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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hemlock Grove Episode 1 Review

The new Netflix original series Hemlock Grove recently hit the site with 13 episodes streaming and I thought I would take a look at the first episode. The show episode was directed by Eli Roth and written by Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman.

The story focuses on the death of a young girl and the mystery that unfolds after. A family of gypsies moves to town and the one kid goes to school or something, then there's this other family who are very mysterious for SOME reason... And here in lies the problem. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING happens! It starts off on a good foot with the murder, but after that the story falls apart when it begins to follows this gypsy family and this other family that doesn't like the gypsy family, and I quickly lost interest.

The key to a good pilot episode to any series is to get the audience interested and invested quickly so that they will stay tuned to the episode and have incentive to come back and watch more, and this show does not do that. And I get why, it's because they want it to be mysterious and not tell you anything about the characters so that you can find out about them as the series continues, but you have to give the viewer something. You have to give them something interesting so that they will want to find out more and honestly there's nothing here that makes me want to come back.

All of this aside, the show does some stuff right. The effects are good, all practical at least in this episode, and the cinematography is great in moments and ok in others, and some of the acting is good with one very distracting exception. Famke Janssen delivers the most over the top performance, while at the same time delivering her lines like a British robot. Every time she's on screen she's distracting. It takes a lot from the experience when she's on screen, and again I get what she was going for. In the show American Horror Story (the first season) Jessica Lange gave a similar over the top performance, but when she did it it was fun and worked with the character because that's what the character was meant to be, and I imagine they were going for something similar here but it just does not work.

Overall Hemlock Grove isn't the worst thing I've seen, but it didn't give me any reason to come back to it. I suggest watching the aforementioned American Horror Story or even the BBC's Being Human instead of this. Both of those shows are far superior supernatural shows than this one.

5/10 - Mediocre 

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