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24 June 2012 @ 02:16 am
Shattered (TV Series) Review Part 2  
The first part of my review for this show is HERE that gives the general premise and early thoughts.


My overall impression of the show is that it really could only last one season. And it feels like the show recognized that as well since it tied up everything fairly well. I'm going to do quick fire likes and dislikes.

Dislikes:
1. There, There Little Female Character - apart from maybe 1 female character, all the rest really disappointed me in terms of characterization. Ben's partner Lynch and Ben's supervisor who used to be his old partner were initially shown to be pretty strong, competent women who spoke their mind and didn't take too much crap from people (minus Lynch tolerating all of Ben's craziness for the sake of the premise). But apparently in the face of a failed relationship with a man, they completely crumble. I wasn't a fan of that. At all. Lynch's story was that of a woman trying to get out of an abusive relationship. It's a sensitive subject matter and I'm not at all convinced that it was handled well. Her choices regarding her ex didn't make sense to me, even if I thought about the psychology of what keeps people in abusive situations. It made her seem uneven and at times, dumb, which is NOT the way to approach this subject.

2. Worst Shrink on TV Ever - Ben somehow got saddled with the worst therapist I've ever seen. He's completely dismissive about Ben being a danger in the field and is ridiculously aggressive when he touches on Ben's mentally vulnerable points. I know I'm not exactly a veteran in the field of psychology, but I'm pretty sure yelling at your patients to face their fears and demanding to know WHY THEY WON'T TALK ABOUT THEIR PAIN?! isn't going to work.

3. Do the Writers Have DID Too? - I feel like halfway through the show the writers changed their minds about how much Ben knew about his alters. The first half seemed to suggest that Ben and his wife knew his alters by name and the fact that they were appearing quite frequently again. But somewhere in the second half of the show, Ben seemed completely in the dark about why he was having these blackouts.

4. But...Logic? - As much as I liked the ending regarding Ben's kidnapped son, I still don't understand how it all worked. How did Carol recognize Ben/Ted after all those years? Did Ted keep in touch with her periodically while Ben was growing up? I don't get it. Also, she REALLY didn't think to somehow get in touch with Ted/Ben when she saw all those news articles about Adam being missing? What's WRONG with her?

Likes:
1. Remember, This Is Still Canada! - I told a friend of mine that if ever there was going to be a series to tell the world that Canadians can do completely depressing and dark, it would be this show. But I was wrong. While the series didn't turn into sunshine and flowers, the ending was actually pretty uplifting and you get the feeling that everyone will be okay one way or another.

2. Tears Bring Harry - Of all the alters, Harry was absolutely my favorite. Harry is clearly Ben's id in so many ways but he wasn't always about boozing and sexing it up with every female. I mean, that was a huge part of his character but he could also be pretty sweet and strangely thoughtful. I liked that he showed up when the teenage girl started crying about losing her mother and her father abandoning her. I liked that he took her to her friend's place so she could have some fun and forget for an evening and even stuck around on a purely chaperone level. Granted, he got totally wasted but still. If Harry was really just Ben's id, he would have made some sort of pass at her. Harry always seemed to come out when other people were upset so he could cheer them up in his hedonistic way which said a lot about Ben wishing he could just fix people but not ever knowing how because he himself was so messed up.

3. He's Alive! HE'S ALIVE!!! - I was never so glad to find out that Adam, Ben's son, was alive and well. I also felt some warm, fuzzy, pained feelings about the fact that Ben as Ted, his first alter, took Adam to the only place he ever felt loved and protected as a child. Seriously, Ben's back story was tragic and the fact that he found Carol who loved him like a son seemed to be the only thing that probably kept him from being completely messed up.

4. The Award Winning Callum Keith Rennie, Ladies and Gentlemen - The acting from Rennie really carried me through some of the bad material of this show. Ben was not an easy character to like most of the time. But luckily Rennie has been making serial killers likeable since 1996 so getting the audience to sympathize with Ben was a piece of cake. In just about all his roles, Rennie always had at least one scene where no matter how vile his character was, for a fleeting moment you could feel some sort of empathy. Ben had a lot of moments on the show where I really felt for him, despite his ass-like behavior at times. But the clincher was the last episode where you finally learned in full his entire story and the origin of his alters.

For all the stories this show brought us, the story of Ben and his kidnapped son was basically told in the very last episode. I found that a little annoying since nothing we had seen throughout the series worked its way into the final episode. But I was glad that the loose ends were tied up. A part of me liked the resolution of this because it ended in Adam being found after two years and how his supposed kidnapping all happened was kind of clever and sad at the same time. I teared up when Ben saw Adam for the first time in two years and was trying his hardest not to just start sobbing with relief and sadness over the time lost. The acting was phenomenal and based on that scene alone, yes, Rennie deserved his award. But the other part of me was completely horrified about the emotional agony and relapse into drug addiction Ben's wife went through over her son's disappearance. Especially since it was pretty much Ben's fault. His heart was in the right place, but I'm sort of hoping he and Ella remain separated because I don't think he's good for her in any way. I'm also going to guess that Adam will need some therapy but hopefully he'll get a better therapist than the one treating his dad.


In short, if you watch episode 1 and episode 13 only, this series would still make complete sense. However, you will miss out on some good acting and the appearances of Harry which really were highlights of the show.