Monday, June 5, 2023

The Rising - Episode 1

The opening episode of The Rising introduces us to the recently deceased Neve Kelly (Clara Rugaard) who awakes in a lake only dimly aware of the previous night's events. While her parents grow increasingly concerned over her absence, Neve continues to make her way home only to arrive and find she cannot interact with her mother (Emily Taaffe). Slowly realizing that she's a ghost, Neve eventually uses the methods available she has to interact with the living world to lead the search party to her body. The show's frantic emotional core and cinematic style make for a hell of an introduction, although I do wonder where things go from here.

It's an emotional episode of brutal shock both to Neve and her family, but it's also quite an unusual episode in that the rest of the series with take an entirely different approach to the material. From this point on, it's no longer about harsh truths and discovery of her death but instead about ghost Neve looking to solve her own murder. Adapted from the Belgian series Hotel Beau Séjour, the series now becomes a whodunit as Neve will begin an investigation into what happened to her (as the selective memory about the previous hours leading to her death is coincidentally quite vague).

One of the most interesting aspects of the show is how it handles Neve's interaction with the world. She's neither a ghost who can't touch things nor one that interacts with objects haunting the living. While a few people and animals seem dimly aware of her, and eventually her drunken father sees and hears her, she's otherwise limited to touching and using objects. However, those objects (a vase, the shower, her motorcycle, etc.) don't actually move in the living world. Its as if she's slightly out of phase with the world and can use s slightly different version of things for herself which others seemly completely oblivious to. This allows her full access to her world while making others unaware of her actions. While it takes a little while to get used to, the concept turns out to work well as long as the show can stay consistent with rules it seems to be making up as it goes along.

  • Title: The Rising - Episode 1
  • IMDb: link

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