Maybe Just Skip Monsterland

I thought monster stories during October was going to be a great thing, but I was wrong. Hulu’s Monsterland was not the collection of scary stories for Halloween I was hoping for. I couldn’t even get past episode four.

The poster looked to show what should have been a collection of scary stories.

I was also excited to watch Kaitlyn Dever. I loved her in Last Man Standing, and sadly, I haven’t watched her other work yet. I really want to. It’s great to see what she’s done with her career.

Her performance in Monsterland was steller, but she wasn’t the problem, the story was the problem. It’s a commentary about a young woman who gets pregnant in high school and then struggles with her daughter.

I like commentary, but I’m not sure what they were trying to say. It also has a pretty crappy ending to an hour episode that makes you feel uneasy.

There is a monster in the story, that does connect to the storyline a little, but the monster isn’t really the monster in the story. Out of the three full episodes that I watched, two of them the people were really the monsters, and it was looking to be that way in episode four, too.

Episode two was the closest to a monster story. The monster was hurting and scaring the characters, but it wasn’t enjoyable.

Episode two was a monster story, but it just wasn’t good. (Barbara Nitke / Hulu)

It was odd when the boy is talking to people in a chat room, and they are in his room. Certainly more interesting than watching him type on a computer, but it just didn’t work.

For episodes one and three, you’re watching these people’s horrible lives, mostly because of their choices. The boy in episode two, his life is horrible because of circumstance at least.

Then in episode four, it’s a businessman that has to talk to congress about wrongdoing. And they have a woman sign an NDA as well. I was done at this point. I couldn’t force myself to watch another episode.

Maybe with the world being the way it is, you don’t want to watch people with horrible lives. This is definitely why I fell in love with Emily in Paris and Enola Holmes. Teenage Bounty Hunters was a lot of fun, too, and it definitely had a lot of commentary about politics, religion, and sexuality, but it does it a lot better.

Episode three did a little better on the commentary but doesn’t completely succeed. (Hulu)

Lovecraft Country also does a smart job with its commentary about race. Its characters are struggling, so we don’t always need to watch happy people. You just have to not make the viewer as miserable as the characters. Sure, make people think. But you need the viewer to know what you are trying to say. Another area Lovecraft Country does better than Monsterland is the horror. It’s so creepy. It weaves the horror and commentary together very well, and its a perfect viewing experience for October.

Monsterland fails at whatever it’s trying to do. Is it a commentary on how bad people are and the choices they make that get them there? I’m not sure. I would probably have to watch all eight episodes to know what it’s trying to do, and even then, it might not be clear. But I don’t think it’s worth my time or your time.

What are you watching that you’re loving at the moment? Tweet me @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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