Say what you will about Amazon (and I do) but they are putting some of the most original, creative and brave shows out there right now. I’ve already talked about several of their shows and why they work. And today we’re going to talk about another one. Truth Seekers.
I won’t lie, I was first drawn to Truth Seekers because I am a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead. I tend to have certain actors that drive me to watch anything, and Simon Pegg is one of those actors. (He’s also amazing in Star Trek.)
Sometimes that leads me to watch some shitty things. Truth Seekers is not one of those times.
The story of season one is thus. Gus, a cable repair tech, is saddled with training a new partner named Elton.
Elton John. Yes, that’s real.
This is stressful for Gus because he likes to work alone. But it’s also getting in the way of his ghost hunting side gig.
Yes, Gus is a Youtube persona who hunts for ghosts.
This is all well and good when he’s posting time-lapse videos of a door opening by itself. It becomes quite another sort of adventure when the ghosts start acting like they’re in a horror movie and not in an episode of Ghost Hunters.
So let’s talk about the three biggest reasons Truth Seekers works.
Okay, I point out characters in almost every single why it works post. There’s a reason for that. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t care. A good cast of characters can save a dull story faster than the other way around.
Every one of the characters, from main character Gus to Elton’s agoraphobic sister Helen, every character feels real. Everyone feels like someone you might honestly meet on a day to day basis.
More than that, though, is the interactions between characters. Gus is devoted to his dad, even though they fight constantly. He misses his wife every day, and he’s not the least bit shy about it. Elton and his sister have a relationship that gets better the more you learn about them.
I cared about each of these people. I wanted them to succeed. I wanted them to be okay. There wasn’t a single character I didn’t believe to be an honest person. This is because we see the bad along with the good. We see selfishness, anger, pain. But these aren’t just traits thrown in so the authors could say they made a character with good and bad traits. The flaws and strengths of each character made sense given what they’d been through.
Everyone’s got a secret
Mind you, my opinion of these things came from watching the whole first season. It takes that long to get to know each character’s true motivations. Why does it take that long? Because everyone is lying to each other all the time.
Not for cruel or selfish reasons. The reasons for the lies are best left discovered by the viewer.
This works so well because there are so many secrets waiting to be discovered. And every secret is a payoff for the viewer. These payoffs are scattered through the season, keeping the viewers guessing while doling out bits of satisfaction as we go along.
The ending is shocking but makes total sense
This is something I love in fiction. Something so hard to do. The ending of this season is a twist. It’s a hell of a twist and I don’t dare ruin it.
That being said, once you know the ending you’ll see all the little clues that led up to this making perfect sense. It’s hard to do. But if you can create an ending that is surprising but also makes sense, you’re golden.
So what do you think? Have you seen Truth Seekers? Do you think it works? Let us know in the comments below.