Hemlock Grove-A Netflix Original Production. Some notes and dialogue on first few episodes and a review of Series One. Minor spoilers only. On Netflix in the UK.

Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove is a Netflix Original production.
Series One.

First few episodes
Some notes and dialogue on first watching.
(written in chronological order of watching the episodes)

Based on the book by Brian McGreevy.
Has Bill Skasgard in it.

Hemlock Grove doesn’t really get going until the second episode.  The adults are less interesting than the teenagers are.  As characters and actors.

The two boys Roman and Peter meeting at the end of episode one is when things started to get interesting.  I felt.

Letha to Roman:
“How do you explain dancing to a person who has no legs?”
Roman:
“I have legs that won’t quit”

Hemlock Grove is beautifully filmed.  My favourite scene so far is the old fashioned shot of a girl and a boy in a car driving.  with the open topped car’s window as their frame.

Peter’s Grandfather:
There are things that look like you and me but are not..”

Song:
“You could not see what we saw at night.”

Teacher:
“So as with the other..”
“I have no more business to marry Elgar Linton than in heaven and earth..” (Jane Austen?)

So things are a little more involved in Hemlock Grove than in (the series) Grimm..

Roman to Peter:
“You gotta be fucking kidding me!”

My feelings exactly.

Let’s just say I got the wrong end of the stick. I was slow on the uptake.  When Roman asks Peter if he can watch: I thought he meant a film..

So Hemlock Grove is coming along nicely.  It’s all quite unusual.  And interesting.  You kind of miss the presence of a Detective at first.

Song:
Your sister and me will keep your place clean
So it shines for me
So it’s clean when you come home..

Beautiful but stony faced wife to Peter:
“We don’t get many visitors round here..”

The father (of Letha) is a Psychiatrist and has this kind of inquisitor role that the Detective might have.

However it is the two boys who are going to be..
Well I had better not say. Let’s say, they will be the main characters.  And go on a quest..

Peter to Letha:
“Did you know that the wettest place on earth is a small garden in Hawaii?”

I like the ongoing e-mail being written at intervals throughout which describes the story so far.

The mother (of Roman) is super stony faced.

The Sheriff is a good character: he has a solid presence.

Urghhh.
So I would say the the horror in Hemlock Grove is turned up a notch compared to, um Grimm.

Man: 
“I cannot tell how it mounts on the wind or call through the clouds”
“Today I have seen the dragon”..

So it’s all most odd.
But not quite daft.

I like how the Godfrey building is shot.  Lit up like it was in a Gotham set piece scene.

Olivia (Roman’s mother):
“So when he wakes up he’ll feel the sun on his face..”
“Perhaps he’ll hear a bird”
“A mourning/ morning bird..”
“They’re not all gone..”

The Bishop:
“I found myself in a dark wood..”
“I could not find my way..”
(Or summat-Dante’s Inferno I think)

There is some lovely text and quotes.

***

Review of first few episodes of Series One.

So I’m really rather liking Hemlock Grove so far.  I think I’m up to episode seven.  The drama is a little bit flat and dead somehow.  Yet I’m aware I maybe directly comparing it with Grimm.  Which is unfair.

Hemlock Grove is interestingly like-able.  I am aware I maybe finding the drama slow after the fairly break-neck pace of Grimm.

I am not sure that all of the story-lines sometimes work.  For example I find the scenes with Olivia and Norman to be turgid and trite.  Sometimes.

Olivia’s face barely moves.  She is playing that sort of character: a Revenge (series) style matriarch impossibly perfect in appearance.  Yet problematic as her blank face is: she is still spellbinding to watch.

Plus at one point when she is standing right next to someone: Olivia is very, very tall.  She is also seriously creepy..

Yes, not all of Hemlock Grove’s scenes work quite right some of the time. However they do work for enough of the time.  For me to keep on watching that is.

Plus there is some very fine acting going on from the two young men: Roman and Peter right from the beginning of of Hemlock Grove.  They- the two teenagers and their friends provide the focus and the beating heart of the drama so far.

***
Update Review On Hemlock Grove.

So I am at the end of Series One now which I would describe as stylish and fairly engaging as a drama.  However the final pay-off if you like I felt to be anti-climactic or an anti-climax.

Basically you are watching a classic who-dunnit.  You, or I anyway, keep watching to find out who did it.

However overall the experience of watching the culmination of the story felt dreary and depressing to me.  Yes, I realise it was probably optimistic to be hoping for any kind of happy ending.  In a horror.

Yet by the end  pretty much every character including the two main heroes: are or have become uniformly unlikeable.

For those of us who must, like me, need to actually like or identify with at least one character.  OK if not unlikeable they have done some rather regretful things shall we say.

Plus there is a regretful amount of psychobabble.  Spouted by Norman, the doleful and un-engagingly robotic psychiatrist.  But then that is his wont I suppose.

The several side or sub-plots, one of which involves him and the dully evocative Olivia: are more than faintly ridiculous.

At best, these strange sub-plots are like some on-going art-house film mixed with a great big dollop of action-packed B-movie.  As with the odd interludes involving Norman and Olivia: alongside the mysterious Wild Life & Fisheries Officer- Doctor Chasseur.

Then there is the eponymously evil Bishop, chuckling away and stealing simply every scene he’s in.

***

Footnotes.

The Sheriff is called Sheriff Sworn.

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Olivia is Roman’s mother. She is first referred to here in the episode notes as “the stony-faced wife”.

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