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2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
Critic Alexei Khromov shares how Apple TV + is trying to turn low-quality fiction into a massive saga.
On November 1, Apple launched a new streaming service. The platform offers the viewer several high-budget projects at once. Among them is the post-apocalyptic TV series See.
According to rumors, about $ 15 million was invested in each episode. The project has already been extended for a second season, the production is in charge of the creator of Peaky Blinders, Stephen Knight, and the leading actor Jason Momoa claims 'Game of Thrones' Star Jason Momoa Says His New Series Is Better Than 'GoT' that the series is comparable in epicity with Game of Thrones.
But after watching the first three episodes, there is a strange feeling that a project from The CW or SyFy has sneaked into the new service - there are just as many inconsistencies, unnecessary melodrama and pathos in the plot. Is that filmed much more expensive. But such a story does not hold in just one picture.
A clipped and full of holes plot
The action takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Fewer than two million people remain on earth after the outbreak of the deadly virus. In this case, all the survivors were blinded. After generations, sight is already considered a myth and heresy. Humanity has degraded to the level of the Middle Ages, except that the higher castes use the remnants of old technologies.
And now in the family of the leader of a small Alkenni tribe named Baba Voss (Jason Momoa), sighted twins are born. Thanks to the legacy left by their real father, they can explore the lost sciences and build a new world. However, the children are hunted down by the witch hunters who serve the queen. And so they have to hide their gift.
Such a plot, of course, resembles many TV series of similar genres. There were "Chronicles of Shannara", and "Revolution", and many other stories where humanity after a global catastrophe fell into decay and lived in the order of the past. But the authors of "See" wisely decided to add a feature to their project, namely loss of vision.
This allows you to come up with more unusual visuals: people now rely on other senses, differently they move around unfamiliar places, they perceive life itself differently. But such an idea immediately breaks down on a huge number of problems.
It is striking that the heroes still live as if they are guided by sight. They all have nice hairstyles and neat beards, they wear jewelry and sometimes interesting outfits. Even their dwellings are decorated in such a way that it is more convenient for the sighted.
And so the main attribute of the story begins to fall apart from the very first episode. Although most actors try to play believable, there is no feeling of global changes in life.
The second important part, in connection with which they tried to announce this project as a new "Game of Thrones", does not work either - scale. The authors, of course, try to add intrigue to the plot, but too often they go into simple melodrama.
There is a certain Queen Kane (she is beautifully played by Sylvia Hooks), who has a very strange relationship with the father of sighted children. She seems to be fighting for power, and intrigues are woven around her. There are cruel witch hunters looking for Baba Voss's family. There are, after all, the twins themselves, who already grow up in three episodes.
But all these topics are captured too superficially, casually explaining global events. Only the line of the main characters is important, and this is what distinguishes “Seeing” from the “Game of Thrones” that conquered all: several main directions were immediately set there, and then they were gradually brought together.
Here, in three episodes, the queen literally leaves her home a couple of times, and the rest of the time she just talks and prays in a very strange and obscene way. Meanwhile, the plot covers as much as 17 years.
Therefore, at the moment, everyone, except for Baba Voss and his adopted children, looks like exclusively background characters. And this is not enough for a large-scale saga for several seasons.
Beautiful but monotonous presentation
The main positive difference between "See" and its cheap counterparts is better quality filming. First of all, this concerns nature: frames with forests, waterfalls and endless meadows look mesmerizing.
And to this they add another interesting detail, reminding that the action takes place in the future. Remnants of an old civilization can be seen everywhere: rusty car bodies, tires, plastic bottles in water and other debris from our days.
In the storyline with the queen, a turntable and the remnants of old equipment will even flicker. And in this regard, the decline of society is conveyed well.
But when it comes to the plot part, the monotony of plans starts to tire. Too many scenes are filmed in the same locations. And most of the action is just talking about the same topics. That is, for now, "See", despite the level of filming, seems to be just an ordinary series, and not a cinematic project.
There are only a couple of scenes of action, and most of these are Jason Momoa's solo outings. That's just his fans will surely rejoice. Many heroes take part in the first battle, and in general it is staged quite wittily (just taking into account the lack of sight). But beyond the battle - it's just an opportunity for Momoa to scream, growl, flex his muscles and shed streams of blood.
There is enough cruelty and frankness in the series. But sometimes it looks too deliberate. As if the creators cling to the "adulthood" of the project, expressing it not with complex themes, but with similar scenes. The presentation remains quite toothless and unnatural: beautiful poses when killing enemies reduce the degree of gloom, turning the battle into a kind of dance.
The series is let down, first of all, by the high cost and pathos voiced. If this project came out on SyFy with lesser-known actors and even simple special effects, it could be treated more leniently.
But the loudly served epic saga turned out to be the simplest fantasy, completely not creating a sense of the reality of what was happening.
Perhaps the project should be given a chance. If the first season is built as a coherent story, then the climax is yet to come. But so far the three episodes, which should attract the audience, look mediocre and very predictable.