Hemlock Grove Episode 2: The Angel

Hemlock Grove - Poster

Drink of choice: Simpler Times Lager
Because I don’t have enough money to keep my fridge completely stocked with good beer, I have to go cheap from time to time.  At $4 for a six-pack, this qualifies as cheap.  It’s not bad, but it’s not really good, either.  I have to drink it pretty quickly; the warmer it gets, the worse it gets.  I tried them koozies the kids are all talking about these days, but they don’t seem to help.  It doesn’t help that my hands are made out of fire.

Pre-viewing state of mind:
Tired.  College football was on all day, which was great.  But I don’t have cable, which is bad.  There was only one game on at a time, and none of them were good.  Watching bad football for nine hours takes a lot out of a man.  I’ve also been converting a bunch of old vinyl to mp3 throughout the day, so I can feel somewhat productive, but not overly so.
In short, I am probably not in a good frame of mind to watch this.  But I’ll power through, because I’m a professional.  (Kind of.  Not really.)

Episode synopsis from Netflix:
Roman confronts Peter at the crime scene, finding common ground.  Letha reveals a shocking secret, and Olivia and Norman fall into old habits.


Tim Messenger would refer to this episode as “The Angle”.  Although, if he were still with us, he’d probably find himself aligning more with Sleepy Hollow than Hemlock Grove.  (Who didn’t love that reference?)

This face-to-face meeting between Roman and Peter is just terrific.  They don’t play well off each other at all.  However, the contrast of their hair is completely delightful.  I call this scene, “Slicked vs. Tousled”.  Who wins?  We do.  We all do.

CG angel wings.  Oh man.  That’s some next level humor.  I feel like this entire show is one big troll session.  This isn’t supposed to be good, is it?  I feel like I’m missing something.  I have never partaken in illicit substances, so maybe that’s it.

I didn’t care for the sex scene in the bathroom.  Something about implying sex but showing blood makes me uneasy.  I know.  I’m a prude.  I’m in my 30s.  Get off my lawn.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the guy who plays Peter is actually a decent actor in this episode.  Roman, on the other hand…jeepers.  Unless they’re instructing him to makes his eyes kind of big and repeat lines on a page with a complete lack of emotion.  If that’s the case, then he’s killing it.

Apparently gypsys love Night of the Living Dead.  I knew it.

I want Roman to do more accents.  That old-timey one he dropped on an unsuspecting Letha was tremendous.  It was almost like the actress didn’t even know how to respond.  Best moment of the series so far.

“Did you want to come here and talk about hot boys all night, Roman?”
(Okay, so he didn’t actually respond in that fashion, but you know he was thinking it.)

One snake gets out and the entire dance is ruined?  What kind of school is this?  If every dance was stopped in my high school the second a snake showed up, I never would’ve gotten to second base.

Roman just said, “I have legs that won’t quit,” and I swear it doesn’t make any more sense in context than it does out of it.

These driving scenes are like some bad, Cary Grant-era greenscreen scenes.  If the internet is to be believed (it has never misled me, so I don’t know why it would start now), the budget for this season was somewhere between $45-$52 million.  That’s a lot of halibut.  I have to believe they could shoot better driving scenes than this with that budget.

Loved the concept of the transformation.  Very detailed.  Very gory.  Lots of ripping flesh.  But, in the end, it just looked really cheesy.  I laughed pretty hard at least twice.  I really wish they had gone with practical effects, because the CG just didn’t look very good.  Something about seeing the face of a dog come out of the face of a man is very humorous to me, apparently.  I don’t see what the hype is all about.

Times a variation of the phrase “gypsy trash” has been uttered: 1
Times Christina mentions she’s a writer: 1

Final thoughts:
might be crazy, but that episode seemed a bit better than the first one.  Maybe it was just because I finally got to see the transformation, but I doubt it, because I didn’t really like the transformation.  I actually kind of liked the Peter character.  He had more of a personality in this episode.  And, while the rest of the characters and storylines weren’t very good, there was enough in this episode to not make me completely dread watching the next one.  Progress!

There was a distinct lack of Christina in this episode, which is a real shame.  I kind of like her.  I’d prefer more of her than I would more scenes of her young (young young young) sisters talking about having sex.  That was unpleasant.

Post-viewing state of mind:
Cautiously optimistic.  I don’t think this is going to be a good show, but there’s an outside chance I won’t completely hate it.  And that’s as optimistic as I’m likely to get.  “Hemlock Grove: It might not be the worst TV show I’ve ever seen, after all.”  Then put up a picture of me winking and giving a less-than-enthusiastic one-thumb-up.