1899: SEASON ONE
Starring: Emily Beecham, Aneurin Barnard, Andreas Pietschmann, Miguel Bernardeau, José Pimentão, Isabella Wei, Gabby Wong, Yann Gael, Mathilde Ollivier, Jonas Bloquet, Rosalie Craig, Maciej Musial, Clara Rosager, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Maria Erwolter, Alexandre Willaume, Tino Mewes, Isaak Dentler, Fflyn Edwards, and Anton Lesser
Creators: Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar
1899 is a pretentious AF show that, at times, is navigating through rough waters. For such an atmospheric and thought-provoking show, it often felt very tedious. The ingredients of mystery and suspense are there, but I needed more answers throughout the season to come out on the other side more satisfied. The structure of 1899 would’ve worked better as a limited series, and although some storylines aren’t tied up by the end, I personally don’t see the need for another season. But who knows? Maybe I will come around on it. Time will tell.
It’s hard to say too much about 1899 without getting spoilery, but I’ll give it one thing: it builds an excellent sense of dread, foreboding, and general misery in each of its way-too-many characters. The problem is that the series is super slow until a big reveal in the fifth episode; once that happens, it becomes convoluted and far less interesting. It’s like a series built from all the worst parts of Lost, even borrowing some of the same imagery and a very similar story structure. Honestly, Episode Five is the only hour of the eight that truly held my interest. That’s not a good ratio.