Critical Condition: Strange Angel

Strange Angel | SoHo, 8.30 Wednesday

➢➢ “Jack Parsons died relatively young, but lived astoundingly. He was a janitor turned rocket scientist … an accused spy and an occult author … A life boasting enough material for several movies gets an ongoing TV series treatment courtesy of CBS All Access, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions and Black Swan scribe Mark Heyman’s Strange Angel, a handsomely produced period drama that, through three of the first season’s 10 episodes, is more tantalising than satisfying — though it’s amply and very watchably tantalising.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢➢ “A crazy true story about rockets and sex cults is far too tame … Strange Angel could develop into an engrossing adventure of a man who couldn’t straddle the line between pushing the mind to its limits and pushing beyond its breaking point, but it’s too content early on to dwell on the mundane instead of truly embrace the strange.” — IndieWire.

➢➢ “The upside of such a leisurely arc is that it allows for conversations into which exposition is less obviously inserted, and scenes have time to wander before getting to a point. The downside is that, spread across so many hours, the action tends to run in circles over the same ground. And while this is helpful dramatically — decisive action in fiction requiring more discernible motivation than the tumbling about that describes real life — it means that some of the characters can become a little wearing.” — Los Angeles Times.

➢➢ “A couple of things about Strange Angel stand out immediately. Director David Lowery (A Ghost Story) has an eye for dark corners that gives every scene an ominous sheen … And composer David Hart (also of A Ghost Story) layers in a beautiful score that teeters right on the edge of horror, with some occasional (and lovely!) strains of folk music thrown in for good measure.” — Variety.

➢➢ “Like the subject, Strange Angel refuses to yield its secrets readily, or quickly, but instead methodically. Given the science (difficult) and the cult (abstruse) that’s a reasonable approach to the story, just not a gripping one. And over the first three episodes, Angel often loses its grip. The other challenge that’s not quite met is Parsons himself … Parsons was evidently a colourful character, his TV counterpart not so much.” — Newsday.

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