Sci-fi is an absolutely impeccable genre in both Cinema and the TV world. Aliens and strange technology that we’re not currently familiar with fill the screens, and they daringly take us into a world and an adventure that is certainly a rollercoaster of an experience. Interestingly enough, this experience can also apply to the mystery genre; and the thought of mixing them feels like an out-of-this-world combination. And, yes, it has been done before with series like ‘The X-Files’; which is known as one of the most iconic shows of the 90s, along with something that would be hard to replicate. Well, this is where Netflix comes in.
While not completely replicating ‘The X-Files’, Netflix’s newly original released Danish series ‘Chosen’ gives younger (and recent) audiences a taste of a similar feeling to those who watched ‘The X-Files’ when it first came out. The mysterious energies surrounding the possibility of extraterrestrial life invading a sleepy town, coupled with tensed teenagers attempting to solve a mystery, form an interesting combination that is fun and rather intriguing to watch; and the conspiracies that plague the small town become reminiscent of those seen within ‘The X-Files’.
Everything Is Never As It Seems
Created by Jannik Tai Mosholt, Kaspar Munk, and Christian Potalivo, ‘Chosen’ follows Emma, an awkward seventeen-year-old living in the small town of Middelbo; which has become a huge tourist spot due to its famous meteor that suddenly crashed and left a huge crater in the ground one day. Emma struggles to find her sense of identity and true connection amongst her peers; but that all changes when one day the town’s beloved meteor smashes as though it was glass, and this motivates Emma to strive to figure out the truth about the event of the meteor crash itself. During this journey, Emma meets a group of teenagers who want to help her uncover the truth and work with her on this conspiracy while everyone else around them makes them feel as though they’re crazy for even wanting to dig further into everything.
At the beginning of the series, the tone is set up incredibly nicely with how mysterious the rest of the season will play out. We get a quick introduction of the gist of how Middelbo came to be such an attractive town to many tourists is told through Emma as a tour guide/employee at the museum for the meteor, and not even five minutes after this is when everything in the season begins to form its wild twists and turns. One of the tourists asks to touch the meteor, and after Emma precautiously lets him is when the meteor suddenly falls over and smashes everywhere.
This leads to Emma losing her job, which causes her to spiral and doubt everything about herself and everything as well. But, determined to still be of assistance, she calls the founder (Hussein) and lets him know it’s a fake; which shows itself to be a big mistake as Hussein brings her over to his house and attempts to make Emma think that she should stop looking into this sudden conspiracy about the meteor. This confrontation causes Emma’s current identity crisis to get even worse as she questions what anyone says anymore, and it is from this point that it becomes the catalyst to the previously mentioned group of teenagers that want to help Emma figure out the mystery; along with all the secrets that beg to be uncovered about the citizens that were there when the meteor first struck.
Ultimately, I know this story may sound like a lot and confusing as to how it could all fit together to form the intriguing and thrilling show that it is; and, I was rather curious as to how they would be able to pull off an entire series of this and not edge on the lines of being convoluted. But, like many recent Netflix originals that I’ve watched, I was pleasantly surprised. Nothing in ‘Chosen’ seemed to be predictable, and I truly didn’t know what I could expect out of this show as a whole, which created such a riveting experience for me as an audience member going into only simple knowing it to be a teenage detective with self-identity issues mixed in with the sci-fi supernatural.
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The Sacred Chosen Writing And Characters
As I mentioned above, nothing in ‘Chosen’ seemed to be predictable, or even teetering towards being potentially cliche. I feel as though this was mainly thanks to the writing; more specifically, Jannik Tai Mosholt and Ida Maria Rydén. But, this isn’t to discredit the other wonderful writers that worked on the season as well. The storyline and dialogue progressed the story of ‘Chosen’ excellently, and it all built up with so much tension and yearning contained mystery that the final episode of the first season concluded perfectly; while also leaving audiences guessing as to how we can go further into experiencing the wild ride that ‘Chosen’ sets itself up to be in the future.
I also want to give a round of applause to the director, Kaspar Munk, as well. Munk accomplishes something amazing by directing the actors and working with the cinematographer, Laust Trier-Mørk, to ultimately form a compelling story that audiences can truly dive into. Barely anything in this series feels fake, and the chemistry and contrasting dynamics between each main character within ‘Chosen’ feel realistic; or at least, as much as it can be given all the sci-fi and odd alien aspects. The pacing caused by Munk’s directing is also something to be admired as well, with all the quick and intense moments popping out at you at the most unexpected times paired with slow and chest-tightening scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Lastly, with all of this said, I want to give a big hand to the main star of the show: Malaika Mosendane. It seems as though ‘Chosen’ is her debut role, with her IMDb page not containing many role credits; and this truly shocked me because with how stunning her acting is I would’ve thought she had more experiences. It is only right to say that I dearly hope after seeing her talents on screen that many more professionals in the Danish film industry want to take her on in future projects. Of course, all of the other actors did a phenomenal job and helped to push the story further.
A Chosen Ending
As much as I could talk about season one of ‘Chosen’ further, I find that it’s only fair for one to check it out themselves and see if it’s something that makes their sci-fi heart feel amazing. Personally, as an avid-lover of ‘The X-Files’ and teenage detectives, I found ‘Chosen’ to be something unique and incredibly familiar yet enjoyably foreign to me as well. Even if you don’t finish the season having loved it, you’ll be glad that you took a chance on the series for what it is so far.
I’m rather extremely curious as to how this series could go further into its second season, but with the way season one ends, I can have a strong idea as to how it could go. Nevertheless, I find that this series can bring you loads of surprises and unexpected paths taken that you can never be too sure of. I recommend this to all you fantastic ‘The X-Files’ fans out there that want to feel as though Nancy Drew made a guest appearance for an episode of the series, and had a rather immense amount of self-identity issues.
Cinematography: Laust Trier-Mørk | Editor(s): Rasmus Gitz-Johansen, Anders Albjerg Kristiansen | Director: Kaspar Munk | Writer(s): Jannik Tai Mosholt, Ida Maria Rydén | Producers: Jannik Tai Mosholt, Kaspar Munk, Christian Potalivo
By Leah Donato
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