Monday, March 28, 2016

100 Book Project: Review of 11.22.63 on Hulu

Remember how I spent over a year reading over 100 books that students and friends and former classmates assigned me? I have more books to read, but this year I have also watched series that my students assign me on platforms where students go to fill their minds and pass the time -  Netflix and Hulu.

Since January I've watched all seven seasons of Nurse Jackie and Shameless (reviews: love and love); all episodes of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul (reviews: ruined me for all other tv, movies, books and life in general), and the first seven episodes of the  Hulu series "11.22.63"

If you haven't heard of the show, it is based on the premise that James Franco goes back in time  to stop the assassination of JFK.

The thing is that he can only go through this wormhole to a specific date in 1960, and from there must lurk until 1963. 

Most of the first seven episodes (the 8th hasn't aired and I will not miss it for the world) show James Franco's character becoming a macho hero as he lays low and readies himself to save America for some sort of future where JFK lives and I guess we don't go to the Vietnam War which means Nixon was never elected and so the war on drugs  never happens and America becomes a prosperous utopia where  Canadians come in hordes to flee their tyrannical medical bills and/or their crazy tiny-handed dictator.

Here's the thing. 11.22.63 is based on a story by Stephen King,  so it is really really scary.

I was down for "scary" when I started to watch the show, but what I didn't expect was the relentless gritty gruesome bullying: kid-on-kid humiliation; a gang of men stomping on one man; a step-parent with iron fists and a sledgehammer; a possessive abusive stalking face-slashing ex-husband. 

I hate the violence, I hate that the writers chose these moments of intimate violence, but I understand - but I don't like - that the writers had to create situations where Franco's character could escalate from a non-violent person to a person willing and able to kill Lee Harvey Oswald before he kills JFK.  I understand but I didn't like it, OK? Hear me?

Episode 8 - the finale - comes out next Monday and  I'll be watching it the minute it come out.