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  • The Man in the High Castle started with a bang but is now only the hole left from the bullet....

    I started watching this back in 2015 when the first season arrived but since then i hadn't got the time to watch the other seasons, so this year this time, i decided to rewatch from starting till the end i.e., 3rd season.

    It started with a promising and intriguing premise but as 3rd season ends, it shows very bleak chances of me returning back to other upcoming season.

    1ST SEASON - Aimed highly as plot - 8/10 2ND SEASON - Aimed as story and character development 7/10 3RD SEASON - Just dragging things up and adding nonsensical things like nudes, kissing scenes, same sex relationships and plot lines that don't make any sense. 3/10

    My advise would be just watch season 1 and leave it there before you rate high and then go downwards after going for other seasons.

    Amazon and other producers involved need to understand the core aspect of the book and the what the story was actually about instead making us pay for this TV series through money and time by calling it the best whereas for my side, it is now becoming what i felt like years ago for wayward pines and LOST. BAD.

    Also, IMDB, should make each season rate-able differently so that if one season is good and others are bad both don't end up in same realm.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This show was very interesting right out of the gate in the first season. It continued this through the second season -- despite feeling a bit slow and weighty in terms of plot direction.

    I would give the first two seasons a 7.5 out of 10.

    The third season is something of an enigma. The underlying plot outline is very interesting. The qualify of visual effects and filming is very good. Yet, some of the acting and subplots are a bit annoying.

    I would give the third season a 3 out of 10.

    The third season picks up shortly after the end of the second. A major subplot involves how American Nazi John Smith's son turns himself in because of his genetic defect. This makes him a Nazi hero -- someone who places the party ideology over self and even family.

    This happens just as John Smith is enjoying the repercussions of his acts at the end of Season 2. Meanwhile, Mrs. Smith is trying to come to grip with her deep sorrow of having her son do something that, deep inside, she probably feels was unnecessary.

    The West Coast subplot involves Juliana's discovery of her "sister" -- alive and well -- at the very end of Season 2. The West Coast seems to drag on the longest as it seems like a slow-burn rehash of the first season but without the suspense.

    The other characters -- new and old -- suffer from meandering in subplot purgatory. So, some characters are stuffed with tired and somewhat ridiculous cliches. For instance, the third season offers two different over-the-top gay subplots that just feel...forced.

    Other characters are introduced simply to be killed off within a few episodes. Some subplots are so over-the-top that they seem straight out of an old soap opera.

    I feel a bit let down by Season 3. Whereas there are some fantastic story elements in this third season, the unnecessary elements and drawn-out subplots seem to muddy the overall feel of the third season.

    The science fiction aspect is probably the best part of the third season -- but it isn't fully amalgamated into the series as cleanly as it should be. It is perplexing when people see the inter-dimensional "traveler" subplot only to quickly (and mostly) go on with life as usual.

    There was a lot of missed opportunity in the third season. The acting isn't really the problem. It is the writing that makes this feel a bit long and drawn out with little (or no) payoff.

    Rufus Sewell is fantastic as John Smith. Joel De La Fuente is very good in his role as the leader of the Japanese Kempeitai in San Francisco. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is also very good as the Japanese Trade Minister who comes to know the interdimensional "travel" himself. Brennan Brown (as antique dealer Robert Childan) is a standout in every scene.

    In the end, however, I am not left cheering for anyone on the show. None of the characters have caused me to feel any sympathy for them (which was a novel part of the first season and, to a lesser extent, the second season). I suppose that the only guy that you come to really sympathize with is poor antique dealer Robert Childan (played by Brennan Brown).

    The show certainly sets up a fourth season. I just hope that they learn from their mistakes in writing from this third season. Otherwise, I just don't know who will want to keep watching.
  • The first two seasons were good. Suspenseful, but of course, dystopian. Season 3 so far is not good at all, just mostly a steaming pile. Still dystopian, as expected, but throwing a lot of other junk in there that really doesn't "belong" and only serves to make it as stupid as much of the rest of television these days. I'm being intentionally vague because I don't want to have spoilers in here. If they don't get back in stride, then I'll not be watching any more of this junk.

