Friday, December 23, 2016

Now on Netflix: Glitch (2015)

Glitch (2015) - Created by Tony Ayres, Louise Fox; Starring Patrick Brammall, Genevive O'Reilly, Emma Booth, Emily Barclay, Ned Dennehy, Sean Keenan, Andrew McFarlane.

By Kenny Howell

It's hard to talk about Glitch, the Australian drama about people returned from the dead, without talking about the great French series The Returned.

Mostly because they share a lot of similarities, and The Returned was so good that everything will be compared to it from here on out.

Glitch is set in a small Australian town where one night, people start crawling out of their graves. A policeman, James Hayes (Patrick Brammall), finds them and thinks they may be drug addicts or something of the sort.

But then his wife Kate (Emma Booth) walks in. She died a few years back after a battle with breast cancer. It becomes apparent that these people are definitely something different.

There are some things that are seemingly lifted from The Returned. Chief among those is the people can't leave the town. They were landlocked in The Returned too, but in it, they would drive out only to be returned back to the town as if the road just winded around and returned to where they started. Here, things are a bit more drastic. They start bleeding from their eyes and start decomposing quickly.

The biggest drama comes from Hayes and his former wife Kate. After her death, James fell in love with Kate's best friend Sarah (Emily Barclay), and they are expecting a child any day. When Glitch is at its best, it is dealing with that hard relationship because James obviously still loves his former wife deeply, but he has a new life. That is tough for Kate too because she feels a bit betrayed because he found love in her best friend rather quickly after her death. It's a very complex love triangle, and creators Tony Ayres and Louise Fox handle it extremely well.

But of course the real focus of the show is why are these people back from the dead, and what is everyone's motives around them. Do they want to send them back to the grave, save them, keep them hidden, gain fame for unveiling them, or something more mysterious. In addition to James, a fellow man of law enforcement and a doctor have some vested interest in the deceased, but we aren't sure why. It is fairly well done, and does things a bit differently than The Returned, though that still hangs over them. Things don't get cleared up totally, and some new mysteries appear, paving the way for a second season. Despite the reservations I had, Glitch is set up to become something more.

The first season of Glitch is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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