Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, June 07, 2015


The latest tv series I'm giving a try is Aquarius, which stars David Duchovny as a homicide detective working in LA in the late 60s, around the time of the Manson murders. Here's a bit about it from a New York Times review ...

[...] Unusual choices can be found throughout “Aquarius,” and they are part of what makes this drama so good. It’s so different from most network cop series that NBC is making all 13 episodes of available to binge-watch, Netflix style, on and other on-demand platforms after the show’s debut Thursday night.

David Duchovny (“The X-Files,” “Californication”) stars as a homicide detective who among other cases, investigates Charles Manson two years before the Tate-LaBianca murders; it’s a cop procedural punctuated with music by the Who and the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane.

Each episode title is a reference to a famous song from the era or one written by Mr. Manson, including one that was reworked by Dennis Wilson for the Beach Boys under the title “Never Learn Not to Love.”

But “Aquarius” looks at the psychedelic Summer of Love through the smoky filter of a 1940s film noir. The cinematography is especially counterintuitive — interiors are moodily dark, and colors are so drained that at times “Aquarius” looks like a black-and-white movie. Even at midday, the California sun looks dim: Some exterior scenes look as if they were shot through the gray-green glass of a vintage Coca-Cola bottle.

And that’s the prism through which Mr. Duchovny’s character, Sam Hodiak, sees the flower power revolution.

Sam is a throwback, a Philip Marlowe-like loner with a weakness for booze and dames. He dresses old school — white shirt, tie and dark suit — but he has contempt for the old-boy network of fat cats and corrupt city officials who tug law enforcement in their favor. A World War II veteran with a son serving in Da Nang, Sam also doesn’t identify with the dealers, draft dodgers, musicians and Black Power leaders who defy the law and refer to him as a “pig.” ....

I've been watching it free at Hulu but it can be found at NBC too. Viewer discretion is advised before each episode for sex/violence. I wanted to watch because I like David Duchovny and he *is* good in his role - a sadder, wiser, less idealistic Agent Mulder. The time in which the series is set is interesting as well ... don't know if the program gets to the Sharon Tate murder before the end.

Here's a trailer ...


Blogger Susan said...

Good review! Are they saying it's available on to watch for free? Did you like the first episode?

8:32 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Susan,

Yes, you can watch all the episodes for free at NBC or at Hulu. Here's the NBC link ...

I did like it but there is a lot of sex and violence, so it's kind of disturbing, at least for me. Still, I think it's good enough that I've kept watching. It helps to like Duchovny :) Let me know what you think if you end up watching.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Since it's on NBC I'm thinking it can't possibly have as much sex as Californication. I liked the first season of that one, but stopped after that. The second season seemed like it was more of same. I do like him though. And his (ex?) wife.

6:40 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Yes, the show being on a regular network instead of cable man less obvious sex, I think. I only watched one episode of Californication before I gave up on it. I guess I lead a sheltered life ;) ... most of the shows I like best, like Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon a Time, are pretty tame when it comes to sex and violence.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

I love Once Upon a Time! Didn't think I would, but I got hooked immediately. I didn't think I'd like the Outlander books either, but I'm just about ready to move to Scotland. :-) Haven't seen Sleepy Hollow.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

The promo for Aquarius caught my eye too. I'm a sucker for edgy LA based crime fiction. Glad you liked it--I'll have to check it out.

8:48 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Captain Hook is my most recnet favorite character ;) I think you'd like Sleepy Hollow - funny and with a bit of history and magic. Another series I like is Agents of Shield - must be because I loved comics as a kid. I've never tried the Outlander books yet, but are they kind of like the Highlander movie/tv series? I did like those.

8:49 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Richard. I'm almost done with all the episodes now - nooooo! ;)

8:50 AM  

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