Is Hulu’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ Worth the Hype? Here’s My Honest Review
*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead*
If you loved Big Little Lies, you’ve probably heard of Hulu’s all-new series Nine Perfect Strangers. (The first episode is now available for streaming.) In honor of the highly anticipated premiere, I watched the show with the sole purpose of determining whether it’s worth your time.
Keep scrolling for my honest review.
Let’s start with the basics: Nine Perfect Strangers is based on the namesake book by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty. It follows a group of—you guessed it—nine strangers, who are each on a different journey. Although they all hail from diverse backgrounds, they have one thing in common: They’re signed up to attend a wellness retreat at Tranquillium House.
The first episode introduces viewers to the guests, who are somewhat skeptical about the private facility. First, there’s Frances (Melissa McCarthy), a romance novelist who is on the verge of getting dropped by her publisher. Then there’s a married couple, Heather (Asher Keddie) and Napoleon (Michael Shannon), who brought along their 20-year-old daughter, Zoe (Grace Van Patten).
There’s also a former football star named Tony (Bobby Cannavale), a divorce lawyer named Lars (Luke Evans) and a single mother named Carmel (Regina Hall). Oh, and how could I forget about the materialistic couple, Jessica (Samara Weaving) and Ben (Melvin Gregg)?
However, the real scene-stealer is Masha (Nicole Kidman), the breathtaking Russian woman who runs the Tranquillum House. Her goal is to change the lives of her new subjects…but at what cost?
So, is Nine Perfect Strangers worth the watch? To be completely honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the book because it focused too much on character development and saved all the drama for the last 50 pages. Although the subject matter was interesting, I struggled to wrap my head around the story. That being said, I think Hulu did a fantastic job of bringing the book to life.
First, Nine Perfect Strangers heightens the mystery element by utilizing alluring cinematography. (You know, similar to how Dexter used close-up shots of sliced fruit and sizzling meat to foreshadow the plot in the theme song.)
Second, the show also dramatizes several components that were lacking in the book (i.e., Nicole Kidman). Speaking of, the actress is bound to land an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Masha. Kidman previously revealed that she refused to break character on the set of Nine Perfect Strangers, and it seems to have paid off. The role is mysterious, alluring and left me wanting more.
PureWow rating: 3.5 stars
So far, Nine Perfect Strangers has caught my attention, particularly thanks to Kidman’s performance. Since I’ve only watched the first episode, my only fear is that the rest of the series will fall flat like the novel. (As in, the story line will drag on similar to that of The White Lotus.) However, if I’ve learned anything from book-to-screen adaptations, it’s that shows often deviate from the original plot. And in this case, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
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