All episodes of Netflix's third original series, Hemlock Grove, are now available for subscribers to stream. The horror series, which revolves around the brutal murder of a girl in a Pennsylvania town, is based on a novel of the same name, and several episodes are written by Brian McGreevy, who authored the source material. The big name tied to the series, however, is Eli Roth, of Hostel and Cabin Fever fame, who executive produced a few episodes and directed the pilot. The series represents Netflix's third attempt at upending the traditional television industry by releasing all episodes at once and producing entire series before a single episode is shown. The method worked well for the critically-acclaimed House of Cards, which was said to be Netflix's most-watched show when it was released earlier this year, but reviews for Hemlock Grove suggest this series may not see as much success.
"A rambling, nonsensical mess."
Reviewers almost universally panned the series, citing poor acting, slow plot development, and a style that's off-key. The Hollywood Reporter says the show isn't quite campy, explaining that "weird can be good, but this isn’t intentionally weird so much as it is plain bad." Red Eye calls the show "a rambling, nonsensical mess," and The Los Angeles Times adds that it "is terrible in ways that mock the meaning of the word 'terrible,' with clunky acting, tra-la-la transitions and at least one monster that walks like a bad Frankenstein." One exception to the negative reviews is Entertainment Weekly, which found the series fell on the good side of campy, and gave it a B+.
Considering the critics' reception, it appears two of Netflix's three original series to-date will be remembered as less-than-stellar, which suggests the company will have some room for improvement before it tries to beat HBO. If you want to give Hemlock Grove a try, all thirteen episodes are waiting for you to binge on.