Frontier on Netflix

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Flint62Smoothie

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Premise: Frontier is a Canadian-American historical drama television series co-created by Brad Peyton, Rob Blackie, and Peter Blackie, chronicling the North American fur trade of the 1700s. The series is co-produced by Discovery Channel (Canada) (as the channel's first original scripted commission) and Netflix.

Online Reviews: A drama about the struggles and skirmishes in colonial-era Canada stars Jason Momoa as a half-Irish, half-Cree rebel warrior

The theme music for “Frontier” encapsulates the whole show. It starts a little outsize, with an electric guitar riff over the orchestral strings that we’ve come to associate with adventure shows. But then the drumbeat changes subtly, and a chant-like singing is mixed into the music. The new element is Cree powwow drumming and singing ”” a warlike song, if not a war song. Against the brash guitar and “epic” strings, it’s at first buried, and then dissonant, before coming together to create a distinct, beautiful sound.

“Frontier,” a Canadian Netflix original debuting stateside this weekend, is a historical epic that capitalizes on the best features of prestige television. It’s sprawling, diverse, and detailed, with an eye towards complicating simple assumptions about its subjects. Because we’re in the midst of a glut of shows touting prestige markers, “Frontier” at first seems to be just another show parading its blood, guts, and whorehouses as indicators of just how cool it is. (In my metaphor, that’s the trying-too-hard guitar riff.) It reveals itself to be an ambitious, considered history.

Especially for the average American viewer, the struggle to control the resources around Hudson Bay in the 1700s is unknown or forgotten history. A map of the region will be handy. So necessary, in fact, that à la “Game of Thrones,” the opening credits unfurl a map of the region, and depict toy soldiers from every interested party meeting in a wary circle before gravely aiming muskets at each other. Each is wearing the uniform and waving the banner of their “team” ”” there’s a flag for the Hudson Bay Company, an English private interest, as well as a banner for the Cree people, also called the Lake Walkers. This is a history of competing peoples and fractured narratives, and “Frontier” puts that aspect of the show front-and-center. Unfortunately, the show is not always up to the task. The first episode is a real jumble of place names and accents ”” demonstrating the scope of the series, but also a weakness in the writers’ ability to build narrative out of apparent chaos.

My Review: Great premise ... world-wide competition in the fur trade, but OVER DONE! Yes, that time was brutal - for survival - but there’s too much gratuitous violence just for violence sake; to me it detracts from the story line and what could have been. And using ”˜jingoistic’ slang ... like “I’m done here ...” ... ugghhh.
 

Black Hand

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Frankly, one of the worst programs I've ever tried to watch. Turned it off part way through episode 2... :barf:
 

Flint62Smoothie

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Black Hand said:
Frankly, one of the worst programs I've ever tried to watch. Turned it off part way through episode 2... :barf:
I hear you there ... but I left it on running in the background, whilst scraping away again on my French FdC stock ...
 

Black Hand

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Flint62Smoothie said:
Black Hand said:
Frankly, one of the worst programs I've ever tried to watch. Turned it off part way through episode 2... :barf:
I hear you there ... but I left it on running in the background, whilst scraping away again on my French FdC stock ...
My fear would be that Netflix monitors the number of episodes watched or the number of people watching - mistakenly leading them to think the program was good/popular and to make more like it (See where watching the first season of Survivor got us - buried in crappy reality TV). I gave the series a well-deserved 1 star rating (Hated It) and moved on. If I want my intelligence to be insulted, I'll watch politics or network TV...
 

sooter76

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I really tried to like it... I made it all the way to the last episode of the first season and just couldn't bring myself to care enough to finish it.
 

CapPopper

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I made it through 3 episodes.... Might as well been Mafiosos fighting over whose getting drugs from the cartel... Bleh don't waste time and watch john Adams... Its not chock full of action and has its problems but at least they tried to do a good job....
 

S.Kenton

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Actually, I don't mind it. It has its issues...and has an awful lot going on, not real sure of the costumes for that area and time period. However, it is entertaining...
 

ikesdad

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I watched a couple of episodes and thought it was terrible. Not worth the time. And what's up with that big dude always holding his head down ? Couldn't they find an actor that could act normally ?
 

Jimbo47

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Whatever amount of time you spend watching it, just remember you can't get those minutes back. :td:
 
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