Blackstone. Series One. A Canadian crime and family saga drama. On Netflix in the UK. A First Review of Series One- the first few episodes. Minor spoilers only

 

Netflix Description of Blackstone:

“On a First Nation reserve, community leaders try to solve their people’s problems, from drugs and domestic abuses to corruption and power struggles”.
2015. Five seasons. Four stars.

*

Blackstone

Series One.
First Review of the first few episodes.

So having watched Magic City I knew I was going to have a hard time finding something to watch.

Being that Magic city is a very hard act to follow. I foolishly strayed back, against my better, past made judgement, to BBC One’s One Of Us.

Now those are several long hours of my life spent watching it that I can’t get back.

I knew I should have stuck to my original resolve only ever to watch BBC One again for Missing series two. And then only for Inspector Jean Luc Baptise.

But I digress.

I did try From Dusk Till Dawn series three directly after Magic City but I just wasn’t feeling it. I may be wrong but my feeling was that this time, Tarantino was not involved in the screenplay.

Or possibly it was just too soon for vampires and skull men after 1959 and the glorious laid back style of Magic City. With its slower, deceptively casual pace.

So after some short dalliance with The Shannara Chronicles which was generically pleasant enough. And had fabulous scenery. But just left me wondering if ancient/ future (I was not quite sure) Elves, as signified by their large Spock-like ears: would really have American accents and say “Mom”.

So I stumbled, metaphorically upon Blackstone. Which is proving to be really rather good. Blackstone is set in A first Nation reserve. In Canada realise.

Not sure why but I was assuming the drama was set in America. I should have twigged. I mean they did mention Ottowa.

Unlike the series Skin Walker-The Navajo Mysteries: the name of the tribe is not mentioned. Unless the name is actually Blackstone. It might be.

So Blackstone is unusual in that the drama is shot as if someone was making a home movie all the while. The speech, and conversations are realistically loud and naturalistic.

The drama is very low key at first and understated. Yet it is, as a story, engrossing, engaging, interesting and ultimately and incrementally intense.

Once I stopped wavering as to whether to continue watching Blackstone, before I knew it, I was on episode four. Because I had to know what happened next.

Each episode leads seamlessly on from the other. As if there had only been an ad/ advertisement break in between.

****
To be continued.
Posted by Clarissima at 16:37

One Of Us-An English Crime Mystery drama. A One -off Review. Minor Spoilers Only. Was on BBC One in the UK.

BBC One Description of One Of Us:

“A horrific murder shocks two families living in isolated rural Scotland”
With Juliet Stevenson”

*
One Of Us
Review.
So I’m trying. To watch a BBC One drama. Because, well because I normally avoid them like the plague.

Plus I already wrote something to this effect and explained why. And then never posted it about BBC One. Because I felt i was prejudicial to lambast the whole artistic output of a channel.

So I’m trying, I’m really trying. But it’s all hugely unlikely . The characters, their long drawn out reactions, the huge heinous pauses. As always-the ridiculous symbolism.

See-the nasty lady shoots a bird. Then smiles. You just know that she is the one who is going to be getting the bad news. Then berate herself afterwards. And she does.

Very unlikely in that the hugely well spoken nurse who is attending to a patient’s catheter: doesn’t take off her gloves. When she is asked to pick op a jewellry box. By the patient. She only takes off one glove-ugh.

They are all really unlikely farmers too.

Farms have postcodes apparently. Plus there are instant A.P.B’s or alerts for homeless men.

So you can tell it’s going to be one of the Lord of The Flies sorta things.

Dunno how much more I can take of this really. It’s just so unconvincing. They are all just so unconvincing. I just don’t care.

You just know what’s gonna happen, ’cause it’s like the Counterry (country) isn’t it. And of course the family have got it all wrong..

Well I’m onto episode two now and I’ve/ I have come this far.

Although the watching of episode one really felt like a chore. A bit like pulling a plaster off, not quickly but slowly.

Yes, watching a BBC One drama takes a bucket load of patience. and kind of like my feeling after watching Beck: I always find myself wondering was it worth it. The whole damn thing took so really, very long.

Yes, One Of Us was a series so it would take longer you might say. I agree. Except that in this case this fairly short series felt like an eternity. But then I always feel like that watching BBC One dramas. Sorry. But there it is.

I did try telling myself, in an effort to urge myself on, rather than ditching, that if this series was a foreign language drama: a Scandi-noir for example-I might think it was cool.

Hey, maybe someone in Sweden or elsewhere would think it was cool. After all, One Of was set in the Scottish Highlands. Now that was surely cool.

Indeed when a Scandi-noir drama is a bit dull we can always happily (well I do) feast our eyes on the wonderful forest, or unusual scenery instead. As sort of visual filler.

But sadly, no. Apart from some interesting overflying shots, One Of Us might as well have been filmed in some wasteland off a motorway. The M25 for example. For all the forests we saw. Which was nowt.

Well apart from the ridiculous scene in the beginning. Where one of the characters twirls about unexpectedly in a thicket of trees, attempting to shoot a bird with a large rifle.

Now I’m no expert, but this seemed a rather daft undertaking and indeed site: for hunting. Especially the twirling around part.

But no matter. Since like especially the twirling around part, nothing in this drama makes sense nor is it meant to: because the lazy superficial tired in fact re-tread symbolism suffices instead.

Its not as if substance is sacrificed in favour of style. Because there is neither style nor substance. Just cliches abounding. Like miserable morose bunnies, bouncing erratically around.

The cliches. being so numerous that like my imaginary rabbits they are bumping into each other and knocking themselves out senseless. To fall in a crumpled ridiculous heap.

At the bottom of that field in the officially soggy Glen.

***
Postscript.

I’m sure it sounds terrible bit I was silently urging on a character at the end:
Oh, go on then. Just get it over with. Metaphorically speaking of course.

I think we all figured out the motive a while back really.

The drama just made us wait: sit it out so to speak, until the end. To find out exactly who done it. On purpose I reckon. Otherwise: I would have left.

I might have know it would be the BBC’s official baddie.

The pre-ending before the ending was severely cringeworthily cloying. And was not credible. In any sense.

The chilling victim hierarchy was laid scientifically bare.

The male Detective, being a man or just a plain old Englishman, was necessarily sort of snivelly and weasily.

Whilst the female Detective is sort of Saint Joan or Joan of Arc. On steroids. Or stilts. Now and then being alternatively-a. bit. upset.

Not because she is a woman, see? No-because she had Deep. Personal. Problems. See?
***
Posted by Clarissima at 15:53