    Update: The 3rd season finally picked up some steam. It's still not as good as seasons 1 and 2, but at least it's watchable after you get past the first few episodes of season 3. I hope it will continue to get better, and that season 4 will be more like seasons 1 and 2. It really shouldn't take 3 - 5 episodes of a 10-episode season to get to the good stuff, writers!
  • As a longtime fan of Philip K. Dick's novel, I was definitely interested when I read that Amazon had ordered a pilot. Now that I've seen it, I have to say it exceeded my expectations. The acting is good and the production values are excellent, as the crew did a superb job of bringing to life an alternate 1962 America. But perhaps Frank Spotnitz's greatest success is in his management of the source material, as his script remains pretty faithful to PKD's novel within the parameters of a 1-hour pilot. I would love to see Amazon make this a series, not only to see how Spotnitz and his team adapt the rest of the novel, but also to see where they might take it in seasons to come.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Season 3? Not so much. I have watched the first 4 episodes and it feels like the story now is going nowhere. Somehow a few people have figured out that there are "dimensional travelers" but don't seem very surprised about it. Smith's wife has turned into an inebriated mess due to the Reich-imposed death of her son - and the show just keeps revisiting that melodrama every episode now. Two of the main characters have now inexplicably turned gay & lesbian (one of each), likely just on the hope of attracting the LGBTQ crowd as fans. Basically, compared to the first 2 seasons, this is a DUD. Note to producers & writers: if you wanted more viewers, you should have put more effort into better writing for season 3. Not sure how much more of this I can endure....
  • dibeyendu1 November 2016
    I wish I could just say this series is boring. It definitely is boring, but it's more than that. The Man in the High Castle is an extremely irritating series that had me fast forwarding the last few episodes, after it became evident that the story wasn't going to go anywhere and I was wasting my time watching it when there are so many better serials to watch. Some of the most irritating parts: The lingering close ups of Japanese trade minister Tagomi's face as he contemplates a necklace, flowers, sticks, paintings. The total ineptness of the two villains, Kotomichi from the Japanese side and John Smith from the German side. Who wipes out a man's family by mistake and then frees him with an apology? The clueless Juliana Craine, our heroine. She muddles through the story saying sorry to everyone for the trouble she's causing them. Her boyfriend is no better. They get their friends and relatives killed all through the film and you wish someone would kill them instead. Am I ranting? Well, it's probably because I'm extremely irritated.
  • I'm a big PKD as well as Ridley Scott fan so I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it on my Prime home page... and the pilot has vastly exceeded my expectations! It is visually impeccable, great cinematography and CG and art direction, script is pretty close to the original book, excellent pacing, very good acting... characters at this point are not too deep but this is a one-hour pilot, it supposed to tease us, not reveal everything, let alone (correctly) focusing on story development right now, not character development (which inherently requires a few episodes.) Excellent job, this MUST be continued, Amazon! =)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The pilot episode is solid, and the production values are very high. And although this might be enough to hook some people, the first three episodes are riddled with moments of terrible writing, acting or both, that grow more frequent along the way, culminating in episode 3's The Marshall character, which is laughably atrocious melodrama and seems to come from another show entirely. It's as if a generation of superhero movies (good and bad) have primed the audience/filmmakers to a point where a show with this high of a budget would dare try a character this ridiculous, and in a show that wasn't supposed to be 'camp'.

    The occasional bad shot or edit is also present in each episode, as when Julianna throws the man off of the bridge, with terrible, unbelievable action and shots; or a few edits that jump or don't match, for no particular reason.

    Altogether, this show is in a dangerous area where it starts well enough to hook you (especially if you like the alternative history/sci fi premise) but falls apart very quickly.
  • The pilot episode was exceptional. It held my attention and made me believe in such an alternate history.

    I have read the book, and although it is different, it is an incredible adaptation. If the book was turned into a show without any edits, it would be far too complicated and very hard to enjoy (although the book is incredible).

    The acting, story, and visuals are spot on and only intensified what I had imagined when I read the book. When I first read the book, I had hoped for a movie to be made from it, but a show will be a much better pace for such an though-provoking and intelligent story.

    I want more episodes!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was really interested in the subjects, Germans winning the war and how the world would develop. But besides the "they nuked washington", "we burn our cripples on tuesday" and the son of the obersturmführer in for euthanasia, the rest was just terrible. The characters made only stupid moves, like why not kill the marshal when they had a chance, why didn't the marshal kill the nazi agent? THen the chances. The boring girl meets the nazi agent in the 10 story nazi headquarter, where she can walk around freely.. tons and tons of stupidiy. Whats even frustrating: they start to develop characters, but then they are gone. So many loose ends.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Man in the High Castle has a plot that seems very promising on paper, but fails to deliver. The first episode occurs across several cities in North America which, despite the extreme improbability, all happen to be cloudy and rainy. The scenes and conversations are terse and lack any detail whatsoever. Character development is bland at best, even for a single episode.

    **** WARNING SPOILERS BELOW ****

    Overall drab, and shallow. The last scene shows Joe Blake is a Nazi spy, which didn't shock me. Not because it wasn't surprising, but because I didn't really care about the character at all. There wasn't any part of the story that made me want to see him succeed or fail. The same goes for the other characters. Who are these people? Why should we care about them? What makes them the least bit interesting? The amount of indifference I felt for each character was unchanged from the first scene to the last.

    Several of the scenes were unrealistic. Here are a few.

    In the beginning, Joe Blake is given a card by a man which is never explained. The card has some symbol on it with an address. Joe strolls into the building and approaches a man who claims to have work for Joe. The man, Doc, asks Joe how he can trust that he's not a spy. Joe simply raises his voice saying "I'm not a punk and I'm not a spy. I just want to do the right thing." At that moment Doc looses all signs of reluctance and quickly welcomes Joe into the circle. Any underground party committing treason wouldn't accept random people who exclaim "I am not a spy!" That sounds exactly like what a spy would say.

    Julian is walking home at night and the streets are completely empty except for her sister who just so happens to be walking in the same area. After quickly passing Julian a bag, Trudy is trapped by police. Julian watches her sister get shot in the street by police and shows almost no remorse. Not a tear was shed. She didn't have to hold back a terrified scream to avoid getting shot herself. No. Instead she watches with a slight frown. After witnessing the murder, she walks into her home and watches the film that her sister gave her.

    When Julian arrives for her bus she gets on the bus, which is stationary, and the bus immediately leaves; as if the bus is waiting on her.

    Throughout the scenes there are an unrealistic amount of swastikas, even in places that make no sense. The phone booth has a picture of a phone with a swastika behind the handset. The overview of New York is flooded with swastikas.

    When Julian wakes up and notices her bag has been stolen by the random woman she stands up and bangs on the glass telling her to "please stop" which makes no sense to begin with. Why didn't she run outside instead of trying to be polite to the person stealing from her? Even so, the woman turns and stares at Julian on the bus. Why would the woman turn around and acknowledge this? Wouldn't she ignore the banging and pretend not to hear?

    When Julian gets off the bus the Sunrise Diner is directly across the street. Probable, but seemed forced.

    When Julian goes into the diner she orders coffee and possibly food. The waiter is unrealistically hostile and gave very little chance for Julian to even explain before he started demanding payment and threatening her. This was obviously to create a scene for Joe to step in and pay.
  • Originally I would have rated this show an 8. Seasons 1 and 2 were intriguing, suspenseful, and overall had a good plot. However, season 3 is honestly a major let down. I watched until the 5th episode and unfortunately just lost all interest in finishing the season (perhaps it improves, but I'm doubtful). The plot is generally boring and the acting has gone downhill. It seems like the writers added random sexual relationships and nudity to distract viewers from the uninspired writing and storyline. This is a big change from seasons 1 and 2, which is sad because I felt this show has so much potential.
  • tom-durham1 December 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    A TV series about how Germany and Japan take over the US after winning world war 2? Could be interesting. Do they run the economy differently? Different technology? How does the country look, same or different? How did they win?

    No apparently they just change the police into a force that shoots and tortures people and slap lots of swastikas everywhere.

    Oh and there's some tension with Japan, since it's 1960 and they never had the technological renaissance of the 80s so the Germans must be going to blow them away any time now. Kind of like Russia vs the west after WW2. And Hitler is about to pass away so there is a hint of a power struggle that could happen. Sounds very interesting but sadly it's barely mentioned.

