Thursday, 6 June 2013

Review: Hemlock Grove

This isn't an extremely in-depth review as it probably should be, but I will bring up the basics of what I liked and didn't like about Hemlock Grove so far. That said, I have only watched up to episode 7 and am still in the middle of binge-viewing.

So my preliminary opinion on the series is that it feels a lot like American Horror Story mixed with a dash of something akin to Twilight (pick your favorite vampire/werewolf show and fill in the blank) mixed with a bit of Twin Peaks.

The advertisements and teasers all honed in on the mystery of a girl being murdered in Hemlock Grove, possibly by some kind of supernatural beast. That girl is quickly forgotten as the story moves into other territory; turns out she was nothing more than a pawn in the game rather than a major player. The first few scenes even gave a little hope of showing insight into this girl as a person but nope, still just fodder for the plot.

I was put off in how Roman was introduced; not just that I had to be subjected yet again to female nudity, but that I couldn't figure out who he was or what was going on. The woman he was having sex with in the car -- was that a high school student or a prostitute/call girl? Are there a lot of women who just have sex with any guy in any car in any place, who don't scream for help when said guy starts playing around with BLOOD and who nonchalantly walks off and doesn't seem to care at all about how WEIRD this guy is?

Was this an ongoing relationship? (We may have a hint of this later when we see a similar looking young woman in Roman's classroom wearing a similarly colored dress. Too bad we aren't given the benefit of a name or even a face to see if that was the same person. Also, these two encounters were the only ones and I didn't feel it sufficiently set them up as "friends with benefits" or even "client/customer." What high school girl whores herself out in the women's bathroom at said school? Please tell me women have a little more self respect than that.)

Interestingly enough, I also disapproved of Peter's semi-introduction through his meeting with Christina. She just shows up out of nowhere and the whole exchange is awkward. I'm not even sure what the point of her character is. Red shirt perhaps?

All of that said, there are two things that really bother me about the show:

The Vomit
The Nudity

First, the vomit. Lots of vomiting. Vomiting isn't scary (unless you're Craig T. Nelson in Poltergeist II), it's just nauseating. Making me feel sick to my stomach and making me feel scared aren't the same thing. Vomiting is NOT horror (previous exception noted). Neither is eating creamy, bulging worms who have just feasted on a dead person's intestines.

The Nudity is extremely unbalanced between the genders. There's way too much female nudity and not enough male. As usual. kind of reminds me of Dexter, where we were treated to Trinity's naked butt not once, not twice but three times while being shown countless female breasts. FFS!

As Depeche Mode once labeled an album, "get the balance right."

The good things about the show: Lily Taylor, who isn't used nearly enough; Dr. Chausseur (Dr Shoe, lol) who is just beautiful and kicks ass; the hotness of the two male leads; Shelley who is pretty frickin awesome all around and the most intriguing of all the characters (sort of like Adelaide in American Horror Story season 1); the "Romani" culture which is shrouded in mystery.

A few other things that don't quite work: Olivia and her fake accent. Boring. Letha. Boring. And her name sounds like a lisp of "Lisa". "You're tearing me apart, Letha!"

I have taken a break in my binge-viewing of Hemlock Grove and will return with further insight into the second half of the first season.

EDIT: No, I probably won't. I lost interest in the show and never finished watching it. Oh well. I noticed that it has taken forever for Netflix to produce a second season, anyway. You snooze, you lose.

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