Sunday, September 25, 2016

My vote for best show on Netflix: SPOTLESS

Two brothers, one of whom owns a crime-scene cleaning business, are forced to clean up the mob's dirty work.

SPOTLESS is not for the faint of heart -- in fact, it's brutally violent in places -- but if you liked BREAKING BAD, I predict you will not regret committing to this brilliant, occasionally blood-spattered black comedy. Click the image below for a teaser video. Warning: It contains spoilers.

 Teaser video for SPOTLESS

Some might not agree with me about the "comedy" label, but I do think it fits here. The show's intricate, interlaced musings on morality, duty, fidelity, family ties, and childhood trauma are full of dark humor -- a distinctive, hypnotic humor that somehow holds everything together. Certain absurd situations stay with you for weeks. A masterful Episode One scene, for instance, centers on a late-night fraternal conflict over the proper location of a freezer containing a dead body. Things get considerably darker, and stranger, from there. This is black farce elevated to a unique, intense, hyper-realistic pitch.

The word that keeps coming up for me as I try to describe this amazing, unlikely world to others is "beautiful." That's a little odd, perhaps, considering the disturbing subject matter. But beautiful it is. So that's the word I will stick with. Beautifully conceived, written, shot, and performed, this shrewd, inventive series borrows Walter White's perpetual challenge of ever-more-difficult ethical dilemmas, combines that with a compelling brother-to-brother relationship, and adds some of the wary, "look closer" aesthetic of, yes, AMERICAN BEAUTY. Put it all together, set it in London, and somehow the game has been raised to another, altogether sublime, level.

This is fine, compelling, addictive television drama of the very highest caliber. Note, please, the consistently spectacular viewer reviews:

This response does not surprise me. The series is both provocative and accessible to a mass audience, in the tradition of BREAKING BAD and THE SOPRANOS. Some truly extraordinary performances are on display here from Marc-Andre Grondin, Denis Ménochet, and Brendan Coyle. The team of gifted writers includes creators Corinne Marrinan and Ed McCardie.

My favorite show on Netflix, hands down. (SPOTLESS is available via Netflix in Ireland, where I am, and in the UK.)

In the US, SPOTLESS is listed as being on the Esquire Network, but I can't seem to find an on-demand option for viewing the episodes. Probably user error. Even so, you may want to order the DVD set. This is a keeper.

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