to revive the genre over the years and whether it's time has truly comeback.

This episode includes a review of HOSTILES, THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN and IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE as well as commentary on new Westerns in development or recently released, and a look back at the last decades attempts to revive.

For more podcast episodes, movie, tv, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com





Posted by: Sarah Mason on Feb 16, 2018 at 10:50:44 pm return of the western, movies, tv, westerns, podcasts

Ep 315: Punish This Netflix - The Punisher & 1922 Reviews

Episode 315 of The Harold & Maudecast "Punish This Netflix", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review the Netflix original Series, The Punisher, Season 1 and the Netflix original movie, 1922.

Marvel's The Punisher hit Netflix on November 17th. This live action serial installment of the popular comic book franchise stars Jon Berthal (The Walking Dead), Amber Rose Rivah (Indian Summer), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls) and Ben Barnes (Westworld). Created by Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal, Narcos), the story picks as ex-special ops Frank Castle/The Punisher (Bernthal) tries to pick up the pieces of his tragic life after his wife and two children are brutally murdered. His revenge spawned blood quest to punish everyone responsible is dealt with as flashbacks in Ep 1. The series follows Castle, presumed dead, living low in NY under an alias, Homeland Security Agent Dina Madani pursuing the source of an anonymous source outing the CIA for murdering an innocent Afghan police officer and David Lieberman aka Micro, a former CIA agent and hacker who becomes Frank's unlikely ally.

Like the other series in the Marvel Defender's universe (which this will presumably tie into), The Punisher is dark, brooding and filled with a lot of unnecessary drama. If you're looking for all out Punisher action, it's there but, with the exception of the first episode, you'll wait till the last 10 minutes of every episode to get it. That said, Bernthal is fantastic and worth all the bloated dialogue spent attempting to make this a drama. 7.5/10

1922, also now streaming on Netflix, is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. The film stars Thomas Jane (The Mist, Hung) Molly Parker (Deadwood) and Dylan Schmid (Once Upon a Time), written and directed by Zak Hilditch (These Final Hours).

After his wife Arlette (Parker) decides to sell the land they live on bequeathed to her by her father, Wilfred (Jane) conspires to kill her enlisting the help of his son Henry (Schmid). Though it appears they may escape the consequences of the law, Wilfred can not escape the karmic wrath of the spirits that haunt him leading to tragedy for all those around him.

This film is dark, really dark, tragic, sometimes scary and at times hard to watch. It's filled with blood, ghosts and gore. Jane gives a career best with this performance--he is almost unrecognizable, completely transformed into a 1920s era farmer. The film has a similar vibe as the 2015 indie horror film, Witch, creepy, dark but also gripping and well written. This too is well written and Zak Hilditch takes Stephen King's story and both captures the grimness of 1920s heartland America yet modernizes it for today's very sophisticated horror fans. It's slow moving, so don't expect a lot of jump scares. This film takes its time making you uncomfortable. Justice 8.5/10

For more movie, tv, game reviews and other podcast episodes visit ww.thehmcnetwork.com

TV & Streaming Reviews




Posted by: Sarah Mason on Dec 11, 2017 at 7:46:11 pm the punisher, 1922, netflix, streaming, reviews, movies, tv

EP314: Strange Dead Things - Walking Dead 804, Strangers Things 2 & Three Billboards

This week on The HMC's flagship podcast, The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING MISSOURI, Stranger Things Season 2 & another episode of We Talk Dead, Ep 804.

We Talk Dead - 5:06
Three Billboards Review - 31:05
Stranger Things 2 - 45:40

Bonus stuff! Robert Kirkman's new show Secret History of Comics, the Rotten truth about Rotten Tomatoes.

For more podcast episodes, game, movie and TV reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Ep 312: Dead Weight - Walking Dead Eps 801 & 802, Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

This episode of The Harold & Maudecast, 312 "Dead Weight". Hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe preview It's Alive: Classic Horror & Sci-Fi from the Kirk Hammet Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

We Talk Dead is back for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. We review the premiere Ep 801 "Mercy" and 802 "The Damned".

