Each week, Chris from @officialtalkintvpodcast will be recapping Peacemaker, now streaming on HBO Max.
Episode 4: The Choad Less Traveled
Are you not entertained?
Peacemaker season 1 continues this week with episode 4 titled “The Choad Less Traveled”! We are now officially halfway through the first season. With that said there is one thing that keeps coming to mind as I watch the discussion on this show develop across the internet.
Peacemaker is masterful in its ability to polarize audiences.
There are a plethora of ways in which Peacemaker has managed to rattle viewers. First, it has done what we as cinephiles in 2022 naturally do. It’s divided us into groups on the internet. Seriously! Just take a look at the reviews or any YouTubers comments section. It seems everyone is getting something a little different out of this series!
It is no surprise that most internet dialog quickly turns into discourse. Each party relentlessly battles to make their point heard, not giving an inch to the opposing side. In most cases the film community of the internet is no different.
When taking this aspect of film discussion into perspective as a critic it makes sense when examining how Peacemaker has been dominating the conversations of the cinephile sphere all across the internet. It makes sense why this show would be such a topic of discussion. If you think about it, Peacemaker gave the internet exactly what it wanted!
As if the sound of distant keyboards endlessly slamming away in an effort to make their thoughts on this polarizing series clear wasn’t enough, Peacemaker offers even more to fuss about in its fourth episode.
By now it is clear that this series is steeped in drama. Drama that is oftentimes accompanied by cringe worthy moments or innate facepalm reactions. All of this rich emotion helps to add to the beautiful cacophony of feeling that has made this show so special and such a polarizing but enjoyable ride for viewers.
Peacemaker does not leave a frame of potential on the cutting room floor. It has a unique ability to question our ever changing societal norms. Peacemaker takes these societal norms into account and puts them to the test in many ways.
It does this in many ways. First, by having a diverse cast of characters who consist of multiple different walks of life both on and off screen. What this does is provide a fresh perspective on these deep concepts the show chooses to tackle. Topics such as parent/child relationships, racial dynamics in America, and wealth gap differences to name a few.
Secondly, this show further elaborates on its societal commentary by having every cast member contribute to these societal conversations. Through this, we see this comedy take on a larger, more conscious role.
In its fourth episode the show becomes relatable. In turn making this show feel more grounded because of its ability to navigate these large societal issues. This relatability is important. Especially when considering just how heinous and deplorable most of these characters are. This relatability helps Peacemaker cut deeper on an emotional level. And allow the audience to feel for him on a deeper emotional level. Far deeper than most action comedies of its day.
Gunn is yet again flawless in his ability to balance the serious with the silly.
Additionally, the representation both on screen and in the writing is refreshing and thankfully something that we’ve seen Hollywood start to incorporate, or as I would say, account for in recent years. An approach that comes after a long era of talk, but no action on their part.
This show continues to fire on all cylinders from an action and comedy standpoint. While the underlying social impact of the show has finally been established with this episode it does not, by any means, step on the toes of the high flying, laugh out loud fun that the first 3 episodes deliver on.
Yes, these larger societal issues are there and being talked about in a way that is far above the perceived intelligence level of this series. But, if you simply want to turn this show on after a long day and turn off the humdrum of the world, Peacemaker can still provide that for you.
You see, while I am enjoying the level of sophistication these societal conversations add to the show. And while I am glad we are addressing Peacemakers many flaws as it regards society.
I am equally as sucked into the pursuit of project butterfly and all the action we have been given thus far.
Where will Leota’s arc go now that she has shot her first enemy combatant in the field? What type of revenge will Peacemaker’s father exact on him now that he thinks Vigilante was sent to prison to kill him?
And most importantly, is Peacemaker ok? The end of this last episode shows Peacemaker emotionally breaking down. Abusing substances to escape the cold hard grasp of his reality. A rather heartbreaking moment that left me distraught.
Herein lies the brilliance of this show. It’s ability to clash characters of different backgrounds and cultures makes for an amazing approach to social commentary. But, unlike most Hollywood productions Peacemaker doesn’t pick sides. In fact, Peacemaker allows for these same people who clash to grow together, and in some cases find common ground.
Life isn’t black and white, life isn’t simple, and the answers to difficult problems rarely are simple. Peacemaker speaks to that. It speaks to the eb and flow of life. It makes me feel heard and not like I’m being lectured to.
Most importantly, it targets my humanity. Something I almost thought we had lost in Hollywood.
Christian Evanko is a journalist, musician, and host of the Talkin’ TV Podcast. Christian brings his many years of experience in the entertainment industry to the stories he covers in an effort to pull back the curtain and paint a true picture of the importance of covering the arts.
Photo from IGN