If you're like everyone else on the planet and are craving another series to watch because you're all caught up with Stranger Things and Mindhunter, we might just have the perfect show for you.
It's called The Sinner, and it's the latest miniseries making waves with both critics and audiences. Led by Jessica Biel's raw and shocking performance, the American drama has already gotten the stamp of approval from Rotten Tomatoes, which awarded it an outstanding score of 94%.
And the praise its getting is well-deserved. Rotten Tomatoes had this to say about the crime thriller: "Smartly predictable and led by powerful performances from a talented cast, the darkly compelling The Sinner sinks its hooks in fast and doesn't let go."
The the eight-episode series is actually an adaptation of an eponymous book by author Petra Hammesfahr, a German crime writer who has won several awards including the Crime Prize of Wiesbaden and the Rhineland Literary Prize. The show was made available on Netflix UK recently, but it hasn't come to Netflix Canada yet. However, it is being aired on Showcase on Mondays at 10 pm EST, so you could always catch it on the box.
What's unique about this murder mystery is that we're already told who the murderer is at the beginning - what keeps us hooked in is the unravelling of the horrific reasons behind it, as there are several twists and turns you'd never expect.
Click here to read a short synopsis of the show (spoilers ahead).
Jessica Biel plays the lead character Cora Tannetti, a mother of one and the wife of the perfect husband Mason, who is played by Christopher Abbot (from "Girls"). They live in a small, middle-class neighbourhood in upstate New York and run a family business together.
Everything about Cora seems perfectly normal on the surface, but beneath it are slew of dark feelings rooted in a resentment of her oppressive neighbours (who just so happen to be her in-laws), an insatiable boredom and an ongoing struggle with depression and pills. She's also dealing with post-traumatic stress from her bad childhood, which she frequently has flashbacks of. She recalls her psychotic mother, who blames her for her sister's illness.
On one beautiful summer day, Cora and Mason take their son to Minnewaska State Park. While Mason looks after the baby, Cora heads to the water by the beach and decides to go for a swim. Unusually, she swims very far out into the lake, almost appearing to commit suicide, but she eventually goes back to shore to join her family on the sand.
While sitting, she catches a glimpse of an obnoxious couple who is being overly affectionate with each other and blasting loud music from their radio. For some unknown reason, this triggers a rage in Cora and she quickly jolts from her spot and stabs the male, Frankie Belmont, seven times with a knife that she was using to peel an apple.
When I say seven times, I mean seven incredibly gory times. Like, blood is literally spewing everywhere during this scene.
Cora shocks everyone on the beach and the police hastily arrive to arrest her. When asked why she did what she did, all she could mutter was "They were playing that music and they kept turning it up." Mason is speechless and has no idea what to do.
It's at this point that we meet Detective Harry Ambrose, played by Bill Pullman. He's the investigator assigned to Cora's murder case. Initially, he believes Cora's actions were just out of impulse and emotion, but he later starts to think that it was no random event. As Ambrose races to find answers, we learn that he himself has his own share of secrets (like a fetish for S&M).
Jessica Biel gives a whirlwind performance and is perfect casting for Cora. From the subtle facial expressions to the gut-wrenching emotion she displays on screen, she captivates you and keeps you wanting more.