Aquarius Season 1 Blu-ray Review
“Aquarius” is an ambitious, but sloppy drama series.
Set in Los Angeles in the year 1967, “Aquarius” revolves around a Homicide Detective (Sam Hodiak) who begins to investigate Charles Manson after his former girlfriend (Grace) comes to him about her daughter Emma’s disappearance. This sets the main story in motion, but there are plenty of stories (some related to the main story) involving Grace’s husband Ken who has a connection to Charles, Emma getting close to Charles, Sam’s son, murder cases, Charles Manson recording a music demo, the Manson Girls, Sam reconnecting with Grace, an Officer (Brian Shafe) that works with Sam going undercover, Sam’s ex-wife, drugs, Manson’s mother, and Mother Mary. Note: The first season is comprised of 13 episodes.
For those expecting “Aquarius” to be a bio series about the notorious Cult leader/killer Charlie Manson, that’s not what this series is. “Aquarius” is a dramatic fictional account of real events that has more on its mind than just the story of Charles Manson. As you will see from the pilot episode, the show tries hard to inject music, politics, and events from the headlines of the late 60’s. While admirable and ambitious, this causes the show to become overly busy and, above all, a bit unfocused. When the show focuses on the deeply unsettling and unnerving actions of Charles Manson, it is effective. This is primarily due to actor Gethin Anthony’s terrifying and convincing portrayal of Manson. When the story isn’t focusing on Manson, however, the show becomes decidedly less interesting.
We all know David Duchovny is a talented actor. You need only see “The X-Files” and “Californication” to know that. Alas, he is sadly wasted in this show. Duchovny’s character Sam and all of the Police subplots are, quite frankly, dull, dry and routine. How many “murder investigation of the week” stories do we really need to see anyway? At any rate, the procedural element truly bogs “Aquarius” down which is a shame because there’s a good show in here somewhere.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? While perhaps not the fault of the Blu-ray, the lighting is way too dark at times even in hi-def. I’m sure it was intentional to create a style and mood, but it backfires a little.
Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? It’s not the greatest track, but it does the job.
* “Blindspot” trailer.
* 4 webisodes about Manson Girls dubbed “The Summer of Love.”
* “First Look: Aquarius”- A standard featurette that sells the show.
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