Just got finished watching two-part premiere. LOVE IT!!! SPOILER ALERT…
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…I read a lot of reviews going into tonight. I had reservations. Everyone agreed that David Duchovny nailed his role as Sam Hodiak, but had many things to say about the over all effect of the show. I totally love the Charlie Manson plot lines so far. Director, Jonas Pate, wonderfully weaves twists in John McNamara’s teleplay.As alluded to by Eric Roberts’ tweet, the real star of this show may be the sound track. Any second now Martin Sheen may rise out of swampy water in Nam. I think the biggest issue with a lot of reviewers, they are comparing this to NETFLIX and cable shows simply because we will be able to binge tomorrow. Many aspects of the show scream NETWORK TV. The big 3 – NBC, CBS and ABC – tend to have a cleaner look. They like polish. That same polish ruins a lot of would-be great shows for me… Makes a lot of great scripts look like Soaps. You know, pretty people with perfect lighting..I would like to have seen a bit more of that EASY RIDER grit in a 1967 portrayal, but one has to admit, Aquarius is far more gritty than a typical network fare. You can’t expect DAREDEVIL on their first venture.https://youtu.be/kivs0aGU1dA
But you could say 1967 is still early in the Vietnam / Hippie conflict. It would be very cool if art direction of the show got slightly grittier as the show progresses – showing the end of innocence, peel back the layers and reveal the chaos of the times.
The show kicks off showing us Charlie Manson (Gethin Anthony – Game of Thrones) seducing Emma Karn (Emma Dumont – Bun Heads). We get that Chucky is already a bit of a cult leader in the making, surrounded by his harem.
When we meet David Duchovny (I mean Sam Hodiak) he – Sam – is topless. OK-Trying to be objective but remember the name of this blog LOL. This moment is quickly interrupted by the call from Grace Karn (Michaela McManus – Awake, Vampire Diaries, Law & Order SVU), Grace’s daughter (Emma) is missing. She never came home after sneaking out the night before with Rick Donovan (Beau Mirchoff – Awkward).
Brian O’Byrne is creepy as Mr. Karn, Emma’s “father” (We do not know anything, BUT the look by Sam when Grace says”16 years old” is very telling). It’s great to see a Broadway Star on the small screen. It takes a great actor to play down the layered road this character is heading. Immediately, he clearly has a lot to hide. More clearly, he hates Hodiak. I WONDER WHY? Sam and Grace have a distinct chemistry that cannot be – and has not been – denied. (PS Brian – BREE-AN – update your IMDB character would you?)
Hey, its network tv! Soapy crap is going to be in there no matter how hard they try, but the love triangle adds immediate tension.
CUT TO Undercover officer, Brian Shafe (Grey Damon – Star-Crossed, Secret Circle, Twisted and other teen teledramas including 90210 reboot).
Again – HEY IT’s a NETWORK MOMENT – Hodiak and Shafe would be a terrible name but these guys are borderline perfectly lined up for buddy cop dramedy. Dare I say there was more chemistry from the get go than a certain 1993 pilot (I am going to be in SO much trouble for that statement). Take all those characters, throw in the blender with sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll – have to go back and start 13-episode uncensored binge tomorrow with episode one for sure – and you get a very interestingly layered plot with a few twists immediately.
OH BOY! Well, here’s the thing… This is a series, not a mini-series. It makes sense on the way to knocking around a snitch – trying to get to Charles Manson – that we get interrupted by a case of the week moment. We continue to see the Charles Manson story unravel as Hodiak and Shafe investigate a murder. It’s only 1967 so Manson’s goal is all about being famous. At this point he still thinks music is the route to his being knighted and crowned by the world. As he continues to work Mr. Karn, we see hints of lies and cover-ups. Things get very interesting when we see Manson go Renly Baratheon (in a less love driven way) on Mr. Karn. Emma is going to be so screwed up when she wakes up form her purple haze.Meanwhile we see Duchovny’s Hodiak blossom. He wakes up surprised to see his uniformed son. We meet the baby mama as he learns his son is AWOL. We see the struggle, knowing he may have to arrest Walt Hodiak (Chris Sheffield – Last Ship). Hodiak gets to take out his frustration on a few thugs. Finally he works a suspect into a confession.David Duchovny has often said the show is about the 60s using the Manson story and Cop drama as a vehicle to explore the time period. In the first hour we see the hippies – sex, drugs and R&R and protests with out of control cops. This episode we see the race tensions, especially as Hodiak arrests Nation of Islam representative, Bunchy (Gaius Charles – Grey’s Anatomy), just to corner his real suspect. This move does not sit well with Shafe, who we learn is in an interracial marriage.The show moves quickly and weaves many story lines that will eventually collide. For now it seems more like two separate stories loosely connected. But to compared to another loved series by this blog’s readers, we are simultaneously getting Mythology AND Monster of the Week episodes wrapped into one…
UNTIL NEXT WEEK…
OH WAIT… UNTIL TOMORROW… BINGE TIME!!!
PS OMG… Where did we get 795 registered users! I better check for typos if that many are reading this dribble LOL