It should be noted that I have since moved to just updating the original review, this post was originally broken into seasons. I have tried to update further seasons below the intro. Starting with newest and working back.
Creator: Frank Spotnitz
Stars: Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rufus Sewell, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Based on: “The Man in the High Castle”, by Phillip K Dick
Original Network: Amazon
First episode date: November 20, 2015
OVERALL: A fantastic, must-see show!.
In a dystopian America dominated by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, a young woman discovers a mysterious film that may hold the key to toppling the totalitarian regimes.
BREAKDOWN BY SEASON
Worth it? Yes
Still can’t do better than the Nazis, mysterious films, alternate worlds and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.
It’s the next season of the same world. We pick up almost immediately where we left off, having met the Man in the High Castle, the Nazi conspiracy and the drive to make a H-Bomb by the Japanese.
I can’t talk very much about the plot itself if you haven’t seen it. It does ratchet up the intrigue, who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. There is more of a focus inside New York (the Reich) and Mr. Tagomi opens up a totally new storyline that comes together at the end of the season.
It humanizes all the main characters, including Obergruppenführer John Smith, and Inspector Kids. It doesn’t make what they do ok, so no apologism for their behavior, but it does show you why they do the things they do. Like all people, even villains, they are the hero of their own story.
This season was a little different, I found I didn’t like Juliana or Fink as much. Not acting or the writing. They were great, but their storylines took them into places I didn’t like and their character’s twists and turns made me not like the characters themselves as much.
Pros: Once again, great acting, immersive sets, an compelling story and I love Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Mr. Tagomi. I liked him last season, but he clicked with me a lot (well so did John Smith, but Mr. Tagomi took it away).
Cons: Once again, I don’t think there is an overall con, but because there are so many roles you will probably hate someone… I still can’t stand Joe Blake, not the fault of the actor, he is good, just don’t like the character, this season he whines an awful lot and I just can’t stand it.
Hands down a great show, I still can’t recommend it more.
Worth it? Yes
Nazis, alternate universe, resistance and a mysterious films showing alternate worlds, of course its great.
The world is different, the Axis powers won and split up America. The Japanese took the western third, the Nazis took the eastern half leaving a small strip in the middle that was a neutral zone. There are main characters in the resistance, in the Nazis and in the Japanese occupying force (and Trade Minister).
I don’t want to spoil it, but all the acting is really good. Their are two main Nazi characters, both very good at their roles, one who questions what he is doing and one who is a loyal higher up officer who does his duty but has to protect his family. There is a Japanese inspector and a Trade Minister both excellent with varying views, then of course there is a grouping of Resistance actors who are all great with various outlooks.
Its not set in World War II, its 20 years after and you get to deal with the politics of the two empires posturing over what is left of America with the threat of war (and surprisingly enough the only reason there is peace is because Hitler is still alive). There is a character in here that you will like no matter your outlook.
Pros: Great acting, immersive sets, an compelling story.
Cons: I don’t think there is an overall con, but because there are so many roles you will probably hate someone… personally I can’t stand Joe Blake, not the fault of the actor, he is good, just don’t like the character.
Hands down a great show, can’t recommend it more.