Netflix’s On the Verge (2021) Review: Your New Feminist Favorite

On the Verge is a Los Angeles-based web series that was recently released on Netflix. The show is created by Julie Delpy, a French American actor, most known for her work in Richard Linkletter’s Before trilogy. She worked on the show as a writer, director, and also one of the lead cast members. Other cast members include Sarah Jones, Alexia Landeau, Elisabeth Shue, Daphne Albert, and Mathieu Demy, among others.

The show consists of 12 short episodes in total, with all of them hitting the 30-minute mark. This brings the total watch time to somewhere over six hours, so not one you could potentially finish watching in one sitting, but the show will make you want to try it all the same.

Trailer for On the Verge

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The show revolves around four middle-aged best friends dealing with crises of all sorts. All of them have widely different occupations and different life structures, but the one thing they all have in common is an omnipotent mid-life crisis they all must work through.

Netflix describes it as:

Four women a chef, a single mom, an heiress and a job seeker dig into love and work, with a generous side of midlife crises, in pre-pandemic LA.

Via the Netflix Official Site

– This On the Verge review does not contain any spoilers –

Justine, Ell, Anne, and Yasmine have been friends for a long, long time. They’ve known each other since forever, but individually, they have rather bizarre lives. But then again, which of us doesn’t?

One of the first things you notice about On the Verge is how well it is written. Not just in terms of plot or character, but there’s a certain philosophic element with the dialogues you come to appreciate less than two episodes in. On the surface, all these families look perfect, but slowly as the series progresses, you realize just how dysfunctional they all really are.

A still from On the Verge featuring Alexia Landeau, Elizabeth Shue, Sarah Jones, and Julie Delpy.
A still from On the Verge featuring Alexia Landeau, Elizabeth Shue, Sarah Jones, and Julie Delpy.

Another part about the show that I certainly did not expect is its focus on every character in the way it did. It would be so very wrong to call this series American, even though it is set in LA. No, On the Verge is as french as it can get.

French cinema is perplexing and in the best way possible. It is riddled with parallels that may not make sense on paper but are near perfect on screen. Subtlety mixed in with a sheer loudness, humour with heart-wrenching tragedies, and somewhat conservative philosophy, but also simultaneously quite sexually explicit.

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There’s really not much to pick on with this show, except for the fact that there may be a little too much spoken french for a show that says it is American. It doesn’t pose as much of an issue, though; the subtitles should work just fine.

Final Verdict: On the Verge

If I had to use just one word to describe it, it would be this: brilliance. It isn’t so often that I am this taken by a piece of cinema, but On the Verge easily makes it on my Top Ten list. It’ll give you a new perspective in life while making you laugh just about anything. An absolute must-watch and should be perfect for a weekend watch.

On the Verge is now streaming on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

If I had to use just one word to describe On the Verge, it would be this: brilliance. It isn't so often that I am this taken by a piece of cinema, but On the Verge easily makes it on my Top Ten list.

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