On the list of the most awaited TV series of 2017, Mindhunter goes beyond all expectations and enters the list of the most beautiful TV series of the year.
Introduced with a business card signed by David Fincher, Mindhunter gave cause for hope, after all the last time that we heard about a Netflix Original produced by Fincher, we got that rare pearl of “House of Cards”. Furthermore, the Master of the crime drama has directed four of the ten episodes composing this first season, the first and the last two, giving an ulterior trial of strength in this genre that owes him quite a lot.
Like the genre, also Joe Penhall, creator of the show, is in debt to him since he “took” with both hands from Fincher’s style.
Starting from “Seven,” Fincher has always had a very personal way of introducing the bad guy: putting him now on a pedestal so to idolize his brilliant madness, to better observe his perversion and the coarseness of his animal instinct. The bad guy has always been in a prominent position, even when the actual minutes on the screen are not that many (Seven, Zodiac.)
From this point of view, Mindhunter is a kind of introspection about Fincher’s work through the eyes of two FBI special agents, the young Holden Ford e the rud-ish Bill Tench, superbly interpreted by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, who, with the classic binomial old/young, good/bad, close to/far from the audience, create a strong and functional couple, almost at the level of the best TV series couples.
Set in the late 1970s, when the serial killers were considered simply Satan’s beasts, born and grown only to strike terror, the series shows the difficulty of the agents in understanding and making understand the importance of the psychological side; to create a profile to use for handling and preventing the actions of these criminals.
You might say that agents Ford and Tench are the ancestors of agent Aaron Hotchner and doctor Spencer Reid who in “Criminal Minds” have initiated everybody to the concept of profiling.
As well as the lead characters, clearly very dear to Fincher (it’s easy to find a connection with the Somerset/Mills couple from “Seven”), you can notice the touch of the director in the atmospheres that with his usual unfailing tactics capture every single spectator who gets inevitably upset and yet cannot stop watching.
With ten episodes of variable length, Mindhunter captures the audience who identifies with the agents but it’s also an audience that gets stuck in their problems, creating existential doubts and insecurities as genuine as scary.
The legacy and the work of Fincher are not to take the full merit of the quality of this show, obviously. The main actors, apart from the already mentioned Groff and McCallany, never take a misstep, from the doctor Debbie Mitford portrayed by Hannah Gross to the absolutely fantastic performance of Cameron Britton who has managed to handle perfectly a hard character such as the serial killer Ed Kemper (it wouldn’t be so wrong to see him with an Emmy between his hands).
Let’s not forget the dialogues: never trite, always refined but without ever being too heavy or too technical, while maintaining a high level of credibility and depth.
Last but least, the choice of music. I invite you to listen to the playlist created ad hoc by Netflix, you won’t regret it.
For Mindhunter it’s recommendable an intense binge watching, but if you prefer to use it to make the waiting for the second season of Stranger Things less hard, we can’t blame you! 🙂