TV REVIEW: What/If – Season 1

Scientist, Lisa Donovan (Jane Levy) is the CEO of Emigen, a company she has built from scratch to develop her pioneering technique for creating medication personalised to a patient’s genetic code. Lisa is desperate to get funding to keep the company going but is at loose ends until she meets Anne Montgomery (Renee Zellweger). Anne is known for being absolutely ruthless and rejecting all the things she believes hold women back… family, relationships, children. Anne offers Lisa the investment she needs but with a condition. She wants to spend one night with Lisa’s husband, Sean (Blake Jenner) and if Sean discloses what has happened on this night, Anne will take full control of Emigen.

What ensues is a game of cat and mouse and an endless rabbit hole of secrets that impact all the players in Anne’s twisted game.

But they’re not the only one’s with secrets… Sean’s highschool best friend, Todd’s (Keith Powers) wife is cheating on him and Lisa’s adoptive brother, Marcos (Juan Castano) knows something that could rip the whole family apart.

Frankly What/If is a disaster zone. There are two positive things about it… the actual secrets are done well and the compulsion to find out what is actually going on is an itch that it’s hard not to scratch. Zellweger is also magnificent as the ice cold, calculating, super glam Anne. She is clearly relishing getting to play such a huge character and loving every scene chewing second of it. I kept watching for these two reasons alone.

Every single other actor is absolutely terrible. The performances are either one note of hysteria or absolutely wooden. There is no chemistry between any of the actors, despite the number of gratuitous sex scenes that are crow barred in and it feels a bit like watching a school play. That might also be because the dialogue is woeful and “themes” the show is trying to address are so unsubtle. Everything is dramatic, over the top and delivered with a sledge hammer. As an example there is a character that is a pansexual go-go dancer who takes a lot of mushrooms while dispensing life wisdoms.

If you are a fan of overblown soap operas or just really love Renee Zellweger you might like this otherwise you might be best avoiding. I rolled my eyes so much throughout that I think I could draw the inside of my skull from memory.

1/5

2 Comments

  1. Your eye-rolling has definitely put me off this one, Abbi. To be honest, I hardly watch Netflix at all. I don’t get much chance, as my wife watches every ‘true-life’ medical series, all the TV talent shows, and anything to do with Vets and animals.
    By the time she has worked through that lot, I am lucky if I get to watch one episode of ‘Spiral’ before it’s my bedtime. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I think you’d be raging at the telly at every episode of this one. What a mess!

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