Now Streaming Movie Reviews, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter and Don Johnson, written and directed by S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK). We gave it much Justice 8.5/10.

For more podcast episodes, movie, tv, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com

Movie/TV Reviewspodcastsbrawl in cell block 99the walking deadtwdvince vaughnharold & maudeharold & maudecast





Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere - Review

Winter is here! And Thrones is finally back to fill our Sunday nights with Dragons, Dire Wolves, White Walkers and Giant Zombies. The premiere episode kicked off on July 16, "Dragonstone".  We find our old friends haven't changed much. Jon and Sansa are arguing over strategy, Cersei is the Wicked Witch of the South, The Hound is still grumpy, but might have grown a conscience, Arya is more of a badass then we ever imagined, Samwell Tarly is knee deep in shit and asking Professor Slughorn for books from the restricted section, and Daenerys has finally come home to Westeros to find that Stannis wasn't a very good castle guest, the place is a freakin mess!

Also bonus, look for that famous Ed Sheerhan cameo that's hating up the internet. Stay tuned for our weekly recaps as we take up the torch for tormented fans everywhere.

For more episodes of We Talk Thrones and other tv, movie and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Jul 19, 2017 at 4:12:53 pm game of thrones, hbo, tv, reviews

The Leftovers Season 3, Ep 5 "It's a Matt Matt Matt World" Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review The Leftovers, Season 3, Ep 5, "It's a Matt Matt Matt World".

Matt (Christopher Eccleston), determined to find Kevin (Justin Theroux) in Australia and bring him back before the 7 year anniversary of the Departure, charters a plane to take him to Melbourne. Along for the ride are John (Kevin Carroll), Michael (Jovan Adepo) and Laurie (Amy Brenneman). Their journey takes a bizarre and unexpected detour when an explosion off the coast of Australia grounds them in Tasmania forcing them to take the only transportation available -- a ferry that's been bought out by a lion worshipping sex cult. Yup, you heard that right. Hey, it's The Leftovers.

With every new episode of this final season of The Leftovers this series proves its superiority. You can set your watch to the performances of every cast member -- Eccleston is a genius but so is Amy Brenneman, so is Justin Theroux, Scott Glenn, Carrie Coons. Damon Lindeloff captured lightening in a bottle with this cast and as all good actors would say, it's the writing. The characters are rich, the story is all over the place yet follows a clear roadmap. Each week we get closer and closer to understanding what it all means. Here's hoping that our faith pays off in the series finale which will air on June 4. Till then, we'll keep reviewing if you keep listening.

For more episodes of The Harold & Maudecast, game reviews, movie reviews and our series Acoustic Series: Music and Travel visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




HMC Asks: Audience or Customer?

This month on The HMC we are examining content creation in the age of smart phones, Netflix and other distractions. In this preview of The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe discuss the concept of Audience vs. Customer. Who are we in today's re-classified content viewing world. Are we audiences or are we customers, or both?

For more on our Age of Distraction series visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Can Quality Content Survive The Age of Distraction

Sarah Mason of The HMC Network (www.thehmcnetwork.com) sits down with screenwriters Stephen Godchaux (Dead Like Me, Spin City, Roseanne) and Warren Lewis (Black Rain, The Thirteenth Warrior) to whether or not quality content can survive in the age of distracted viewing. They explore; what's in store for traditional broadcast television and theatrical film releases, audiences vs. customers, how Netflix and Amazon pulled off the greatest coup ever, why and how audiences are migrating more and more toward streaming content, binge vs. event night and what shows are revolutionizing the way we watch content.

​For more Interviews, movie and tv reviews, game reviews and our weekly podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




The Walking Dead Ep 714 Review

This is We Talk Dead, a weekly Walking Dead podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from the HMC.

In this week's episode of We Talk Dead, review & recap of Episode 714 "The Other Side". At the Hilltop, Simon and the Savior crew need a doctor since Negan threw their last one in the furnace. Gregory is not too happy about this but after some strategic ass kissing behind the trailer, he bends the knee -- but not before getting a get out of death free pass from Simon should Gregory choose to visit the Savior compound -- Huh? Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie hide out in the food cellar where Daryl finally breaks down and apologizes to Maggie for killing Glenn. Ah but Zen Maggie is way ahead of him, seeing the big picture, placing no blame on his winged shoulders and simply asking him to help her win.

