https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjLWuzGVyew # My first thoughts about Messiah When I watched the first 2 seconds of Netflix's trailer, I already knew what the series was all gonna be about. This was one of the rare cases where this knowledge wasn't an obstacle for my appreciation. In fact, it made me very curious. We have Lucifer, but it's mostly unserious comedy. Messiah is more suspenseful, which tells us at once that a completely different approach must be used to develop the character and the perception of others. In Lucifer, nobody cares that he's the devil until he shows his ugly face. In Messiah, the question is clearly in everybody's mind, be it viewer or character: is he the real Messiah or a conman? And if he's not the Messiah or a conman, is he crazy, or something else? One of the things I love about Messiah is that the more that is revealed, the more questions we have. # Plot Analysis In order to analyse the plot, we must see it as two parallel plots that have to be developed. One is the plot where the character nicknamed "Al-Massih" is really the Messiah. The other plotline is the development of the character as a conman. Whenever something is found out about him being a conman, more shocking events point toward him having supernatural powers or being morally good. Whenever someone else gets convinced that he's the Messiah, more evidence is found pointing toward him being part of a geopolitical conspiracy. These two plotlines cross over each other all the time, sometimes using the same elements for one story and then the other. At the end, both plotlines reach their climaxes and both explode into a clear and almost absolute conclusion one after each other. "He's a conman", and right afterward "he's the Messiah". This final development is what opens up the possibility for a second season. The way in which both storylines reach their maximum breaking points by the end of the series, it's made clear that the second season, if it is made, will be way more extreme. If the first season was daring and shocking, we can expect the second season to be past the extreme. If the first season was modest, the second season will be more like already existing TV series, carrying enormous blocks of suspense and even more inexplicable supernatural events. This leads me to think that season 1 and season 2 will be like two completely different series, one with captivatingly subtle shots into the void, and the second one filled with exploding revelations and crazy mysteries. # Cultural Approach and Characters Culturally, Messiah is on point. It's extremely rare for an American TV series or movie to hit the mark on every setting it touches. One of the things I enjoyed the most is that in every country, people's native languages are used almost exclusively, and their traditions and cultural behaviours are depicted perfectly. It's very frequent to see a production where certain foreign traits are "americanized" for the sake of pleasing the viewers or achieving familiarity. That is not the case here in most of the cultural traits displayed. The characters in Messiah, and their lives, are definitely not like the typical American family drama, everything filled with cringe-worthy emotional chapters to make the viewer die with shame. Instead, they're intense, straight-forward and with a reasonably limited effect range. At the same time, they crisscross along the various sub-plotlines and play in different worlds. This multi-character development is reminiscent of Game of Thrones, but the storylines are not so carefully divided. Some characters appear only for literary purposes and disappear after a couple chapters. Others remain and become unexpectedly relevant. Character development is definitely there, but it doesn't go exactly in a predictable direction. Not everyone evolves for the better, and not everyone evolves from passive into active, like most literature nowadays. Characters are tools in this series, and they clearly follow their purposes in the chess board. # My Impression This will easily be one of the best TV series in 2020. The bar being set so high at Jan 1, the remaining 365 days will have a hard time catching up. On a sidenote, I find it extremely hard to finish watching most TV shows. I will either spend many days doing it, or I will simply leave the show, however much I like it. I love Altered Carbon, for example, but I'm on the penultimate episode because I can't make myself return to it. Some are too intense, others are too cringy. Messiah, however, has exactly the right amount of everything. It's the first TV series I watch in one sitting in many years. By the end of the show, I was not overwhelmed, but simply curious and very happy to have watched it. So, **Recommended**: most definitely **Rating**: 8.3/10 **Family rating**: The R 18+ is greatly exaggerated, but at the same time there is a lot of violence, swearing and sexuality. However, I think it's moderate, all within context, and allowing for learning to happen in the case of older but inexperienced teens. In fact, in my opinion, the themes are more likely to touch adults than older teenagers, due to the experience required to emotionally understand many of the pains expressed.