Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
This is a show about a young man named David who hears voices, sees people who aren’t there, and deals with the type of delusions which make you wonder if what he sees, and we see, are real. All the while, there seems to be something very anti-mutant going on and I’m so confused that I need at least 3 episodes to get a firm grasp on this show.
Up until his late teens, if not first year of college, David (Dan Stevens) was kind of holding it together. As a kid he was very accomplished, as a teen, he sort of slacked off, but then it seemed he started to hear things, see things, and after awhile he decided to just try and kill himself. Thus bringing him to what is referred to as “Clockworks” where we meet Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) and Sydney (Rachel Keller). Two people also committed to this mental hospital but by the time the episode ends, you aren’t necessarily sure if the hospital truly existed, whether Lenny and Sydney did, and what exactly is going on here.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Ok, most likely the hospital was real and Sydney seems to be real, but David’s memory and perception of things are a bit warped like Elliot in the latest season of Mr. Robot. So while you can attempt to trust things at face value, there is this slight feeling, the whole episode, a rug is going to be pulled from under you.
It’s Weird, But The Cast Makes It Seem Worth It
For reasons I can’t fully fathom, besides maybe the drugs David was on, there is a dance sequence. Some white people pretending to be Desi dance sequence. Yet, despite that, the characters save this show from seeming NBC weird. To me, it seems these characters have gone through a few focus groups before getting on the air. That maybe we aren’t seeing the previews before the final performance and the actors not knowing what does or doesn’t work for their characters. For while David is your usual white male who seems boring as a bag of grey dust, at the very least he isn’t on the level of Holden in Beyond. With him having a form of schizophrenia, he isn’t as heavily reliant on the women of the show to seem interesting.
Now, focusing on the women, despite a certain thing that happens, I so badly hope Plaza is in the whole series. For during the portion of this show when David is in the mental hospital, she pretty much steals every scene. Then with the actress playing Sydney, while not as fetching Plaza’s character, she’s good enough. Especially considering the way the show sets up the first episode where it is hard to be sure who to become invested in seeing again because so many seem disposable.
It Doesn’t Necessarily Seal Your Loyalty on Episode 1
Honestly, outside of Plaza’s character, who I’m not 100% sure on what her status will be in episode 2, there isn’t anything here to make this your new favorite show. Yes, we see people use their telekinetic powers, there is blood, bullets, and violence, and it can be trippy at times. However, there isn’t that air of mystery Mr. Robot has, Plaza’s sense of humor isn’t like a female Deadpool (which would be such a good role for her), and while this show has some sort of plot, it isn’t all that enticing to watch. For, again, David is your regular old basic white dude with issues who stumbles onto something fantastic. Plus the villains of this show, there is nothing that interesting about them. Like the villains on Humans (I know, comparison overload), they just don’t have that oomph which makes you fear them, love to hate them, or really get any sort of emotional response out of you. They are just the people threatening to kill David and since you are kind of indifferent about David’s existence, you just hunch.
Overall: Holding Off Till Episode 3
I recently read an article on Cracked about how it can take multiple episodes, if not seasons, for a show to hit its stride. Generally, I don’t wait that long since It takes me too long to watch an episode, never mind review it. Yet, there is something about this show which has potential. The type of potential where I feel this show should have premiered with 2 episodes back to back instead of one. For just giving us one for the season premiere made things feels incomplete. So, as of now, I’m going to wait until episode 3 to make a verdict.