Over the years, I have been privileged to review various KOOL comics, movies, and web series. I asked my friends at
American Wasteland Entertainment for an early screening of Strange Happenings so I could give an early none spoiler review. I was pleasantly surprised when they agreed. I will keep this spoiler free and after you watch it, you will thank me for the review and for not spoiling it.
About Strange Happenings:
Plot: (NON SPOILERS)
“Strange Happenings” is a short form television show that tells the story of Nicole Tesla, portrayed by Hannah Duncan. Nicole is a journalist with a knack for anything other-worldly. She writes about her encounters and findings in an online magazine/vlog called, “Strange Happenings”. After being fired from her latest journalistic endeavor for a story on Bigfoot, Nicole is at her whits end, until a mysterious financier decides to pay her for services, sending her on strange encounters with the supernatural. Who is this financier, and why does Nicole feel like she’s a pawn in an unseen game? (Via Strange Happenings Facebook)
What I liked:
The character is Nicole Tesla is wonderfully imperfect. She is driven by her believe in and her desire to show the world the supernatural side of this world. She chases the story of supernatural even when she should be doing other things. The character of Nicole makes this series extremely engaging.
Actress Hannah Duncan perfect delivers our hero. Her characterization of Nicole is a thing of beauty. Her facial expressions are fantastic.
Nicole has a history of not keeping jobs very long. She cannot focus on a regular job when she is driven to chase the unknown. This was extremely relatable. Many of us wish we could blow off jobs to focus on our passions and this character taps fully into it. Some of us may have done some of this in our younger years.
Nicole is a witty and a smart mouth. She easily comes up with the zingers. This is needed as she deals with many pain in her butt people including some family members.
The storyline and writing are fantastic. The plot is well developed. You know the story is going somewhere special but you and the characters don’t know where it will go.
The characters are written with edges and flaws. If this story was without the supernatural elements, these characters would drive you to watch this series. With those creepy and intriguing steps into the unknown, you cannot take your eyes off the screen.
Along with the intensity and spookiness, this series has a decent amount of humor mixed in. It helped me process through the intensity and smile for a moment of levity. The humor is not over done. It flows naturally with the characters. It reminds me of the humorous interactions in a Marvel film or episodes of Supernatural.
The sets are all local places to Springfield, MO. It was fun to see places in the city I live used as locations for this series. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the locations that I frequent.
The directing and filming were beautifully done. Nothing looks fake. The practical effects and make up were spot on. The supernatural encounters were very believable. There are tons of beautiful shots in this webseries. It is amazing especially when you consider the budget for this series.
What I not Like:
The only thing I didn’t like in this web series was how short it was. As I finished episode 5, I eagerly went to click on the next episode. But to my utter disappointment, episode 5 is the last episode of the season. It reminded me of my disappointment when I finished Netflix’s Stranger Things last year.
There are a lot of good web series out there. I love everything that American Wasteland Entertainment has created. But this series takes it to another level. It is rivaled by other KOOL web series like Drifter, The Guild, and The Variants.
This series could easily transition into a short season on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. It is better than many of the series on network television or streaming services. Okay Netflix, how about you open up your pocketbook and sign up this awesome cast, crew, writers, and director to a deal. This is far superior to Hemlock Grove and they got three seasons.
I loved this web series. I was instantly sucked in and upset when it was over. To quote the main character,Nicole Tesla, it is “Pretty Epic!”
My Grade: A
Stay Geeky my Friends!