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Suspense and intrigue abound in The Man in the High Castle

Posted on November 22, 2015

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source: Amazon

Wow! We just binge watched, The Man in the High Castle. It’s fantastic. It might be the best show on television. But, guess what? You won’t find it on any channel—broadcast or cable. The show was produced by Amazon Studios and became available to Amazon Prime members on November 20, 2015.

Set in 1962, it depicts the fictionalized fate of an America that lost World War II to the Axis Powers. Japan controls the former states on the west coast. The Rocky Mountains form a lawless neutral zone. The rest of what was the United States sits under Nazi reign.

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source: Amazon

A titillating premise, the show certainly has. Its writing, though, makes it extraordinary. The main characters are well-developed. They are flawed yet likable, complex but not contrived, consistent while surprising. There are clear sides, i.e., Nazis, Japanese, insurgents. But, the characters don’t fall neatly into them. Instead, the show recognizes that a host of sometimes conflicting motivations drive human behavior, and people are rarely binary—neither all good nor all bad.

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source: Amazon

Each episode brims with suspense. The plot—and a host of absorbing subplots—unfold unpredictably before your eyes. You never quite know where everyone’s loyalties lie, or what intentions they have. At its core, this is a character-fueled, period-piece drama. But, neatly woven in, is the intrigue of world politics, ideological tension, and a dash of science fiction. It’s engrossing. It provokes thought.

Much attention is paid to detail. From Japanese programming on the television to a shop selling traditional American artwork to children participating in the Hitler Youth to a celebration of Victory in America Day, it feels so eerie, so surreal. Check out the San Francisco street sign in the below photo.

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source: Amazon

We truly enjoyed Season 1. Let’s hope Amazon picks it up for a Season 2.

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source: Amazon

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