I’ve never presented this as a “responsible” review outlet - - it’s just a record of my raw thoughts and reactions, nothing more - - but if it were, I’d confess that this past week has been a bad stretch. And I say that because all of these pilots have been good! Somehow, there hasn’t been much bad to say about this latest batch of shows. Each new one I see, I want to proclaim it as the best of the bunch; the one I’m going to take up to watch, for sure. Then the next one plays even better and I’m not sure whether I should be recanting anything.
Suffice it to say, then, this MYSTIC ARCHIVES OF DANTALIAN show was rather startling for making so dense a collection of ideas so effortlessly accessible. Certainly, I’m a fan of your pop entertainment bringing in material from esoteric sources and maybe even - - gasp! - - educating you along the way. However, I’ve seen an undeniable shitload of shows for this column that reach for such intellectual heights at the expense of basic storytelling concerns. Either they try to cram too much “world building” into a pilot episode, or they smother you with gobs of expository dialog or, maybe most disappointingly, they try to “weaponize” headier concepts in unintentionally silly ways.
That last failing unfortunately befell the end of [C] – CONTROL and maybe it’s fitting that this is the first pilot that’s unequivocally captured my imagination since [C]’s starter. This is just such an exciting abstract marriage of the intellectual and artistic that I’m truly struggling to think of any adequate comparisons. I’d say SANDMAN, but that doesn’t really fit. I want more. Right now! This is the #1 choice... for today, at least.
Watch this episode "Turn-Up Book" here and decide for yourself.