Netflix has released a new series called Hemlock Grove (available–of course–only through Netflix) and I finished all thirteen episodes in two days. And, frankly, it wouldn’t have taken me that long had it not been for my kids running in and out all day yesterday to enjoy the weather lol.
I have to hand it to Netflix, as this is their first original series–they did a damn good job. The cast is wonderful. Famke Janssen (Olivia) is awesome, as is Dougray Scott (as always), but there are actors in this series I’ve never even seen before. In the interest of NOT giving away too many spoilers, I’m going to tell you my two favorite characters and then elaborate a little about them so that you can sort of get a feel for why I adored this series.
Landon Liboiron plays a gypsy werewolf named Peter (with Lili Taylor as his mother). However, the werewolf transformations are unlike any I’ve seen ever before (unless I just don’t remember). The wolf literally comes right out of the man/woman’s skin. Skin and tissue–and eyeballs!) just fall to the ground as the transformation takes place and, afterward, the wolf will eat his own skin. GROSS! Peter, however, is probably one of my two favorite characters. Maybe even the favorite. Peter is very likable, he is nice to other people unless they’re not nice to him, and he’s good to his mother. Peter is also very resourceful, which I imagine comes from being a gypsy/werewolf and living here and there and in trailer parks for the duration of his life with nowhere in particular to lay down any real roots.
And then there’s Roman…Played by Bill Skarsgard. Skarsgard is the perfect choice for Roman Godfrey. Roman was born into luxury and has had everything in the world brought to his fingertips. He was born, as they say, with a silver spoon. His mother is a little controlling (okay…A LOT controlling), but he doesn’t have friends until he meets Peter. Roman is a loner, very dark and gloomy, very brooding–perfect vampire. He does seem to have a very healthy sexual appetite and, at times, this appetite was a bit daunting and repetitive and had me wondering why on earth they kept throwing in all these sex scenes. Some of them were completely unnecessary. Roman’s character does show the most growth of any of the characters in the show, from start to finish, though, and that’s one reason why he’s a favorite. You see him go from gloomy gus kid in high school, to 18 year old owner of a mega-company, as he inherits everything.
Oh, and there’s the whole vampire thing–no sparkling whatsoever. A+ for Hemlock Grove for the lack of fairy dust. Even though there are no sparklers or hopping through the trees on piggy back, the writers obviously took vampires into a different direction, something I’ve never really seen before and I won’t explain how. I’ll just say it’s awesome and I love it.
Themes explored in the series are great, too. Friendship, loyalty, abandonment, entitlement, jealousy, teen pregnancy, immaculate conception (or the question of its existence), grave re-opening, mental illness, medical experiments, ooooh, the list goes on! Peter (gypsy/werewolf) has a fortune teller/prostitute cousin named Destiny who is an absolute hoot. Also, the gore is pretty extreme in some cases. Dead bodies…ooooh, the dead bodies! I absolutely adore the soundtrack for the show and fully intend to explore it further on Youtube or somewhere. I would advise you to not eat or at least eat slowly while you watch (if you’re squeamish) because there are scenes in there that turned my iron stomach in knots.
I give this series a full two thumbs up. Maybe even some toes up.