Hulu’s new series stars Nicole Kidman as a mysterious spiritual guru, writes Rohan Nahaar in The Hindustan Times, published on August 19, 2021.
If the success of Big Little Lies proved one thing, it’s that the success of Big Little Lies cannot be replicated, no matter how hard anyone, including creator David E Kelley himself, tries. His new show, also based on a book by Liane Moriarty, is Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers.
Nine Perfect Strangers takes far too long to explain what it’s actually about. In fact, it’s still a mystery after three episodes. Those who’ve read Moriarty’s novel would know what’s in store, but I wonder if that’s enough to enhance the experience of watching the show.
We begin with the titular strangers arriving at a luxury retreat run by an enigmatic Russian woman named Masha, played by Kidman in a sort of performance that is both absurdly over-the-top, but also frustratingly opaque. One character describes her as an ‘Eastern-bloc unicorn’, and that isn’t entirely inaccurate. But her motivations are deliberately murky. She’s sort of like a variation of Brit Marling’s character from The OA – someone who experienced a near death experience which awakened her inner Osho – but she’s also a quack who throws out gems like, ‘Pre-industrial man didn’t get depressed because he was too busy working.’
Nearly every one of her ‘guests’ is, in some way, suffering from a mental health issue…