I am on Thanksgiving break for a few days, and boy is it much needed. Of course, I managed to fall ill the first day of break, so it was bed rest for me for most of the day! As a result, I was able to marathon Amazon's new series The Man in the High Castle. This series is very different from any series I have seen before.
Amazon's The Man in the High Castle is actually based on the novel by Phillip K. Dick. I have not had the pleasure of reading the novel yet, but I am going to pick up a copy sometime this week (and I will review it later down the line)! The setting of the book and TV series is a world in which the Axis powers won World War 2. The Nazi regime has control of the eastern United States, and Japan has control of the west coast. To put it super briefly, the premise of the TV series revolves around the uncovering of tapes which reveal a world that could be if the Nazis and Imperialist Japan were not in power. I'm not going to give away any more information for fear of spoiling the series.
Here are some pictures so that you can get the aesthetic feel:
I'm writing a review of this series not because I loved it a lot, but because I think that it is important. I think that it is critical to realize that a society like this is not impossible; it isn't impossible for people to accept something truly evil as the norm. And I find that to be quite terrifying and relevant to today's current events.
Anyway, on to my review of the show. Aesthetically, the show is beautifully done. The costumes are fantastic, and the backgrounds look so real that it can be quite unnerving at times. The American flag flying with a swastika in place of the stars? Very scary, but sensible in the context of the show. In the category of costumes, props, and scenery, I would certainly give this show a 10/10.
Furthermore, the show would also get near a 10 for its plot. It's difficult to imagine what society would have been like had the Axis powers won World War 2, but this show allows your imagination to run wild.
In terms of acting, this is where I find that the show suffers a little. After the first episode, I almost stopped watching. For some reason, I found the whole first episode to be extremely cheesy in terms of acting. I'm glad that I continued on because the acting definitely picks up, so don't stop after the first episode! Along with this, I found some of the character development to be either non-existent or very little at all. When I watch a show or movie, I definitely need to see some sort of depth in the characters. I found some of these characters to be flat and a little bit boring. Thus in terms of characters, I would give this show about a 6/10.
One other thing that I craved from this show but didn't really get was fear. Whenever I watch a movie or documentary about the Third Reich, I feel truly terrified. I always wonder how such evil could and can exist in the world, and it brings me chills. Here, I had a few instances of chills, but not enough. I wanted to feel really scared about what could have been, and I didn't really get that from this series.
Overall, I recommend watching this series for plot if nothing else. It is extremely relevant to the world's current events, so if you have time on your hands check it out! Sorry for the long review.