October 6, 2021 at 3:37 pm #1204506100
Going with the same ranking of Hill House, Midnight Mass and then Bly Manor. Super excited for The Midnight Club next yearOctober 6, 2021 at 3:45 pm #1204506129
I had no idea that Lily Rabe was Hamish Linklater’s RL partner!! We need to see her in the Flanaverse.October 6, 2021 at 3:48 pm #1204506144
I had no idea that Lily Rabe was Hamish Linklater’s RL partner!! We need to see her in the Flanaverse.
Ryan Murphy has her locked down I’m afraid.
"Succession" and "Severance" in all Drama categories;
"Ted Lasso" and "The Great" in all Comedy categories;
"Station Eleven" and "The White Lotus" in all Limited categories + Ethan Hawke for "Moon Knight".
Kaley Cuoco ("The Flight Attendant"), Janelle James ("Abbott Elementary"), Mandy Moore ("This is Us"), Colin Firth ("The Staircase"), Christine Baranski ("The Good Fight"), Katja Herbers ("Evil").October 8, 2021 at 8:38 am #1204508911
Finished watching this today and Hamish Linklater was phenomenal. Masterclass.October 12, 2021 at 5:46 pm #1204516256
Hamish Linklater and Samantha Sloyan were amazing especially the latter but I can’t say I cared for this much.. and god those monologues from Siegel were absolutely terrible imo.October 20, 2021 at 4:20 am #1204527839
Hamish Linklater is amazing. Btw: what are your opinions on the old makeup used for Alex Essoe? I thought it was distracting. It was clear to me that it was a young actress underneath those prosthetics.October 20, 2021 at 7:16 am #1204527986
I agree. From the beginning. I knew that character would age down because the prosthetics were obvious.October 25, 2021 at 11:10 am #1204538541
Finally getting around to putting down my thoughts on this one. Mike Flanagan once again has delivered an intoxicating personal human story cloaked in excellent genre storytelling. At this point, he really hasn’t missed. I loved the framework of having this deeply human story about guilt, morality, and reconciliation inside a tense framework that also explores themes of idolatry and fanaticism. I don’t know if his intention was to reflect the moment, but how could you not make the connections between Pruitt’s “followers” and what has happened in America over the past few years? This balance of personal and scary (although the show isn’t really that scary) is something Flanagan has perfected, but I also found new layers to this story that weren’t necessarily present in “Hill House” and “Bly Manor.” Those two shows were focused on concepts of family and found family, and while there are family members here and there is a community that could take up that “family” mantle, there is a deeper exploration of humanity here that is stark in its individualism. The series clearly has a lot to say about religion and faith, and I think it ultimately comes down to this idea that those things can be good, but they can be bad whether it is a weapon of your own making or if it is used against you by a bad actor. I love how the ensemble of characters is able to display the variety of reconciliations one can face when forced to confront their faith. You can stand by it wholeheartedly as other signs try to show you it is misplaced, or you can accept (even if it is at the last possible moment) that your faith misled you or failed you. You can have faith that making a bad choice for yourself and maybe even others around you in the moment is ultimately the best choice. Your faith can be steadfast even as you are engulfed in tragedy, but it can also be an unreliable crutch to prevent you from confronting reality. Even while some of these approaches do seem obvious, Flanagan still finds ways to subvert expectations. The most faithful, Bev, still at the end of the day tries to backtrack her misguided judgments and save herself when she knows it is already too late, and without fully reconciling with her deadly mistakes. Admittedly, the series sent up a lot of red flags as a former Catholic school student, but I didn’t view this as a full-fledged repudiation of religion. Rather, I saw it as a warning that while having a belief in a higher power is good, perhaps even necessary, our own differentiation between good and evil is required to maintain the individualism we all crave as humans.
Beyond the headier aspects of this show, it was extremely well crafted and produced. The tone was set right away thanks not only to Flanagan’s direction and writing, but the production design, cinematography, score and other elements that helped me buy into this remote island vibe that ended up proving necessary for later story developments to land, both plot-wise and as an emotional anchor. The end of the sixth episode is Flanagan’s finest moment as a filmmaker since the “Two Storms” episode of “Hill House,” and is truly an iconic television moment. All conversations about this cast must start and end with Hamish Linklater and Samantha Sloyan. Frankly, I didn’t know either actor had this in them. Pruitt and Bev are these delicious, layered characters whose motivations and outright actions are not necessarily signaled in their dialogue. Linklater and Sloyan bring so much to this role beyond what is on their face or what is coming out of their mouths. These are not only the two best characters Flanagan has ever written, but these are two of the best performances in a Flanagan project ever. As a result, I liked the rest of the cast, though not as much as those two actors. Kate Siegel is reliably great and Zach Gilford finally gets the role he’s deserved for the better part of a decade. Annabeth Gish is great with a meatier role than she’s gotten in a long time, and Kristin Lehman and Henry Thomas were quietly devastating. The rest of the ensemble doesn’t quite pack the punch of any of these actors, but that shouldn’t discredit the commitment of this ensemble that completely sells this story as things spiral out of control by the end. “Hill House” is still my favorite Flanagan project, but this is a very close second and I’d really like to revisit it because I think there are more layers, in addition to storytelling hints and ideas, that will be revealed upon a rewatch.January 1, 2022 at 11:10 pm #1204691684
Just finished the series.
Want to shout out an underrated performer in this, Rahul Kohli, who turned in an amazingly personal monologue in episode 6.
Big fan of Better Call Saul, Sex Education, Barry, BoJack Horseman, and, especially, SurvivorNot now
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