A woman awakens up with no knowledge of who she is and what’s happened to her. It’s a trope that’s been played out numerous times across fiction and it’s easy to see why. Exposition can be dumped naturally, we immediately gravitate toward our protagonist and the mystery is usually gripping enough to stick with until the end to see the conclusion, regardless of how good or bad it is. Open Your Eyes is no exception.
In essence, this Polish series feels like a teen drama mash-up of different tropes and ideas we’ve seen before, blending the likes of Promised Neverland with something like Biohackers. The ensuing sci-fi tale is split across 6 episodes that increasingly become more absorbing and fast-paced as the season progresses. The trouble is, you’ll need to suspend your disbelief quite a lot during these segments as the story goes from wacky to farfetched.
The story itself centers on a woman called NN, who awakens with no knowledge of who she is but with a nasty case of amnesia. Her mind is fractured and all she knows is that her parents died in a fire and she’s at Second Chance hospital bring treated for her condition.
As she starts to explore her surroundings, NN soon learns that her real name is Julia and she’s not alone. Numerous other kids are there too, also being treated, but seem to be deteriorating as time wears on. Dr Zofia is certainly suspect, as is Piotr who also oversees the project.
During the second half of the show, questions are slowly answered, blurring the line between reality and fiction. There are echoes of Legion in here too with the way this show plays with reality, but it’s nowhere near as effective or artistic as Marvel’s show. It’s not bad though, and there’s definitely a few good twists, but ending leaves a lot unresolved.
The characters themselves are a bit of a mixed bag too. Julia is the focal point here of course but supporting players like Adam, Syzmon and Magda all have a good chunk of screen time too. Unfortunately they all fall into tired archetypes wirthout much development over the run-time.
As mentioned earlier, the final episode ends on a dreaded Netflix cliffhanger, which will undoubtedly see a lot of people groan and lament the lack of a resolution. This is a real problem too, especially given the time investment required to sink into a good mystery box. Whether this will find a unique audience, remains to be seen.
Overall then Open Your Eyes is an okay mystery and an enjoyable enough drama. Its not a bad show but it definitely doesn’t do enough to stand out next to the glut of other mystery boxes on the platform.
In this crowded TV market, is “okay” good enough to warrant a second season? We’ll have to wait and see. If you can go into this with low expectations you may find enough to like here, and although some of the twists are pretty good, a few contrivances and an open-ending could well be a deal-breaker. Open Your Eyes is decent enough, just don’t expect anything mind-blowing.
Verdict - 6/10