In high school I realized I had the ability to compartmentalize, that is to switch off certain aspects of life in real time and focus elsewhere. I was being bitched out by my Spanish teacher in front of my classmates for not paying attention to her reading aloud from a book. I still didn’t care what she was saying so I focused on her necklace; an intricate collection of Aztec and Mayan silver figures stitched together with black leather threads and cobalt beads.
At the end of her long-winded and ultimately futile diatribe I simply asked her in Spanish- ‘Where did you get that necklace?’.
Maybe its being the product of 2 New Yorkers, a genomic mutation originating in a city of 8 million type-A people all jabbering on incessantly. Who knows? But I find the ability to switch it off tremendously useful.
In case you don’t have that ability, this new Amazon pilot, Hand of G-d, might be a little difficult to watch. While I liked the pilot episode, much like The Killing, it revolves around crime, some painfully damaged people, suspense and plenty of mystery — very little of the plot is feel-good.
I don’t like the characters in this show from a personal or emotional perspective. However, the plot is very compelling – compartmentalization, engaged. A morally ambiguous judge suffers a personal crisis which catapults him into having waking dreams billed as visions from G-d. Subsequently he joins a religious group having some very shady members. The visions, while completely dismissed by everyone around him, show signs of being the truth. Writing is clever at suspending disbelief; the visions may be correct, they may also be circumstantial.
Acting from the cast is good considering the odd situation and combination of themes such as religious fanaticism, vigilantism and moral relativism. Most notable is the judge come religious cultist, played by Ron Perlman. Perlman has played some distinctly unlikable characters but I suspect this role will be very challenging as it seems he will be walking a line between dispensing the law as a judge and breaking the law as vigilante hiding under the guise of a religious awakening.
While continuing episodes could become trite, as they often do with anti-hero roles, I feel some supernatural element might be thrown into mix, which is appealing. The pilot ends with a sledgehammer against a plate glass window, so to speak. so I’ll check up on Amazon later to see when or if this pilot turns into a series.