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'Dangerous Contacts' review: French classic gets a striking but not sexy Starz prequel

On the surface, Dangerous Liaisons seems to serve everything Dangerous Liaisons The series should. Starz is full of beautiful people who swear love and revenge with the same passion, toying with each other’s emotions and reputations in pursuit of power or just for fun – all from

‘s Gorgeous ornate costumes century French aristocracy, the coming revolution barely whispered in the wind.

And for a spell, it feels like it can be enough. But as the season progressed, it became increasingly apparent that characters accusing each other of a lack of mind might also target the series itself. With paper-thin characters and a narrative that prioritizes dynamics over emotional depth, its candy-like flavor dissolves like sugar on the tongue.

Dangerous Contacts

Bottom Line Hollow dessert.

Air Date: Sunday, November 6 at 8pm (Starz) 18 Throwing: Alice Englert, Nicholas Denton, Kosar Ali, Nathanael Saleh, Hakeen Kae-Kazim, Michael McElhatton, Lesley Manville, Hilton Perser, Carice van Houten Creator: Harriet Warner )

Technically this Dangerous Liaisons by Harriet Warner is not by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Dangerous Liaisons Century novel, but a prequel. Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil are again in the lead roles, but they have yet to achieve these lofty titles in their journey. They are just Pascal (Nicholas Denton) and Camille (Alice Englert), two young men who dream of a better life together. The eight-hour episode retraces what a social wife sarcastically but accurately describes as “the most rapid rise since the third day of Christ” as the couple plan to meet at Dangerous Liaisons correct.

For Camille, the best hope for promotion comes from incumbent Marquise de Merteuil (Lesley Manville), who sees echoes of her own feminist indignation in the young woman, and a An opportunity to take revenge on a person who wronged her. For Pascal, it’s his struggle to regain the title he lost when his widowed father married the ambitious Ondine (Colette Dalal Chacho), and cedes the viscount to her son ( Ahmed Ahaj).

While this is completely new territory for the character, several elements familiar from the classic version are echoed here, including the piety that needs to be seduced for nefarious reasons The Dame (Carice van Houten) and an innocent (Agnes O’Casey) fresh out of a convent are engaged to an older nobleman. (The latter even shares a crush on the same mentor as her original antagonist, Denise of Dimitri Gripari.) Add a twist to our clues and the crime plot of the sex work industry in Paris The tragic, slowly revealed backstory, and the Dangerous Liaisons never finds itself short of compelling revealing or hairpin turns.

What it lacks is any compelling reason to care about any of them. The arc of Dangerous Liaisons hinges on such overwhelming passions—whether they stem from lust, adoration, or anger—that they may drive the character to lose everything and throw caution to the wind. behind the heads, or those who have nothing on the altar of desire. At the same time, its appeal as entertainment hinges on its ability to keep audiences on the wave of intense urges to experience every sting of lust or betrayal, just as we do ourselves. But, in order for the show to do that, we have to feel these characters, and in order for us to do that , we have to understand them.

Dangerous Liaison tells us a lot about Camille’s quest for revenge and the gift of manipulation, or about Pascal’s talent for seducing Camille or his loyalty. But it has no interest in probing their personalities or psychology beyond the underlying motives required for the narrative, nor is it curious about their quirks, contradictions, or sense of humor. For that matter, while each episode has Camille and Pascal’s romance teetering between love and war (“there’s nothing in between,” one of them proclaims), we’ll never understand why they started So attracted to each other place.

The supporting role is not much better. The vulnerability of the Dangerous Liaisons character is most evident in Victoire (Kosar Ali), who is nominally Camille’s best friend but is largely stuck Mill and the series see it as a particularly beloved servant. If Victoire had her own desires or ambitions, rather than revolving around Camille, the collection hardly deigned to mention them. If her relationship with Camille didn’t stem from a long-term habit, it’s unclear why. (Victoire is Black only makes the dynamic feel more precarious as Dangerous Liaisons doesn’t seem sure if it wants to acknowledge racism in Marie Antoinette-era France or embrace Color blind Bridgerton style casting method.)

Nevertheless, Dangerous contacts sure if it only managed to generate enough heat it might mask its many flaws as one of the biggest attractions of all other versions of Dangerous Liaisons Just how sexy it is. Alas: All the time Englert and Denton snuggled together in various undressed states, it’s hard for them to come up with any real sparks. Bridgeton (or actually, even non-romance like Bear ) Breathtaking chemistry Disappeared. None of them discovered it along with the others. Taking a detour to what is supposed to be a deliciously depraved sex club, when Englert’s Camille shows more impatience than sex, all the wriggling, mostly naked bodies are strewn about and everything becomes bland .

It’s one thing that Pascal and Camille treat those around them like pawns in the game, with meaningless objects being used and discarded with only sporadic guilt. Dangerous Liaisons ‘ is wrong in that it does the same thing to all characters, including Pascal and Camille. In pursuit of pleasure, the show takes plot twist after plot, occasionally finding some plot in its handsome costumes and lavish sets. More often, however, it just tramples on any chance of getting a real, lasting feeling.



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