07 October 2018

TV SHOWS/MINDHUNTER


I thought I would do a few posts on some TV shows I have watched, or tried to watch, either recently or in the past year or two. Now I must make a couple things clear. I live in China and so none of these play on either Chinese TV or Chinese streaming services. I have to download them and I tend to binge on an entire season at a time or in some cases (like the current Better Call Saul episodes) I download online as they come out and watch them week to week. I also tend to not even know what is playing or what new shows are coming out. I do not scour the web that often looking for movies or TV shows. I find out about things from other people's blogs or from some place like IMDb. And I probably will not get into who the actors are since I usually do not care about the names of most TV actors. In some cases I do, but usually I don't care. They become something like "the guy who played the skinny genius on Criminal Minds".

So, with that as a background let me get to the first show here. It is Mindhunter from Netflix and I will assume that this show needs little introduction as it is considered super popular. Its what everybody at the water cooler is talking about these days. It is rated really high on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb. But guess what? I didn't like it. I got sucked into It because David Fincher's name was attached to it so I figured it couldn't be too bad. To have the name of a renowned director like that involved in the project surely guaranteed success. Then I remembered goddamned Twin Peaks.

Mindhunter's general premise is the development of the FBI's serial killer profiler section back in the 70's. The storyline here is fictional but it is a compelling premise nonetheless. I have read loads of serial killer books in my life (comes from spending ten years in the Pacific Northwest) and so the names of the killers were familiar as were many of the terms. Of course for some reason the development of the department is met with detective show cliché resistance from superiors and in true form of newer crime shows at least one of the team will be a sexy, powerful and sophisticated female. All of this is okay. If these were obstacles I could not watch anything. The first two episodes directed by Fincher were nice looking (and I understand he directed the last two episodes of season one as well, but I did not make it that far) but one could really tell when he was not helming the camera and direction. The other directors were okay but they were not David Fincher. But even with that the first two episodes were really slow. Like, really fucking slow. And therein, along with a couple other issues, lies the paramount problem for me. The mood of every episode was just… well… boring. I kept waiting for things to get developed and move along. Even the interviews with infamous serial killers were dull and contrived.  The FBI interviewers employed all the routines, from good cop bad cop to  sympathizing with and even buddying up to the killers. But it was dull to me. Unless shifty eye glances is exciting. Okay, one sick ass guy whacked off on a high heel shoe. That was riveting I guess. I was looking forward to it all but I gave up on the series at about episode six or seven I think.


If you stare long and hard into the abyss 
you know what stares back? High ratings!

The series also had a social justice laden agenda against white men and I sensed a theme being espoused was that all men (especially white, straight  ones) were innately misogynistic an dangerous animals. The series seem to moving in a direction showing the similarities between the two male FBI agents and the killers they were interviewing. Like when the FBI guy looks in the mirror, maybe he sees a rapist killer looking back! Holy shit! It is so thought provoking. I also took issues with other obvious social justice messages that were progressively anti-American. For example the remark about (referring to Richard Nixon directly but methinks Donald Trump by way of "clever" innuendo) how could a person be the President of the USA and not be a sociopath. What? The? Fuck? And I also did not get into odd remarks about serial killers being the sick by products of a sick society. How can you not have serial killers in a decadent culture like America that spawns such confusing issues as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War and (of course) Watergate. The young white FBI agents in training are painted as misogynistic, homophobic racists. Give me a break.I felt I was being clubbed over the head every episode with one message after the other.

I wanted to see serial killer drama and suspense, not another liberal Hollywood critique on evil white guys and conservative politics. And hell, I could have accepted that even. But the long drawn out scenes of people moping and brooding and being sour like a pack of European existentialists was just to much. You know, they staring into the abyss and it is staring back. The scenes are all washed and dark out and the score is always bleak. Okay, I get it, I get it. Serial killers and rotting America and the fermenting evil in the hearts of men and so we need all this artsy dark photography and actionless acting. Yea, I get it. Maybe for a two hour one shot movie it may have worked, but not for a TV series. Not for me anyway. I seem to be in the aesthetically enlightened minority here and the other people who did not dig it seem to have the same gripes. Pretentious liberal messages. Anti-American (at least anti conservative America, as liberal pot head hippies are all portrayed in a more favorable light), anti-white male and simply BORING.  Seemed like my cup of tea at first but I had enough pretty early on.


Well, from this scene can you guess who wears the pants on this team. 



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