[As usual, spoilers]
My father-in-law loves anything that is remotely Homeland-like. But, he doesn’t want to understand a fucking thing about technology. None.
So he has me doing like one to two month rotations on various streaming services. And it was only a matter of time before something that hit his criteria made it to AppleTV+. So he made the request, gave me money, and here we are.
Generally speaking, I am against the bifurcation of streaming services to where people that shouldn’t have a streaming service have it. I find it anti-consumer, but I have no fix for it at all. I just wasn’t going to participate. So, I would never have touched AppleTV+ cause I would have said they have no business getting in the streaming game (even if they can building into every phone and tablet).
But alas, familial bonds forced my hand, and now I have AppleTV+…at least till this season of whatever ends. So, I immediately went looking for the one show I wanted to see.
So how was it? No bullshit, it may be the best show I have seen that was a streaming-first exclusive. I have yet to see something this polished that didn’t show up on cable in some fashion simultaneously. It does so many things right that it is fucking impressive. If you add in the fact that they did all of it during the heart of the RONA, its a fucking achievement.
Lets start with Optics and Design (natch). A struggle with this kind of show is not letting the real world be the kind of weird that it naturally is. This show handles this perfectly. This little corporate town in PA has the look of a corporate town, with the right twinges. Setting up in the old Bell Labs complex is a stroke of genius. Having the real world be relatively normal (but you still feel the COMPANY looking over your shoulder) makes the surrealist office space sing that much more.
Comparisons have been made to a Twin Peaks or something Lynchian. I think the difference is they are way more interested in narrative and keeping the weirdness subtle. For example, there is a sequence where they find a room in the office complex that has a bunch of baby goats. In a Lynch movie, they would have seen it and walked away. In this show, they debate (not all the time, but in like occasional passing comments) about why the goats are there and what Lumon (our evil corporation) is doing.
I have also seen Mr. Robot comparisons, and I think that is fair. But, the tone is totally different. Less moody and more…..clear cut in its emotional direction.
Big shout out to the performances here. This is the performance of Adam Scott’s career. For being a emotional lynchpin of the entire show, he does it so effortlessly. It makes you wonder why he hasn’t had major accolades as a dramatic lead.
Also, shout out to Britt Lower, who I haven’t seen in anything before. She has quite a career ahead of her. Completely crushes the part.
One last acting shout out, fucking John Turturro and Christopher Walken act off each other throughout the season (this I will not spoil). And it is MAGICAL. Just fucking magical to see these two titans operate off each other. People who are masters at their craft should act together in every show.
There is something about the sterility of this show’s oddness. There is this very specific design elements and they stick to it no matter how weird the show gets. Its almost like the cleanliness is part of the show.
Another thing I fucking love about this thing is its commitment to narrative. There is clearly a story they are telling and there isn’t just fucked up things for the sake of having fucked up things. Everything builds on each other piece by piece.
Best example of this is the last episode. A masterstroke of an episode where everything building this season just lets loose with you only wanting more and more afterwards. Its 45 min of anxiety and adrenaline and its the first successful season cliffhanger I have seen in a long time.
Supposedly they have an end for the series in mind, and I have faith it’ll be good, and not get stuck in the Lost trap. But, even if it doesn’t stick the landing, we have this season. And this season is wonderful.
4/4 – The best fucking season of television I have seen since True Detective Season 1. I am completely in, and I am really glad we are getting another season.
Curse you AppleTV+ for making good content. Now no one will see it cause its on your shit platform. You fucks.