A long time ago, at the tender age of 10, I stumbled onto a show on MTV that wasn’t Beavis and Butthead, but rather something that wholly wasn’t MTV’s usual material. I wasn’t old enough to realize just what I was watching, just wise enough to realize that it was really something special. It’s been 20 years, and this isn’t something you’d find so easily, unless you knew about it beforehand.
This isn’t just a simple review of a series, but rather, a contemplative piece, of the art of storytelling that i’ve gravitated towards throughout my life. In it, I’ll be sharing some of the best pieces from the mediums of animation, music, tv, and live theatre, finally leading up to a preview of my own first shot at film-making, The Merciful.
I recently re-watched all 13 episodes of this criminally under-recognized comic book adaptation. And I have to say, my 10 year old self was onto something. What seems to be a normal, run-of-the-mill bit of the old ultra-violence, can hardly be called that. (Although, there is plenty of violence, though done rather tastefully. They’re plenty of vivid imagery, however it’s almost tame in comparison to what today’s comics and animation get through on a constant basis.) The story, as simply put without spoiling too much, is almost comparable to a schizophrenic LSD trip. It’s almost jarring to the senses at first, but as soon as you acclimate to the direction and use of cross-cutting, it starts to gel together to form its own, unique, story. it’s relatively short. 13 episodes about 10 minutes a piece. All together, it’s about the average runtime of a movie. You may need to watch it more than once to understand all the nuances of the series, including the ending. Especially the ending. It’s a bit sad, frightening, and shocking at times. It’s one of those things you’ve just got to experience once, unspoiled. Don’t look it up. Fortunately, in this case, it’s something that i’ve provided a legal link for below. That’s right, it’s still on MTV’s website, for free no less. Shocking, I know. I can’t speak much more of it, but I feel it still stands the test of time, and should be watched. Of course, feel free to comment and discuss this below.
As for next time, We’re going to look at a couple different music albums that have become old favorites of mine, one of which was the basis for The Merciful.