I love mysteries. I also love period pieces. When I saw a commercial back in December for The Alienist I became very intrigued. It appeared to be the best of both worlds for me; a murder mystery set in 1896 New York City. The more I looked into it, the more excited I became. This 10 episode psychological thriller about a serial killer targeting young male prostitutes has had me eagerly awaiting it’s premiere.
I will admit I was confused by the title of this show, but I learned that “Alienist” is an old fashioned term for a psychologist. The “Alienist” in this case is Dr Laszlo Kreizler, played by Daniel Bruhl. He is brought in by Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) to secretly investigate the case with newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans).
An Unusual Paring
I’m fascinated by this combo – a psychologist and an illustrator. It seems to me like such an odd pairing to be investigating a serial killer. I can’t wait to see how this comes about. I assume because they are “secretly” investigating the case that they will be able to pull off things the “official” investigators would not be allowed to do. I’m curious to see the methods that were used in the early days of forensics, and watching a murder be solved without the help of computer technology and DNA.
Roosevelt’s secretary, Sara Howard, also helps in the investigation. Howard is played by Dakota Fanning, who, I will confess, I still picture as a little girl in my head. I look forward to seeing her in this grown up role. Every “period piece”, in my opinion, needs at least one strong, intelligent female character who isn’t afraid to stand up to the men of the time. Fanning appears to be playing that part in The Alienist.
19th Century New York City
The period piece lover in me can’t wait to see the gritty sets of late 19th Century New York City. All the previews also have me thrilled for the beautiful costuming of that time. The exquisite dresses worn by the ladies, with adorable matching hats. The very dapper suits and bowler hats on the men. While I don’t think I would like to dress in these fashions they certainly are beautiful to look at.
If you enjoy a good psychological thriller or like me are fascinated by a 19th century period piece I suggest checking out The Alienist. This thriller, based on Caleb Carr’s 1994 novel of the same name, is set to premiere this Monday, January 22 at 9:00 EST on TNT. I will be writing a weekly recap/review of the show for So Many Shows so be sure to come back and check them out!
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