Netflix has been pushing these mystery miniseries at a faster rate than we would ever imagine. And why not? People really love a good mystery. These miniseries tap into a market that has been booming since Edgar Allan Poe started the police procedural genre with his short stories. Since then, watching a crime scene has become not only a horrific sight but also an interesting one where clues and evidence can be put together to bring the truth to the light.
To create a good mystery instead of an easy one, all the pieces need to match at the end for the answer to be satisfying. If the answer to the mystery doesn’t really hit at the end, then all the work that came previously can be thrown out into the garbage. It is a type of genre where the risk and reward part of things is very much on the line at every single moment. Tons of writers have made a career out of writing this type of story over and over again, so it comes to attention that Netflix sees the genre as an easy and reliable source of content material.
The Perfect Mother is a miniseries produced by Netflix and developed by Carol Noble. The show is based on the novel of the same name by Nina Darton. The miniseries stars Julie Gayet, Tomer Sisley, Eden Ducourant, Andreas Pietschmann, and Maxim Driesen. The miniseries tells the story of Hélène, a middle-aged woman that seems to have a perfect life, with a perfect husband, and perfect children. However, her world begins to crumble when her daughter Anya is accused of murder, and Hélène begins to question the reality around her.
The Perfect Mother is pretty standard on a quality level to everything that Netflix has been offering on its platform nowadays. The show starts like many others, setting up the mysteries and the characters and, it is all pretty standard. I used that word because, while The Perfect Mother is entertaining and delivers exactly what it offers. There is nothing here on any particular level that could help The Perfect Mother stand out among the countless other similar shows that Netflix has on its platform.
This is not a bad thing, but it also makes The Perfect Mother somewhat forgettable after you have seen it. In terms of visuals, it has that Netflix Look that many of its European productions now use, and while it is well shot, it feels kind of boring. Sometimes it can feel that one same director and one same team of filmmakers are filming all these shows one after the other, without any particular vision or voice behind it. Netflix’s productions feel more and more as if they are being made on a conveyor’s belt.
All the performances are rather nice. However, Julie Gaynet, who plays the protagonist of the show, feels a bit wooden throughout her participation in the show. Every single other actor outshines her, and it is very strange because she is supposed to be the main event. But she isn’t. Eden Ducourant who plays the role of Anya comes out on top as the best performer in the show. Making you feel that this person is as sketchy as she is loyal to her convictions. It is quite an impressive role for such a young performer.
Andres Pietschman makes a comeback after having seen him in Dark, and his presence is welcome. He delivers a great performance as a father and doctor who has lost control of his life and wants to fix it, although he doesn’t know how to do it. Even Emilia Nöth, a young actress, who plays a very small role in the overall story, makes a wonderful impression with her charisma, she is another highlight.
As an adaptation of a book, The Perfect Mother goes for a perfect length. Managing to contain the whole story in just four hours. The four episodes are easy to watch, and it makes the show feel like a perfect binge. Especially if you need to watch something on a lazy weekend.
Is it the best or one of the best mystery shows on Netflix? Not really, but it doesn’t have to. The Perfect Mother goes for a simple and familiar approach, and it just works. The answer to the mystery becomes clear very early on, you just need to place the pieces and realize what actually happens. The show also goes for a moral dilemma in the way they delivered the answer, and it will be up to the viewers to choose if it is satisfying or not, which is a pretty bold move, all things considered.
The Perfect Mother adds one more solid mystery showcase in the Netflix content library, it could have been so much better? Of course, but as a way to get entertained for four hours, it is quite nice. This is not a big commitment series with tons of seasons to watch and characters to meet, so if you really are in a rush to watch something, then this is it.