It’s a well written review, but I can’t say I agree with everything mentioned in it. Yes, I’m completely biased.
The one thing that I will react to is the less-than-stellar review of Episode 1: Black Roses, since other people haven’t been blown away with it either. What I’m realizing in hindsight is that Episode 1 probably shouldn’t have been the pilot episode. We had made the choice to start the series with the inciting incident of the plot and the call-to-action by our main character. From story perspective, this makes complete sense. From business/marketing perspective, however, it’s problematic. Because Hayley is in mourning in Episode 1, the episode is not indicative of the future tone of our series. And unless this episode is going to capture our audience and blow them away, we should have probably gone with a lighter, more representative episode.
This issue comes up with television series as well, where studio execs are under high pressure to capture an audience based off one pilot episode. One example is what happened with Joss Whedon’s Firefly. Word on the street is FOX didn’t think the original pilot episode had enough action or humor (elements that would exist in future episodes) since the original pilot was focused on backstory. FOX wanted a pilot that was more representative of the overall series so the audience knew what they could expect going forward. So FOX went with a different episode as the “pilot” episode, in order to sell the series to an audience. Frankly, I can’t blame them even if Joss disagreed with this move.
Looking back, I’ll admit that our first episode should have been something more along the lines of Episode 2: The Name Is Hayley. Alternatively, we could have used a 5-second opening credit sequence to provide backstory and gone from there (e.g., Hayley voicing over “My friend was murdered…” etc).
Anyway, feedback is good if you can take it and learn from it. Next time, I’ll keep the above in mind.