Every now and then I accidentally stumble upon a Netflix series that I have never heard of and the premise is so intriguing I can’t resist trying out an episode… and then end up bingeing the entire season. Pure was one of these.
Twenty-four year old Marnie (Charly Clive) is constantly plagued by intrusive and disturbing sexual thoughts. After a disastrous speech at her parents’ wedding anniversary she impulsively decides to move to London and start again.
Here she’ll reconnect with old friends, while making new ones and trying to find out what exactly is going on in her brain.
I found Pure really compelling. It’s a frank, honest and intense look at mental health, in particular obsessive compulsive disorder, which is often falsely assumed as just a desire to clean a lot. It also explores relationships both friendly and romantic and looks at how broken people break other people.
The series is simultaneously hilarious, heartbreaking and somewhat repulsive. Many of Marnie’s thoughts are really off putting but the show doesn’t shy away from showing them in all their eye-watering glory. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart or squeamish. I liked the brutality of it but there were definitely moments where I cringed.
Clive does a great job with Marnie, who is a very complicated character. She’s sympathetic but some of her behaviour is really hurtful to others around her and you can see why they become so frustrated by her. She wants everyone to accept her as she is but she’s often judgemental of others, especially her flatmate, Shireen (Kiran Sonia Sawar) who she really takes advantage of.
It was great to see Joe Cole again, playing Charlie, a sex addict who guides Marnie towards her diagnosis and provides a listening ear. Their relationship is sweet and endearing but also co-dependent and with fewer healthy boundaries than it should have.
This was unique, unusual, thought-provoking and quick to watch at only six episodes. I am not sure if a further series will be made but it ended with very little resolved and I was hungry for more so I live in hope.