Love At First Sight
Netflix’s latest romantic sci-fi series Osmosis is a little show with big ideas. Across its 8 episodes, numerous twists in the tale develop to accompany some tight-knit characterisation and well paced storytelling. All of this builds toward a brilliant finale to top off an impressive series.
Before we get there though, we begin with an introduction to our main character Esther as she walks through a surreal hallway, inspecting the scores of potential romantic partners as they pop up above their head. In a nod toward Black Mirror’s Nosedive episode, Esther continues to walk before settling on a man with a score of 4.75/5. Tom happens to be her perfect match. After the two start to get intimate, the images fizzle out to reveal it was all a hologram and actually an intense V.R. experience.
This experience happens to form the foundation for the Osmosis Project, a revolutionary new piece of technology which takes the guesswork out of love. As Esther’s brother delivers a passionate speech about the future of the company, we learn that he and Esther are currently CEOs of said company, intent on bringing this technology to the general public.
In order to do so, Paul and Esther choose a group of 12 candidates to test the Osmosis Project before it releases to the general public. All with the help of their AI assistant, Martin. Unfortunately, the board do not share Paul’s enthusiasm and want him to step down from his role due to some issues affecting his past. As he tells his sister about the developments with the board, he plays his final trump card – selling their Mum’s house in order to push the tech closer to its public release – exactly 1 month to be precise.
With the test candidates selected, Esther is approached by a woman outside the building, desperate for them to allow her son Niels to be part of the trial. After reviewing his tape and seeing some potential, she agrees to take him on as a back-up incase anyone drops out of the trial. As Niels watches on, the 12 candidates take specially designed pills that allow the implant they’ve been given to work. Unfortunately, one of them has an adverse reaction to the pill, allowing Niels to jump in their spot and be part of the trial. As he lets on a sly grin, we’re left wondering whether this was planned or a chance twist of fate moment.
We end the episode with our candidates told to close their eyes and wait to see their soulmates for the first time in their mind’s eye. While they comply to this request, Paul heads back to his apartment while the company is being attacked by hackers. There, he sees a note from his soul-mate Josephine with the words “Don’t Look For Me” scribbled across. We end the first episode with many questions hanging over the direction of the series.
As far as first impressions go, Osmosis has an awful lot going on in its first 45 minutes. With the world, characters and technology all explained in a way that doesn’t feel too heavy on the exposition, Netflix’ latest Original does a really good job simplifying everything in an easy-to-comprehend way. With a cliffhanger ending and plenty of questions around the direction of the show, the first episode gets Osmosis off to an excellent start, one that begins a real roller-coaster ride of emotion.