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Monday, June 3, 2019

The premiere of the series NOS4A2: Christmas came early

The premiere of the series NOS4A2 Christmas came early
The cold does not get as creepy as the first scene of AMC's new supernatural horror drama, NOS4A2. We entered a city called Here, Iowa, we met Danny, a teenager who spends the night alone while his mother hooks up with her boyfriend. Danny is very upset about that.

And then, then, with all the fanfare of a Christmas miracle, Danny is no longer alone. "O Christmas Tree" starts from the static on your television. A candy cane appears on your door. And at idle right at the end of the road, there is a beautiful and classic car, a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith, to be exact, with a back seat full of beautifully wrapped gifts.

When Danny decides to get into the car, the trap gets up. While sitting indoors, an intruder crawls around the house and, finally, jams a syringe in the groom's neck. And when Danny's mother runs out of the yard to save her son, an attacker appears behind her and snaps her neck.

Danny is understandably horrified by this sudden turn of events. But as he sobs and screams in the backseat, the driver of the Wraith, a macabre 135-year-old man named Charlie Manx, assures him that the worst part of his ordeal is over. They head to Christmasland, a magical place "where every day is Christmas day and unhappiness is against the law."

This is a good start for a television series. What is at stake is high. The action is tense and disconcerting. The audience has a million questions left, starting with: Who is this deception? And what is Christmasland, anyway?

So it's a shame that, after the registration of credits, NOS4A2 resolves these interesting questions and shows itself as divided in two. On the one hand, we have the strange Christmas kidnapping drama with an incredibly old man at its center. And, on the other hand, we have a broken family drama centered on a Massachusetts teenager named Victoria "Vic" McQueen.

In theory, this is what gives NOS4A2 the chill it needs to stand out in a landscape full of horror dramas: the juxtaposition of the nightmare and the supernatural with the horrors of the size of the kitchen and the sink of everyday life. Vic (Undoubtedly, he's working on the very long and very good Joe Hill novel on which NOS4A2 is based). And although Ashleigh Cummings is clearly older than the high school she is supposed to be playing at, she has the skills to sell most of these beats

The problem, at least the pilot, is that everything that surrounds Vic falls so flat. We met with her for less than a year since she graduated from high school. She is a brilliant student and a talented artist who dreams of going to RISD, but her obvious economic reality makes it functionally impossible. Her father, Chris, is a demolition man and amateur mechanic, his mother, Linda, is a house cleaner (with a strangely broad accent in New England), and does not earn enough money in higher education or lifestyle. High class of her best friend Willa

Vic is painfully aware that his situation is not good. When she discovers that her father has physically abused her mother, she is on the left side.

Much of the premiere of NOS4A2 is filling the misery of Vic so he can separate and discover his own superpower. To amplify the drama to that point, NOS4A2 creates one-dimensional cartoon characters. A wealthy child introduces himself by making a joke about alcoholic villages. Another direct response. And when Vic understandably excuses me from spending too much time with these ghouls, Willa's mother, tactlessly, takes Vic aside - in the middle of a drunken party - to suggest that Vic and Linda should go to a nearby shelter to women to escape. from Chris

With friends like these, who needs Charlie Manx? So Vic gets away from everything on his dirt bike and discovers an old covered bridge called Shorter Way, which inexplicably shows his father saying he was demolished 15 years earlier. She is a kind of portal; If something is lost, she can cross the bridge and find it.

At the premiere, Vic is still wrapping his head around his new and strange superpower. But it is not hard to imagine how the Shorter Path could, hypothetically, be very useful if you try to track a kidnapped child (whose name, hypothetically, maybe Danny).

But NOS4A2 has a full season to get to that. For now, Charlie is in total control. And as the premiere ends, it suddenly becomes clear why NOS4A2 killed Zachary Quinto with old age makeup to play the old-looking villain we met in the opening scene.