The Sinner – A Bad, bad Review

I don’t usually review movies or TV shows, because most of the time, it takes me a while to wrap my head around what actually happened. (Except for the funnies). I watched The Sinner on Netflix recently and here’s my vehement opinion about the show that has received two Golden Globe nominations. (Whaaaat?!)

First of all, Jessica Biel, as a drab mommy and wife to an even drabber Christopher Abbott didn’t add up for me. Cora and Mason, didn’t add up. Cora, always seemed preoccupied and depressed, which I suppose is sine qua non, and Mason just came off as a lamentable husband. Yes, he is smothered by his mother, but strangely, she is not an overbearing mother-in-law. Didn’t that seem strange, or was it just me?

That scene where, before the beach trip, Cora folds and stacks the clothes and then Ambrose revisits the room and takes a look at the stack; what was that? Was it to show Cora in a domesticated-tender-loving-caring persona?

Then the stab wounds on Frankie and the attack on Ambrose bore a resemblance. Seven spots at the exact location. sins..The Sinner.. Am I getting it right? I don’t think so. Was that arc explained? Did I miss it?

A 36-year-old Jessica Biel playing approximately 24-25 year old Cora.(going by the fact Phoebe is born when Cora is about 4-5) Preposterous much? I mean she is convincing in the present, but you can’t pull off looking 10ish years younger than you actually are, IMO.

What’s up with Ambrose’s fingernails and his strange obsession with Sharon?! I understand he is seeking thrills because of his ever-depressed married life, but that level of sadomasochism from a detective who loves botany seems a little too warped for my pea-brain. And all that while he is trying to get back on track with his uptight wife? Ahem… Or did he just want to move back into that postcard-perfect home? Silly shenanigans, I say!

Phoebe, I’m not going to say anything, because I do not want to anger anyone, but come on! She’s more twisted than anyone. The disease made her that way? Her mother did? Her father’s romance with the neighbour? What? What? What? And did anyone notice how prim and proper she is, even lying sick all her life? I mean, perfectly waxed and all. I’ve spent some time in the hospital and honestly, bums living under a bridge would’ve shirked away from me. Come to think of it, I’ve barely seen anyone not waxed on TV or movies, except Anna Farris, maybe.

How did Frankie not age a day? 2012-2017. 5 years! He looks younger when he is killed by Cora, doesn’t he? Is it because he is a medic and has some sort of potion or lotion we don’t know about? And for someone who is portrayed as being very sensitive, what with him being shook up with Phoebe dying in his arms and Cora being seriously injured, he seems very jolly at the beach with his new girlfriend. Wouldn’t someone who has been part of something gruesome be a little unjolly to be frolicking around like that? Even if it has been 5 years? Am I being too orthodox?

Was J.D doing so poorly at the time when he was dating Cora that he had to siphon off gas from unsuspecting cars? Wasn’t he some sort of drug-dealer or a wayward troublemaker back then? Did he really need to do that? If he did, how did he afford bar-hopping every now and then? Was he just siphoning off money from some rich friends? And didn’t he also have a huge house in upstate NY somewhere isolated? I didn’t like him one bit right from the start. Too arrogant and full of himself! Why did Cora go out with him at all? “Bad boy” factor? I wonder. Poor choice in guys, Cora!

And finally, the unnecessary incestuous homosexuality. I have sat through gore, horror, uncomfortable (and might I add, trivial) nudity, and other varieties of “creativity” without so much as a wince. But that scene where Cora and Phoebe get all jiggy with each other made me say “eeeeewwwww”. I’m all about liberal ideas and all that, but that angle was just absolutely not required. I was even more weirded out by the scene where both sisters lay next to Jesus on the floor. Is that the artsy of showing that they while they have faith and tremendous love for Jesus, they want to explore what lies beyond the curfew that was exacted on them? If so, what does being a devout Christian have to do with curiosity? Is that a sin? I don’t want to spark any controversies here, but I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.

From the first episode to the last, all I saw was Cora crying, A LOT. Her sudden change in wanting to redeem herself also left me scratching my head. At first, she confessed and made up a story (which was told to her by Madison) and didn’t care of the consequences of her sentencing. After a while, she springs into action and pleads Ambrose to help her out in any way he can. Why wasn’t Dr.Chang, who was very opposed to the idea of Cora revisiting the past, not brought in again when Cora was taken to the Beverwyck Club? And that whole muddle of limbs, all high on a buffet of drugs and alcohol; was that for the benefit of the perverts who lurk around “normal people TV”? I just realised what I am writing is more like a questionnaire for the cast and crew rather than a review. Hence, the title-Bad, bad review.

And on a lighter note, Detective Farmer and Judge Baird were having consistently bad-hair days throughout the show. I mean, Phoebe was critically ill and she was glowing. Surely, the nose-in-the-air detective and Judge Baird could’ve used a little dolling up, huh?

And I checked with a lot of fathers, including mine, and nobody agreed to covering up a crime scene left by their children like Frankie’s dad did. So, I guess the Father of the Year award goes Dr.Belmont Sr.


** These are purely my opinions. No offence intended towards anyone. 🙂