the alienist angel of darkness review

It was hard for The Alienist to escape comparisons to “True Detective in 19th century New York,” as the first season of this macabre crime drama came out just on the tail end of the HBO detective show’s pop culture domination. People were looking for another prestigious replacement for the crime drama, and despite some of the surface-level similarities — a serial killer who carves up their victims and leaves a series of grotesque clues, which a team of morally dubious detectives chase through the seedy underbelly of America — they wouldn’t find it with The Alienist. The TNT crime drama based on the novel by Caleb Carr was more pulp than prestige, with elements dipping into melodrama and even camp at times. Led by a likable group of actors who easily filled in their somewhat stereotypical roles — Daniel Bruhl as the brooding alienist (an early term for a psychologist), Dakota Fanning as the ambitious aspiring detective, Luke Evans as the sensitive newspaperman — it was macabre and grotesque, sure, but it was also a lot more fun.

Two years after The Alienist first premiered on TNT (and after the show looked like it wouldn’t continue past its original intent as a miniseries), The Alienist: Angel of Darkness continues the first season’s penchant for the lurid with a slightly lighter, more accessible touch. Based on Carr’s 1997 sequel to The Alienist, the second season shifts the attention away from Bruhl’s arrogant Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and gives it to Fanning’s Sara Howard, now a private detective. The result is a series that is less about the show’s unique conceit of a 19th century psychologist who pioneers the early uses of criminal profiling, and more of a typical detective drama. But though the novelty of the show has gone, and the unsettling aura has faded a bit (don’t worry, it’s still as gory and grisly as ever), the characters and twists are so good that the show still feels fresh.

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the alienist season 2 trailer

Though The Alienist was a minor summer sensation in 2017, the TNT 19th century psychological thriller remains a criminally underrated treat. A 19th century detective drama starring Dakota Fanning, Daniel Bruhl, and Luke EvansThe Alienist followed the unlikely trio as they resolved to find the culprit behind a series of child murders in 19th century New York using early methods of criminal profiling. It was macabre, creepy, and just a touch camp, which was just the right kind of combination for fans of Hannibal and True Detective looking for a new series. But The Alienist was intended as a one-season thing, until TNT renewed it for an unexpected second season that finally comes out this July. Watch The Alienist season 2 trailer below.

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The Alienist season 2

TNT has given the green-light to The Alienist season 2. Like the Alienist follow-up book of the same name, the new season will be titled The Angel of DarknessAlienist stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning will all reprise their roles for the limited series.

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The Alienist

When The Alienist was first published in 1994, author Caleb Carr said, “I was always aware that if done correctly, this could end up being a great movie.” Well, we’ll never know if a great movie could’ve been made from this material, and not for lack of trying. Paramount Pictures bought the movie rights before publication in 1993, but behind-the-scenes squabbles about budget and scripts kept The Alienist from the big screen for more than two decades.

Now Carr’s serial killer novel finds new life as a TNT TV series, with True Detective season 1 director Cary Fukunaga serving as producer and Black Mirror director Jakob Verbruggen at the helm. The verdict, after all that delay, is this: perhaps it would’ve made a better movie than TV show.

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the alienist trailer

After years of playing Nazis and superhero villains, Daniel Brühl has finally landed a role that every young male protagonist can aspire to: the gifted criminal profiler. But this time, it’s in the 19th century!

The Alienist looks like the detective procedural got a gaslamp-lit makeover, with stars Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning teaming up to work as early criminal profilers in 1896, attempting to get into the mind of one of New York City’s first serial killers before they hunt him down.

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the alienist trailer

The director of True Detective season one and Beasts of No Nation, Cary Fukunaga, was originally going to executive produce and direct The Alienist. After some delay, Fukunaga dropped out directing the TNT miniseries based on Caleb Carr‘s novel. He did, however, remain involved as an executive producer in the drama, which stars Dakota FanningLuke Evans (High-Rise), and Daniel Brühl (Rush).

Below, watch The Alienist trailer.

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Daniel Wu in Into the Badlands Season 2

The TV news keeps on coming, thanks to the TCAs. After the jump:

  • Portlandia has been renewed for one final season.
  • AMC and BBC are teaming up for a new John le Carré miniseries.
  • TV Land officially orders Heathers to series.
  • Louis C.K. and Albert Brooks’ Cops gets a series from TBS.
  • Pierce Brosnan tries on a Texan twang in the first trailer for The Son.
  • Alan Tudyk is Batman’s obnoxious cousin in Powerless.
  • Could Girl Meets World return elsewhere?
  • And more!

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Alienist TV series

The director of True Detective is taking on another full TV series — this time a period thriller set in New York City. The Caleb Carr novel The Alienist will be adapted for television, with True Detective and Beasts of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga (above, with Matthew McConaughey, who is not attached to this series) in the director’s chair. He and Eric Roth will exec produce, with Hossein Amini (Drive) writing the pilot script and also serving as exec producer. The language of the announcement makes it sound like Fukunaga will direct the entire Alienist TV series, rather than just the pilot.

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