A lot of viewers may be willing to overlook a weak story-line in favour of good sex scenes, however the 2023 Netflix series ‘Obsession’ disappoints on both fronts. Spread over 4 episodes, the series follows Charlie Murphy playing the protagonist Anna Barton, whose steamy affair with her boyfriend’s father William Farrow (Richard Armitage), leads to dangerous consequences.
Based on a 1991 novel called “Damage” by Josephine Hart, the story has large plot-holes and the dialogues sound blandly book-ish. The chemistry between the two leads is close to non-existent and makes you want to fast-forward all the sex scenes – a rather unfortunate consequence for what is clearly an erotic drama. Richard Armitage’s William Farrow is a renowned surgeon, whose character is so one-dimensional and dumb, they should’ve just given him a simpler profession to match his IQ. At least Anna Barton gets childhood trauma and past baggage to blame for her terrible behavior, but the wealthy privileged William has no excuses for being a selfish, hurtful father and husband.
Besides the lukewarm chemistry between Charlie Murphy and Richard Armitage, what makes “Obsession” a painfully frustrating watch is the fact that it’s made to sound like a horror-thriller throughout it’s runtime. The music keeps making viewers anticipate a sinister twist, one that never comes. There are some surprising revelations in the tale, but not deserving of the excessive creepy music where Netflix subtitles declare “suspenseful music playing”. The melodies scream “these guys are doing bad things”, like Anna and William are two demons going at it and need a priest to end their evil behavior. Although, like most Netflix productions, the cinematography is well-done, the sex scenes aren’t lewd but are as mundane as watching animals copulating on National Geography. And while National Geography’s content is educational, “Obsession” just falsely perpetuates the notion that if a woman does it with the “right person”, she can orgasm within three minutes of vaginal intercourse. Ha ha ha.
Supporting actors Rish Shah and Indira Varma were commendable in their cameos, but their parts aren’t enough to keep things interesting. Ironically, Episode 4 was the most watchable, it had the least amount of sex and dealt with the aftermath of Anna and Richard’s torrid affair. I really wanted to stop streaming after an episode and a half but kept pushing myself until the end just to see what happens. Really not worth it.
Stream the series on the Netflix if you want to watch it anyway.