Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hell on Wheels review.

As I said in my earlier blog, I have a love hate relationship with this show.  I love me a western.   The hats, the long coats, the saloons, the gunfights, etc. etc.

This could be a great show, if they just stuck to the historical facts.  It's good when it does that, it's bad when it goes all soap opera-y.

The actual story was fantastic -- and these isn't any reason I can see not to tell the actual story. 

In one of the first episodes they showed the crew laying down rails.  And it was a bunch of empty motions.  People swinging picks at nothing, carrying around stuff nowhere.  Why the hell couldn't they do a minimum of showing how it was really done? 

The later shows actually started to make an effort to show some of the mechanics of it, which was encouraging. 

I think people would be interested in a realistic portrayal of the building of a railroad.  There could be fantastic (and very relevant scenes) showing the back room finagling and political wrangling. 

They could show the drama of the race -- by showing both the western and eastern RR they could show the dangerous explosions, and explore the race relations between the Chinese and whites and so on.  Just a huge wealth of material.

But they settle into these little predictable formulaic stories, which is a shame.

Thing is, they do hint at the bigger things, occasionally -- so that's frustrating.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I agree -- Hell on Wheels could be so much better if all the actors weren't so darn beautiful. The unrealized potential just pisses me off.

and yes -- you really should take the time to watch The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and my favorite of all time -- The Wire. I think you'd really like them a lot. Just think what talented writers, directors, and actors can do with a sixty hour movie. These series have attained a very high level of art.