Netflix Series: Hemlock Grove

Netflix debuted a few years ago, the sci-fi show “Hemlock Grove” and just recently released the third and final season. It’s an odd mix of traditional science fiction themes (vampires, werewolves, etc.) and updated versions of classical science fiction (biological and medicinal research). The main characters are the Godfreys: Olivia (mom), Shelley (daughter), Litha (cousin), Norman (uncle), and Roman (son). They are an extremely wealthy family who owns and operates a variety of industries in Hemlock Grove and whose headquarters is the “White Tower” (ominous, no?). The other main characters are the Rumanceks: Destiny and Peter. Rumancek’s are gypsies and do not nearly have the wealth that the Godfrey’s have. The catch: Godfreys are vampiers and Rumancek’s are werewolves. Obviously two clans that do not mix.

The seasons have a central theme that brings the Rumanceks and Godfreys together, but each season has a mutual evil that both families need to bind together to overcome. The first season is an evil werewolf that keeps attacking women. The second season are these odd, masked, religious zealots who murder people, making it look like an accident. The third season involves an even weirder plot-line of this winged creature who steals Litha’s baby and makes a weird third race to begin the apocalypse.

While the seasons make sense in the central themes, each episode was quite hard to follow. Moreover, some of the subplots were just really odd and superfluous. They neither meshed with the central issues of all of the characters nor were they helpful in understanding why the characters were the way they were. An example of this was the girl(s) that Roman befriends. He likes them, but then casts them aside, then returns to them and uses them. It was just weird!

Probably my favorite character was Olivia played by Famke Janssen. The whole first season, she only wore white. Every outfit was pure white. Gorgeous! Then, she begins to wear colors, solids that progress to prints. Reflecting back on the seasons, I think the white that Olivia wore in the first season were all affiliated with Olivia’s angelic impression on people. In the end, however, Olivia was the most demonic of all the characters. She is psychotic, selfish, and will do anything to protect herself (killing her own children, even). But, Janssen presents Olivia in an amazing manner. She’s elegant, poised, and brilliant.  She’s a character you love to hate.

Overall, I enjoyed the series, even though it did have a few issues. The plot-lines were mostly unbelievable, but when you have a plot in which all the characters are vampires or werewolves, I think you won’t believe any of it. Fairly unbelievable, but why else will you watch something like this? IF you have the time and enjoy science fiction, go for it. Otherwise, don’t bother. You’re not missing much.

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