A quick review of Netflix Original TV Shows

I’m going to do a quick review of some of the Netflix Original TV shows. I give a rating at the end and then I’ll eventually do a much larger more in-depth review for a couple of them.

House of Cards
house of cards

This is an extremely well made show, with impeccable acting and direction. The show has a taut political thriller storyline and crafts a very dark and intense atmosphere.

Kevin Spacey is fantastic as the lead and the show has a number of high profile directors for certain episodes including people like David Fincher and Joel Schumacher. I definitely recommend this show. This is the highest profile and most recognized show on Netflix.

My rating 7/10

Hemlock Grove

hemlock grove

This is the big miss of Netflix programming. I’ve only watched 1 episode of Hemlock Grove and I have no intention of ever coming back to it. That means that the show has failed. The job of a show is to grab the audience and make them care about what happens, and Hemlock Grove failed on that front.

The show feels a bit like a misguided attempt to take from Twin Peaks, with some supernatural, almost Twilight esque elements. The direction and presentation were bad and the cast is horrible. I really cannot stand Famke Janssen. Perhaps the show gets better farther down the line, but if the show fails to hook an audience with it’s big reveal, it has not accomplished what it set out to do. I do not recommend it.

My Rating 3/10

Lilyhammer

lilyhammer

This was the first Netflix show to get a second season. I have seen both seasons and I have to say that I’m a fan of it. It’s not as well known as the other Netflix shows, but it is very good. I

will say that the two season differ greatly in terms of pacing and tone, but I’ll talk more about that in my full review. The style of the show is a great mix of picturesque slow mystery, and Italian gangster flicks.

Lilyhammer is about a mobster who gets relocated to Norway and basically starts up his own crime family in the town of Lilyhammer. Steven Van Zandt is fantastic as the lead and all the supporting characters are great. The show manages to tell intriguing stories and be very funny at the same time. It takes a little while for the show to really find it’s footing, but once it’s gets into it’s groove, it is a very entertaining show. I highly recommend it.

I believe that House of Cards is a stronger show technically, but I honestly had a better time with Lilyhammer. It might be less glossy, but it sure is a good time.

My Rating 6/10

Orange is the New Black

orange is the new black

I did not expect much going into this show. I knew it was by the creator of weeds, Jenji Kohan, but that didn’t really push my expectations one way or the other. I was skeptical to be sure. Weeds started out as a great show, but really fell apart by the end.

I went into this show with very low expectations, and was very impressed. I really got hooked and I watched the whole show in just a couple of days. I’m really not a fan of Jason Biggs, but I’ll admit that he was okay on this show. I was happy to see Laura Prepon on a show again after That 70’s Show. The entire supporting cast is fantastic.

There are a lot of characters on this show. There are so many that it seems like they would be shallow and boring, but this is handled fantastically by giving almost all of the prisoners their own flashbacks which tell their stories and why they are in prison. These flashbacks are surprisingly well handled and the stories are all unique and intensely intriguing. The stories are spread out through the episodes and after viewing one on a specific character you can really connect to that character more.

This show is a great comedy, but it also manages to be a compelling drama at the same time. A balance that Weeds had a hard time nailing, but Orange is the New Black hits right on the head. The longer episode times also help the pacing. I liked Orange is the New Black a whole lot more than I expected to.

The promos really did not do this show justice at all. It really impressed me and I definitely think it’s better than even the best season of Weeds, I just hope it maintains that quality throughout the show’s lifespan. I definitely recommend it.

My rating 8/10

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