Series Review: The Man In the High Castle – Season 1 (2015)

highcastle

So here we are, back in the realm of Amazon’s Original Programming. Yeah, the very same Amazon that you can order shirts, soap and all kinds of stuff from. For the… one of you that didn’t know, Amazon is making original programming. Possibly one of my followers might remember that I did a review for season 1 of Amazon’s show “Bosch” last year. So yeah… they make shows… so let’s review one of them!

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to… “The Man in the High Castle”.

The world has gone to shit (God, I’ve missed that phrase so much!). It’s the 1960’s and Nazis are in control. That’s right, in 1946 they took over the United States and also allied with Japan to rule over everything. We follow a young woman named Juliana (Alexa Davalos) as she is more or less pulled into a plot set up by the resistance to try to get a hold of some films that could change everything. And these films are produced by the mysterious… “Man in the High Castle” (Roll credits). We also get to follow a whole bunch of other characters, including Juliana’s boyfriend Frank (Rupert Evans), who are part of this world and have some part in the grand scheme of things. I know what you’re thinking, this plot sounds interesting, but complicated and maybe a little dumb. But trust me, I am just trying to give you the basics of the plot without spoiling it for you. So trust me when I should say that the story is fantastic and is worth experiencing. It is filled with gripping drama, engrossing situations and several clever twists. Also, the ending of the season (no spoilers) just fucked with my mind so hard. Yeah… it’s great plot.

The characters in this show quickly develop and you start caring about them pretty fast. Alexa Davalos (an actress I knew jack shit about before this show) was fantastic as Juliana. She was determined, strong but also the right level of vulnerable. Rupert Evans (you know, the guy from “Hellboy”) is fantastic as Frank, a man who is pulled into all of this trouble in a very violent fashion (figuratively speaking… ish). Then we have Luke Kleintank as Joe Blake, a young man that Juliana meets on her “adventure” and quickly befriends. Then we also of course have Rufus Sewell (remember when he was a thing?) as Obergruppenführer John Smith, AKA the American Nazi-man. And holy fucking shit, he was amazing in this show. Not only is his overall performance great, but the writer’s made me actually feel sympathy for him… a Nazi. It’s crazy, but true. He’s a great character. There are a whole bunch of other great actors in this show, both in big and small roles. So I’m not gonna go through ’em all as you will most likely notice them too while watching. Seriously, this show is filled with great people.

The score for the show was composed by Henry Jackman and Dominic Lewis and it is (surprise, surprise) pretty stellar. Henry Jackman of course is the man responsible for the music of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and it’s sequel “Civil War”, two movies with great music. So of course when I saw Jackman’s name in the opening credits I was pleased. Speaking of the opening credits, the decision to have “Edelweiss” from “Sound of Music” as the opening theme… fucking brilliant. Anyway, back to the original score; it’s great. Dramatic, tense, awesome.

Fun fact: This show is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, the man who also wrote the book behind “Blade Runner”. Okay, fun fact over. This show is very well directed, perfectly capturing the feel of this bleak world that is set up. Sure, it isn’t really a show that has fast-paced direction, as it is more of a slow burn, but it’s still really good. Also, Ridley Scott is an executive producer on this show, which makes this his second Philip K. Dick adaptation… hmm. Oh well, it’s a very well done show, so those curiosities can be put aside for later.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com the show overall has a score of 8,1/10 (imdb doesn’t have season-based averages).

This show is unlike anything else I have ever seen, it’s so different and unique. With a fantastic plot, great characters/acting, fantastic music and great directing, it’s definitely something. Time for my final score. ACHTUNG! My final score for “The Man in the High Castle” is a 9,91/10. It is great and gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Man in the High Castle” season 1 is now completed.

Season 2 is confirmed, but it isn’t here… I need it NOW.

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4 thoughts on “Series Review: The Man In the High Castle – Season 1 (2015)

  1. Saw a trailer for this a while ago and thought it had potential. I will have to track it down sometime, seems it worked quite well.

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