Photo: ‘The Resort’
Don’t Fix it if it Ain’t Broke
Admittedly when I first saw the poster online announcing ‘The Resort’ the newest show now streaming on Peacock, I thought I was having a bad case of deja vu. I mean a show set in a tropical vacation environment created by Andy Siara and starring Cristin Milioti, the show screamed similarities to the indie hit ‘Palm Springs.’Luckily, ‘The Resort’ manages to play out as its own, original idea. It is a bit heavier on the drama and suspense as opposed to the lighter-hearted yet still introspective ‘Palm Springs.’
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‘The Resort’ wastes no time in introducing us to Emma, played by Cristin Milioti, and Noah (William Jackson Harper) who are a married couple celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary in Mexico. We quickly learn that the couple is having a bit of trouble, going through a lull period in their marriage with Emma even going so far as to take an online quiz that’s the main thesis is to determine whether or not you should leave your partner. Needless to say, this is not exactly their honeymoon.
As the couple become increasingly more withdrawn from one another, Emma uncovers an old Motorola-style flip phone in the woods and upon charging it and removing its SIM card, finds herself embroiled hot on the tail of a mystery regarding two missing resort guests from a nearby, plot-justified abandoned resort. The conceit of the show lies here, in the fun adventure of uncovering the mystery of the missing tourists, who disappeared fifteen years earlier. The deeper Emma becomes in the mystery, naturally, the more skeptical Noah becomes. At a time in their relationship when the last thing they need is to keep secrets from one another, she is doing just that.
A fun plot device the show incorporates to the end of the pilot, however, is the failing couple forming a partnership to track down the missing tourists together. Where a lesser show or film would see one member of the spousal team withhold information and drive a deeper stake in their relationship, the show’s writers navigate the couple’s journey as partners in crime which is an interesting choice to have them rebuild their marriage together. A tip of the cap to him and his creative direction to go the unconventional route as he has shown the ability to do thus far in his previous work, and take on this challenge of finding a different way to go about telling a familiar, yet original story.
‘The Resort’ – Vacation TV is So In Right Now
After the success of ‘The White Lotus’ last year on HBO Max, it’s hard not to compare the two series that both feature star-studded casts and an underlying thriller type of tension. The only main difference and I don’t mean this to sound disparaging, is that ‘The White Lotus’ had a great deal more to say about the world and the role of different people within it. That show works incredibly well because of the granular detail and character work put in to satirize the world of “resort” and vacation culture and the class disparity it allows to persist. It is totally fine that that is not the mission of ‘The Resort’, however, I did find myself wanting a bit more out of the characters of Emma and Noah.
After the first episode, the show really does seem to be reliant upon the chemistry and talent of its leads in Milioti and Harper. We as an audience quickly come to understand their hardship and sadness at the status of their relationship, but that alone is not worth driving their story.
The Peacock of it All
Continuing to constantly surprise with the scope and scale of their content, is a huge win for the streamer behind this project. From launching on the backs of small darlings like ‘Rutherford Falls’ to getting into the international market with shows like ‘Trigger Point’, Peacock is trying to carve out a space for itself amongst the frankly more high-profile streamers. ‘The Resort’ should feel like a win for them, the series feels like one that would play on HBO Max. The high-profile cast and young writer attached to deliver, doesn’t really scream Peacock, but then again the entire streaming world is up in the air right now.
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With times incredibly turbulent with HBO Max becoming folded into Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix trying to keep themselves afloat as a company despite their issues with producing good content and employing once great comedians who are now solely focused on harming others, why can’t Peacock make its move on the board? While it was definitely not advertised incredibly well and I genuinely feel like I may be one of the hundreds of people with a Peacock subscription (shoutout to Comcast for the free hookup!), the company does have a legitimate shot to make some noise in the streaming wars still yet to come. If they can capture projects like this and use the resources of Universal to help them get prime talent, there is no reason they should not be able to secure more subscribers. That will all depend on the quality of the content they are able to secure and produce in the coming months.
The first four episodes of ‘The Resort’ are streaming now on Peacock, and I encourage all to give it a spin if you have access to the streamer.
Stars: Cristin Milioti, William Jackson Harper, Nina Bloomgarden, Skyler Gisondo and Nick Offerman | Created By: Andy Siara | Directed By: Ben Sinclair, Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia and Ariel Kleiman |
By Mark Raymond
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Mark Raymond is a writer and screenwriter who believes himself to be the only person desiring to work in film who originated in New York and currently resides in Los Angeles. Mark was inspired to write from a young age and has always desired to connect and uplift others through his work, as those that motivated him did for him. Mark feels very strongly that the world could use a lot more positivity and optimism, and is therefore very aligned to the mission of The Hollywood Insider to not spread hate or gossip, but instead to build each other up and shine a positive light on anyone bold enough to put their heart and soul into a piece of art. In his writing, Mark aims to use his signature wit to highlight the severity of the more serious and pressing issues of our time, to shine a beacon of light through the darkness. A devoted ally to all, he seeks to inspire and use his platform to give a voice to the voiceless and let his readers know that while everything may not be great right now, one day it can and will be.