Sunday, June 21, 2009

Harper's Island

I wish that I could enthuse about it being the first day of my favorite season, but it's yucky out. So instead of talking about my unrequited feelings for the Sun (I love sunlight, but it hurts me), I think I'll talk about a fantastic TV show instead.

This show started a few months ago, but given it was on Thursday nights against the final season of e.r. (sob! At least Neela and Ray ended up together) it's taken me until this week to get caught up on the episodes that I missed. There are barely words enough to describe how incredibly taken I am with Harper's Island. I'll give it a shot, though.

The premise is that a girl, Abby, is returning home for her best friend Henry's wedding after seven years away. Seven years earlier a serial killer named John Wakefield killed her mother and several other people, and Abby's dad sent her away after that. Tons of people have also arrived for the wedding - including someone who is killing them off one by one.

How cool a premise is that? It's like the movie Mindhunters, but long and drawn out with even more suspense. Okay, okay, I know it's more likely an homage to Ten Little Indians/Then There Were None, but I've seen Mindhunters. I'm not usually a mystery buff because I tend to solve the mysteries early on and then get grumpy over having read the rest of the book, but ones on the screen tend to be more entertaining. The first ten episodes of Harper's Island have kept me guessing, and I really hope that next week's commercial is misleading since it involves one of my favorite characters. We'll see.

Besides the mystery, I'm also impressed that there's such a large cast, but 2/3rds of the characters are fleshed out enough for you to care about who the killer is, and who the next victim(s) will be. It seems to me that this too works better in film than print, because too many characters in a book get tiring. Now that there are only three episodes left, we've gotten a chance to get to know the remaining characters well enough to be rooting for certain ones to live...or not. Die, Shane, die!

Anyway, if you get the chance to find it online, and don't mind some gore, check it out. There's only going to be this one season (some people are really bummed by that, but how could a show whose premise was a place, not a set of murders, continue for multiple seasons even if they switched casts? How would that go: "You wanna go to Harper's Island, Babe? Sure, there were all those murders there in 2002 and in 2009, but what are the odds of that sort of thing happening again?") so there isn't a long time commitment. I think I'll have to buy it on DVD when it comes out. Not that that is surprising - I own almost as many box sets of TV shows as I do movies on DVD.

"Untouchable like a distant diamond sky/Keep reaching out and I still can't tell you why/I'm caught up in you" - Luna Halo, Untouchable

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