Review for the Netflix show "Residue"

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Review for the Netflix show "Residue"

Post by Kris Smith on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:15 am

Released on 31 Mar 15, Residue is another of Netflix’s new efforts to produce its own content. Comprising three 45 minute episodes, it’s more of a pilot for Netflix to test the waters than a full on series for you to view. The question is, “Is it worth it?” I would respond with a qualified, “Yes.” I’ll elaborate on that a little more later, but first let me tell you what the show is all about.

Residue tells the story of a conspiracy that follows a bombing on New Year’s Eve in a major metropolitan city. The bombing seems to accidently unleash a forgotten stockpile of chemical weapons from World War II. Three months later the Ministry has created a quarantine zone covering five square miles in the middle of the city surrounding the blast site. Everyone has been evacuated out of the zone and no one is allowed back in. Now the public is clamoring for answers that the government isn’t giving. Who set off the bomb? What is the contamination? When will they be able to go back home? But it’s the questions that aren’t being asked that prove to be the most dangerous.

The show is told from the viewpoints of three different people: Jaime Draven (The Mill, The Body Farm) portrays Levi. A substance abusing, burnt out cop whose daughter was killed by the explosion on New Year’s Eve. Now he’s obsessed with finding out what happened. Iwan Rhoen (Game of Thrones, Misfits) as Jonas, a Public Relations person for the Ministry, who begins to wonder about what they aren’t telling the public. Finally, Natalia Tena (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter) as Jennifer. In a truly great performance she plays Jonas’ wife and a photographic journalist who stumbles on a conspiracy following several violent incidences that she witnesses. Evidence that she collects points to the fact that a supernatural force may be at work.

Set in what I can only assume is Hong Kong, the setting only seems to further heighten the tense feeling of the series. The show is mostly done at night with either the harsh sodium lights covering the streets or the overly slick colored LED lights found in clubs. The streets are practically deserted and quiet, giving a hunted feel as the characters go about the city. When day is shown the light is harsh and the colors are desaturated. This is a city that is wounded, scared, and exhausted. Despite the foreign locale, do not expect much in the way of racial representation. At odds with the Asian writing on many of the walls, you’ll see basically no Asian people. After the first episode I actually made a mental note to look for Asian people in the background, and I remember only seeing one. A cook at a sidewalk café who’s only there for about five seconds. As far as other people of color, there’s only one black man, Willey G, and quite frankly, he’s a Mary Sue that sets my teeth on edge. An early twenties street hustler, he seems to know everybody who’s anybody, everything that’s going on that’s not a state secret, and is capable of beating those old guys at the park who play chess at their own game while his partner works the crowd. He’s not so much a person as he is a very annoying plot device.

Residue is the beginning of what could be quite a great show. Watch it encourage Netflix to pick it up. Watch it for the beginnings of a good conspiracy tale. But really, watch it to see Osha/Tonks give a commanding performance of a woman being eaten by a question that she can’t ignore or answer.
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Re: Review for the Netflix show "Residue"

Post by aesta on Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:56 pm

Moved forum. c:
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Re: Review for the Netflix show "Residue"

Post by Kris Smith on Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:16 pm

Sorry Aesta, I just didn't think that it was correct for this forum given the forum's description.
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Re: Review for the Netflix show "Residue"

Post by aesta on Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:02 pm

No worries. Sorry it was confusing! I'm still trying to get everything situated, & write better descriptions for things, but ideally this'll be the forum where spoilers are most likely to lurk. @___@''
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