Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Netflix Originals - Supernatural Shows

 Time for TV Tuesday
It was last September when Hubs and I binged on the Netflix Original Stranger Things. Although I didn't get any comments on my blog post, when I mentioned it on Facebook, quite a few friends and family jumped on the thread to say that they had loved the show. I'm not sure what turned my boys onto the series, but they have just started watching it ... as brothers. An episode each night. All five boys together.

Stranger Things may have been the "original" Netflix Original when it comes to supernatural shows, but its success and spawned several others. In the last little bit, I've watched three of these paranormal, sci-fi series while I've worked out.

Glitch was the first one I found after Stranger Things. Now, this wasn't created by Netflix, but originally aired on Australia (but was still listed under Netflix Originals). I love Australian accents! The setting was in Australia and all the actors were unknown to me. Sometimes I really like that. Completely fresh faces, no recalling other shows I've seen actors in. The premise ... several people who have died (some recently, some ages ago) are somehow BACK. They can't seem to leave the little town they are in. The local sheriff and doctor are trying to keep things under wraps until they can figure everything out, but there is an evil coming after those who have returned. There are other complications that really made the story compelling. I'm trying to recall the content from a parental perspective ... it is rated TVMA. I don't remember a lot of language. There was some nudity, although nothing gratuitous (as the returned literally dug themselves out of the ground sans clothing).  If there is a second season ... I'll be tuning in.  

Next up on Netflix? Travelers. Other than Eric McCormack (from the Will and Grace sitcom) almost all the other actors were new to me (this was created in Canada although it is set here in the US). They really grew on me too. I got quite attached to the characters and their quest ... this ended abruptly though. Cliffhanger. I hope there are more episodes to come.

As the title indicates ... there is traveling. Time travel. It reminded me a little of Continuum and 12 Monkeys (TV Tuesday Time Travel) in that a distant future is sending people back in time to try and change things, prevent what the future has become. This was an interesting twist, as technology has afforded the future to know when people have died ... they then send back souls to take over that body moments before the death. The "death" is prevented and the identity from the future takes over. There are multiple teams here in our time, each with five members. The one in charge, the muscle, the techie, the doctor and the historian (who has memorized all the dates/information from the era). Each team has different missions. Will they be able to change the future? If they are successful ... will that mean that they cease to exist? Anything dealing with time travel is always mind bending. I'm  looking forward to a second season. Parental Perspective ... rated TV-MA. This did have quite a bit of language.

After the resounding success of Stranger Things, there was talk that "The OA" was the next "Stranger Things". Whereas StrangerThings is rated TV-14, The OA is TV-MA for language and a couple sex scenes.

The first preview I saw didn't make it seem as supernatural as it turned out to be. It focused on a girl being found, seven years after she disappeared. Then she was blind ... now she is not.  Now that sounds like an interesting premise, but the show goes so far beyond that.

Prairie connects with five outcasts and the episodes are her telling them her story. Of her youth, her search, her abduction and her years in captivity. I really requires some suspension of disbelief, but I, as her audience in the show, was quite captivated. I'd find myself anxious to exercise to see what would happen next. 

I've read a few discussions about the show (which you should not read until you complete the series) and some love the ending while it frustrated others. It really grabbed me personally. I had to go back and rewatch portions of the final episode. Like Stranger Things ... I'm not really sure where a second season would go. While others are super excited about a second season ... it makes me nervous. I'm wondering if this and Stranger Things would be better left as a one season wonder.

There was a ton of talk about Winona Ryder's facial expressions during the SAG awards. Have you seen the video with the pizza imposed upon it? Hilarious! As my boys were rewatching part of an episode (as due to the "brother oath" no one is allowed to move onto the next episode until they are all together) and they mentioned that "Will's Mom" looked familiar but they couldn't place where they had seen her. I told them she was the one who kissed Rachel on Friends. Their faces when they put that together! Shock! (Ryder hasn't aged quite as well as Aniston, and especially in this production, she isn't shown in the best light ... of course even out of character, she's appearing very odd!)

While I think Stranger Things was the first supernatural Netflix Original to cause a big stir (Netflix Originals "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black" are more realistic dramas), it wasn't the first. I remember Sense8 hitting the scene back in 2015. There has been talk of a second season ... I did watch it (VERY TV-MA ... I won't be letting the kids watch that one). There was one other one I tried ... called "The 3%" ... the premise sounded right up my alley. Like Glitch and Travelers, it was originally produced outside of the United States, this time in Brazil. So unlike the former two, there was a language issue. Filmed originally in Portuguese, it had been dubbed into English ... but my brain could not accept the words and lips not lining up. Also, the captions and the spoken words didn't match. Like they had been translated separately. Technically, they would mean the same things, but the words spoken and coming across in the subtitles didn't match most of the time. The actors would say "that is really big" and the captions would read "wow, that's huge" ... even if I could have overcome these issues (perhaps watching it with the original Portuguese with subtitles) the acting and storyline were a little iffy. Something I'd probably enjoy as a book, but just wasn't cooperating on screen. 

Every time I finish a series ... I wonder, what do I watch next? Should I stick to the supernatural or switch to something a little more realistic (hospital, legal, police dramas ...). Still waiting for season 4 of Orphan Black to hit AmazonPrime.

Do you like supernatural shows?

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