Hey! This is Bryce. I’m filling in for Ryan today. Partly because he is busy but mostly because of how impressed I am with Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.
This is a quick review of both available seasons. There will be no spoilers, and I have not read the book by Phillip K. Dick… Yet. However, I have heard that the show doesn’t really follow the book.
The first season starts out with a simple premise that has massive implications: Japan and Germany won WWII. The good old US of A has been split in half. Japan took the west coast and Germany took the east. The show starts about 15 – 20 years after the war ended, but these are not the 60s we know and love. The details of how the USA lost are murky, but every time they gave me a little bit of insight – my mind was blown.
This show does so many things right. First, they introduce a single grain of fantasy in an ocean of mystery and politics. At first I thought it would overwhelm the already interesting, chuck-full plot. However, it is so subtle in the first season that you still care more about the characters than you do the mystical aspects. In season two, the fantasy/sci-fi aspects get a little more prominent, but they are put to good use.
Next, there are literally no bad guys in this show. Even the remaining American “patriots” are not clear cut good guys. Most of the characters are fighting each other, but each character has their motivations. I enjoyed it, but at times I would find myself cheering for a complete ass. It isn’t every day that I find myself rooting for a guy with a swastika on his arm.
However, there were times in the show when I felt they followed minor plot lines a little too closely. At the time I didn’t know how they would come to a close. It made for a boring episode or two. It all paid off at the end, but a little transparency would have gone a long way.
All in all I think it is a great series. I highly recommend it. I will keep this short, but I could go on and on about the things that are awesome in The Man in the High Castle.