Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Bodies (Netflix)

Dark for dummies. An almost identical structure: several timelines in the past, one in the present and one in a future, following an apocalypse caused by a single 'loopy' character who's his own ancestor.

Entertaining and mostly gripping, but all the metaphysical meat has been made vegan-friendly.

Which is kind of interesting, because when Netflix cancelled season two of 1899 they cited the dissatisfaction of their algorithms with viewers who either gave up after two or three episodes or possibly jumped off a bridge.

There was no doubt Baran bo Odar had found a market, but this might not be fully tapped until all that angsty German existential stuff was toned down.

Dark had started as advertised, and became a whole lot darker over three seasons. 1899 also promised to disappear up its own rear end in a way that the core audience could no doubt not wait for, but then came the chop, and now we have Bodies.

When it started I almost gave up, for different reasons. It seemed almost ludicrously stylised, but then I learned it was based on a graphic novel and became a bit more tolerant of the aesthetic. (Even Yorkshire posing as London).

In the end it failed to be more than the sum of its parts. The best of those parts for me were Jacob Fortune-Lloyd's turn as a dodgy Jewish detective in Blitz-era London and another chance to ponder, in a slightly unsettling manner, that crush I had on Greta Scacchi as a teen.

Without wishing to spoil the resolution, I'd have to say I was a little disappointed how the story's resident scientist said that there is no such thing as free will and everything is fixed, and then it kind of wasn't.
That potent adjective, 'quantum', always establishes a sort of televisual uncertainty principle, whereby one feels that, simultaneously, one's grey matter is being stimulated and that the proverbial piss is being taken.

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