What is it about a mystery that lures us? A mystery has the power to make us imagine different realities. Because we do not know the facts, it is up to us to fill the gaps. When we do so, are we logically arriving at conclusions, or are we just building a narrative based on cognitive biases?
Even bad mysteries make us curious. HBO’s ‘The Undoing’ is a psychological thriller that builds up a murder-like kind of mystery you don’t want to miss. Starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, it makes you imagine even the most implausible scenarios.
Time to Disconnect
This has been a tough year. At this point, most of us are probably in need of a break to disconnect and recharge batteries. These days are important for that. One of the things I like best is watching a good film to disconnect for a while and think about something else. It is a great way to give your thoughts a rest.
Recently, I have been watching a lot of the ‘short series’ format. By short, I mean that they are no longer than 1, max 2 seasons. I find a show with more than that will take too much time of my life. Since I don’t watch shows that much, a short one every once in a while comes as a gift.
A Mystery for the Holidays
I just finished watching The Undoing. It is a murder mystery that takes place in contemporary New York City. The mystery involves an upper-class new yorker family. Someone is dead, and things are very obvious at the start. However, as the show goes on, you start thinking that maybe everything is not as easy as it seems. Maybe there is something we don’t know.
That’s what a good mystery does. It makes us imagine the unimaginable. It takes us for a ride and carries us through a maze of possibilities. I have to admit to being totally disoriented at some point, so much that I even stopped trying to guess and decided to go along and find the answer.
Consisting of just 6 episodes, I was subtly carried from one to the next. Tensions just build-up, and there don’t seem to be moments of boredom. Each scene is perfectly thought out to make you want to know more, and most importantly, triggering your curiosity.
On Short Series
Should short series be the new normal for series in general? As someone who doesn’t really watch that much series, I feel they should. I think there is way too much stuff out there, and although there are some pretty awesome things, there’s just way too much. Would short series solve this problem? Probably not. As a matter of fact, the opposite might even be true. Short series might trigger an abundance of new shows.
So, why short series? I have to admit my reasons are pretty selfish. The thing is that series take way too much time. Although watching them is great, and some long ones are incredible, they require a large amount of time. Having an alternative somewhere between a movie and a series is nice. It lets you go deeper without necessarily encountering those moments that seem to be fillers.
Short series have the power to engage us while at the same time making good use of our leisure time. Being in front of the screen constantly watching shows is nice, but it is also time-consuming, and sometimes I’d rather offer that time to other activities. That’s why I will try to focus throughout 2021 on short series and movies.
We Need Fiction
We need fiction in our lives. Reality is important, but we also need to be able to imagine other worlds are possible. They don’t necessarily have to be better worlds, just different. When we get away from reality for a while, we allow ourselves to go out for a mental walk.
2020 has been a tough year for many. Reality is indeed stranger than fiction, and that’s why we need something that we can, in one way or another, understand. When we imagine, we create. When we create, we humans can solve unimaginable problems.
A big thanks to the Film Scout team and the awesome readers who keep us going. Hope to see you again soon in 2021!.