Rosita and Sasha decide to take an ill advised and most probably ill fated road trip to the Saviors compound to Kick Ass! After some friendly cat fighting over Sasha's necklace, you know, the one Rosita made for Abraham who then gave it to Sasha, they work out their differences. At the compound they bump into Eugene who apparently really is Negan. What the hell Eugene!

For more We Talk Dead and other podcasts, movie, game and product reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com.


Posted by: Sarah Mason on Mar 24, 2017 at 10:18:59 pm walking dead, podcasts, tv, amc, zombies, horror, reviews

The Walking Dead Ep 713 - Review & Recap

arah Mason and Jake Essoe host "We Talk Dead" for The HMC Network. This week, review and recap of The Walking Dead Episode 713 "Bury Me Here".

Meanwhile back in The Kingdom... We find trouble in Ezekiel's royal garden as an infection threatens to take out all the gardens. Carol's starting to get hip to the fact that something much more serious went down in Alexandria and she confronts Morgan for answers. Benjamin wants Carol to be his sensei after seeing her handily take out 5 Walkers with a sign post. Richard itching to get the fight started, sabotages The Kingdom's weekly drop with The Saviors leading to unintended and unforgivable consequences. Morgan figures it out and spirals out of control -- Uh oh, Clear? Carol to the rescue, for now.

Episode 713 continues where 712 left off in bringing us back to why we love The Walking Dead -- great zombie action, characters and a story we love that's actually getting somewhere. Big shout out to Karl Makinen aka Richard, for is phenomenal performance in this episode. Lennie James is equally amazing, as always.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more episodes of We Talk Dead and other podcasts.



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Mar 24, 2017 at 10:17:56 pm walking dead, podcasts, tv, amc, zombies, horror, reviews

Taboo Season 1 Finale - Review 9.5/10

Sarah and Jake from The Harold & Maudecast recap and review the Season Finale, Episode 8, of Taboo on FX starring Tom Hardy, created by Hardy, Chips Hardy, Stephen Knight and Executive Produced by Ridley Scott.

It appears the true identity of Keyser Soze has been revealed and he's James Delaney. The season finale was bloody, explosive, and filled with good ol fashioned cursing -- bout time. James Delaney (Hardy) always 100 steps ahead of the audience, and Sir Stuart Strange The Company, orchestrated a brilliant getaway. Bound and awaiting trial in the Tower of London thanks to Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), Delaney played the cards he had be holding all along. But if you think everyone gets out of this episode alive, and they all sail off together on the high seas, think again and be prepared for some sadness. In the end, the season finale of Taboo delivers justice, and ties up all the loose ends in Season 1 with a promise for adventure in Season 2.

Spoilers abound in our recap and review which we are giving an enthusiastic 9.5/10.

For all of our Season 1 episode reviews of Taboo and more TV and film reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Taboo Ep 7 Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from The Harold & Maudecast on HMC Networks, review & recap the FX Network drama, Taboo, episode 7.

James Delaney (Tom Hardy) better have a longterm plan up his sleeve cause Solomon Coop (Jason Watkins) is about to get medieval on him in the Tower of London. Our (anti) hero has been arrested for treason, thanks to Madame Helga (Franke Potente) who thinks Delaney killed her daughter Winter (Ruby-May Martinwood). Meanwhile the Company thinks it's sittin pretty now that Delaney is in prison, not so fast Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), George Chichester (Lucian Msamati) has another witness up his sleeve --our cross dressing Company man Godfrey (Edward Hogg). Big revelations about arsenic and old lace from Delaney's Houseman/Butler Brace (David Hayman) and half-sis Zilpha (Oona Chaplin) minus two men.

Take a listen to our full review and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more tv, film, streaming, game and other reviews as well as videos, news and all kinds of FANcinations!



