Since starting at Kudos I have been told by about 5 different people to watch the series The Sinner. Now I don’t know about anyone else or if this is just me and my stubborn ways, but when someone tells me to watch something I am actually less likely to do it? Weird huh. But last weekend I finally bit the bullet and tried it out.
Unsurprisingly because of the persuasion I had to watch it, it was amazing; I watched all 8 episodes in no more than 24 hours.
What I love most about this series is that it is so niche. The basic story-line gravitates around a seemingly ordinary woman and her family, a mysterious act of violence and the past behind it all. Rather than being the classic ‘who-dunnit’ it is the journey of finding out why she did what she did.
From the first episode it is undoubtedly gripping. In the first 5 minutes you believe that Cora Tanetti is a loving mother, wife and more importantly – sane. Until a family beach trip turns sour and she murders a man. From this point onward, you know the show is going to be a roller coaster. I mean, it literally went from 0 to 100 in approximately 5 minutes.
The protagonists are Cora Tanetti and the detective looking into her case, Harry Ambrose. She instantly pleads guilty to avoid a trial which seems fitting considering we literally witnessed her kill a man in cold hard blood, but the detective won’t give up without finding an explanation for her actions. Meanwhile, Cora would rather spend the rest of her life in prison than examine what has happened to her to make her so troubled. Because she has no idea why she did it, she lies about her motivation until Harry forces her to relay her past to find the truth.
This is where another aspect of the show comes in. We see Cora’s young self whilst looking into her flashbacks as she tries to understand what she has done. We meet her perplexing parents and ill younger sister, and see her challenging childhood, battle with drug problems and a lot of sex.
Unlike a lot of other shows, the flashbacks don’t feel like void fillers. Each and every one plays a vital part in the reason for Cora’s burst of beach-side rage, adding a piece to the puzzle. And when you do finally see the whole picture, let me tell you it does not disappoint. The reveal is not only unpredictable, but genuinely jaw dropping.
The Sinner makes you feel sympathetic, disoriented and uncomfortable all at the same time. The only way it could get better is with a second season.
Hugs and wishes,