(Airdate: November 23, 2015)
In this episode, I’m going to tell you why I think what Quentin Tarantino wants to create is an awesome TV series, but I admit I don’t feel the same way about it as I did when I first heard that his film is being adapted.
My reasoning for finding Tarantino’s vision to be brilliant was made after watching a lot of the stuff he’s done since 1999. And it all makes perfect sense.
The Irishman is part of a “cult” movie universe that Tarantino describes as a sort of “soul-food that is never finished”. It’s just like a meal, that a person will want to eat and then die over. This meal exists in many forms and is only ever going to be served more frequently and more regularly than in the present history of the human race. This is the story of a group of guys and a girl who take their jobs at the police station quite seriously, and in their day-to-day interactions they get to know each other and come to the important moments between themselves. A simple, but fascinating story to watch.
The main character, Sam Malone, is a police detective. One of them has been fired after his partner is killed, and the rest have to deal with it by themselves. Sam Malone has been dealing with his anger for several years and is being led to believe that their new commander is going to let go of all of the bad guys in the case. Which he will. This has made the other people at the station nervous, or worse, hostile towards Sam who they think will ruin the image of the new boss.
The first four episodes of the whole series seem to be set out in black and white and not even the “normal” color we associate with crime dramas. It’s as if Tarantino has done his own rendition of a James Bond film (The Maltese Falcon) with the police station in black and white and the killer on the loose. One of Quentin’s “characters” is the main subject of a murder and the other is the victim, but it’s either that or they’re seen side by side. It’s a strange experience if you think about it, the first episode is all black and white, and the next one, if you can call it that, is black and white, all the way through. That gives that feeling in the mind of the viewer that “They’re going to keep what’s happening to me until the end of time” and it doesn’t even matter if the killer is ever caught or is simply the new boss (since the killer is never caught). Because it’s really clear that they’re using “The Dark Knight” as their template, just with a “darker” palette.
The “theme” of The Dark Knight is that each of us is either one of the good guys or the bad guy. There’s no good guy or bad guy here. When you’re an ordinary man you’re the victim, when you’re Bruce Wayne you’re a hero. In the police station? The innocent are persecuted, and when you’re a special agent you’re accused of being a criminal, and even if there isn’t any law against it you’re held up to the same standards as everyone else, and you have to prove you’re not one of the bad guys. Sam Malone is the hero, but how can that be when his character has taken his own life when, like all good guys, everything else in the world is in the hands of the evil police.
Why can’t there be a police station, in that setting, where it’s the characters who are doing the good and not the bad? It’s why I don’t buy the idea that the movie should just be about the characters, because there’s a reason why people are willing to spend millions of dollars making an action movie for a TV show, a big bankable franchise like this is one of them.
Here’s the main point - I don’t think Tarantino saw that this should be a TV show, and to have just one kind of “drama” for the entire series. Tarantino and his team could have just put most of the story there in the first episode as they would, and the show would still have needed to evolve and grow and add new characters from the series into it.
The second episode, while it is black and white, is even more of a mystery story in how the murderer is “tracing” his way through the station in order to catch and kill the one person on the police force who hasn’t done too well with his job, but still has all of the right connections.
The third episode is really a mystery story, with the killer and all of the new police recruits in the station going up against it. So they get a little bit of information out of it, but it doesn’t necessarily help anything, only that it’s something. In the fourth episode we get more of the “weird” aspects of it, like