Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pilot Review: Godless

Godless (Netflix)
Premiered November 22

It’s getting very difficult keep track of the shows Netflix is premiering these days, especially with launches on Wednesdays and Thursdays in addition to its usual Friday starting slate. I hadn’t heard anything about this show before watching it, which I find surprising because of the talent involved. Jack O’Connell has anchored films like “Unbroken” and “’71” and here gets to play a complicated character who seems a whole lot like a hero despite his villainous origins. Jeff Daniels gets the chance to ham it up as a merciless, newly one-armed bad guy, doing a formidable job in the process, with his “The Newsroom” costar Sam Waterston on the other side of the law, using his signature style of speaking to great effect. I’m impressed that Michelle Dockery has a leading role on this show while she’s also holding down the fort on “Good Behavior,” and this doesn’t seem like as strong a part. Scoot McNairy from “Frank” is the sheriff, and Merritt Wever, who won an Emmy on “The Walking Dead” and who I loved on “The Walking Dead,” also has a decent part as Mary. As for the plot of this episode, that needs a bit of work, since this show does shine when its music gets fast and its moments get more exciting. Yet its disturbing content is outdone by the extraordinary slowness of its storytelling. I’m mildly intrigued by what this show might have to offer, but this first hour and ten minutes felt truly endless.

How will it work as a series? This is a full-blown Western, and while it might make for a good movie, I don’t know how fitting it is for a TV show. One town has been destroyed and another is in the crosshairs and ready to be devastated in episode two. I’m concerned that this might be a stretch, content-wise, to fill each hourlong episode of this series, and I’m not sure where it would go from there.
How long will it last? Reviews appear to be mostly positive, which is good news for a show that I’m sure is expensive to make for a number of reasons. It’s being marketed as a limited series of just seven episodes, all of which premiered on Wednesday, so I assume that this is all we’ll see of this saga unless Netflix deems it worthy of a renewal.

Pilot grade: C+

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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