Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mindhunter Season 1

TV Show Name: Mindhunter - Season 1
Year of Release: 2017
Directors: David Fincher, Andrew Douglas, Asif Kapadia, Tobias Lindholm
Stars: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, Anna Torv, Cotter Smith, Joe Tuttle, Cameron Britton, Joseph Cross, Stacey Roca, Alex Morf, Happy Anderson, Michael Park, Marianne Bayard, 
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
View Trailer

It speaks to the immense credit of David Fincher, that his new directorial effort is a TV show for streaming giant Netflix (following another of his efforts, "House of Cards"). The TV show created by Joe Penhall, is based on the true crime book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, and takes place in 1977, as the criminal psychology and criminal profiling disciplines were starting to get established. The series, specifically focuses on two lead characters, two agents who are placed working side by side, the young and energetic Holden Ford, and the veteran and tired Bill Tench. Dr. Wendy Carr, a psychologist at a Boston University that has provided council to the FBI, joins them, as their process to gather information from detained criminal subjects, becomes a focus of some attention. Carr sees in this process, the potential to understand violent serial criminals, and this team slowly starts establishing a practice including the creation of a script in order to get information from these criminals. The agents start investigating a few specific serial killers, and as their expertise increases, their services start getting used by local law enforcement.
"Mindhunter" is a show that is rewarding as a whole, since it invites the viewers to understand how a practice was established, and how important the roles of specific investigators were to actually define approaches to getting information from violent criminals. It's a show that very much adheres to David Fincher's universe, one that marries the darker aspects of people's lives (and criminality), with the more humane side of having a family life or trying to develop one. It definitely has parallels with the world he illustrated in the superior "Zodiac", but it's a gripping show, one that sheds light on the process of putting a practice in place, and how personal, political, ideological factors come into play when all these relationships are set in place. The series looks impeccably shot and styled, adhering to the director's trademark, from the cinematography, to the production design. The actors are for the most part quite good, but Jonathan Groff and Anna Torv, do create strong characters from the outlines they establish (while Hannah Gross mostly plays her character very one note). A very good show worth checking out.