December 20, 2018

From Gerald R. Lucas
Netflix's Perfume

What is it about the holidays that compels me to watch, well, un-holiday-like shows? I think it's about balance. With ubiquitous holiday music, cheery decorations, and hyper-capitalism, I need some balance. What better to give it than horror movies and tv series about psychopaths?

I just finished Netflix's first season of Perfume — a German series loosely based on one of my favorite novels: Patrick Süskind's Perfume. I watched the German series Dark (also on Netflix) earlier this year. It appeared to be a supernatural thriller, but it turned into science fiction. I ended up liking it, and Perfume has a similar feel. Both are well-acted and very binge-able.

So now I’ve started a Netflix show I've been meaning to get to for a while now: Mindhunter. It’s a series based on a real-life novel by John E. Douglas and my fellow Mailerian Mark Olshaker. I'm about through episode five, and so far it's excellent. Again, the performances are superb and the atmosphere of the show is in-line with other Fincher films.

In a not-so-different vein, I watched Scfy's Nightflyers a couple of weeks ago. It's pretty heavily derivative of better science fiction film, but it was pretty good. Like Dark, it seems to have a supernatural quality that later turns into science fiction — I’m glad, because supernatural stuff does not do it for me at all. I almost stopped watching because of it, like I almost did with Cinemax's Outcast until it turned into something different.[1] You'd be better off checking out the first three seasons of The Expanse.

What better way to spend a cheery holiday?


  1. I’ve always thought that supernatural films and television just support a Christian cosmological perspective: ghosts and demons are scary, but they ultimately just confirm a Christian universe. Some are fun, but usually I don’t care.