What’s more complicated than love? Not much, it turns out, even with a scientifically proven “soul mate”. Based on John Marrs’s psychological thriller of the same name, The One is Netflix’s latest eight-part series, written and produced by BAFTA-award winner Howard Overman. Set in the near future with an overarching Black-Mirror-esque narrative, the show interlaces dystopian tropes against a backdrop of deceit, adultery and murder. With its addictive structure and emotive cast, the production captures the complexity of human relationships and expectations while simultaneously leaving viewers on the edge of their seat with mystery and intrigue.
The plot revolves around the shrewd genius Rebecca (Hannah Ware) and her company that promises that your perfect match can be found with some DNA, letting anyone gain a fairytale happy ending. However, the consequences of real emotions and the police’s discovery of a body threaten the protagonist’s lifetime work. As couples fight to come to terms with their new reality – and Rebecca’s web of lies slowly starts to reveal itself – a complex tug-of-war of morality takes place. Between continuous reveals of the lead’s dark history and the scandalously dramatic character arcs of the matched couples, it’s hard not to get whiplash from all of Overman’s exciting twists and turns.
Although some moments are predictable and accompanied by an out-of-place pop score, this programme generally stands as a unique drama with a dynamic narrative structure that sports strong performances, with believable chemistry portrayed by the entire cast. Ware’s performance is especially striking, perfectly capturing a cold-CEO demeanour that slowly starts to crack as a desperation for love takes hold. Her scenes with Matheus (Albano Jeronimo) are captivating, as both actors bounce off each other’s energy and emotionally guide one another through some of the show’s most heartbreaking scenes.
Contemporary dating is painful and the idea of a quick, guaranteed solution is appealing. However, The One demonstrates that the reality of relationships is never simple. Love is unpredictable, messy and bittersweet at best. The detailed and down-to-earth writing of the series’s script feels realistic and relatable as it unpacks the human psyche in a world where technology should have all the answers. With its deep characters and exciting plot, it makes for perfect binge-worthy TV and proves to be a new standout amongst the dystopian genre.
The One is released on Netflix on 12th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for The One here: