16 September 2017 | midworld_traveller
5 episodes in: so far, exquisite adaptation
It's fantastic that this adaptation has allowed the relatively slow unfolding of Brady Hartsfield's dance with Bill Hodges to simmer at more or less the same pace as the book; watching two people's lives revolving around one another at a distance is mesmerising, even before the inclusion of Hartsfield's moments of lethal tantruming.
The casting is terrific, the peripheral characters are used well, and there's an energising undercurrent in that everyone seems more interesting when viewed through the lens of Hartsfield or Hodges... what perceived slight or threat has Hartsfield sensed from them, what use can they be to opening up the investigation for Bill? As for the horror, it's sordid and nasty, and very human. The inclusion of the twisted relationship between Hartfsield and his mother is unsettling in the extreme, more so because of the sense that his mother has shaped him into this person who has grown almost beyond her ability to manipulate... he's her victim, but she's now obliviously trapped in reliance on a very dangerous person, creating a morbidly fascinating relationship that often has the viewer near sympathy for both of them, but then expertly throws you back into disgust.
There's a lot of waning interest because of the pace, but for me it's ramping up with every seemingly innocuous scene. It's almost like the series is taking the time to tell us a story, rather than spoon feed us distraction. This is how I like my TV; weird, suspenseful, full of potential, with an excellent cast, attention to detail, music well used and no sense of having a scheduler with a clipboard and stopwatch directing every scene.