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What Just Happened?!?! – Hemlock Grove Season 2 Review: Part 3

As my fellow Free For All editors have already mentioned, Netflix is currently on one hell of a roll. Racking up a crazy amount of Emmy nominations and getting a lot of buzz in general. Hemlock Groove is a Netflix Original that unlike its esteemed company, Orange is the New Black and  House of Cards, requires a bit more of an acquired taste, but if it’s for you, you’re in for a real treat. A word of warning, if you haven’t watched all the current two season of Hemlock Groove yet, you’re (unfortunately) in the wrong place. However, we still have you covered! You can read Evan Swafford’s review of season one here, as well as his review of the beginning of season two here, and Chuck Nalley’s look at the middle of season two here. But if you’re made your way through all 10 episodes of season two, allow me offer my thoughts on what I think is now the most under-rated shows on Netflix.

Baby Nadia

Baby Nadia

The cast, or their performances to be more specific, is one of the most noticeable differences between seasons one and two. I found myself having trouble distinguishing between poor acting and intentional camp many times in season one. But in season two it’s clear that while the plot is still over the top, the performances are less so. This turns out to be exactly what the show needed, allowing me to invest more in the characters, while still getting plenty of the “WFT moments” that I so very much enjoy. Bill Skarsgård (Simple Simon) is easily the stand out for me though, making the character of Roman a perfect blend of sympathetic and egomaniacal. It is also worth noting that Famke Janssen (X-Men), who was easily the worst part of season one, drops her headache inducing accent and becomes, if nothing else, tolerable.

That ending though!

That ending though!

Hemlock Groove is a show that tends to save the best for last, or so it would seem. Season one had a lot of pacing issues, but the end was incredible, and is what convinced me to look forward to its second season. While the second season managed to even out the pacing extraordinarily well, we are still treated to an amazing last four episodes that really place an exclamation point on this season’s events. I was impressed in particular with the caliber of the action sequences in episode nine. The fight choreography is solid, and even more noteworthy when you consider that the show doesn’t get very action heavy all that often.  The reveal and subsequent plot twist in episode ten are also wonderful to watch, and really sell the show as one where predictions are more of less pointless.

Overall, season two of Hemlock Grove is a drastic step up from its predecessor. Able to iron out almost ever issue it faced in its first 12 episodes, season two offers a better, more compelling story, pacing fixes that simply can’t be overstated, and much more defined performances. It takes a formula most widely associated with shows like HBO’s True Blood, and manages to add several nice surprises along the way. If you know anyone who gave up on season one, be a buddy, and get them to sit down a second time. I think you’ll find they’ll be better off, and you’ll look like a hero.

s my fellow Free For All editors have already mentioned, Netflix is currently on one hell of a roll. Racking up a crazy amount of Emmy nominations and getting a lot of buzz in general. Hemlock Groove is a Netflix Original that unlike its esteemed company, Orange is the New Black and  House of Cards, requires a bit more of an acquired taste, but if it's for you, you're in for a real treat. A word of warning, if you haven't watched all the current two season of Hemlock Groove yet, you're (unfortunately) in the wrong place. However, we still have you covered! You can…

Review Overview

Hemlock Grove: Season 2: Episodes 7-10 - 8

8

Great

Summary : Hemlock Grove manages to fix almost every issue I had with season one, and it's last four episodes place an exclamation point at the end of a really great sea on of television.

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8

About Trey Elliott

Trey Elliott
Trey is a video game enthusiast, movie junkie, and cultivator of one fantastic beard. He loves to write original Gregorian chants, play the spoon harp, and speak of whatever comes to mind on the Free For All podcast.