Tuesday, 30 May 2017

TV61: Bloodline revisited

The third and final season of Bloodline is now available on Netflix. You may not want to spend your time on it, even if you enjoyed the first two seasons.

The first season of Bloodline (reviewed in February of 2016) had a raw emotional power which, when combined with the show’s noirish southern gothic atmosphere and fantastic acting, made for not only very compelling viewing but also for a thoroughly enjoyable TV serial-watching experience (I should have put it onto my favourite serial list at the time). The second season could not sustain the emotional energy, nor the tight plotting, of the first. Instead, it went all over the place in an attempt to offer twists and turns as the Rayburn family continued to implode. The acting was still great, but the characters were all so unhappy that it made for dreary viewing. 

Nevertheless, the second season of Bloodline was still good and compelling TV viewing, especially when compared with the third season. The writers obviously couldn’t figure out a way to offer a satisfying conclusion to the series while also offering enough intriguing and thoughtful stories to get through ten episodes. The result is a bit of a mess, with story lines that ended abruptly and too easily, with too many dream sequences that weren’t explained and with no real sense of closure. The writers seemed to be playing with all kinds of ideas that fizzled out. While the third season of Bloodline was compelling enough to finish watching, mainly because I wanted to know how the writers would end what was once excellent TV, it was ultimately a very unsatisfying season, with only a few great scenes and memorable moments to make it almost worthwhile.

I gave the first season of Bloodline somewhere between ***+ and ****. The third season didn’t come close to ****, so I give the show an overall grade of somewhere between *** and ***+. My mug is still up but this is a show that could have been one of the greats and let me down. If I had placed it on my favourite serials list, today I would have removed it from the list. 

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