Nights In

The netflix binge: bloodline

A seemingly idyllic family, the Rayburns are the subjects of viewing. The family are very much the who’s who of their small community, and indeed there is something almost Kennedy-esque about them. 
 
There is a dark secret lurking under the surface of the Rayburn clan though, it haunts parents Robert and Sally and their four grown up children. The question is, will it prove to be the undoing of their lives in paradise?
 
The Rayburns run a top class resort which attracts plenty of guests. Their son John is a police officer, his brother Kevin owns a boat yard while their daughter Meg is a successful lawyer. 
 
They all have happy relationships, and the extended Rayburn family regularly meets up for dinners, parties and even afternoon cocktails. Everything appears to be perfect right? 
 
We’re forgetting the fourth child though, the prodigal son Danny. His return brings the dark past the family thought they had buried back to life. 
 
Danny, the eldest son has been in exile for years in Miami. John, his only sibling who appears to have any time for him refers to him as a “F*** up.” This tells us everything we need to know about the family’s feelings toward Danny.
 
However, we’re left constantly wondering whether Danny has been the victim of lifelong misfortune or is genuinely evil. One thing is for sure, he brings out the worst in the family. 
 
From the very first episode the lives of the family start to unravel, beatings, relationship troubles, and money worries all begin to emerge. 
 
The Rayburns aren’t the only ones with troubles however, there is something very bad happening in their hometown, and this adds to the tense and eerie atmosphere that’s present throughout Bloodline. 
 
The thirteen episodes are all in and around fifty minutes and this allows for plenty of time to build huge suspense. 
 
In his first starring role since Friday Night Lights, Kyle Chandler provides an engaging performance as golden boy John. The impressive display earned him an Emmy nomination. However, another Emmy nominee from Bloodline, Ben Mendelhson steals the show as Danny. 
 
The most complex character, Danny will have you feeling sorry for him one minute and absolutely loathing him the next. This is due to Mendelhson’s expert portrayal of this mysterious and complex personality. 
 
Sissy Spacek also puts in a performance of note as matriarch Sally, who desperately tries to keep the family together in their darkest hour. Flash forwards are used to piece together the story as it develops, and while it seems like the plot is revealed very early on, there are many twists and turns. 
 
Chandler’s character acts as narrator and his opening admission provides plenty of intrigue from the very beginning. “We’re not bad people, we just did a bad thing.”
 
If Netflix continue to produce top quality dramas like this the major television networks will have something to worry about. Bloodline is the ideal choice for your next Netflix binge.