We’re doing something a tad different today here at The Ooo Factor… we have our first Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday guest blogger!
Everyone, meet Jenn Alexinas.
I met Jenn at the “Corporate America” company where I worked for ten years. At first, our relationship was strictly virtual with the occasional phone call. Then, in 2008, we both relocated to the DFW area for the company. Without going into too much detail, we knew even before we met in person that we would be lifelong friends. We both studied English; we both have fair skin and a variation of red hair; we both found ourselves in unique long-term relationships; we both have senses of humor, mine somewhat sarcastic and hers a bit less sarcastic (but she gets me); and somehow, with my being from Texas and her from Ohio, we both have similar values and hobbies, even if I did have to pull her into the world of football.
Anyway, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately, and instead of reblogging an older post today, I asked Jenn to step in. She loves to write, and is darn good at it, and she has watched a show I do not have access to… a show I’ve been dying to watch—Netflix’s original series, Hemlock Grove.
So now, I hand the keyboard over to Jenn…
Hemlock Grove is Netflix’s newest original series, which, like its predecessor, House of Cards, premiered with all episodes available to watch at once—lending itself easily to a marathon-style-all-in-one-sitting- viewing binge. I watched the first episode, and immediately found myself intrigued.
If you can get past a few small things, Hemlock Grove is worth a watch. I’ll admit…the show is not for everyone. Fans of the standard horror genre might get impatient. Those who are partial to the ubiquitous supernatural love story might be irked by the lack of melodrama. Someone who appreciates good acting might turn it off after the first twenty minutes. And everyone else might just find themselves… confused. I will say this, though… anyone who feels desensitized to the blood and gore in today’s films and TV shows, and who thinks it impossible to be taken aback by any program’s purported “shock value” may have finally met their match. At least, I think I did… I mean, I can’t think of the last time I actually breathlessly told a co-worker about how cool a werewolf transformation scene could be.
The story starts with the death of a high school cheerleader in a small industrial steel town. This was a gruesome death, and we aren’t sure if the culprit is human, animal, monster, or something else entirely. However, we quickly learn that while this murder (and subsequent murders) drives the action in the coming episodes, it isn’t really what the story is focused on… if you can claim there is a focus. We mostly learn all about the town of Hemlock Grove and its denizens, who run the supernatural gamut from gypsies, werewolves, and telepaths, to mad scientists, monsters, and maybe even angels with the ability to impregnate human teenage girls. Yeah. There’s a lot going on in this town.
There are some aspects of the show that I really enjoyed. I’ve gotta say the opening credit sequence is perfectly dark and creepy, with titillating hints of mythology and mysticism. The aforementioned werewolf transformation scene is just really cool, and extremely graphic in that hope-you-didn’t-just-eat kind of way. There is certainly some eye candy for the ladies (Landon Liboiron as Peter Rumancek and Bill Skarsgard as Roman Godfrey). And for the men, there is Famke Janssen, whose sex appeal is enough to make you (almost) overlook her horrendous attempt at a British accent. My favorite character in the whole show is Shelley (played by Nicole Boivin in close-ups and Michael Andraea in long shots), the “Frankenstein’s Monster” type of creature who is the result of some type of reanimation experiment that is only referred to in two flashback conversations held outdoors in the middle of raucous thunderstorms. I found the adolescent Shelley, with her disfigured face, bandaged hands and 8 foot frame and inability to utter sounds other than grunts, the only truly likeable character in the series.
In our house, we strategically watched one episode per night, and more than once, that episode left my boyfriend and I looking at each other, open-mouthed, wondering what in the heck just happened. Sometimes that was because the final scene of the show was so shocking, and other times it was because we really honestly, had no idea what the heck actually had just happened. As the series progressed, we found ourselves starting each episode with full attention, and then drifting off doing other things, leaving it on in the background.
In keeping with Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday’s tradition, I need to rate this show, and I am awarding it the JFTV rating. Just like that plate of nachos piled up high with gooey cheese and all the toppings, it’s kind of a mess, really fun to get through, and leaves you knowing you’ll probably go back for seconds, even though you shouldn’t.
Thank you SO MUCH for taking the reins this week, Jenn. You are welcome back anytime. I mean it.
And I still want to watch Hemlock Grove…
What do you think? Have you seen Hemlock Grove? If not, do you plan to? We’d (Jenn and I) would love to hear from you!
PS. Readers, please convince Jenn to come back again sometime… she doesn’t currently blog and I’ve been trying to get her to do a guest post for what feels like forever.
And she may kill me for doing this (it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission, right?), but you can follow Jenn on Twitter here.
And remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…