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I have to say, I have really been taken by surprise by this series. I really enjoyed the first episode but, it was the 2nd episode, Cabal, that really got me hooked. First and foremost I absolutely love the extended running time. At 1:30 minutes, without commercials, its literally double the average running time for drama's and ultimately it gives the show the ability to be far more character driven. I honestly don't think I have ever seen a series before that had this kind of running time and ultimately I think it speaks to the kind of show its trying to be.
Zen is really a throwback to old school TV. No funky cinematography, no shaky cameras, no funky camera angles, no high tech police gadgetry etc. In fact, I don't think I even remember seeing a single computer. Cell phones are about as high tech as this show has gotten thus far. The locations are simply stunning and that is no surprise given that it takes place in Rome. I openly admit that was initially one of the things that I was most excited about as I absolutely love Rome. Its hands down one of my favorite cities in the world and its a perfect setting for this series, especially with the approach that they have taken.
Of course if your going to have a show in Rome then fashion simply must play a role and the show certainly doesn't disappoint in this regard. The wardrobe choices are impeccable especially in regards to Rufus Sewell's suits. He looks outstanding in practically every scene. Then you have Caterina Murino and she looks absolutely fabulous as well. Her outfits are classy and while there is definitely a very sexy edge to her look, its not overtly sexy. She just looks stunning and they look absolutely dynamite together.
As for the stories, thus far its definitely been one of the weaker aspects of the show but they have still been entertaining and in regards to story, the 2nd episode was definitely an improvement over the first episode. I love the whole Cabal storyline and hopefully it will be a reoccurring theme with this show. It fits perfectly with the shows setting in Rome and while these types of detective shows always have different stories with each episode, there is usually a main storyline that takes place alongside the solving of individual cases. I think The Cabal would be a great choice in this regard.
Overall I have really enjoyed the first 2 episodes and cant wait for more. This show is just such a breath of fresh air compared to the usual detective riff raff that is practically everywhere you look. Hopefully Zen can pull in enough viewers as it would be a real shame to see this show end prematurely.
Definitely a solid 9 out of 10 thus far.
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