Where to watch: Streaming on Amazon Prime
Time: 8 episodes of 45-50 minutes each
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Regina Hall, Asher Keddie, Tiffany Boone, Bobby Cannavale
Nine Perfect Strangers is a drama about guests at a health and wellness retreat run by Masha (played by Nicole Kidman). A mysterious Russian woman, Masha turned her life around after a near-death experience. Now she runs Tranquillium, a wellness resort that is promising to heal the mental and emotional scars of its guests. She is picky – not everyone who applies to attend Tranquillium is able to get in.
This time round, joining her and her team is a motley group of deeply scarred strangers. There is Frances (played by Melissa McCarthy) a failed writer betrayed in love. There is Tony (played by Bobby Cannavale) a depressed and failed football star unable to connect with his family. Then there are the Marconis – father, Napoleon (played by Michael Shannon), mother Heather (played by Asher Keddie) and daughter Zoe who are grappling with the suicide of Zoe’s twin brother. Luke Evans plays Lars, an investigative journalist, who is at Tranquillium to investigate its mysterious owner and her methods. But he has demons of his own to deal with. Carmel (played by Regina Hall) is grappling with a cheating husband and low self confidence. Ben and Jessica, a couple looking to rekindle their relationship, round up the disparate group.
Masha’s healing protocol is to micro dose her guests with psilocybin (aka magic mushroom) and other assorted psychedelics. The jury is still out on the use of psychedelic substances in treating anxiety and mental health issues. However, many people have reported being helped immensely by microdosing on these substances. Will Masha’s methods help these strangers regain the balance in their lives or will the relationship dynamics implode? While the limited series is well worth a watch, in certain parts, it tends to slow down instead of keeping up the pace.