My performance of the week ending 5/2/20 on TV goes to…

The cast of Dispatches From Elsewhere on AMC:

Jason Segel, Eve Lindley, Sally Field, and André Benjamin.

I’ve witnessed many shows with brilliant casts, but there was just something truly special and unique about this particular one. We fell in love with their characters in such a short amount of time. They made us laugh. They made us cry. They broke our hearts into a million pieces and then put them back together.

Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.

There have been characters over the years that I have really connected with, but Dispatches From Elsewhere took things one step further. We were asked to imagine each of these characters as “you” or “us,” but when it comes down to it, there’s really only one “you.”

These characters couldn’t be more different and yet they were all brought together by a mysterious game. However, once the game played out, we were left with connections, memories, and moments that reminded us what life is really all about. It’s about the people we choose to share them with, proving that every moment counts…even the small ones.

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Images courtesy of AMC

When the show began, the narrator asked us to think of each character as us. We were presented with a snapshot of each character’s life and routine. Some stories hit pretty close to home while others were inspiring on another level. While you may have been initially skeptical about how you could relate to each character, those walls and barriers quickly broke down as you found yourself along for the ride.

The show is really more of a journey than anything else, but it’s a journey that we went on as well as the audience. It had moments of pure brilliance and magic, translating past the page and screen. While the show may seem weird and complex, it’s so much more than that. Sometimes we need to look at the simplest version of things in order to get the most out of them.

As the show goes on, Peter, Simone, Janice, and Fredwynn find themselves questioning more than just the game. However, through it all, they also discover this important connection in their group. Their friendships and relationships are beautiful and touching. In a world filled with pain and loneliness, they are able to take a leap of faith in order to find one another, which is no easy task.

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Images courtesy of AMC

What’s next for our group? Well, the show is over for now, but the season finale was probably one of the most thought-provoking episodes I have ever witnessed on television. It was bold, different, and slightly all over the map, but by the time it was done, I had tears in my eyes and a new respect for the entire cast and crew of this show.

The show is meant to be a limited anthology series. If it is picked up for any additional episodes, we will most likely follow a new group of characters and plot, but I think that the journey and performances we witnessed will forever stay with us. 

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Images courtesy of AMC

I highly recommend this show to anyone who is looking for something slightly outside of the box. I can confirm that this show is like nothing else I have ever watched. I am truly grateful that I took a chance on it and these actors took my breath away with their incredible portrayals and performances.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now!

Play if you dare…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Dispatches From Elsewhere” on AMC: Just the Right Amount of Strange

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Pay attention. Clues are all around you…”

Dispatches From Elsewhere premiered on AMC on March 1st 2020. The anthology series features 10 episodes that air weekly (approximately 56 minutes in length). It stars Jason Segel, Eve Lindley, André Benjamin, and Sally Field.

Based on the 2013 documentary film, The Institute, the series centers around four main characters who have lost a sense of meaning in their lives. They each stumble upon a game with many challenges and mysteries, as they unlock the secrets behind it and form unexpected connections with one another.

The show is definitely something different and unique, luring you in from the first opening minutes, which feature the narrator staring at you without saying anything. The show throws you right into the mysterious game, as you find yourself playing along, but it’s really more about the characters and their journey toward self-discovery.

While the show may hit you over the head with some of its underlying themes, it does provide us with a lot of reflective moments as well, but does it do enough to earn a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

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Images courtesy of AMC

A mystery that grabs your full attention.

I may not know what’s going on for a lot of these tests and challenges, but they keep me coming back for more. The opening episode is from Peter’s (Segel) perspective, as he finds himself invited to some kind of elaborate test or game, but there are warnings as well about the mysterious Jejune Institute.

Are they friends or foes? I’m not sure, but the clues are fun and interesting, leading to more pieces of the main puzzle.

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Images courtesy of AMC

Electric character dynamics.

The cast is absolutely fantastic. Standout performance goes to Eve Lindley as Simone, who really elevates the rest of the characters that much more, while throwing in some humor as well.

The characters couldn’t be more different and yet the narrator asks us to think of them as us, connecting us to their stories. While each character deals with different obstacles, they somehow find true friendship and understanding in their group, suggesting that the strangers we pass by in the world every day have the potential to become so much more.

The Cons:

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Images courtesy of AMC

A lot going on…

While the show captures our attention, it does go off the rails several times. The show is supposed to be about more than the mysterious game, which we understand immediately, but the plot of the show branches out all over the place.

When you reach the later episodes, things that seemed important fade away and there is some unnecessary fluff that I could have done without. I think that the opening episodes really set the tone for the show and it started to lose steam once some of the reveals were presented.

That being said, it’s also part of the show’s charm, suggesting that our own journeys zigzag rather than travel down a straight path toward understanding.

So am I in or out?

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Images courtesy of AMC

I’m in! At first glance, I put this show on the back burner. However, once I gave the show a true chance, I quickly lost myself within it. It’s honestly the perfect show to binge-watch during your stay at home quarantine, as it really helps you reflect about what’s important in life and it also allows you to transport yourself somewhere else.

While you may see the reveals coming from a mile away, the show has a deeper meaning and as long as you embrace and understand that and expect to be confused a lot of the time, you’ll enjoy yourself.

This show was an unexpected surprise for me and I’m truly glad that I gave it the chance it deserves. While it may not be perfect, it is extremely unique and touching, blending mystery, sci-fi, and heartwarming moments with some glimpses of pure brilliance along the way.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Dispatches From Elsewhere in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Stay tuned!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

Main promo smaller

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek comes out April 28th!

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!