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Alexander Woo Explains Terror: Infamy Cold Open to Syfy Wire; THR Names Derek Mio Breakout Star

This week, Alexander Woo explains The Terror: Infamy cold open to Syfy Wire, while The Hollywood Reporter names Derek Mio a breakout star. Plus, Time trumpets the show as a depiction of the internment camps that focuses on Japanese Americans. Read on for more:

• Talking to Syfy Wire about the cold open in the Season 2 Premiere, Alexander Woo says the scene was “something that we wanted from the start. It was a calling card for the show, poetic and lovely, but at the same time horrifying, and creepy and unsettling. It sets the tone for the entire show and establishes that the show has a visual language.”

• One of The Hollywood Reporter‘s 15 breakout stars of the TV critics’ summer press tour is Derek Mio, “a fourth-generation Japanese American whose own family members were imprisoned as well. He drew from his own family’s experiences living on Terminal Island, where the season takes place.”

• Describing The Terror: Infamy as “a welcome rarity: a mainstream depiction of the World War II incarceration camps in which Japanese Americans are actually at the center of their own story,” Time looks back at “depictions of the incarceration of Japanese Americans on film and in television since the 1940s.”

• The show’s production designer, Jonathan McKinstry, talks to Vulture about the internment camp set, saying, “I wanted to show the resilience of the Japanese American people and what they did to make it feel like home with whatever limited resources they had, but not to diminish their hardship and experience.”

• After watching the first episode, Decider concludes, “It may be that Yuko is a vengeful spirit who has followed the Nakayama clan from Japan. She might be out to murder them all. But for right now, I’m rooting for her, and her indefatigable spirit.”

• Alexander Woo tells NBC News, “We’re using the vocabulary of ghost stories as an analog for the horror of this experience. It’s easy to sit back and say, ‘that was 75 years ago, it won’t happen again.’ But we want viewers to emotionally plug into what Japanese Americans must’ve been feeling as if it was happening now.”

• Speaking with CNN, Alexander Woo says George Takei’s leadership “made everyone feel like this was something special. That even though this is the story of the Japanese Americans in the 1940s, it is not exclusively a story for Japanese Americans. It’s a story for anyone whose life has been shaped or touched by the immigrant experience, which quite frankly in this country is just about anyone.”

IndieWire points out that The Terror: Infamy is an example of a show this year that examines “the question of who belongs in a country that accepts refugees and immigrants while simultaneously Otherizing them.”

The Hollywood Reporter interviews Alexander Woo, who talks about using the vocabulary of Japanese ghost stories and Japanese horror movies “as an analogue for the terror of the historical experience so you really feel, using that horror, you really feel the horror of what these people are going through.”

• Max Borenstein tells the Associated Press, “It was important to do the research, the lived reality that people faced. The fact of taking people who are citizens of the country and (putting them in camps) is a great stain of our country.”

Slant describes The Terror: Infamy as “striking not only for its scope, but for how uncompromising it is.”

Bustle spotlights the new cast and crew for The Terror: Infamy, most of whom “are Asian American and have some connection to the time period.”

• Calling The Terror: Infamy “captivating, provoking and complex,” Paste declares the show is “not a comfortable viewing experience. If the body horror or creeping dead don’t turn your stomach sour, the reminder of the ugliness of the past (and the present) surely will. But if you’re ready and willing to experience it, the rewards are considerable.”

• Speaking with Vanity Fair about Chester’s photography, Alexander Woo says, “We used photography as an analog for his perception of America, and the things he photographs change around him in the same way that his perception of America changes. The America that he loved has shape-shifted into something that’s accusing him of being a traitor or, or a spy or an enemy alien.”

• George Takei tells the Los Angeles Times that the internment camp set was “very, very real. The texture of the strips of wood that held the tar paper intact, the crawl space underneath the barrack. Our dog used to crawl under there. All those memories came back. The acting wasn’t acting.”

Variety, reviewing the show, says, “Alexander Woo and Max Borenstein’s new iteration of the Terror series, both thanks to its subject matter and supernatural apparitions lurking at the edges, is permeated by an ever-creeping sense of dread that proves undeniable.”

Bloody Disgusting explores the “Japanese tradition, folklore, superstition, and evil” permeating The Terror: Infamy, including kaidan, obake (or bakemono) and yurei.

The Terror: Infamy airs Mondays 9/8c. Get updates on The Terror by signing up for the Insiders Club.

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