TV REVIEW: The Sinner – Season 1

One beautiful summer’s day on the beach, young mum, Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) snaps and murders a man with seemingly no provocation. Cora pleads guilty but detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) is convinced there is more to the attack than what is immediately obvious and sets to uncover the truth.

As Harry tries to unpick a reluctant Cora’s past, we see flashbacks of her traumatic upbringing as well as an insight into Harry’s own confusing personal life. And the question is raised as to who is truly a sinner and who gets to judge?

I found it hard to stop watching because the show does such a good job of building suspense. It is obvious that something terrible has happened to Cora but the fact she doesn’t seem to know what that is makes it even more intriguing. Cora’s past is drip-fed to the audience and every episode leaves you feeling like you are on the edge of finding out something huge.

The actual conclusion is fairly satisfying considering all the build up but it left me with some questions of logic that I’d be happy to discuss with anyone else who has watched this. I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t. I liked the fact that all the characters had flaws that could mean that they were seen as sinners and that no one involved really had the right to judge anyone else’s behaviour.

Apparently there have been criticisms of Biel’s performance as being wooden but I think it is masterful (as annoying as I usually find her). Her character is suffering from severe PTSD, which has caused her to repress her memories, she is burdened with hiding her past from her husband (Christopher Abbott) and obviously depressed. Of course she is subdued, closed off and vacant. Pullman is also brilliant. He is dogged when it comes to his cases and the care of his beloved plants but it’s obvious his marriage has suffered as a consequence and his outlet for his guilt makes him a sinner too.

The use of music in the series is exceptional and if you don’t end up obsessed with Hugs and Kisses by Big Black Delta by the end of this I will be shocked.

The use of music in the series is exceptional and if you don’t end up obsessed with Hugs and Kisses by Big Black Delta by the end of this I will be shocked.

Logic fails and some questions around how much work a detective would actually do on a case with loads of witnesses where the defendant has pleaded guilty aside, I loved The Sinner and I am very interested in what the second season will bring.



  1. I got hooked on this one too. I wasn’t enamoured with the last episode though. But then I didn’t know about a season two. 🙂
    (I liked the detective’s girlfriend. 🙂 )
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. The detective’s girlfriend was an excellent character. I think the ending didn’t live up to the promise of the original. I’ve not started season 2 yet but a few people have told me it’s not as good

  2. Nfiskin

    Watched this too and will discuss your queries about and logic further another time 😅 I saw a brief overview of the first episode of the second series, new plot a d characters, however same sense of unlogical crimes, young boy murders parents casually 🤔 so looks good! X

    1. We forgot to catch up on this when I last saw you. We still need to discuss. I’ve not heard great things about the second season unfortunately.

  3. Have the song a listen. It’s fab thanks!

    1. Isn’t it great? I can’t stop listening to it.

  4. I quite liked this first season, but thought the second one was an absolute disaster. Ugh.

  5. One to watch! I just finished ‘Bodyguard’ and loved it. I think you reviewed it once upon a time and liked it…

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