Apple TV+ will presumably build up substantial coffers with time, but for now, they’re attempting to harness the something-for-everyone monster with a handful of introductory series. With See, the tech giant hopes to satisfy those seeking a sprawling, epic series starring some impossibly beautiful people placed in gorgeous settings and engaging in some crazy action sequences. Yes, it sort-of feels like they’re aiming for Game of Thrones territory here because every streaming service wants one of those juggernauts. One can’t blame them for that quest, really, but at least with the three episodes screened for critics, Apple TV+ doesn’t quite satisfy that itch like Netflix’s Dark Crystal does. However, See does score more points than expected with its enormously budgeted, Jason Momoa-fronted effort.
See builds a world that’s wild and weird and a little bit wacky. Yet while extremely watchable, it’s full of contradictions, like dabbling in the absurd while tackling some sobering subjects. Likewise, the show’s visuals are so exquisite and jaw dropping that it’s difficult to look away, but that visual seduction includes graphically violent scenes that are intended for very mature audiences. The show also deviates wildly with its tone, which is tough to pin down. Honestly, I still can’t decide whether complexity or campiness reigns, but this show does provide honest-to-god entertainment value.
Actually, See is a bonkers ride, and here are only a few examples of why:
– A fur-cloaked Momoa, who enters like an amplified amalgamation of characters (Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, Declan Harp in Frontier, and a touch of 2011’s Conan the Barbarian) who we’ve seen him play on previous occasions.
– Witch hunters, and plenty of them.
– “Echolocation” enlisted as an actual fighting and survival technique, so humans are virtually hanging with the bats and dolphins.
– A masturbating monarch (Sylvia Hoeks from Blade Runner 2049). That’s a big one.
– Impossibly stunning landscapes, shot in British Columbia, even though pretty much no one within the show can see them.
– An immediate, elaborate battle, and clashing and chants and childbirth and a massive flight scene, all right out of the gate.