A fateful meeting in 1869 Alberta-Montana border country leads to tragedy, a struggle for survival and the search for justice and renewal. STRANGE EMPIRE is a Western whose heroes are women. With most of their men gone, and those who remain battling for control, the women struggle to survive, to find their independence, and to build a life in which to thrive and raise families. As the stories of Janestown's citizens unfold we see the clash between a power-hungry father and son and the deep prejudices among races, but also the start of something akin to community in this Wild West. Western stories take civilization as a goal; they begin in blood, and end in the morality of Main Street. Starring Cara Gee as Kat Loving, Melissa Farman as Dr. Rebecca Blithely and Tattiawna Jones as Isabelle Slotter.Written by
Kat is supposed to be a fugitive after killing a man at Batoche, which was not founded until 1872 - Métis (and white) settlers moved to the area in the aftermath of the events at Red River and Louis Riel fleeing south in 1869, the supposed year this story is set in. See more »
A few years ago some journalists and media figures were discussing what's wrong with Canadian cinema and television. The CBC representative on the podcast denied there was a problem, saying that Canada competes in other films. Whereas the US makes big blockbusters like Batman or Inception, Canada makes hockey musicals or camper slashers. Different strokes for different folks.
She then said that while the US is making great serials like Breaking Bad and Sopranos, Canada makes great episodic ones like that show about horses etc. When the issue was brought up that Canada's contribution to the Golden Age of Television is zero, she said "we have something coming soon." It turns out that she was referring to this show. Wow.
Look, not everyone can make a world class TV show, not everyone is going to make the next Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. But this is not even second rate TV. If Breaking Bad is the gold standard that's in a league of its own, where does this show end up? Compare this to Westworld and you'd laugh at the lack of imagination from this show.
Westworld has strong female characters, this one has feminist clichés. Westworld has complex interconnected narratives and individual identities, this one has the same tired old gender politics with the bad man named Slotter and the good girl named Loving. Westworld has philosophical questions about existence, ones relevant to this day, this show has random abuse of women as a trope.
The story is really bad and attempts to push emotional buttons rather than write dramatic situations.
For example, the first episode of Strange Empire has the word "whore" more than the whole season of Westworld. Westworld is not a show about church, most of it takes place in a brothel, one of the main characters is a prostitute, the park's visitors are in a way sex tourists. Both shows are set in the old west, but Westworld builds a complex world where you empathize with robots while Strange Empire just says "whore" over and over so that you hate the man named "Slaughter" and love "Loving."
It is forced, cheap writing that is pandering, an appeal to emotions.
As of now, this show has 1000 ratings to Westworld's 100,000 yet this show has a lower score despite the obvious rigging from friends and relatives of the cast. There are people giving this show 10 stars meaning this is the best show ever. The top reviews on this page are by accounts that were created for the sole purpose of giving this show 10 stars and a good review. See for yourself - they were both created the week the show as made (so no activity before, obviously) and have no reviews or activity since. These are not the only two. Click on the others to see how these accounts were created when the show was on, give this show 10 stars and a glowing review and no activity since 2014.
Too bad the CBC can't rig the ratings too to keep the show running.
But don't take my word for it, go watch this show and see for yourself. And make sure to come back and give an honest review of this show.
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