My name is Paloma Bennett, and I’m a pop-culture geek with an M.A. in Cinema Critical Studies from San Francisco State. I earned a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. When I say I am a pop-culture geek, I mean that I am a massive fan of television shows, books, movies, comic books, and podcasts. Some of my favorite genres are science fiction, urban fantasy, true crime, comedy, documentary, and supernatural though I have very eclectic taste.
My interest in pop-culture helped me keep an eye out for adaptations of media I enjoy. I was lucky enough to see an early screening of His Dark Materials’ pilot two weeks ago. I was given a ticket because I have been a massive fan of His Dark Materials trilogy since my aunt bought me all the books when I was a young teenager. I will admit it has been a couple of years since I read them. Still, I remember being enamored by the concept of the daemons as being animals that embody their human’s soul. I have always been drawn to stories with complex lead women characters. I have a rule when consuming any new media, especially books, tv shows, and graphic novels: I will only watch television shows that have at least one main woman character. Some people may say that this rule is limiting. However, as a lesbian feminist, I have zero desire to watch another male-centric television show where I don’t see myself reflected anywhere. His Dark Materials fits to a tee.
Every week on my blog, Decoding the Daemonverse, I am going to put out a review about the television show His Dark Materials that is featured on both BBC & HBO. I am based out of California, so I will be releasing my reviews on Wednesday night following the Monday night release on HBO.
Now, as an adult, I am drawn to the fact that there is an overt critique of religions and governmental bodies that try to curtail what people can say and study. His Dark Materials explores the hurt and pain the denial of free speech can cause.
This will be a spoiler-filled blog because I am planning to re-read the first book The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman as I am reviewing the season. My reviews will be mostly about the television series but will be using elements from the first book.
I will not be spending my reviews critiquing how the television show does not follow the book enough or at all. Television shows and books are two very different platforms for storytelling, so significant changes need to be made for the adaptation to work. As long as the essence of the book or comic book is adapted into the television show, I consider the television show to be reliable. I think that television shows make a better adaptation of books than movies because there is more room to develop the characters and storyline. At least from the pilot, His Dark Materials seems like my definition of a well-done adaptation. It is also no mystery that the show’s creators put together a brilliant cast with Ruth Wilson, Clark Peters, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a recurring character. Dafne Keen Fernandez, who played Laura Kinney in Logan, is the perfect Lyra.
I hope you continue to follow my blog throughout the entirety of the first season of His Dark Materials. Until the second season arrives, I will find other shows to cover after the finale episode airs. I am an American, so if there is some British cultural implication I miss, I apologize–though I am a massive fan of British television, so I may not miss anything too big.
If you are interested in hearing more about my pop-culture interests, follow me on all these social media platforms: Tumblr @dovebuffy92, Twitter (warning I don’t use a lot):@buffyfan1992, and Instagram: @buffyfan92. On Facebook, you can find me in these central communities: The Babel Conference: Trek fm Listener’s Group, Star Trek LA Away Team, All of US, and Fans of Urban Fantasy! I plan to share this blog on Fans of Urban Fantasy! So if you heard about my podcast from there, then welcome!
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