What I’m Watching: Hemlock Grove anyone?

Hemlock GroveFirst, this blog will have lots of spoilers so don’t read if you haven’t watched the show. If you don’t mind spoilers, read on!

Okay, there was a lot about this show I wasn’t crazy about. Roman’s excessive drug use and the sex wasn’t my cup of tea, and is probably a lot of the reason I don’t like him. Peter

One of the things I liked a lot about the show was that I actually couldn’t figure a lot of it out before the plot twist. I took a lot of screen writing classes in college, so it’s often a game for me to figure out how a show will unfold before it happens. It makes watching shows with me hard at times for others. But Hemlock Grove had me guessing right up until the last episode. It was really awesome.

Where the series lost me was that last episode. It was so weird. I would have been ten times happier with the show if it would have left off episode thirteen. Is it just me, or did episode thirteen feel like a mash up of backstory they were unable to weave in, an epilogue and pre-quel of next season all in one? It was so weird and I found it really disappointing. I mean, I wasn’t surprised by anything revealed in that episode. I’m maybe less likely to want to watch it after the Roman and Leta twist, which was something I had guessed at, but seeing as I’d been wrong about a few things, chose to believe it would turn out differently.

The gypsy aspects with the Romany influence was awesome. I’m actually more curious about looking up some of the traditions used through the show just because it was interesting. I really liked the character of Destiny and Linda, Peter’s mother. Destiny for me was a really appealing person I hope comes back and maybe plays a bigger role.

OMG the shifter changes! OMG! I was excited for something different, something I haven’t seen before, even as it was super gory. The use of some more obscure mythological aspects really won me over. I liked that the shift was ugly and horrible. The first one was just, I don’t know, shocking. I hadn’t expected Peter to actually show it to Roman. Because really?

Roman was my favorite in the beginning to be the killer, even though I knew he wasn’t. I couldn’t really believe the excessive alcohol and drug use. The sex, that was hard to believe as well just because–the dude screws that much and seriously has no one in his life besides his sister? Eh, hard to believe. I also had a hard time buying that he also never wondered about why he could do things that weren’t natural. For real? He’s going to have a mind control power and not think anything about it?

Peter took me a moment to like. I think I liked him on the gypsy factor alone. I didn’t like all of his story arc, the cat part made me really sad, but I liked him. He was a good antagonist character. I actually don’t have a lot to say about him, except  I liked him. He was cool. I didn’t get him falling for Leta, but how would he not? Pretty blonde girl goes for him. Meh.

Leta was a crackpot to me. I never really liked her. She was so goodie-goodie in the beginning, and there was a weird, cousin-cousin vibe with her and Roman that squicked me out. The whole angel insemination part was accepted way too easily, in my opinion. I mean, really? Your kid says an angel impregnated them and you just go with it? I wasn’t phased when she died at the very end, though I am curious about the outcome of her baby and exactly why she died, because I so do not believe a word the Asian doctor says.

Christina I thought would be a little more influential through the story, but in the end, I wasn’t surprised by how it all went down. I knew she was going to have a role to play when she had the entrance in the first episode, but I thought it would play out differently. I can say that I thought her involvement was really well played. Her mental illness, her innocence, all of it. She was such a fantastic antagonist creature. You felt sorry for her, even as she was saying how she wanted to kill Leta.

Olivia was what I thought she would be, from the beginning. I was interested in the whole Brittish upir angle. Upir are a type of Russian, day walking vampire, so the mythology isn’t the same as what we’re used to with franchises like Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood out there. I wish we would have seen more of the background woven into that. Now, as far as Olivia herself, yeah, she’s a bitch and what could I care about her for? I have a real distaste for cheaters, and her whole story and character just make me want to see her dead. I’m okay if that makes me awful.

Uncle Norman G the shrink. There was nothing surprising about him. I just didn’t like him. The adultery, staying with his wife for the child, possibly being Roman and Shelly’s real father, all of it just kind of fell flat for me. It was so obvious it was just — meh.

Shelly, I loved. At first she did come off as this weird character. And also, why did no one question her ability to jack with electricity? I wanted to know so much more about her! I actually liked Peter more for befriending her. And I liked how her innocence and child-like manner kept both guys in check a little. I think Roman’s relationship with her was his redeeming quality to me. And can I just say that Shelly was a bad ass at the end? Sure boys, go do all your running around, all your big plans, girls gotta go in there and show you how it’s done.

Doctor Clementine, I didn’t entirely feel sympathy for her, even at the end. I liked that she was this strong, black woman, however the plot fell into this predictable religious aspect that was again–nothing new. There have always been stories of secret church orders, and the idea that the church would be out to get werewolves was also pretty anticlimactic. Clementine did change some, and I liked her difficulty in her choices, how she struggled with what she was doing as opposed to what she felt obligated to do. I’m interested to see what her brother does in the second season.

The Sheriff, I only mention him because of the last two episodes. After my time spent in the Citizen’s Police Academy, I find his actions to be very, highly, extremely unlikely in a real situation. That said, in this story, how the show played out, I both sympathized with him for the loss of his daughters–who were brats. And I hated him for shooting Shelly. I didn’t really understand why he went and picked up Christina’s body, except he honestly believed Shelly was to blame, despite Christina being in wolf form when she was killed. There’s so much procedure wise there which doesn’t “work”. I was sad at the shot of him and a stack of C4 in episode 13.

Doctor Pryce. The recording was interesting. I think we got to see a shred of who he really was, especially in episode twelve at Clementine’s death and again in thirteen when he shatters the desk. I wondered if he would have a bigger role through the story as something besides Olivia’s clean up crew. I’m guessing he stands to be more in the next season.

Over all, episode thirteen discounted, I was pretty interested in the show. I keep wondering why these people don’t question stuff that’s right in front of them, a la Roman’s abilities, but it was entertaining. I’m not sure if I’ll watch the second season. Right now, I’d say yes, but I wonder if it will devolve into something dark and disturbing instead of the suspenseful elements I enjoyed. It will be interesting to see what they do now with everyone’s heritage out in the open.

Sidney Sig

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