I've stated it before, but it is hard to give grades to television series. Each individual episode has a slightly different hand at the tiller, be it because of different writers, different directors, time restraints, whatever. It means that each episode fluctuates on the scale. Some episodes I love, some episodes I hate, and to just take the number I love and the number I hate and average them is not going to give an accurate read of the series. So bear with me as I talk, spoiler-free-ish, about the show, and how it has overtaken the viewing habits of my life.
I bought series 1 (ten episodes) at Target for 22.99. I would have gotten the blu-ray hands down if I had seen it there, and really wish I had. But I picked it up on a whim. I thought I'd eventually get to it. But I was busy torturing myself, so I just didn't have time, not until I needed breaks from putting together the Batman review. I decided that day to put it in, since the other shows I was watching I was not watching alone. And I ... man this show is hard to talk about.
Ultimately, I'm entranced. I must no more. The mysteries of this show have me hooked. And a lot of the technicals of the show are amazing. The cinematography, in particular, is amazing. As is the acting of our lead, Tatiana Maslany. Her skills are exquisite. She is phenomenal. Other character I love, but they leave and enter importance in varying amounts, but my two favorite supporting male leads are Jordan Gavaris and Matt Frewer, who I will talk about again in a few days; trust.
The central premise is that Sarah, a punk and degenerate who is a mother, is coming back town to see her daughter, run away from an abusive ex, and sell the cocaine she stole from him. She meets with her foster brother, who is her rock through out all the crazy. What crazy? Well, the show opens with her getting of the subway, seeing a woman who looked just like her, though in different clothes, throw herself in front of the train, committing suicide. And Sarah ... steals that strangely identical woman's identity. And from there, gets embroiled in a lot she never could have seen coming.
The show is nervewracking. One evening I was even so tense and terrified that noises outside made me double lock, double check, and re-double lock the doors. Nothing about the show is "horrific", but it is all tense and thrilling, filled with mystery and suspense. Some people may harp on the science fiction nature of the show, but I personally find that to be backdrop, mere setting for the real emotional and psychological story going on, which is a great way to do science fiction, by the way.
The hardest part is knowing if I can suggest this to anyone. It is almost a judgment call that each person needs to make for themselves. The show curses some, is disturbing pretty often, is tense and thrilling always, is hilarious rarely but truly hilarious when it is, incredibly well acted, beautiful, and a nail-biter that leaves you craving more. Those are all things that are generally considered good, but lemme point out a few of the "negatives." This show does not have levity often. When it does, it is normally very dark levity, and is ultimately actually not levity at all. Either that, or it is just a throw away line here or there to keep you from being upset. And while the few actors I mentioned before are amazing, you get a feeling from the rest of the crew that they are not the best money can buy, but they sure are affordable. That may be a bit harsh, and no one puts in distracting or bad performances. But some roles are incredibly one-dimensional.
If anything I said sounds interesting, or if you want more information, let me know, or just go find it yourself. I will be rewatching it soon with others, and that will be an ... interesting situation. And I will be doing everything in my power to get the second season ASAP.
This gif is not relevant. Merely funny. I wanted to lighten the mood.