Netflix’s ‘One of Us Is Lying’ is a mystery drama show that brings Karen M. McManus’ bestselling novel to screen. It is based on 5 students in detention, but only 4 survive. The series originally aired on Peacock. It is now streaming on Netflix worldwide.
One of Us Is Lying is a narrative about five high school students from various social backgrounds who end up in detention together. The film is like a sinister remake of The Breakfast Club.
Simon Kelleger was the school’s infamous outcast. He hated his classmates who always hid behind a mask. So he promised to always expose the truth and made a gossip app called ‘About That’.
This year he had 4 new targets, most of whom hadn’t made it to the app ever before; Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, and Nate. These are the same students who end up in detention with him. Simon hints that he knows secrets about all of them, but he ends up dying them before he can publish them.
After investigation, Detective Wheeler suspects that it might be one of the four other students who might have murdered their fellow classmate. The four students organize a Murder Club to track the actual perpetrator and prove their innocence. With police and media constantly harassing them, they spend more time together and learn that there’s more to each other than the mask they wear.
While the Murder Club is supposed to be the show’s main characters, Maeve, Bronwyn’s younger sister, ends up stealing their spotlight. Played by Melissa Collazo, she is a lovable character. With her clean humor and intelligence, she manages to grab everyone’s attention immediately away. Collazo has done a fantastic job bringing this figure to life.
Marianly Tejada, a 29-year-old actress, does an outstanding job at portraying a teen despite her age. Bronwyn was a sassy heroine who cared deeply for the people she loved, and Tejada has no trouble embodying these qualities.
Her chemistry with Nate’s character, the romantic interest, on the other hand, seems a little shaky. Their connection is strained and flimsy.
Cooper Van Grootel, who played Nate, does an incredible job expressing the emotions of a troubled young adolescent. His distant demeanor and caustic attitude complement the personalities of the other characters. The parts with his pet are gratifying and reveal the genuine him. Grootel has done an outstanding job conveying contrasting emotions.
Addy is supposed to be a shallow, passive heroine who gradually comes to terms with herself and learns to stand independently. However, the series falls short of capturing her development. Annalise Cochrane fails to capture the depth of the character despite being the ideal candidate for the part. She seems to portray two characters, one as a weak Addy from episodes 1 to 3 and an extraordinarily strong Addy for the rest of the series.
Cooper’s character, like Addy’s, lacks depth. The series does not adequately depict his self-discovery and the complexities of his relationship with his boyfriend. Chibuikem Uche, on the other hand, has done a fantastic job. It is difficult not to like him because of his sense of humor and easygoing demeanor.
McKenna, who plays Simon’s part, exudes boundless vigor. It’s a lot to take in in the first episode, but his subsequent flashback appearances feel a little more manageable, even though he remains shamelessly evil.
The show’s secondary characters provide a lot of the emotional punch. Janae, played by Jessica McLeod, is Simon’s only true friend, and she has a “burn it down” attitude for everyone from the foursome to Simon’s family to Simon himself.
‘One of us is lying’ is smart, slick, and entertaining, creating a well-crafted mystery by mixing ideas from the book while adding new parts to the plot. Early in episode one, it reveals some of the novel’s mysteries while teasing out clues that the book omitted, ensuring that it would fascinate viewers whether or not they have read the novel.
The Showrunner has a firm command of the murder mystery’s pacing, releasing twists and clues at a regular enough pace to keep the viewer’s attention from wandering too far but slowly enough for each new revelation to sink in. The biggest bombshells are delivered with care, and they tend to jumble the playing field just as the viewers or the characters are about to become too comfortable.
The show is virtually always in a gloomy, depressing mood, with few levities or raw suffering moments. The colors are lovely yet muted, and the performances are similarly restrained. These artistic decisions give the show an artificiality that feels appropriate for a program about individuals urgently trying to keep unpleasant truths about themselves hidden.
The characters in the film are very cliché. Even though it acknowledges this, Cliché trafficking isn’t the same as surpassing them. This mash-up results in a teen murder mystery series that is constantly watchable but never quite great. Even having a plotline that will appear highly obvious by the end, the series is entertaining and keeps us guessing.
The majority of the characters are shallow and lack substance. While the series attempts to convey that there is more to them, it falls short.
It only takes one episode to figure out what secrets our main characters are hiding. Even if they were exposed, they would appear too trivial to linger on and react to.
In addition, the series seeks to convey how scandalous sexuality and mental illness can be. The perpetrator’s mental illness is demonized to the extent that it appears to have played a role in the plot. Cooper’s sexuality is portrayed as immoral rather than a personal choice and struggle. Even Nate and Brownyn’s romance is too formulaic to be believed.
The plot meanders along at a leisurely pace, and the characters are easy to like, albeit not particularly engaging. However, without any remarkable eccentricities or deep insights, it’s a show that’s likely to fade from memory once the binge is through.