Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Harper's Island

I like dark and twisty things and I enjoy trying to figure out what's is happening in a story, like with LOST. There is this show Harper's Island that has been on CBS since the beginning of April. Its basically a thirteen episode murder mystery miniseries of one hour episodes each week- it isn't something they ever planned to have as a returning series next year, particularly since one or two people get killed off each episode ;)
Basic Premise: At first it is just a big group of people who gather at Harper's Island, a sleepy little fishing town, for a wedding. The twist is that Abbie, childhood best friend of the groom Henry, has not been home to the island for seven years. Seven years ago a serial killer names Wakefield went on a rampage on the island and Abbie's mother was one of the people he murdered and after that her father, the Sheriff, sent her to live in LA. The first few episodes as people were dying nobody really knew what was going on and thought people were just leaving or off messing around or what not. (This entire series is just a matter of a few days). They have done a really good job of sort of making everyone suspicious, and they have also done a good job of making it clear who the side characters are (as in, will be likely to die and have in fact been dying) and the main characters are (the heroes who will survive til the end or else end up the villain after all). There are four episodes left to go and you can watch all of the episodes online. (The episodes all have fun names like, Whap, Bang, Sploosh ;) The show, as TV murder mysteries typically tend to be, is a little bit, what's the word my Mom would use... campy.
Camp: Banality, vulgarity, or artificiality when deliberately affected or when appreciated for its humor: 'Camp is popularity plus vulgarity plus innocence' -Indra Jahalani; adj. Having deliberately artificial, vulgar, banal, or affectedly humorous qualities or style: played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect.
This is a good thing. Blood and gore mysteries are, to a degree, cheesy by default, so they have to have a sense of humor about themselves and be done in a campy way to work. Unlike some awful 60's B Movie (which can be entertaining to watch for their pure awfulness) the beauty of Harper's is it's campiness and that it plays up it's elaborate, over-the-top blood and gore story. It's not a story like Silence of the Lambs which is terrifying because it is feels like it could really happen- it's too pleasantly outrageous to actually make you feel nervous in real life. Despite this, it really does still have some horrific and tense moments. Modern horror stories don't really get to me and I usually find them more amusing and unoriginal than anything. I will admit though, in the last couple of episodes, now that the cast that is still alive has caught on that there is a crazed killer loose and they are fighting for their lives and trying to solve the mystery, there have been some pretty creepy, intense moments. This may not be a show for say, certain Doxey's or Bear's I know, who get easily spooked. Despite its hokey instances, it has been very entertaining. Anyway, if you find yourself with time on your hands and feel like unravelling a fun and spooky mystery, check it out. With only four episodes left I have several theories, but since I only know one other person who watches the show, I'm not going to post them here- though I may do a follow up when it gets closer to the end.

PS, sorry for two blogs in a row about TV shows- this will probably usually only be the case with LOST ;)

1 comment:

Scooter and Jessica Plowman said...

Ummm.... I think I would definitely fall in the "Doxey" category and say that this one is too scary for me... I wish I was more brave because it does sound really good. Maybe I could work up to it?