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Michael Lewis
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The Knick Season 2 1080p



Picking up where the previous season left off, 'The Knick' focuses on New York's Knickerbocker hospital in 1901 as the doctors and staff prepare to relocate to a new facility under construction uptown. When Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) returns from a failed stay in rehab, he turns his attention to studying the causes and possible solutions for drug addiction. Meanwhile, Dr. Edwards (Andre Holland) struggles to deal with an eye injury that may cost the surgeon his vision, Dr. Chickering (Michael Angarano) transfers to another hospital, and Nurse Elkins (Eve Hewson) attempts to turn the tables on the controlling men in her life. Facing mounting obstacles, the characters continue to push toward social and scientific progress -- even as corrupt powers continue to push back.




The Knick Season 2 1080p


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Expanding upon many of the same themes addressed in season one, the series uses its early 20th century setting to draw surprisingly timely parallels to many 21st century issues, fully examining the cyclical ebb and flow of social change. Concepts related to race, gender, and class are all tightly embedded into the narrative's DNA, weaving several engaging story arcs tied to evolving perspectives on addiction, eugenics, feminism, mental health, and contraception.


Of course, the story is still home to a large emphasis on surgical innovation, using growing advancements in medicine to contrast against the show's slowly burgeoning societal developments. Highlights throughout these ten episodes include an open brain examination, an operation to separate conjoined twins, and the season's climactic self-surgery. To this end, the production's disturbingly accurate practical effects, makeup, and prosthetics continue to help create some startlingly realistic depictions of surgery on screen -- making it hard to believe that no one was actually cut open during the shoot.


And to maintain the cinematic precision established in season one, director Steven Soderbergh returns to helm all ten installments in season two. Subtly tinkering with the aesthetic he developed last year, Soderbergh employs many similar techniques, creating a highly economical and efficient shooting style marked by extended takes, natural/practical lighting, and wide angles. Often focusing only on the most important aspects of any given scene, many sequences forgo typical coverage and reactions in favor of staying fixated on specific characters and images -- like an extended POV shot of Nurse Elkins during one pivotal scene or a close-up of hands counting money in another.


Likewise, several long takes with reframing camera movements help to enhance the urgency of time -- like when a subway explosion brings in a stream of unexpected patients. An extravagant ball also leads to one of the season's most notable extended shots, moving from character to character throughout the large space in one take, allowing the scene to play on organically without interruptions. With that said, as potent as Soderbergh's style can be, the visuals here end up lacking some of the bold experimentation that made the show such a standout in season one.


Similarly, the narrative also suffers slightly in comparison to what came before, offering a few minor missteps. With its repeated themes, some aspects of the story can feel a tad redundant and the heavier emphasis on internal conflict lacks some of the outward excitement that fueled some of season one's bigger moments. Several characters are developed further, revealing more heavy flaws lurking just beneath the surface, and while these characters' occasionally disturbing choices do lead to interesting drama, some of their behavior makes it hard to remain sympathetic to their stories. Likewise, one major twist is rather predictable, lessening the impact of a few scenes in the finale while turning one previously layered character into a genuine villain. Indeed, by the time the season ends, the number of likeable or even tolerable protagonists has dwindled considerably.


This darker tone is intentional, however, revealing the full extent of society's unsettling corruption -- a disease which sadly has no definitive cure. Focused on the inspirational ingenuity of scientific discovery, and the tragically slow yet still steadfast resolve of social change, 'The Knick' offers another gripping and cinematically rich season of television. With its game-changing finale, the writers bring upon a clear end to this phase of the show's overall arc, and though a third season is not guaranteed (so far Cinemax has just ordered a script and season outline), the filmmakers have definitely left ample room for more stories to be told -- and more bodies to be cut open.


With its second season, 'The Knick' once again offers a powerful examination of burgeoning scientific progress and struggling social change. Through Steven Soderbergh's singular directing style, the show continues to be one of the most cinematic series on TV. Video and audio are both strong, providing a great technical presentation. HBO has included a solid assortment of supplements, including three commentaries and several featurettes. Though not quite as gripping as the first season, this set is still highly recommended.


