“Nine Perfect Strangers” Is the Show to Binge This Weekend
By Ashley Broadwater
If you’re in need of a mini-series to binge this weekend, you have to pick “Nine Perfect Strangers” on Hulu. Featuring Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, and other incredible stars, this eight-episode show is full of unexpected events. It was released on August 18, 2021, and all the episodes are currently available to stream.
This mystery/drama series is based on a book of the same name by Liane Moriarty, and get this: The show is better. I know, I know, the book is usually better — but not this time. The series adds extra twists and a more satisfying ending.
What the show is about (with a touch of spoilers)
In this show, nine people visit a wellness center, Tranquillum House, for a variety of reasons. Some have experienced loss, or job stress, or relationship challenges. But that’s not all quite clear at the beginning; we get more hints at their backstories in each episode.
Some of the “strangers” also know each other, coming with their partner or family, but others come alone and know no one.
During their stay, the characters engage in different “wellness practices” together, all led by Masha (played by Nicole Kidman). Except, these “practices” are… quite odd. The characters jump from cliffs. They lay in grave pits. They beat up mannequins.
And — to their surprise, so spoiler alert — they take LSD, administered secretly by Masha and her assistants.
Further, Masha increases the dosage over time, leading her attendees to experience all kinds of reactions. Many times, their reactions are adverse, but the characters consider some to be “desirable” as they ache to heal their emotional pain.
Throughout the show, we see them try these “wellness practices,” share the source of their hurt, and connect with each other. We also get insight into Masha’s past, how it’s still affecting her, and why she started Tranquilum House in the first place.
Why I recommend watching it
Admittedly, the show starts off a little slow, just as the book did. However, it quickly ramps up. Before you know it, watching only one episode is pretty impossible because of the cliffhangers and drama. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about that, though, since all the episodes are out now!
As mentioned previously, this show is full of twists and turns — even for people like me who have read the book before. Lies, murder attempts, and the characters’ backstories all weave a tangled and interesting (and at times, relatable) web. Each character has a compelling story I wish I could get updates on, past the show’s ending!
Another interesting aspect of this show is seeing Melissa McCarthy in a serious role. Usually, she’s in comedies playing hilarious characters, but in “Nine Perfect Strangers,” her character experiences hurt, rejection, fear, and other negative emotions. McCarthy is an actress with such a wide range, and it’s incredible to watch.
“Nine Perfect Strangers” probably won’t have a second season — or if it does, it won’t be connected to the book — but it’s still an entertaining watch you can easily finish over the weekend.