"The Grimoire Chapters" immediately interested me. Especially the premise of season three. The function of sleep has always fascinated me, so after finding out the concept of this newest season, I was already pre-hooked. A no sleep experiment? Sounds like the perfect setup for a season of drama, hallucinations, and maybe even complete and utter madness. All held within a family home and featuring - gasp - an actual family. Not one of those "strangers taking part" experiments, but an experiment with people who "should" know one and other inside and out. What a great idea! You could add in supernatural elements and freakish visuals, and still maintain a true to life dramatic story. This isn't a ghost story... yet it could damn well feel like one. Roping in lovers of multiple genres. Of course... in order to do this the show actually has to be good. Mixing genres and styles doesn't mean jack if the show sucks. Yet the promise of knowledge regarding sleep deprivation, and the possibility of finding out the steps of madness - resulting in a killing spree, is hard to ignore. All this from the comfort of my couch. Could it get any better? Like I said... it all depends.
So I hit that play button and buckled in for what I hoped would be a great ride and honestly? "The Grimoire Chapters" may not be absolutely perfect so far, but it's succeeded in peaking my interest enough for another episode - when the time comes. The pieces are all present and accounted for, although like the premise itself, they are a little disjointed at times. The short of this write up is simple. This is an above average indie series with the makings of something truly great. Maybe. Hopefully. I guess time will tell.
The production itself visually, looks pretty darn good. As a production that didn't have millions of dollars backing it, it stacks up pretty well a good chunk of the time. Mainly, during the second half. I do remember feeling that things were dragging a little during the first -and into the second- act of the show. I remember noticing the progress bar was still well under the halfway mark. And believe me when I write that noticing the progress bar at all... is not really a good thing. But then, I just started watching... and watching... and it was over. That second half slipped by so fast I fleetingly thought I must have accidentally fast forwarded it. Nope. I didn't. I was just hooked. So then the question became why did the start feel so lengthy? I think the answer lay with the cast themselves.
Let me be clear. I'm not talking about the acting. I'd be lying if I wrote I didn't notice a "few" awkward feeling moments of dialog, but realistically, the number was quite small. The truth is that the cast performed exceedingly well. Especially during the end of act two - and act three entirely. So what was the problem? Well first and foremost, especially when first introduced... the actors didn't feel like they fit together. Joseph T Hypes plays a great character, and by the end of the episode I'm sure you'll agree with me completely. And yet... he doesn't actually "feel" like he belongs in his own house. Almost like his wife and kids belong to someone else. The beautiful Bridget K Mitchell just doesn't truly feel like his wife. To me anyhow. I can't really put my finger on it, since her actual acting feels spot on. Something just doesn't sit right. For the kids, Madison Mitchell as Jules is easier to figure out. She comes across as a lot younger, mentally, than she looks. Oliver, played by Henry J Flores, feels more like he truly belongs in this particular family dynamic. For the moment anyhow. You see reader... that's the thing. It's hard to say if the oddities of these characters, that I'm pointing out, is intentional or not. With only the first episode watched, it's safe to say that these characters unusual traits will work themselves into the story. I guess I'll have to wait and see, and come back to this write-up at a later date and edit accordingly. One thing is for sure... I'm more than willing to do the legwork.
In the end, this is a fascinating premise put to screen. Since this is only the first episode, the potential to be even better is easily in the cards. I plan to update this review at a future date but in the meantime... I recommend anyone reading this to jump over and give "The Grimoire Chapters" a try. As for "Play Misery For Me" itself? A great opening act for the season. Nighty-night.