The Ugly Truth
Wonderwall Part 1
Wonderwall Part 2
Lost & Found
Thank You Teacher
BFF Part 1
BFF Part 2
Thailand’s Netflix Original Girl From Nowhere is an engrossing, dark and oftentimes shocking drama series. Echoes of Black Mirror can be felt throughout the 13 episodes as the series weaves a wicked web of moral tales about succumbing to temptation and your darkest desires. All of this is showcased through the mysterious Nanno (Chicha Amatayakul) who quickly establishes herself as the unpredictable wildcard in each tale. While some viewers might find some of the content a little shocking and dark for their tastes, Girl From Nowhere poses as Thailand’s answer to Black Mirror and boy does it deliver.
From a school obsessed with social media to another home to a magic bathroom wall, Girl From Nowhere weaves its deliciously dark undertone and sinister moral in each story with an element of the surreal and fantastical. For the most part this works well, with each episode (with the exception of several two parters) taking place in different high schools across the country and the arrival of seemingly innocent transfer student Nanno. Once there, she works to expose lies, secrets and temptations of different students and teachers leaving misery and devastation in her wake. In that respect the first episode is a little out of character, with Nanno posing as the main protagonist exposing a teacher sexually harassing his students. Expect adultery, child abuse, deceit, death, lies and more here and that’s only in the first episode. This dark and shocking tone rears its ugly head early on, tightening its grip as the series works its way through each of its 11 tales.
After the first episode Nanno takes a back seat, goading, seducing and taunting fellow students, revelling in their misery as they succumb to their dark desires and temptations. It’s here where the series plays on its sadistic tone, raising the stakes in each episode to unbearable levels before Nanno unleashes a maniacal laugh and gleefully informs the victims what she’s done. It’s not until late on in the series where we get some idea who or what Nanno is but it’s certainly worth persevering with to find out after the second episode, which is by far the weakest, presents her as a strange, god-like figure.
Aesthetically, Girl From Nowhere is outstanding and plays on the artistic tendency of a lot of other Asian Netflix Originals. We mentioned recently the use of colour in another dark drama, On Children, and Girl From Nowhere certainly follows suit. Each episode feels very different to one another with heavily saturated and different shades of colour used in each episode. From the episode called Trophy that weaves a blend of classical music and quick cuts of famous quotes to Social Love that starts out very bright and slowly darkens until its final scene with one solitary light, Girl From Nowhere is stylistically outstanding.
What’s particularly impressive here and the reason this drama works as well as it does is purely due to the moral of each tale. From social status at school to the importance of beauty right through to the growing divide between the rich and poor, Girl From Nowhere has a voice and it isn’t afraid to use it. The way it does this is at times a little on the nose, leaning heavily toward fantastical themes to truly hammer home the message, but given the tone of the show, it does work well in retrospect and isn’t too overbearing.
With such a unique episodic format and Nanno’s unpredictability at the helm, the potential for a second season is something this series absolutely deserves based on this showing. Stylistically impressive and deliciously dark throughout, Girl From Nowhere is one of the bigger surprises of the year. While some of the scenes do feature some overacting and the moral tone is handled a little too on-the-nose, for the most part this is one Asian drama well worth checking out. Just be prepared for some very shocking and uncomfortable home truths gleefully paraded through the horrors of high school.
Verdict - 8.5/10