After pushing the limits of TV with a legendary show about Crystal Meth makers and one about the glamour of Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, AMC attempted something a little more challenging about two years ago: a spy drama set in New York about 1780 during the American Revolutionary War.
The show, called Turn: Washington’s Spies, is a story about the formation of the Culper spy ring during the British occupation of New York. And it turned out brilliantly.
Filmed mostly around the plantations of Richmond Virginia and the James and York Rivers, the outdoor sets in all weather are absorbing, the cast is charming and convincing and the costumes and set pieces, especially the firearms, are exquisite.
As a cable show, Turn keeps it real, so there may be more blood and gore than some viewers would like, but I found it not nearly so creatively shocking as others, like Breaking Bad, though I’ve only made it through part of the first season. The show is now in the 3rd season.
If TV is to be saved from the cesspool it currently wallows in, AMC seems determined to take the lead in doing so in a way that informs, educates, inspires and satisfies.