9/10 “Mindhunter” was my #1 Most Anticipated New TV Show of 2017 and it did not disappoint. The reason I was so intrigued by it was mainly because of director David Fincher (“Fight Club”, “Seven”, “The Social Network”, “Gone Girl”, etc.) whom is easily one of the best directors working today and one of my all-time favorites. He tends to tackle dark subject matter, which really appeals to my tastes. He has tackled serial killer stories before (see the underrated “Zodiac”) but always limited by a film’s run time, which hasn’t exceeded three hours. Now with Netflix allowing film and TV content creators creative control and a full 10 episodes at his disposal, Fincher (whom directed 4 of the 10 episodes) is able to take his time building up character arcs and plot lines, while partially providing closure in some places while simultaneously teasing future cases in later seasons to come. The other directors keep with Fincher’s stylistic approaches so the show maintains the same tone with some dark humor sprinkled throughout. The writing is paramount on a show like this because the vast majority of this show is just conversation. Talking, lecturing, interviewing, questioning, answering, etc. With boring dialogue/subject matter or uninspired performances, this would result in a disaster. But the true life facts mixed with some fiction thrown in on top of amazing performances across the board allow for this dialogue heavy show to soar. You are never bored because the conversations are always intriguing. A problem some shows can have is running on too long. They keep every episode at the same time mark so in episodes where not as much happens, they have to stretch them out and use filler. “Mindhunter” avoids this flaw by changing up how long episodes are. If there is enough material for a full hour like in the pilot, they take it the full hour. Yet other episodes come in at 35 or 45 or 52 minutes, depending on how much material is there. This ensures that episodes aren’t stretched out and stuffed with filler for no reason. On the production side, the production design, costume design and props that are recreated from the 1970s are Emmy worthy. The cinematography and editing work extremely well together. The production values couldn’t be higher. The main characters also have very dynamic relationships and work off of each other very well, all bringing something different to the table. I loved the main theme of the show’s score but admit that it is over used a bit. The locations of the city also cover up the entire screen when they are shown and although that is unique and original, I didn’t like how jarring it was and when sitting close to a screen, was also hard to read for the longer city names. There isn’t much in terms of action to be found and some plot lines seemed slightly unresolved or unnecessary (feeding a cat) but overall the A grade performances, fascinating true subject matter, brilliant writing and world class directing make “Mindhunter” Netflix’s crown jewel in their original programming. I am…dying…for season 2.
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