Nine Perfect Strangers: the review of the last two episodes

Nine Perfect Strangers: the review of the last two episodes

Nine Perfect Strangers

In August, we had the chance to preview the first six episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers, the new high-budget drama series from Amazon Prime Video based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty (which you can retrieve it on Amazon).

On that occasion we mentioned how this new series showed numerous positive elements, such as the characterization of the characters and the topics covered, but also how the narration was extremely linear and lacked any intriguing flicker that we hoped to see in the last two episodes. Could it have been so? Find out in this review which, as always, will be spoiler-free.

Nine Perfect Strangers: nine clients and an enigmatic manager

To refresh your memory, Nine Perfect Strangers showcases just nine very (im) perfect strangers arriving at a distant refuge called Tranquillum House. The latter is an exclusive health and wellness resort that accepts only a small percentage of the many people who try to book a stay. Of course, each of them arrives with a heavy baggage, but in a metaphorical sense since this is made up of pain, trauma, insecurities and many other things that millions of people around the world trying to fix daily even paying large sums for specialist sessions. Directed by a mysterious Russian named Masha (Nicole Kidman), the Tranquillum project promises a transformative experience, but initially the participants seem stubbornly disinterested in doing what it takes to truly transform. However, as Masha's strategies become more and more extravagant, ICU may be the last thing they need to fear.

A smoothie too rich in good fruit

In the preview review we had underlined how the series was presented as a thriller full of mysteries, but which from the first episodes was transformed into a sort of soap opera where the most important focus became the inner journey of the characters. With the last two episodes the comparison that is most immediate is that with the smoothie. You all know how it works, right? You put a more or less wide variety and quantity of fruit in the blender, you press a simple button and what comes out is a tasty blend which, however, does not have the real taste of any of the fruits we have put because all tastes are joined together.

Nine Perfect Strangers is exactly this: all the characters are gutted in a rather slow and redundant way in the initial part of the show, then little by little they are quickly mixed with the others and at the end the result is a not very tasty smoothie with little glue. The individual pieces are good, with some wonderful interpretations, an interesting premise, and a visually stunning location, but all of these elements at some point are blended together to create something structurally inconsistent.

For example, Tony (Bobby Cannavale) and Francis (Melissa McCarthy) have a fun, romantic comedy-style storyline with all the nonsense and funny jokes the genre calls for - they get hooked easily and are fun to watch.

The problem is, yes they find in the same environment with Napoleon (Michael Shannon), Heather (Asher Keddie) and Zoe (Grace Van Patten), as well as a family unit unable to function due to an unimaginable loss for which there is great sadness and empathy. Meanwhile Ben (Melvin Gregg) and Jessica (Samara Weaving) find themselves in a relationship drama about the dangers of social media, Lars (Luke Evans) antagonizes Carmel (Regina Hall) as a classic high school bully, for trivial reasons. , and all the while someone (whom we will only know in the final stages of the series) threatens to kill Masha to give that thriller note to the tale and confuse the already rich smoothie even more.

Masha's healing methods for helping her clients become themselves is nothing short of interesting, but the supposed twists that the mysterious Tranquillum protocol holds for its guests are pretty obvious. Each of the nine strangers has a secret, but there is so little momentum behind each revelation that the show seems to just illuminate the lives of a group of problematic people who manage to get out of their monotony for a few hours and suddenly someone. he declares something interesting about them that should startle the other guests and, in theory, the spectator as well. In short, all perfectly in line with what, at this point, we could define "smoothie effect".

An ending that saves a confused and flat narrative

In the last two episodes there is more space to narrate Masha's past and find out what really drives her on this mission and help draw a more precise context about the events happening on the estate. The seventh episode, in particular, is the prelude to chaos because there is a total loss of control by the guests who are absent from their guide. The large number of characters lose sight of the main objective and their characterization becomes confused and tarnished by an overly animated screenplay. An almost perfect climax for an unexpectedly effective ending that, in some way, lifts the fortunes of the show.

We will not tell you any details just to keep the promise of "no spoilers", but it is enough to know that you it will be a kind of happy ending in which all the loose threads are resolved and shows in its entirety the unconventional treatment of the Tranquillum protocol. In the finale, therefore, Nine Perfect Strangers focuses on profound themes such as forgiveness and mourning and on the whole it is satisfying despite the excessive speed with which some of the cornerstones are dissolved. There was even room for an unexpected deepening of Carmel's character that went far beyond that present in the novel. It was a clear demonstration of how, having more time available, the final product could have been richer in content and narrative plots.


In conclusion Nine Perfect Strangers by Amazon Prime Video is not a bad series, but it is a product that does not exploit its great potential very well due to an excessive brevity that ruins and reduces to the bone the presence of the numerous characters with their pasts and relative skeletons in the closets. Precisely the nine unknowns and, of course, the actors who played them are one of the strengths of the series, however, again due to the aforementioned short duration of the series, some of them were damaged.

For example , Ben and Jessica turned out to be the weakest links in the plot, given their reduced screen time, although at first they seemed to play a central role. These are the consequences of a too rich smoothie that does not allow to distinguish the flavors. Considering also how the first season ended, we believe that we will have to settle for what we have seen because there will hardly be a second one.

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