BY BJ DARDEN
“Bloodline” is the newest addition to Netflix’s catalogue of original programming that continues to be more promising. While the first episode doesn’t do anything to stand out, aside from acting, there’s potential growth, as well as interesting plot points as the show continues.
The plot picks up with the Rayburn family celebrating the 45th anniversary of their hotel’s grand opening. All goes well until their wanderlust brother and son return home who has the intimate details of a family secret that they have been trying to keep.
From the beginning a lot of the familial drama feels natural, past fights and grudges all come back to the surface, without ever over-explaining itself. The show just jumps right into the swing of things, trusting the audience to keep up. Much respect for a show that has the confidence to do that.
The next thing that becomes apparent is the acting is top notch. All of the performances are great. Ben Mendelsohn is far and away the best as the prodigal son, Danny Rayburn. Kyle Chandler (of Friday Night Lights) also does a solid job in the lead performance.
While the show starts off well, the pilot sort of drags on after that. Dipping into melodrama and only hinting at the tragedy that tore the family apart. Towards the end, a lot of subplots are added that could give the show some sustainability, but the show sort of has a knack for drifting into melodrama.
Getting to know the history of the family and the relationships between the siblings is easily the most interesting portion of the show, but too often those aspects are few and far between.
As mentioned before, when the show begins drifting into melodrama and exploring each character’s love life is when things get a little shaky. So much so, that it almost begins to feel like a copy and paste of other shows. Seeing a character’s rocky relationship with his wife, or another’s forbidden love affair feels stale and boring. On top of that, it’s been done way better plenty of times before.
“Bloodline” is Netflix’s darkest and most grounded show yet. There aren’t any laughs like in Orange is the New Black, or over the top plot points like in House of Cards. I say this because it can become a little more difficult to marathon through like the aforementioned shows. And like all of Netflix’s original content, every episode of the season is available right off the bat.
So is it worth a watch? I would say yes. There’s plenty of potential for the show to grow and become a hit, but I doubt it will become an overnight sensation like some of Netflix’s other shows. “Bloodline” is dark, and well-acted, and if the show can find its footing, then I believe Netflix could have another hit on its hands.
The Flyer gives the “Bloodline” pilot episode a 6/10.