Just one recommendation today but since it runs 13 episodes, it should keep you busy for a while. HARPER’S ISLAND you might recall was a season long slasher mystery that ran on CBS not too long ago. It didn’t make much of a wave at the time but that may be partially blamed on audience impatience and inconsistent scheduling. Watching it on Netflix streaming sans commercials and with the ability to jump to the next episode at leisure can only smoothen the viewing experience.
HARPER’S has a lot characters to take in at first and there may be some rough patches and needless padding here and there, but once the cast gets whittled down and things start rolling it’s a dark humored addictive pleasure. Some of it may be borderline hokey but its lamer qualities tend to add to the enjoyment level if you’re watching with mouthy friends. You may even find yourself, as I did, jeering a character one minute and then lamenting his or her untimely death the next. The longer running time allows you get to know some of these victims a bit better than you would in a traditional slasher/mystery and with at least one person guaranteed to die each episode, the horror dry spells are few. The murders themselves are surprisingly gruesome for broadcast T.V. and the titles of the episodes are even morbidly named after the sound that is made when a death on the show occurs.
This show may have not have been the smash success it needed to be to continue on CBS but I hope somebody (are ya listening channels FEARNET, CHILLER, SYFI?) is wise enough to give the innovative format/structure another go sometime soon.
For now, I suggest giving this underrated and misunderstood series a chance.
It’s got some good surprises up its sleeve and I can think of many worse locations to spend your summer vacation. Don’t feel bad if you’re not entirely convinced at first, I think I spent most of the run of the show dubious and cynical but now that it’s over all I want to do is return! We’re basically talking about a soap opera in which nearly everybody dies horribly at regular intervals, how can that not taste like a milkshake?