Counterpart Review

9.3
Expert Rating

Counterpart is about a low-level bureaucrat named Howard Silk who one day, after 29 years serving as a security official, is brought face to face with his doppelganger from another world. The series stars JK Simmons and Olivia Williams, was created by Justin Marks, best known as the screenwriter for live-action Jungle Book movie and is currently 2 seasons long. Check out our picks, or follow us, to find the best shows on Amazon.

Why We Like It – Counterpart

Counterpart is an exceptionally written, superbly acted political science fiction thriller that dares to tackle the questions of nature vs. nurture. Are we born to act a certain way, and will we be that way throughout all of time? Or are we born as a blank slate, and does our environment dictate how we eventually grow up to behave? Can one cataclysmic event change the behaviour of a single man?

Pros
  • Interesting premise
  • Expressive and Creative First Season
  • Amazing performance by JK Simmons
Cons
  • Requires some real stretching of the imagination

Performance

Howard Silk is a milquetoast and all-around quiet man. He is a low-level bureaucrat living and working in Germany. One day he is brought to question a suspected terrorist only to find he is sitting across the table from himself. This new version, however, is “harder” than our quiet Howard Silk. If soft-spoken men turning into heroes is your thing, then Mr. Robot is another fantastic show with a similar protagonist. Set during the Cold War, Howard finds out that an East German experiment gone wrong created a parallel world, called the Prime World, and now everyone has an “other” in the Prime World.

Design

As you would expect, having two worlds and two Howards is a recipe for confusion. Twist and turns and unpredictability are the show’s strongholds. The effective and creative first season nimbly dances around the season’s unpredictability with ease. Fantastic writing means the viewer will never get lost and have to go back and look for clues they may have missed. However, there are some instances where the writers are asking us to suspend our disbelief a lot, even for science fiction. For example: How did Howard Silk not know what the company he was working for 29 years doing? Why do they all speak English? Why is his boss British? If suspending your disbelief isn’t your thing, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is another great show to watch on Amazon Prime. And it’s funny, too.

Value

Acting is another area where Counterpart shines brightly. JK Simmons never failed to be riveting as character backstories unfolded and is magnificent in his dual role as the two Howards. So good, in fact, that it is easy to differentiate between the two Howards because he gives each of them their own specific mannerisms and inflections. During Counterpart Season 2, JK Simmons and the rest of the cast, which includes Olivia Williams, continue to do excellent work. The Americans, also on Amazon Prime, also has an excellent cast with excellent acting if you like your political thrillers pure without any science fiction.

Counterpart Wrap Up

If you’re a fan of science fiction, it’s easy to recommend Combined Final. If you’re a fan of political thrillers, it’s easy to recommend Counterpart. Imagine if you’re a fan of science fiction and political thrillers. It’s really easy to recommend Counterpart. But even all that aside, the superb writing and acting from everybody involved makes Counterpart a great choice for anybody looking for a new TV show.

Performance9.5
Design9.1
Value9.3
Reader Rating0 Votes0
9.3
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

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Michael Iaboni

Michael Iaboni is a Canadian Freelance Writer and Editor. He graduated from York University with a Degree in English and Creative Writing and then attended Queen's University where he obtained a Professional Editing Standards Certificate. He is a member of Editor's Canada and, in his spare time, enjoys reading, writing, soccer, and gaming.

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