Few people seem to talk about the Amazon show Fortitude in the horror circles I dip into. Is it horror? An exquisitely slow-burn thriller? I’m seven episodes in at the time of this writing and the show is hard to categorize. This can be a bad or a good thing, depending. There are horror elements to it, in addition to police procedural and mystery. I have difficulty understanding about 15% of the dialogue, what with all the accents. Stanley Tucci steals every scene he’s in, which is amazing considering the strength of all the other performances. Once I’m done the first season I may do a proper write-up, but despite its somewhat frustrating slowness it’s a show I look forward to watching each evening.
Here’s a fragment of conversation I had with my son as we took a walk around the neighborhood not too long ago:
Sonny Boy: I can’t wait to go to gramma and grandpa’s.
Me: I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun there.
Sonny Boy: Yeah. I’ll miss you and Mommy.
Me: You’ll be too busy having fun to miss us. But if you do, it’s okay. We’ll miss you, too.
Sonny Boy: I know your parents are dead. Do you miss yours mommy?
Me: *thinking* Yes.
He didn’t notice the long pause before my answer, or if he did, I’m certain he didn’t know how to interpret it. How could I tell him that I miss the person my mother was supposed to be instead of who she was? My wife, Sonny Boy’s mother, is a great example of who a mother is supposed to be; I thank God every day that Sonny Boy has her as his mom and doesn’t have a different experience. It’s taken me decades to learn, understand, and internalize the truth that people are not their experiences. There may be something wrong with your experience of something, but it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Many children of substance abusers don’t accept this, but grasping it is vital to achieving that one thing so many find impossible to do: forgive yourself.
Amazing how a simple question from a little boy can get the gears going.
Netflix recommended that I see the movie Bokeh, because it’s got an end-of-the-world flavor to it and I’m kind of partial to that. In it, two lovers vacationing in Iceland wake up one morning to find that they’re the last people on the planet. Where the movie succeeds is in the cinematography, where beautiful scenery is captured in rich hues. Where the movie fails is in everything else. In narrative, ideas, core, and tension, it’s as empty as the world the two lovers find themselves in. The protagonists embody every nightmarish thought Generation X and Boomers have about the millennial generation, down to the bearded hipster with his retro camera and the impossible-to-please girl who hints at a religious upbringing without having taken anything away from it. Watching it with the sound on or off makes no difference. No questions are answered, and few are asked. Despite all that, you might like it. If you watch it, drop me a line and let me know where I went wrong.