I didn’t know what it was about when I started the show. I saw that Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Beyond) and Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Micro from Netflix’s The Punisher were in it, and knew it was based on Joe Hill‘s novel “NOS4A2” or “NOS4R2″ if you’re in the UK. Created by Jami O’Brien (Flesh and Bone) the series stars Ashleigh Cummings (The Goldfinch), Jahkara Smith (Into the Dark), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (The Widow), and Virginia Kull (The Looming Tower).
Premise: Victoria “Vic” McQueen, a young working-class artist who discovers that she has a supernatural ability dangerous to Charlie Manx. Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children. Vic must strive to defeat Manx and rescue his victims—without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.
Review: The series started off creepier than I expected, then got so run of the mill that when the supernatural elements of the show make a proper appearance – there’s a Hermione-bag trick in the pilot – it felt like it came out of nowhere. The show stays creepy but it’s so slow that you’d think they’d have time to set up everything and yet I wasn’t sure what was going on after the first episode.
It’s only after reading the synopsis that I understood. Charlie Manx kidnaps children to leech their youth, which transform them into “little monsters” – not the Lady Gaga kind – he then keeps them in a secret place, Christmasland. As for Vic, she’s a danger to Manx because she can find what has been lost by using a bridge that takes her to what she looks for – I first thought she could just go back in time but nevermind. So Vic could potentially find those missing children but almost halfway through the season nothing’s happened.
Spending time getting to know the main character, seeing the world they evolve in, is often a way to get some insight about that character, understand, or fall in love with them but here it’s just filler. It slows everything down so much that one episode feels a two-hour movie. You could argue that the series is laying down the foundation of the show but at times it feel like watching paint dry. The potential is there though – I mean it’s not just boredom and procrastination that got me through these episodes, – the idea behind these supernatural abilities of the show is quite interesting. The concepts of “Strong Creatives” capable of pulling their private world of thought into the physical world of reality by tearing the fabric between the two, is appealing to me but they’re not doing much with it.
NOS4A2 is a creepy show featuring a motorbike yet the plot moves at a snail pace. They’re trying so hard to make the show grounded that it pulls away from the supernatural. I’m ready to watch season 2, at the very least the premiere to see if changes were made.