Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hemlock Crescent, I mean Grove

Many years ago I lived on a street called Hemlock Crescent. In response to the return address on my envelope a friend responded, in a written reply--sent through the post with a stamp and everything!--that only I would end up living on such an appropriately named street (given my interest in dark and witch-ee things, etc). I spent a year in that gas filled apartment and was lucky the only thing to blow up was my then relationship.

But that's partly why I was interested in watching the premiere of the new Netflix series, Hemlock Grove. No, not for relationship drama but because as my letter writing friend noted, any place that includes Hemlock in its name has got to have some witch-ee connotations. However, after watching this first episode I was left with a burning question...what /where is Hemlock Grove? Is it the woodsy ravine with the gypsy caravans (ok, not real gypsy caravans but the American equivalent, trailers)? Is it the large estate where the bwitch and her strange offspring reside? Or is it the name of the community? Oh, right. I remember now. There was a big banner over a street scene so it IS the name of the community. And the highschool, right?

And therein lies one of the problems with this promising new series. Its first episode, at least, is a tad bit disjointed and slow so my attention wandered. Despite that I admit to being intrigued. What will keep me watching? The inclusion of Lili Taylor in the cast for one, to see where they take the references to Gypsy / Roma culture, the small nods to Twin Peaks (the PA announcement made to an empty school hallway), and finding out what the back story is to the strange Quasimodo / Frankenstein like Godfrey daughter and why and how does she glow!?

Read more in the National Post - Of Monsters and Young Men.

Trivia Note: Check out the resemblance of 1970s actor Michael Sarrazin to Bill Skarsgard.