‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ has started to find its rhythm after a shaky start. Although some of the problems I mentioned in my review of the pilot remain, the show is coming into its own.
Episode two opened up the story and its world. The tidier structure and patience when it comes to storytelling made for better escapism.
The pacing and structuring in this instalment are a vast improvement on the previous. Last week we got a lot of time to get to know the students of Appleyard’s school.
In the first section of this episode, they were amiss. This illustrated that feeling of absence that the characters are experiencing. The investigation of the local men into the girls’ disappearance provided the show with much needed direction and pacing.
We did not see the group of girls in the present timeline but they appeared in flashbacks. Those scenes gave us some nice character development that explained the bond between the girls.
The box of mysteries format, similar to ‘Lost’ is quite fun. The location itself is the source of the mystery. Multiple questions branch off one central conundrum. ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ is a welcome piece of atmospheric mystery in your living room each week.
Its presence is made even more enjoyable due to its impressive visuals and use of symbolism. In the intro, we see two of the local men walking through the forest, they are shrouded in shadow.
Their obscured identity illustrates the feeling of mistrust towards males held by the girls of the school. Mrs Appleyard’s indoctrination has led them to steer clear of men.
The show still isn’t anything mindblowing or innovative. It still has issues with pacing as it meanders somewhat towards the episode’s end. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable show and I look forward to seeing how this mystery unfolds.