    And some plot about smuggling some films. Yes, that's what the resistance does! And also the main plot. "That film could change the world". What kind of film could change the world? Proof that aliens exist? The meaning of life explained? Working blueprints for fusion power? No! A film showing what life would be like if the US won world war 2.

    What a minute! This series is a film of exactly the opposite (what would happen if Germany and Japan won WW2)! So it should change the world right! The world will rise up and... er no, it's just a film.

    I give it 3 stars because it has some nice visuals.
  • JGGreg7 December 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    The concept is great, and could have made a great series. Let's start with the positive aspects....

    First, I'd say that secondary actors have done a great job especially Rufus Sewell and Cary- Hiroyuki Tagawa. Second the plot twist is a good thing (I've note read the books, so i cannot compare anything), and finally some aspects and details of the new world are interesting like Hitler's succession, or Smith's son's euthanasia, or even the waiting room/gas chamber thing... Anyway, these are the reason I'll watch the second season.

    On the other hand, this series is very simplistic and Manichean. The Nazis are all bad, so are the Japanese. The resistant are all good. They even have counterexamples not to be told that, (Rudolph Wegener, Joe Blake...). The political order is exactly the same except they added authoritarian police, swastikas and SS (who don't even know how to properly torture someone !!!). As if the Nazis would put swastikas EVERYWHERE, with a bad taste of architecture and design there even is a kind of cold war... The costumes are terrible, so is the flag, the star spangled banner didn't submit even to the Nazis ! The main characters are insipid, and I didn't care about them, their romance, their life... I even expected Smith to kill Joe for what he had done, but no. The story is inconsistent, people are free to travel it a neutral zone without providing ID, they kill Jews when they find them, but don't bother looking, some issues just disappear (the bad guy who talks like a bad guy and whom was not killed by Joe when he had the chance, because he is the good hero...) And it sometimes looks like a piece of propaganda for our system. The controlled people are all friends blacks and whites together, but with a bit of racism from the Japanese. This series forgets that at that time even a "great democracy" had racial segregation. Anyway, I found it full of clichés, but I'll have to stop here, not to be too long...

    Anyway, I'll still watch the season 2, but I'll be expecting something way better.
  • I'm a TV show lover, but never! ever! has a series made me want to write a review. It was a cold Sunday evening... I was waiting for Sunday night football around 645pm. I decided to squeeze in the pilot. Needless to say, 7 episodes later I was still watching. The story line is incredible. The acting is great. The emotions that it brought out of me was real and raw. It made me appreciate and think differently about the word/idea/concept that we all throw around "FREEDOM." Yes, it's fictional, and yes it's just a TV-show, but boy! they hit on something, at least in me. I'm beyond impress! Monday morning, coffee to the rescue!
  • errantknight28 February 2015
    This may well be the most suspenseful, riveting, horrifying hour of television I've ever watched. Quietly terrifying with moments that are genuinely difficult to watch. I can't believe how good it is. I can honestly say I was taken by surprise.

    Part if the horror is that it's simply inconceivable to us that we could have lost world war 2, but it goes well beyond that. The acting is superb. Everything about this pilot is entirely realistic to the point that the inconceivable becomes all too conceivable. The sense of the characters being one step away from utter disaster is constant and overwhelming.

    It's not an easy watch. There's no alleviation from the tension that builds throughout, but you shouldn't let that put you off. It's brilliant. Not only that, it illustrates, more than anything I've seen, just what our grandparents were fighting to prevent. I've never actually bothered to write a review here before, but this is so good, it simply must be seen.
  • This programme has great promise, It could easily become one of the largest shows on TV. Nothing has ever been made to the scale of this show, that depicts what the world would be like (in the 60's) if the Nazis would have won WW2. It is high budget, story and visually driven, combining visuals that rival those of modern films, and a plot which we can only guess at. (unless you have read the book(s)). The acting is very good- for those who don't know the lead actress was in The Chronicles of Riddick, and one of the men "we" meet is from Supernatural. If you like Hunger Games, GoT, Legends, Vikings or any of these shows, you will like this. I highly recommend watching this, to everyone. Watch it!
  • Judge by the episode alone, without comparing the detail of the book it base on, it can be said that this show is of top quality, the grim, rusting, stressed and 60s styling photography, the camera angles and choice of equipment used at the time all looked extremely authentic.

