This is a Netflix Original series that focuses centrally on a core family that has their entire life thrown into disarray when a stranger enters the picture. Adam Price (Richard Armitage) was just having a beer at the football bar when a random lady dubbed “The Stranger” (Hannah John-Kamen) enters the scene. She reveals shocking information to him about his wife, and this is the first of many wild adjustments to those around him.
Many others are also getting called upon, and this creates a very convoluted system of meshing narratives. It’s an interesting initial concept, but then gets very bloated. It’s one of those shows that have what feels like a million different plot lines all going on at the same time. There’s a point to some of them, others are somewhat useless. It’s just so much to take in at the start, and while it does have connective points it went too far in regards to how many characters were present. It was layers upon layers of noise and yet a compelling family at the middle of it that would have been more interesting to focus in on.
That’s an oddity for sure, but it’s still engaging to see this plot unravel over the course of the episodes. I just felt their focus was off in this one, as that main family would have serviced the story in a more compelling way. They get you with that first episode to a degree, and then pile never ending story branches upon you as it progresses.
I found the acting to be generally solid, with Armitage’s Adam being a stand out in this one. I didn’t find the youth story lines to be very relevant, and it was just an extra aspect to this that really didn’t go anywhere. The Stranger was good, seemed mysterious yet vulnerable.
I wish there was perhaps more time for her perspective in this whole thing. I could see them spinning that aspect off down the road if they do more of this. It’s a dark story line, but yet not as grim as one might expect. It definitely had emotional pay-off whereas some of the side story lines were bleak yet not impactful as we got momentary glimpses into their situations.
It was just a lot to take in, but it felt somewhat slow in its pacing if that makes sense. So many characters, so many side story lines and it came across as overwhelming at times. It kept diverging from key points, and yet not carrying those forward enough. Again, a neat concept and I just would have hoped for more of pay-off on some of the side stories in this.
The Stranger Season 1 presented an intriguing mystery, but shoved in one too many story lines to create somewhat of a convoluted mess. There was just too much going on, and this was largely all pushed into the former part of this narrative. They spend too much time on non-important side characters that had tales which were interesting, some even being pointless.
Others that were there for shock value, some didn’t get enough screen time to properly create an emotional impact. I did find that they nailed one particular scene, and that could have been even more intense but perhaps less mysterious if they had more time spent there. It’s a unique narrative, and one that did grab my attention.
It was capturing, but I found my interest slowing down as it progressed. They threw out way too much at the start, then just kept going along afterwards and it was a tiring start to keep track of all the dangling story lines that were happening at around the same time. I liked this show, it just had some elements that sort of dragged it down from being a truly distinct selection of episodes.
The Stranger Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
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