maplemood: (jessica jones)
[personal profile] maplemood
I finished season 1 a few days ago. This is one of those shows that, in theory, should have really, really work for me, and for the most part it did. The problem is that I only started to get emotionally involved around the last episode; the story was complete by then, but I still wanted more from the characters. On the other hand, I got eight episodes' worth of murder, dysfunctional families, bromance, folk music, and southern Gothic creepiness. I can't complain too much.

Spoilers (?[not sure that they're all that many, but better safe than sorry]) under the cut.



Good Stuff:

Nobody's perfect. And I mean nobody. I love decent, goodhearted characters, but sometimes it can be just as interesting to watch characters who're very much not decent, who're screwing up their lives in all sorts of ways and know it, but can't quite work up the guts or the will to stop. It's not that either Rust or Marty is a horrible guy--it's that they're both absorbed in their work to the point of being obsessive (Rust) and selfish (Marty). But you can't say that they aren't doing good work. Both of these guys care about solving the murder and getting justice for the victims. Sometimes that care is the only likable thing about them, but still. It's something.

The opening song ("Far From Any Road" by The Handsome Family). Gloomy and a little creepy, with the best last two lines ever. It plays during the credits and sets the mood perfectly.

The final confrontation scene. Is it magic? Is it a hallucination? Something's going on, but who knows whether it's because the murderer isn't quite human or because Rust is on one heck of a trip. Either option is equally creepy, honestly.


Okay Stuff:

The female characters were all good, and some were pretty interesting, but I didn't feel like any of them got the screen time they deserved, especially Marty's two daughters, Audrey and Macie. Thanks to Marty and his job, Audrey grows up with a ton of issues, and even though they sort-of-maybe reconcile in their last scene together, her problems are never really resolved. And then there's Lisa. She disappears halfway through the season, and even though she does have a part to play in the plot and isn't there just for the eye candy...there's still a whole ton of eye candy, and most of it isn't necessary.

The pacing was fine. A little slow, but it all built up to a good payoff.

Rust's long, philosophical speeches...again, fine. I have a hard time believing that a guy in real life would talk like this, but if anyone can pull it off it's Matthew McConaughey. Plus he's stupendously depresses and a drug addict. So maybe it does make sense. But good grief, can he go on and on and on. Kind of the point, and Marty helps things by pointing out how boring and pretentious Rust can get. Still, I wouldn't have been too heartbroken if they'd cut some of those scenes.

On a scale of one to ten, I'd give this an eight or so. Maybe a seven-and-a-half? Good enough for a rewatch, but not a story I'm head-over-heels in love with.

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Alex

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