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The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

January 19, 2017

“The Man in the High Castle” is an Amazon Studios produced television series about a dystopian future where Japan and Germany won World War 2. The series is very loosely based on the novel from 1962 by Philip K. Dick. It is set in 1962 several years after the end of the war. Because of their advanced technologies, Germany controls the majority of the United States.

The United States is split into three parts, the Japanese Pacific States, the Neutral Zone, and the Greater Nazi Reich. The series follows the stories of Juliana Crain, Frank Frink, Joe Blake, John Smith, Nobusuke Tagomi, and Takeshi Kido. Juliana Crain is a woman who lives in the Japanese Pacific states and becomes entangled with the “Resistance”, a group fighting for freedom in the Japanese Pacific States, because of her sister Trudy. The entire story is encompassed by these film reels that contain newsreel-style footage depicting an alternate history (our history) in which the Allies won World War II. Because of these newsreels, Juliana meets Joe Blake, the not known at the time double agent working for Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith, who was once a US Military officer that climbed his way through the ranks to become governor of the Greater Nazi Reich. Eventually, of course, Juliana finds out Joe is a double agent but goes with her gut and lets him free with the film instead of allowing the resistance to capture and most likely kill him.

The shows pilot episode, “The New World”, premiered on January 15, 2015. However, the net episode in the series didn’t come out until October. The rest of season one was fully released Nov 20, 2016. There was talk about a second season for quite some time, but the official trailer wasn’t released until October of 2016. Amazon fully released all of season 2 December of 2016. There have been murmurs of a third season, but nothing has been confirmed by Amazon yet. Overall, the show follows a relatively straightforward plot. However, the producers/writers enjoy throwing in very well written plot twists and turns that people might not expect. The end of Season One is the perfect example of this. Not giving away spoilers, the end of season one really has you thinking out of the box about the series as a hole, and season two makes it so much worse, in a good way.

Facts aside, The Man in the High Castle is one of my favorite shows to date. All of the characters are well developed, albeit it some character developments are slightly delayed but overall they did a great job with initial character development. Not only that, but the characters in the show grow throughout the series, one way or the other. Earlier I stated the show has a relatively straightforward plot. While this is true, it is a changing plot progression for characters. And there is a sort of underplot for each character in the series. This isn’t something that is done very easily but I think The Man in the High Castle does a great job at developing subplots for each of the characters in the show. If you haven’t seen the show yet, I highly recommend you watch it the first chance you get. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, I also highly recommend it because it cost less than Netflix and yet you get so many great tv shows, free two-day shipping, and so much more!

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