Dispatches from Elsewhere is a television series broadcast by the network AMC, this show was conceived and produced by Jason Segel based on the 2013 documentary The Institute, in which the story of the "Jejune Institute", an alternate reality game (ARG) set in San Francisco.
The series was broadcast, in its entirety, by Prime Video and it has been available in our country since June.
I find it very difficult to write a review for this product, not so much for the complexity of the work that Jason Segel has done, as for the themes and development of this work. In addition to this I would like to avoid all sorts of spoilers and I will therefore limit myself to speaking and expressing an opinion on what my experience was watching this TV series.
When I stumbled upon the trailer about three months ago, I was deeply impressed with the choice of details that were shown. I must also say that I was very strange to observe Jason Segel in different clothes from those to which everyone, or almost everyone, was used to seeing him, namely those of Marshall Ericksen of How I Met Your Mother.
I'll show you the trailer so at least you can understand my bewilderment.
Not bad right? A nice trip seemed.
The first thing that came to my mind was that a chronicle of Mage: the Awakening had been put in the form of a television series. The more I watched the trailer, the more I told myself that maybe she would succeed where The OA had failed.
Let's analyze what this series left me. I already apologize to you in advance, as it will be more a collection of sensations than a real explanation of what Jason Segel wanted to do.
Dispatches from Elsewhere is a series perceivable through the senses
It may seem obvious to start with the view when it comes to a TV product, but visually it is really well done.
Initially everything is gray, or almost. Only an omniscient narrative voice, dressed in green, on an orange backdrop, accompanies us in the first moments of the series. It is a known face of television. Richard E. Grant, with his shark smile and his impeccable English accent, who asks us to identify with the characters.
The story continues. Rainbow colors, artistic installations, kaleidoscopic lights. And all those blue variations there are, guys! Those crazy and beautiful blues! We just miss it Zima Blue I think. Remember Love, Death and Robots?
Another fundamental note of the story is the use of sounds and music. From the first moments we can see how music is present in most of the scenes. From the work of one of the protagonists, to his awareness of the same and how important the concept of music is for man. It was also for Howard Philip Lovecraft, as we spoke in our previous article, so let alone here!
So get ready in the series to feel good vibes
Are you ready to put up with one of my blowjobs?
I don't have much respect for the American diet, and for the umpteenth time I am not proven wrong. In this series it is even possible to imagine, unfortunately, the taste of the food that the characters eat. It is also interesting to observe their relationship with food. One of the characters does not eat for pleasure, but only to feed himself. Foods always the same, gray, eaten without passion. Meal replacement drinks, for fear of gaining weight.
And yet, it is precisely in moments of vitality, joy and epiphany that the food reward appears: a plate of sweets, colored candies. It is remarkable to observe how Americans, even in their series, spend a lot of time at the table without ever finding peace and nourishment.
Here things get complicated. It is not easy to express the concept of smell, if not through words. But even here it is possible to perceive the use of this sense, or at least the identification with this. The smell of a chemical compound, the whiffs coming from the sewers or the smell of fish on the streets of a particular part of the city of Philadelphia, Fishtown.
Human contact, hugs, the desire to make people feel closeness to a person unable to feel emotions, are all perceptible through touch. So also this sense has a considerable importance for the purposes of the narrative. Each character uses this sense to get in touch even more deeply with his companions. The attempt to understand each other, to get to know each other through a handshake, a caress, are a fundamental step during the flow of the episodes.
Of course, we use all our senses to focus on this series, yet what leaves us is something ephemeral. It promises a lot, but in the end it is a mere exercise in style.
I do not deny that it is a good product, that it deals with important and serious issues, but it has not been able to fully convince me. He manages to show the viewer, an integral part of the TV show, some aspects of his personality, but in the end, you want for the tone as the whole story is treated, you want for the creative process, he cannot make that different point of view blossom who had pledged to tell.
The possibilities of the story were very high, but towards the end these were lost on the road, they took a different direction from what was expected, to tell an intimate and personal story that did not have many parallels with that of which for nine episodes is spoken.
Again, so as not to get confused, I assure you that the product is enjoyable despite everything and that the work of inclusiveness, carried out during the ten episodes that make up the series, reaches incredible heights. It manages to surpass even the narrative of Sense8, which, alas, I have never been able to fully appreciate.
To conclude, I recommend that you spend some of your time watching Dispatches from Elsewhere and, having finished the vision, come back here and tell me if you agree with me or not. The final feeling is that the whole story was for the use and consumption of a certain slice of the public who, after all, needs the explanation of the work not having the tools to fully understand it with their senses-