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nine perfect strangers

Television

‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ review: First three episodes are promising and worrisome

Too star studded to be bad, but…

Nine Perfect Strangers is the latest collaboration between Nicole Kidman and David E. Kelley. Based on the novel of the same name, the story is about nine people who have come to a resort. Before long, they find all is not as it seems. The first episode mainly focuses on the introduction of all of the characters. Bringing an ensemble cast together is always a risk since it can be difficult to give everyone an interesting story. Even with the strong cast Nine Perfect Strangers boasts, it looks like Melissa McCarthy and Bobby Cannavale are going to get the bulk of the attention.

Some may find some truth with this, but this does not prevent other characters from standing out. Michael Shannon is his normal amazing self while Regina Hall and Samara Weaving get better with each passing episode. The first three episodes even see some thought behind each character. Some of the guests have more interesting problems than others, but none is written off. (Though one character has yet to give a full explanation as to why they are there.) 

Nicole Kidman’s role as Masha Dmitrichenko is mysterious and alluring. She is witch-like and has the audience guessing her motives. Unfortunately, as more is revealed, she becomes less of a puzzle. Masha continues to exude the angelic qualities that Kidman naturally possess, but her motives become very down to earth. This includes a bombshell to conclude episode three that is certainly shocking, but also takes away some of the mystique of Nine Perfect Strangers.

This has been one of the big takeaways of the first three episodes. As the show has gone on, things have become less interesting. Things never get bad – this cast is way too talented for that to ever happen – but a similar thing happened to Kidman and Kelley before. Nine Perfect Strangers remains can’t miss stuff; the premise of the show ensures that. But if things continue in this direction it will end up being very disappointing.

The first three episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers premiere August 18 on Hulu with each new episode released weekly.

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