Compulsively watched all 8 episodes over the weekend. One of the most chilling biopics ever. Think three times now before consenting to go under the knife.
The most frightening aspect is of course the systemic corruption in the medical system that allowed the situation of this surgeon to exist at all.
Interesting subtext too about the role of parenting in shaping personality. The endless Bible quoting of an unsupportive father in the boy's early years and youth comes across as at least a questionable way to raise children. No wonder a child may develop into a sociopath when constantly told how he never measures up to anything. By the time the father seems to become supportive it's too late and "seems" is the key word here. What parent tells an adult offspring that jail's the best place for them after all? Not a whisper about the possibility of failed parenting but more harping on hardwood floors and furniture...see it to find out what this means!
The three actors in the centre of the story are brilliant. The ever brilliant Slater just keeps getting better and better with age. And Baldwin casts off his loudmouth bad boy reputation to turn in an incredibly low key but nuanced performance. He's a real surprise here.
But kudos and heaps of credit must go to Joshua Jackson for accepting the role of Dr Death: ugly, unglamorous, unsexy, sociopathic, narcissistic, downright a garbage heap of a human being. Only a brave brave actor would throw themselves into such a role with the commitment Jackson has done. Especially in the last couple of episodes when he's physically transformed and all the bravado has vanished from his behaviour, Jackson is a screen presence to behold. He makes the most of the "Kubrick eyes" (look it up if you don't know) facial expression to communicate the depths into which his existence has sunk. We watch a loathsome character totally mesmerised by Jackson's acting. Superb. Just superb.
Watch it for the urgent theme that's at the core of the series, but above all watch it to relish these three central performances. Just superb.
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