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Prisoner thoughts
Bar Harbor
Caught the first two hours of the new version of The Prisoner on AMC last night.

I enjoyed the callbacks to the original, but this is clearly *not* a remake, but a reimagining. I think it owes almost as much to Lost as to the original Prisoner. It also seems to be hitting on the allegory aspects much harder, and much sooner.

Not sure I approve of the disjointed storytelling style. It fits with the more dream-like, drugged tone of the current version, but it frequently feels like narrative cheating. This village seems even less real than the original. The original series started with an assumption of normal physical reality, and only made you question that on rare occasions, mostly near the end of the series. This one *starts* by denying ordinary physical reality, and only gradually hints that there may be a 'mundane' explanation for what's going on.

Ian McKellan is, of course, marvelous. I was dubious about having only one Number Two for the whole thing, but the difference in the background setup seems to naturally demand that.

I am *so* not used to watching commercials. I can't just tune them out, but the breaks are too short to do more than a quick bathroom break. Also, Palm managed to erode all the Cool Points they earned for sponsoring this show by showing the *same* *damn* commercial *five* times. Also, is it now common practice to show previews, not just for the upcoming show, but the upcoming *act*? I found it all greatly distracting. I may wait and bittorrent the whole thing in a week or so, rather than sit through more of this aggravation.

Definitely interesting enough for me to commit to four more hours of it (though not necessarily the accompanying nonsense). Withholding overall judgment until I see where they are going.
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I haven't seen this yet, but I caught an NPR interview with one of the actors, and apparently the village it's set in is a German founded town in Namibia and really is that bizzarre all on its own. The actor (playing the lead) said it really helped with getting into the right mood for filming, as things were pretty much surreal all the time.

It's queued up on the DVR. I won't get to it for a day or two at least, but you've made me very grateful I have automatic commercial skip! Also, after at least one previous review I was ready to discard the thing entirely. Thanks for this writeup, it has kept me interested enough to judge for myself.

Well, I *am* a huge fan of the original, and thus really pre-disposed to give this the benefit of the doubt. It would have to be actively squicky for me to not allow it six hours of my time.

I'll give a more complete report in a week or so :)

I didn't watch it last night (we had a show), but it's available on-demand if you have Comcast cable and that usually has a lot fewer commercials.

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