Starring: Jamie Bell, Seth Numrich, Kevin McNally
AMC has always been a TV channel that I never really much liked the programming they have outputted, with the exception to Breaking Bad. While I have heard how good shows like The Walking Dead (its awful) and Mad Men (not my type show) are I never find myself ever caring for anyone. I’ve also found some of the decisions of the AMC execs to be….interesting to say the least, with some regard as to some story decisions that they have directly made happen. But I digress, how about I judge a show based on its own merits!
Turn: Washington’s Spies is a show based, you guessed it, during the Revolutionary War period as our main character, Abraham Woodhull (played by Jamie Bell) finds himself in the middle of a decision of which side to choose in the incoming days before the war officially starts. What effects this will have with him psychologically and sociology, as he lives in a deeply entrenched British colony.
When I first started watching this show, I kinda had my arms crossed in a way cause I really wasn’t looking forward to this, but as the show slowly started, it really got me hooked. I love the way the show looks, giving the usually “filmic” Revolutionary era a whole new feel with the use of digital photography making things feel more relatable and much more intense with brutal violence and some really nasty moments. I usually don’t like these kind of changes, but in this instance I honestly wondered why it had never been done before.
The show moves along at a brisk pace, with a similarity to the way Game of Thrones has its characters set up, and with behind the table talks of allegiance and honor constantly changing hands making the series really investing to watch. That’s not to say its perfect, cause Turn does have its moments where the show slows down and drags considerably, but the moments of tension and action make up for this. The absolute WORST thing about this show is the atrocious use of computer effects that I’ve seen since Shark Attack 3. It’s laughably bad, in the worst kind of way, and makes me honestly wonder why they had to get a computer made shot of someone on a boat, instead of just filming someone in a boat. Come on guys! You have the budget for these things! Its completely inexcusable.
Turn is a show that I really didn’t expect to like considering that AMC has yet to come up with a better show than Breaking Bad and is desperately trying to hit its niche with audiences. But this is a show that I feel can find its audience and has a future. I’m very excited to see where it goes.
Presented in a 1:78.1 aspect ratio, Turn really looks quite good, even though it has some problems. Those minor problems being some very mild crush and from time to time some video noise, but other than that this looks quite great considering its source material. Colors, such as the British uniforms being a deep true Red and skin tones, if sometimes pale, come off as rich and lush. I will say that sometimes the show appears to look flat, as if it doesn’t have any real 3D pop to it, but all these things are so minor that it looks quite good.
Presented in a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, the soundstage comes to life in a mix that’s not afraid to get rowdy. Dialogue is always front and centered with the other sound channels obstructing it, while the sides and rear speakers get a nice work out with having some nice atmospheric qualities. It never gets too intense or aggressive with its mix but nothing about the show really asks for that level of involvedness. Sub use is mainly for the cannon and gunfire that the show has on occasion but never lets down when its time to shine. Overall it’s a great mix, just nothing to write home about.
Packaging and Bonus Features
Packaging for Turn really is a missed opportunity, but that’s not to say its bad by any means. The cover art is the same for the show when it was being promoted, but I really wish the blu ray case could have been red in this case to go with the themes and use of color on the front cover. I think it could have been cool, but I don’t have a degree in design, now do I? Bonus features on the other hand are very light and offer a bare minimum to what they could have done, in fact I think there might have been more features when they promoted the show online that could have been added here. Two of the three features are under five minutes in length but the deleted scenes are about thirty, so there is obviously room for improvement here.
· The History of Turn: Washington’s Spies
· From Art to Image
· Deleted Scenes
With an exception to the bonus features, this set is great. The show itself is quite good and the video and audio do a great job with only some very minor problems.