Sunday, 2 August 2015



The Place Beyond The Pines.

10 Episodes. Starring: Starring, Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon. Reed Diamond, Tim Griffin, Charlie Tahan, Juliette Lewis. Melissa Leo & Terrence Howard. Director & Executive Producer: M. Night Shyamalan.

Welcome to 'Wayward Pines'! Population: Paranoia! If you like small towns then my friend this is the place for you. But just be careful of how you walk down the street at night with the way everybody turns to look and point as not only do they know you're name...but all your business too. Because like every small town everybody knows everybody. Now are you sitting comfortably? No...good, that's the way they want it, even if they want you to settle here. There's plenty of great homes always available here for new families and friends...and as for that career crippling mortgage, don't worry you're all covered. What's the catch you ask? Well there's a curfew, you're bugged unless you play some music louder than you're adolescent oldest. You always have to answer your phone and if you're thinking about that vacation you've been saving for all year forget about it! Feel at home yet?! Tough! There's nothing you can do about it. And if you try, you and the rest of the town that endeavours to do the same are in for one hell of a reckoning. You don't know how you got here and you sure as hell can't figure a way out. You can't leave! This is 'Wayward Pines'! Where else are you going to go? Just try getting past the old, classic welcome sign. Good luck! Reach the city limits and you'll see why there's more chance of leaving Las Vegas with gambling debts than this place! This isn't L.A. and you aren't Kurt Russell. You're former Hollywood heart-throb and movie millionaire Matt Dillon and you don't even have enough to pay the toll to cross the bridge back. You've woke up in hospital after one mother of a fender bender that ran you off the road you where on. It's all upside down and you think you're a million miles from home but you don't know the half of it! This is home now, like it or not! You'll try to reason, but they'll reckon. You'll try to run, but they know exactly where you hide and now reside. They'll tell you its all for your own good too, until like every other sheep that has flocked here you bleat the same. You don't even want to know what's on the other side if you make it out of here they say. Welcome to 'Wayward Pines'...yeah right!

Weird right? Well this 'Village' does reside in the maddening mind of 'Sixth Sense' and 'Unbreakable' director M. Night Shyamalan. The man whose weird and wonderful style is escaping from the controversial confines of 'The Happening' and 'After Earth' to some new classic, hitting hard claustrophobia of home comforts. The man who reinvented the plot twist and rebirthed it as every modern day visual stories ace in the hole calling card, gives us some fingers in the arm-chair gripping, cliff-hangers that will make you fingers-crossed, candles blown out, pennies in the well wish you could binge watch the show in one go each week! Even in this Netflix digital age, bringing the serial joys of waiting a whole seven days to find out what happens to last weeks before credits shock. Bucking the spoiler saturated trend of instant gratification, each show will leave you praying and screaming that the T.V. doesn't frustratingly fade to black. Only for your everlasting eagerness to anticipate the arrival of next weeks opening title sequence and its inventive scale model of this terrifying town planning. Leaving you each week with questions like; 'why don't they just drive right out of there'? 'Who or what is Abbie'? 'Why can't season 2 of 'True Detective' be this good'? Well Fox's new hit show 'Wayward Pines' that could match all of the Marvel 'Daredevils' and 'Agents' that are trying to make their 'Breaking Bad' and 'Walking Dead' mark in the T.V. world is about to answer all of that and raise new questions in 'Twin Peaks' fashion for a town darker than D.C.'s new 'Gotham'. Sure this solitary town may not meet the peaks of the twins but it is one outstanding Sci-Fi fantasy mystery that even Mulder and Scully couldn't solve.

So its up to Dillon, our lead detective and actor of this piece to puzzle all the parts of a town even more sinister than some of his most famous roles together. More unsettled down his new street than when Owen Wilson's 'Dupree' came to visit, this is the best Dillon has been in years, moving from the silver screen to the small one. His worn young Hollywood heartthrob looks and his gravelly voice grinding through all this grit with grounding gravitas. Shaking hands with Sheriff Terrence Howard (who can even make eating an ice cream look ice cold) there is a very different first introduced since the last time these two met on screen (see the police pull-over, licence and registration, without a 'please' of 'Crash') although you can bet it's just as conflicting. Howard-back from what looked like the end-is just as intensely inspired, although dramatically different then he is in the fellow Fox show 'Empire' that as its lead has lead it to be on the top of T.V's own game of thrones. Heads will roll in some television that's not afraid to do whatever it wants like its towns subject in this O.T.T. 'G.O.T.' shock value syndicate. There's even more famous faces here like the woman that's in every movie, Melissa Leo. An Oscar winner who has been character acting the s*** out of everything she's been in. Here nursing a 'Shutter Island' spookily sinister medicine woman with one hell of a under the skin bedside manner. There's even some licks from songstress/actress Juliette Lewis who is always a starlet standout in whatever scene she's set to steal. Add the wayward wonder of 'Sin City' and 'San Andreas'' Carla Gugino with the series anything but regular talent of the sublime Shannyn Sossamon, the real and recognisable Reed Diamond and the next Dane DeHaan; Charlie Tahan then we really are invested in a lot. All the way down to the short but imposing 'Captain America' villain Toby Jones who has a unique, compelling look of being a character that doesn't even need a body to bag real anti-hero characterization. He's the crux of the catalyst of the climax of this cinematic show. In fact all the players make this teamwork of acting and writing really produce a winning Shyamalan story that really works. All the way down to a thrilling climax and whatever you think will be the last twist in a one off unique story that we want to shout about but just can't spoil. And based on Blake Crouch's page turning book, this week turner may even have a second season in the works. Now that's truly scary for this Thursday evening fright night. And you thought you'd found all the skeletons in the closets of all the homes in 'Wayward'. Through all this darkness there's still clearly more beyond these pines! To be continued? TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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