Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s alternate history novel, Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle presents an America in thrall to the Axis powers which won World War II. We’ve seen glimpses before, but this extended trailer gives us a longer look at a country under the heel of fascism and hints at secrets that threaten to spark a national resistance movement.

From the outset, we see the effectiveness in using propaganda to control an occupied population. Most Americans seem ambivalent about their current predicament, and deferring to their Japanese or German-controlled government is simply the status quo. But because the series is (presumably) not Aryan wish fulfillment, material surfaces that offers to upset the balance of power. In Dick’s version, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy is a story-within-a-story, a banned novel in which the Axis powers are depicted as losing. In the Amazon adaptation, the novel becomes an underground film reel; it’s not clear if the film-version is also fiction, or documents some type of evidence that’s equally damaging.


In either case, the Grasshopper gets the Americans who possess it into serious trouble, like “Nazi-gestapo-agents-chasing-you” kinds of trouble. Will the resistance succeed in making insurgent movies go viral, or will the Axis powers stamp out the troublemakers once and for all? We’ll find out the fate of alternate America on November 20, when Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle is available for full season streaming.

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