5 Episodes In: Taboo

March 1, 2017     Ro     TV Show Review

Genres: Horror, Thriller

Taboo caught my attention the old fashion (but atypical for me) way: a TV promo. It looked to be chocked full of the mystical, the disturbed and maybe, just maybe (if we’re lucky) utter mayhem. Now, I freely admit that I am absurdly enamored with Tom Hardy; after watching him rise inexplicably from what appeared to be a river covered in paint, I had not the first damn clue what in hell I’d just viewed. I was also absolutely certain I’d be watching when the show aired on FX…

To give myself some standing before trying to drag my less-Tom Hardy obsessed friends into possibly watching along with me, I did go looking for a show synopsis: Taboo is a grim tale of a man, James Delaney, whose reemergence (from the dead) into English society coincides with the death of his father. It seems the “civilized” world believed he perished when a ship on its way to Africa sank. His reappearance in 1814 London coincides with Britain’s not so successful battles with its former colonies in American over independence and territory (think American Revolution and the War of 1812). As he makes moves to take control of his father’s crumbling shipping business intent on establishing himself he must navigate personal trials and political machinations to seize control of a piece of property included in his inheritance that of interest to the warring nations.

With an unmistakable swagger, and amidst rumors of depravity and savagery, James Delaney saunters into his father’s funeral upsetting both the ceremony and the plans the very powerful East India Company has for his father’s estate. He seems to have information he shouldn’t – given his long absence from England and its affairs – an utter lack of regard for his standing as a servant of the Crown, a deep-seated antipathy for explanation and more than a bit of shadowy menace emanating from his palatable aura.