‘David Haller is a troubled young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, but after a strange encounter, he discovers special powers that will change his life forever.’ (IMDb) (8 ep. of apx. 1h)
This is Awesome. Yes, Awesome with capital A. I was so surprised by this series and I honestly to god do not know how I feel after finishing it. Each episode is crazier then the one before. I won’t really do an episode-by-episode review, but the main review will be mostly about the first 4 chapters/episodes.
May contain small spoilers
The first episode starts with a short montage where we see David grow from a baby and where we see the first moments his power escapes him. It’s interesting to see, because the way it was filmed and edited gives us a small preview of how the series will be. It will be fucked up, full of colours and will give us an inside look of how his brain works.
The entire episode is a mix between the real world, where it’s made clear to us it’s real, and the inside of David his brain, with quickier editing, full of colours (red and others) and flashes of light. It’s crazy, it’s colourful, it’s bright, it’s flashy and it’s so, so good. Next to the fantastic cinematography and the crazy editing, we also have some amazing actors.
Dan Stevens, who we all know and love from Downton Abbey, gets all the attention here. He’s marvelous. He’s crazy, but human. You immediately feel sorry for him and you immediately feel with him. Here Dan gets full freedom to showcase his incredible acting skills. The important thing here is that he’s supported by other amazing characters. Next to David’s craziness, it’s the realness of the side characters that made this a real treat and really interesting. Here I want to give a big round of applause to Aubrey Plaza who gave a beautiful, yet crazy rendition of Lenny Busker, David’s best friend in the hospital. She grounds the story and makes him a bit more human.
While I will try to not give any spoilers here, or at least try to, I still want to give a quick note about the second episode. Here we get to the mutant base, where David gets to know his real powers. He’s told repeatedly that he’s not crazy, but just super powerful. He needs to control it, because he’s the key. To what? Nobody knows. They tell him the key to winning the war but also to something else. We get a lot of questions, that aren’t all answered in this season.
In the third episode we get even more questions. Who is Division 3? What do they want from David? What does Dr. Melanie Bird want from David? The dynamic here between David and Syd remains the same. We see Syd being a more reasonable voice in the craziness of David’s life and actions. She’s there to pull him back and to keep him from making rash decisions.
Something else I loved in this series are Ptonomy’s powers. Going back to ones memories and seeing them again is just so interesting. Here we get to know a bit more about David’s history and what he went through. But it gets crazier. Syd implored them to take her with them in his memories because she believes she can help, and what they get to see is mindblowing. In the crazy-sense of the word.
They see his nightmares, things he was afraid of when he was little and the more he sees these things, the more he gets out of control and the more his powers control those of Ptonomy and kicks them out. After sedating David to a point where his powers can’t affect them anymore, they go back in and there shit hits the fan. I’m not going into details here, because you have to see it to experience it fully, but this is an excellent piece of montage and lighting, giving us a sense of how his mind works and how crazy it all is in there.
The entire series is an introduction to the characters, to the world and to the story they want to tell. You have to get used to the way they want to tell the story, but once you get used to it, it’s a rollercoaster of craziness. I liked it a lot, because it showcases the talents of the editors, but showcases the craziness that is this world and this story as well.
It’s definitely a must-watch and I can’t wait until the second season to see where they will take this story. I hope they go even further and keep those crazy revelations coming. This entire season had twists and turns in every episode and it’s so binge worthy that I already told all my friends to watch it.