The Reel Review

B

Julia Roberts stars in this Amazon series based on a popular podcast about a former therapist who discovers her job to treat American soldiers with PTSD and help them reacclimate to civilian life may not have been what she thought it was. Told in a series of flashbacks (with the present day in a different screen size), the binge-friendly, ten half hour episodes gradually unveil the mystery behind the program, and her role in it.  It’s a trippy, clever, and understated mystery, that, once revealed, plays out in a fairly predictable yet still memorable (or is it, unmemorable?) manner. Despite some underutilized big name stars (Dermot Mulroney and Sissy Spacek), this series from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail is all about the acting. Roberts is top notch, as is her supporting cast – Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man, Danny Collins) as her arrogant boss, Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire, First Man) as the FBI investigator, Stephan James (in the upcoming If Beale Street Could Talk) as a soldier in the program and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace) as his eerily perceptive mother.

REEL FACTS:

• Season 2 is already in the works for 2019

• Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney co-starred in the 1997 comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding

• Gimlet Media, producer of the original podcast that inspired this series, is a for-profit podcast company founded in 2014

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