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“Hemlock Grove”

October 29, 2015

 

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Photo courtesy of Netflix

RACHEL MAXWELL 

Managing Editor | ram049@latech.edu 

 

After a grueling 15 month season break, Netflix finally released the third and final season of “Hemlock Grove” last Friday.

 

I watched the 10 episode farewell season in one less-than-productive weekend, so here I am to give a full report on the end of one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

 

I stand by the first season of “Hemlock Grove.” I still believe in my heart that it was quality television at that point, though some (most) critics disagree.

 

I acknowledge that its appeal was mostly to the inner Twilight fanatic left over from my middle school days, but still, it was fun and clever, with snippy dialogue and enough creativity to set it apart from its fellow vampire/werewolf dramas.

 

By the end of season two, it had begun to drift into a weird place reminiscent of a sci-fi movie, but after season three, I just feel like I’ve been watching a piece of erotic fan fiction from a dark corner of the Internet.

 

When I pressed play on to begin season three, I was excited.

 

The theme music played, and I was ready to reenter the small monster-ridden town of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania.

 

The first episode gave me hope. There were a few funny exchanges between Roman (Bill Skarsgård) and Peter (Landon Liboiron) that made me remember why I love this show so much.

 

However, as the season went on, I realized that much of the charm of the first two seasons was gone.

 

I had accepted the crazy plot lines of the other seasons, trusting that they would be explained by the end of the show, but instead of tying up loose ends, writers of the Netflix original just left them hanging, while introducing even more crazy plot lines. Many of the loose ends from previous seasons are not addressed at all, and those that are get waved off with one-sentence explanations.

 

Most of the spackle used to cover these plot holes comes in the form of advanced science that Dr. Price (Joel de la Fuente) cooks up in the infamous white tower.

 

The plot lines that do get resolved are done in a dull and anticlimactic way.

 

The entire series had been leading up to the villain Dr. Spevak’s plan for world domination, or prompting the apocalypse, or whatever he was after (it was never really made clear). After a season of chasing him down, he’s defeated in a few seconds.

 

Also missing from this season was any sex appeal at all.

 

There were several disturbing sexual themes throughout the first two seasons, but there were also normal relationships to follow for a reprieve from scenes in which the show explores dark areas such as rape and incest.

 

In this season, however, every relationship is cringe-worthy and disturbing. From teenage Shelley’s supposed-to-be innocent love story with a middle-aged convict to the incestuous affair between Roman and his sister Annie, I have never been so uncomfortable watching a television show in my life.

 

And somehow the fact that these things are happening is just treated like an extra bit of scandal in the show, nothing requiring extensive plot development or character analysis.

 

With those issues aside, I was still definitely sucked into the show the whole season through. Incredibly weird it may be, boring it is not.

 

While I am still depressed that the promise of the first season did not carry through to the finale, I am glad it ended when it did.

 

The ending does have a full-circle type of effect that feels like closure for fans, and when almost every single character died, I still had enough emotional attachment to get weepy over the deaths.

 

“Hemlock Grove” is not a good show. It’s cheesy, disturbing, distasteful, and often stupid.

 

It has also been one of my favorite shows, and even though I know it needed to happen, I’m sad to see it go.

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