So, I’ve been busy with drafting the second novel in the Age of Magic series, but not so busy that I haven’t immersed myself in several Netflix series this month. I dove into several binges, but I’m going to focus this review on the Westerns. I fell in love with Westerns with Sergio Leone’s body of work, and I’ve branched into many Westerns since then. If Westerns are a guilty pleasure of yours, then we’re cut from a similar cloth, and I may have some series recommendations for you to look out for.
The first Western I finished up recently was the final season of Longmire. That series was satisfying and ended on a pretty good note. It was a bit predictable, but not in a bad way. I knew what to expect with Longmire, so I won’t say much more about it. If you liked the first five seasons, you’ll appreciate this Western/Detective hybrid’s conclusion.
Let’s go ahead and start with what I feel is the obvious. Scott Frank, the creator of Godless. Damn you, you amazing bastard! What a well crafted story! I’m jealous I didn’t write it, and probably never could have. I mean, I was totally hooked. Whitey and Louise. Roy Goode. The Mine. The spirits of Indians in the Old West. The natural love stories amongst the women of La Belle. The savagery. The realistic shootouts. The fate of the brave. The complicated villain. The brother who waits on the Pacific.
If you are a fan of Sergio Leone, you will love this series. If you love Westerns, you will love this series. If you hate Westerns, you’ll probably still love this series. The cinematography is superb. The soundtrack fits perfectly. The pacing in regards to emotion and dread and fear and bravery is just amazing. I can’t recommend this series highly enough.
Jeff Daniels is fantastic. I’m trying to imagine anyone else in this role. This is the type of villain I aspire to write. Complex. Damaged. Heroic, terrible, and doomed. Vulnerable physically and emotionally. Well done.
The backstories in Godless were so expertly done. There was just enough to jog your mind, and not so much that you forget the present. The pacing and storytelling here is just phenomenal. Like I said, damn you, you magnificent bastard! Well done, storyteller. Well done.
Godless: Five stars. Familiar yet unique. Sweeping and deep. Powerful female characters and solid storytelling.
Longmire: Four stars. If you’ve enjoyed the first five seasons, then you’re going to enjoy the last season. Everything wraps up in a satisfying way. Jacob Nighthorse was probably my favorite character in the series. Not too good. Not too bad. Malachi was a bit too over-the-top. Henry and Walt are a unique combination of buddy cops that are both quiet and stoic. Kind of interesting that the combination still actually works after all those seasons. I’m not sure what to say about the Vic arc. I mean, sure, it was obvious. I’m still trying to figure out if I liked the arc or not. The series may just be too Vanilla for me to give it five stars.