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REVIEW: ‘The Alienist’ Offers a Captivating Murder Mystery with Beautifully Dark Visuals

This is a spoiler-free review of the upcoming TNT series The Alienist:

The year is 1896 and a series of gruesome, unsolved murders are plaguing New York City.   The city has one of its first serial killers on its hands in TNT’s new psychological thriller series The Alienist.

Based on the Anthony Award-winning international bestseller by Caleb Car, it all starts with a gruesome and bizarre murder like none that the city of New York has ever seen before.  Newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty) is stumped by the crimes and secretly enlists the help of criminal psychologist/alienist Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) and newspaper illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans). Kreizler and Moore are joined by Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) a determined secretary who dreams of becoming the first female police detective.  The trio uses psychology and early forensic techniques in order track down the culprit and to solve the mystery behind these gruesome murders.

The Alienist offers true star power with its leading cast of Brühl, Evans and Fanning and they certainly deliver. Brühl plays the role of Kreizler with just the right amount of drama while effectively conveying the character’s obsession with the murders and sensitivity towards his patients. Evans plays the perfect sidekick (so to speak) to Brühl’s Kreizler earning the two a likely comparison to Sherlock Homles and Dr. Watson. Fanning shines as the strong-willed Sara Howard, a woman who is very much ahead of her time and, in turn, a very relevant character to today’s climate.

If the cast doesn’t immediately draw you in, the sinister beauty of the series certainly will.  The series explores a very dark premise, however, even the during the most gruesome scenes, I found myself totally captivated by the visually stunning cinematography.  The Alienist achieves greatness with its dark beauty and stunning visuals.   TNT is truly pushing the limits with this series and it works!

While the story itself starts out just a tiny bit slow, by the end of the second episode, things are certainly kicked into high gear which left me dying to know what happens next!  Sadly, for the purposes of this review, I was only granted access to the first two episodes but, if the series continues on this trajectory, I can without a doubt tell you that you are in for a dark, mysterious and wild ride and you’re going to love every minute of it!

For an extra sneak peek, check out the gallery of episode images as well as the official series synopsis below:

About The Alienist: “The Alienist is an upcoming American drama television series based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr. The psychological thriller drama is set in 1896 when a series of gruesome murders of boy prostitutes has gripped the city. Newly appointed top cop Teddy Roosevelt calls upon Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a criminal psychologist — aka alienist — and newspaper illustrator John Moore to conduct the investigation in secret. Joining them in the probe is Sara Howard, a headstrong secretary at Police Headquarters.”

I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series along with you all!  The Alienist premieres on Monday, January 22nd at 9 PM EST on TNT.


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