Review: Dear Edward - Season One
Follows Edward, a 12-year-old boy who survives but lost his family in a devastating commercial plane crash, as he tries to make sense of life along with a group of others affected, and new friendships, romances and communities are formed.
Colin O’Brien & Taylor Schilling, Connie Britton, Carter Hudson, Amy Forsyth, Dario Ladani Sanchez, Ivan Shaw, Khloe Bruno, Brittany S. Hall, Maxwell Jenkins, Audrey Corsa, Douglas M. Griffin, Anna Uzele, Idris Debrand, Eva Ariel Binder, Jenna Qureshi.
Dear Edward’s devastating concept & talented cast is more than enough to build lots of anticipation towards the series. Adapting the critically acclaimed book of the same title, many fans have been waiting patiently for the series to arrive.
Unfortunately, I thought season one was as uninteresting as it could possibly be. It’s not hollow of any great technical aspects, but it’s far too dull and lacklustre in storytelling that it’s the biggest drag on TV currently. With such a heartbreaking premise, it’s pilot episode does a poor job at conveying any kind of emotion or attachment to characters, as the structure is so messy it becomes almost impossible to follow and difficult to associate each character dynamic with one another. We are introduced to characters whom aren’t victims of the plane crash, but it’s communication of that is terribly conveyed, I struggled to figure out that character’s relation to one on the plane. It relies too heavily on everyone’s specific concentration to every single detail in episode 1 for the rest of the series & remember anyone’s name. It often introduces characters into the story so randomly, there’s no attachment or depth to them to care and be engaged.
On a technical level, it’s hard to call it poor. While the colour grading is rather dull & the camera work is rather basic, it never became too distracting and it often does its job in what it wants to convey. I believe the other obvious flaw is its lack of depth into the politics, it’s rather political and it’s never tries to do anything interesting with it. As it’s done hundreds of times during the season, I relies on the audience to naturally care for the politics and understanding of the politics. This is often annoying because it’s a main character trait to one of the lead characters, her story is both interesting with her relationship and dynamic between Kojo & his niece. And incredibly dull and avoid of any investment in her arc. It’s weak dialogue was far too distracting to become invested in many moments & if it wasn’t for its impressive score and sound design, it’d feel unwatchable.
The biggest praise I can give the series is how terrific the cast is, particularly Taylor Schilling who I thought was outstanding. Colin O'Brien was lovely & brought some complexity to Edward, delivering a well rounded performance. As well as Connie Britton who brought some great comedic touches to the series, lightening the mood and helping with the series investment. The rest of the cast are great too, but their characters are badly written and the storytelling is far too messy to care about many aspects of the narrative. Without the occasional funny moment that helped massively, it’s one of the most boring series in a while.
Dear Edward is one of my biggest regrets so far this year. Without its terrifically talented cast and gorgeous music, it would be one of the most disappointing dramas in recent memory. Balancing far too many boring, repetitive characters and storylines that rely on the audience’s prior knowledge to subject matters to care.