the sinner

‘The Sinner’ deserves high place in your Netflix queue

Oct 17 • Arts & Leisure, Top Stories • 377

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Over the past couple of months, I have not had much time to watch television.
Most of my time has been dedicated to studying, or goofing off and getting gut shot because I know I should be studying.
With this in mind, I decided to take advantage of the free time I got over fall break and catch up on some shows that I have gotten a little behind on, and at the recommendation of a couple of my friends, watch USA Network’s “The Sinner” on Netflix.
“The Sinner” continues the trend of quality television shows the USA Network started with hit shows like “Mr. Robot” and “Suits.”
“The Sinner” follows detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) as he leads investigations in rural New York.
Each season follows a different crime, and the first season deals with the seemingly random murder of Frankie Belmont (Eric Todd) by Cora Tinetti (Jessica Biel).
Over its eight episodes, “The Sinner” provides a captivating story that pulls you into the lives of the characters, in a way that led me to binge-watch the entire first season in one day.
I started watching it sometime in the afternoon, and the next time I looked at the clock, it was 2 in the morning, and I had no idea where any of the time went.
Each episode is structured in a way that gives the audience some clue into why Tinetti murdered Belmont, but also introduces new information in the last few minutes of the episode so each episode ends in a cliffhanger that demands that you see the next one to find out what happened next.
While I can see how this could get kind of tedious if you were watching each episode as it came out, in the context of a Netflix series you are able to see what happens immediately and get instant gratification.
While the first season has many great performances, Biel and Pullman are the true standouts.
The amount of mystery that Biel is able to put into her performance is something to behold.
In the beginning of the season, you have no idea whether every word coming out of her mouth is a lie or the truth, and that is just what she wants you to know.
Pullman’s performance as Detective Ambrose is very good as well.
Throughout the season, Ambrose is the audience surrogate, meaning that if he does not know some piece of information, neither does the audience.
This does a great job of endearing his character to us, as every new piece of information that he learns, the viewers learns as well.
This also gives viewers a chance to try and figure out what happened each week by themselves.
The other aspect of “The Sinner” that sets it apart from other television shows is its insanely high production quality.
“The Sinner” feels more like watching a movie that just so happens to be eight hours long, instead of eight separate hour-long episodes.
The pacing of each episode is just spot on. At no point does an episode either seem to drag on or go by too quickly.
The last time I watched this much television in such a short amount of time was when the second season of “Stranger Things” came out.
For me, “The Sinner” represents the importance of talking about different shows and movies with your friends and family.
I had barely heard anything about “The Sinner” before my friends showed it to me, and I ended up loving it.
From now on, I am going to be taking their advice more often, and I suggest that you find some friends who have similar tastes as you. Watch what they tell you to watch — you might be surprised.
I highly recommend watching “The Sinner” as soon as you can. Season two finished up last month on USA Network, but has yet to become available for streaming on Netflix.
I for one, cannot wait until it does, because it means that I can spend another whole day doing nothing but enjoying a great example of quality television with my friends.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

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