Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Andrew Gunn & Paul Walker
What's it about
A family of four moves into a new town- the Meadowlands, and four episodes of a new Showtime series ensue.
Is it good movie?
Okay, let me bring you up to speed. Meadowlands is a new series that will be broadcast on Showtime soon, and I've watched the first four episodes. Rather than giving you and episode-by-episode review (and thus spoiling half of the show), I've decided to share my overall impression of the show.
First, the nature of the show. Think of this one as a mix between Twin Peaks and American Beauty in the sense of strange, fractured families acting normal on the outside, but anything but behind closed doors. The Brogans (our main family) are four individuals who have been placed in the Meadowlands as a part of the witness relocation program. Here in their new town, they are trying to make peace, and a fresh start while struggling with their new identities. Immediately there is a sense of wanting to know what went on in the life of the Brogans before they got to their new home, and the show is very slow with revealing facts (all we know from the outset is that something about fire was involved). In fact, in my opinion, the entire drawing power of this show comes from the idea that the viewer knows very little about the main characters, and they only find out more as the show goes along, a la Lost.
I wouldn't say that Meadowlands would be something that I would watch on a regular basis. That isn't because it's a bad show though, because for what it was, I thought it was quite well done. The whole thing is very bizarre, and you'll be asking "what the hell was that/why did he or she do that?" a lot, due to the show's nature. The characters are bizarre and layered, especially the Brogans- you have the father, who is more enigmatic than anyone due to the past event that was committed, the Mom who really resents the father and is trying to start over, the slutty daughter and the traumatized son whose hands were burned in the fire- he doesn't like talking much when the show begins.
Slowly, relationships are forged and just as quickly shattered, and facts are revealed on a need to know basis. I was certainly always wondering where the show would go next, and most of the time was wrong. It turns out that Meadowlands isn't just "The perfect town", but a constructed area for other WLP members, which explains why there are so many lunatics and derelicts running about.
Meadowlands isn't a horror program, but it certainly is a bizarre sort of family drama that is unlike many things I've ever seen. It is dark and twisted, but not scary- don't expect any real jumps or boos, just a lot of twisted minds. If you're into bizarre British programs that keep you guessing, check this out. There's plenty of dirt to be unearthed in Meadowlands.
Video / Audio
While I wouldn't call Meadowlands my cup of tea, it's well made and entirely watchable, not to mention original. Sex, murder and mystery, what more can you ask for? The acting is top notch and the plot goes all over the place to keep you in muted suspense. Check it out on Showtime when you get the chance.