    That super sonic liner sequence was wonderful, it doesn't feel overly CGI for a TV show at all, then the nazi reception room sequence also shows the production quality in fine details.

    It is a spy, psychological story with surreal elements and the show managed to capture that so far.

    Any one with know a thing or two about ww2 history or a scifi fan would appreciate the effort spent here to make the world as authentic as possible in a TV budget.

    If it was granted more episodes and the production quality remains, then it would easily be short list for the best mini series of 2015!

    9/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A dystopian future where mainstream media is in a state of collapse, and decent dead American novelists get their ideas plundered by cash-greedy online corporations. Oh, sorry, that's real life: What I meant is; well you know, the Nazis got the A-bomb first and won WWII. So we get the usual hacked-to-death Nazi Resistance shtick set in the Mad Men universe. Thing was, Mad Men didn't start out a nostalgic soap opera, it was a gripping character study to begin with. But the most interesting characters in TMITHC are the Japanese calligraphy ones all over California. Not to mention the barrel of fun the Art department has had reimagining Nazi graphic design for the Duck and Cover generation.

    A crack shot truck driver (who's NOT a spy, repeat NOT, honest) and a lady Aikido expert (who makes me see a Street-Fighter style rapidly diminishing energy bar every time she's on screen) keep revealing surprising discoveries while time runs out, and the main Nazi baddie experiences ideological conflicts, probably because he's the only Nazi ever whose uniform fitted like a cheaper Sears-Roebuck suit. That's what happens in every episode. Meanwhile, enjoy the tongue-in-cheek CGI.

    I've not read the Philip K Dick novel - maybe Amazon have it - but in any case I would expect some reference to be made to the um, Russian question. Apparently in this story Russia went the way of Afro-American and Arabic people. On an extended holiday.

    It's easy to see that this atrocious rubbish might impress the impressionable, especially since Nazi iconography (NOT ideology, please) was, let's face it, so undeniably good and still has the power to instil a reaction today. David Bowie knew what he was on about. But this is a VERY BADLY WRITTEN WWII period drama disguised as provocative drama-documentary. I had to have an eye bath after I watched it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First, up front, if you haven't seen all 10 episodes and you don't want to know plot points or the outcome, stop here, because there are spoilers.

    What a missed opportunity for a great series! It came out as an incomprehensible mish- mash. The plot made zero sense, mostly from beginning to end. The acting was no better than adequate, frequently worse by the leads. Where did they find these people? As I understand the plot of the book this was based on - I admit that I have not read it - it had a central character/conceit that involved a book-within-a-book that helped establish another "reality,". That would have been helpful. Instead, we only see glimpses of the title of that second book - The Grasshopper Lies Heavy - on mysterious files and films in the movie. They are never explained! Plot lines start down a road and are then choked off, never to be revisited again! The Bounty Hunter, aka The Marshall, chases Joe and Juliana around Canon City for two episodes, kills a couple of people, brutally, then completely vanishes from the story. Huh? What was that about? (And Joe, what kind of training did you receive? When you knock the bad guy down, take his gun and shoot him!). Then we have the weird plot line about the fatal illness that Obergruppenfuher Smith's son has contracted. We learn, inferentially, that the Nazis will require he be euthanized. But that's it. Nothing more. The boy's mother isn't told, the mercy drug is never injected. It just peters out to nothing. What about the so-called resistance? Talk about ineffectual? They seem to do nothing except botch acquiring the mysterious films. Certainly laughable idiots to the German and Japanese occupiers. At one point the Trade Minister says he will send Juliana into the Neutral Zone to help the army find uranium sites because she had studied geography! OK. Then that's the last we ever hear of her doing that. Why was it even brought up? On-and-on with this poor writing. You never acquire any sympathy for our three lead characters. They have zero chemistry among them. You don't care what happens to them. At least the thugs were interesting!

