Brand New Cherry Flavor premiered on 13th August 2021 on Netflix. The series is created by Nick Antosca and Lenore Zion based on the novel of the same name by Todd Grimson. The 8 episode long series stars Rosa Salazar, Catherine Keener, Eric Lange, Manny Jacinto, and Jeff Ward.
Sex, Magic, Revenge, and Kittens
– Brand New Cherry Flavor review contains minor spoilers –
I cannot recall the last time I came across a series on Netflix that I could call mindfuck, engrossing, and riveting all at once. Undeniably, Brand New Cherry Flavor is one of the best Netflix series this year as it has so much going on and around it that you might as well need a minute or two to pause and sit back and ask yourself what the fuck just happened? There is a sense of surrealism in the series that adds to the flavor it aims to bring through.
Set in the early 90’s Hollywood, Brand New Cherry Flavor revolves around Lisa Nova (brilliantly played by Rosa Salazar), an aspiring filmmaker, who lands in L.A with her short film that baffles literally everyone who sees it. Upon her arrival to the state, she is called up to meet Lou Burke (Eric Lange), a renowned filmmaker who sees potential in Lisa and wants to invest in her as an artist and the film. But just when everything seems to be going perfectly fine, things hit a rough patch between Lisa and Lou forcing Lisa to take a drastic step that’ll change everyone’s lives around her including her own.
As Lisa is introduced to Boro who tells her that “I could kill someone for you,” after things go downhill, Lisa, alongside Boro, decides to put a curse on Lou, only to know that it is something that she can’t stop once it has started and it will only take away almost all she currently has.
It’s their own demons and trauma that end up becoming so big that they have no choice but to either surrender or fight head-on. In one of the scenes, Boro tells Lisa that there is something inside of her waiting to be out of her creativity and more that’ll be her fee and Lisa ends up barfing white kittens for the entire duration of the series.
Explaining what goes down in Brand New Cherry Flavor seems close to impossible as the series is so intricately designed with each element in it interdependent yet independent in its own suffering and conscious that the series can only be understood in parts upon viewing it. It takes unexpected turns and it feels as if the creators are ready to risk it and it works. The first episode of the series is quite simple and will get you feeling as if the series is about dreams and Hollywood. But as the series progresses to its first half it leaves you with a heavy chunk of information and visuals to process.
Brand New Cherry Flavor, in a certain manner, deconstructs and reconstructs the consciousness of its characters and takes viewers through those broken pieces that feature trauma, failure, exploitation, inner demons, lust, and more. And for a series that deals with such subject matter with a slight bit of social commentary, the series, surprisingly enough, is not depressing but rather dark, gore-filled, and lowkey scary, but mostly riveting.
In terms of its cast, the series features a brilliant cast ensemble that conveys everything the makers aim to with absolute perfection. Rosa Salazar as Lisa Nova is immaculate, she is strong and is ready to do whatever it takes. Considering that the plot revolves around her and she is the anchor to it all, the creators and Salazar do not go overboard with the character portrayal but rather it is more grounded in reality and it does feel real. Lisa’s suffering and demons feel almost too real no matter you have been through the same or not.
Furthermore, Catherine Keener as Boro is where the spells and magic come from in the series. From binding spells, zombie slaves, 900-year-old past, weird concoctions, and witchcraft everything roots from her character, and she is connected to Lisa. At several points, you might feel like you are straying away from what Boro signifies but eventually it all comes together when Salazar enters the scene. Eric Lange as Lou Burke brings to screen the power-play in the industry with absolute ruthless perfection. But what is amazing here is his character’s transition from god-complex to utter helplessness. Lange’s Lou is Salazar’s motive and rage that keeps her flame burning through 8-episodes.
Summing up, if you decide to watch Brand New Cherry Flavor you’re signing up for a series that might wanna make you puke at certain moments but yet will have you at the edge of your seat throughout, shocked and confused but utterly invested. Though it does seem like the series slows down by the end of it like taking a sudden dip but it’s one of the rare flaws in the series that can be overlooked considering everything else Brand New Cherry Flavor offers.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Only if I haven’t said enough already, Brand New Cherry Flavor is a must-watch and should be on your watchlist by now. The series has garnered positive reviews overall with a 7/10 IMDb rating and people are loving what Nick Antosca and Lenore Zion have created. The series has the right amount of everything.
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