Severance on Apple TV is really good. It is such a quirky, unique slow burn of a scifi show. It is, in a sense, hard science fiction. Yes, there are some goofy parts that don’t fit. Trying to hard for a gag. And it’s incredibly slow and hard to follow at first. But it’s really well done and a lot fun.
I’ve been watching Stranger Things season…4? Obviously, the first season was amazing. And I feel they kind of repeat a bit. Okay, let’s use all the D&D names and tropes and be sure they conveniently fit. As if Gary Gygax had been an alien from the Upside Down. I’ve posted before about child actors usually sucking. Nearly all the kid actors are really good in Stranger Things. So good, I don’t even recognize they’re good. If you recognize someone’s acting, they kind of failed as an actor, because you’re actually aware of them being a professional and that pulls you out of the story.
Stranger Things had a warning about school shootings and triggering. Or something. At the beginning. And I didn’t really dwell on it. But they had scenes of like, no kidding, 20 minutes where a girl is teased. Like a whole community (of teens) practically becomes of hive mind of teasing. And it just goes on and on and on. And then the teased girl loses her shit and brutally attacks one of the girls.
And I’m no shrinking violet, but all of that was uncalled for. Not only was the teasing insanely unbelievable, with all the characters becoming 2D “mean cool kids,” they were literally standing in circles abusing this girl. Yes, kids can be mean. But these are like war criminal mean kids. And why do we need to watch this, and flashbacks of this, for so long? And then that early warning made sense, because this was like school shooting level insanity. On all parts. And the reason they didn’t cut it was because for some damn reason, it was enormous amount of the show. Over and over.
And forget the school shooting aspect. It was just bad storytelling. It was bad acting and directing. I didn’t believe anything. Those kids aren’t found on earth. Even if they were. Even if the Kingdom of Angst-Kidia had those individuals, why would anyone want to watch them?
I hate Spielberg kids. Kids who are so insanely quirky they can’t possibly exist. They had the hacker girl here. Super hacker 14 year old in 1986. Capable of breaking into remote systems in 30 seconds. They have the motor mouth girl, “Oh, I’m talking too much am I talking too much I’m talking too much AND I’m a clutz.” That’s not a personality. And it’s fine, if the whole show is like that. But it’s not. It’s realism mixed with absolute absurdity. So if you want us to be scared and concerned, don’t mix in all these cartoon characters.
Everyone who died, who had made an emotional connection, is back and fine. Totally okay. So your huge season closer, which tried to create a sense of loss and have terrible stakes, is all undone. Because there’s just a big reset. And I’m not casting a show. I don’ t have to worry about actors and contracts and fan favorites. But don’t pull out the rug on your biggest story arcs.
The show is such a mix of great and terrible. I get the sense the writer/director brothers have so much clout, no one will tell them ideas are bad. But this could have used some trimming, culling, and a reality check.