Hulu’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ has been popular among the masses but the show really does not have anything interesting to say, portray, or be remembered by. After its hype dies down, ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ will cosily sink into oblivion.
‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ has a plot that is extremely similar to HBO’s ‘The White Lotus’. Nine strangers visit a property to seek relaxation but their lives are turned upside down. Only, in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’, the characters undergo psychedelic-induced therapy at the fictional retreat ‘Tranquillum’ under the guidance of Masha played Nicole Kidman. The show is not bad, per se, but it flounders in actualizing its potential. Read on to find out everything that is wrong with ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’.
- Needless drama and twists in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’
- Brilliant opportunities squandered by ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’
NEEDLESS DRAMA AND TWISTS
‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ is adapted from ‘Big Little Lies’ author Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name. For a story that involves drugs, therapy, trauma, it would surprise you to know that the book is relatively normal.
While it is fair that the show’s writers take creative liberties with the book, the additions and editing to the book should serve a purpose, which it doesn’t in Hulu’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’. Instead, the show is riddled with maudlin drama and unnecessary twists that seem too forced.
For starters, the entire plotline of Masha getting shot and finding a second life is exclusive to the show. In the book, an unhealthy lifestyle leads to Masha having a bad seizure. This would have been more realistic and less cliched. After all, characters get shot on screen all the time.
Even the death threats that Masha receives were excluded from the book and rightly so. If you have made it to the finale, you will know just how useless these dramatic and old-style threats in the show were.
In addition, in the show, the guest named Lars is an investigative journalist who is digging for dirt on Masha. But in the book, he is simply a lawyer seeking a break from his partner. His entire journalism shtick serves little meaning to his journey and becomes an unnecessary addition to the plot.
The most over-the-top twist relates to Carmel played by Regina King at the end of Episode 7. Carmel’s journey would have made sense without the writers adding a pinch of homicidal propensity to her.
Lastly, the most nonsensical thing about the story is that Masha is Russian. Nicole Kidman’s Russian accent is ghastly and annoying; it would have made no difference in the story if she were not an exotic Russian female.
PARADE OF LOST OPPORTUNITIES
Apart from everything that is overtly wrong with ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’, what makes the show a perfect disaster is that it does not know what it wants to convey. It is understandable that the show is about addressing trauma and healing, but the use of psychedelics and overwrought emotions warp its theme.
Emotions are always so high-powered in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’, given the influence of drugs, that you as a viewer feel disconnected from the characters most times. If the show is about the use of psychedelics to heal trauma, as is largely being propagated these days, it does little to portray psychedelics for therapeutic use in a positive light, since such practices are largely illegal.
Instead, it adds a lot of show and pomp to the portrayal of psychedelics and misses moments of genuine, heartfelt breakthroughs with its characters. For instance, in the case of Ben and Jessica, we see their relationship heal with the simple use of drugs. Their journey feels like the writers gave it very little thought.
However, according to Melvin Gregg, they shot a scene where the couple were made to face each other in an intense scene, which brought closure between the two. Such genuine moments of healing is what the show needed but ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ committed a perfect disaster by omitting them.
The other option ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ had was to satirize wellness culture. But it fails to either deliver a satire or applause on the wellness culture and wastes away a huge opportunity. However, its biggest loss lies in its cast. ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ has a dream cast of marvellous actors but its confusing writing is a disservice to their talent and skill.
‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ writers can mull over everything they did wrong, but largely they should realize that the show squandered away its potential, only to deliver a sensationalist, binge-watch worthy show that fails to transition from good television to great television.
Do you agree or disagree with the aforementioned views on ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’? Comment below!