Wednesday, May 09, 2018

"The Rain" Epis. 1 "Stay Inside" Expects Viewers to Believe the Unbelievable: A Television Episode Review (and Beyond)

Tagline: "Stay Dry. Stay Alive."

Director: Kenneth Kainz.

Writers: Jannik Tai Mosholt, Christian Potalivo and Esben Toft Jacobsen.

Cast: Alba August, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard and Lars Simonsen.

"The Rain" is a science fiction thriller from Denmark. The initial series consists of eight episodes. And, this is the first Danish series for Netflix. In the series, a family struggles to cope with a virus, which is spread through water droplets. The first episode, "Stay Inside," puts the family below ground in a bunker. But, events force some of the characters back outside. The series does not really offer hyper-realism, with a brother and sister surviving in the bunker for five plus years. Still, "The Rain" is a decent apocalyptic series, partially set in the beautiful Danish countryside.

The first episode begins and stays with the protagonist, Simone (Alba August). The initial scenes are very light in tone. Characters wear bright smiles and bright, white clothes. Meanwhile, a terror is brewing outside. Simone's father, Frederik (Lars Simonsen) takes her out of school and warns others of a peril in the rain. They make it to a bunker in the woods, despite the father's attempts to kill everyone on the highway. Below ground, the family is safe for awhile. But, the parents are quickly sent offscreen. Don't ask how? Simone and Rasmus (Lucas Lynggard Tønnesen) must learn to survive alone. Thankfully, there is lots of packaged food as the world goes to Hell.

The overarching storyline of the series sees Simone grouping up with other characters. In a pack of teens, several characters do their best to survive in a new, deadly environment. They encounter cultists, The Strangers and other factions as they search for a way out of a Quarantine Zone. The characters rarely act in their best interests, with one character shouting out in Copenhagen's city center. Meanwhile, cannibals threaten to swarm Simone and the others. The story is consistently pushing the characters into more conflicts. And, "The Rain" can never be accused of ever being boring.

However, "The Rain" can also never really be called realistic. There are a few scenarios that just do not come across as very believable. In Episode 1, who could live in a bunker for five years straight? Even prisoners, in maximum security, are allowed out into a yard for an hour a day. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to expect two, young characters to live underground for such an extended period of time. Also, Simone is consistently trying to get herself and others killed. Even in this initial episode, she is opening the bunker door, fifteen minutes after finding safety - underground. The whole purpose of a bunker is to provide shelter and protection. Still, Simone is letting anyone (even the infected) in despite warnings from others. In later scenes, Simone is wearing a bright yellow airtight suit, outside. She stands out like a rubber duck, in the darkened backdrop. People have created camoflauge for a reason. In a real life post-apocalyptic environment, you might want to do a little more to blend, than to stand out. Otherwise, you just become an appetizer to the roaming bands of opportunistic cannibals. "Stay Inside" and the following episodes require viewers to leave part of their logical minds parked before the screen, in order to enjoy the series' burgeoning entertainment factor.

"The Rain" is currently only available on Netflix. All eight episodes, from Season 1, are out now. This post-apocalyptic fan is almost the entire way through the series. Unfortunately, many of the characters' survival skills do not improve throughout the episodes. Yet, this is a teenage drama, which focuses more on romance, emotion and interaction than on actually helping folks learn how to surive such a deadly scenario. You may roll your eyes at some of the characters' behaviours. Still, "The Rain" is a fun series, which offers enough character development to draw most viewers in. Though, this viewer expects most of the characters to be on a cannibal's menu, pretty quick.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

A trailer for "The Rain" has already been posted on 28DLA, here: "The Rain" Trailer on 28DLA

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