We arrived at the most festively terrifying month of the year. Halloween has already fully settled in our world and it has become customary to say goodbye to the month of October with children and adults dressed as witches, vampires, werewolves and other creatures. The most twisted monsters are now mainstream and that is why we have dedicated a chapter of our podcast in which, even a shithead like me, has recommended some terrifying series with which to wallow in the nightmare… but from the comfort of our sofa.
However, as established as the terror is in the fall, nothing can take the limelight from the great clash of the titans that we have been witnessing since the end of summer. We are talking about the coincidence on our screens of two of the most anticipated releases of the year and whose comparison, although hateful (like all of them) becomes inevitable: the house of the dragon (HBO) is measured at the rings of power (Amazon). Jason, ghost face and other trashy monsters, step aside because that’s where the dragons and the Balrog come. dracaryssuckers.
We start with HBO, which did not want surprises and for its biggest bet it chose the safest: a spin-off of Game of Thrones about one of the most charismatic houses in the universe Martin. With the Targaryens and his white hair as a flag, with his obsession with fire and, above all, with dragons, many dragons, we arrive at the first obligatory stop of the month. And, although it must be recognized that the house of the dragon is terribly entertaining, that has a fantastic cast, sparkling dialogues and a bomb-proof production, once we let what we have seen for ten chapters rest… first the doubts arise and then the seams pop.
The first thing that stands out is that, in the history of the universe of Game of Thrones, this time of the Targaryen reign could go quite unnoticed. As the series shows us, it is a time of dead calm in the seven kingdoms, which reduces the action to a series of palace intrigues that are more like a soap opera than high politics. Its impact on the vast folklore of the universe of Song of ice and fire It is also minimal. Among so many ramblings about bastard children and spoiled heirs, this first season ends in a real coitus interruptus That leaves the story halfway.
The two time jumps that occur in the series do nothing more than confirm the little meat that the story they intend to tell us has; and, although the inevitable changes of actor are well resolved, it is still striking that for some time passes more than for others. Special mention in this regard for Aemond Targaryens What happens from being the shortest among the children of the king Viserys to become, in one of these time jumps, a lanky monstrosity that is three heads taller than everyone. strange feeling
In the field of production, as if it were a sitcom, the locations can be counted on the fingers of one hand. This lightens production costs, but the savings have not been dedicated to the special effects of some dragons that, when they have to fly with a rider, sing a lot. In the end, the people wanted to Game of Thrones and the series has broken audience records, but although HBO has turned in a good product that knows how to take advantage of its virtues, the chain has not achieved a great season for the franchise nor, either, a product capable of sustaining itself outside of it.
In front we find the portentous the rings of power, new holder of the title of the most expensive series in history, paying the price of unicorn blood for the adaptation of a tiny part of the most hidden pages of the Tolkien universe. Amazon spares no expense and puts all its financial muscle at the disposal of the work, which shows an impressive technical finish. The cinema-quality music, the recreations of emblematic and dazzling places such as Númenor, Khazad-dûm or Eregion and the meticulous costumes are examples of the pharaonic task carried out to recreate the Second Age for television.
With a much slower pace than the house of the dragonthe feeling at the end of the series is just the opposite: once rested, what during the viewing seemed like a technical demonstration of what the universe imagined by Tolkien somewhat empty of content, it transforms into what could be the prologue of a great epic fantasy adventure.
that the heel of Achilles of the series, given that the hypervitaminized technical section is more solid than the mithril, can be found in the script, it is a fact. In any case, perhaps the critics have focused too much on it: it is true that the presentation of the characters makes us somewhat tedious and that the recreation of Middle-earth asks us for action; but also that there are several independent stories that introduce and build the relationship between the multiple protagonists (at least if you want to do it well) takes time. Even more so since we know that the initial idea, and what has been signed with Tolkien’s heirs, is to develop the history of this Second Age over five seasons.
The potential of the series is shown in the last three chapters, where things really start to happen. It is then that the mystery that marks the season from beginning to end is resolved: who is sauron? The ending fuels the hope that what is to come can mark a before and after in what can still be considered the quintessential fantasy franchise.
In the shadow of these two giants, the long-awaited second season of the pandemic revelation of the action series has come a little behind the scenes. Gangs of London (Sky Atlantic) maintains the dirty and unpleasant violence, but leaves behind the spectacular and careful action scenes that dazzled in its first season. The script once again does unlikely pirouettes to be able to count on the initial characters, but we don’t have to pay much attention to the plot either because we are here for the blows, the blood splatters and the point-blank shots.
Being a good action product, with a very strong personality, each frame reminds us that its first season did the same, but much better. It will serve to relieve the monkey of those who would like to know what happened to the family Wallace and the rest of the criminals that orbited around him, but whoever wants a good cane, revisit the first chapters again.
And to end this month marked by fantasy we go with a new touch of terror halloweenero recommending two series that, without being masterful, can give you the occasional scare. The first is from Mike Flannagan, who comes on time to his appointment with his main platform, Netflix. Leaving the vampires behind midnight massFlannagan returns to his comfort zone with a haunted mansion, this time turned into a hospice. the midnight club unites the dark history of the hospital itself, which had previously been the home of a mysterious sect, with the horror stories invented by young patients who tell their occurrences to their companions at night. Thus, many autobiographical brushstrokes, fears, desires and obsessions are incorporated; however, it is those same stories that weigh down and hinder the rhythm of the main plot and its former inhabitants, which is the one that works best. The rest are too childish and predictable stories that, although they serve to develop and learn more about the characters, eat up too much footage without offering much in return.
Another case is the center of the miniseries Vigilant (also from Netflix), which is based on a true story (which always adds an extra point of bad vibes). A family that moves to a dream house in a high-end neighborhood on the outskirts of the big city, begins to receive, as soon as they settle in, very disturbing letters. At the same time, strange things begin to happen in the house. The neighbors, quite sinister, do not help to improve the situation either.
Although it has very good performances, with actors of the stature of naomi watts, bobby cannavale either mia farrow and has an interesting premise, the series never seems to reach its full potential. The tense scenes are not really disturbing and the plot twists are not surprising, making it easy to go two or three steps ahead of events without making a mistake. Vigilant it remains in a well-made telefilm, which fulfills its objective of entertaining, but little else.
And so far the recommendations of the month that has concentrated the two most anticipated series of the year. In return, a couple of quieter months are coming to finish 2022 without too many shocks… or not. Because you can be sure that, whatever happens, I’ll be here in a month, at the foot of the canyon, to report on everything that is happening in the seriéphile universe. Go taking off the mask of your favorite serial killer and continue watching series.