An Overview Of The Entire First Season

The new Netflix series answers several of its own questions while also asking many more for a possible second season.

Hemock Grove - season 1

As I said in my review of the first episode, I found the beginning of Hemlock Grove very intriguing. But as I watched the entire series — all 13 episodes — in less than 48 hours, I discovered that the entire thing wasn't quite as intriguing as I thought. Not that I disliked the series, but there were definitely parts that were better than others.

Hemlock Grove recap: An intriguing beginning >>

The premise

Hemlock Grove is about a very mysterious town of the same name where gruesome murders have taken place. Some people in the city are convinced that it's a wild animal, while others seem to have knowledge of other types of creatures that could be involved. Two young men become close friends despite their very different upbringings, and decide to try to help solve the crimes. Both have knowledge and skills beyond our understanding and both have families that are steeped in mystery and otherworldly connections. The mystery of the killer is solved by the last episode, but many more questions are raised.

What I liked

The friendship of Roman (Bill Skarsgård) and Peter (Landon Liboiron): Seriously, any time those two characters were on-screen together, I was instantly wide awake and extremely interested in anything they were doing or saying. The chemistry between Skarsgård and Liboiron was so good that I had no trouble believing that they could become so close so fast. I'm a sucker for a good bromance and this series definitely had that.

The music: Whether it was the inappropriately upbeat tune that played over the closing credits that came right after Peter's transformation scene and the wolf has just eaten his body, or the somber melody of the opening credits or the countless scenes punctuated by rock tunes, the music in this series always seemed to be spot-on with whatever mood was being played on-screen. The music either matched the scene perfectly or, by being completely off-kilter to the scene (see the above reference to the upbeat tune after the werewolf transformation), punctuated the scene in such a way as to make it different than what you might interpret if you heard the dialogue alone.

The characters: In addition to Peter and Roman, I enjoyed all of the characters in this series. I honestly can't think of a single one that I wouldn't have wanted to see in the show. Even those that I loved to hate, such as Olivia (Famke Janssen), were portrayed so well and with such depth that I still couldn't help but be enthralled by them. Some of my favorite journeys were by characters that weren't necessarily in the foreground of the story, like the twin daughters of the police chief. No character in this series was one-dimensional, and I often found myself switching my opinions about who they were as the series progressed.

Hemlock Grove's Kandyse McClure on Skarsgård and more >>

What I didn't like

The dialogue: This series is full of people speaking in cryptic sentences to one another, and while that can be mysterious and fun, after 13 solid hours I wanted to smack most of them and say, "Talk like a normal person!" I do realize that this type of dialogue is cool and interesting to some people, but it's just not my preferred way of storytelling.

It was a bit slow: If you're expecting an action-packed horror-thriller, then this is not the series for you. Hemlock Grove gives you bits and pieces of its story very slowly, with a lot of somber music and cryptic dialogue along the way. For every moment that I found myself gasping in shock or excitement over what was happening, there were at least 10 more moments when I desperately wished that something — anything — interesting would happen.

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My overall thoughts

Overall, I did enjoy Hemlock Grove and if they do have a second season, I plan to watch it. However, I think I'll do so in much smaller doses next time and perhaps won't binge-view the entire series at once. For me, I think it will work better to see one or two episodes at a time.

What did you think of Hemlock Grove? Have you already watched the entire series or are you still getting through all 13 episodes? If you've seen it, then what did you think of the ending and where do you think it will go next season?

Image courtesy Netflix

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Comments

Comments on "Hemlock Grove recap: Season 1 is worth the watch"

amaya May 24, 2013 | 1:32 AM

My husband and I spent about a week watching Hemlock Grove just to have something to do and found that we actually really loved it. The dialogue didn't bother me, and I liked the fact that it took all the way to the end of the season to figure out the character. It being a horror/mystery show, I was actually expecting it to move slow, but wasn't bored at all by any of it. I will say I seriously hope they make a second season as the finale actually opened up so many more questions that would make great for a second season plot. I really loved this show, and really hope it goes somewhere.

Erinial May 10, 2013 | 7:40 AM

Loved it!!! MUST make more seasons. The acting was good. Good twist of the story and interesting characters. Loved the weirdness that was going on. But it was a bit too slow for me. Overall the show was very entertaining.

Herlinda May 06, 2013 | 12:42 PM

Loved it can't wait for second season its so intriguing that i started to read the book

julied May 01, 2013 | 5:45 PM

Loved it!! Hoping for a season 2,3,...

cindy May 01, 2013 | 10:29 AM

I loved it! I thought it was like a modern version of Twin peaks meets the Adam's family. Hoping there's a second season.I also enjoyed all 13 episodes at once.

Angel April 28, 2013 | 1:14 PM

I can't say that this was the best show, but I did watch the whole thing in just a few days. I find that I actually liked it. I hated a few things, too. Fammke's accent being at the top of the list. Also that they killed the fish and wildlife Dr. I liked her. I thought saving most of the secrets for the last EP wasn't a good idea. I LOVED the chemistry between Peter and Roman. And too bad Leatha died. Overall, a pretty good show.

Avpkeem April 26, 2013 | 1:56 AM

Took the words right out of my mouth. Took me a week but i just finished it. I still have so many questions. Definitely a show that requires patience lol but Famkes accent ;)

Denise April 25, 2013 | 9:53 AM

Loved it! Watched it all in like 3 days. Really hoping that they do a Second season! Too many questions left unanswered, so they need to keep going with it! Loved the characters - love Peter and Roman!

Jaime April 25, 2013 | 8:26 AM

We watched the entire series in 3 days and loved it! It is a little campy, but we found it very entertaining. Really hoping they make a season 2!

Angela April 24, 2013 | 12:37 PM

I am four episodes into it and am really enjoying it so far. I'm surprised by all of the bad reviews I've seen because I think it's a pretty exciting show.

njgrl April 23, 2013 | 9:50 PM

Just finished the first season and thought it was great. Kept me guessing the whole time. Was a bit different then the usual werewolf vamp things out now ,but thats what I liked about it . I will definately be looking for season 2 if there is one.

Christie April 23, 2013 | 11:45 AM

Thought the show was really good. Wish someone had the names and artists for the songs played. I can't find anywhere.

LaRayne April 23, 2013 | 6:09 AM

Absolutley loved it!! Would definately watch a second season. Love the adult content that everyone seems to complain about. This show had a little bit of everything; murder, fantasy, mystery, , love and a wbole lot of weirdness. Excellent!!!

Slatanic April 22, 2013 | 7:04 PM

I just finished the first season today and I found it to be really entertaining. The first episode or two were plagued with confusion and poor acting but once the actors seemed to get into the groove of their roles it really upped the quality. The story is very cyclical and flashes back repeatedly slowly filling in missing details or showing the same scene from another point of view, I was definitely kept guessing throughout the entire season. It wasn't as good as "House of Cards," which is utterly brilliant, but it was definitely a great quasi-horror show and worth the watch.

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