Richard Armitage and Richard Armitage in The Stranger on Netflix

The Stranger: Episode 1, review and first impressions

After watching Episode 1 of Netflix’s new miniseries The Stranger we’re slightly intrigued, but not overly impressed. None of the characters showed much personality, and the whole thing feels more corny than intense or frightening. We’re curious to learn more about who this Stranger is, what her motives are, and how she knows what she knows, but all the other moment to moment stuff felt trivial and flat.

The two detective characters make for an odd couple, but not one that appears to have much chemistry or believability. While Johanna seems well-acted and likeable, so far we’re not fans of Kadiff Kirwan’s sassy oddball cop at all.

The naked boy running and the severed alpaca head didn’t really make us feel anything either. Clearly they are supposed to be important to the story, but the show didn’t give us any reason in Episode 1 to find them overly spooky except for how it was edited. In fact, a lot of the drama in this episode felt forced.

Richard Armitage’s performance in the lead as Adam felt confusing. Perhaps it’s the directing, but the way he’d talk and argue with his wife just felt kind of odd. Maybe there’s a reason for it, related to whatever secret his wife Corrine seems to learn by the end of the episode, or perhaps it’s just a mediocre performance.

Pilot episodes are generally supposed to be a show’s strongest showing. If that’s the case here, it may be a long eight episodes for viewers to get through The Stranger.

The show so far is keeping our interest thanks to its strong ‘Stranger’ character gimmick, but story gimmicks only last so long until you wish you were watching something with more substance.

Maybe we’ve just got a slow starter on our hands, but given there’s only eight episodes, The Stranger better find a way to get properly acquainted with us and fast.

We require novelty funsy!

The Stranger: Episode 1

6/10

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