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Absorbing, original, always want more.
What a great show. Original premise, well scripted, extremely well acted and directed, the story weaves, ducks and winds in a way that requires attention be paid to it. This is not a show you can leave on while you do something else and expect to follow it. This show demands some thought and attention, and you will be richly rewarded by some excellent escapist entertainment. I was over the moon when I saw the second series come back to air, and really wish I could binge-watch it but can't wait until the series has finished to start watching it, and they have not released the full series at once. I recommend a darkened room and limit any distractions. Highly absorbing.
Slightly flawed but a good watch
The quality of the actors, dialogue and story-line is variable. Where the strong actors are given their opportunity to act well they do so in a very believable way, absorbing and enjoyable to watch. They carry the slight and occasional weaknesses in the plot and dialogue and make the show quite watchable. If you are less critical with some of the actors who are not quite as convincing in their roles you will probably enjoy the show. The story tells a tale of the children born of a combination of man and siren, the tidelanders, and the role they play in a small coastal town's ways of making money. There is subterfuge in the human part of town, subterfuge amongst the tidelanders, and all hell between humans and tidelanders despite their strong reliance on each other as part of a production line "product" they make. Some good plot points, some unoriginal well-tried plot-lines done with very little new material, but overall the broad story is original and well executed. Worth watching, and will probably produce a second series. Also, my thoughts are a second series will probably be really cheap to make , not all that many of the first series cast left by the end of it all mayhem and carnage. Not a series for kids.
Extremely good show
Strong acting, well written dialogue, strong acting and direction. The show is strong enough to be either binge watched and hold your interest throughout, or to watch in a series of mini-binges (e.g. two at a time instead of a movie). I am not sure I could leave it a full week between episodes, each episode had me wanting more. The length of the series is short but perfect, not overly drawn out, nor rushed towards the finish line. The cast is well chosen, and they do way more than just deliver their lines, a result that draws you in and keeps you guessing. The directions and mis-directions to keep you guessing do not under-estimate the intelligence of the audience, nor try to spell out every detail so it does require some attention, but is all the better because of this. A very very strong show, and I really hope they can bring a second series to air with a different bent to it, but a second series would be a really big challenge to top or equal this first. I highly recommend this as a must-watch.
Forbidden Power (2018)
Close to unwatchable.
Poor acting, worst green screen composits ever, dire script, terrible direction, out of sync dialogue replacement in many places, no budget for music soundtrack, no atmosphere, no chemistry, but I gave this a rating of 2, reserving a rating of 1 for worse movies than this (and they do exist). If you have nothing else to watch and have a very high level of tolerance for excruciatingly cringe-worthy movies, this will do nicely. If you have anything else to watch, and I mean pretty much anything else, watch something else.
The Kominsky Method (2018)
Outstanding in every way
Chuck Lorre does it again. What a cast !! Cameos are a who's who list. The script writing is top notch. The acting is stellar, on point, engaging, believable. And funny !! Don't overlook this show, or dismiss it at first glance, you will be missing out on something special. Many shows take quite a few episodes for the cast to reach the closeness and flow of a really strong "ensemble", but this steps right in. Experience in all domains shows strongly - funny, witty, insightful, cutting at times, fresh, relatable, just wonderful. Watch it and spread the word.
The Good Place (2016)
Clever, fresh, different, light but rewarding
Clever, fresh, different, light but rewarding. Well scripted, well acted. Season 1 and 2 were really strong in their light-hearted comedic way, but with an underlying element of taking a little risk in being different and slightly "edgy", but always watchable and even-keeled in the writing and acting. Season 3 started a little rocky, not as even-keeled as the previous series, but found its groove about 3 - 4 episodes in. Very watchable, and has some smarts about it. Good cast who are invested in their work.
