AnalysisCrimeDramaEnglishNetflixTV SeriesThe Sinner

An undermarketed, promising, mind-bending why-dunnit series on Netflix!
Chiranjiv Santhosh Malla ChiranjivJune 18, 2020712 min
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Seasons
1 & 2
Certificate
A

Summary

An undermarketed, promising, mind-bending why-dunnit series on Netflix!

Detailed Analysis

After reading the punchline, you might be wondering what is “why-dunnit”? you might have heard of whodunnit films about the mystery thrillers genre based on murder or crime. Similarly, why-dunnit is about a mystery thriller on murder or crime, it questions ‘why’ in the entire film or show – like “why did it happen?” or “why did the hero killed someone?” or “why did the heroine killed someone?”, just “why” for everything 😊 Now we are talking about “The Sinner”, an anthropology American crime drama thriller tv show which is on Netflix. It was launched in 2017 and initially, they said it was a “Closed-ended series” but due to the sleeper or silent critical response it has got, they have renewed it to 2nd & 3rd seasons by keeping the few characters and changing the main lead characters for each season. So far Netflix is streaming Season 1 & Season 2, and Season 3 is yet to be launched. Season 1 is based on a book with the same name by a German Crime writer Petra Hammesfahr and season 2, season 3 is based on one own stories and screenplays. Petra’s book got launched in 2007 and it got a phenomenal response, and later in 2017, it was translated to the English language, and eventually, it got adapted into the tv series by USA Network and they launched it on Netflix. 

Also, I mentioned it as “Undermarketed”, because for some reason Netflix didn’t do much marketing about this silent gem. All these few months, people are talking about Money Heist, Dark, Narcos, True Detective, etc, my question is how come people didn’t watch this?, or they really don’t know about this show’s existence in Netflix?. I came to know about this from a friend, after seeing Season 1, believe me, I was awestruck and with the same enthusiasm I did complete the Season 2. Season 2 is fine but isn’t so great when compared to Season 1. Both the season’s theme is based on moral choices, mystery secrets, dark past, sex & religion. Let us get into more details.

Season 1 – 

It is about Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) is a seemingly normal religious mother in upstate NY. One she and her family visit a beach nearby and she also notices a young flirtatious couple on the beach. All sudden, out of nowhere, she grabs a knife and mindlessly walks over just to stab the guy to death. Imagine this scene happens in the first 10 mins of episode 1, this is like a shocking scene. Immediately she is arrested, and her husband is clueless about what is happening. To the surprise, she refuses to have a lawyer and will confess before the judge. The judge orders an evaluation to determine her state of mind and the cause of the murder. Then comes our Sherlock Holmes-like character, Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) investigates the case as her past is revealed. He is one of the highlights in the series, after Jessica Biel. This season has a lot of flashbacks, so the story wavers between the past & the present. So, while watching we need to be extremely focused. Very interestingly narrated and the twists in the entire season are a big highlight. My suggestion is don’t miss Season 1 at all. Trust me, it will hook you like anything. 

Season 2 – 

An eleven-year-old boy along with his parents are on the way to Niagara Falls, while on the way their car tire got punctured, due to unavailability of the mechanic in that late-night, they had to make a stopover in a motel. The next day morning, this boy poisons both of his parents to death. Same as Season 1, this happens in the first 10 mins of the first episode, trust me you will get shocked again. And the story questions, why did an eleven-year boy had to kill his parents? Are they his real parents? Blah blah, lots of questions will arise. As I said season 2 is really good in terms of story arc and twists but it is not great than Season 1. Because this season has a lot of confusing or loose ends, like there is too much about the cultism concept which I felt it is not very much necessary and the director could not give a proper justification to it. Or maybe his presentation was not so good. He succeeded in maintaining the mystery and twisted story point but overall, he didn’t score the marks like Season 1. Good to hear thing is, Season 2’s script is written by Indian Writer, Samir Mehta. It looks like he is a budding writer. But happy to see an Indian name in the end credits. 😊 In this season also, you will see Harry Ambrose, our new Sherlock Holmes kind of character, he just did an awesome job. No doubt about that. He is the only common character between both the seasons, rest all are new. That’s why it is called an anthropology mystery crime thriller drama, keeping a few characters the same and rest all main characters different and story is also not continuous.  

Overall, it is a quite promising, interesting, and compelling mystery crime drama, with an excellent Season 1 and above average’ ish Season 2. So definitely a binge-worthy show. Don’t miss it!

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