Requiem

Over the weekend I watched all six episodes of Requiem, a supernatural thriller series on Netflix. I hesitate to call it horror because there’s nothing overt about whatever’s happening in the story. Even the supernatural elements are subtle for most of the episodes. Although your mileage may vary depending on how much you like or dislike horror, I suppose.

Requiem is a series in part by the BBC and it takes place in small town in Wales. The main character, Matilda (played by Lydia Wilson), is a cellist whose mother dies in the first episode. As Matilda goes to her mother’s house to clean up she discovers a collection of photos that somehow relate to a disappearance of a small girl from this Welsh town. Matilda and her friend/accompanist, Hal, go to this town to figure out if or how her mother was involved in the girl’s disappearance.

What proceeds is a series of episodes in this fictional Welsh town of Penllynith where Tilly & Hal look for clues while meanwhile being shunned by the members of the same community. No one wants to think about the disappearance from 23 years prior, let alone when the past is being dredged up by some strangers harassing the mother of the missing girl.

 

At the same time, Tilly & Hal have been invited by a Australian man in town after the death of his uncle, to stay at what locals call the “big house”, a large estate owned by the deceased. This man, Nick, is hoping to sell the house, the land, whatever he can, in order to make some cash and return to his home in Australia.

The big house is also somehow tied to the missing kid from two decades prior. Strange things are happening in the house, to people in town, and to Tilly as she remains in the house.

Requiem is a slow-moving plot not unlike a lot of British mystery/thriller series. Think Broadchurch or The Fall. It’s going to take more than six episodes to get to the bottom of what’s happening. If you’re not up for the slower pace, the mystery may not keep you interested. I can’t even say I enjoyed it so much as I was interested in the supernatural mystery of it, which were both tied to the mystery of the missing girl … and also separate in its own way. If it comes back for a second season, I’ll keep an eye out for it.

Nailed It: pure distilled schadenfreude in a 30 minute baking show

If you need something to watch for a few hours, do yourself a favor and watched Netflix new show, Nailed It. I’m not a huge fan of baking or cooking shows, but there really needs to be more than six episodes of Nailed It. Or at least there’s a promise for a second season.

Nailed It is a baking show for home bakers who… aren’t really very good, or experienced. There are three challengers in each show, and two challenges. The first challenge, Baker’s Choice, gives the baker’s a chance to pick from one of three similarly decorated treats to try and recreate. They’re given between 45-50 minutes to attempt the recreation and then judged on both sight and taste. The winner of Baker’s Choice gets a prize (a stand mixer in several episodes) and the chance to wear a bright gold chef’s hat for the second round signifying that they’re the one to beat.

In the second round, they start from scratch and all three are tasked with recreating an amazing cake – a shark, a volcano, a floral wedding cake – in 2 hours. A daunting task for even a professional. The baker’s get recipe’s of course, and during this second round are each given a panic button where they can call for help from one of the judges. In most episode the person who performed the worst in the first round is also given some kind of helper button to either distract or freeze their opponents for three minutes.

Inevitably, the bakers aren’t quite up for the challenge. They spin around their creations to the judges while saying, singing or jazz-handing their way through “Nailed it!” And usually their delivery is met with chuckles from the judges. Comedian Nicole Byer, the host of the show, is hilarious and her laugh is thoroughly contagious. At the end of round three the judges again make a decision on taste and presentation and this time the winner gets $10k. I’d probably let someone laugh at my failed baking decisions for ten thousand dollars too.