Creator: Lisa Rubin
Starring: Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup
Length: 10 x 1hr Episodes
(N.B. This review may contain spoilers)
Netflix’s newest original, Gypsy, offers 10 hours of an exciting, sultry journey into the life of New York psychiatrist Dr Jean Holloway (Naomi Watts), who blurs the ethical lines of her profession to lead a double life, creating her questionable alter-ego Diane Hart. When first introduced to the character of Jean Holloway in the pilot, she leads a seemingly perfect life: a successful career, living a suburban Connecticut lifestyle with her husband (Billy Crudup) and their young daughter. Despite this seemingly perfect middle-class life however, Jean yearns for more excitement and perhaps unpredictability, and creates a double life of manipulation and deceit that spirals out of control.
After beginning to feel disconnected from the suburban life she leads, Jean embarks on an amoral journey, infiltrating her patients’ lives to enter into a dark descent of questionable relationships, manipulation and a serious risk of exposure that could end her career.
Though dark and twisted, the audience still feels a sense of empathy towards Jean’s character, despite her malicious and manipulative ways – reinforcing her definition as a classic anti-hero.
It’s hard to put Gypsy into a genre, at times it seems like a crime drama due to the constant shift in pace, however, though it would be logical to place it under the umbrella of a ‘psychological thriller’, it doesn’t lend itself to the gripping suspense synonymous with that genre.
It may come as a surprise to hear that Gypsy is writer and creator Lisa Rubin’s first credited project. One of Gypsy’s major strengths is its breadth of multilayered characters and sub-plots, something Rubin should certainly be applauded for. Though at times the script is slightly cringe-worthy, it doesn’t come across as such as obviously as it could have, thanks to the show’s performances. Overall, the performances in Gypsy were good. Watts excelled in her multi-layered performance, and her on-screen chemistry with Crudup was dynamic.
Before concluding this review, a mention must be given to the show’s opening title; Stevie Nicks’ solo rendition of the Fleetwood Mac song ‘Gypsy’, a haunting yet exciting opening song, which, lyrically, does cleverly mimic themes in Jean’s storyline in the show.
Gypsy has certainly divided opinion amongst critics, and amongst Netflix fans. Though slightly lacklustre at times, overall the show succeeds in providing a great binge-worthy watch with flare (as expected of any Netflix original, perhaps). Though not a gripping cinematic or suspense-filled experience, it was still an engaging storyline in its own right, and thus I still look forward to what is to come in Season 2.