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TV Reviews

‘The Sister’ review: Hulu’s new miniseries combines mystery with supernatural

An interesting mystery.

The Sister is a mystery-thriller miniseries coming to Hulu. Based on the novel Burial, the show is about a man named Nathan (Russel Tovey). One night an old acquaintance of his named Bob (Bertie Carvel) shows up unexpectedly at his doorstep. He comes bearing news that will dredge up old secrets that threaten to ruin Nathan’s life.

The show starts off as a standard mystery. It is intriguing in the way mysteries usually are. What does Bob know? Why is Nathan always so nervous? And what does his wife Holly (Amrita Acharia) have to do with any of it? It soon becomes clear The Sister is going to be a different type of mystery. Elements of the supernatural are introduced in quick order and the storyline spans years. The plot also brings in themes of guilt and paranoia.

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Mood is an important part of the miniseries. There is always a feeling of suspicion in these types of stories, but The Sister adds something a little different. The story can be suffocating at times for one of the characters. This is passed on to the audience and makes things more tense. There is also an overwhelming sense of guilt and grief throughout the series. Love is an important part also, but it takes a backseat until the final episodes.

The audience’s perception of Nathan will change with each episode of The Sister. At first, he comes off as too nervous and incapable. As more of the story is revealed, his mannerisms and actions make more sense.  The Sister has the expected twists and turns. The series does a good job of not relying on them, however. It allows the story to play out on its own. This keeps the audience invested without ever losing immersion. Episodes three and four are especially tense. Things move quickly and attention to detail is very important. 

By the end of the show, audiences will have many questions. The best part is they are the type that the creators will want to be asked. People will debate morality, the limits of good, and true love. Discussions will range around “how about” as opposed to “how could they”. The series will promote discussion and not spark frustration.

As with any mystery, the resolution will determine what viewers ultimately think of the miniseries. The Sister is no different and how it resolves its many mysteries will be what makes or breaks the show. That being said, the story is interesting enough to keep people watching until the very end. At that point, it becomes a question of what people think of the series as a whole and how they feel about how it ends. And not every mystery can say that.

The Sister premieres on Hulu January 22

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