in Television

Thoughts On Netflix’s Original New Series “Hemlock Grove”

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Apparently, I’m a tad bit slow on the uptake again, since most of the info about Hemlock Grove came out months ago, and I only just saw the trailer on Netflix two days ago. Oh well, it (sort of) worked in my favor, because the show is due for release on the 19th of April, and I’m already so antsy for it I don’t think I could have waited much longer than a month.

Hemlock Grove is the second in Netflix’s attempts at original programming. Its first, House of Cards, was received very well by critics and viewers alike – but where House of Cards was an adult political drama set in Washington DC, Hemlock Grove‘s two main characters are high school-aged. The show is set in a small town, and there is a heavy emphasis on various supernatural creatures. It’s also based on Brian McGreevy’s book of the same name.

What I gathered from the trailers – there are six different ones, by the way, which might be a teensy bit excessive but I don’t mind because rewatching them all is gonna tide me over until I get ahold of the actual episodes – is that the drama and action in Hemlock Grove starts when the body of a young woman is found brutally mauled near the steel mill of a small town.

Two of the prime suspects for her murder somehow wind up being two seventeen year old boys: Peter (Landon Liboiron from short-lived Terra Nova), a Gypsy rumored to be a werewolf (How did this rumor even start? Rumors at my high school used to be about who slept with who, not who may or may not be a mythical bloodthirsty monster. But that’s just me, I guess) and rich boy Roman (Bill Skarsgard), heir to the aforementioned steel mill.

Despite their vastly different backgrounds and – I’m assuming – clashing personalities, the two boys team up to investigate who the real murderer is. Side characters include Roman’s mother, Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen), the guy who’s sleeping with her (Dougray Scott), Roman’s cousin and Peter’s love interest Letha Godfrey (Penelope Mitchell), some random chick who’s always carrying around a bunch of books (Freya Tingley), and a doctor guy who tells the cops they can “with certainty rule out a suspect on two legs” (Joel de la Fuente). Spoiler alert (that actually isn’t at all a spoiler alert): he is most likely very very wrong about that.

The show promises lots of drama, suspense, and horror, along with the obligatory monsters – werewolves and vampires are a given, though I’m unsure of what else is going to be involved.

So, what was it about the trailer that caught my eye enough for me to start a mental countdown to April 19, you ask?

Beats me. No, seriously, I have no idea why I’m so excited for this show, because based on the trailer the acting looked pretty weak, the ‘small town girl gets murdered’ premise is way overdone, and the whole thing reeks of cheesiness. But I want it. I want it oh so badly.

Maybe it’s because Eli Roth is credited as an executive producer, and I’m an instant sucker for anything Eli Roth-related. Maybe it’s because there’s an excessively-gory-horror-themed-TV-show shaped hole in my heart lately and I’m praying this thing will fill it. Maybe because the songs used in all the trailers were really pretty and I have this bad habit of liking trailers that have a good song in it, regardless of whether or not they deserve to be liked. I dunno. My reasons for needing this show shoved into my eyeballs are probably an amalgamation of all of the above.

Perhaps Hemlock Grove will defy my expectations and be legitimately good; if not, I hope that it fully embraces its potential for cheesiness and is just a fun, campy horror show with tons and tons of gore. What I’m not hoping for is melodramatic teenage angst-fest involving love triangles or rich boy problems – unless that angst is directly related to the gory deaths of random townspeople, in which case, they can go right ahead with those character plots.

All thirteen episodes of Hemlock Grove are going to be released in one go on April 19 on Netflix. I, for one, will be tuning in to marathon them all.

You can watch one of the trailers for Hemlock Grove below: