8/10 Based off of the “Mr. Mercedes” book series by Stephen “I can’t come up with a proper ending” King, this is probably the first TV show I’ve ever watched from the now discontinued AT&T Audience Network. Now available to stream on Peacock, “Mr. Mercedes” checks a lot of the familiar Stephen King boxes but is well made and acted to where this ends up being a great debut season for the show. The premise is an interesting one and if you are to look at just this single season, King’s story surprisingly does have a proper, if not unrealistic, ending. Brendan Gleeson is terrific as the lead protagonist, although the supporting cast also brings their A game and gives the season an emotional hook. Justine Lupe in particular stood out and Harry Treadaway gives one of the most disturbed, creepy and unhinged performances that I’ve seen in quite some time. The show has plenty of graphic, adult content, which as a fan of darker shows, I absolutely ate up but this show isn’t for the faint of heart, as per the usual with most of Stephen King’s stories. The season does an excellent job of building up over the course of its ten episodes, with the final two episodes in particular really ending things on a high note. The vast majority of the show felt realistic from slip ups that our antagonist makes to how cops become complacent with older cases over time to the dangers of substance abuse for retired detectives. There were a few complaints worth noting, even if they were rather minor and didn’t greatly subtract from my overall enjoyment of this solid first season. In typical King fashion, a white supremacist character early on in the season was eye rollingly over the top. A couple characters suffer from a few clichés, even including Bill Hodges (Gleeson). The ending of the penultimate episode, despite being a great episode, had a pretty predictable outcome going into the season finale. King cameos in an episode and it was more distracting than anything else. Despite those few speed bumps, “Mr. Mercedes” is a rather smooth ride. Director Jack Bender has a pretty fantastic track record on television, having directed on shows like “The Sopranos”, “Game of Thrones”, “Lost” and another King adaptation, “Under the Dome”. He lets the script do the heavy lifting while providing a strong soundtrack to accompany everything we experience as the audience. Part of me would have been more than happy to make this a limited series and end it here but I am curious to see what the showrunner and creative crew does with the next two seasons. No matter how seasons two and three turn out, season one is a Mercedes worth test driving.

#UnderTheHome / #IncestedDevelopment / #TheShadyBradyBunch / #AssassinsDeed / #TheOutcastAndTheFurious / #MercedesCleanse

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