Monday, October 16, 2023

The Fall of the House of Usher - A Midnight Dreary

Using the framework of the works of Edgar Allen Poe as a guide, The Fall of the House of Usher begins with a funeral and a confession. Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood), the CEO of a pharmaceutical company that has skirted and broken laws for decades, invites the attorney who has worked in vain to bring him to justice to his crumbling boyhood home to offer confession and revelation about the evils his family brought upon the world over the past few decades and the evils brought upon them in the past two weeks leaving only Roderick and his sister Madeline (Mary McDonnell) alive.

While the show teases supernatural forces at play it doesn't seek to explain them. We're also clued in fairly early to reasons why Roderick isn't the most reliable narrator. And, to make the structure work, he has to relate events of his children for which he has no firsthand knowledge. The first episode sets up Usher and Madeline's past long before their wealth including a fateful meeting with a bartender (Carla Gugino) on New Year's Eve 1979. It's heavily implied that all trouble Usher is now facing traces back to this mysterious woman.

The mini-series draws on Poe for much of its inspiration with titles of episodes and characters named from a variety of Poe's works. The structure, forcing us to watch the fall without explanation while only teasing vaguely supernatural means, could become problematic with the show's second episode focused on the life and death of Usher's most hedonistic offspring (Sauriyan Sapkota). The structure of the show presents as an episode will effectively introduce us to the various members of the Usher line and then reveal the gruesome manner of their death one by one but leave the motive and explanation likely for the end of the series.

  • Title: The Fall of the House of Usher - A Midnight Dreary
  • IMDb: link

No comments: