Hem­lock Grove Sea­son Two

Grow­ing pains

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Dvd & Blu-Ray -

Re­lease Date: 20 April 2014 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD Cre­ators: Brian McGreevy, Lee Ship­man Cast: Famke Janssen, Bill Skars­gård, Lan­don Li­bo­iron, Dougray Scott, Tiio Horn, Joel de la Fuente

As Net­flix’s only orig­i­nal SF of­fer­ing BM ( be­fore Marvel) in a slate of crit­i­cally ac­claimed shows, how dis­ap­point­ing that Hem­lock Grove is the on­line stream­ers’ black sheep. No one’s go­ing to be call­ing it the next House Of Cards any­time soon, but sea­son two is a def­i­nite step up from the ropey first year.

Again the for­mat is part mur­der mys­tery, part su­per­nat­u­ral soap opera. The mys­tery here re­volves around a masked cult killing seem­ingly ran­dom young ’ uns, and the cryptic dreams were­wolf Peter and vam­pire Ro­man have warn­ing them of the next mur­der. Else­where mad ma­tri­arch Olivia spends the sea­son wal­low­ing af­ter los­ing her vamp pow­ers, Shel­ley pre­pares for a life- chang­ing pro­ce­dure at the White Tower and new girl Mi­randa Cates finds her­self strangely drawn to Ro­man’s baby.

Hem­lock Grove is not a show to do things by halves, and those bru­tal were­wolf trans­for­ma­tions are only the start of it. The gore, bound­aries of taste and laws of logic are pushed even fur­ther this year; it’s also still a melo­drama at heart, so ex­pect some du­bi­ous dia­logue and per­for­mances. But char­ac­ters are bet­ter fleshed out, the plot­ting more tightly fo­cused and the ideas more out­landish than ever.

Cru­cially, it’s al­ways fun – some­thing the fre­quently bor­ing first sea­son couldn’t claim to be. The third and fi­nal sea­son airs on Net­flix in a cou­ple of months; at this rate there’s ev­ery chance Hem­lock Grove could end on a sur­pris­ing high.

Ex­tras: None. Jor­dan Far­ley

“Hands up buddy, this fin­ger is loaded.”

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