I hope to be canceling Netflix in the near future. For now, I’ll start this forum topic as a catch-all for reviews of Neftlix shows, particularly their “originals.” (“Original” can mean as little as simply picking up the rights to some show produced and broadcast completely independently in Norway.)
Anyway, I binge-watched a Netflix Original series called The Forest. It’s a Frenchy series. Actually, Samuel Labarthe (the last masculine-looking man in France) is pretty good in his understated role as the head cop, Gaspard Decker. I’d like to see him in some more stuff. He has a lead part in Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie which could be interesting.
A girl’s body is found in “La forêt”. Her two chick best friends are also acting suspiciously. I’ll give you a spoiler at the end because I don’t think one really watches this kind of show for the who-done-it value. You watch as you would Mystery Science Theatre 3000. You watch as these formulaic characters dutifully do their formulaic stuff — much of it completely dumb and reckless.
In an overall way, this series reminded me of “Broadchurch,” particularly the lead chick cop who should have been fired three times over. Suzzane Clement is terrific in the role. Just top-notch acting. But it is top-notch acting of a hysterical female who should nowhere be near a badge or gun. But that’s part of the fun.
Alexia Barlier is good a Eve Mendel, the wild-child survivor who was found in the woods and raised by a decent man. (But, of course, you know everyone is a potential suspect.)
This is a series that is binge-watchable with a grain of salt. If you can’t find entertainment value in some of the stupider elements and have no internal sense of humor about such things, then this might not be for you. But, oh goodness, what a social commentary this inadvertently is on feminism.
Now I’m going to give you a real big spoiler so don’t read on if you want to watch this from scratch. My guess on what these girls were up to was that they had some kind of lesbian-witch-prostitution-drug ring going deep in La foret. That certainly was a catch-all idea, but with the early setting of the ominous woods (the Ardenne Forest), it fit.
But specifically this was about these girls selling their virginity to the highest bidder on some web set. And when push comes to shove, this storyline basically had little do with the murders. But like I said, you have to have a sense of humor about modern schlock. Fortunately I do to some extent.
The real murderer’s motives were blurry and unknown. When you get to the end of it it isn’t a letdown, per se, as much as it seems the culmination of second-rate writing with some (in places) first-rate acting along with some very nice cinematography. No one watching this series could have possibly expected it would be wrapped up smartly, and it wasn’t, although there is satisfying completion to the Eve Mendel (former wild child) story.
All the women in this are annoying, reckless, stupid, and then surprised when they get into trouble. Like I said, a certain perspective or sense of humor helps to enjoy this.