It really is good enough to merit this rating. If you’ve been considering giving it a shot, maybe try now. And if you like it, make sure to watch from a legal source and help the ratings as they shop it around.
Why is it so good?
It’s tightly plotted, vast in its scope and yet very personal. The characters are people drawn so deftly moments of their characterization have made my breath catch.
It’s insightful about history and what it teaches us about how human groups relate and how conflict works – they recently did an entire episode about war that wasn’t grimdark or bullshit ra-ra heroics, it was about people struggling with all their hearts. It was about the knife’s edge we all walk, trying to throw ourselves forward into a better future, trying to be good to each other, while the engine of the machine we’re caught in tries to grind us all down.
I won’t cite a laundry list of the show’s diversity because it doesn’t come across as a laundry list: everyone is a person and people come in all races, genders, creeds, classes, and sexualities in a way that is so balanced that scenes can be about what it means to be human–all of it, from our best to our worst–while letting all humans be part of asking those questions and finding their own answers. Furthermore, it has the smartest handling of class (in a diverse way) I’ve seen on TV. EVER. It’s all part of the sense of real stakes, real political forces going against each other, with conflicting values and material interests.
It starts out well, and then it just gets better. and better. and better. As the different parts of the story come together, as we get more focus on women characters.
It’s also funny. And beautiful.
Lmao, that RT summary. It’s so, so, so much more than that. It’s got so much heart. It’s hard to describe what it is or how it does it but to me the how is crucial. Because the execution is so clever and kind and well done, I’ve said before that I’d be happy watching a slice of life show set in this world because they do the characters and world building so well.
It’s not a chore to start, like some Good shows can be, it’s not lecturey in any way. It’s a very humanizing look at very different people, but it doesn’t excuse every action as justifiable simply for being sympathetic. It’s not about absolutes, good or bad, good people or bad people, but people doing good when they can, wanting to help and not hurt. Realism without cynicism, bad people and bad actions without veering into grimdark for its own sake. It is joyous to watch.