Wednesday, December 01, 2021

NOS4A2: Season 1 – review

Director: Various

Release date: 2019

Contains spoilers

I received a message from friend of the blog Margaret wondering why I hadn’t reviewed this yet. Let me explain, I hadn’t caught this on TV and bought the Season 1 and 2 DVD box set. Why I waited, I can’t really say – after all I enjoyed the original Joe Hill novel but then, as I started watching it I discovered that I didn’t overly like it.

Truly, I found myself distracting myself – not going to the next episode even on a day-to-day basis, rather than a binge watch I was literally forcing myself to watch it. Since I completed season 1 I have sat on writing the review and not watched season 2. And its nothing I can put my finger on – the story is the story from the novel I enjoyed, the performances are strong, ok the effects aren’t always as good as they might be (especially around the aging of bad guy Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto)) but I can normally live with that… I just can’t work out why this switched me off.

riding the shorter way

So, it focuses on Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) a talented young artist whose parents are perhaps not the most ideal, her father (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) struggling with sobriety and her mother (Virginia Kull) stubbornly resigned to their socio-economic position (and they break up during the season). Vic loves her motorbike and one day she discovers a bridge (that isn’t actually there), which will take her and her bike across vast geography to find a lost object she is searching for. She is a sensitive, her bike the “knife” that allows her to warp reality.

Manx older

At the same time a child is taken – he has been taken by Manx, another sensitive of a great age. His ‘knife’ is his car and his health (and age) is tied to the car (which makes it vampiric in its own right). Whilst he transports children to Christmas Land, he drains their lifeforce and the child becomes a blood thirsty vampire. As the season goes along Vic and Manx cross paths as she tries to rescue a child she knows. This then is the general thrust of the series and I am still struggling to think why it missed with me?

child vampire

Sure, there was at least one small aspect that missed majorly for me. There is a loose crossover between Hill’s novel and his father’s Dr Sleep, where Manx is aware of the True Knot and in this we see his map of (supernatural, or the inscape of,) America when Vic’s bridge (the Shorter Way) appears on it and see that it already mentions the Pennywise Circus. Later we see Manx in an inscape located bar called Parnassus and in there we see a (pre-burn) person wearing a Freddie Kruger sweater, the bar is tended by Lloyd (from the Shinning) and at the bar Pennywise, who leaves worriedly when Manx enters and… well I just thought the Pennywise a bit rubbish. But that brief, unwelcome, Easter egg wasn’t enough to put me off the whole.

vampire girl

Score wise I can’t score this highly, it just didn’t do it for me. But I also still can’t tell you why. I think a 4 out of 10 covers my feeling with the fact that actually the performances were good, the base storyline (from the novel) I already enjoyed and you might watch it and get much more out of it than I did. When I’ll actually get round to watching season 2 is anyone’s guess.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On DVD @ Amazon UK

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