Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Family Secrets is a Polish comedy-drama recently released on Netflix. It follows the disastrous wedding of Janeczek and Kaśka who clearly should not be getting married! The wedding ceremony turns into a nightmare as their families air their dirty laundry. Secrets and lies just keep dropping like raindrops, leaving the guests clutching their pearls.
Kaśka is a young woman who, at the beginning of the series, has just gotten into med school. She is excited and happy to pursue her passion for medicine. In a cliched, man in shining armor saves the damsel in distress scenario, she meets Pawel. He is the man who saves her from being run over by a train.
As it turns out, Pawel is a Med student too and they share the same classes. As they get to know each other, sparks fly and they fall in love. Through the show’s utilization of flashbacks, viewers can follow their love story up to the present day. Their relationship seemed fairly perfect, so what happened and why is he not the man waiting for her at the end of the altar?
Janeczek, the groom, and man of the hour, is a doctor. His parents are also doctors and his mother is Pawel and Kaśka’s professor. He is a spoiled brat with anger issues and can barely do anything right. He is struggling with a troubled relationship with his parents. His dad’s constant affairs are a huge cause of strife between them.
Emil and Dorota are Janeczek‘s parents and they are in an unhappy marriage. Dorota is tired of Emil’s affairs with numerous women. They constantly fight and can’t seem to be on the same page about anything. Emil had an affair with Malgosia (Kaśka’s mom) and this makes the situation at the wedding even more intense.
This series manages to get the perfect balance between comedy, suspense, and mystery. From the start, it is revealed that Janeczek is not the father of Kaśka’s unborn child, but this is a secret Kaśka is not willing to tell. However, this was more like an open secret, it was obvious from the first episode.
Pawel is missing and no one knowing whether he will show up and whisk the bride away, adds to the thrill of the show. The flashbacks make the viewers invested in his story and everyone wants to know, where in the world is Pawel?
The comedic timing and the little digs the characters make at each other throughout the series are great. The wedding is so hectic, that someone was fainting in almost every episode. I particularly found the fighting scene between Janeczek and David pretty funny.
The alteration of the scenes between the present and past time frame keeps viewers on their toes because it is all connected. The flashbacks worked well in creating suspense and they made the revelations of the secrets more impactful.
The characters in this show are complicated, messy human beings so it is hard to sympathize with them. They harbor dark, harmful secrets and keep intentionally hurting and provoking each other. It is a wonder how they managed to stay throughout the long ordeal that was meant to be a wedding ceremony.
The parents in this series are unsurprisingly doing a horrible job at parenting. They are self-centered and great at making bad decisions. It is their mistakes that leads to the mess their children find themselves in.
Ultimately, this feels more like a mystery show than a comedy-drama. The viewers have to keep playing detective to piece the puzzles together. The plotline for some characters unfortunately, is lost in between the chaotic love triangle and I wished we would have been given a closed ending.
The cliffhanger can be interpreted in many ways but I don’t think that was a genius move. After 8 episodes, we still are left questioning what happened to Pawel. It is tiring!
Nevertheless, this is still an entertaining show and if you like messy entanglements, over-exaggeration and melodrama then you might enjoy this one.
Verdict - 7.5/10