Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2015
I had honestly hoped for more from this show, and was close to packing it in when it improved dramatically over the last three or four episodes. Clearly the plot is a proven one, The Man in the High Castle is one of Phillip Dick's most well-loved works. So I'm at a loss to explain exactly why the TV show was something of a disappointment in spite of its pedigree.

Some of the blame certainly rests on characters who aren't particularly well written. While I get that it's difficult to know who to trust in this society, most of them seem to fall over every opportunity and none of them seem able to explain why they do what they do. Interactions seem manufactured instead of organic which makes relationships difficult to invest in.

Alas, as is the case with a lot of television today, the younger actors don't seem up to the significant task of selling their characters. Alexa Davalos appears to have two expressions, surprise and unhappiness, the latter of which is the fall back expression for everything. I don't think I've ever seen a character look more consistently miserable than Juliana. The others are a bit better, but only a bit. In general, the older actors do better, which is to be expected. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Carsten Norgaard, and Rufus Sewell, are the stand-outs in my opinion. On the other hand, Burn Gorman is a dreadful caricature of a bad guy, just painfully awful.

I think it's probably telling that I was disappointed that there would be a second season. I was willing to see the story through when I thought it would be ten episodes. Now, I'm just not sure. Still, as I indicated, it did improve toward the end of the season so perhaps season two will be a little bit less turgid.
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