Amazon’s latest original series The Man in the High Castle is an interesting and surprising historical fiction drama. I say surprising because I feel like this show came out of nowhere.I was not aware this show existed until a friend recommended it to me saying that he binged through the whole show in a few days. This prompted me to start the show only to stop after the first 30 minutes. Eventually I forced myself to keep watching and I got sucked in! If you have no idea what The Man in the High Castle is, it is a show that deals with America after World War II if Germany and Japan had won the war. The east coast is run by Nazi’s and the west coast is run by Japan. The story revolves to young adults, a male and female, who question this society and get caught between the Germans, Japanese, and the resistance.
I was very impressed with the overall quality of the show as a whole. With pretty good acting (I loved Cary Tagawa’s character) and dialogue, everything felt natural. The cinematography was amazing as well. What really stood out the most though were the ability to really capture this setting. The producers and set creators did such a great job incorporating the cultures of both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan into the American culture. It is so interesting to think about this whole concept of WWII being won by Germany and Japan. I’d love to see the producers explore deeper into what life in other countries (and Hawaii!) would look like.
As far as season 1 goes, it felt like the story didn’t progress a ton. What I mean is, I feel like this show could potentially go for around 7-10 seasons based on how things progressed this season. I won’t get into spoilers as that will be for another post, but I will say it seemed like all we got in season 1 of the show was an introduction to this world and the characters. It really feels like the main characters of the show didn’t do much. I’m thinking the producers did this purposefully, to leave the direction of the show in the air to be decided later.
If I have one criticism for this show, it would be that it didn’t immediately grab my attention. I personally enjoy those moments in movies and TV shows where in the first scenes of the film, something incredible happens and immediately engages you in the story. I’m thinking of the first scenes of Troy starring Brad Pit (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the first 10 minutes of Troy). However, I found myself watching part of the first episode and not picking it back up until about two weeks later. Once I got into about episode three or four I was sucked in. It’s at this point that most of the characters are introduced and some of the more dramatic and suspenseful moments occur.
Overall, The Man in the High Castle season one is great. I really enjoyed that for the most part, there was hardly any nudity and all the sex scenes were implied. Many of the shows being produced by Amazon and Netflix have been flooded with sex. The warnings at the beginning of every episode also help, as I was able to be on the lookout and avoid the bad parts of the one episode that came up. The producers at Amazon didn’t need to resort to over the top violence and nudity in order to create a quality production. I hope that we’ll get a second season. Can’t wait to see where this story goes.