Show: The Path.
Created By: Jessica Goldberg.
Running time: 42-53 min.
The Path is an American Drama Hulu original created by Jessica Goldberg centering on the intense psychological impact of family, converts, new members and dangerous leaders reared or indoctrinated in the strict tenets of a fictional religion called Meyerisim.
Normally the first season of a show is often considered relatively weaker then following seasons predominantly, as first seasons are focused on establishing the characters, narrative, and environment, but with this show, it not only establishes its verse, but it establishes its strength in both visuals, acting and writing.
The cinematography, sound, and special effects meanwhile are fairly standard for this style of show, but their are some great visual moments particularly with the beautifully illustrated opening that captures the Meyerists doctrine brilliantly.
There was excellent visuals that accented the shows themes quite well, such as utilized with Eddie both in Peru in the opening episode and when he was locked up and going out of his mind while on a mind altering substance. The manipulative power of visual techniques was also commented on and the utilization of light to accent the deification of the element in Meyerisim, particularly through Cal and Sarah, the same way that Cal does with his sermons to his audience was a nice meta touch.
The talents of the main cast and the supporting cast on this show is in the majority and they put forward spectacular top par work with real emotion and singular believability that sucks you into the lives of these characters easily and are what carry the show.
Aaron Paul does a great job of portraying the lead of Eddie as a convert and family man who is suddenly faced wit ha struggle of faith. Paul provides a sympathetic and relatable portrayal that doesn’t grate as the straight-man of the show, and provides a decent spoke which the other characters eventually begin to interconnect with.
Hands down the best has to be Hugh Dancy as Cal Roberts whose own crisis of faith is more of a crisis of his own humanity, being subsumed into his own dark tendencies, and the powers of his own charisma, and Michelle Monaghan as Sarah Lane, whose fervent, disturbing certainty is just the right touch of scary and emotional.
Narrative wise meanwhile the writers have done a good job of establishing a presence of reality and questioning really both on the show. Meyerism works well as a metaphor for both organized religion and cultism both. It balances both the positive aspects found in the community of inclusion and the draw, seductively so, of Humanity’s desire for something more then what there is, with the positive results for others because of their existence.
But at the same time it portrays the negative and disquieting qualities, the fervor of faith to the exclusion of free will, and the very subtle way in which people can even be drawn to believe that a choice had ever existed in the first place.
There are some drawbacks in the plot such as utilizing of “visions”, which adds a touch of possible paranormal quality that normally isn’t much of an issue, but in a show premised on the themes this one is, it muddles the rather fascinating balanced depictions the show has going, and comes across as waffling, and brings a bit of worry in how they are actually going to resolve the conflict in the next season.
Overall The Path provides a rather engrossing drama that pulls viewers in with its excellent talents in both acting and writing, some decent cinematography, and a premise that has a plot that follows through with it, despite a few possible weak points here and there. This is a definite must see for those who enjoy a really good drama with a hook, a strong edition to the digital fare that is out there right now.
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