8/10 This was my 2nd most anticipated new television show of 2017 and I was happy with how it turned out. Co-created by Tom Hardy and his father (with writer Steven Knight), this is a British period piece set in 1814. The production design and costume design are key stand outs as they recreate the time period and setting with expert craftsmanship. The cast is also a big selling point for this series. Tom Hardy brings a level of gravitas and screen presence that is often unparalleled on the small screen. The supporting cast (including two Game of Thrones actors) brings their A game as well. This first season is only eight episodes (one hour per episode) so this is an easy binge watch over a free weekend. The pacing is overall strong as each scene progresses the show forward or develops the characters. The biggest reason I enjoyed the show is for its originality, a rare thing to find on the big or small screen these days. The show hooks you relatively early on and has enough intrigue and mystery to keep you coming back for more answers. I loved that Tom Hardy’s character seems like a big brute and nothing more but then he is always one step ahead and his intelligence and critical thinking always comes through. I like that although the first season wrapped up nicely as a complete story that you still want to see where the story and characters go next in season 2. The editing and visual style with some of the hallucinations are well done and stylish. My only minor complaints are that it didn’t suck me in as much as other high quality television shows recently (Westworld, True Detective), although it still sucked me in. Some of the supporting characters were a little two dimensional and I would have even liked another episode or two added to delve deeper into some of those characters. Minor complaints aside, this is an engaging show that doesn’t show its hand at any point, which keeps you wanting to know what happens next. I definitely recommend you check this show out this summer, seeing as how it isn’t a very big time commitment. It is original, high budget shows like this that often get cancelled due to the high production costs and not being an established franchise with a built in fan base so these are exactly the kinds of shows we should support.
#ArsenickAtNight / #WinterIsComing / #PhantomOfTheCholera / #UnderTheInfluence / #TopHatWhiteGuyAndSails / #StuartStrangerThings