REVIEW: Bloodline – Season One (2015)

I'm Jeffrey Rex - Bloodline Season OneBloodline is a new thriller-drama Netflix show that premiered on Friday March 20th 2015. Season One is up, and will probably be followed by a second season next year, seeing as this season is very entertaining. But I do have my qualms as this review should make clear by the end of it.

The show, made by the creators of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning show Damages, is about a Floridian family with a strong reputation; but also with an estranged member – the black sheep of the family, Danny (played by Ben Mendelsohn). Danny Rayburn quickly makes the family uneasy. As the shameful secrets of the Rayburn family are revealed to the audience, choices have to be made by Danny’s siblings.

Of course, don’t read this review until after you’ve seen the season. I might not spoil everything in this review, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, here’s your spoiler warning.

Still there? Good.

One of the greatest things about this show is the ensemble cast. Consisting of an Australian Academy Award winner, an Emmy nominee, an Emmy winner, a Tony Award winner, an Oscar nominee, and an Oscar winner. The standout actors on paper are, of course, Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek, and Kyle Chandler – but the biggest performance comes from Ben Mendelsohn.

Mendelsohn’s Danny Rayburn is captivating as the black sheep of the family. At an instant Mendelsohn’s Danny Rayburn can flip from being a charming Han Solo-lookalike bad boy, to a chilling and sinister character ripped from the world of AMC’s Breaking Bad.

In fact, the Rayburn siblings are standouts. Linda Cardellini’s Meg Rayburn is the youngest of the family, suddenly having to deal with the drama of her brothers. Kyle Chandler’s John Rayburn is the anchor of the family – the boy scout. Norbert Leo Butz’ Kevin Rayburn is a complicated hardworker with a ton of passion. They all work perfectly, as they’re trying to keep the family business afloat.

The show didn’t really grab me until the sixth episode, but it did have a lot of great cliffhangers – as a proper binge-quality show should have. The style of the episodes did annoy me a bit. Too many timejumps, and the timejump in the season finale really bugged me – these can be jarring.

I worry about a second season – and I wish this was only a mini-series or a one season show. I really fear that, based on how this season ended, the show will have a steep drop in quality in season two – with two or more main characters gone. I don’t want this show to end up like season two or three of Homeland. But let’s hope for the best.

All in all, Bloodline Season One was a success. A thrilling drama that captivated me once I got into it. Perfect cliffhangers made it binge-worthy. Incredible performances by the ensemble cast stand out, and though I am worried about the future of the show – it still interests me.

B+

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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