Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 8– | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Dear Edward is an emotionally draining and melodramatic series that’s one of the rare occasions where watching every week is the preferable method of getting through this one. With a suffocating tone, plenty of heartache and very few glimmers of hope, the show will leave you emotionally drained – and not always in a good way.
There’s a fine line between tragedy and manipulative melodrama and at times, Dear Edward shows its hand and slips too far into the latter category. Part of this comes from the structure of the show, which juggles far too many characters – some of which completely uninteresting and meandering in the grand scheme of things.
Before we dive into that, Dear Edward is a drama that concerns itself with 12 year old Edward. He becomes the lone survivor of a plane crash and immediately finds himself thrust into the public eye. As he and others affected by the tragedy make sense of what’s happened, everyone tries to move forward with their life after this unspeakable accident.
The 10 episodes essentially then play out as a slice of life drama, bouncing between different men and women involved in some way to the crash. Eddie attempts to move on without his family, heading off to stay with his Aunt Lacey and her partner John, who have been trying unsuccessfully to have kids for a while.
Meanwhile, DeeDee finds herself whipped up in a whirlwind of debt now that her husband died onboard the plane, while Adriana tries to pick up the prolific pieces of her grandmother’s career, who just so happened to be a Congresswoman on that flight. Adriana’S journey is intertwined around a charismatic guy called Kojo, who heads to the US to look after Becks, who lost her mum in the crash.
There’s also Steve, Sam, Amanda and several other characters who come and go across the season, with varying degrees of interest about them. Eddie’s tale is, inevitably, the focal point here and much like everyone else’s stories, it’s mostly about how to move through grief.
These subplots are completely uneven though and it really shows when you try to binge this. As I said above, if you watch this every week you won’t really notice too many of the narrative pitfalls but if you blast through the whole thing, you’ll immediately pick up on the uneven pacing and just how inconsequential some of these subplots actually are.
Dear Edward is certainly well intentioned though and there are some genuinely good moments that tug at the heartstrings. Eddie’s moments involving his brother are a mainstay across the season and a few work really well, especially a few flashbacks involving the museum. Likewise, there’s a segment involving DeeDee late on where she finally opens up after having kept her guard up the whole time.
Getting that balance right in a tragedy without slipping into a monotone feel or devolving into a one trick pony is difficult and it’s something that Dear Edward struggles to do. It constantly gets trapped in its own grief with no way out. 10 episodes of constant heartache is difficult to sit through, but doing so without a clear sense of direction and meandering subplots that feel like they’re wasting your time, lowers this to another level.
Dear Edward certainly isn’t a bad show, but it’s not a particularly good one either. It’s not fresh in its approach and at times, the show feels mechanically manipulative in a way that betrays its own premise. You certainty won’t want to binge this one but if you can pace yourself and watch a few episodes at a time over a month or so, you might find enough to like here, flaws and all.
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Verdict - 5/10