Servant was one of the first titles with which Apple he dove into television series production a couple of years ago. Not that its breakthrough in the market has greatly disturbed its rivals, but Servant is one of the most followed by the new apple platform. Little by little its legion of followers has been growing and, without realizing it, it has become one of the first series of the platform to reach its renewal for a third season. The audiences of the second installment, just finished, have doubled those of the first, according to Apple data. The mixture de horror and psychological thriller Half an hour long, it has been trapping its fans in its web, although it continues to be one of those catalog gems that go unnoticed by large audiences. Something that, on the one hand, is also to be appreciated, because as soon as someone put it on the map, it would be bombarded by hundreds of reviews with spoilers that would annoy the surprising twists of the plot throughout its episodes. Servant is the hidden series, not only because it is one of those cult titles with less diffusion than they deserve, but also because it delves into the subject of occult and paranormal going beyond The Curse of Hill House.
The producer is M. Night Shyamalan, that filmmaker who in his day was called to be a new King Midas of Hollywood. An unfortunate accumulation of hits in his career left his prestige very touched. Some of us still hopefully attend some of its new releases to see if it surprises us with a twist like that of The sixth Sense. A secret that today would be very difficult to keep. Servant is a series created by the British screenwriter Tony Basgallop, but it has some episodes directed by Shyamalan himself. And as if that were not enough, there are others that his daughter has made, Ishana, 21 years old. His imprint is so present in the production that it could easily be considered as belonging to his cinematographic universe. The series takes place in Philadelphia, like almost all movies directed by Shyamalan. That house with infinite wooden stairs in which the plot takes place could well be the one in which a small Haley Joel Osment I saw dead people.
Servant does not resort to easy scares, but his thing is to create disturbing atmospheres. A young couple lives in that house who hires a nanny to live with them, taking care of their newborn baby. From the first moment, we are very clear that something very disturbing is happening around that baby. And part of the fun is precisely unraveling what happened and what is the story behind that child. The family has been targeted by a strange sect, coming from the heart of the deep America. Its members are the kind of people who whip each other to drive away any pleasant memories and who hang strange straw crucifixes on the walls.
Lauren Ambrose leads the cast of the series, in his first major role since ending Two Meters Underground. Her character is that of a television reporter, Dorothy Turner, whose personal traumas are about to plunge her into madness. His gaze often borders on histrionics, as if he had had a bad trip of hallucinogenic substances after that mythical sequence with which the HBO series closed fifteen years ago. Behind that trip to madness hides a deep family trauma. Her husband, Sean, is played by Toby Kebbel, a regular chef on television programs, somewhat self-centered like all those who take part in such shows, but it is he who seems to put the point of view of good sense in the situations that the family faces. Is it a coincidence that the moment the plot begins, the two of them have lost some of the most basic senses for each of their respective jobs? She, the head; he, the sense of taste. The series recovers another interpreter who did not lavish himself much since the great success of his career, Ruppert Grint, in a role far removed from the comic counterpoint that put the harry potter saga. On this occasion he embodies the grumpy brother of the protagonist and with some addiction problem. Redheads to power. The role of the haunting babysitter is for Nell Tiger Free, an actress we already saw in the first seasons of Game of Thrones playing Princess Myrcella. Character who, by the way, changed interpreter before suffering the fate of many of those who went through the saga of George R. R. Martin. She is called to have some of the most disturbing moments and knows how to give off all the mystery that her character needs.
Like many of the series that are premiering these months, the second season of Servant was shot in the months after the lockdown. The sanitary restrictions have not been seen in the argument, since a good part of the plot takes place in that big house in Philadelphia on whose walls its characters seem to have gone through endless torments. Very few scenarios outside the house have we seen in these new episodes, which has served as a kind of bubble for the cast members. The outdoor scenes have been solved through the formula of video calls between the characters, a narrative resource that has become very common in these times. In the second season, the plot had a very Lost moment, with the appearance of a videotape in Betamax system in which the cult leader gives instructions on how to proceed in one of his strange rituals. They almost look like those old footage in Super 8 that the scientists of the DHARMA Initiative They recorded on that distant island where planes disappeared.
The second season has turned the lives of all the protagonists upside down, then in a final cliffhanger, leaving things exactly as they were. We have returned to the starting point, but we have delved deeper into the psyche of all the characters and understood a little better that strange religious cult that tries to take away what they most want. Some have seen this new installment as transitional episodes, but the truth is that the stage has been set for the great war that is coming in a future third season. Have we reached the end?
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.