A Horror TV Honey Netflix Addiction Season Review with Kat W
Glitch (2016) Season 1
If you’re like a lot of people, you haven’t heard of Glitch, which is a crying shame, because it’s one of the most well-made, compelling supernatural dramas that nobody seems to be talking about. The concept of the show is one we’ve seen before with series like France’s Les Revenants (or the short-lived US version The Returned): dead residents of a small town return to life in perfect health, and nobody can figure out why they’re back. But Glitch is a force all its own, and with only 6 episodes, it’s the perfect weekend binge watch.
Mild spoilers ahead.
Set in the fictional town of Yoorana in Victoria, Australia, Glitch opens with a series of quiet shots of the town in the dead of night: Main street shiny wet from a recent summer rain, a gas station swarming with flies, the front of a building housing a pharmaceutical company called Noregard. This is the calm before the storm (the action of the entire first season takes place over the course of maybe a week). And then: a cemetery. A scratching from inside the earth. Six people crawling out of their graves. James (Patrick Brammall), a policeman, is called to the scene, where he works with Elishia (Genevieve O’Reilly), the town doctor, to sort out the situation and get these mystery people checked out back at Elishia’s office. One of the resurrected, who has slipped away from the group undetected, watches from afar as the group drive away. Another doesn’t burst out of his (unmarked) grave until the end of episode one, but he’s a wild card worth waiting for.
|Crawled right out of his grave and into my pants. Er... heart.|
The recently “not dead” all have ties to the town, but nobody really remembers at first who they were in life. With James and Elishia’s help, eventually, each of them starts to have flashes of memory, scenes from the first time they were alive that weave beautifully and seamlessly into and out of the action of the show like a dance. We find out that the group are all from wildly different time periods and walks of life, which has the effect of more or less framing them as time travelers as well. There’s Patrick Fitzgerald (Ned Dennehy), the first mayor of Yoorana, who died in 1864 and comes across a monument to himself in the town square. Kirstie (Hannah Monson) was murdered in the 1980s. Charlie (Sean Keenan) served in WWI.
|And then there's Maria, who enjoys mudbaths and long walks in cemeteries.|
All of the returned struggle with their newfound undead-ness, but perhaps the most heartbreaking case is that of James’ wife Kate, who died of cancer two years ago. Both of them are completely torn apart by their memories, not only of her grueling death, but of the intense love they had for each other when she was alive that they don’t quite know how to navigate now. Adding insult to injury, James has moved on to marry and impregnate Kate’s best friend Sarah, who is now weeks from giving birth to their first child. Ouch.
As it turns out, there is a lot more going on here than any of them realize (as if being brought back from the dead weren’t enough), and their emotional pain becomes the least of their worries when they realize none of them can physically leave the town limits. This is a mystery that I won’t spoil here and that won’t even be fully answered for you as you watch this season (which is fantastic; the level of restraint shown in this show is a miraculous gift). Does Noregard, the pharmaceutical company alluded to in the opening shots of the pilot, have something to do with their return and confinement to the town? Is town doctor Elishia withholding information from James and the others, concealing an ulterior motive for wanting to keep the fact of their return a secret from the outside world?
|Kate spends her time back on earth looking for answers |
and being impossibly beautiful.
Expertly paced, Glitch is full of questions and delivers very few answers, but that’s not a bad thing. The once-dead are all intensely compelling characters, which makes for a show with an ensemble that it’s easy to care about. They wrestle with their past while trying to reconcile how much of that should be allowed to affect their future (as unsure as any future may be for these people who just inexplicably crawled out of their graves).
This show is beautiful to watch, with haunting music and a ridiculously good cast, and leaves you wanting more, which is why it’s a relief to know there’s more to look forward to: namely, a second season being co-produced by Netflix for broadcast in 2017.
The verdict: Six out of Six Muddy Naked Bodies Fresh Out of the Grave
Have you checked out Glitch yet?
Let's make grave dirt mudpies and talk about it on Twitter! @_allhallowskat