By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
An upbeat song plays in the background while a doctor meticulously saws the insides of a man, a young woman looks on excitedly, while two others are horrified on the sides. Some might think it’s morbid but for many others the juxtaposition of a peppy track against the gory scene might make for a ‘fun’ start to the 2022 Netflix series ‘The Imperfects’. College students Juan (Iñaki Godoy), Abbi (Rhianna Jagpal) and Tilda (Morgan Taylor Campbell) gain mutant-like powers due to an experimental gene therapy gone wrong. The trio band together with the brilliant Dr Sydney Burke (Italia Ricci) to track down Dr Alex Sarkov (Rhys Nicholson), the man responsible for turning them into ‘monsters’. But can the scientist undo their side-effects?
Let’s talk ‘powers’/’side-effects’ first. Iñaki Godoy plays comic-book creator Juan and turns into a flesh-eating Chupacabra; Rhianna Japal’s Abbi aspires to be a scientist but finds herself turned into a succubus – she releases pheromones that instantly attract people to do her bidding; Morgan Taylor Campbell’s Tilda is a singer, who gains super-hearing and Banshee-like screaming abilities. Their powers aren’t all that exciting, so it’s understandable for them to want a ‘cure’ out of Alex Sarkov. Rhys Nicholson is exceedingly entertaining as the child prodigy turned crazy scientist Sarkov, he’ll remind viewers of Sheldon Cooper from ‘Big Bang Theory’, except that Sarkov is a lot meaner, funnier and socially intelligent. He is the kind of villain you’d love to see more of. Italia Ricci’s Dr Sydney Burke seems a little too good to be true, making one want to keep an eye out for her… so any surprises from her character doesn’t feel too unexpected.
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The first three episodes are paced well, with generous doses of action, blood, humor and mystery, but ultimately the plot gets predictable; thankfully, even though the background music isn’t exceptional, it keeps the mood buoyant. The creators use a lot of famous songs and bands, from fan favorite Taylor Swift to indie rock band Alt J, so viewers will get to hear a lot of familiar sounds throughout the runtime. As far as the principal trio is concerned, their performances are a mixed bag. Rhianna Japal is rather awkward as Abbi, especially in the first episode, and takes some time to get into the skin of her character. Iñaki Godoy is adorable as the Teen Juan, however, he isn’t able to shoulder emotionally charged dialogues. Morgan Taylor Campbell packs an almost perfect performance as the ‘devil-may-care’ Tilda, who is a softie at heart; even though her character borders on being a bit of a cliche.
What I quite liked about ‘The Imperfects’ is the fact that the show also infuses some horror elements in the story, especially with a sub-plot involving Dr Sydney Burke who suffers recurrent nightmares. The makers slip in some solid jump scares in there. The series starts to go slightly downhill episode 7 onward. With the right kind of snipping, it could’ve perfectly been wrapped up in eight episodes, instead of the rather long-drawn ten episodes. While there isn’t much romance, the little there is – not interesting. For example, Abbi is ace (‘yay’ for asexual representation) and the creators decide she should’ve something going on with another character, but the romantic plot was boring and contrived.
Like its title, ‘The Imperfects’ is quite flawed, a lot of things don’t even make sense, but it’s a decent one time watch. The best thing about the show is that while it’s not ‘laugh out loud’ kind of hilarious, there’s generous sprinkling of jokes across all episodes and viewers get light moments even in the tensest climactic scenes. ‘The Imperfects’ is no X-Men, or Umbrella Academy, but worth streaming for those who are looking for some comic-book style misadventures of three misfits.
It’s a 6.5/10 from me.
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