Stay Close

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Stay Close
Stay Close
Photo: Netflix

SHOW:

Stay Close 

WHERE TO WATCH:

Netflix

OUR RATING:

2/5 Stars

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

With trademark thrills, gripping suspense and secrets of past crimes beginning to unravel, Stay Close questions how much you really know someone. Four people each conceal dark secrets from those closest to them. 

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

I love a good crime series as much as the next person, even more so if it is a British crime series. But this Harlan Coben adaption just didn't hit the mark for me.

Megan (Cush Jumbo) has built the perfect family life for herself when a dark secret threatens to come back and haunt her. At the same time, detectives Broome (James Nesbitt) and Cartwright (Jo Joyner) are investigating a missing person when they appear to stumble upon a serial killer. And that's not even half of it.

So, let's break it down.

First, the main plotline is told from three people's perspectives: Megan's, detective Broome's and a photographer named Ray (Richard Armitage).

The first episode introduces the main plotline in a promising way. But by episode three, the wheels start falling off. Megan, or should I say, Cassie, is forced to revisit people from her stripper past, including pro bono lawyer Harry (Eddie Izzard) and Vipers club owner Lorraine (Sarah Parish). 

Detective Broome is convinced he has discovered a serial killer while rekindling his romance with Lorraine. Ray is trying to do the right thing anonymously. And we are also introduced to two of the strangest, most misplaced characters I have ever experienced in a show - Barbie (Poppy Gilbert) and Ken (Hyoie O'Grady). 

Furthermore, Megan's fiancé Dave (Daniel Francis) is harbouring a secret of his own. And finally, their eldest daughter, Kayleigh (Bethany Antonia), is trying to retrace her steps to avoid a run-in with detective Broome.

Wow! What a mouthful and this is all in the first three episodes of the eight-part series. 

In the next five episodes, what follows is perhaps the most deurmekaar sequence of events. I'm still confused as to what actually happened, and well, honestly, it feels as though it would take more effort than I care to give to find out. 

The story bounces between brutal and bland. By the time the promised twist comes at the end, which is actually quite good, you will either be too confused to get it or beyond caring about it.

Stay Close had so much potential to be a gripping show. Still, perhaps the most disappointing thing is that BAFTA-winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst, who has written some excellent Coben adaptations, including The Stranger, was evidentially incapable of getting a handle on this one.

With all of that said, I must commend the multi-talented cast for trying to make the best of what they had. Jumbo's face conveys the perfect amount of emotion to fill a scene, and Nesbitt's world-weary cop role is more than convincing. 

While Armitage's character is the least developed of the three, he does a good enough job to make Ray's presence needed. 

Stay Close is made for binging, leaping from one cliff-hanger to the next, but sadly it just isn't compelling enough to become addictive.

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