By Edward Probasco
Nestling down with another bowl of popcorn and a few friends, I decided to start up the Netflix original show ‘Bloodline.’
Binge watching is never a great idea, however with ‘Bloodline’ it seems to be the only logical one. After a foreshadowing storm, which is a “beachy” type title sequence, the audience is catapulted into the omniscient point of view following the narrator who is talking about his brother, Danny.
The audience is then briefly introduced to the main characters within the family that the story will be following. John is the sheriff for his area of the Florida Keys, Kevin works at the marina for all boat docking essentials, Meg is the lawyer for the family business and Danny is the mysterious and captivating outcast.
After this quick introduction, which relies heavily on context clues, we get a glimpse into the Florida Keys and a small family-run establishment known as ‘Rayburn’s House.’
During the family gathering, it seems the majority of the family enjoys the get together while Danny is nowhere to be seen. Leaving the bus terminal to escape his mind, conversation with an old friend soon unearths. After statements of a seafood restaurant that collapsed due to shady business practices and the promise of cash through rather mysterious means, Danny finally joins the family gathering just for the plot line to shift dramatically.
Just as the audience begins to understand the story arc and comprehend simple family interactions, it is rippled away when they realize that the whole story will be in continuous conflict with the past and the present. The audience is propelled forward into the plot in a flash-forward as John holds Danny’s lifeless body.
As the story continues from the past with minor jump cuts to the present, it becomes apparent to the audience that Danny’s presence co-exists with an uncomfortable past that leaves the family anxious.
Between the serene and calming ocean shots in the mornings to the lowlight bokeh lens flairs, the cinematography within ‘Bloodline’ continues to leave the audience oddly but happily conflicted.
However, what is beautiful in ‘Bloodline’ can only exist when the ugly exists. It is within these distressed plot-lines where the audience can see that the plot only continues with the conflict of abandonment and forever living in paradise.
With subtle foreshadowing of Danny looking out towards his family, yet not interacting with them, ‘Bloodlines’ blurs the line between family and comfort. Inevitably pushing the audience to care for a character who may not necessarily deserve it, Danny becomes the embodiment of trauma. Whether it is the conflict of why Danny was disowned, what secret the family might be hiding or the decision if Danny is allowed to stay being left to his siblings- the first episode leaves the audience worried for what awaits this antihero.
The show might not appeal to everyone, but if given the time it demands, it is guaranteed to captivate and thrill its audience. If you want a show to leave you with a conflict between a sense of joy and tension, this will prove to continually be in your “continue watching” queue.