I'm definitely not one for watching much television. If you tried to make small talk with me in regards to the most recent episode of whatever show aired last night, I would have absolutely no idea what you were talking about. Every once in a while, though, I hear about a show that creates controversy. That controversy never fails to spark my interest. Thus, my discovery of The Sinner.
The Sinner is the newest murder-mystery drama to hit television. Based on the novel by Petra Hammesfahr, The Sinner is an 8 episode, close-ended series that premiered August 2, 2017, with a new episode airing every Wednesday during prime time on the USA network.
Starring Jessica Biel as Corra Tannetti, a young mother and wife who, while spending the day at the beach with her family, randomly attacks and kills a man she has never seen before that day. Why? She simply does not know. When her motives are questioned by Detective Harry Ambrose, played by Bill Pullman, her unknowing motive intrigues him to investigate further.
If any of you remember Jessica Biel in the hit series 7th Heaven, I'm sure you have fallen in love with the girl next door. She has had roles in many T.V. shows and movies, and won numerous awards. But these last few years she has been out of the mainstream spotlight. Where did Jessica Biel go??? Starting in 2013, she has switched from big roles to independent films. The Sinner is a perfect example of this. The Sinner first premiered during the TriBeCa Film Festival.
Jessica Biel also did a change of pace for this series. Instead of her typical roles, she went with a more real world character. Cora Tannetti portrays a realistic mother, one that appears to be stressed with everyday life tasks. This is evident in the trailer that can be watched at YouTube. I believe this catches the attention of the intended audience, every day mothers. Hollywoodreporter.com describes the show as "the story of Cora (Jessica Biel), a young other having troubles sleeping and generally ill at ease with the world around her."
If you paid attention to the ads during the show, you will see products from Subaru, Tide, Walmart , and Dove. It is justifiable to come to the conclusion that the every day mom is who is targeted as an audience.
As stated by Vulture.com, "In a TV era increasingly definde by trauma and violence, The Sinner still stands out." (The full review can be read at vulture.com.) I believe it stands out so well because of the aspect used by the writer. This show portrays a whydunit question instead of a whodunit like the typical murder mysteries. The audience is not kept in suspense as to who committed the murder, due to the confession in the very first episode. Instead, we are left wondering why.
As you can see, this young mother is clearly stressed. Background information into the upbringing of Cora is also provided for the audience. Clearly the childhood of this woman was a peculiar one, and one that may give insight into a possible mental illness of the young mother. A present mental illness might lead viewers into stereotyping all people with a mental illness. It would portray a mentally ill person as unstable, able to snap at any moment. One might also conclude that even the most unexpected, every day people can unknowingly bear these types of medical problems.
None the less, the show portrays many strengths. I believe it brings a new spin on murder mysteries, therefore intriguing audiences and leaving people wanting to know more. It also examines a subject that doesn't seem to be well portrayed, which is the stresses of every day women. With the strengths comes weaknesses. It's gruesome act of violence has left people in awe. One review, given by Thrillest.com states, "Calling The Sinner uncomfortable is an understatement," along with stating the murder scene as "downright disturbing." Not just the violent murder scene is under scrutiny. Some critics are saying that Jessica Biel's mystery is "too flawed." However, I believe that right when you think you can predict what is going to happen, the show takes a turn.
All in all, I'm definitely a fan of this new style of TV show. It's perspective is definitely something I haven't seen before. It is also very easy to relate to, no matter how scary that may seem! As far as the gruesome murder, what TV show, or even movie, doesn't display graphic scenes? Check it out for yourself and either be on the edge of your seat waiting for next weeks' episode, or be horrified.