Hemlock Grove, Season One Review

 


'Hemlock Grove' LetterRecently I received a letter from Netflix telling me that the second season of Hemlock Grove was coming July 11th, tomorrow.  With that in mind, I thought that I’d do a write-up on the first season.

They were also character posters released, which I included below.

When I first wrote about the series, I emphasized the nature of Netflix productions, which was to release an entire series of a particular show at a time.

So, in preparation for the second series, I have been rewatching, and I don’t think has aged well–which considering that it’s barely over year old isn’t in any way a complement.

The first series revolved around the city of Hemlock Grove, where a animal-like creature that may be a virgulf (an insane werewolf) has begun slaughtering local women.

Though the oddest thing was that the idea of rabid werewolf was the clearest part of the narrative, which isn’t a good sign.

The over-arching threat is clear-cut, but if the Devil is in the details, then this particular production was conceived in a very warm place indeed because the details are a bit fuzzy.

The writing doesn’t strike me as particularly strong, which is why some characters don’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  For instance, what the heck is with Dr. Johann Pryce (Joel de la Fuente, who I  remember from Space: Above And Beyond) and his rather peculiar abilities?  And what is the experiment hidden away in his lab?

And more importantly, what role does it play in current events, or what is to come?

Roman Godfrey (Bill Skarsgard) has the abilities of a young Sith Lord (or Jedi Knight, depending upon how you look at such things) because he can apparently make people listen to him in the same fashion as Obi-Wan Kenobi did in Star Wars: A New Hope.  At one point he makes a deputy do what he wants, and in another he makes two guys who were mocking his sister, Shelly, kiss each other.

He appears to be some sort of vampire, though what his mother is I am really uncertain of (my first viewing I recall there being flashbacks about her, though I hope it’s clearer in a second viewing)

Another odd thing–though by no means unusual–is that Roman, Shelly and Peter appear to be the oldest students in their school–they look like they could be members of the faculty.

Hemlock Grove is almost the anti-American Horror Story (which so far, I cannot stand) in two important ways.  One is good, in that it appears to focus more on one particular storyline, with clearly defined sub-plots.  The other, not-so-good as Hemlock Grove could use some of the boldness of American Horror Story when it comes to storytelling.

What’s also interesting is that there there’s no character poster for Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron, who oddly enough also played a werewolf in the 2011’s The Howling Reborn) which implies that if he’s going to appear at all, it will be as a supporting role.

Update: I just read a Collider post about the upcoming season and it does appear that Liboiron will appear in the new season, despite the lack of a character poster, though it’s still unknown as to how long.

Hemlock 1(Norman Godfrey)

Norman Godfrey

Hemlock 3 (Famke Janssen)

Olivia Godfrey

Hemlock 4 (Bill Skarsgard)

Roman Godfrey 

Hemlock 2 (Nicole Bolvin)

Shelly Godfrey

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