SS-GB review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
SS-GB is a well-made atmospheric thriller with exceedingly British neo-noir elements that ultimately push this offering to be more dark and gritty that it needs to be. Which brings me to my second point: a thriller should be dark and gritty by default, which disproves my first point (plus the fact that genre and tonal choices are very much non-debatable since they’re mostly a subjective matter). And so, is this mini-series worth your time? Well, that ultimately on you to decide, and on me to nudge you in the right direction. Now, the review.
One of the main differences between British and American shows is that the former (mat least most of the time) don’t try to spoon-feed you with pointless exposition and dialogue instead of giving you the power to deduct the plot and motivation of the characters. This is the main argument why some viewers may find SS-GB slow, boring, confusing, and anything but interesting. Where in reality, SS-GB is everything BUT those adjectives; it’s is easily one of the most intelligent shows out there and if you don’t agree I’ll battle you in a duel.
Lame gags aside, SS-GB offers a little bit of everything for everyone: there are the quintessential bad guys the Nazis, but there is also an underlying enemy that looms over the protagonist whilst presenting what’s basically an unseen threat, but ever-present threat. Then, there are the multiple romantic choices to raise tension and keep you on the edge of your seat (or armchair); but most importantly, the series has this weirdly indescribable but satisfying feeling to it, like when you sit near the crackling fireplace whilst a blizzard roams outside your room. You’re not really in danger (at least not yet), so you feel both elated and ready to tackle any upcoming challenges all at once. This is exactly how I felt whilst enjoying SS-GB one episode after another.
And perhaps the best thing about this series is the filmmakers’ dedication to the sets, the visual and tonal style, sounds, and everything that builds a perfectly neo-noir atmosphere to indulge in. It’s just, SS-GB is stylish and it doesn’t try to hide that fact in the least; here, inevitably, one cannot but compare SS-GB with The Man in The High Castle: whilst tonally very similar, where the former leaves much to be desired and deciphered on the ground of the deductive logic of its viewers, the latter is full with exposition and shoves unnecessary information more than it needs to. Arguably, this is one of the main reasons why I found myself enjoying more whilst watching SS-GB than The Man in The High Castle. Either way, both of them are aimed towards different types of audiences and as such, I respect them these two series for what they are.
Finally, is SS-GB worth your time? Well, of course.