A Philadelphia couple are in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ https://www.msbreviews.com **_Season 1_** When I heard the news that M. Night Shyamalan would be producing a horror TV series, I instantly got intrigued. For some reason, probably due to the tremendous amount of movies to watch, I forgot that the show was coming out at the end of November. Since no one seemed to be talking about it, I couldn't remember its existence until this week. I have no idea why people are so quiet. Servant is one of the best (new) TV shows I've seen in the last few years. People are giving all credit to Shyamalan, but I'm not going to make the same mistake. Tony Basgallop created and wrote the show. There are five other directors besides Shyamalan, who only directs episodes one and nine. I love Shyamalan as much as the next guy, I've always defended him, and his name alone is enough to convince me to watch anything. He's the reason why I got interested in Servant in the first place. However, the mysterious premise was the aspect that truly captivated me. From the pilot until the finale, every single episode is packed with unanswered questions, enigmatic answers, and a whole lot of tension-building. Besides being extremely well-written, the dialogues are filled with suspense and an incredible amount of tension. Every director does a fantastic job of keeping a creepy atmosphere, using opposite shots like close-ups and wides to create that uneasy environment. Most of the narrative is set inside the Turner's house, offering that claustrophobic vibe I love so much. Being mostly a one-location show, it never deviates the viewer from what's happening, maintaining the focus on each and every member of the family. I rarely feel the need for binging a whole season. I enjoy waiting a week or so for the next episode. It lets me think about what happened, it creates a space for me to reflect on a certain character's actions or understand why a particular narrative decision didn't quite work for me. I don't agree that someone who binges seven seasons of, for example, Game of Thrones, will have the same emotional attachment to the story and its characters than someone who waited all those years for the final season. It's just a different perspective and experience. Nevertheless, Servant always left me with that feeling of "I need to watch the next episode immediately". Now, I don't think it's a show for everyone, and I know that people don't like it when someone writes this, but I'll explain. Servant isn't an exposition-driven narrative. It doesn't answer any of the questions you have until the very end, and even then, it leaves room for different interpretations of the story. Every episode is very ambiguous and enigmatic, sometimes adding more and more questions than answers or clues. For a lot of people, it's a show that heavily relies on the final episode's revelations to ultimately consider it a success or a disappointment. If you don't enjoy this type of series, then it's probably for the best that you skip it. However, if this is "your thing", sit down and enjoy this amazing show Basgallop created with the help of Shyamalan. Technically, I can't help but praise the cinematography (Mike Gioulakis, who worked with Shyamalan on Glass and Split, and also with Jordan Peele on Us). The elegant long takes are crucial for keeping the viewer's eyes on the characters, and truly listen to what they're saying. With the help of seamless editing (and the unusual short runtime, thirty minutes per episode feels like an odd duration nowadays), almost every episode goes like the wind. Exquisite control of the pacing makes the show flow impressively well. The set and production design are always important in one-location pieces, and Servant doesn't lack quality in these regards. Subtle but effectively sinister score (Trevor Gureckis). It's the first show I watch from Apple TV+, and I'm thankful that the company gives the opportunity to great filmmakers to prove their worth instead of producing gigantic CGI festivals right off the bat. I left the best for last, and that is the cast. It doesn't matter how good a screenplay is if the actors can't bring it to life properly. The four main actors are ALL outstanding! Toby Kebbell hasn't done anything in the past that genuinely surprised me, but now he demonstrated how good of an actor he is. He deals with long dialogues effortlessly, and his close-ups are the most captivating of all. Plus, the whole cooking sequences are visually eye-opening (though I advise they might be too much for the more sensible viewers). Lauren Ambrose seemed a bit out of place in the beginning, but once I understood where her character came from, her performance made total sense. Her display in the finale gave me chills. However, Rupert Grint (Julian Pearce, Dorothy's brother) and Nell Tiger Free are two unbelievably remarkable surprises. The former gets out of that Harry Potter shell and finally shows that he's more than a mere Ron Weasley. Really engaging performance from him. As for Nell (who didn't have time to show what she can do as Myrcella Baratheon, in Game of Thrones), she carries the most essential role of all. She's the "black sheep" of the story, the conflict, the strange and out-of-place character. She needed to be absolutely perfect to make the viewer confused about her motivations, and she nailed it. Undoubtedly, she's the biggest revelation of the series. I don't understand why Servant doesn't have more fans, and I can't cope with the silence of the people who actually watched it. It's a series that deserves a lot more credit. Boasting a phenomenal cast with Rupert Grint and Nell Tiger Free as the biggest surprises, Tony Basgallop created an incredibly intriguing, mysterious, suspenseful, and intense show with the help of the great M. Night Shyamalan. Brilliant, tension-packed, uncut dialogues help generate a creepy, uneasy atmosphere, elevated by some terrific cinematography (Mike Gioulakis). Filmed mostly in one-location, the set and production design highly improve the claustrophobic environment. The narrative is ambiguous throughout, it's not an exposition-driven screenplay. If you don't appreciate this kind of shows that ask more than answer, then it might be better to skip it. But if you love stories that make you think and second-guess everything, Servant is a genius work. Rating: A