The Hollow

What to do when you wake up in a mysterious room with no memories and with two other strangers? It’s a mystery. A real mystery, alright. Oh, and one of you has super powers.

The Hollow is a cartoon about three teenagers that happen to find themselves in such a predicament. They awake in a room and must solve puzzles to get out. The premise starts spooky and mysterious with them trying to figure out why anything is happening. The world outside is spooky, lonely and foreboding.

Soon, though, it takes a turn for the wacky. The world becomes a mishmash of all sorts of strange things from different stories and genres. For the most part, it works well to depeend the mystery, but it also loses a lot of the foreboding feeling. The characters moved on into being annoyed at things rather than worried about it.

The main characters are Adam, Mira and Kai. They bicker and fight, but they come together in the end to pull off victories. Though Adam and Mira don’t change that much. Kai experiences the most growth out of the three of them. I think Mira changes the least. Still, they play off each other well, though they can get annoying at times when they get annoyed with each other.

And not to worry. This story will reveal the main mystery of who the kids are and why they are trapped. Information is slowly built up over the course of a strange adventure. And it is quite an adventure where they face many challenges and meet strange characters.

I think it’s unfortunate the initial intrigue is changed for more wackiness, and the characters can be a bit generic. It’s still an interesting world and the challenges are fun to be a part of. And I liked having the answers by the end of the season. Of course, people will be divided on if the answers are worthy of the setup, but I liked it.

The Hollow is a fun diversion of a show that doesn’t live up to the original tone set. Though I think the show would be way darker if it did follow that path. The levity and humor in it works well, too.

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Reverie

The Reverie, a computer program where you can create a world all your own. But what happens when people no longer want to leave? Their real bodies start to die, so it’s up to our main character, Mara Kint, to bring them out. She is a former crisis negotiator that quit her job after a traumatic experience, and helping people in the Reverie is just what she needs.

The concept of the show reminds me of other mind hacking shows. Usually, though, there’s no crime being committed. The ones in danger are the people that refuse to leave the Reverie. Though with such an experimental program, there are bound to be complications that need to be fixed. I do think they don’t push the dreamworld part of the Reverie far enough. I think it’s mostly budget reasons, but it is cool when the world shows that it is all a computer simulation.

I like the character of Mara, played by Sarah Shahi, a lot. She’s cheerful, helpful and well-meaning. It’s fun seeing her interact with the people refusing to leave the program.  Of course, there is that traumatic thing

Most episodes follow a similar procedure, so I guess this is a procedural, just not a crime one. Having the “victims” be the central story of an episode is nice, though. There’s a different approach that needs to be taken each time since people are different. And the episodes that don’t follow the formula are quite fun.

The rest of the main characters are the scientists and manager running the Reverie program. They’re all pretty cool in their own way. Charlie, played by Dennis Haysbert, is great. He’s tough, but knows people well enough to not be too tough. He knows how to get things done and is the primary guy talking to people outside of the company.

Reverie is a cool sci-fi procedural that’s not all about crime. It’s about people. If you want a different pace from other procedurals, this one is fun. There’s nothing must-see about it, but I enjoyed it.

Cloak and Dagger

A Marvel show for teens. But don’t be fooled. It has a lot of serious and crushing moments. The main characters can be angsty, but they have good reason to be.

Cloak and Dagger, or in their normal names, Tyrone and Tandy respectively, have been linked since they were young. Both of them were present at an accident, and in that event, both of them lost someone close. It’s also where they got their cool powers.

If you want super heroes and hero activity in your superhero show, you’ll want to look elsewhere. These young adults are focused on other things. One of them is actively a terrible person through most of the season. But if you want a character-based drama that shows the trials and growth of the main character, Cloak and Dagger does it fantastically.

The show is entirely focused on the titular characters. There’s only one side character that sort of has a plot not related to Cloak or Dagger, but also not really. I’m speaking of Detective O’reilly, how has her own reasons for being involved. But almost everyone else is only around to serve Tyrone and Tandy’s growth and development.

Which makes it a great thing that that Tyrone and Tandy are both great characters. I like Tandy better. She starts off as a sweet kid, but as a result of the accident, she grows up to be selfish and manipulative. As long as she gets what she wants, it’s fine. Over the course of the season, she fights with Tyrone, grows closer to him, pushes him away, pushes him to be better and comes to rely on him.

Tyrone changes a bit less. His emotions are in constant turmoil, but he pushes it down a lot. It leads to him lashing out, yet he’s the one that is always trying to be optimistic. He’s the one trying to keep Tandy a good person, and he’s the one that’s trying to be hopeful despite his feelings telling him otherwise. The actor, though, can come across a bit stiff at times.

The two of them work together really well, which makes the show work. Cloak and Dagger doesn’t have much heroics. This season is about their growth and learning about their powers. Both main characters are compelling. They’re flawed, but you want to see both of them happy and succeed, even when they’re straying into being full jerks.

So if you want superheros, this show will probably disappoint you. But if you want to see the characters react and grow after a horrible event in their lives, and for that problem to continue even during their current lives, this show does it well.