Apartthere is another show on loaded with complex character work, detailed world building, and beautiful visuals. Both seasons of this show are available on now.
It’s time to look at Counterpart.
Anyone who has ever seen Counterpart understands how immaculate the show is. Counterpart looks like a Cold War spy thriller based on a novel by John le Carré. But no, this Rolex-level precision creation comes from the mind of TV and film writer Justin Marks.
The counterpart is a science fiction spy thriller that merges these genres with perfect balance. Set in a world obsessed with formality and procedure, Counterpart builds that gripping Christopher Nolan-esque sense of realism. It takes place in a dystopian Berlin where a wall divides two very different worlds. This division manifests in each of the conflicting spies, ensuring that every aspect of Counterpart is tied to its central idea and theme.
The fascinating world of Counterpart is seen through the eyes of Howard Silk, played by JK Simmons in the cute JK Simmons mode. Silk is a kind, gentle, sad, and lonely cog who works in a secret bureaucratic organization that guards the Wall. He has to follow strict rules every day: log in, open a briefcase, say a few mysterious lines of code, then walk straight out, no questions asked.
If television has taught us anything, it’s that something is about to blow up the world of Silk. When it does, the impact is breathtaking. You know that by engaging in this show, you are embarking on a long winding journey.
In case it wasn’t obvious, this trip is definitely worth it. The show’s finale ties up all the major details, while sowing the seeds for a potential sequel. Counterpart could have lasted more than two seasons, but the show’s original network, Starz, shamefully let it slip through its fingers. The reasons that raise eyebrows need not be repeated. In the end, the 20 episodes you get are so complete that you can let the series down. Plus, when you come late to a show, the prospect of two seasons is far less daunting than, say, eight.
We need to keep talking about Counterpart’s style and appearance. If you like the green code aesthetic on old mainframes, Counterpart is the king of retrofuturism. This isbefore Severance and has some of the best opening titles not to skip. Actually shot in Berlin, Counterpart is embossed with crisp, clean lines; it looks as good as anything on Apple TV Plus.
No matter how far we delve into its labyrinthine sci-fi depths, Counterpart always stays in touch with the identities of its main characters. It’s not hard to invest in and care for the innocent Howard, then watch him with growing dread as he struggles with dark impulses. Anyone can switch sides in this fascinating world of espionage, made all the more engrossing when the characters’ perceptions are warped by their own insecurities.
Counterpart isn’t just a show to pass the time before more episodes of The Rings of Power drop. It’s a great all-around piece of TV, and you should feel good about putting your nerdiest, pickiest TV-watching time in its safe hands.
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