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Homeentertainment'Saint X' Review: Hulu Adaptation of Acclaimed Alexis Schaitkin Novel Fails

'Saint X' Review: Hulu Adaptation of Acclaimed Alexis Schaitkin Novel Fails

In a moment of emotional crisis, Allison (Siduchovny) blurts out the doubts she’s been weighing on her about the stranger in the bathroom: “Am I normal?” she sobs. Despite the stranger assuring her that she is not, Saint X has a more nuanced view.

Given the premise, the series seems to be a fairly standard take on the dead white girl narrative, with Alison’s eventual unexplained death becoming the mystery at the heart of the plot. But with 2000 Alexis Schaitkin’s novel, it upends these tropes by offering a kaleidoscopic perspective on reconsidering the types of stories we tell . Expect tragedies like this one, and who will be at the center of them – or what it’s aimed at, anyway. Unfortunately, the accumulation of small missteps leaves a profound subversion of the familiar feel of the story and, instead, more of a replication of it. Holy X

Bottom Line Ambitious ideas are squandered by unambitious execution.

Broadcast date: Wednesday, April 26 (hulu) Cast: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Josh Bonzie, Jayden Elijah, West Duchovny, Bre Francis, Kenlee Anaya Townsend, Betsy Brandt, Michael Park Creator: Leila Gerstein

Adapted for television by Leila Gerstein, Saint X unfolds primarily across two timelines. In the early 18 years, the Thomases family – father Bill (Michael Park), mother Mia (Betsy Brandt), age 7 Claire (Kenlee Anaya Townsend) and 21 year old Alison – come to the titular island for a week Family fun, their dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Alison goes missing the night before their scheduled return to Westchester. Meanwhile, in the 2020 years, Claire – now played by Emily, played by Alicia Debnam-Kay – who happens to get into a cab one night driven by Clive Richardson (Josh Bunzi), a man suspected of killing Alison but never convicted. Over the next few months, she began stalking him and then creeping into his life, increasingly consumed by the idea that only he could give her the answers about her sister that had kept her Elusive.

Of its two halves, the Saint X has far better resort material. While its description of the titular island lacks the rich detail that makes Schaitkin’s version jump off the page, it benefits from a curious cast of supporting characters surrounding the central player. It also shows an invigorating willingness to delve into uncomfortable conversations about race, class, and gender fueled by the unbalanced dynamics between privileged tourists and hotel workers who cater to their every need Evoked – pina cola and towel, and the thrill of a flirtatious smile or the ego boost of a glowing compliment. Dillis (Pariah), who directed the first episode, showed a firm grasp of the perspective switching back and forth between guest and help, and finding The silent but stressful glance that passes between them or between them.

The queen of the guest set is Alison, played by Duchovny, with a drawl that makes the character somehow look Seems like she chews gum all the time, even though she never actually does. Beautiful and outgoing, Alison tends to inspire adoration, lust, resentment, or a combination of both in those she meets.

She is also, we soon learn, deeply insecure and deeply forgetful—a white girl so determined to prove herself different from the other white guests that she Can’t see it’s this instinct that makes her so just another ignorant white guy. On the bus ride in, she yelled at her parents for their “hypocrisy” of booking luxury holidays on “an island where people don’t even have a sturdy roof”. Until the driver mildly replies “Miss, on our island people are fed and happy,” she even seems to be considering whether she’s projecting her condescending assumptions onto a person and place she doesn’t know. all.

Her ultimate effort to get an “authentic” experience on her vacation trip is her quest for Clive’s glamorous best friend Edwin (a luminous Jay). The romantic pursuit of Elijah. But if Edwin sees through Alison’s hypocrisy (“She’s the funniest white person you’ll ever meet. So serious. So self-righteous,” laughs his friend after witnessing one of their interactions), he has Her own reasons for pursuing her relationship are revealed over the course of the season’s eight-hour chapters. Still, the obvious fact that Edwin and Clive were among the last to show up with Alison casts a shadow over them long after the local police chief has ruled Alison’s death an accident. An air of doubt, just as sadness continues to haunt Emily decades after Alison’s passing.

In Emily and Clive, Saint X plays two characters whose lives are completely derailed by Alison’s death, And understandably powerless but the questions and regrets that have haunted them ever since have haunted them. (Clive sometimes appears as a goat woman stalking his nightmares, taking unnecessary detours into full-on horror.) But past scenes take care to flesh out characters beyond their current predicament—for example, frequent flashbacks from Egypt The formative moments of Devin and Clive’s childhood – present-day sequences feel artless in their single-mindedness. Clumsy dialogue and overbearing musical cues take Saint X from “badWhite Lotus” to “badWhite Lotus” Law” & order: SVU. ”

“I want him to trust me.” Like he made her trust him,” Emily declared in one of the show’s more overtly moaning lines. But the stomach-churning chemistry between Clive and Emily was overshadowed by the episode’s focus on fleshing out Ellie. Spoiled by interest in the scars left by Mori after his death. Bonzie is probably Saint X the most moving performance as the older Clive, a man crushed by despair who resembles He walks through his life like a ghost. However, the need to cover up what he really did that night necessarily keeps him at arm’s length for much of the series. Meanwhile, Debnam-Carey does a good job of regulating Emily’s gradual Aggravated, but often reduced to yelling about the same thoughts, nothing important but finding out why Alison died.

Her obsessive quest for answers seems to be right Comments on the way stories like Alison’s are consumed and what we expect from them. Saint X does end up with a definitive answer that feels like Thoughtful and deliberately anticlimactic. The final act of the series has absolutely nothing to do with Alison and is meant to change our understanding of the type of stories we’ve been watching. But it feels a little too little, a little too late. As it turns out, it’s a Alison-centric story first – and while it may not be as utterly ordinary as Alison herself fears, it also fails to escape the constraints of its genre.



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