Although Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” is based on another novel by Liane Moriarty, and it shares star Nicole Kidman and writer/producer David E. Kelley with the Emmy-winning HBO series, don’t expect the depth or complexity of “Lies” here. Instead, “Nine” (first three episodes now streaming; then weekly on Wednesdays, ★★ out of four) is a moderately serviceable soapy thriller about, well, nine perfect strangers at a shady wellness retreat run by eccentric guru Masha (Kidman).Nine Perfect Strangers Season 1 Download
But fine is as good as the quality of the series gets. “Nine” is mediocre compared to Kelley’s other work, which includes a long list of TV classics such as “The Practice” and “Ally McBeal.” It’s a huge disappointment considering its star-studded cast – Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall and Luke Evans, to name a few – and bestselling source material. More than anything else, the Hulu series feels hollow.Although the title would suggest there are only nine characters, the miniseries is about the nine people who sign up to be transformed at Masha’s retreat, plus the elusive Russian owner and her staff, Delilah (Tiffany Boone) and Yao (Manny Jacinto). They all came to Masha’s Tranquillum House for different reasons.There’s the Marconi family (Michael Shannon, Asher Keddie and Grace Van Patten), struggling to move past a loss; Frances (McCarthy), a romance novelist recently scammed by an online boyfriend; Tony (Cannavale), a mysterious former football player battling a painkiller addiction; young married couple Jessica and Ben (Samara Weaving and Melvin Gregg), rich and beautiful but troubled; Carmel (Hall), a divorceé with a sweet exterior but deep anger issues; and Lars (Evans), a man recently dumped by his boyfriend, whose reasons for being at the center aren’t clear. There are a lot of backstories to get through, and a lot of egos and personalities that clash when the nine strangers start to get wrapped in Masha’s web. Masha’s methods may appear the same as other Instagrammable spas and rehabs, but there is something darker going on in how she is treating and manipulating her guests for their “health” and her personal goals. Similarly, she plays her employees Delilah and Yao, who are in a romantic relationship, against each other to keep things going her way. Chaos, predictably, ensues at Tranquillum.