Series Review: Unbelievable (2019)

Poster for Netflix series, 'Unbelievable'

One afternoon, I was bored and just flicking through Netflix looking for something to watch when I stumbled across this limited series, Unbelievable, which turned out to be one of those shows that you just can’t stop watching, and with only eight episodes, it’s the perfect length for a weekend binge-watch.

Based on true events, Unbelievable tells the story of a teenage girl, Marie, who was charged with falsely reporting a rape, and two strong-willed female detectives who were determined to uncover the truth.

Kaitlyn Dever in the Netflix series 'Unbelievable'

The series is beautifully written and directed, tactfully handling such a sensitive subject with the respect and consideration it deserves. Don’t get me wrong though, the subject of sexual assault is not, in any way shape or form, sugar-coated or played down, there is an undercurrent of anger that flows from the script, through the performances and into the viewer – whatever sex you may be.

Kaitlyn Dever’s turn as the initial lead, Marie, is impressive. As the ‘unbelieved’ she carries a huge weight on her shoulders, particularly during the first episode and she carries it well, at a time where Marie needs the most support she is let down by all those who should be there for her.

Merritt Wever and Toni Collette in the 2019 Netflix series 'Unbelievable'
Photo by Beth Dubber © Netflix

Come the second episode, we are introduced to Karen Duvall and Grace Rasmussen, played by Merritt Wever and Toni Collette respectively, the two detectives who, pretty much, by coincidence realise that they may have a serial rapist on their hands and join forces to bring him down.

Bearing in mind that the last film I saw Toni Collette in was Hereditary, which I hated, and I thought she massively over-acted in, I was more than a little apprehensive when I realised that she was in it. However, her performance was captivating, she exuded a confidence and bad-ass attitude that was magnetic yet didn’t over-power the much more subtle performance of Wever. To be honest, the two actresses and their respective performances complimented each perfectly and elevates this series to near perfection.

Kaitlyn Dever and John Hartmann in the 2019 Netflix series 'Unbelievable'.

It is important to state that, at times, this series can be a challenging and uncomfortable watch but it delivers a very important social message without aggressively alienating a particular ‘side’. For all talk of a female ‘James Bond’ and the all-female remakes, this is the type of original content that women want to see; directed by a female-dominant creative team with three powerhouse performances from the leading ladies.

That being said, this is a series that should be watched by all.

Have you seen it? Let me know your thoughts.

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