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 – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
What would you do if a stranger told you your whole life was a lie? Harlan Coben’s new Netflix adaptation The Stranger answers this very question where it’s revealed that some secrets are far bigger and more dangerous than others. Building on the success of his previous Netflix adaptation Safe, The Stranger is a twisty-turny thriller with multiple plot reveals, surprises and well-written elements along the way.
With Richard Armitage and Paul Kaye both firing on all cylinders, the series is let down slightly by some incredulous character motivations and underwhelming subplots that pad out the show. If you can get invested in the mystery however, and excuse some of these shortfalls, this thriller delivers a compelling and binge-worthy journey worth taking.
The story itself revolves around family man Adam. During his son’s football match, a strange woman arrives and tells him his wife Corinne lied about her pregnancy and miscarriage, imploring him to get DNA tests on his boys before leaving. It’s something that rattles the man to his core and as secrets are exposed and Corinne goes missing, what follows is a quest for the truth that takes plenty of turns along the way. Only, the truth is far more shocking and ugly than first meets the eye.
Adding some depth to the series are those aforementioned subplots, involving a pair of detectives tracking an incident after an impromptu party in the woods, one that sees a severed alpaca head and Adam’s eldest son Tom both part of the mystery. On top of that, there’s also a few other characters that receive anonymous visits from the stranger and as the series progresses, all of these elements interweave and combine for a dramatic and explosive finale that rounds things out with a relatively satisfying conclusion.
Those looking for a story strictly adhering to realism may be left disappointed here. You really have to suspend your belief at times with a few of the plot twists and while I won’t divulge them in this review, it’s a point worth bearing in mind. In that respect, The Stranger does share some similarities with Safe but if you can look past this, the show rewards you with a thrilling story that twists and turns its way through a number of different ideas.
The acting is a little hit or miss but both Richard Armitage and Paul Kaye do enough to overshadow some of the other stars who don’t always nail their lines. Both are compelling characters and together help to elevate this one. The Stranger plays with a lot of different characters too and although some of them are a little under-utilized (especially Wesley who begins as a prominent figure and fizzles out into the background during the second half) there’s enough here to pique your interest and suspicions.
If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery and a good old fashioned whodunit, The Stranger is well worth a watch. It’s a show that starts strongly and races its way through 8 episodes of plot twists and unpredictable reveals in the best possible way. It may not be the most realistic thriller out there, nor is it likely to be a show that’ll sweep any awards anytime soon, but it’s a solid offering nonetheless and one that boasts a very enjoyable watch.
|The Stranger is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|
Verdict - 7.5/10