The Changeling review: Frustrating drama tends to keep you hanging

The Changeling follows the fairytale story of the New York couple Apollo and Emma, which starts taking a horrifying turn after their marriage. The show is now streaming on Apple TV+.


In 2010, Apollo finds Emma in a library and is instantly taken by her. He doesn’t hesitate to ask her out. Even though Emma refuses, Apollo keeps asking Emma out until she says yes.

The two click and have dark stories of their own to share with each other. However, Emma is leaving for Brazil, and hence, she didn’t want to go out with Apollo and disappoint him later.

When Emma returns, she tells Apollo about a strange experience she had in Brazil. She met a woman near a haunted lagoon who asked her to make three wishes while tying a red thread around Emma’s wrist.

Emma is told that her three wishes will come true once this thread falls off. Apollo is brave enough to challenge this superstition by cutting the thread off and promising Emma that he will make those wishes come true by himself.

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What follows is Apollo and Emma’s world falling apart, and they find themselves on a journey to places they didn’t know existed in New York.


LaKeith Stanfield and Clark Backo give commendable performances as Apollo and Emma. Both show the desperation their characters have for protecting their loved ones in different ways.

Stanfield shows a more practical approach, and his reactions are everything that a normal person will show. Meanwhile, Backo’s character faces the supernatural more than often. Amidst the supernatural, the writing and Backo’s performance don’t fail to show that Emma is a mother who is willing to go to lengths for her child.

Backo also goes through quite a transformation where her character acts completely different by the end, and Backo leaves no stone unturned with her performance. Adina Porter and Alexis Louder both portray the same spirit that Backo does while playing Lillian.


The Changeling starts off really great as it individually establishes the stories set in two different times. It is good at introducing characters and making itself shine as a fairytale. The drama around witchcraft is also introduced at the right time.

The way Apollo and Emma’s lives fall apart keeps you curious about what’s happening all the time. The show makes it count when Apollo and Emma get individual episodes that tell the viewers the adventure they have been on or are going on.


The Changeling has this habit of running around in circles. There are many scenes that could have been avoided. When the characters have already mentioned one particular event, the show should keep it that way.

By showing that scene, the show kills its mystery or a sense of fear in a viewer’s mind, and when that scene doesn’t offer anything concrete, it becomes nothing but an extension.

The Changeling teases that it has a lot to offer, but all it does is keep the viewers hanging. What one is asking for, they never get in full measure. Everything is half-baked. The show further talks in riddles and gets you frustrated.


The Changeling brings a promising story, but when it comes to the details and revelations, it keeps a lot to itself, forcing viewers to speculate most of the time until it can offer something concrete. The viewers will be more frustrated than satisfied by what the story is offering here.

The Changeling
The Changeling review: Frustrating drama tends to keep you hanging 1

Director: Melina Matsoukas, Jonathan van Tulleken, Dana Gonzales, Michael Francis Williams, Solvan 'Slick' Naim

Date Created: 2023-09-08 12:30

Editor's Rating:

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