Thursday, June 16, 2016

Round Two: Cleverman

Cleverman: Season 1, Episode 2 “Containment” (B)

Like another new cable show, “Feed the Beast,” I’m still making up my mind about whether or not I’m going to become invested in watching this new summer series. In its second episode, this show proves that it is unapologetically brutal and disturbing, not content to portray any of its characters in a way that doesn’t demonstrate their capacity for evil. Pairing public debates on national television between voices of government and the representatives of the Hairypeople with forced shavings of prisoners being called “rug” and “monkey” is extremely difficult to watch, and the modern setting only adds to its unsettling nature since it feels like it could be happening in the present day. It’s the way people treat each other that’s more upsetting than the vicious mystery murders. The execution of all but the female volunteer was also shocking, and shows that this zoning goes far beyond segregation. Having one character compare her experience being persecuted as a Jew to what the Hairypeople are going through was intriguing and caught me off guard. The notion of the Cleverman adds a considerable supernatural element to all the political allegory, and I think it’s working okay even though it’s not my favorite part of the show. The cool dramatic music towards the end as Koen rushed towards the woman who was calling out for him worked well, and the revelation that it was a dead body and not a live victim only made it more interesting. I’m up for a third round – let’s see how it goes.

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