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:48:10 pm taboo, fx, tv, reviews, tom hardy, ridley scott

Taboo Ep 6 Review

This week on The Harold & Maudecast TV Reviews, the FX Series Taboo Episode 6. Things are heating up for James Delaney (literally) as he has to scramble his ragtag crew together to move his newly manufactured gunpowder after his factory is discovered by the Company. As we know, betrayal doesn't sit well from Delaney, tongues and guts are a flyin in this episode. Also, we find out that hat pins are useful weapons for killing abusive husbands, the creepy meaning of Taboo sister/brother style and foreshadowing of more sinister deeds a foot in this dark and brilliant period thriller. Still not sure what to make of Taboo? Don't fret, we're with you but we're lovin it.

For more TV and movie reviews, videos, podcasts and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Feb 17, 2017 at 10:44:07 am taboo, fx, tv, reviews, tom hardy, ridley scott

Taboo Ep 5 Review

The good folks at The Harold & Maudecast are back with their weekly recap of the FX Network series, Taboo, starring Tom Hardy. This week, Episode 5.

Up for a duel at dawn? James Delaney is, and the result is a surprising twist. Meanwhile a raiding they will go, looking to recover the stolen goods from Delaney masterful heist the Company puts the pressure on his band of thieves. Delaney gives his accomplices a thumbs up on the benefits of loyalty. Half-sis gets an exorcism. Delaney fends of a tail, but finds himself blackmailed by The Doctor who seems to be playing his fellow Americans for fools. Meanwhile at the farm, chemistry lesson 101: How to make gunpowder in a hurry.

Take a listen to our recap and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more episodes, videos, movie reviews and more!



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Feb 17, 2017 at 10:43:27 am taboo, fx, tv, reviews, tom hardy, ridley scott

EP 289 The Good Neighbor Review + Taboo Ep 1.4

This week on The Harold & Maudecast we review The Good Neighbor starring James Caan and recap FX Network's Taboo, Episode 4, starring Tom Hardy.

The Good Neighbor is a psychological thriller about a pair of mischievous high school kids (Logan Miller, Keir Gilchrist) who create the illusion of a haunting on an unsuspecting neighbor (James Caan). While keeping his every reaction under surveillance, they see much more than they bargained for, and discover that the man they're tormenting is not the easy target they'd expected.

In Taboo episode 4 we find our (anti) hero James Delaney fending of more would be assassins, taking a chemistry lesson, orchestrating heists, saving the not-so-damsel in distress step-mother, and dancing around the tension with his sister. The exciting and sometimes gruesome episode ends with an invitation to duel to the death. Take a listen and stay tuned for Episode 5 recap!

​For more recaps, reviews, interviews and videos, visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Feb 17, 2017 at 10:42:34 am the good neighbor, taboo, fx, tv, movies

We Talk Thrones - S6X08 "No One"

This week on We Talk Thrones, Season 6 Episode 8 "No One". We find out that Arya's blind girl training really paid off, Jamie & Brienne are still a thing, The Hound is out for revenge, gets it, meets some old friends, Cersei's hopes for trial by combat are squashed by her son & Daenerys is back in town, and she's not too happy bout what they've done with the place. Listen up for all the details and our thoughts on where this is all going.




Ghosts of Thrones Past

This week on WE TALK THRONES, "Ghosts of Thrones Past", recap of Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 3. Legendary actor Max Von Sydow takes Bran on a trip back in time to see a young Ned Stark discovering what we assume is the truth about Jon Snow's mother. Ramsay is given a bargaining tool, Arya's No Name Girl retrieves her sight, Jon Snow serves up justice (suck it Ollie), Cersei and Jamie conspire, we got it all. Listen now!




Posted by: Sarah Mason on May 14, 2016 at 5:51:39 pm Game of Thrones, Recap, TV



The HMC Network is a podcast network featuring genre entertainment commentary, movie and TV reviews, video game reviews, lifestyle & travel, event & Con media coverage & more. Featured on the Creative COW is our flagship podcast, The Harold & Maudecast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe. Combining critical analysis with passionate fandom, The Harold & Maudecast offers a fully-informed look at your favorite movies, TV and video games. Commentary and reviews include the latest Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes, film festival and Comic Con & fan fest event coverage, technology expos and more. Fandom Never Gets Old.


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