TelevisionTalks: The Rain
I’m going to try and keep this post as spoiler free as possible. The things I’ll talk about will generally all be available in the trailer or in the first episode. Though, be warned, I will make some comparisons that might give you a bit more of an idea of the s how.
The Rain is a Netflix Original (aka released in the US). The show is a horror/suspense show that leans more on the suspense side of things than it does horror. The show is based in Denmark, so it also has that different feel to the suspense than you get in a lot of shows from the US.
There is something wrong with the rain, it’s killing everyone. Simone, a teenager, and her younger brother are rushed by her father to a bunker hidden out in the forest with their mother. There, they should be safe, but something happens so that both her parents leave her, and she and her brother have to spend time in the bunker. Six years later, with resources running out, they are forced out of the bunker to face the world as it is now.
That’s a brief synopsis of the show. In a lot of ways, it’s a post apocalyptic survivors show. How much humanity have people held onto and how much are they willing to work together. Those are the questions that The Rain tries to answer. But along with that, since we’ve seen that with the Walking Dead, is why is the rain like it is. What’s the mystery surrounding Apollon the company that Simone and Rasmus’s (her younger brother) father worked for and that built the bunkers.
The suspense in the show works really well. You do wonder what is going on, and you wonder who is going to make it throughout the show as you feel uneasy about any of the characters chances of survival. You also get to question the motives of everyone in the show.
I’d compare this to two different shows with how it handles everything. The first is Helix, a show on the SyFy network from a while back. That show was definitely more horror focused, but there was some mystery and suspense around it as they slowly unfolded what was going on. The Rain does something that I feel is similar, but has a tighter more people focused approach to the show. I could toss The Walking Dead into a comparison, but I haven’t seen much of the show, just read the comics, but Dark, another Netflix Original, has a similar atmospheric presence to the show. The pacing of the show tends not to be all that hectic, and the cinematography, while not as good as Dark, and the scoring, again not quite as good as Dark, does a great job of setting the scene and feel for the world.
This does get to the biggest thing that I really love about the show. The pacing of The Rain, and Dark, is so different from your standard American show. While The Rain does wrap up story more so at the end of each episode, there doesn’t feel like the rush that you get from the American shows. You can really sink into the show and just experience it as compared to basically any other show. I think some would say that Game of Thrones does that as well, because it isn’t action focused, but Game of Thrones spreads itself way to thin character wise, and loses a good chunk of the humanity that you get from The Rain. They do it so much with the scoring which tends to be haunting, not grand, which is another thing that feels different than American television shows.
It’s tricky to explain how that experience makes you feel, and for me that was one of the driving forces that made the show really good. The writing on the show is solid, but nothing earth shattering. They do a good job of creating moments for each character. Kristen can attest so the fact that it might not be the most original writing as I’ve been able to predict several things in the show a ways ahead of where they happened at. I don’t consider that a major downside to the show as that tended to be episode focus, and one of them was done to great effect still and amazingly well written.
Another good thing about the show is that the acting is strong. There are no names that you’ll have heard of, but the acting is very good. The writing for the characters is really well done which helps a lot as well. Again, I think some of the characters can venture into stereotypes, but they have enough depth to the character that you can see beyond that. It’s also really interesting to stop and think about the motivations for the characters because you can really break it down and see why the characters might be the bit of a stereotype that they are, for better or worse, basically always worse.
Overall, this is a really well done show. It isn’t without a few little hiccups, but they are over fast, with the exception of one episode that had some very interesting moments in it, but was the most cliched of all the episodes. This could be a tough show for some people to watch because there are some highly emotionally intense moments in the show. There aren’t always a ton of them, but when they do show up it’s very tough to watch. Still, I will recommend this show, because sometimes watching something tough and watching people process through that is very interesting.
Have you watched The Rain? What are your thoughts on it, do you like shows that build up so much through the atmosphere?
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