As a younger human I thought I ought to become a film critic, being perspicacious and all, but I apparently would have been obliged to deal with the minutia of filmmaking, such as plot, dialogue, and visual effects, which I knew were of interest to many students of film, but just didn’t rev my engine, you know?
My keen critical faculties have remained keen, however, so it occurs to me that in this extended home stay, viewers who have been lumping along taking whatever Netflix or Prime or Hulu put out front might be helped in some small way by my hard scrabble media prospecting. We (humans) are not all amused by the same sorts of diversions, but you’d have to be a pretty sour apple not to get a kick out of the show I’m touting.
Pretty sour apple. I’m just saying.
I like to think of how shows are pitched to production companies before the first scripts are written or the shows cast. Some are obvious. The Castaway? It’s about a castaway. The Fast and the Furious? Two compelling elements right there. Speed and anger. Irresistible, right? Casablanca? We know where we’re going. Spider Man? You get it.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? How did that film even get made? I mean, come on! What’s the pitch? I know what they said- “It’s a nonlinear narrative to explore the nature of memory and romantic love.” And …?
“Brevity is the soul of wit” says one of Shakespeare’s biggest windbags, so compare Sunshine of the whatever with this piece of pith that speaks volumes in only two words:
Ok, so, here we go. You like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Sound of Music? Take a pew and grab a spear, heat up Netflix, and open Warrior Nun, which, as I’m sure the original pitch emphasised, is ironic, as the central character is not a nun and doesn’t want to be a warrior. There are actual (in the show) warrior nuns it turns out, but the lead is, as the pitch had to explain, a dead quadripeligic whose corpse is animated by the infusion of a halo donated by an angel sympathetic to the plight of nuns trying to muscle their way past the demons clogging the hallways of their sanctuaries.
Yes, dead quadripeligic. Wait, even better. Coulda …mighta … been killed by a … nun!
The production value is excellent; the show is shot on location in Andalusia, Spain and looks very spiffy. There are good nuns and bad nuns, so no matter how you feel about nuns, your needs will be met. The dialogue works, the plot is as wonky as you would expect from the premise already mentioned, and the actors perfectly fine in a Divergent/Allegiant/Insurgent late teen rom/bomb kind of way. The demons? Meh. But you said you liked Buffy, so …
Ok, it’s not Sound of Music. That part, charming harmony, etc, is notably not present, although I’d give a lot to see a warrior nun break into song as she disembowels a demon, assuming that the midsection where demons seem to take most of their punishment is roughly the bowels. Others know much more about demons than I do, so I’ll leave it to my loyal followers to sign in on that and other questions having to do with demons … or bowels.
There is a soundtrack, of course, leading to a conversation I am not equipped to facilitate. There are a few shows out there at the moment that seem to default to pan-cultural, multi genre, generally quasi dreamstate performances. I said I ‘m not the guy to parse this, but the three shows currently presenting fierce women warriors, Warrior Nun, Hanna, and Killing Eve for example feature music that works in terms of setting mood and place but which is vapor when I try to bring it back to mind. The lineup of artists is currently not on my playlist, but are obviously popular, or at least respected, elsewhere.
Billie Eilish, Steve Z, Noia, Extreme Music, Vinyl Pinups, Night Panda, Message to Bears, Lykke Li, Patofonika, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Self Esteem, Bishop Briggs, Unloved, Fireflies, Archie Bronson Outfit, Phoria, Liz Lawrence, Unloved … and many, many more.
A few more seasons of Warrior Nun and the others should broaden my musical tastes, but even while puzzled by what I hear, I remain fascinated by what I see.
Grab some chips and a cold soda, claim your space on the couch, and settle in to watch the three female warriors do what they do best.