    I've only touched on some of the maddening inconsistencies and plot lapses. They just never stopped. I can't remember being more enthused about a TV show and then more disappointed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If episode 1 doesn't hook you in, what'veg you got? zip , zilch. Don't care about any of these characters. Especially Julianna Crain, one of the main characters. Why, why, why would you trust not 1 but TWO complete strangers you silly twit during these tumultuous times where you can't trust anyone, where your sister was just murdered before handing you a film roll? why why why. took me completely out of it, not to mention the way the "enemy" has assimilated perfectly into America, even speaking English when they are amongst themselves!? No Japanese, no German. Accents? yes, plenty. So silly. This could have been very interesting but the ridiculous fashion in which it is being laid out only exaggerates it;s flaws.
  • What is ostensibly Amazon's attempt at developing its own 'House of Cards' provides an intriguing backdrop with a promising but somewhat- shaky implementation. The show, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, is one of five pilots that Amazon is promoting for a potential run at a full 2015 season. Right from the start, the show stays close to its source material in both plot and setting. While following the book certainly has its merits, the script so far lacks in its portrayal of the characters' psychological intricacies— and in several cases comes across as heavy-handed. For example, in this episode we learn (and are reminded of) how evil the Nazis are through generic torture scenes and murder-- typical "bad guy" stuff. I don't recall the text depicting any accounts of Nazi violence to this extent, but rather their presence loomed on all characters due to the claustrophobic effects of their propaganda and fascist scheming. The acting was competent but the script felt oddly-paced, in particular it seemed that not much thought had been given to the character Joe Blake (he did not exist in the book) as he didn't really convey any emotional or logical motivation for wanting to become a political dissident besides hoping to "do the right thing". That being said, the characters Nobusuke Tagomi and Juliana Crain were especially brought to life in this adaptation. Based on the direction of the pilot, I fear that the show may attempt to play-up the "American resistance" theme which is irrelevant and antithetical to one of the major messages of the book. What was intended as a commentary on paranoid diplomacy in a totalitarian world could all too easily become a trite Star Wars- style action/adventure series. On the other hand, one cannot expect fully fleshed-out characters in the pilot episode so it will take some more time to fairly judge the writing quality. I am cautiously optimistic about this show's future-- for a pilot it certainly succeeded in establishing an alluring setting, and I was not surprised to learn that Ridley Scott was involved as the set- design and ambiance was superb. Overall, I am excited to see if this will manage to thrive alongside both the classic novel and other contemporary political-drama TV shows.
  • The concept is very interesting. Most of the show is really well done. It is refreshing that they haven't tried to water down the cruelty of both the Nazi and Japanese regimes. But inevitably, the gay lobby has won out and, sure enough, like most other recent tv-series, the producers introduced the gay card in the most recent season. I was really enjoying the series before this. And no, I certainly don't hate gays, I just feel that tv-series in general tend to overemphasize their numbers. Does it really seem realistic that every series has a homosexual relationship? Especially one set in the 60's in areas controlled by totalitarian regimes?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Initial pilot was interesting and was hoping for a time travel/parallel universe type of theme but it is nothing of the kind until the very last episode.

    The story does not relate much to the Nazi/japan occupation they are just the generic bad guys that do bad things, and the resistance are the generic good guys. The show is extremely slow, predictable and with poor acting.

    I watched all 10 episodes hoping it would get better but just as it did in the last scene of the last episode It was over. I wont be watching the next season.
  • I've only watched epi 1 and 2 of season 3 so far but wow what a long drawn out boring 2 hours that just was. Couldn't wait for the new season, because Man in the High Castle really did start off as a stellar piece of serialized fictional entertainment. But then season 2 came along and seemed a bit too slow and drawn out for the small amount of content they covered. Still mildly engaging tho. Better than a lot out there for sure (let's face it, most American TV is mediocre at best). So now this new season 3 is rolled out to much anticipation.... Ugh. The question is If they could not even create a wham bam blow your mind opening episode 1 (think Game of Thrones or WestWorld just as examples...), how the hell are we supposed to expect to feel excited for the rest of this season? Frankly it feels like they took a great sci-fi novel and instead of staying loyal to the goal of creating an incredible work of visual art, stretched and dragged it out way too long for no other reason than to suck as much out of it as they could. Despite how much damage it might do to the work in the bigger picture. TMITHC could have been easily accomplished by a high quality director in a good three hour film, or a one season limited series at most. This is just far too slow and desultory. So what started out and could have been an 8 is now a 5 when all three seasons are considered.
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