Tenshot: Hanna (Amazon Prime)
- The story opens with an infant being taken by an intruding man and woman (presumably her parents) taking a baby from an odd looking neonatal unit, and running away from what appear to be government agents. The mother doesn’t survive, the man and child escape into the Romanian woods. Flash forward a decade and a half and the baby is a girl who has been taught survivalism by her father. She never leaves the woods, until this show.
- The story of how she has to leave is contrived. It involves intelligence satellites that she stumbles onto right near the edge of her woods. That catches the attention of agents (including the one that was chasing them fourteen years before) and kick-starts the plot. When you only have eight episodes, though, you have to cut some corners if you’re worried about pacing. Plot-wise, though, that’s probably the weakest part (allowing for the basic suspension of disbelief that comes with this sort of thing).
- Throughout the story, Hanna is meeting normies and befriending them (or trying), giving it a weird vibe of a coming-of-age story interspersed with blood and violence.
- Some of the violence described – as part of Hanna’s origin – is beyond grim. It ends up permanently tarnishing a character we’re supposed to have some sympathy for because she’s trying to redeem herself. But redemption has its limits. I genuinely couldn’t get past it.
- The acting is good throughout. As it happens, the adult protagonist (Joel Kinnamon) and antagonist (Marielle Enos) starred as the detective and her partner in “The Killing”. In that one, Kinnamon was a wisecracking tweeking cop while in this one he was a stone cold government assassin. Despite switching sides, Enos played almost the same character.
- Partially because he’s so lanky, Kinnamon gives the appearance of being much taller than he is. Standing next to Enos he looks even taller. He’s just 6’2″ but she’s 5’2″. The lead, played by Esme Creed-Miles, is 5’5″ but comes across as bigger because she’s so bad-ass. Haven’t seen her before, but expect I will again. I wanted to give some shout-outs to others and then as I was starting I kept thinking of more and more people. And I can’t think of any really weak links.
- My wife won’t be watching it because she happened to be in the room during the wrong episode. Not that the episode was bad, but it was full of teenage drama. It was the only episode like that, but she’s convinced it’s an MTV drama now with everyone yelling about who had a crush with who.
- It’s a testament to how good I found the show that I didn’t mind that episode. It was dramatic because teenagers really are dramatic, but most of the drama was organic. It happened not for the sake of causing drama, but because stuff like that happens and drama is the result.
- One of the more interesting themes was that of permanent alienation. She was given her backstory, taught language and all of that, but she hasn’t lived a normal life so her ability to integrate throughout the adventure is compromised. She said she was from Amsterdam and watching over I am surprised that anyone bought it. But I guess sometimes you take things at face value because why would they lie?
- On the whole, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I watched it because I’m without Netflix and Hulu this month and Amazon had been pushing it, but I’m glad I did. I fear my description here isn’t doing it justice. I can’t talk too much about the story because spoilers. What made it good wasn’t the story it told (a sort of superhero origin story, as much as anything) but how it told it and the characters it told it with.
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