If you are looking for a mini-series that is full of intrigue and hope, then “Dispatches from Elsewhere” is for you. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat, you never quite know what is real, the casting is perfect and the cinematography is breathtaking.
The first four episodes follow each of the main characters individually. You slowly get to put the pieces of the puzzle together along with the characters, so it is as if you yourself are a character. The use of breaking the fourth wall really brings you in, but also disorients you. It makes you question what is actually real. The characters all have strong quirky traits that make them unique and yet somehow more relatable. Peter, who is played by Jason Segel, is kind of a loner, and a bit unsure of himself. Yet, he is so unassuming and accepting. Simone, played by Eve Lindley, is vulnerable and self-conscious, but also tough and up for anything. Sally Field’s character is named Janice, and despite her own personal struggles, she connects genuinely and earnestly with her teammates and is integral to solving the mystery. Last, but certainly not least, is Fredwynn, who is played by Andre Benjamin. Although he is super paranoid at times, he is super sure of himself. He is also highly intelligent and surprisingly emotionally supportive when you least expect it. These characters and their relationships truly make this a refreshing watch.
If the endearing characters aren’t enough to catch your interest, perhaps the beautiful cinematography will make it worth your while. The story takes place in Philadelphia, where murals and street art abound. They play a key part in the story while highlighting the beauty of the city. Many of the sets are full of interesting props to catch your eye and are so ridiculous; they make you pause to figure out if they have a use or are just there to distract you.
The story that starts off so innocent and full of wonder slowly becomes more sinister with each and every clue. You don’t know who to trust and who is lying. The character’s theories change as they grow and learn. Even after the mystery is “solved” there’s still many questions and loose ends. It becomes more of an introspective journey for the characters, giving them more depth and making them even easier to relate to.
Despite the somewhat darker tone of the show, there is a continuous vein of hope as well. No matter how low the characters get because of their situation, they lean on each other and help one another through. This hope of connection and solidarity is felt through the screen, and the takeaway message from the ending is pure and simple: “I am you.” We need to come together because the more different we are, the more we are the same.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of the show!