Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Round Two: Dispatches from Elsewhere

Dispatches from Elsewhere: Season 1, Episode 2 “Simone” (B+)

I’m pleased that this second installment felt a whole lot like the first, embracing the same sense of wonder that so intrigued me at first. The casting of Richard E. Grant is particularly fantastic, and I like how he tells the audience to picture themselves as a particular character, which was Simone in this hour and will evidently be Janice in the next one. It’s interesting to see Sally Field in this project after she appeared in Netflix’s miniseries “Maniac” last year, which has a lot in common with this show. It feels so dated at times, especially in its portrayal of futuristic technology, and that works very well. I’m pretty blown away by actress Eve Lindley, who shares so much of who Simone is and how much she’s still working out her place in the world. Choosing to retreat back into the French music coming through her air pods rather than embrace the noise of the trans pride parade around her demonstrated how uncomfortable she was celebrating herself when, historically, she hasn’t felt loved by everyone. Feeling at home at the protest towards the end of the episode and speaking her truth into the megaphone to apologize to Peter was rejuvenating, and her mesmerized attitude which watching the animated explanation, which reminded me of Ari Folman’s “The Congress,” was infectious. Peter was the spotlight of the first hour, but we still got to see some of his perspective in this hour as he pedaled hard for the video to work and parted ways with Simone after he felt he had sufficiently excited himself for the day. I’m on board with this show for the foreseeable future, which is good considering I have a few episodes to catch up on already!

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