Once again, a subject mentioned in a previous post has been found to deserve another post all its own. : )
Riese: Kingdom Falling is a web series, the first season of which can be viewed on Syfy.com. Season One consists of ten episodes, each averaging about 7 to 9 minutes long, so the entire first season comes out to about the length of a normal movie.
The series is set in the fictional country of Elysia, a nation that has been overthrown and taken over by a religious coup. Riese, Elysia's rightful princess, escaped the murderous rebels who murdered her family, and is now running for her life trying to avoid being hunted down by the usurping empress Amara. She has Fenrir, a wolf, to help her, but the two of them are up against armies of huntsmen, the fanatic religious group called The Sect, and ruthless, brainwashed cyborgs.
Riese is very well-produced, and I was delighted with how clean it was, especially for being a secular production.
There are some definite religious aspects to the story, and the devoutly religious characters are the 'bad guys', which was somewhat of a concern for me. Riese is labeled a 'heretic' for refusing to accept their religion, but whether she conforms to another religion or not is not made clear. Also, The Sect's beliefs are in no way made to resemble Christianity, which was a relief.
There is a scene where Riese wakes up in a hospital after suffering a severe injury, and the doctors have removed her shirt to treat the wound. In another scene, Empress Amara is consulting one of her advisers while changing her clothes; she is standing behind a dressing screen so all you can see are her shoulders, but I still found that a little weird. Later, when Riese learns the fate of her younger brother, she uses a derogatory name for the man responsible (I don't approve of the use of the word, but in all fairness, he really deserved it).
If you watch the series and, toward the end, suddenly begin to worry that a very inappropriate scene may be approaching, don't fret. I thought the same thing, and was almost furious at having watched so far only to have to turn it off. But as I said, don't worry. You think it's coming, but it doesn't.
On the whole, this is a great series full of action, suspense, and loads of steampunk flavor. For anyone who wants to really get acquainted with the steampunk style and genre, or for that matter anyone who just wants a great story to watch, I recommend Riese: Kingdom Falling.