Television Reviews

SERVANT: A Gripping Psychological Mystery

Earlier this year, I was desperate for a new series to binge. After scrolling the Apple TV+ catalog several times, I had always ignored one in particular called Servant. Perhaps it was due to its minimal marketing, but I had no idea what the show entailed. I’m somewhat glad I went in knowing so little because it immediately became a story I was consumed by.

Servant follows Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean (Toby Kebbell) Turner, a wealthy couple who hire a live-in nanny for their infant son Jericho. Their situation is an unorthodox one, as Jericho is a doll. A coping mechanism after the death of their child. Dorothy is all but removed from reality, heading back to work and carrying on as if nothing happened.

They end up hiring Leanne (Nell Tiger Free), an unassuming young woman with very little known about her. Sean is quite taken aback by how committed Leanne is to treating the doll as if he’s real, and her other peculiar traits begin to grow suspicious to him.

It’s not long after Leanne’s arrival that bizarre things begin to occur for the family. It leads Sean to dig into her background, which will see him uncovering even more mysteries.

Created by Tony Basgallop, and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, Servant is one of the most compelling series I’ve seen in a long while. There is a great nonlinear story that divulges just enough information at the right time, to continue to shock and resonate with viewers. And it certainly keeps you hooked at the end of every episode.

With the majority of Servant taking place from within the home of Sean and Dorothy, the series does a great job utilizing the space and filling it with characters that bring new energy and tone to every scene. Kebbell stands out in this and the dynamic between him and Ambrose shows a realistic look at coping after loss. Rupert Grint, who plays Dorothy’s eccentric younger brother, offers a lot of comedic chaos to the very dark series.

There’s a fantastic psychological element for both the characters and the audience. It teases just enough of something supernatural, without confirming if that’s the case. So you’re left gripped by the mystery, unable to pinpoint what’s going on.

Watch the first two seasons of Servant on Apple TV+


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