AMC’s “TURN” Falls Flat – What Went Wrong?

The premiere episode of AMC’s TURN had lots of potential.

Take the American Revolution. Add in a real-life spy story that will change the course of history. Drill down to the actual people involved. Chronicle their life and death decisions

Then throw in a tremendous amount of artistic license. There are lots of gaps to fill since so much of the real story is unknown.

That’s a recipe for a passionate, action-filled, suspenseful, heart-stopping, blockbuster series from the network that brought us The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Hell On Wheels.

But instead, we got a slow, passionless, sometimes confusing story that never really came together.

What went wrong with TURN?

Part of it was the character development.

Though the good guys were likable enough, they did not display or stir passion or loyalty. This is the American Revolution we are talking about here. We expect some passion and loyalty strings to be pulled!

The bad guys were very bad. No likable bad guys. No blurred lines.

As for the story, it was easy to get lost. Watching the episode a second time was more enjoyable than the first. Things made more sense.

But even after a second run through, I don’t understand how Abe Woodhull found good cabbage in the dark. His crops were infested by maggots earlier that day. Or did he trade bad cabbage to his old friend?

And weren’t Robert Rogers and the Queen’s Rangers supposed to ambush the safe house. How is it that Major Simcoe and his troops ended up doing that?

Watching twice did not help me resolve either issue.

AMC has not made the premiere available streaming through their site as of Monday morning.

It is being rebroadcast on AMC at 1am and 2:30pm Tuesday (4/8), 10:30am and 11:30pm Saturday (4/12), and 7:30pm on Sunday (4/13) leading into the next new episode at 9pm.

As a student of the Revolution, I do hope TURN turns around and lives up to its potential.

But I suspect it won’t.

What did you think of TURN? Leave your comments below!

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