And so, for my first foray into the summer binge I ventured into the world of The Man in the High Castle, the Amazon Prime series that was released last year. Since the series release, both Jamie and Bekah raved about it, along with every other person who pays for an Amazon Prime subscription. So, was it worth the hype? Was it worth the ten hours of your life, sitting on a couch and limiting your liquid and fiber intake so you wouldn’t have to miss a single minute?
Yes, The Man in the High Castle was worth every single second of my day and the momentary lack of proper nutrition.
From the opening credits of a somber and chilling “Edelweiss” that would have made Maria say screw you to Captain von Trapp and go back to the nunnery…
…to a complex but powerfully woven storyline that forces you to skip the 88 second wait between episodes, TMITHC gives both a surreal and frightening realistic look at America under Axis power. And while it is dystopian and set in the early 1960s, High Castle speaks volumes about the freedoms we generally take for granted, how easily a corrupt system can not only infringe but annihilate those rights, and how many will risk everything for the greater good of all.
The series is only ten episodes, and when the final episode goes to credits, you are left with more questions than answers. Luckily, we don’t have to wait long when the second season comes out later this year, something I discovered when Lee Shorten, otherwise known as Sergeant Yoshida, responded to my tweet:
— Lee Shorten (@lcshorten) June 22, 2016
And yes, that was my subtle way of bragging that I interacted with one of the show’s stars.
So, what questions still plague my mind? Here’s just some of what I need answered when season 2 of The Man in the High Castle premieres this year. (Be warned: there some spoilers. Watch the damn show already, so you and I can talk about it.)
#1: Who the f**k is the man in the high castle?!
Is it an aging Adolf Hitler and his 2010 Justin Bieber haircut, watching the film reels that many sides want and will kill for?
Is it someone in the resistance who can plans on putting all the clips together and making their own fan-made video of WWII complete with a remix of “Edelweiss”?
Is it really a woman? Because that would be awesome.
#2: Where in the hell did those film reels come from?
Each film reel is marked with the same title, “The grasshopper lies heavy.”
It’s summer and my mind refuses to analyze what that title means and where they could be possibly coming from.
#3: How many alternative realities are there?
The reality we are introduced to as being the only reality is an Axis ruled America, where Germany occupies the East Coast and a majority of the South and Midwest, while Japan occupies a majority of the West Coast.
However, through the grasshopper film reels and some heavy mediation, we’re left to question what is reality? Is it the reality Juliana saw in that first reel where the Allies won the war? Is it the reality that Joe saw in his confiscated reel of a 1954 Soviet Union propaganda film staring Josef Stalin, who in the show was said to be assassinated in 1949? Or is reality the result of Trade Minister Nobosuke Tagomi’s meditations where he is transported to 1962 San Francisco during Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis?
I swear, if Keanu Reeves appears in the second season and tells me there is no spoon, I’m protesting.
#4: Whose side is Joe actually on?
Is he with the Nazis? The resistance? Whatever side opposite of Juliana’s side of the bed? (Please let it be this one.)
I bet he’s a spooner.
#5: Why isn’t there more Joe and Juliana fanfic?!
Don’t act like when this show was over, you didn’t immediately look for this. And sure, the results yielded a few fan fictionalized retellings of the storyline including a Captain America crossover, but of the sixteen entries (yes, sixteen), only five of them focus on Joe and Juliana’s relationship and not one of them has them giving into their burning desires and eschewing all propriety and cotton undergarments.
This will not do. And before you tell me, “Well, what about Frank, Juliana’s boyfriend?” Um, this wouldn’t be the first character named Frank that was easily replaced by a man whose first initial starts with a “J,” if you catch my drift.