The One premiered on 12th March 2021 on Netflix. Created by John Marrs, the series is based on his novel by the same name. The 8-episode long series stars Hannah Ware, Dimitri Leonidas, Diarmaid Murtagh, Zoë Tapper, Lois Chimimba, Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Jana Pérez, and Stephen Campbell Moore alongside other cast members.
The One is set in a society where DNA matchmaking is a legit thing and people, married or single, are going after it to get ‘matched’ even if it means leaving your well-placed marriages and relationships aside. Who is behind this? Rebecca Webb (Hannah Ware), the CEO and face of The One, an app that intends to match you to the love of your life through DNA analysis. As she says in a TED Talk-style conversation that she’s tired of crappy dates and unsatisfying sex, and thinks matching via DNA is the very best way to guarantee you have a great relationship with the perfect person. She reassures that she did it herself, trotting out her perfect partner Ethan (Wilf Scolding) as evidence.
The One is a huge success and why won’t it be? It’s like getting customized partners for people! But soon after, the death of a maybe-old flame but ‘good friend’ and platonic roommate of Rebecca’s named Ben catches the attention of the investigators with the possibility of foul play. And the entire circle of power, money, greed, emotions, and crime then plays.
There is something absolutely attractive in The One that when you start watching it you feel hooked. The idea of the series seems to be perfect and scary and is good enough to keep you on edge. It is like mixing science and romance, not in the geek but steamy and intimate manner, but it losses its hold really quick. The One tries to cover a lot of different aspects in a limited amount of time and is all over the place making the chunks of the series heavy to consume and process.
This being one of the major setbacks of the series, it also tries to pose a critique of relationships and ethics and more which adds more to the uncalled for and not-so-properly mapped-out way of the series. The leading lady and the mastermind Rebecca’s story is given to us in bits and bytes which denies the possibility for us to make sense of her action in the longer run, posing her as a cunning lady in power (cliche!). There is a 2-year leap in her story and these 2 years are probably where she lost and found and changed but this aspect is underdeveloped.
What happened during the last two years? Did the loss of Ben do anything to mould her into the person she is today? We’re afraid we’re not going to get all of these crucial details until we’ve been through with the entire season, and there doesn’t seem to be enough substance to lock or hook us in, to get us to watch till the very end.
With this said, the other 2 parallel storylines starring Mark and Hannah and Kate and Sophie are bland and you won’t find yourself connecting with any of these characters. Their actions lack motive in an overall scheme and are more about adding distraction to the main storyline trying to form a complex knot of intertwined relationships but that just doesn’t happen.
There are several steamy sequences in the series but with no emotions invested, you might as well skip through them in search of Ben’s truth. For a thriller, The One seriously lacks the thrill and you will not find yourself invested in it no matter how hard you try!
Stream It or Skip It
SKIP IT! The One in terms of its idea is intriguing. DNA matchmaking seems like an unethical and scary thing but what if it was real? Will you love your beloved for your match or miss the perfection of love and intimacy with your mess? Oh, the emotional wreck. The One is highly underdeveloped and misses out on its own potential making it not the one for you.
The One is now streaming on Netflix .
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