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What are your memories of the 1965 D-2 tourney title game (tourney MOP Jerry Sloan set a D-2 title game record with 25 REB in a 3-PT OT win by Evansville in their home city to clinch the title and finish the season a perfect 29-0)? I believe that we lost 3 games by a total of 4 PTS to them that season: they were our archrival. Sloan was tenacious, always going to the glass and scoring. They had a phenomenal team: they used to beat Big 10 teams at the time even though they were a small college but I will always remember Sloan and his tenacity.


In 1972 the Lakers won 69 games in the regular season and then beat the Knicks in 5 games in the Finals: where does that team rank among the best you have ever seen? They are in the top-10: that record was able to stand for a long time.


Take me through the magical 1973 playoffs:Boston won 68 games in the regular season but you had 25 PTS/10 REB to beat them on their home court in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals: how on earth were you able to get a win on the road against a franchise that was previously 10-0 in Game 7s?! We should have beat them at the Garden during Game 6 but they prevailed. Nobody gave us a chance going up there because of their formidable record. That season we had a lot of injuries but then we finally got healthy right before the playoffs and gained a lot of momentum: we were playing well.


We've become untrained to find the pathos in a TV character who is not defined by their vices, even as the Tony-Don-Walt paradigm has long since lost its luster. I faltered on my first attempt to watch the first season of Cinemax's The Knick partially due to the outrageously gory operating room blooper reel that was its first few episodes, but more because the cocaine-addicted, bigoted, difficult genius John Thackeray seemed so rote, and such a waste of Clive Owen. As lush as its production design was, and as electrifying as director Steven Soderbergh's freewheeling camera work was, the man whose career and life we were supposed to take an interest in seemed exhaustingly dour and familiar.


I revisited the series in the run-up to its second season and came to appreciate, if not adore the show for its other considerable merits. Framing a period medical drama like a paranoid cyberpunk thriller on the order of Mr. Robot is a stroke of genius on Soderbergh's part, amplified gloriously by Cliff Martinez's Tron-like score. It's not a stretch, either; the doctors, nurses, and paramedics that populate the world of The Knick occupy the same role in their society that programmers and hackers do today. That alone made for a world I was happy to return to for 10 episodes, as long as I was sure to eat my dinner before clicking play on HBO Go. By the time John Thackery ended up in rehab, his career all but destroyed by his addiction, I wasn't so much concerned for his fate as much as I was curious about how much we'd get to see of a turn-of-the-century Promises.


But to put Thackeray through a rapid (if improbable) recovery puts the show in a potentially exciting position; it is now a show about a flawed genius, not a hopeless one, a distinction that makes a world of difference. Owen sells the reformed Thackeray as someone who truly has a new perspective on the world and himself, even though his shortcomings are far from banished. More importantly, the show has at this point trained us to believe in Thackeray's ability to eventually prevail when it comes to medical treatments for theretofore incurable ailments, and his addiction is treated no differently. Thackeray has absorbed the calamitous consequences of his behavior and is trying in his way to move forward, but like the trial and error of the operating theater, it's a messy and incremental process. For all his season one highs and lows, this is the most real he's ever been.


The way The Knick's second season works through this is imperfect, and by the end of the four episodes I was given to review, I'm not even positive that it's where the show is ultimately headed. But Soderbergh shares something with Thackeray: a chilly, anthropological eye that favors movement over sentimentality. I rewatched both Magic Mike films last week (not for research; just 'cause), and it's there, too: a distance which denies us a conventional connection with his characters but somehow highlights their humanity with an almost documentary nuance. Thackeray's immediate inclination upon coming back to the Knick is to study addiction and try to find a real treatment for it; using his analytical skills to conquer his human flaws. It's an entirely new kind of endeavor to watch unfold on pay cable, and exciting precisely because we have no idea what kind of outcome to expect.


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