Oct 31, 2018

[TV] The Hollow: Season 1 Review

Happy Halloween, everyone!

It feels like as good a time as any to review the Netflix original animated series, The Hollow because it's kind of creepy even though it's not fully scary or horrific. But I guess it's thematic enough for the holiday so I'll just run with it.

The Hollow does feel like an attempt to tap into a similar market as Stranger Things given our trio of antagonists and the often dark-hued promotional art for the show. But don't fret, this show is pretty unique and has its own distinct feel. And it's own odd little ending.

Amd it's not an ongoing show, as best as I can determine. Instead it's more of a mini-series and thus has a distinct beginning, middle and end that wraps things up nicely by the end of the show. The twists are a mixed bag of good and bad but on the whole it's not as bad as it initially seems.

Synopsis: The Hollow is a Canadian animated science fantasy series created by Vito Viscomi. The show was released on Netflix in June 2018.

Three teenagers - Adam (Adrian Petriw), Kai (Connor Parnall), and Mira (Ashleigh Ball) wake up in a largely featureless room with no memories of who they are. The eventually find slips of paper in their pockets that they assume correspond to their names and for the rest of their adventure that's how they address one another. It turns out they're in some sort of a bunker and once they escape the mysteries just continue.

Over time they start to discover that each of them seem to have special abilities. Adam is rather strong and skilled at fighting. Mira shows an early penchant for solving puzzles and riddles, which becomes critical to helping them survive. And Kai, well, at first glance he just seems to be a bit of a nerd. And as they journey through this mysterious land they end up repeatedly encountering a very strange fellow they end up calling The Weird Guy (Mark Hildreth), who tends to arrive at just the right moment to offer them a way out of danger.

What I Liked: The show's formatting was quite clever as the appearance of The Weird Guy often comes with a dramatic change in scene. They time this in the middle of each episode in order to shake up the traditional cliffhanger format. And thus you are drawn to watch the next episode soon enough as it's the only way to finish a particular story arc within a part of this land in order to see it to the end.

The general mysteries that drive this show in a distinct puzzle-related format makes for a great way to structure the story to keep it interesting. It gives the characters concrete goals to aim for within the context of the episode and thus enough time to see things through to the end. They're not all great puzzles, but they get the job done.

What Could Have Been Better: The whole premise of the show is presented as one of the central mysteries but really things are pretty obvious from the very beginning once they find the map and it sort of just builds more and more. And thus the big reveal at the end ends up feeling rather disappointing and underwhelming.

And then some of the conflicts that had been written into the mix of things just didn't quite all feel that great. But the time you get to the end there's a definite feel of rushing things in order to wrap things up somehow. But the finale, as mentioned before, ends up being totally underwhelming given how things had connected in that manner. It's hard to describe clearly but that's just the confusing vibe I walked away with after watching the show.

TL;DR: The Hollow is a fun enough show that tries to be more clever than it actually its but it's not like it's the only show to try doing that. It still has some genuinely interesting moments but it also gets bogged own with its own side-plots at times. And thus the show gets a fair 3.5 surprises waiting for them in this strange land out of a possible 5.

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