Turn (2014) Review


Created by Craig SIlverstein


 J.E. MatzerJohn McAdoreyTimothy Brooks 


Turn is based on a book about George Washington’s spy network during the revolutionary war. It follows a always look the other way and do the right thing Abe. After, he falls on hard times. In order to pay back a debt and to keep his pride, he stumbles into a spy network comprising of his friends from the past.

There are numerous reasons why this premier rapidly falls apart. First of all, the Abe is extremely altruistic which would be interesting considering he is suppose to be a deceitful spy, but because they don’t have anyone to contrast his personality with it just gets irritating. He could be contrasted with the Red Coats; however, they are extremely villainy so it’s hard to take the British army seriously. In addition, there is very little time spent on any of the other characters. This seems a bit odd considering this is suppose to focus on the entire spy network. It would have been nice to focus on some of the other characters to at very least world build or set the tone and personality of this era. Because there’s a dichotomy between good and evil, it’s hard to swallow when the story is based on true events.

The camera work was amateurish, there was a shot which was indiscernible from a POV angle or a poorly done tracking shot. Really, the camera work is only slightly saved by the set production; however, the sets still give that feel that this was pushing their budgets limit. Also, the editing is laughable. There are a few times the actors are reacting before the scene cuts to what they are reacting to. For example, there’s a barn scene which starts off awful. The woman walks in the gate and before a reflection of light hits her eye she looks towards the direction of the barn. This is followed by more tedious bad acting which at one point shows them overly startled from a red coat who had yet walked out into the neighboring yard. Furthermore, this debacle mess keeps switching between an oddly angled shot from the barn loft to lopsided close ups of the the Abe and the maid.

Overall, this season premier was poorly put together. The pacing, tone and production were uneven. The acting from the side characters seemed to be spot on; however, the main actors were too melodramatic. Honestly, this felt more like a film school project than a production from a network which has put out some amazing put together shows.