By Colleen Mertes
If you don’t have enough drama and turmoil as spring semester comes to a close or are craving a binge-worthy show to consume you, Netflix’s new original series “Bloodline” is the answer.
The series “is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family.” It’s set in the Florida Keys, mainly at the serene oceanfront hotel of the Mama and Papa Rayburn. The murky mangroves have their place in the series as well, giving a severe juxtaposition to the soft, inviting beach.
Beginning with the 45th anniversary of this hotel and a son’s return, “Bloodline” will really test your patience. Daniel Rayburn’s (Ben Mendelsohn) return is surrounded by tension and is received with hostility, or at least resistance, by most of his family. The show keeps you in the dark for a long time but it teases with little revelations which become addictive and keep you coming back for more.
There are 13 episodes: each run about an hour, filled with enough tension and thrills to give a young college student heart palpitations. If you crave drama and suspense, and enjoy a cliff hanger, than look no further than this series. In all its twists and turns, you never know who to trust and things never turn out to be what they seem.
Revelations about the past and the future are given to the viewer through flashbacks in dream-like sequences, often being a part of a character’s memory, and flash forwards, usually at a beginning or an ending of any given episode, with the narration of John Rayburn, the second eldest. But in the beginning, neither is clear. It’s like a trail of breadcrumbs.
The cinematography and the superb acting are the true supporters of this series. It’s truly a work of genius when a scene can make your body feel like it is drowning, even though you’re lying perfectly comfortable on your bed. At times, sequences can be confusing and the script is cryptic almost to a fault, entering an almost cheesy quality. But the actors make it too intriguing and dark to be laughed at. They are nothing but serious.
If you love the dark, turbulent paths life can go down, and the inter-workings of family ties made taught by lies and secrets, then this is your next series to binge watch. You may need to alternate episodes with another, lighter, happier series, for example “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” or “Friends,” maybe even “Real Housewives of Atlanta” if you still need drama of a lesser caliber. I do recommend taking mental breaks, at least in the beginning of your journey, as the content is really heavy and it brings up some dark moments of life.
Netflix has put out some great original series, but this is one of its best, if not the best that I’ve seen. Original is the keyword here. The writers use family connections and tensions that will resonate with the audience but plot lines that aren’t over used. The last episode is my personal favorite, I love a good cliffhanger. You will finish the series completely changed, along with the characters you will learn to love and hate in ways never thought possible.