Standard fare, good watch but nothing great
Standard fare, good watch but nothing great. Sets out with fairly stock standard scripts and problems for the FBI to solve. Missy plays her role well, and the rest of the cast does a solid job, although nothing seems to really stand out. Safe, safe, safe. Safe writing, safe plots, safe direction. Nothing special but has enough qualities that the show stands up as watchable, but pretty much forgettable once watched. No risks taken in the creation of this show, either creatively or technically.
Extremely dark, but very good.
The first series is fantastic with a great balance between dark humor and some light moments alongside some strong script writing, great location shots, direction and acting. The acting is strong in this one, grasshopper. The only complaint is how drawn out some scenes are, where nothing happens and the "nothingness" does not always contribute to the story or the mood, just elongates time.
The second series slows down even more dramatically, and becomes so dark it is black of the blackest kind. Still good, but not as strong as the first series. This is so slow it has to be binge watched (I think) in medium doses, maybe 3 - 4 episodes at a time. This would not work if it was released and watched weekly, too many would lose interest and flow. The flow when watched around 4 episodes at a time makes it more easy to find the flow amongst the slow, but the drag in pace does become a little monotonous.
Pine Gap (2018)
Espionage and Intrigue
Just finished the first series. Really strong production values across the board, except the musical score which works well but is mainly underscoring background music rather than feature music. Script is intelligent while not being overly hard to follow, and there is a good balance between information the audience needs to retain for the story-details to make sense. The script is not overly dense with hard-to-follow information, but neither does it assume the audience have shut their brains down into unthinking mode thereby needing every little detail explained over and over.
Cast are well chosen for the main part, some characters develop a lot more slowly over time, but are done with some intelligence by the director and producers. There is sometimes a little too much emphasis on side-ways glances and surreptitious looks and reactions, done sometimes to distract, sometimes to raise suspicion, sometimes to direct our attention (all normal), but does sometimes lack a little subtlety in the directorial execution. My assumption this is done for the sake of an international audience.
Plot is engaging, has enough intrigue to build interest, contains a complexity that is allowed to unfold over time that requires a little patience (which gets rewarded), maintains a pace that doesn't quite keep you on the edge of the seat, but nor does it set out or pretend to try and be people swinging from exploding buildings or planes at 20,000 feet.
Finally, a comment to the few reviewers claiming "anti-american" script, I would recommend watching more than the first opening scenes. This is a story, entertainment, all based around espionage and intrigue. Chinese are keeping secrets, Aussies are keeping secrets, the Yanks are keeping secrets, heck - everyone is keeping secrets from everyone. The plot revolves around exploring 4 concepts - Money, Ideology, Coercion and Ego. It's not even CLOSE to being anti-American, but it also does not paint America as the untainted hero to the world. Surprise surprise, NSA, CIA etc have done some questionable things at different times in history. Whoopdy frikkin' doo. Welcome to Earth.
If you like your comedy explained and in-your-face, this one is not for you.
If you like your comedy fully explained and in-your-face, this one is not for you. If you appreciate deeper levels of subtlety and are prepared to suspend hard-nosed reality for the duration, you will love this one. Reminds me of Cohen Bros movies. If you are prepared to relax into it and let the movie take you where IT goes, you are in for a good ride. For those that want to predict a movie and try and show some perceived level of intellectual superiority by telling the person next to them what is about to happen just before it happens (yes - we know they exist), I would hazard a guess that you will not enjoy this movie.
Having said that, I found the movie beautiful in the detail. This is not about grandiose plot, high speed chases and super cool cunning people. This is accidental and bumbling happenstance where random events are delightfully used. Truck, garage door etc. I carried with me the finer and more easily lost details of each character and I found they surprised me and delighted me with often times whimsical twists and subtle growth/support. I didn't find any huge character surprises or character twists, just good solid development, the kind where you can leave your opinions open to the end. Times like the late night rendezvous at the juke box joint and what happens when Bob tries to dance. Perfect. I walked out with a smile on my face, well amused and very much liking the attention to detail in character, shots, lighting, soundtrack etc. Not edge of the seat, sit back and relax.