When it was announced back in January that USA Network had picked up a new drama thriller called The Sinner starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman, it got a lot of people’s attention. Well, the series is officially premiering tonight (10 PM EST) to pretty positive reviews, so here is a quick refresher about what to expect.
What’s it about?
The series is based on Petra Hammesfahr’s book of the same title and follows a young mother named Cora (Biel) who commits a heinous murder after being suddenly overcome with an inexplicable fit of rage and she has no idea why. When an investigator (played by Bill Pullman) gets involved the two embark on a journey that reveals much about Cora’s psyche and her past.
Is there a trailer?
Yep, and it looks great!
What are the reviews saying?
What’s left is an amiable and largely engaging murder mystery, gorgeously lensed and smartly paced but more notable for its control of mood and atmosphere than substance or character. If the point of the series is to uncover the reasons why Cora killed Belmont, there is a modicum of satisfaction in watching her past incrementally revealed.
It’s easy to see why Biel would covet and tackle such a demanding and raw role, and she’s thoroughly convincing in conveying Cora’s confusion, stubbornness and despair, at one point advising her perplexed and stricken husband (Christopher Abbott) to just move on. Even when Cora is on the verge of giving up, Detective Ambrose refuses to let Cora go down without fighting to uncover the truth behind her bloody deed.
Despite its thrust of a whydunit over the obvious whodunit, the fact is The Sinner adds up to an ocean of clichés swimming together in a not particularly interesting manner towards a fairly apparent conclusion of the legacy of violence, whether you’ve read the book or not.
The premise and psychology of the main characters capture your interest. But the oppressive portentousness squanders it — the heavy-handed slo-mo and symbolism, the glum gravitas of the acting. Biel’s intense performance of despair isn’t helped by a story that keeps Cora a cipher or by clipped scenes that don’t let her stretch and breathe.
The Sinner premieres on USA tonight (8/2/2017) at 10 PM EST. Will you be tuning in?
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.