Shrewsbury, Massachusetts- The American Revolution is one of the most interesting periods of American History. This is possibly because it was the official start of what we refer to today as “American History,” but it nonetheless is an exciting period that is often overlooked in Hollywood. The most we’ve gotten in the last few decades is Assassin’s Creed III and The Patriot to show for the story of our nation’s birth. Now AMC has launched a new show dedicated to exploring an untapped period of history in mainstream entertainment.
It is 1776 and the American Revolution is in full sway. However, the Colonial rebels are on the run as the British continue to overtake them battle after battle. In Seatauket, New York, a farmer by the name of Abe Woodhull bands together with his childhood friends to form the Culper Ring, America’s first ring of spies. Together they pass along information to the fledging army and hope to turn the tide of the war in favor of the rebels.
Turn sets itself up to be a sound show. It has a solid and intriguing premise: the creation of several espionage tactics we still use today during a time period that is unexplored. Turn wants to be a good show and so far after the first three episodes it is, but not as great as it thinks it is. Turn is a well-produced period drama, but it doesn’t quite have that spark that would make it edge-on-your-seat viewing at the moment.
The acting in it is quite good, but no one in particular stands out yet as an interesting character. It’s tough because many of these characters are based on real people and artistic license is hard to utilize for some people. JJ Field is the standout historical figure so far as John Andre, a charming British spy who will eventually have a meeting with one Benedict Arnold. Jamie Bell is a fine actor and his work as Abe is good, but we have to be invested in him because he is the lead of the show, a show that hasn’t quite gotten interesting yet.
Ever since Breaking Bad left us and Mad Men is to be next, there has yet to be a claimer to AMC’s throne as the best show on the network. Walking Dead is the closest thing there is to a king, but it’s by no means the best king. There have been attempts to stand up, but no one has really taken the reigns. Turn wants to take the challenge, but it isn’t quite ready yet.
Turn is trying to build itself up as a major period piece to rival anything like it on television, but I wish that it were building its tension a little faster. It seems like it might be going somewhere, but its taking its time. This could either be the final blow, or it could all pay off and become as great as it wants to be. I hope that the latter will be the case, but until then, I will continue to watch it to see if it can truly produce the goods it’s claiming to have.
Turn is on Sunday nights at 9 pm on AMC