Netflix’s own “Hemlock Grove” recently appeared on my instant screen. I watched the entire series in two days (as binge watchers tend to do) and I have some things to say about it.
Overall, it wasn’t the worst show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen pretty many. However, I feel the hype caused by its stablemate “House of Cards” made “Hemlock” a bit of a letdown.
The show itself centers around two teenage boys, Peter and Roman, both of which are mixed up in the supernatural in the town of Hemlock Grove. Peter, a gypsy and new to town, is treated poorly because of his gypsy-ness. Roman, on the other hand, is an outcast because his now-deceased father owned the intensely profitable Godfrey Institute, where watchers are lead to believe crazy shit goes on with medical research. When crazy murders start happening in town, fingers point to Peter, so he and his rich buddy go on their own little hunt to find the real killer.
Some minor characters include: two annoying twins who are also the local sheriff’s daughters; their whiny ‘shy’ friend who never talks about anything except being a writer; Roman’s cousin, Letha, who thinks she’s been impregnated by an angel; Roman’s sister, Shelly, who is huge, can’t speak, has a deformed eye, and can’t speak; and Peter’s psychic-with-a-happy-ending-but-actually-a-psychic cousin, aptly-named Destiny.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. The acting wasn’t too horrible, the cinematography was beautiful, special effects weren’t the worst, and I’m honestly going to watch the second season if it ever comes out.
What I didn’t like about the show:
1. The plot moved as slow as a drunken snail, and was very unclear most of the time. The writers obviously tried to throw out tantalizing hints for future reveals, but it seemed at times that they forgot what they had hinted at or just didn’t feel like telling us.
2. The romances were glossed over, with no blend from a distant attraction to throwing out the ‘L’ word and screaming dramatically as one risked their life for the other.
3. Though the killer’s identity reveal was delicious and not too obvious, the reason behind the actual killing was as tasty as toilet water. It seemed weak and underdeveloped.
4. It’s stated that one of the characters died and was brought back to life by Godfrey’s freaky doctors… but the how or why is never returned brought up or explored.
5. The ending? Atrocious. It is not only rushed, horrible, and unrealistic, but there is never any real closure or build up. I would compare it to J.K. Rowling putting the epilogue to the last Potter novel at the end of the first book, without any promise of sequels.
Honestly, it’s an addicting show. However, I think Netflix needs to get better writers who can properly develop a story line with as much backstory, supernatural information, and plot lines as “Hemlock Grove.” Hopefully they’ll take more care with season 2, if we get one.